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J O H A N N E S B U R G ’ S b e s t gu i d e f o r p a r e n t s

fresh air

raising nature-lovers

enquiring minds

encouraging curiosity and creativity in our children

eat smart

super foods for your shopping basket

April 2011


what’s up doc? health checks you should be having

health & wellness

april holiday fun what to do and where to go




Hunter House P U B L I S H I N G

Sometimes I think that my health and, to a large extent, the health of my family depends on my ability to say “no”.

Publisher Lisa Mc Namara •

Editorial Managing Editor Marina Zietsman • Features Editor Elaine Eksteen • Resource Editor Colleen Goosen • Editorial Assistant Lucille Kemp • Copy Editor Debbie Hathway

Art Designers Mariette Barkhuizen • Nikki-leigh Piper •

Advertising Director PUBLISHER’S PHOTOGRAPH: Brooke Fasani

Lisa Mc Namara •

Sadly my inability often leads to a grumpy husband, denied or over-indulged children and absolutely no “me time”. Not much of a healthy example I am setting for my daughters. I look around the office and I know this is a shared dilemma. Does the problem lie in our need to please, or our thinking that we can actually do it all – on our own, today? I am reading Dr Kevin Leman’s Born to Win and, although it deals primarily with birth-order issues, the book also touches on the need to please or do it all. His solution is what he calls vitamin N (as in no) and he recommends a boatload of it for all us

functional firstborns who haven’t yet learnt to use the word. “If you find it hard to say ‘no’, simply say ‘let me think about that’.” This allows you time to be realistic and consider your time and energy constraints. Healthy advice? I think so. Now I am waiting for the next unrealistic teenage request and I’m going to give it a try…

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Joburg’s Child magazineTM is published monthly by Hunter House Publishing, PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010. Office address: Unit 5, First Floor, Bentley Office Park, cnr Rivonia and Wessel Rd, Rivonia. Tel:

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April 2011



april 2011

upfront 3

a note from lisa

6 over to you readers respond 8 reader’s blog Bonnie Bester shares tricks for feeding an allergic toddler


features 13 growing nature-lovers great ideas for helping your child get the most out of playing outdoors. By Tracy Ellis



12 ton-sore-litis should infected tonsils be removed? Chareen Boake finds out

regulars 7


there are monsters under my bed! know how to deal with your child’s fears and anxieties. By Joanne Lillie

20 super food some things should always be on your grocery shopping list, says Donna Cobban


9 upfront with paul Paul Kerton believes in one-on-one time with each of his children 10 dealing with difference Lucille Kemp explains life with Tourette’s syndrome

24 resource – health matters health checks parents should be having. By Tamlyn Vincent

22 curious + creative  games to boost your child’s questioning skills and lateral thinking. By C.J. Simister

28 a good read new books for the whole family 32 what’s on in april 50 last laugh Sam Wilson introduces us to her SBF (suburban best friend)


classified ads 44 family marketplace 47 it’s party time

this month’s cover images are supplied by:


April 2011


Cape Town


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April 2011



over to you

from cover to cover After reading the book reviews in the latest issue of Child magazine, I just had to have a copy of one of the books and went to great lengths to get one. I hope this shows that your magazine is read from cover to cover, and from top to bottom. Thank you for supporting us parents on this amazing journey. Theresa Chapman Our moms and all our teachers (including myself) love your magazine to bits. I don’t know how moms would do it without all your advice and information to help us give our children the best in life. Your magazine is number one! Carien and the teachers and moms at Child Educare Centre, Randpark Ridge

long-term relationship In the seven years I have been advertising with Child magazine, we have had our ups and downs together, but you have always been just a phone call away, ready to listen to yet one more client complaining about how slow business has been. Hardly ever, though, have I phoned to thank you for the many, many successful times. Please give me this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the fantastic job you are doing to ensure that we in our industry are fortunate


April 2011

enough to have the dedicated voice of Child magazine to help us promote our businesses. I know business will soon be back on track, but please know that I am eternally grateful for the personal attention you have given me. I suppose there is a lot one can say about loyalty then. From a loyal supporter and a big fan of Child magazine, Theo le Roux, Mural Maniac

practical fundraising In your February issue you published fundraising ideas for schools. These are fun and creative, however, many of them also require large amounts of energy, usually from parents and staff. In these cases, when you balance the financial rewards with the real costs, not much money is raised. Here are some practical fundraising ideas: 1. Get parents and students to research where past students are, and set up a proper alumni-funding programme. Most past students will gladly give to their old school. 2. Set up an endowment fund for the school. Money raised like this cannot be used, only the interest can. In this way schools start raising money like universities do. 3. Schools could join up and collaborate by paying professional fundraisers. The biggest spend from

corporate companies’ social responsibility budgets is on education – just approach them in a professional manner and follow the right procedures. Charles Masiel

erratum In the February issue of Child magazine, we reviewed various Dawsan’s Maths books by S. Edwards and D. Williams. We mistakenly listed the publisher as Penguin Tutoring. The correct publisher is Kendall & Strachan Printers. Penguin Tutoring introduces these books to learners, parents and teachers.

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

You can also post a comment online at

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.

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giveaways in april fit mom Preggi Bellies is an exercise programme for pregnant and postnatal mothers, which is effective in that it incorporates cardiovascular, strength and pelvic floor training. Developed over the last 10 years and in accordance with the latest international research and gynaecological guidelines, it has seen more than 14 000 moms enjoy its benefits. Preggi Bellies enables a fitter, stronger you during pregnancy and faster recovery after birth. Decide for yourself by contacting Preggi Bellies for a medical screening and a no-obligation introductory class. Contact 0860 723 559, 011 440 6222 or for more info visit or One reader of Joburg’s Child stands a chance to win a Preggi Bellies exercise course valued at R2 900. To enter, email your details to friends@preggibellies. with “Childmag JHB Win” in the subject line before 30 April 2011. Only one entry per reader.

brush up Brushing teeth with new Sonicare For Kids is fun and, more importantly, guarantees a deeper, squeakier clean. Suitable for children four to 10 years old, Sonicare For Kids is clinically proven to remove more plaque than manual or electric toothbrushes. KidTimer and KidPacer features play musical tones, which work like a dream to encourage children to brush for the full two minutes recommended by dental professionals. Sonicare For Kids is available from dentists and Dis-Chem or contact IVOhealth on 0860 456 123, info@ or visit Two readers of Joburg’s Child stand a chance to win a Sonicare For Kids toothbrush valued at R795 each. To enter, email your details to with “Childmag JHB Win” in the subject line before 30 April 2011. Only one entry per reader.

congratulations to our February winners Beth Libby-Neale who wins a Leapster Explorer Console and game; Terry Chumbley who wins an Ideal Toy hamper; Zahra Mamdoo, Maresce de Saldanha, Ines Leal, Tiago Nazareth, Chido Mudzana, Cecile Louw and Heidi Kumme who each win a Kellogg’s hamper; Ginell Kara, Tarisai Ndoro and Trish Branken who each win a Get Fit with Mel B.

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April 2011



in disguise BONNIE BESTER discovers a number of tricks for negotiating the challenges of feeding an allergic


April 2011

be so early. She was just 19 months old when the testing began. We were driving back from a family holiday and I had just given my older girls a breakfast bar to snack on when our baby started performing. I offered her every snack in her box before I realised what the performance was all about. She wanted what her sisters were eating. The only problem was: the breakfast bars were so full of dairy that a single bite would have sent her into a snot spiral that would have lasted for days. Thankfully I remembered I had just bought a dairyfree cocoa snack bar so I took a chance. It was brown like her sisters’ ones and I rolled the wrapper down like I had for her sisters. She gave it a serious once over before taking a bite. We looked on with baited breath. Phew. She approved.

Months went by after the breakfastbar incident without any further serious tantrums with regard to what her sisters were eating – until she decided that she needed to have yoghurt like they do every night. Panic struck: a yoghurt? Seriously? No ways! Then I had an idea. I emptied a yoghurt container and filled it with a dairy-free baby dessert and handed it to her. Again, it worked! She ran off to sit with her big sisters as proud as punch that she was also devouring a “yoghurt”. One of my tricks for navigating her first festive season was to open the advent calendar I had bought for her, and replace each of the chocolates with a jelly sweet she could have. With this tiny adjustment, all three of my girls got to squeal with delight when they opened

the little windows and ate a sweet straight after breakfast each morning. We have explained to our older girls that their baby sister can’t eat everything that they can and they understand, and I am slowly but surely building my list of “alternative” foods. Visit alternative-foods for Bonnie’s handy list of “alternative” foods.

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

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he toughest part for me as a parent of an allergic child has been that I have older twins who are not allergic and were able to eat anything we thought fit for the first four years of their lives. Then our youngest came along. She was diagnosed with a dairy allergy, soy intolerance and immune deficiency. Even though her allergies are not life threatening, we soon realised our older children’s lives would also be affected. We have however tried to keep this impact to a minimum. Sure it’s not always easy – the resources we have locally and the allergen-free food we have available to us in SA are minimal. But we’re finding our way. We knew our littlest would one day want the forbidden food her sisters were eating, but we had no idea it would

child with two non-allergic siblings.

upfront with paul

one-on-one PAUL KERTON recommends time alone with your child.



n the corporate world, a one-onone with a staff member for just 15 minutes is priceless and can reveal a monumental amount of previously privy insider info. The real reason for Friday’s disaster in production, where the missing 30k went, and various political and staffing gripes all come bubbling to the surface under the pressure of the spotlight or a seemingly innocent bonding moment. With children a one-on-one may be less formal but the information is no less crucial. Why Daughter One fell out with her best friend. Why she hates wearing leggings. Who said what to whom at Daughter Two’s birthday party, and why she really hates maths. It’s the “really” that is critical. There is always a real reason behind the alleged reason. And sitting with a child, just idly chatting without anybody else present, provides enormous insight. It is something we don’t do often enough. We all have various personalities. Learned psychology professionals will

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define them more accurately, but when I was working on a teenage girl’s magazine we talked to the following: the personality they show to their parents/elders, another personality they show to their peer group and a third, which is their private self, who they are when alone in their bedroom. My daughters definitely show a different personality when they are with me alone than they do en famille. We’ve always tended to do everything together, but recently I’ve tried a different tack and warmed to the idea of spending precious one-on-one time with each of them. The difference is a breath of fresh air – they both blossom in their own way and their true personality (or certainly nearer to it) shines through. They appear more mature and eloquent and make more of an effort to communicate. There is no shouting to be heard. It also saves on the giant compromise each has to make with regard to how we spend the time. “Let’s do X”, I say. “Great,” says one, excited. “No, that’s boring,” says the other. “Okay, let’s do Y.” Same reaction in reverse.

Saskia, Paul and Sabina

Over the last year, with a gap of six years, the difference between the two has become marked. Saskia, 11, thinks she is 21; she is interested in fashion, Style Network, shopping and Justin Bieber. Sabina is more interested in wobbly-headed plastic pets, Disney Channel, dressing-up and having pillow fights. Both are skilled on the computer but while Sabina tries hard, Saskia is always way ahead of her sister. Consequently, when they are together, although they are generally very good

and get on, there is often a niggling undercurrent with them baiting each other, albeit subtly. When each has a friend their own age over, brilliant, you don’t hear a whimper. If either of them doesn’t, then the “gooseberry” irritates the other two and tries to sabotage their fun. That is the perfect time to take the friendless one for a one-on-one. I highly recommend it. Paul Kerton is the author of Fab Dad: A Man’s Guide to Fathering.

April 2011


dealing with difference

most often misunderstood t first acceptance was difficult for Nelspruit-based mom Sandy Hodges. When she found out her little girl had Tourette’s syndrome (TS), she felt like she had done something wrong. But Sandy couldn’t get stuck there. She was going to need to properly explain to a newly diagnosed six-year-old what was going on with her body, so she set to work schooling herself on her daughter’s condition. “Some children wear glasses, some have big ears, you have TS,” said Mom to Daughter. Today, thanks to her mom’s support, eight-year-old Tanya is comfortable with her TS. So, when her classmates ask: “Why do you do that?” Tanya is able to confidently reply, “I can because I have Tourette’s.”

gaining understanding The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke describes Tourette’s syndrome as a developmental neurological disorder – made up of chronic motor and vocal tics – that belongs to the family of movement disorders. While the number of people affected is uncertain, TS is known to affect more boys than girls. Tanya clears her throat, opens and closes her mouth, shrugs her shoulders forward and jerks her head. Lenore Zietsman’s 21-year-old son Hans grimaces, clenches his fists, covers his face with his arms and makes a clucking sound. According to Prof Christine Lochner, a Cape-Town based clinical psychologist who specialises in dealing with TS and its associated disorders, these are common symptoms of TS and are referred to as tics – “multiple, involuntary and brief movements, words and sounds”. Other definitions are more telling; one adult male describes his TS as an “imp” that one day took up residence inside of him. Stellenbosch-based child psychiatrist Dr Sue Hawkridge says, “There is a strong genetic predisposition, with vulnerability to movement disorders being heritable.” It’s not all predetermined though, says

Hawkridge, environmental factors can bring out TS in a child who is already vulnerable to developing the disorder. Medical professionals agree that most children display readily identifiable symptoms of TS around seven years old. Lochner says that the diagnosis of TS is made if the ticcing has been present for at least one year.

not stand alone Tics aside, people with Tourette’s often have a range of issues to deal with (comorbidities or associated disorders). These are mainly OCD, ADHD, mild self-injurious behaviour and learning difficulties, which Lochner says, can be more damaging than the TS itself.

wanting the best for your child Tanya is at a mainstream school and according to her mom copes quite well, though she battles with her handwriting and for this she attends occupational therapy. Hans was at a mainstream private school as he did much better in a smaller class. Mom Lenore says that while Hans found his feet in high school, matriculating with two As and being picked for the first team in all the sports he played, his primary school years had their difficulties. “He knew the answers to sums instinctively, but when he was forced to show the working out, he got frustrated and then made mistakes,” says Lenore. “He struggled to convey on paper what he knew.” Hans showed obsessive compulsive tendencies and could not sit

The best schooling option for a child with Tourette’s is the school where she feels accepted and where she can achieve to her full potential. With Tanya’s obsessive compulsiveness, Sandy and the family go with the flow to avoid the screaming match. “If Tanya’s duvet on her bed is not straight she has a hissy fit, and makes me adjust it until it is perfect. Same with her school socks – they have to be put on her in a certain way, or else...” Lochner tells me that the child that has both TS and ADHD symptoms will very often also experience disruptive behaviour, academic difficulty, peer rejection and family conflict. In addition to these associated disorders, children with TS may experience depression. Lochner has found that rather than trying to eliminate tics, the first goal of treatment should be to maximise the child’s potential at school and in the social setting. “The comorbid disorders are usually treated first, since their successful treatment may reduce tic severity. Physical exercise and good sleeping habits also help,” she says.

still in class in his junior-school years. As a result, teachers suggested Ritalin, advice Lenore is thankful she didn’t take. Hawkridge says that the best schooling option for a child with Tourette’s is simply the school where she feels accepted by her teachers and peers and where she can achieve to her full potential. She goes on to say, “Ideally the presence of Tourette’s syndrome should not dictate the choice of school, but in the real world mainstream schools may not be able to provide the additional input the child may need.”

managing for success “Treatment should be tailored to the individual; each child with Tourette’s is quite different,” says Professor Dan Stein, head of the department of psychiatry at the University of Cape Town and director of the MRC Unit on Anxiety and Stress Disorders. “Once TS symptoms have appeared, a positive emotional environment at home, school and among friends is important in reducing the emotional complications of TS,” says Hawkridge. Alleviating stress is most important in reducing tics,

though relaxation doesn’t always see an improvement in ticcing. “At school Hans managed to control the tics, but when he got home and relaxed on the couch he would tic almost constantly,” says Lenore. The Hodges family limits sugar, colourants and additives in Tanya’s diet as they believe it helps concentration and general behaviour – the Zietsmans followed a similar approach with Hans as a child. There are, says Hawkridge, various behavioural interventions that can help, such as massed practice, relaxation training, habit reversal therapy and response prevention. For Tanya, Sandy has found medication to be most effective, along with a calm, structured environment. Hans, by his doctor’s recommendation, has never been on medication and still achieved at school though Hans’ high IQ (above 130) may have made this possible. Hans found sport to be a great outlet for his tics. “When playing cricket, he learnt to disguise and adapt his tics as imaginary batting strokes,” says Lenore.

straight talk I ask Tanya how her TS makes her feel: “I feel fine! Only thing is when I write at school and I shrug my shoulders it causes me to scribble across my word, then I have to rub out and start again. Oh, and also that I can’t have sweets and chocolates – that really bothers me.” A parting shot from Tanya’s mom? “It has been a long hard journey, but I am determined to create TS awareness out there. As a parent you have to remain positive and supportive, and advocate for your child, especially at their schools.” Lenore says: “I have always tried to put myself in Hans’ shoes – what it must be like being careful not to tic or being unable to prevent the tic – especially in his teenage years, when it was no longer really acceptable to look as if he was batting.” Lenore describes her now adult son as happy and successful. “He is in his final year of BCom studies. He has a wonderful girlfriend, who after having done some research on TS, is perfectly accepting. He is a qualified dive instructor and manages the scuba school at Stellenbosch University.”

finding support • M  ental Health Information Centre (for TS and associated disorders): 021 938 9229, or visit • Tourette Syndrome Association: • Tourette’s support: Nicolette du Toit (Durbanville) 083 292 5481 and Chuki Williams (Somerset West) 082 924 4909 will provide telephonic support and advice to parents on where to go for professional help • Tourette’s syndrome support group Randburg: 011 326 2112 or 082 357 6586


April 2011

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LUCILLE KEMP chats to two families who know what living with Tourette’s syndrome is all about.

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April 2011



ton-sore-litis Infected tonsils… should they stay or should they go? CHAREEN BOAKE investigates.


April 2011

multifactorial; the potential benefits need to be weighed against the potential risks. There are a few  absolute indications for a tonsillectomy – generally when there are significant risks if not attended to.” Williams gives the following indicators: • Largely swollen tonsils obstructing swallowing, breathing or both. Obstructive sleep apnoea: when the child stops breathing during sleep. • Complications such as a peritonsillar abscess. • A suspicion that the tonsils could be malignant. • If the tonsillitis is also associated with systematic complications involving the kidneys or heart, or arthritis. • If the tonsillitis reoccurs six to seven times in a year, five or more times in two years or three or more times per year for three years. When asked about the implications of tonsil removal, Dr Williams says “chronically infected tonsils are an additional burden on the child’s immune system. Once removed, that burden is eliminated”. Tonsils and adenoids are the two largest lymphatic organs in the upper respiratory tract, but there are many other collections of lymphatic tissue in the naso- and oropharynx that continue to assist with immunity when the tonsils are removed.

a tonsillectomy – be prepared • Disclose your full medical history to the doctor, especially if either parent is prone to bleeding or has adverse reactions to anaesthetic. • Your child will undergo a general anaesthetic (with an anaesthetist on hand to monitor them) and the op should take 20 to 30 minutes. • Find out from your surgeon if you can stay in theatre until your child has fallen asleep. This is reassuring for young children. • Talk to your child about what they can expect before, during and after surgery. • Let your child take their favourite toy along. Make sure they have it when they fall asleep and when they wake up. • Children have very different reactions to an anaesthetic. They can wake up aggressive, angry or weepy. Prepare yourself for this and make sure that you’re with them when they wake up. • Prepare soft foods and have a ready supply of liquids. Liquids are important after surgery.

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he two small masses of tissue at the back of the throat that fight infection caused by bacteria and viruses are called tonsils. An inflammation of the tonsils is referred to as tonsillitis. The symptoms are swollen red tonsils, a sore throat, pain or discomfort when swallowing, bad breath, a high temperature, swollen neck glands and sometimes a change in the voice. While bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics, viral infections can only be managed with supportive care, hydration and temperature control. When asked if there’s a way to avoid tonsillitis, Johannesburg-based GP Dr Dorianne Green says it’s “a luck of the draw type illness”. Since tonsillitis is contagious, the nasal fluids from sneezing and droplets of spit from coughing are infectious enough to spread it to others. In order to reduce the risk of tonsillitis, one has to ensure a healthy immune system by eating fresh fruit and vegetables, staying away from infected people, regularly washing hands and not using the same eating utensils as an infected person. It’s also a good idea to replace toothbrushes after a bout of tonsillitis to avoid reinfection. Cape Town-based ear, nose and throat specialist Dr Sharon Williams says, “a decision to do a tonsillectomy is


growing nature-lovers Our children are becoming increasingly disconnected from nature as they spend less time outdoors. TRACY ELLIS gives tips on changing this – and why it’s so important.



hat does a stone taste like?” he said. It was the strangest question my husband had ever asked me. “You don’t have to answer,” he said, “but if you think about it hard enough, you do know.” He was right. At some point in my toddler life I must have licked a stone and while I couldn’t recall a specific memory or taste, I understood what he was getting at. The most random outdoor encounters we have as children are filed away in our brains, and add to our sensory catalogue. This is exactly why children are supposed to connect with nature and, in the most random, unstructured ways, engage all five senses. The texture of a gritty stone on the tongue, the chirp of a cricket in the grass and the tickle of a ladybird crawling up your arm just before she vibrates

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her wings and flies away, are a few of the experiences every child should have. Sadly many of them haven’t and probably won’t without some intervention. Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, and chairman of the Children & Nature Network writes: “…the way children understand and experience nature has changed radically. Today, children are aware of the global threats to the environment – but their physical contact, their intimacy with nature, is fading.” Various international studies have indicated that outdoor activity among children is rapidly declining. This indoor migration is causing great concern among parents, doctors and researchers worldwide, who are finding a

concerning correlation between the decrease in outdoor activity and the increase in childhood obesity, ADHD, depression and other physical and mental disorders.

nature’s cure Lauren Coombe, a Durban-based CA and mother of two, recalls how a connection with nature transformed her son Troy. “When Troy was three years old his teacher observed him sitting on his back rather than his bum at ring time. She recommended that we have him assessed for low muscle tone. During a rustic three-week holiday, he befriended a seven-year-old boy who was a native to the area. For three weeks Troy ran barefoot and wild while his new friend taught him to climb trees, suck on long

April 2011



fear and other factors

grass stems, cross the stony river and skim stones across the dam. By the end of the holiday he had a new body. I realised that he was not being physical enough at home and I had to get off my own behind and get my children moving outside in the afternoons. Now he is a lean but strong little boy and we have not heard the words ‘low muscle tone’ again.” Experts agree that nature provides the perfect physical and mental training ground for growing strong, healthy bodies and minds. Nature Rocks, a US programme to inspire and empower families to play and explore in nature, claims that families and children who play in nature are happier, healthier and smarter. They go on to claim they are less stressed, more confident, more resilient to germs, developmentally advantaged and all with the added bonuses of nature being free and family friendly.


April 2011

Michaela de Gier, a human movement educator and founder of the Core4Kids programme, says that outdoor play is essential for the development of gross motor skills, preparing the groundwork on which all academic learning will take place. “Children learn best when all five senses are involved. Time spent outdoors where sights, sounds, smells and textures are rich and varied, gives children an understanding of their world. Perception is the ability of the brain to interpret messages received through the senses. Perceptual development begins at an early age and a child’s perceptual skills may suffer if much of his learning depends on computers, video, television or other media. Most of these learning methods require only two senses,” she says. “Outdoor play also enhances a child’s intellectual and cognitive development. Nature provides endless prospects for exploration and discovery, enhancing creativity and nourishing imaginations.”

Dr Jim Taylor, director of education at WESSA (The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa), believes that our children are living in a virtual, self-indulgent reality and need to get outside more often and have what he calls “reality encounters”. “If you ride a bicycle too fast and fall off you learn something about failure, but with television and computer games if you fail you just press reset and start again. What happens is children can’t cope with failure in the real world.” Coombe believes that screens and safety are some of the factors keeping our children inside. She believes shutting down indoor magnets, such as TVs and computers, is a huge part of the solution in getting children to opt for the outdoors, but she acknowledges this is easier said than done. “Saying no to indoor technology is difficult for busy parents. TV is an easy boredom buster, so we give in too quickly. We also live in a world of crime, which prevents us from cutting the umbilical cord and letting our children go. It is important to satisfy yourself that your outdoor areas are safe so you can let them play outside without worrying,” she says. With the decks clearly stacked in favour of Mother Nature, parents and educators have a responsibility to foster child-nature connections wherever possible. Here are some suggestions:

facilitate the nature-child connection • Lead by example: hold a frog without squirming, try a forest canopy tour, brave the icy sea water, choose an outdoor sport or just spend 20 minutes a day on a blanket in the garden. Your children will follow your lead.

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• Start a nature club. Meet regularly with a group of friends in public gardens, nature reserves and parks for unstructured play-in-nature time. Visit which has a downloadable kit on how to start a family nature club. • Have a neighbourhood nature show-and-tell party. Ask children to collect and bring their most interesting nature finds (birds nests, snail shells or feathers) and then discuss these objects. • Compulsory outdoor time. Limit screen time to an hour a day or keep it off limits Monday to Thursday. You don’t always have to produce an action plan. Just declare outside time and let them improvise. • Keep a family nature journal. Glue feathers, seed pods, leaves and dried flowers into a large scrapbook and add field notes (date, place found, description, botanical name). • Start a garden. Vegetables, herbs and flowers are rewarding for children and can be grown in the smallest space or in containers. Let children get involved in every aspect from digging to planting, watering and picking the produce themselves. • Take indoor activities outdoors. Eat on the veranda, or under a tree, take toys onto a blanket or lie on the grass and look for shapes in the clouds. • Don’t overprotect. Allow your children to get a little risky with climbing trees, balancing on walls, jumping and acrobatics. Bumps, bruises and scrapes teach them to navigate their world and make them more resilient. • Have nature hunts. Draw pictures of ant hills, spider webs, different shaped leaves and rocks, and send

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them out to see what they can find. No need to hide treats, let nature be the prize. • Go for regular walks but make a point of stopping to enjoy nature on the way. Point out interesting trees, plants, birds and animals as well as sounds and smells. Try to engage all the senses. • Ensure your garden is secure and childproof so that you can let your children explore it for hours with peace of mind.

If you ride a bicycle too fast and fall off you learn something about failure, but with computer games if you fail you press reset and start again. • During (limited) TV time, choose a nature show over a cartoon series. Elephant migration may seem a little over their heads, but the brain stores these “random” facts and one day they may just use them. • Welcome dirt. Allow your children to literally “play in the mud”. Give them buckets of water and let them get messy. • Take your children on nature trails, day hikes and bush walks when they are young. They may initially battle with long grass, steep hills and endurance but perseverance pays off.

• If you live on the coast, visit the beach often. Swim in the ocean, explore rock pools and breathe the salty air. • Adopt a park. Get together with families in your area and agree to adopt an unloved public park in your neighbourhood. Pitch together to clear litter and maintain facilities. Petition your municipality to upgrade facilities or at least to work with your group to make the park a safe place to play. (Visit for more on adopting a park.) • As children grow older, take part in social or community bike rides, obstacle courses and walks. • Take rustic family holidays: go camping, stay on a working farm or on a wild stretch of beach. • Choose birthday gifts that encourage a love of nature: a telescope, flower press, ant farm or reference books to identify birds and animals – but be sure to get outside and use them. • Set up camp in the garden one night. Pitch a tent, roast marshmallows, name the stars and fall asleep to the sound of crickets chirping. • Aquariums, zoos, nature museums and environmental centres are great but save these for rainy days. The emphasis is on getting outside. • Join organisations such as SA Scout Association, Girl Guides Association of South Africa and WESSA, which facilitate nature discovery through organised outdoor activities and adventures for children. • For more ideas read the monthly suggestions in the “finding nature and outdoor play” section of the Child magazine calendar (see page 39) or visit childmag.’s-on/today.

April 2011



there are monsters under my bed! Every child will experience fear at some stage. Knowing how to deal with


er older girls started to fear monsters at age four. “They suddenly needed the light on and the door open at night,” says Bonnie Bester (33), an entrepreneur from Cape Town, and mom to twins Abigail and Kiara (5), and Jessica (21 months). “I obliged because to them their fears were very real and I didn’t want to dismiss that,” she says. Childhood fears are extremely common and most children experience phases of anxiety every day – or imagined things at some point. “Anxiety is very much a part of the human condition, and at different developmental points it can actually be quite useful,” says Dr Wendy Duncan, child psychiatrist at the Child and Family Unit of the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.


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“A wariness of strangers, for instance, can protect your child from harm. Sometimes a level of anxiety is instinctive and tells a child to be cautious and return to her caregiver. In older children, anxiety over performance can drive them to try harder and achieve, so anxiety is appropriate and necessary at certain points. Children who don’t develop a sense of fear can be quite vulnerable,” says Dr Duncan. But it is important to help your child manage her fears properly at the time they arise, so that they are not amplified or taken into adulthood. “It’s also important that we don’t always reassure children that their fears will never happen; they might. Instead, we have to raise their belief in their inner strength to cope,” says Johannesburg-based educational psychologist Nadia Louw.

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your child’s anxieties can make all the difference. By JOANNE LILLIE

for 2- to 10-year-olds: • A fear of the dark is particularly common up to age five or six and a night-light will often do the trick. “Help your child look for her strengths by asking her about a time she wasn’t scared of the dark, and what powers she had within herself to overcome her fear in that instance that she can use the next time,” suggests Louw. • A fear of monsters is usually shortlived. “I used to pretend to catch the monsters, wrap them in a blanket and throw them out the window or door. I made such a big drama doing all of this, my daughters were in fits of giggles and the monster problem very quickly went away,” says Bonnie. This type of approach is particularly helpful because young children need very practical, tangible ways to deal with fear as they cannot deal effectively with abstract concepts yet, explains Justine Bartlett, a clinical psychologist from Durban. “Another way is to ask children to draw a picture of what is scaring them. This allows them to visualise their fear and makes

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it more real. Then get them to tear up the picture and jump on it and squash it,” says Bartlett. “Whatever your child’s fear, telling them that they are being silly, that there is nothing to be scared of, or that they shouldn’t worry, does not make them feel heard. Allow children to express their fears and concerns openly, and acknowledge their feelings,” says Louw.

• Particular animals, like dogs or snakes, often cause small children to worry, and this is within the spectrum of normal development, say experts. “Gradual exposure is imperative in order to stop this fear becoming something more severe or lifelong. Try introducing your child slowly to the company of little dogs at a distance and then gradually get closer and closer, then progress to bigger dogs at closer

I used to pretend to catch the monsters… and throw them out the door. I made such a big drama my daughters were in fits of giggles. • A fear of strangers serves a purpose and can be managed through your example. Greet strangers politely but don’t engage in long-winded conversations. In any fearful situation, breathing and relaxation techniques can help: “Teach your child to take deep breaths and visualise a safe, happy space if they start to panic,” suggests Louw.

range,” suggests Bartlett. “It won’t help your child to remove her quickly from a situation she is scared of. If you visit a friend with a large dog, call ahead to ensure the dog is contained. When you arrive take your child to see the dog and reassure her. Work towards getting them to eventually touch the dog or letting the dog out so they can just be in the presence

when to worry While some fear is normal, concern is warranted if anxiety affects your child’s everyday life. If his functioning at school – academic and social – is impacted, you might need to seek help, says Duncan. For example, if your child develops an extreme aversion to germs it might be a stage – but when your child can’t leave the house on time because she’s washing her hands repeatedly, or doesn’t want to touch the school desk, this is more than a quirk, and needs professional attention. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group offers a free 24-hour counselling service, and can refer you to a child therapist in your area. Contact: 0800 20 50 26 (seven days a week, 8am–8pm), sms 31393
or visit

April 2011



of the dog,” advises Bartlett. Avoiding dogs altogether reinforces the idea that they are indeed too scary to face. • Fears over crime and trauma permeate down to our young children. Your child’s level of fear depends on his exposure to crime, and on what mom and dad are talking about. Children absorb their parents’ feelings about situations and they pick up on what you say. “Be conscious about discussing adult things in front of children, and of what they’re seeing on TV. Anxieties develop as a result of watching ageinappropriate content,” says Duncan.

or they hide their homework diary – they are trying to tell you it’s too much,” says Duncan. “Overload can be quite harmful, and unstructured play is at least as useful in development as going to loads of classes and formal activities,” she says. • Many children are afraid of losing a parent. “If your child expresses this fear they need a lot of reassurance that you as parents do your utmost to ensure that you are safe and will be there for them, but if something should happen to either of you they need to be told what measures are in place,” says Bartlett. This may seem

It’s also important that we don’t always reassure children that their fears will never happen; they might. Instead, we have to raise their belief in their inner strength to cope. • Even very young children are afraid of not doing well at school. “Instil encouragement without pressure,” advises Duncan. “Achievement and ambition are the order of the day, and adults often live vicariously through their children. We tend to push our children to do more, have more, or be better than we were. Be aware that this sort of pressure is bad for children,” she says. We need to find a balance between creating opportunities and giving them too many. “When children manifest distress – by refusing to do certain things; throwing tantrums when they have to go to ballet; niggling; or when school performance dips

macabre, but is more likely to reassure them than a fabrication. “Never lie to children and tell them not to worry as you’ll always be there for them. This isn’t always in your control. Never minimise a child’s fears and make up stories to allay fear. Be as frank and honest as is appropriate for their developmental age,” advises Bartlett. We should give children a little space to develop their own coping mechanisms too. “We need to encourage our children to explore (within appropriate boundaries) and reassure them of their strengths, rather than constantly warning them about danger, and hovering,” says Louw.

check your own fears “Sometimes fear manifests because of a traumatic experience, but more often it’s when parents’ own anxieties are transferred to their children,” says child psychiatrist Dr Wendy Duncan. As parents, we need to be cognizant of our own feelings, and what we might be instilling in our children. “Anxious children generally have extremely anxious parents,” says Duncan. “Children are all born fearless and research has shown that fear is a completely learnt behaviour. This means that as soon as they are old enough to watch you and learn from your behaviour, they can learn fear. This can happen from as early as six months, but more often from the age of two, when they are starting to develop certain cognitive abilities and are able to understand some level of danger,” says psychologist Justine Bartlett.


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what teens fear most Social exclusion; doing poorly at school; not having the right “stuff”; and looking bad top the list of teenage fears. Anxiety at this age almost always centres around social acceptance. As children develop, their points of reference change from their parents to their teachers to their friends. That’s why at this age, say experts, you can’t underestimate the power of peers. Peer relationships become more important and concerns over these relationships are enormous. Risks associated with the need to fit in include disordered eating habits, substance abuse, and perfectionist behaviour, notes Duncan. So, what can you do? • Name that emotion. “Often we struggle to express our own emotions, but the most important thing we parents can do is to help our young adults name their emotions,” says Duncan. Try: “I can see you are angry about…” or “I understand you are worried because…” Create space to say to your child that if they feel like talking about it, you’re there for them. • Discuss worst-case scenarios. It’s often helpful to talk about the worst thing that can happen in a situation as teenagers often build things up to be far worse in their minds than they are in reality, says Louw. “And as adolescents tend to experience their emotions quite intensely, remain as calm and understanding as possible, and allow your child to vent,” she says. • Set boundaries. Balance is important, and you need to allow them the space to learn to become independent, but still protect them and give them boundaries, says Duncan. “Parents should still set the rules, but there is a process of some negotiation whereby the teenager can make his needs known, and together you can agree on a solution. The currency of adolescence is money, autonomy/ freedom, and peer group – use this to negotiate. For example, your older teenager wants to go out over the weekend with friends, but you want to structure her life. You could say something along the lines of: ‘we have

certain expectations, we need you to do your chores, we need you home during the week by 6pm; then you can go out until 11pm on weekends. If you come home later, we will need to look at whether you’ll go out again’. Curtail her freedom or her phone usage if she’s not acting responsibly.” • Follow through. The agreed consequences must be enforced if there is to be mutual respect, and it’s important for all adults in the house to be consistent and unified in their message. These boundaries are both containing and freeing for young people: “They are free to a point, if they uphold the rules you’ve placed to protect and care for them, as is your parental responsibility,” says Duncan. • Encourage relaxation. Relaxation and techniques such as deep breathing, visualising success and focusing on all their previous successes may assist teenagers in feeling more empowered, suggests Louw. • Watch for stress signals. A teenager might withdraw, change her behaviour, or act out, and this may be a manifestation of something else. Take note of this behaviour, as some more serious anxiety problems (such as generalised anxiety disorders and social phobias) can start in adolescence, says Duncan.

sources Dr Wendy Duncan senior specialist in child psychiatry, Child and Family Unit, Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, Parktown, Johannesburg, Nadia Louw (Johannesburg), educational psychologist,, 082 785 7601 Justine Bartlett, clinical psychologist (Durban),, 031 303 3313

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April 2011



DONNA COBBAN rounds up some of the essential food items that will go a long way towards ensuring the optimum health of your family.

shopping tip Include whole-wheat flour, bread and pasta, as well as oats, mielies, barley, brown rice and popcorn in your trolley to ensure an optimum intake of whole grains. why? They contain the cereal germ, endosperm, and bran and, because the whole grain is intact, they contain more nutrients and fibre than refined grains. The regular consumption of whole grains can help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. serving suggestion If you like oats for breakfast try the original Swiss muesli recipe: soak some oats in water overnight, then add chopped fresh fruit, raisins, nuts,


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desiccated coconut and a spoonful of yoghurt. It ensures the slow release of glucose into the bloodstream – important for school-going children.

beans and lentils shopping tip Buy the tinned four-bean mix and decant into small containers for a nutritious school snack. Stock up on packets of dried lentils as they are incredibly economical as well as nutritious. why? They are a great source of both kinds of fibre – insoluble fibre, which helps to keep children regular, and soluble fibre, which plays a role in keeping blood sugars stable. They are also rich in protein and are a good source of iron.

serving suggestion Lentils and bean salads are quick and easy. Cook the lentils or beans, grate in a carrot, add some chopped up cucumber and tomatoes, add a handful of sunflower seeds, along with chopped hard-boiled egg, a drizzle of olive oil and some balsamic vinegar – fast food the way it should be. For optimum nutrition, lentils should be eaten along with whole-grain rice to ensure a complete protein (you can throw them in the same pot together), this is because lentils contain the amino acid, lysine, but are low in methionine. Wholegrain rice, however, is high in methionine yet low in lysine. Eaten together, the one makes up for the other’s lack, providing a perfect protein-rich meal.

pilchards and sardines shopping tip Other oily fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids include mackerel, salmon and tuna (sms the name of the fish to 079 499 8795 to see if it’s a sustainable seafood). why? They are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to promote healthy brain development and growth and concentration in children. Including oily fish in your child’s diet from an early age will ensure they develop a taste for them. serving suggestion Always add a couple of tins to your shopping trolley as they are perfect for quick and easy dinners. Mash with a fork, add a squeeze of lemon juice and serve on whole-wheat toast with cherry tomatoes.

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whole grains

eggs shopping tip Check the sell-by date as fresh eggs are not only tastier, but also keep their shape and colour better when cooking. why? Eggs are a good source of protein, vitamins A and D, and iron. serving suggestion Perfect for Sunday night dinners – scramble the eggs with some onions, spinach and tomatoes or serve up French toast topped with melted cheese. For perfect hard-boiled eggs, simply pop the egg into a pot of cold water (this way the egg shell won’t crack), put the pot on the stove to boil and once the water is boiling, remove the egg and leave to cool.

yellow vegetables shopping tip Stock up with carrots, butternut, squash, yellow peppers and the yellow-fleshed sweet potatoes. Scrub skins with a veggie brush to get rid of any pesticide residue. why? Yellow vegetables are especially good for you because they are an excellent source of vitamin A, which is essential for healthy eyes and a strong immune system. serving suggestion Cut up carrots and peppers to eat raw with a hummus dip. Thinly slice potatoes, carrots and butternut, drizzle with a little olive oil and roast into chips. Cut open gem squash, remove seeds, add a dab of butter, some grated cheese and a little nutmeg, then cook in the microwave for a few minutes for an instant meal.

milk and dairy foods shopping tip Choose plain yoghurt and stir in chopped fruit when serving – this way you steer clear of added sugar, colourants and artificial flavours. For similar reasons, avoid processed cheeses with added colourants. why? Dairy contains calcium, which is essential for healthy, strong bones and teeth. Children should be encouraged to have milk, yoghurt or cheese every day. serving suggestion Dairy is an easy one to get children to consume – from frozen yoghurt to smoothies, milkshakes and hot chocolate.

fruit (vitamin C) shopping tip Rather give fresh fruit than a pre-prepared fruit juice, as vitamin C content magazine joburg

is compromised by exposure to light and juices will have lost a degree of vitamin C content, particularly if stored in clear bottles. why? Children should be encouraged to eat a wide range of fruit, particularly those rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, naartjies, kiwi fruit, guavas, strawberries, mangoes, papaya and blueberries. Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system and gums, and it also aids in the absorption of iron from food, so it is a good thing to eat along with iron-rich food. serving suggestion Fruit has endless possibilities. Try smoothies, fruit kebabs and fruit salads or juice the fruit and drink it or make into ice lollies. Try making sauces to drizzle over French toast – put a spoon of corn flour, a little sugar and fruit such as blueberries into a pot to cook, stirring constantly.


swiss chard

shopping tip Steer clear of bottled water if you can; it’s fast becoming an environmental no-no and there are fears of BPA (Bisphenol A) leaching into the water. Rather fit a filter to your taps if you are concerned about the quality of your water supply. why? Children need to have plenty of fluids to keep themselves hydrated and one of the easiest and healthiest ways to do so is to get them to drink plenty of tap water. serving suggestion If children are offered water as a drink from early on they will get used to the taste and choose water over sweetened juices or other cold drinks. Add some fresh mint, a piece of lemon or a dash of juice to encourage your children to drink up.

shopping tip Why not grow your own? Throw some seeds down, water and harvest regularly and your supply will be ongoing throughout the summer months. Failing this, reach over the more expensive baby spinach packets in your local shop and choose this ruddier variety of greens. why? Swiss chard is high in iron. serving suggestion Use in omelettes and quiches, or boil alone and add a dash of lemon juice before serving. Serve some freshly squeezed orange juice with Swiss chard as the iron in these leafy greens is the vegetarian type of iron, known as the non-heme type. The consumption of vitamin C at the same meal increases the body’s ability to absorb the iron. With thanks to Cape Town-based dietitian Deborah Hoepfl for her input. April 2011


book extract

curious+creative questioning skills and lateral thinking in your children. kindling a burning curiosity? Children are programmed to be inquisitive, to seek explanations and to do their best to make sense of this extraordinary world. Sadly, growing up too often dampens this enquiring spirit. This is partly our fault: children see adults answering questions far more often than asking them. They come to assume that asking questions is something you are meant to grow out of; answers are what count.


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Fortunately asking “thinking questions” is a skill that can be practiced, and it’s amazing how quickly you’ll see the changes that result. Young children, especially, are still in that wonderfully curious stage and they respond well to being challenged to think of unusual questions. Some tips for getting their questioning juices flowing include: • Switch the focus from praising your child for their right answers to praising

them when they ask really interesting and unusual questions. Don’t be afraid to admit it when you can’t answer their questions. You could say something like: “That’s a really interesting question. I’m going to need some thinking time for that one.” This shows your child you don’t have all the answers and that that’s fine. It also teaches them to take “thinking time” too. • Let your child see you asking openended questions about the world around

you. One good way is to use the phrase “I wonder”: “I wonder why cats have whiskers?” or “I wonder what it feels like to live in a country where everybody speaks a language you don’t understand?”

curiosity games and activities question starters Children find it easier to learn to ask interesting and unusual questions when they are given some “question starters” to

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Games and ideas from C.J. Simister’s The Bright Stuff for encouraging

get them going. Make a poster together to go on the wall, listing several ways to begin a thinking question: Why do you think that…? What might happen if…? How could we find out if…? Is it possible that…? What do you think of…? Get everybody involved by displaying your family’s questions on sticky notes on a notice board – perhaps use a different colour for each member of the family. Questions can be jotted down whenever someone thinks of one and then used as prompts for discussions at meal times or in the car. finger questions This is a good one for the car: one person picks an object, place or person. The players then take it in turns to ask five questions about this object, using the words: “why”, “when”, “how”, “where” and “who”. Young children may find it harder than you’d expect, but you’ll be surprised how much more interesting these questions become with a little prompting and praise. the fairy question mother This game requires your children to imagine that their fairy question mother is going to pay them a visit. She will grant them the answers to three questions they would like her to answer… what will they choose?

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encouraging originality and creativity Creativity is about ideas; ideas that may be turned into extraordinary paintings, poems and plays, but that equally could result in scientific breakthroughs, ingenious new products, improved procedures, groundbreaking laws, previously undiscovered solutions to problems – progress. The problem is that we tend to be better at judging other people’s ideas than having them ourselves. Here are some ideas for fostering creativity in your child: • Try to encourage an atmosphere where having a lot of ideas, however foolish they may be, is something that’s valued highly – the fun bit before selecting the best of the bunch. The greatest barrier to creativity is the fear of “getting it wrong”. To counter this, teach your children that ideas are like stepping stones; even the most ridiculous ones might lead to something brilliant later on. • Create plenty of opportunities for growing originality. Ask questions that fit with whatever you are doing – though be careful how you do this. If you’re out on a walk and you lob an unexpected “Why do trees have bark?” at your child, they’re going to feel like they’re in an exam. Simply rephrasing this as: “Look at the bark on this tree. Isn’t it amazing?

I wonder how many theories we could come up with about why trees have bark?” transforms the activity into a far more tempting game.

curiosity games and activities 20 ways Who can think of 20 ways to… make a tree happy; remove a bull from a china shop; teach a chimpanzee to play soccer? The sillier the better. crazy connections What connects an elephant and a teapot? Or a picnic and chandelier? This game is a great way of improving lateral thinking skills. Place lots of random words in a bag (you could get children to think these up themselves) and take turns to pull out two. The challenge is to find as many crazy connections as possible.

A variation is to use action phrases such as “washing the car”, “jumping on a trampoline” or “whistling a tune”. This introduces the concept of analogies: how is riding a bike like doing a jigsaw? Everyone should keep thinking beyond the obvious answers – the most inventive ideas usually take time to form. flog it! This game requires lateral thinking to identify the unique selling points of some very unlikely products. Players take turns to set each other seemingly impossible challenges: “Can you sell a… bottle of fresh air? A box of fresh grass cuttings? Yesterday’s toe-nail clippings? (The yuck factor really comes into its own in this game.) The opponent has to come up with as persuasive a sales pitch as possible. When they run out of ideas they switch and set a challenge for the next person.

about the book In The Bright Stuff, child education expert C.J. Simister gives parents practical games, activities and exercises for illuminating and nurturing young minds. These are focused around 16 qualities that Simister believes are vital for your child to “thrive in the real world”, and include “how to stimulate independent thinking” and “how to take the right sort of risk”. This book is available at leading bookshops.

April 2011





TAMLYN VINCENT gives some guidelines for health checks parents should be having.


e all worry about the health of our children, but often give little thought to our own… It’s important to make sure we keep an eye on our health too. Here is a list of tests that parents should be having to ensure problems are spotted early enough to treat optimally. These are guidelines only and if you experience any worrying symptoms you should seek advice from your doctor.

moms and dads blood pressure Blood pressure can fall into several categories: lower than 120/80 is optimal; 120/80 to 140/90 is pre-hypertensive; and above 140/90 is classified as high blood pressure. High blood pressure (or hypertension) can lead to an increased risk of heart disease or a stroke. Most people don’t experience symptoms of high blood pressure, so it is recommended you have your blood pressure tested every three to five years. Risk factors include a family history of heart problems, diabetes, and lifestyle factors such as drinking excessive amounts of coffee or alcohol, and not exercising. Low blood pressure (or hypotension) is not usually a problem unless it is so low that not enough blood is getting to your organs. Symptoms would include dizziness and feeling faint. getting tested Dr Shezadi Kamroodien, a Johannesburg GP, suggests starting with blood pressure tests in your 20s, particularly if you are in the high-risk category. The tests are inexpensive and can be done at most pharmacies and clinics. If you have high blood pressure you should see a doctor. (The test can also determine if your blood pressure is too low.)

As we age, our bones lose density, causing them to become fragile and fracture. Osteoporosis is a disease found in both men and women, and is characterised by loss of bone mass and increased fragility. The first sign is usually a fracture after minimal trauma, which often happens between 50 and 70 years of age, although it can happen at 30 or younger. It is advisable to go for testing if you are at risk. Kamroodien says “those who are very petite, are vitamin D deficient, and have a family history of osteoporosis” are at risk. Other risk factors include age, menopause before the age of 45, excessive use of alcohol or smoking. getting tested Testing bone mass can be costly. According to Kamroodien, bone-density scans are generally only done if the doctor suspects osteoporosis. Tests can include a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, where an X-ray is passed through part of the skeleton, or computerised tomography, which measures spinal-bone mass. Other tests include X-rays, single-photon absorptiometry and ultrasound, although these do not always provide sufficient information.


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bone density

cholesterol Cholesterol is produced by our bodies and is used for things such as making vitamin D and building cell walls. It is also found in certain foods, such as eggs, dairy products and meats. While the body does use some cholesterol, the excess can gather on artery walls, which may lead to heart problems. High cholesterol is often only diagnosed after the damage has been done, so levels should be checked every five years. If you are found to have high cholesterol, or if there are high-risk factors, then more frequent testing will be recommended. Risk factors include age, a family history of high cholesterol, smoking and high blood pressure. getting tested Kamroodien recommends that everyone older than 20 years have a fasting lipogram done, which tests total cholesterol, and good and bad cholesterol. Alternatively, a cholesterol test can be done by giving a small sample of blood for testing, either in a laboratory or onsite, although these are only suggested as diagnostic tools. A cholesterol reading of below 5 mmol/l (millimoles per litre) is preferable, while a reading above 7 mmol/l would require a visit to the doctor.

glucose and diabetes High glucose and blood-sugar levels can be dangerous, so those at risk should be tested every one to two years. If blood glucose levels are normal, then testing can be done every three years. You should get tested if you are overweight and have other risk factors, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol or you have suffered from gestational diabetes. Kamroodien also highlights the “strong genetic component” of diabetes, saying that those with a family history of diabetes should be tested from their 20s. Those who don’t exercise are also at risk. getting tested There are three tests that can be performed. The fasting plasma glucose test requires you to fast for eight hours, after which your blood will be tested to determine how much glucose is in the plasma. The oral glucose tolerance test can determine how well you handle a normal amount of glucose. You will be given a beverage containing glucose to drink and then your blood will be tested at two-hour intervals. Both tests can detect pre-diabetes and diabetes. In a random plasma glucose test, blood is taken randomly throughout the day – someone without diabetes will have fairly constant glucose levels. This test can detect diabetes.

skin checks In South Africa’s climate, it is essential for everyone to conduct regular skin checks, and to take note of new and changing moles. People at particular risk would include those who are fair-skinned, have a personal or family history of skin cancer, have suffered severe sunburn or have more than 50 moles. Kamroodien says that “a mole that gets bigger, changes colour or becomes painful” should be checked by a doctor. getting tested Skin cancers usually appear as tumours, with the most dangerous being melanomas. These can appear as a new mole, or as changes in an existing mole – doing an ABCD check helps to identify these changes. Check for asymmetry (the halves don’t match), border (the edges are irregular), colour (uneven colour) and diameter (there is a change in size). Other checks you can do include regular self-examinations as well as mole mapping, where moles are photographed regularly in order to pick up any changes. Mole mapping can be done by a doctor or dermatologist, or you can do it yourself.

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April 2011



moms only


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breast checks

pap smear

Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast divide and grow into tumours. Symptoms of breast cancer include a change in the shape, size or colour of the nipple or breast, discharge from the nipples, puckering of the skin, a lump or swelling, or pain in the breast or armpit. Breast cancer occurs predominantly in post-menopausal women, however, younger women are also susceptible, so they should start checking their breasts regularly once they reach puberty. Tina Naidoo, Durban health programmes coordinator at CANSA, says women should begin self-examining “when they start to menstruate”. This familiarity with your breasts also increases the chance of detecting a lump. getting tested Women should examine their breasts at the same time every month, “two weeks after menstruation when the breasts are not tender”, says Naidoo. Self-examination can be done by looking at both breasts and the armpit area, and by feeling both while standing up and lying down. Naidoo also recommends that women over 50 years schedule regular mammograms with their doctor, where a special X-ray is used to determine if there are any lumps in the breast. If there is a high risk, such as a family history of breast cancer, then women should begin having mammograms at 40 years of age.

Cancer of the cervix is mostly caused by various strains of a virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted infection; most of the time the immune system will eradicate the virus itself. However, in some cases, the virus remains and over time has the potential to convert normal cervical cells into cancerous ones. Cervical cancer often only manifests symptoms in its later stages. These symptoms include abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain during intercourse or after a pelvic exam, or bleeding after menopause. Early symptoms, such as unusual or odorous discharge, are rare, so pap smears are done to detect precancerous and abnormal cells in the cervix. getting tested Cervical cancer cells change over time from normal to abnormal and the pap smear helps to detect these gradual changes. CANSA therefore recommends that all sexually active women get tested every two to three years. If there is evidence of abnormal cells, Naidoo suggests getting tested annually. Women should go for their first pap smear if they experience frequent viral infections or symptoms of cervical cancer. Otherwise, 30 years is the recommended age. A pap smear is a straightforward test, where a sample of cells is taken from the cervix. A small instrument is used to scrape cells off the wall of the cervix; these are then placed on a slide and sent for testing.

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dads only testicular cancer screening Men are encouraged to begin testing for cancer of the testicles from as early as the onset of puberty – being familiar with the normal testicle will help to identify unusual lumps or swelling if they develop. Risk factors include being between the ages of 15 and 40, having had an undescended testicle at birth, having a family history of testicular cancer and being HIV-positive. Symptoms include a lump in the testicle, the enlargement of one testicle, or of the breast area or nipples, and a heaviness in the testicles, scrotum or groin. getting tested Dr Ehab Helmy Abdel Goad, clinical head of the Ethekwini Department of Urology encourages mothers to check that their baby’s testes are in the scrotum. He also recommends self-examination from early on to detect “any changes, such as the testes becoming painful or increasing in size”. Selfexamination can be done by looking at the scrotum and feeling each testicle for any unfamiliar lumps or nodules. Men should also ask their doctors to examine their testicles once a year.

prostate cancer check Older men are at risk of developing prostate cancer, and this risk increases with age, or

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if there is a family history of prostate cancer. CANSA therefore recommends that men start with being tested once a year at about age 50 (45 if they are at higher risk). The prostate is a small gland underneath the bladder, and once this becomes enlarged, the urine stream begins to slow. Other symptoms, according to Goad, include burning or pain at the tip of the penis, and a dull ache in the prostate. These symptoms often only become apparent in the later stages of the disease, so screening tests are advisable. getting tested There are two tests men can have to detect prostate cancer. The first is a PSA test in which blood is drawn and the amount of PSA (prostate specific antigen) in the blood determined. A high reading means that there may be prostate cancer. As there are other causes of high PSA, further tests are then likely to be performed. A digital rectal exam (DRE) is used to check for abnormalities in the lower pelvic region. To perform this test, the doctor places a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum and applies pressure to the prostate to examine it. If either test indicates a risk of cancer, then the doctor is likely to recommend further testing.

April 2011



a good read

View our book blog at

for toddlers great to read out loud

I want a Mini Tiger By Joyce Dunbar and Lara Jones

(Macmillan Children’s Books, R158) A little girl wants her very own miniature wild animal. Anything from a little snappy happy crocodile and a tiny trundle rumble elephant, to a pocket-sized grizzly bear. But as her big brother explains, a real wild animal would make a terrible pet. You can’t nuzzle a crocodile or tickle a wild elephant, and a grizzly bear belongs in a cave not a pocket. But there’s one pet that loves to be tickled and cuddled. It looks a bit like a tiger, only much smaller... Children aged three plus will love this delightful, rhythmic tale, bursting with imagination. It’s also a playful introduction to a world of wild animals.

Fairy Magic! and Wizard Magic! By Rachel Fuller (Macmillan Children’s Books, R85 each) These little books come with sliding tabs to create magic changing pictures on each page. Apart from providing fun and entertainment, they will stimulate your little one’s imagination and introduce them to rhythm and rhyme. Children as young as two will love these bright books with their hidden surprises. The illustrator, Rachel Fuller, worked for many years as a children’s illustrator, before taking time off to bring up her twin boys. She is known for her colourful, bold mixed-media artwork. This is the perfect beginner book for aspiring fairy and wizard toddlers.


April 2011

I’m not scary! and I won’t bite! By Rod Campbell (Campbell Books, R76 each) These touch-and-feel books have a surprise for little enquiring minds on every page. Your child can feel a scratchy-scratchy grasshopper, a shiny beetle, a fluffy rabbit, a slippery fish and a leathery hippo plus lift a flap to find a slimy snail. Both books have big-impact endings. Rod Campbell has been illustrating and making children’s books since 1986 and he is also the creator of the Dear Zoo series.

for preschoolers Over the Rainbow By Eric Puybaret, E.Y. Harburg, Harold Arlen and Judy Collins

star book

(Macmillan Children’s Books, R147) Few songs have created as many memories and magic for children of all ages than Arlen and Harburg’s “Over the Rainbow”. Now this classic has been transformed for a new generation. Acclaimed painter Eric Puybaret has conjured up this marvellous fantasy, which will transport you and your child from a little red farmhouse, to castles in the clouds or wherever your imagination wants to go. While you look and dream, listen to the CD (included) recorded by the Grammy award-winner Judy Collins. The other two songs on the CD are “White Coral Bells” and “I see the Moon”.

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for preschoolers

for early graders

Tractor Factory By Elinor Bagenal and Steve Augarde

Chameleons are Cool By Martin Jenkins and Sue Shields

(Mathew Price Ltd., R106) Children aged four to eight can have fun with this pop-up book that follows the assembly line of a tractor factory. With tabs to pull and lots of moving parts, the book allows young readers to help build the perfect tractor. The engine needs to be lowered onto the chassis, the front-end loader needs to be fitted, and everything must be checked to see if it’s in working order. This book will fascinate all young mechanics. Note: some of the small parts can be a choking hazard for little children.

(Walker Books, R90) Chameleons are Cool is part of the Read and Discover series, which aims to encourage children to learn about the world as they learn to read. Children as young as five will enjoy finding out about these lizards, thanks to the colourful and fun illustrations by Shields. What child wouldn’t be interested in these grumpy, pocket-sized, swivel-eyed, colour-changing and long-tongued sharpshooters? Martin Jenkins has managed to give informative titbits about these creatures in a way that even pre-schoolers can understand. Other books in the series include Think of Beaver, I like Monkeys because… and River Story.

Room on the Broom – Colouring Book By Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Macmillan Children’s Books, R85) The award-winning duo, Donaldson and Scheffler, have released this fun activity book based on the original Room on the Broom story, which was translated into 21 languages. But this is more than just a colouring-in book – children can paint, draw, join the dots, complete words and copy pictures too. Scheffler’s illustrations are again a winner and your child will love the good-natured witch – warts and all – and all the quirky animals.

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Judy Moody’s Way Wacky Uber Awesome Book of More Fun Stuff to Do By Megan McDonald and Peter H. Reynolds (Walker Books, R130) Girls aged six to nine just love Judy Moody and in this book they can join Judy in wacky activities. They can take the Judy Moody personality quiz to find out if they’re more like Judy or her little brother, Stink, or find out what Judy Moody’s name is in other languages. There are tips on how to walk through paper and invent your own board game. Other fun activities include how to make pop art, testing your Judy Moody knowledge, turning your name into a poem plus word searches and riddles.

April 2011



for early graders Mighty Mount Kilimanjaro By Geronimo Stilton (Scholastic, R70) Geronimo Stilton runs a newspaper, but his true passion is writing adventure stories. In New Mouse City, the capital of Mouse Island, his books are all bestsellers. This time, Geronimo’s super-sporty friend, Bruce Hyena, has convinced him to go on another extreme adventure. They are going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The Geronimo Stilton series is based on the popular television programme, and children aged eight to 12 will enjoy going on adventures with all the Stiltons – Geronimo’s sister, Thea, his awful joker cousin, Trap, and his favourite nephew, Benjamin.

for preteens and teens Ottoline at Sea By Chris Riddell

Fact Finder By Helen Lewis (Metz Press, R165) This book is a treasure trove of knowledge for children aged eight to 12. It’s a funfilled collection of facts and a reference book integrating all areas of the national curriculum: Arts and Culture, Economic Management Sciences, Language, Life Orientation, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Technology. In addition to the basic information taught at school, each section contains loads of interesting asides, references to websites and other sources of information. There are also suggestions for fun things to do and places to visit. With over 600 photographs and illustrations, Fact Finder is a great companion for your child when doing projects, studying or for satisfying their hunger for information.

(Macmillan Children’s Books, R102) This is the third Ottoline story from award-winning and bestselling author Chris Riddell. Ottoline and Mr Munroe do everything and go everywhere together. That is, until the day Mr Munroe mysteriously disappears leaving a strange clue written in string… Armed with her Amateur Roving Collectors’ travel pass, Ottoline sets off on a journey over, under and on top of the sea to find her hairy best friend, and bring him back home. The book comes with bog goggles to help your child see Ottoline’s world more clearly. The Ottoline series is very popular among young children, and includes Ottoline goes to School and Ottoline and the Yellow Cat.

Running Wild By Michael Morpurgo (HarperCollins Children’s Books, R130) When 10-year-old Will’s father dies in Iraq, his mother surprises him with a trip to Indonesia. But little could she have known what would await them both there. Will realises that something is wrong when Oona, the elephant he is riding along the beach, begins to spook. Then, suddenly, she takes off into the jungle with Will on her back. And that’s when tsunami hits. With his mother almost certainly drowned, and nothing to cling to but an elephant, Will faces a terrifying future. This is another epic and heart-rending adventure by Morpurgo.


April 2011

an ep ic tale

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for us Lose the Business Plan – What they don’t Teach You about being an Entrepreneur By Allon Raiz (Pan Macmillan, R119) Allon Raiz is a successful entrepreneur who was awarded the role of Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2008. In this book, Raiz shares the lessons he has learnt and seen others learn on the road to business success. Readers will be able to recognise whether they have what it takes to follow this path and find the skills most needed for entrepreneurial success. Raiz has made a business out of growing entrepreneurs and he knows that success is not about the business plan, but about the entrepreneur.

the classic

The Tea Lords By Hella S. Haasse

(Portobello Books, R215) Based on documents and correspondence archived in the Netherlands, Haasse created this compelling piece of innovative historical fiction. The story stretches over several decades in the life of the conscientious eldest son Rudolf Kerkhoven and his struggle to develop a tea plantation in the Dutch colony Java, now Indonesia. He moves from plantation to plantation, attempting to understand the ways of the local people, their version of Islam and their relationship to their land. The Tea Lords transports the reader to the East Indies, into colonial culture and into the lives of complex characters, craftily constructed by Haasse. The Tea Lords is an acclaimed Dutch masterpiece at last translated into English.

A Watermelon, a Fish and a Bible By Christy Lefteri (Quercus, R153) It is July 1974 and the Turkish army has invaded the town of Kyrenia in Cyprus. The story focuses on a young woman, Koki, who has been shunned by the villagers because they never believed she was her father’s daughter (and her mother died too soon to quiet their wagging tongues). And when she becomes pregnant and there’s no sign of a husband, her fate is sealed. The other lead character is Adem Berker who finds himself back in Kyrenia, his former home, now as a member of the invading force. This book is powerfully written – Lefteri has received rave reviews for this her debut novel.

parenting book The Adolescent Storm By Meg Fargher and Helen Dooley (Penguin Group SA, R195) Both highly qualified professionals, Dooley and Fargher have a wealth of experience in understanding adolescents and are actively involved in consulting to parents on conflict management and parenting issues. In The Adolescent Storm, they give you clearer insight into healthy, ageappropriate adolescent development. The book will also help you understand and enjoy the process of guiding your adolescent through these stormy years. It gives advice on how to enjoy a deeply connected and relevant relationship with your child from adolescence into adulthood. Thoughtful, not perfect, parents can create thoughtful adolescents and in turn thoughtful, responsible adults who are well integrated in society. magazine joburg

April 2011



what’s on in april

You can also access the calendar online at

Things to do, places to go, ways to give back, talks and exhibitions plus loads of fun for the whole family. compiled by CHAREEN BOAKE

22 fri

special events


FUN for children


only for parents


bump, baby & tot in tow


how to help






bump, baby & tot in tow

how to help

Hooray! It’s holiday time. See the variety of activities on offer.

Swartkrans walking tour Explore one of the Cradles richest fossil sites, usually closed to the public.

Story time is fun Develop a love for reading.

Furry friends on leads Help fourlegged friends with needs.

April 2011

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Rand Show Ferris wheels, food stalls and all-round family fun.

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April 2011



SPECIAL EVENTS 2 saturday Neil Diamond The superstar performs live in South Africa for the first time. Time: 8pm. Venue: FNB Stadium, Soweto. Cost: R200–R950. Book through Computicket: 083 915 8000 or visit

7 thursday Fourways Mall Motor Show Come and view the best in automobile craftsmanship, from luxury to affordable vehicles. Ends 14 April. Time: weekdays 9am–5pm, weekends 9am–3pm. Venue: Fourways Mall, cnr Witkoppen Rd and William Nicol Dr. Cost: free. Contact:

9 saturday Easter egg hunt Caters for different age groups, with prizes to be won. It’s a fun

day with easier hunts for smaller children and more tricky riddles for older children. Children can participate in Easter crafts, and enjoy surprise visits from the Easter bunny and themed story time. Time: 10am–12pm. Venue: Morningside Shopping Centre, cnr Rivonia and Outspan Rds, Sandton. Cost: free. Contact: 087 940 3833 Historic race day Bring the family to view legendary and vintage cars such as sports cars, historic saloons and marque cars. There is also various family entertainment. Venue: Zwartkops Raceway, on the R55 towards Pretoria. Cost: adults R50, students R30, children under 12 free. Contact: 012 374 5800 or visit Open day The Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg is having an open day for kindergarten through to Gr 12. You can enjoy a day of schooling and meet the edutcators and learners. There are also lots of other activities. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue:


12 tues


April 2011

An extraordinary Swiss theatre troupe that wows audiences with its quirky creations and illusions. Ends 17 April. Time: Tuesday–Friday 8pm, Saturday 2:30pm and 8pm, Sunday 3pm. Venue: The Mandela at The Joburg Theatre, Loveday St, Braamfontein. Cost: R74,50– R149,50. Book through Computicket: 083 915 8000 or visit

11 Sans Souci Rd, Parktown. Cost: free. Contact: 011 726 6220, or visit

13 wednesday Book fair View and buy a selection of books suitable for the whole family. Time: 10am–5:30pm. Venue: Mandorren Academic and Sport, 123 Highveld Rd, Kempton Park. Cost: free entry. Contact: 082 907 1573 or

14 thursday African Adventure Join Lynette, the posh giraffe, and Malcolm, the funky monkey, as they face the terrifying quest to help their rhino friends fight the scary, ruthless poachers. A percentage of ticket sales goes towards the SANParks Honorary Rangers Counter Poaching and Public Education divisions. Time: varies. Venue: The Fringe at The Joburg Theatre, Loveday St, Braamfontein. Cost: R95. Book through Computicket: 083 915 8000

15 friday World Holiday and Travel Fair Time to plan your next holiday? Enjoy this showcase of holiday venues and destinations while also having the chance to attend travel workshops. Ends 17 April. Time: 10am–6pm. Venue: The CocaCola Dome, Northgate. Cost: R40. Book through Computicket: 083 915 8000 or visit

25 April – Handel’s Messiah

17 sunday Easter at Fourways Mall Come and meet the Easter Bunny and take home a delicious Easter egg of your own. Time: weekdays 9am–5pm, weekends 9am–3pm. Venue: Fourways Mall, cnr Witkoppen Rd and William Nicol Dr. Cost: free. Contact: 011 465 6095 or natasha@

21 thursday St Stithians rugby and hockey festival This popular annual sporting event showcases talent from various schools around the country. There is a hospitality

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tent, children’s play area, relaxing pavilion and food vendors to ensure a day of fun. Also 23 and 25 April. Time: 10am–4:30pm. Venue: St Stithians College, 40 Peter Place, Lyme Park. Cost: R30. Contact: 011 577 6000 or visit

22 friday Rand Show Whether you choose to visit the consumer stands, enjoy an acrobatic or aerobatic show, or experience the adrenalin rush on a rollercoaster, you’ll find entertainment to thrill and excite young and old alike. Ends 2 May. Time: Monday–Friday 10am–8pm, weekends and public holidays 9am–8pm. Ticket sales end at 6pm. Venue: MTN Expo Centre, Nasrec. Cost: tbc. For more info: visit

25 monday The Easter Bunny’s Diamond Express train adventure Take the train to Cullinan and enjoy a day at this small mining town. Include a mine tour or visit some of the craft shops and museums. Braai fires are provided with every trip, but there are many quaint restaurants in the village. Time: 8:30am–5pm. Venue: departs from Hermanstad Railway Station, Miechaelson St, Pretoria. Cost: adults R175, pensioners R150, children 13–18 years R125, 7–12 years R100, 2–6 years R75. Booking essential. Contact: 012 548 4090, or visit

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Beading Workshops

Handel’s Messiah Acclaimed conductor Richard Cock leads the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra together with a line-up of acclaimed soloists and choirs to bring you this 250-year-old masterpiece in true African style. Proceeds from programme sales go to Women For Peace. Time: 3pm. Venue: Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 217 6000 or visit

FUN FOR CHILDREN holiday activities Anatomy and Me camp at FasTracKids Through the exploration of body systems (skeletal, respiratory, digestive, circulatory

and nervous), your child can explore the human anatomy and learn to develop healthy habits along the way. For children 5–14 years. 11–15 April. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: Shop 7, Broadacres Shopping Centre, Cedar Rd, Broadacres. Cost: R855. Contact: 011 467 0230 Baking days Your 2–10 year old can learn some kitchen skills at this holiday workshop. Time and dates tbc. Venue: Tots n Pots, Norscot Manor Recreation Centre, 16B Penguin Dr, Norscot, Fourways. Cost: tbc. For more info: 072 086 6213 or Beading workshops Children 5–12 years can learn to bead while creating earrings, cell phone charms, key rings and watches. 1–10 April. Time: subject

to booking. Venue: Elements, Blairgowrie Plaza, Conrad Dr, Blairgowrie. Cost: from R75 depending on items made. Contact Michelle: 082 492 0562 Be a ranger for a day Spend a day with zoo-keeping staff and assist with feeding, cleaning and interacting with some of the zoo animals. Every ranger receives a certificate at the end of the day. Suitable for children 8 years and older. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during the holidays. Time: 7:30am–4pm. Venue: Lory Park Zoo, 181 Kruger Rd, President Park, Midrand. Cost: R140, includes lunch. Contact: 011 315 7307, info@lorypark. or visit Build-a-Bear Workshop holiday programme Activities to keep children busy such as face painting, colouring-in, games and more. There are also prizes up for grabs. Time: 10am–4pm daily. Venue: Clearwater Mall, cnr Hendrik Potgieter Dr and Christiaan de Wet Rd, Roodepoort. Cost: free. For more info: 0861 232 77 or visit Also, from 1–10 April, fun games and competitions at Build-a-Bear in Greenstone Mall. Time: Monday–Thursday 9am–6pm, Friday 9am–7pm, Saturday 9am–5pm, Sunday and public holidays 9am–4pm. Venue: cnr Modderfontein Rd and Van Riebeeck Ave, Edenvale. Cost: free. For more info: 086 123 277 Creative fun Half-day workshops for children 6 years and older. Create gifts with mosaic, decoupage and beadwork.

April 2011



Fly-fishing for beginners Experienced guides teach correct casting and fishing techniques. Participate in fishing competitions and you can win great prizes. Fishing rods and snack packs are available. 1 April–3 May. Time: anytime from 6am–4pm. Venue: Sundowner Adventures, Farm Steenkoppies, Magaliesburg. Cost: adults R150, children R50, non-fishing adults R20. Contact Wayne: 083 414 0391, or visit

11–15 April. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: inside Broadacres Garden Centre, Seedpod Studio, cnr Cedar and Valley Rd, Broadacres. Cost: R100 per morning or R72 per week. Siblings get a 10% discount. Contact: 011 465 0375 or visit Dinosaurs camp at FasTracKids Your child can learn more about these ancient creatures. For children 18 months–7 years. 18–21 April. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: Shop 7, Broadacres Shopping Centre, Cedar Rd, Broadacres. Cost: R650. Contact: 011 467 0230 Engenius Toys 12 and 15 April – Simple Structures: spend the morning building towers, cars and simple machines. For children aged 4–6. 11, 13 and 15 April – Robotics: calling all roboteers with experience in the Lego Mindstorms System to come and spend the day building and programming robots and to complete challenges from previous FLL competitions. For ages 9 and up. Time: Simple Structures 9am–12pm, Robotics 9am–4pm. Venue: Shop L23, Ground Floor, Fourways Mall. Cost: Simple Structures R150 per morning, Robotics R250 per day. Contact: 011 465 5386 Have a wild time at the zoo Children 3–13 years can enjoy age-appropriate activities. 1–8 April and 11–21 April. Time: various sessions between 9:30am–4pm. Cost: from R65. Booking essential. Contact: 011 646 2000, or visit Holiday fun at the Bird Gardens Young animal lovers aged 7–12 years can enjoy a morning of exciting activities including the bird show, fun, games, crafts and a delicious lunch. 1–15 April. Easter fun

The South African Ballet Theatre Autumn School


April 2011

22–24 April. Chocolate giveaways, treasure hunt (24 April only), photos with the Easter bunny and face painting. Tenth birthday celebrations 27 April. Face painters and lots of giveaways. Time: 8:30am­–2:30pm. Venue: Montecasino Bird Gardens, Fourways. Cost: R130 per day, including lunch, drink and snack pack. Contact: 011 511 4864 or visit International Tennis Academy holiday clinic Suitable for children 3–16 years. 11–15, 18–22 and 25–29 April. Time: 8am–9am mini tennis 3–6 years; half-day 9am–2pm 6–16 years; full-day 9am–5pm 6–16 years. Venue: Lonehill or Craighall. Cost: mini tennis R200; half-day R800; fullday R1 500 (includes lunch and a drink). Daily rates also available. Booking essential. Contact Michele: 083 443 3391, michele@ or visit Little Cooks Club holiday cooking classes Unleash your child’s creativity and let them learn a life skill. Venues nationwide with various days and times. Cost: R220, includes drinks and snacks. For more info: or visit My Body camp at FasTracKids Learn how the body works. For children 18 months–7 years. 11–15 April. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: Shop 7, Broadacres Shopping Centre, Cedar Rd, Broadacres. Cost: R650. Contact: 011 467 0230 My World holiday activities A holiday programme where children learn through purposeful play, with a different creative activity every day. 11–15, 18–21 and 28–29 April. Time: confirmed on booking. Venue: My World, 52 Oaklands Rd, Orchard. Cost: tbc. Contact: 082 416 0150 Old bones and young scientists camp at FasTracKids Meet Dr Dino, a paleontologist who guides students as they explore the land of dinosaurs. For children 5–14 years. 18–21 April. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: Shop 7, Broadacres Shopping Centre, Cedar Rd, Broadacres. Cost: R855. Contact: 011 467 0230 Scrapbooking and card-making classes 18–21 April. Time: 8:30am–12pm. Venue: Scrapbook Den, 75 Dunvegan Ave, Dunvegan, Edenvale (just off Linksfield Rd). Cost: R200 per day. Contact: 011 453 2724, 082 552 4332 or visit magazine joburg

Shepherd’s Fold pony camp Experienced teachers supervise a day of horse play. Activities include riding lessons, outrides, hands-on care for horses, lectures, and games for all levels or riders. All meals and juice included. 4–6 and 13–15 April. Time: full-day 8am–5pm, half-day 8am–1pm (suitable for children 3–5 years). Sleepovers arranged on request. Venue: Shepherd’s Fold Stables, 55 Sunset Dr, Elandsdrift, Muldersdrift. Cost: full-day R220, half-day R150. Contact Belinda: 084 220 2657 or visit Sonrise holiday camps Children 4–18 years can spend a few days hiking, swimming, horse riding, playing paintball, practicing archery and more. 3–7 April, 3–9 April. Venue: Plot 3, Rietvallei Rd, Millgate. Cost: four days R570, six days R770. Contact Natalie: 011 875 2107, 083 455 3720, or The South African Ballet Theatre Autumn School Dancers from 6–18 years are invited to attend the Autumn School for a week of daily ballet class, repertoire classes, contemporary and national dance classes and more. 11–16 April. Time: from 7:30am for full-day and half-day. Venue: SABT studios, Hoofd St, Braamfontein. Cost: junior group (half-day) R1 500, senior group (full-day) R2 500. Booking essential. Contact Edgar: 011 877 6898 or visit

arts, culture and science A journey into space Children aged 2–8 years can spend a morning learning about space. Time: 10:30am, every Saturday. Venue: Johannesburg Planetarium, Empire Rd, Parktown. Cost: R18. Contact: 011 717 1390 or visit Artjamming Art studio for children and adults offering drawing classes and holiday programmes. Time: Monday–Friday 9am–5:30pm, Saturday 9am–4pm, Sunday 10am–3pm. Venue: Artjamming, Blubird Shopping Centre, Athol-Oaklands Rd and Fort St, Athol and Lonehill Centre, Lonehill Blvd. Cost: dependent on canvas size and materials. Contact: 011 465 5778, 083 379 2069, or visit

Color Café

Color Café A ceramic studio where you can paint mugs, plates, teapots or bowls. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: Shop 14, Hyde Square Shopping Centre, cnr North Rd and Jan Smuts Ave. Cost: R95 per hour, includes paint, firing and glazing. Ceramic items are charged separately. Contact: 011 341 0734 or visit magazine joburg

Smudge Indoor art and crafts studio suitable for children 3–13 years. Time: Tuesday–Friday 10am–5pm, Saturday 10am–4pm, Sunday 10am–1pm. Venue: 21A Valley Centre, 396 Jan Smuts Ave, Craighall Park. Cost: R110 for the first hour, R55 for every hour thereafter. Includes all art materials. Contact: 011 501 0234 or visit The Seedpod Studio This studio offers regular workshops for children and adults in ceramics, decoupage, mixed media and mosaic. Venue: Broadacres Lifestyle Centre, Cedar Rd, Broadacres. Contact: 011 465 0375 or visit

A journey into space at the planetarium

The South African National Museum of Military History This museum boasts more than 44 000 items. Time: 9am–4:30pm. Venue: Erlswold Way, Saxonwold. Cost: adults R22, children R11. Contact: 011 646 5513 or visit

classes, talks and workshops Art and fun Enjoy a morning of craft activities. Time: 9:30am–11am, every Saturday. Venue: Rosebank Library, 8 Keyes Ave, Rosebank. Cost: from R95, which includes material. Contact Heidi: 083 268 4933 or Educational game day Trained staffers play with and demonstrate educational games for your child. 16 April. Time: 10am–2pm. Venue: Polly Potter’s Toy Store, Pineslopes Shopping Centre, Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Contact: 011 465 6535 Empowering Kids Discover Me Workshop This aims to give children tools for conquering fears and coping with hurt, anger and other feelings. 5 April 5–7 year olds, 6 April 8–10 year olds, 7 April 11–12 year olds, 16 April 8–10 year olds. Time: 5–7 April 2:30pm–4:30pm, 16 April 9:30am–11:30am. Venue: Hedgehog Lane, The Garden Shop Centre, 278 Main Rd, Bryanston. Cost: R280–R320. Contact Samantha: 083 321 4222, or visit Kids Easter cooking courses Cooking classes for boys and girls to introduce them to kitchen safety, basic cooking skills, and imagination and creativity in the kitchen. 6 and 7 April. Time: 9:30am–1:30pm. Venue: uShef Cooking School, 164 Church St, Johannesburg North. Cost: 12–16 years R208, 7–11 years R198. Booking essential. Contact: 011 462 8964 or visit Voice Movement Therapy workshop for children This three-day event develops verbal and non-verbal communication skills through the introduction and April 2011


calendar exploration of alternative, creative and kinaesthetically-based ways of expressing the self. The sessions incorporate creating songs and singing, creative movement, drawing, characterisation, improvisation and presenting work. 18–20 April. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: Bedfordview. Cost: R1 200. Contact: 084 827 8481 or gina@

family outings Autumn Harvest Faire This event features talks by celebrities like herb expert Margaret Roberts. There is also a variety of activities for the family and a host of gourmet foods, wines and cheeses. Ends 3 April. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: Garden World, Beyers Naudé Dr, Muldersdrift. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 956 3003, 011 957 2545 or visit

Van Gaalen’s Cheese Farm


April 2011

Irene Dairy

Bambanani Restaurant offers a children’s play area with childminders plus a variety of children’s entertainment on Wednesday. Open Tuesday–­Sunday. Time: 8am–11pm. Venue: 85 4th Ave, Melville. Contact: 011 482 2900 Cooper’s Cave Picnic Explore a 1,5-millionyear-old fossil site featuring several animal fossils. Spend a day fossil-hunting and learn how to make tools like our ancestors did. 2 April. Time: 9am. Venue: Cooper’s Cave, near Sterkfontein Caves, Maropeng. Cost: R350, includes picnic lunch. Online booking essential. Contact: 014 577 9000 or visit Da Vinci Alfresco family restaurant Relax within the sprawling Inanda Club grounds and enjoy tasty, traditional woodfired pizzas while the little ones stretch their legs in the expansive gardens. Venue:

1 Forrest Rd, Inanda, Sandton. Contact: 011 783 2000 or visit Emerald Resort and Casino Nestled on the banks of the Vaal River, you can enjoy a world of water activities in the large Aquadome, games facilities including tenpin bowling and Lego-building, a small zoo and several restaurants. Venue: 777 Frikkie Meyer Blvd, Vanderbijlpark. Contact: 016 982 8000 or visit Gold Reef City Adventure theme park with specialty rides for young and old, a theme village and several eateries. Time: 9:30am–5pm, Wednesday–Sunday. Venue: Northern Parkway, Ormonde. Cost: weekends R140, weekdays R100. Toddlers R90. For more info: visit Irene Dairy You can see a fully functioning dairy, buy farm-fresh products or enjoy a meal at the country café. Children can play

on the tractor and feed the cows. Time: 8am–5pm. Venue: 100 Nellmapius Dr, Irene. Cost: free entry. Contact: 012 667 4012, or visit Lifestyle Garden Centre Offers a play park and farmyard with free pony rides. Time: 8am–5pm, daily. Venue: cnr Beyers Naudé Drive and Ysterhout Ave, Randpark Ridge. Cost: free entry. For more info: visit Moyo lunch and creative children’s workshop Moms and dads can relax over lunch while children 3–12 years participate in free creative workshops. Time: 10:30am–3:30pm, every Saturday. Venue: Moyo, Zoo Lake, Prince of Wales Dr, Parkview. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 646 0058 or visit Papachinos Continental Café Moms and dads can relax in this country-like setting while the little ones are entertained with a host of activities. The menu offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Venue: 40 Whisken Ave, Crowthorne. Contact: 011 702 1234 or visit Sheepdog trials See these wonderful dogs show their high intelligence doing what comes naturally as they guide sheep around a set course. 16–17 April. Time: 8am–4:30pm. Venue: Elandshoogte Farm, Muldersdrift. Cost: adults R25, children and pensioners R15, children under 7 free. Contact Elsie: 082 441 9646 or emjammy@

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Stonehaven on Vaal Situated on the banks of the Vaal River, the huge garden hosts several children’s activities. From 22–25 April there is special Easter entertainment. The swimming pool is popular on hot summer days. The Sunday buffet lunch is diverse and well priced and can be enjoyed onshore or on a river cruise. Venue: next to Baddrift Bridge, Sylviavale AH, Vaal River, Vanderbijlpark. Contact: 016 982 2951 or visit Sunday al-fresco Jazz lunch Enjoy a family lunch in the gardens while soaking up the view over the Magaliesberg range and listening to the smooth sounds of a live jazz band. Time: 12:30pm–3:30pm. Venue: The Medeo Restaurant and Terrace, The Palazzo Montecasino, Montecasino Hotel, Fourways. Cost: R180, booking essential. Contact: 011 510 3000

Sunday family brunch Savour delectable brunch treats and enjoy live entertainment for parents and children. Relax while childminders look after your little ones. Time: 11am, every Sunday. Venue: Hyatt Regency, 191 Oxford Rd, Rosebank. Cost: adults R180, children R100. Booking essential. Contact: 011 280 1234 The Silver Birch Situated within a nursery, this venue offers lovely lunch and tea treats as well as wood-fired pizzas, a tea room and freshly made sushi. There is also a play area, mini train and petting zoo to keep tots entertained for hours. Venue: Lifestyle Home Garden, cnr Beyers Naudé Dr and Ysterhout Ave, Randpark Ridge. Contact: 011 792 5714 or visit Tres Jolie You’ll find this restaurant on a country estate with large gardens. The menu features traditional and Mediterranean

offerings. There is also a farmyard where children can touch and feed the animals, and enjoy a pony ride. Venue: 22 Peter Rd, Ruimsig. Contact: 011 794 2473 or visit Van Gaalen’s Cheese Farm Situated at the foot of the Magaliesberg Sheepdog trials range, this is a working cheese farm and the menu is filled with delicious cheesebased and Dutch treats. Farm animals and a play area keep the little ones busy. Venue: off the R512, Skeerpoort (near Hartbeespoort). Contact: 012 207 1289 or visit

The Other Side

Acrobranch Discover an original outdoor activity where you go from tree to tree doing fun exercises that test your balance, strength and focus. Time: weekends and public holidays 9am–5pm. Venue: James and Ethel Gray Park, Melrose St Extension, Melrose. Cost: adults R150, children 7–11 R100, children 3–7 R70. Contact: 078 438 7463, or visit Bester Birds and Animals Zoo Park This small zoo has a wide variety of exotic animals and birds, including

This restaurant is situated in a farm-style estate with loads of space for children to play. There are also soccer nets, a cricket field and water slides. Enjoy a Sunday buffet where children eat as much pizza, pasta and dessert as they like. Every Sunday. Venue: Monaghan Farm, near Lanseria Airport, Lanseria (please see map on website). Cost: children R50. Contact Prospero: 082 451 5692 or visit

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finding nature and outdoor play

red pandas, the common raccoon and red-billed toucans. Time: Tuesday­ – Sunday 9am–5pm. Venue: 44 Simon Vermooten Rd, Willowglen, Pretoria. Cost: adults R25, children R20. Contact: 012 807 4192, zoo@besterbirdsanimals. or visit Bushbabies Monkey Sanctuary offers guided tours through indigenous forests where you can view a variety of exotic primates. Time: 9am–4pm. Venue: R512, Hartbeespoort. Cost: adults R250, children 3–14 years R125. Contact: 012 258 9908/9 or visit Chameleon Village Reptile Park Anacondas, cobras and diamondback rattlers are just a few of the venomous creatures you can see. There is also a host of activities for children. Time: 8:30am­ – 5pm. Venue: N4, Hartbeespoort. Cost: free entry. Contact: 012 253 1451 or visit

April 2011



Montecasino Bird Gardens

Croc City Crocodile Farm View crocodiles and hatchlings at close range. Time: 9am–4:30pm. Venue: Old Pretoria Rd, Nietgedacht. Cost: adults R55, children R30. For more info: visit Cubs and Scouts Children 7–18 years can learn practical life skills while enjoying wholesome outdoor fun such as camping, hiking, pioneering and cooking. Time: varies. Cost: varies per term. Venue: several throughout Johannesburg. For more info: visit Dirt Ryders This adventure park offers everything from go-karts, paintball and volleyball to a play centre for the little ones. There is also a swimming pool and restaurant and bar area with live entertainment by a two-man band called Adrian Blaine every Sunday after 12pm. Time: Wednesday– Sunday from 10am. Venue: Farm ME, 12B Pelindaba Rd, Lanseria. Cost: varies. Contact Clive: 082 458 3634, or visit Drakes Party Farmyard This venue is suitable for children 1–6 years. They can pet cows, rabbits and sheep or enjoy a pony ride. Picnic baskets are welcome. Monday and Wednesday. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: 30 Beacon Ave, Linbro Park. Cost: R25, includes refreshments. Contact: 082 883 7329 or visit Elephant Sanctuary Guided tours give you the opportunity to touch and feed elephants in an indigenous environment. Time: 8am–4pm. Venue: R512, Hartbeespoort. Cost: adults R425–R525, children R215. Contact: 012 258 0423 or visit Ezemvelo Nature Reserve This reserve offers day hikes, game- and bird-watching, camping facilities and fun activities like swimming, mini golf and fishing. Bicycles are for hire. Time: 6am–6pm. Venue: R24, just outside Bronkhorstspruit. Cost: adults R30, children R25 and R10 per car. Contact: 013 680 1399 or visit Footloose Trout Farm offers bass, trout, carp and barbel fishing. There is also a jungle gym plus picnic spots, braai facilities, an outside lapa bar and a restaurant. Time: Tuesday–Sunday 7:30am–5pm. Venue: William Nicol Dr, Fourways North. Cost: adults R50, children R40, rod hire R30. Contact Kim: 011 466 9911 or visit


April 2011

Johannesburg Zoo offers day tours, night tours, camp-overs, behind-thescenes tours and The Honey Badger and BE MAD Clubs for enthusiastic future rangers. Time: 8:30am–5:30pm. Venue: Upper Park Dr, Forest Town. Cost: adults R50, children R30. Contact: 011 646 2000 or visit Jungle Tots Farmyard Children can interact with farm animals, enjoy a pony ride or play in the playground. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Time: 1pm–5pm. Venue: Glenferness, Kyalami. Cost: R20, includes refreshments. Contact Jenny: 083 377 7571 Kloofendal Nature Reserve You can enjoy self-guided walks or join one of the trails led by a qualified field guide. There is a bird hide for bird watching, a small dam and several species of small game. Time: 6am–6pm. Venue: Galena Rd, Kloofendal. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 674 2980 or visit Lion Park Home to several carnivores including white lions. You can play with cubs, enjoy a game ride and visit the restaurant. Time: Monday–Friday 8:30am–5pm, Saturday–Sunday 8:30am–6pm. Venue: cnr Malibongwe and R114, Lanseria. Cost: adults R115, children R80. Contact: 011 691 9905, or visit Lory Park Zoo Sanctuary for a large variety of wildlife including Bengal tigers, ringtailed lemurs and several other endangered animals and birds. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: 80/1 Kruger Rd, President Park, Midrand. Cost: adults R50, children R30. For more info: visit Ludwig’s Rose Farm Features the largest selection of rose varieties in the world and is also home to the largest exhibition of free-flying butterflies in Gauteng. Time: 8am–5pm. Venue: off the N1 freeway, Wallmannstahl, Pretoria. Cost: free entry. For more info: visit Melville Koppies family walks Discover more about the interesting archaeology, geology and ecology of this area. Walks take up to three hours and are suitable for families with children 5 years and older. Time: varies between 8:30am and 3pm, every Sunday. Venue: meet at the park

Mystic Monkeys and Feathers Wildlife Park

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Mountain Sanctuary Park

opposite the entrance to Marks Park Sports Club’s parking in Judith Rd, Emmarentia. Cost: adults R30, children R10. Contact Wendy: 011 482 4797 or visit Montecasino Bird Gardens These gardens are home not only to birds but to mammals and reptiles too. Enjoy a meal at the Flamingo Café or be thrilled by the Flights of Fantasy bird show. Time: 8:30am­– 5pm. Venue: Montecasino, Fourways. Cost: adults and children over 10 R38, children under 10 R22,50. For more info: visit Moonlight Maze Come and explore a maze in the dark. Bring your own picnic and torches. Come early to enjoy the sunset and smaller mazes. For children 9 years and older. 16 and 30 April. Time: 5:45pm–8pm. Venue: Honeydew Mazes, 82 Boland St (off Beyers Naudé Dr), Honeydew. Cost: adults R90, children R80. Booking essential. Contact: 010 222 0075, or visit Mountain Sanctuary Park This reserve boasts crystal clear rock pools, a waterfall, hiking trails for young and old as well as camping, swimming and braai facilities. Time: 8am–5pm. Venue: Magaliesburg. Contact: 014 534 0114 or visit Mystic Monkeys and Feathers Wildlife Park Only 45 minutes north of Pretoria, this wildlife park is set in beautiful gardens with water features and koi ponds. Among the hundreds of different species that call this park home, you’ll be privileged to see white lions, tigers and cheetahs as well as other exotic creatures like macaws and sloths. Time: 9am–4pm. Venue: 3 Buffelsdrift, Rust de Winter, Limpopo (near the Carousel Casino and Entertainment World). Cost: adults R100, children R50. Contact: 012 521 0335, 012 723 0315 or visit Northern Farm Nature Reserve This conservancy is a firm favourite for hiking, mountain biking, bird-watching and picnics. Time: 6am–6pm. Venue: R114, Diepsloot (near Fourways). Cost: R30. For more info: visit The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre Offers a three-hour guided wildlife tour

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during which you can view cheetah, African wild dog, other large cats, birds and antelope. Not suitable for children under 6. Time: varies. Venue: De Wildt, Hartbeespoort area. Cost: R245–R345. Booking essential. Contact: 012 504 9906/7/8 or visit Trees Eco Fun Park Picnic venues, tunnels, obstacle course and outdoor games. Time: 10am–6pm, Monday–Saturday. Sunday by arrangement. Venue: 2 Totius Rd, Cloverdene, Benoni. Cost: R20. Contact: 082 458 1504 or 083 452 2104 Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden Landscaped indigenous gardens, open veld areas and the Witpoortjie Waterfall, which is also home to a pair of breeding eagles. Bring your own picnic lunch or eat at the Eagle’s Fare Restaurant. Time: 8am–5pm, daily. Venue: Malcolm Rd, Poortview, Roodepoort. Cost: adults R23, children R7. For more info: visit Zoo snooze Camp out at the zoo at night, enjoy a guided walk through the zoo and laze around the bonfire. Time: from 5pm. Venue: Johannesburg Zoo, Forest Town. Cost: R130. Booking essential. Contact: 011 646 2000 or visit

Slithery creatures Spend a day at the zoo and meet some cold-blooded friends. There are two conservation talks that include a live demonstration with some of the deadliest snakes found in South Africa. 24 April. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: Lory Park Zoo, 181 Kruger Rd, President Park, Midrand. Cost: adults R55, children R35. Contact: 011 315 7307 or visit

April 2011



Monaghan Farm organic market

markets Blubird Wholefood Market Experience the “United Flavours of Nations” at this fine food market. Enjoy wholesome and delicious food at the market or fill your basket with an array of goodies to take home. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Blubird Shopping Centre, Athol Oaklands Rd, Athol. Cost: free entry. Contact Robyn: 083 311 4768 Bryanston Organic market Stalls offer everything from organic clothing, children’s toys and art to coffee and food. Time: 9am–3pm, every Thursday and Saturday. Venue: Culross Rd, off Main Rd, Bryanston. Contact: 011 706 3671, jules@


April 2011 or visit Cedar Fresh Family Market Peruse the aisles of fresh produce while enjoying the last of the summer sun. Children’s entertainment is available. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 April. Time: 10am–2pm. Venue: Cedar Square Shopping Centre, Cedar Rd, Fourways. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 465 6095 or Craighall River Market Enjoy a wide variety of arts, crafts and organic produce. Children’s playground and pony rides available. Open every second Saturday. Time: 8:30am–1pm. Venue: Colourful Splendour Nursery (REEA), Craighall Park. Contact Roy: 011 465 3413 or jmsinek@ Fare on the square Thirty carefully selected stalls sell crafted toys, miniature cacti and delicious preserves and delicacies. Last Sunday of each month. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Irene Village Mall, cnr Nellmapius and Van Ryneveld Dr, Irene. Cost: free entry. For more info: visit Irene Market Offers over 300 stalls of art and antiques, numerous food stalls and a licensed tea garden with a safe children’s entertainment area. Second and last Saturday of every month. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Smuts House Museum, Jan Smuts Ave, Irene. Contact: 012 667 1659 or visit Jozi Food Market Experience a mix of culture and gourmet delights at this

market where each vendor offers their own speciality produce. Time: 8:30am–1pm, every Saturday. Venue: Pirates Sports Club, Fourth Ave Ext, Parkhurst. Cost: free entry. For more info: visit Market in the Park This monthly market is filled with crafts, jewellery, games, tasty treats and more. First Sunday of every month. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: River Café grounds, Field and Study Centre, Louise Ave, Parkmore. Contact Lorraine: 011 465 1281 or 083 655 8012 Market on Main This funky new market showcases organic, green and sustainable products from clothes and ceramics to chilli and cupcakes. Time: 10am–3pm, every Sunday. Venue: Fox St, Johannesburg. Cost: free entry. For more info: visit Monaghan Farm organic market Wander through the grounds of this organic market situated on a farm-style estate. Children can run freely or play cricket, soccer or slide on the waterslide. Every Sunday. Venue: Monaghan Farm, near Lanseria Airport, Lanseria (see map on website). Cost: free entry. Contact Prospero: 082 451 5692 or visit Oriental Plaza This is a shopping mecca filled with exotic fragrances, delicious foods and everything from fabrics and clothes to suitcases and copperware. Time: Monday­– Friday 8:30am–5pm (closed 12pm–2pm on Friday), Saturday 8:30am–3pm. Venue: cnr Bree and Main St, Fordsburg. Cost:

free entry. Contact: 011 838 6752 or visit

on stage and on screen Dreamgirls – The Musical Ends 26 June. Time: Tuesday–Friday 8pm, Saturday 3pm and 8pm, Sunday 2pm. Venue: Teatro at Montecasino, Fourways. Cost: R120–R380. Book through Computicket: 083 915 8000 or visit Pinocchio ­The classic tale of Geppetto’s wooden son, who had a small problem with the length of his nose in relation to the extent of his stories. Ends 10 April. Time: Monday­– Friday 9am and 11am during school terms,

Dreamgirls – The Musical

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Monday–Saturday during school holidays 10:30am and 2:30pm. Venue: People’s Theatre, Joburg Theatre Complex, Loveday St, Braamfontein. Cost: non-members R90, members R60. Book through the theatre: 011 403 1563 or visit Pippi Longstocking This is a musical version of the classic tale about the highspirited and fun antics of a young girl. Ends 16 April. Time: Monday–Friday 9am and 10:30am during school terms and Monday–Saturday 10:30am and 2:30pm during school holidays. Venue: The National Children’s Theatre, 3 Junction Ave, Parktown. Cost: adults R70, children R60. Book through the theatre: 011 484 1584 or visit

playtime and story time Bedfordview Library Story time for children 2–5 years. Time: 10am, every Thursday. Venue: 3 Hawley Rd, Bedfordview. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 874 5013 Bryanston Library Story time for children 2–6 years. Time: 2:30pm, every Wednesday. Venue: cnr New and Pyne St, Bryanston. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 706 3518 Build-a-Bear Workshop Create your own teddy bear or stuffed animals. Daily. Time: dependent on store. Venue: several in the area. For more info: visit Emmarentia Library Story time for children 2–4 years. Time: tbc. Venue: Barry Hertzog and Greenhill Rd, Emmarentia. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 646 5821

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Linden Library Story time for children 3–8 years. Time: 3pm–4pm, every Wednesday. Venue: Linden Library, cnr 4th Ave and 6thSt, Linden. Cost: free admission. For more info: 011 888 5685 Melville Library Story time and fun activities for children 3–10 years. Time: 2:30pm, every Wednesday. Venue: cnr Main and Ayr St, Melville. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 726 7702 Norscot Manor Library Story time for children 2–8 years. Time: 3pm–3:30pm, every Wednesday. Venue: 16B Penguin Dr, Norscot Manor. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 705 3323 Oki Doki This play and party venue offers a unique “town” where children can play dress-up. Also a coffee shop for parents. Time: Tuesday–Saturday 8:30am–4:30pm. Venue: 66 6th St, Linden. Cost: free entry for adults, children R20. Contact: 011 888 8940 or visit Olivedale Library Story time for children 3–6 years. Time: 10am–11am, every Friday. Venue: President Fouché Rd, Olivedale. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 462 6285/6 Parkhurst Library Story time for children from 3 years. Time: 3:30pm–4pm, every Monday. Venue: cnr 5th and 13th St, Parkhurst. Cost: free. Contact: 011 788 4510 Parkview Library Story time for children 3–10 years. Time: 3:30pm–4:30pm, every Monday. Venue: Parkview Library, 51 Athlone Ave, Parkview. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 646 3375

Playtime at Triba Children can decorate their own cupcake every Wednesday at 2pm. Triba art and crafts are on offer Monday–Saturday 8am–5pm. Venue: Triba Centre, 39 St Albans Ave, Craighall Park. Cost: R30. Contact: 011 501 4740 or visit Rosebank Library Stories and fun activities for children 3–6 years. Time: 3pm–4pm, every Wednesday. Venue: 8 Keyes Ave, Rosebank. Contact: 011 442 8988 Sandton Library Story time for children 3–8 years. Time: 3pm–4pm, every Wednesday. Venue: Sandton Square, cnr West St and Rivonia Rd. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 881 6413 Struben’s Valley Library Story time for children 2–10 years. Time: 3pm, every Thursday. Venue: Fredenharry Rd, Strubens Valley. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 475 0569 Weltevreden Park Library Story time for children 3–6 years. Time: 3:30pm, every Thursday. Venue: Fern St, Weltevreden Park. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 679 3406 Words Bookstore Enjoy a cup of coffee, read a book and let the children amuse themselves in the play area. 10% off all children’s books on a Sunday and story

Words Bookstore

time can be arranged. Time: 7am–6:30pm. Venue: Health Emporium, cnr Church and Market St, Midrand. Contact: 011 315 3801 or Yeesh! Fun for kids Supervised softplay indoor playgrounds with coffee bars. Time: 9am–5pm, Tuesday–Sunday. Venue: Unit G6, Woodmead Commercial Park, Waterval Crescent, Woodmead and 5 Main Rd, Bryanston. Cost: R40 per hour. Contact Woodmead: 083 923 2306, Bryanston: 073 230 6531 or visit

sports and physical activities Abseiling and Caving Adventure Time: 11am, every Sunday. Venue: Wild Cave Adventures, Cradle of Humankind. Cost: adults R220, children R180. Booking essential. Contact: 011 956 6197 or visit

April 2011


calendar Battlezone An outdoor paintball adventure park. Time: Monday–Saturday 8:30am–11:30am, 11:30am–2:30pm and 2:30pm–5:30pm; Sunday 11:30am– 2:30pm and 2:30pm–5pm. Venue: cnr Sloane St and Main Rd, Bryanston. Cost: R100, including grear. Booking essential. Contact: 082 818 0345, info@battlezone. or visit Jozi-X Extreme fun-park suitable for children 4 years and older. Activities include jungle swings, and free climbing. Time: 10am–5pm, daily. Venue: cnr Main Rd and Sloane St, Bryanston. Cost: varies. Contact Marco: 082 456 2358 or visit Sandboarding at Mount Mayhem This is similar to snow boarding, but

Abseiling and Caving Adventure

Exuberant Thai cooking Join the professionals at Angela Day Kitchen as they show you how to produce delicious Thai food. 1 April. Time: 9:30am. Venue: Angela Day Kitchen, Lifestyle Garden Centre, cnr Beyers Naudé and Ysterhout Ave, Randpark Ridge. Cost: R70, includes recipes, tasting, giveaways and refreshments. Booking essential. Contact Ursula: 011 792 5616 or

without the cold. Time: Saturday– Sunday 10:30am–3:30pm. Venue: Mount Mayhem, Benoni. Cost: R250, includes equipment and instructions. Booking essential. Contact Marco: 082 605 1150 Tenpin Bowling for the family. Bowling shoes are provided. Time: Monday­– Thursday 12pm–12am, Friday 12pm–2am, Saturday and school holidays 10am–2am, Sunday 10am–12am. Venue: The Magic Company, Montecasino, Fourways. Cost: R35. Contact: 011 511 0124 Wonderwall Indoor climbing wall for beginners to advanced climbers. They rent out gear and there is a restaurant on the premises. Time: Tuesday–Thursday 10am–10pm, Friday 10am–9pm, Saturday 9am–6pm. Venue: Unit 1, Kya Sands Industrial Village, 22 Elsecar St, Kya Sands. Cost: adults R60, children R40. Contact: 011 708 6467 or visit

Zoo trot A 5km or 10km walk or jog around the zoo. Time: 7am. Second Sunday of every month. Venue: meet in car park at Johannesburg Zoo, Upper Park Dr, Forest Town. Cost: R30. For more info: 011 646 2000 or view

only for parents classes, talks and workshops Ballet for adults Whether you have previous dance experience or not, you can join these adult ballet classes. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Time: 6pm–7:15pm. Venue: SA Ballet Theatre studios, The Joburg Theatre, Loveday St, Braamfontein. Cost: R50 per class. Contact: Cedar Women @ The Square A ladiesonly event for a night of fun, laughter

and entertainment. A film premiere is also shown. 14 April. Time: 7:30pm. Venue: Cedar Square Shopping Centre, Cedar Rd, Fourways. Cost: R49. Contact: 011 465 6095 or “Our deep southern skies” dinner and star gazing The evening begins with drinks followed by a three-course meal before an astronomer takes you on a laser-guided star tour. 30 April. Time: 5pm. Venue: Maropeng Hotel, Cradle of Humankind. Cost: R295. Online booking essential. For more info: 014 577 9000 or visit Self-esteem workshop This workshop helps parents acquire skills to build their child’s self-esteem. Parents can help their child develop a realistic and positive selfimage. 14 April. Time: 9:30am–11:30am. Venue: Jabula Recreation Centre, Sandringham. Cost: R260 (can claim from medical aid). Contact Wendy: 011 454 1709 or 082 292 7999 Swartkrans walking tour Swartkrans is one of the Cradle’s richest fossil sites and is usually closed to the public. Enjoy a rare opportunity to explore this active palaeontological dig with a scientist who is currently excavating the site. 16 April. Time: 9am. Venue: Swartkrans, Cradle of Humankind, Magaliesberg (map available on booking). Cost: R350, includes a picnic lunch. Online booking essential. For more info: 014 577 9000 or visit

family marketplace


April 2011

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on stage and on screen Love, Loss and What I Wore An intimate collection of stories by Nora and Delia Ephron, based on the bestselling book by Ilene Beckerman. Like the book, Love, Loss, and What I Wore uses clothing, accessories and the memories they trigger to tell funny, often poignant stories that most women can relate to. 8 April­–12 June. Time: Wednesday–Friday 8:15pm, Saturday 5:15pm and 8:15pm, Sunday 3:15pm. Venue: Studio Theatre at Montecasino, Fourways. Cost: R150. Book through Computicket: 083 915 8000 or visit

support groups Al-Anon offers help and support to the families of problem drinkers. Contact: 0861 252666 or visit Alcoholics Anonymous To find a support group in your area visit

Tenpin Bowling

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Anorexia and bulimia family support group Assists those suffering from anorexia and bulimia nervosa as well as the affected family members. Contact: 011 887 9966 or visit Children’s Disability Centre Aims to assist visually impaired and autistic children, their parents and caregivers with possible challenges associated with inadequate school readiness. Contact: 011 643 3050 or visit CHOC Provides advice and support for families affected by childhood cancer. Contact: 086 111 3500 or visit Cocaine Anonymous Contact: 076 016 9608 or visit Compassionate Friends Support group for bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents. Contact: 011 440 6322 or visit Diabetes South Africa Contact: 086 111 3913 or visit

Divorce Support workshop Ideal for individuals going through a divorce or recently divorced. Scheduled subject to sufficient numbers. Time: 7pm–9pm. Venue: 1 Cardigan Ave, Parkwood. Cost: R390. Contact: 011 788 4784/5 or visit Hi Hopes Early intervention programme to empower parents of deaf or hearing impaired children 0–3 years. Contact: 011 717 3750 or Johannesburg Bipolar Support Association Contact Linda: 011 485 2406 or visit LifeLine Provides a 24-hour confidential crisis intervention service. Contact: 011 728 1347 PACSEN − Parents for Children with Special Educational Needs Provides counselling, support and information for parents with special needs children. Contact: 012 333 0149 or visit Respect Me Support for children affected by bullying. Contact Kelly: info@respectme. or visit The Family Life Centre Offers marriage, divorce and couple counselling, single parent and step-parent support groups, family counselling as well as play therapy, grief counselling and trauma debriefing. Venue: 1 Cardigan Rd, Parkwood. Contact: 011 788 4784/5, or visit Time to Talk Online support group that aims to assist you in talking to your children

The Family Life Centre

about drugs and alcohol. For more info and to sign up to receive tips and tools via email: visit Tough Love Self-help programme and support group for families affected by drugs, alcohol, substance, verbal or physical abuse. Contact: 0861 868 445 or visit Tourette’s syndrome support group Contact: 011 326 2112 or 082 357 6586 Women and men against child abuse Medical, psychological and follow-up therapy and treatment for children who have been sexually, physically and emotionally abused as well as for their non-offending family members or caregivers. Contact: 011 789 8815 or visit For more support groups visit

April 2011


calendar affected by postnatal depression. Contact: 011 786 8803, 082 429 2279, or visit

bump, baby & Tot in tow

classes, talks and workshops Clamber Club This is a fun and active sensory motor programme for babies and toddlers. Venues: Edenvale and Fourways. Contact: 011 325 2031, 079 402 3531 or visit Little Cooks Club programme This programme is designed to encourage healthy eating habits in children from as young as 2. Interactive cooking classes allow moms and tots to create wholesome and delicious meals. Venues: Rivonia, Fourways, Fairland, Mondeor, Edenvale/ Bedfordview. Contact Christine: 083 556 3434, or visit Moms and Babes Interactive workshops for parents with babies 2–12 months. Workshops include guided play with ageappropriate toys, movement to music and sensory stimulation. Venues: several venues throughout Gauteng. Contact: 011 469 1530 or visit Moms and Tots Interactive workshops for parents with tots from 1–3½ years. Workshops include music, stories, crafts, life skills, messy play, gross motor activities and free play. Venues: several venues throughout Gauteng. Contact: 011 469 1530 or visit Nanny and toddler workshops These Friday classes provide a morning of interactive play for toddlers aged 1–3 years. Time: 9am–12pm. Venues: Sandton Field and Study Recreation Centre, Parkmore. Cost: R90. Booking essential. Contact Kerry: 083 391 4921 or Preggi Bellies One-hour cardio and weight-training programme for expectant and postnatal moms. It conforms to strict obstetric guidelines for exercising during pregnancy. Venues: Bedfordview, Craighall, Fourways, Melrose, Parkmore, Rivonia. Contact David: 011 440 6222 or visit Sandton Medi-Clinic maternity ward tour Expectant parents are invited for a free tour of the maternity facilities every Wednesday. View the labour wards, water birth facilities, maternity units and suites. Time: 10am–10:30am. Venue: main reception area, Sandton Medi-Clinic, cnr Peter Place and Main Rd, Bryanston. Cost: free. Contact Liezl: 011 709 2206 or visit Tots n Pots Lots of fun and yummy new things to cook and bake while learning about healthy eating. Venues: Fourways and Randburg. Cost: dependent on number of classes you attend. For more info: visit

playtime and story time Jelly Fish Secure indoor play area with coffee shop. Activities include gardening, a maze, dress-up and free play. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: Lower level, Bedford Village Shopping Centre, cnr Van Buuren Rd and Nicol Rd, Bedfordview. Cost: from R50–R100 for first hour. Includes take-home art. From R25–R50 per hour thereafter. Contact: 011 024 2379 or visit


April 2011

For more support groups visit

how to help

Animals in Distress The organisation needs volunteers and their dogs to assist in collecting funds for one hour on the last Saturday of each month outside Builders Warehouse stores in Fourways, Strubens Valley, Rivonia and Edenvale. Contact Sandy: 083 640 8824, or visit

Jimmy Jungles Indoor adventure playground with supervised, secure facilities for toddlers and children from 6 months up to a maximum height of 1,4m. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: Shop 60, Stoneridge Centre, Modderfontein. Cost: R30 per hour. Contact: 011 452 2180 or visit Jungle Rumble Indoor playground and party venue with allocated baby area for birth–3 years. Time: Tuesday– Saturday 9am–5pm, Sunday 10am–5pm. Venue: Panorama Shop & Leisure Centre, cnr Kliprivier and Jordie Rd, Mulbarton. Cost: R15–R45. Babies under 10 months free. For more info: visit Parkview Library story time Suitable for children under 3 years. Time: 10am, every Monday. Venue: Parkview Library, 51 Athlone Ave, Parkview. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 646 3375 Piccinos Indoor soft-play area for tiny tots to teenagers as well as a coffee shop for parents. Time: 9am–6pm. Venue: Norwood Mall, Hamlin Rd, Norwood. Cost: R60 per hour. Contact: 011 728 0928 Yeesh! Fun for Kids Supervised softplay indoor playgrounds with coffee bars. Time: Tuesday–Sunday 9am–5pm. Venue: Unit G6, Woodmead Commercial Park, Waterval Crescent, Woodmead and 5 Main Rd, Bryanston. Cost: R40 per hour. Contact Woodmead: 083 923 2306, Bryanston: 073 230 6531 or visit

Cleft friends Support for parents with babies born with cleft lips and palates. For more info: visit Down Syndrome Support Group Contact: 0861 369 672 or visit La Leche League Breastfeeding support group. For more info: visit Little Miracles For parents of premature babies. Contact: 0861 548 853, 012 333 5359, or visit Neobirth Pregnancy Care Centre For crisis pregnancies, abortion, miscarriages and adoption as well as support with general parenting issues. Contact: 012 343 6401, or visit South African Multiple Birth Association Provides moral and practical support to parents or guardians of multiple births. Contact: 0861 432 432 Postnatal Depression Support Association Assists mothers and families

CLAW This is a community-led animal welfare society that provides veterinary assistance to impoverished communities. They have dogs, cats, puppies and kittens looking for loving homes. For more info: visit Kids’ Haven annual charity golf day Spend a day on the golf course while supporting a worthy cause. Kids Haven aims to rehabilitate children living and working on the streets and reintegrate them with society. 7 April. Time: tbc. Venue: Parkview Golf Club, Emmarentia Ave, Parkview. Contact: 011 707 7959, or visit Little Eden Society Houses 301 children and adults from 2–61 years with profound intellectual disabilities. They require donations in the form of goods, cash and your time. They also have an “Adopt an Angel” project where you can sponsor a resident. For more info: visit Missing Children SA Needs volunteers. Register on the mailing list to assist with searches by distributing flyers when a child goes missing. Contact: 072 647 7464 or visit Princess Christian Home Offers specialised care to senior citizens, with specific reference to residents who are frail and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. They have a wish list of items from books and magazines to clothes and plants. For more info: visit

support groups Adoption South Africa Offers support groups for adopters as well as extensive services in counselling and legal social work. For more info: visit Bedwetting Support Group Contact: 083 289 6640, Monday–Friday 8am–5pm Bright Start… Right Start Provides early intervention services for babies, toddlers and preschoolers with developmental delays. Offers parent workshops, and assessment and support for school-going children with learning difficulties. For more info: visit

Moms and Tots

don’t miss out! For a free listing, email your event to or fax it to 011 234 4971. Information must be received by 8 April for the May issue, and must include all relevant details. No guarantee can be given that it will be published. To post an event online, visit

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it’s party time For more help planning your child’s party visit

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April 2011


it’s party




April 2011

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April 2011


last laugh

do you have an SBF? In today’s world everybody needs a Suburban


Joe, Sam and Benj

aising children and running a happy home is tricky. Not because it’s not fun or wildly interesting and diverting, but because it takes up so much time. And most of us, rather than having a village, have full-time jobs. So we all find help where we can. Many have partners to share the load or extended families who help out, and lift clubs and really good teachers and sports coaches and au pairs and fairy godparents and of course, that muchmaligned but stalwart babysitter, the television. But last year, I stumbled across a new category of global village support: the Suburban Best Friend (SBF). I’ve had a GBF (Gay Best Friend) for many years. His penchant for iridescent cocktails, manic dancing and making loved ones sparkle (both literally and figuratively) has been a fabulous help through the sleepless nappied


April 2011

years, when you just need a break and someone to make you feel fun and beautiful for a few hours. But now GBF Bryan has also settled down, my sons have chosen him as a Fairy Godfather and we are more likely to be found playing elaborate German board games curled up in my lounge than tripping the light fantastic up and down town. At this stage of my life, with school lifts and beach camping trips, sleepovers, wet towels and mouldy lunchboxes, in has sashayed Rosie, the SBF. How do you tell if you have an SBF? She has keys to your house and stocks the Garfield plasters your son prefers. She also tops your cellphone bill as Most Frequently Dialled. But mostly, it’s because you spend a lot of time speaking in practical, staccato Mommy Code. Take the conversation we had last Friday morning. “Gaah! Rosie? I have a last-minute meeting this afternoon. Any way you can pick up my sons after music?” “Sure, 4pm, right? Then I can get my frozen food from your freezer; my electricity is working again. Hey, how about you take out the frozen lamb now, so we can cook it at your place and feed both families while you give my son a haircut?”

“Done. And I have pitas.” “Great. Later. Love you, love your work.” “Ditto.” And, yes, I know many of you have easy, intertwined family relationships, but I come from Protestant stock where you don’t broadcast your domestic problems (yes, I am a bit of a breakthrough sheep in the family) and I don’t have any sisters. So this relationship is a revelation to me. And I am just hoping most of you have a Rosie in your lives too, because wow... I don’t know what I would do without her. But you know what truly makes Rosie an SBF? The fact that last Friday night, after we had all eaten our fill of schwarmas, she leant over and said: “Hey, the husbands are watching sport happily, the children have decided to all sleep in the bedroom fort they made, why don’t we phone Bryan and go try out that new martini bar? And let’s take a taxi; I have a craving for more than three olives, if you know what I mean.” Aah. Gotta love the BFs – in all their guises. Sam Wilson is the Editor-in-Chief of, and She hopes Rosie doesn’t get creeped out by this column.

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Best Friend, says SAM WILSON.

Child Magazine | Joburg April 2011  

Johannesburg's best guide for parents