J O H A N N E S B U R G â€™ S b e s t gu i d e f o r p a r e n t s
an unforgettable balloon safari for two
home inspirational travel ideas
to smack or not to smack
deciding on discipline
The topic of holidays, past and future, is a firm favourite at our dinner table. We laugh at the many strange places we have been to and dream of unexplored destinations we would still love to visit, in SA and beyond. Each year we try to tick off a brand-new destination. Travelling as a family is not cheap, but every cent we have spent on past holidays has been so worth it. This year, our focus isn’t so much on where we go, but who we go with. As the children get older, they want different things out of their holidays, but mostly they just want to be with their mates. This April, we are going one better than mates, we are making a long trek to meet up with my brother, who lives in Australia, at a “half-way” destination. All of this so that the cousins can have a long, long-overdue holiday together. With four teenagers and a 10 year old, the fun factor outranks the number of stars next to the hotel’s name. Whether they are in a Bedouin tent in Jordan, on a lounger in Bali or sleeping under the stars on the banks of the Orange River, this holiday will be all about family, and lots and lots of laughter… Here’s to stretching the budget, for the sake of family, and cracking a smile while doing so. Happy holidays, home or away.
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contents march 2012
a note from lisa
6 over to you
features 16 holiday without the hassle
family getaways should be stress free, says Christina Castle
18 spare the rod
10 best for baby – crack the baby code
the debate rages on: should you smack your child? Lisa Lazarus looks at both sides of the argument
24 a river adventure
Sue Segar and her family spend a weekend canoeing near Plett
26 stand by me
Vanessa Papas gives advice on how to help your child make friends
13 upfront with paul Paul Kerton gives some healthy eating tips 14 dealing with difference techno tools can change the world for those with different needs. By Jacqui Tooke
28 get your paws sticky
Ruwaydah Lillah helps you understand your infant’s cries
Paddington Bear shares his favourite recipes in this book authored by Michael Bond
12 digesting dairy
what to do if your child is lactose intolerant. By Tamlyn Vincent
32 resource – dream destinations near and far
we’ve compiled a list of inspirational travel ideas from all over the world
36 a good read
new books for the whole family
38 what’s on in march 54 last laugh Sam Wilson talks about her lifelong love affair with piñatas
classified ads 48 family marketplace 51 let’s party
this month’s cover images are supplied by:
over to you
managing hyperactivity My five-year-old son is hyperactive and the teachers battle to keep him from causing too much havoc. Luckily he is in a very good school and they have in-house support, such as occupational therapists and psychologists. Before assuming that he has ADHD, I am taking him to a doctor who will look at his diet, toxicity levels and allergies. He has his bad days where he just cannot sit still and comes home in tears because he is always in “trouble”. Though, we have already removed as many “bad” foods from his diet as possible. He is taking all the right oils, doesn’t watch television and does lots of physical activities. We manage his sensory environment and give lots of hugs and kisses, and rewards. Greta
breast-feeding and HIV
sun facts In the article on sunscreen (“here comes the sun”, December 2011/January 2012), I was surprised to read that using a high factor is recommended. When we were on holiday in Australia, a leader in sun care and skin cancer research, we were looking to buy high SPF creams in the stores, but they only sell up to factor 15. A higher factor contains too many chemicals and could also cause skin cancer. Secondly, Australian children who don’t bring their hats and sun lotion to school are not allowed in. Ilse Kock
shocking service In December, my seven-year-old son was put on a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg, as an unaccompanied minor, to visit his grandparents. As I had used a reputable airline, I trusted that they would have all the correct security procedures in place to ensure my child’s safety. However, to my horror, my child was abandoned in the terminal building and was discovered, by accident, by his grandmother when he left the building by himself. No attendant was in sight and to date no family member, or any other authorised person for that matter, has signed for his release from this airline. On their records, the child is still in their custody. I believe airlines should stop offering this as a service until they can guarantee the safety of the children in their care. Carin
time out Kim Maxwell’s “talk it through” (February 2012) resonated so much with the incessant arguments and difficulties my husband and I were experiencing in trying to be “selfless parents” to a busy three-and-a-half year old and a newborn. It is so tempting to get frustrated and blameshift, especially when you are exhausted and deprived of sleep and recreation. I immediately read the article to my husband, as we were about to launch into another round of arguing about who does more and who feels more unappreciated. The tips to smooth the way helped us find a way forward without anger and resentment. Then I read Paul Kerton’s piece “time for tough love”, about being a little selfish occasionally, and it gave me the impetus to start looking after myself. You made a difference today! Zainub
ritalin debate I feel compelled to provide a voice for the many parents who have found Ritalin a useful adjunct in the management of their child’s ADD/ADHD. My son had
I refer to your article “no substitutes” (February 2012). I am pleased that the magazine is making readers aware of the national government policy change with regard to providing free formula milk to HIV-positive mothers. However, as one of the scientists informing this policy change, I would like to add to the statement in the article that “patients at private hospitals and clinics will still have access to formula”. All HIV-positive women who choose not to breast-feed, despite the government’s decision to support breast-feeding as the recommended
becomes less incentivised by the provision of free
feeding method, can choose to purchase formula.
formula. I just wanted to make that clear as I’m
One of the main criticisms of this policy change
sure some readers will misinterpret this, and the
is that it is denying HIV-positive women’s rights to
policy change, as being discriminatory towards HIV-
formula feed. On the contrary, HIV-positive women
still have the right not to breast-feed, but the choice
Dr Tanya Doherty
just started school when we noticed his inability to concentrate. His wonderful teachers were happy to work around his needs. However, by the time he reached Grade 2, it was clear that he could not sit still and focus, which meant he did not achieve what he was capable of. Out of desperation, I contacted a paediatric neurologist, who in turn recommended an educational psychologist. He diagnosed ADD and recommended a trial of Ritalin, among other behaviour modification techniques. We were told it did not work for everybody, and we would know soon if it was going to be helpful in our case. The difference was amazing. Our son was able to shut out the “fuzz” in his brain. He started concentrating and working to achieve according to his abilities. This has given him an enormous sense of pride. The benefits also extended beyond the classroom. Most medications have side-effects and drugs in themselves are not good or bad. But instead of using emotive language when referring to them, an understanding of how they work, and the tradeoff of benefits versus side effects in each individual case is warranted. In our case, Ritalin and its derivatives are beneficial and should not be vilified or just dismissed. Irene Teachers are quick to tell parents to take their child for an assessment, to see if he needs Ritalin. After answering “no” to all the questions given to us by a paediatric neurologist, she still recommended Ritalin and the “we can reassess at a later stage” approach for my six year old. When he turned seven, the teacher suggested another assessment, as he tended to lose concentration, forcing the teachers to repeat themselves. After doing my own research, I told the teacher I would not put my son on a drug with such horrific side effects so that she doesn’t have to “repeat herself”. If we refuse to give our children the drug, we are labelled as the parent who doesn’t want their child to succeed when it would just take one small tablet a day. Even when you discuss the side effects, the experts simply say you must monitor your child and they will adjust the dosage. I refuse to alter my child’s personality or the chemicals in his brain. Teachers should just do what they did before the drug was so freely available: get on with teaching and stop trying to drug our children. Dan
a happy winner I would like to say a huge thank you to Child magazine and Accessorize/Monsoon for the beautiful party dress I won. Congratulations also on presenting a really worthwhile and informative read each month. Shahiema Abdullatief-Slamdien
party guide worth it Our company featured in your 2010 party issue and it was fantastic exposure. We would like to be in this year’s edition again. Romy Honneysett, Vanilla Milkshake Events Ed’s note: The party guide is published in the May issue and you can send your details to email@example.com
thanks paul That was such a great breath of fresh air from Paul Kerton (“time for tough love”, February 2012). We need more of that. Dawn We have now started thinking of ourselves and not always of the children. We have had quite a few date nights all because of you. Thanks. Ingrid
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giveaways in march flying high Enjoy the family adventure of a lifetime with Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris. A Balloon Safari with Bill Harrop is a wonderful way to make memories as a family or to celebrate that special occasion. Contact: 011 705 3201, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit balloon.co.za One reader stands a chance to win a balloon safari and champagne breakfast for two valued at R5 000. Simply enter via childmag.co.za/wins-jhb and use the code “Balloon Safari JHB”. Your details will be made available to Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris.
kitted out Edukits makes learning fun, affordable and easier for children and parents. Kits, books, experiments and courses get children of all ages to build, mould, play and explore. For more information, contact: 082 331 5273 or email@example.com Four readers stand a chance to win a hamper containing an Edukits voucher and fun educational kits, including edible finger paint, a snowmaking kit and a brainy blocks logic game, valued at R510. Simply enter via childmag.co.za/wins-jhb and use the code “Edukits JHB”. Your details will be made available to Edukits.
sleep tight Protect-A-Bed® keeps your mattress like new with their wide range of breathable mattress and pillow protection products. Mattresses and pillows are protected from spills, stains, allergens and irritants such as dust mites and bacteria. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit protectabed.co.za Four readers stand a chance to win a Protect-A-Bed® family pack containing mattress and pillow protectors, valued at R750. Simply enter via childmag.co.za/wins-jhb and use the code “Protect-A-Bed® JHB”. Your details will be made available to Protect-A-Bed®.
to enter simply visit childmag.co.za
or post your entry to PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010. Entries close 31 March 2012. Only one entry per reader.
Polo introduces a crayoninspired palette for the Polo boys’ collection. Golfers are updated with a big pony and signature classic chinos and striped shirts are available. Young ladies’ golfers come in cupcake-cute pastel shades of pink and lilac. Favourites include the golfer dress, floral dress and denim collection. For more info, contact: 011 258 7600 or visit polo.co.za One reader stands a chance to win a voucher for a shopping experience in a regional Polo store, valued at R2 000. Simply enter via childmag.co.za/wins-jhb and use the code “Polo JHB”.
congratulations to our December/January winners Annimika Pillay and Monica Saraiva who each win a Cool Gear Inc hamper; Julia de Bruyn and Lara Weissenberger who each win a hamper from Beautiful Creatures; Leanne Zagorsky, Motlabasego Chochoe, Sophie Plagerson, Lauri Isserow and Martina Manning who each win a pair of Skechers Twinkle Toes sneakers; Laura Elliott who wins an Enzi Chair; Kirtida Nannoo who wins a Super Rolling Art Centre and Emma Bassi and Inonge Malumo who each win a Sistema hamper.
best for baby
crack the baby code Being a parent is as frustrating as it is rewarding – especially if you can’t decipher your infant’s cries. RUWAYDAH LILLAH tries to tune in.
picture of your baby’s needs. “For example, babies under 12 weeks cannot laugh out loud, but they can show joy by smiling, widening their eyes, flapping their arms and kicking their legs,” she says.
decoding neonate and baby emotions According to Durban-based paediatricians, Drs Ronnie and Das Pillay, physicians and the public have for years believed that a newborn baby is unable to respond emotionally to pain and pleasure. But they say, “Despite the fact that the higher brain centres in the neocortex are not yet functional, expressions of pain and pleasure; sensations of sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch and stimuli – though basic – are evident from birth.” Bonding between mom and baby happens through touch, sight and sound stimuli. Within a month, emotional reactions are clear as the baby will show that he is upset or overwhelmed by too much or too little stimulation. “Early in the neonatal period,
the Dunstan baby code
what do these signals mean?
Australian mother Priscilla Dunstan found herself in a decoding predicament when doctors told her that she needed to learn the meaning of the cries of her son, Thomas, who suffered from colic. Her immediate reaction was, “Where on earth do I learn that?” No-one could tell her how to differentiate a hungry cry from a tired cry. Dunstan, a former mezzo-soprano who was able to hear and remember sound patterns from birth and could play the violin by two and a half, claims that all babies make a universal set of sounds within the first 12 weeks of their lives. She discovered this while listening to her son and, relying on her unique gift to interpret sound patterns, used the knowledge to develop the Dunstan Baby Language system. The universal baby sounds Priscilla identified are based on reflexes, which are the same in all newborn babies. When sound is added to these reflexes it creates five universal “words” that mothers tune into to understand their baby’s needs:
arching back You have to look at these signals in the context of what’s happening, Faure advises. “An arching back could be a sign of a number of things, but it generally means that the baby’s experiencing overall discomfort. Check when your baby is arching her back. If it’s after a feed, it could be reflux.” Faure adds that an arching back could also indicate overstimulation, especially in premature babies, or pain. head banging It could be a behavioural problem or a sign of pain from an ear infection, says Faure. Babies tend to head bang when experiencing deep pressure. grabbing ears “Look for the organic problem first, for example if it’s a sign of ear infection or if your baby is teething. However, your baby could also just be tired or discovering his ears,” Faure says. kicking legs This could be a sign of happiness and excitement as your baby explores his world. It could also be that he is overstimulated. clenched fists This is a reflex in newborn babies and, as they get older, they generally stop clenching their fists. Clenched fists in an older baby could indicate overstimulation or that your baby is frustrated or angry. scrunched up knees When your baby’s knees are scrunched up in the foetal position, he could be looking for comfort.
Neh I’m hungry – A baby uses this sound reflex to let you know she is hungry. This sound happens when the sucking reflex is triggered and the tongue is pushed up on the roof of the mouth. Owh I’m sleepy – The sound is similar to an audible yawn. Heh I’m experiencing discomfort – The “heh” sound is used to communicate stress, discomfort or needing a nappy change. A baby says “heh” in response to a skin reflex, such as sweat or itchiness in the bottom. Eairh I have lower gas – This could be flatulence or an upset tummy. Dunstan says the sound is produced when trapped air from a belch is unable to escape and then travels to the tummy where the intestinal muscles tighten and force out an air bubble. This sound often indicates that a bowel movement is in progress and the baby will bend its knees, bringing the legs toward the torso. Eh I have gas – “Eh” means your baby needs to be burped. The eh-sound is produced when a large bubble of trapped air is stuck in the chest and the reflex is trying to free it out of the mouth.
infants cry signals of hunger, soiled nappies or the need to be cuddled. This is often recognised by mothers as a normal cry,” says Dr Das Pillay. He adds that there are individual variations in infant cries. “The cry of pain may be higher pitched or unvarying in pitch, which is indicative of distress. Facial grimacing, clenching of eyes and pulling of the mouth are indicative of an infant in pain. Refusing to eat and turning away may suggest problems in the mouth, throat or tummy,” he says. But by far the most common reason why babies cry is because they are tired – especially in the first three months. Babies sleep a lot and your baby’s sleep signals will come more often than expected, says Richardson. The “I’m tired” cry may be a chopping wail, but keeping a diary of your baby’s sleeping patterns will help you tell when your baby needs to nap. Meg Faure, the other author of Baby Sense says the following are warning signs that your baby is tired or overstimulated: sucking of hands, looking away, moaning, pushing you or toys away and arching.
here’s a general assumption that once you become a parent, you instinctively know what your baby wants. Mothers are almost expected to have “superpowers” when it comes to tuning into their baby’s wants, needs and emotions. But how do you know that your baby’s crying because he’s hungry or that grimacing “smile” means she’s struggling with wind? Coauthor of Baby Sense (Metz Press), Ann Richardson, says, “Essentially, babies can only communicate with us using body signals such as arching of the back or loss of eye contact and noises like grunting, gurgling and crying. Parents have to ‘read’ these signals to try to understand them.” She adds that these signals, together with the development of physiological maturity, which enables your baby to show pleasure by smiling at around four to six weeks, and the emotional maturity to experience separation anxiety around nine months, when the mom leaves the room for example, help to give a composite
lthough lactose intolerance can cause varying degrees of discomfort, it is managaeble, says Catherine Boome, a Cape Town-based dietician. Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk and other dairy products. Boom says an intolerance to lactose occurs when the body doesn’t make enough of the lactase enzyme to effectively digest the lactose. It is different from a milk allergy, where the immune system reacts to proteins in the milk, “presenting with typical allergic reactions”, explains Johannesburg paediatrician Dr Alison Baxter.
to normal. Babies are rarely born without the ability to produce lactase, she says. Children will usually only show signs of the condition after the age of three. “Symptoms of lactose intolerance begin 30 minutes to two hours after drinking or eating foods that contain lactose,” advises Boome. These can range from mild to severe and may include nausea, stomach cramps, bloating and gas. “Sometimes people may vomit, but more frequently they have loose, frothy stools,” adds Baxter.
testing cause and effect “Primary lactose intolerance can occur naturally as part of the ageing process, as adults lose some degree of lactase activity after puberty,” says Boome. Children are more likely to develop secondary lactose intolerance. This is often because of an infection like gastroenteritis, where diarrhoea causes a loss of the lactase enzyme in the gut, says Baxter. Boome explains that lactase develops fully in foetuses in the third trimester, so premature babies may have reduced lactase. This can cause transient lactose intolerance. However, these enzymes generally return
Baxter uses a stool acidity test for babies and young children. The liquid part of the stool is tested to find reducing substances, or sugars that have not been properly absorbed, and the results are quantified so that the doctor can gauge the severity of the intolerance. Other tests include the lactose-tolerance test and hydrogen breath test. In both, a high level lactose drink is taken. The first tests the glucose in the blood to see if the body absorbs and digests lactose. The second tests the amount of hydrogen in the breath, which will be greater for lactose-intolerant people. “The tests may be dangerous
for infants and children who can’t tolerate high levels of lactose,” says Boome.
managing it Baxter says lactose intolerance in premature babies is not a major concern as feeding is introduced slowly. For breast-feeding lactose-intolerant babies, Baxter recommends eliminating lactose from your diet. If your baby is still uncomfortable, try alternating feeds of breast milk with lactose-free formula. If you have taken your baby off lactose, try introducing it again at around three months, says Baxter. Babies on lactose-free formula will still get the right vitamins and minerals. However, you should consult your paediatrician before making any changes. For children, try limiting the amount of lactose in their diet. If you have completely excluded dairy products from their diet, they may not be getting sufficient vitamin D and B12, calcium, phosphorous, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, protein or potassium. “These nutrients must be obtained from other foods and supplements,” says Boome. A dietician or paediatrician would be able to assess your child’s diet and recommend supplements if necessary.
If milk turns your stomach, you may be lactose intolerant. By TAMLYN VINCENT
upfront with paul
food for thought Control your children’s need for nuggets, and other food fetishes, by encouraging them to eat a varied diet. By PAUL KERTON
PHOTOGRAPH: MARIETTE BARKHUIZEN
Saskia, Paul and Sabina
ou might have missed that shocking story about British teenager Stacey Irvine, who has lived on a diet of McDonalds chicken nuggets since she was a toddler and has never tasted fruit or fresh vegetables. Well, surprise, surprise, she collapsed and was rushed to hospital after struggling to breathe, and was promptly told by doctors to “change your appalling diet or die”. A 20-piece portion of McNuggets contains 58g of fat and 926 calories, which exceeds the daily recommended 56g fat allowance and is almost half an adult’s required 2 000 calories a day. Dieticians do concede that “nuggets and chips provide sufficient calories and vitamin C levels for a teenager but…”, and here is the
zinger, “… vital nutrients responsible for the skin, eyes, bone health and immunity are practically nonexistent”. So why am I telling you all of this? Because, fellow caring parent, all our children go through food fads. I know of children that only eat fish fingers, scrambled eggy-weggy or cereal, and it is very easy to slip into the habit of always giving them their favourite food. It prevents conflict and, if their chosen meal is pasta, the one-pot cooking means it’s easy to make. But we need to ensure that a temporary diet fad does not become a long-term obsession. Both my children are proud pasta maniacs, which is good and bad. Good, because this pasta diet has helped keep them slim, as pasta-eating supermodels
such as Cindy Crawford, have also testified to at some point, but bad, because eating a monotonous diet of any kind will neglect the essential goodies needed for healthy development. At home we try and maintain a nutritional balance, but children, even your own children, can lie about their food intake. We’ll ask: “Have you had pasta already today?” Their reply: an emphatic “No”. “What did you have for lunch?” The answer: a hesitant “Er…” “Was it made in Italy, dirty yellow in colour, hard before you boiled it and served with olive oil, pesto and Parmesan?” Answer: “I think so.” “Well, that is pasta, so no more for you today, my darling.” The recommended meat and two veg combo is an effort to cook, and also to eat, as you need to sit upright at a table, on a chair, using a knife and fork and most likely, you’ll be away from the TV. Insist that your children sit at a table to eat, and
maybe, communicate with the family. Yes, children can eat a hot dog upside down while abusing the couch in front of the TV, if you let them. But if that’s how they eat every meal they will have the table manners of an orang-utan. Luckily, while food fads might annoy you, as the parent, they will shift and change as your children get older. Cook as a family, let them plan meals and make food something to enjoy on a social, as much as a nutritional, level. Keep offering them new things to try from an early age, even if they claim to hate it. One day they will change their minds as they appreciate that new flavours and textures can be exciting to eat. They will suddenly start adding new foods without you even knowing, thanks to sampling at birthday parties or at school, and peer pressure to eat different things. Just keep an eye on those food obsessions. Paul Kerton is the author of Fab Dad 2: from walking to talking… and beyond.
dealing with difference
techno tools Technology can open up the world for children with different needs, says JACQUI TOOKE.
just a click away We bought Matt an iPad to support his communication efforts, but you can use any of the other tablet computers that are available, such as the Blackberry Playbook or Android devices. When Matt was four years old, his receptive language was far more advanced than his expressive language. He was mostly unable to speak, but could communicate using some signs. Although our family understood his signing, most other people did not. This is where the iPad has proved useful. Coupled with the augmentative communication application, Proloquo2go, it functions as a speech-generating device. But, unlike other communication devices, it is significantly cheaper and more versatile. As Matt presses a picture on the screen, the iPad speaks that word aloud, enabling him to communicate his thoughts and express his needs. One can customise by adding any number of pictures, uploading personal photos, and categorising them in different ways to make it easy to navigate. It’s simple to programme and allows the user to put together whole sentences. Now anyone can understand Matt. Hansford has also seen the positive benefits of using a tablet computer with a young girl who has severe athetoid cerebral palsy. Let’s call her Katie to respect her privacy. Katie has the potential to learn, but her physical challenges make it hard for her to function independently and she requires physical support for most daily activities. It was Katie’s speech therapist, Deborah Stodel, who introduced her to the iPad. Initially Katie was scared by its bright lights and sounds. Stodel helped desensitise her to this sensory input and now she uses it for reading, drawing,
spelling, piano playing, problem solving and listening to music. “Katie delights in being able to achieve ‘pen and paper tasks’ with ease, accuracy and speed for the first time in her life,” explains Hansford. “The iPad is supporting transformational change in her daily life. For example, she no longer expresses her needs by issuing short, gruff demands, but is now able to frame polite requests.”
As with all tools, they are only as effective as the person who handles them. benefits and limits Tablets are easy to handle, which motivates children like Matt and Katie to participate in the learning process. When it’s difficult to move your body, you are often reliant on others choosing your activities for you. With the tablet being so simple to manipulate, children can choose which application they want to use, giving them control over their own journey of exploration and learning. Adults with disabilities are also taking advantage of the potential that this technology offers. Cape Town mother Lynda Heyneke has a visual impairment which makes reading almost impossible. One of her great sadnesses is that she can’t read a bedtime story to her young son, something that she feels deepens the intimacy in a parentchild relationship. Technology has offered her a solution. Lynda has downloaded books that can be read aloud. Now the two of them cuddle on his bed, the iPad on her lap reading a story aloud on her behalf, her little boy loving the pictures and hearing the words and enjoying the warm company of his mom – a precious human interaction that has been made possible through this technology. Stodel has integrated technology into her work with children with autism, Down’s syndrome, learning difficulties and other developmental problems. She loves how user-friendly tablet computers are and how highly motivating it is for children to learn using these gadgets. One can download thousands of applications, many of which are free, so there is something for everyone. Although she thoroughly recommends it as a therapeutic tool and an educational device, she offers some cautions. Some children become so engrossed with the tablet in their hands that they make less eye contact and engage less with people, which is counter-productive in children with autism who struggle with relating. Other children with obsessive-compulsive tendencies may become fixated with it, throwing tantrums when encouraged to engage in
other activities. There have been some articles claiming that these computers work miracles, but Stodel brings perspective by reminding us that, as with all tools, they are only as effective as the person who handles them. Similarly, they only become remarkable empowering tools when the child’s team of parents, therapists and teachers facilitate it well. A helpful hint Stodel offers is that one should ensure that the applications are in line with the child’s developmental goals, thereby providing enough challenge so as not to be boring, but not too difficult so that there is no chance of success. What is so meaningful for us as parents is that, through Matt’s interactions with the iPad, we are able to see what he is indeed capable of. Before, when he was trapped by the limitations of his body, we would only see glimpses of Matt’s potential. The iPad removes the confines of hands and a mouth that just won’t do what he wants them to, and allows him to show us how much he really understands. As much as Matt loves the ability to achieve, we love being surprised by his achievements.
apps that Matt likes Downloaded from apple.com/za/mac/app-store Puzzles: happyKids animal puzzles (by Norman Snyder); Puzzle Pals (by BigStack Studios) Drawing: Hello Crayons (by Raysoft Co.); Drawing Den (by Applied Phasor); Glow Paint (by Limit Point Software) Numbers and Counting: Swim with Numbers (by redbytes software) Letters and Words: Little Reader (by BrillKids); ABC GoGo (by FunfunSoft); Magnetic Board (by Dragonflies Unlimited) Colours: Color Monster (by Wombi) Shapes: Toddler Puzzle Shapes (by Technolio Inc) Communication: Proloquo2go (by AssistiveWare)
helpful resources SNAP (Special Needs Adapted Program) has produced a “how to” guide for parents on using the iPad, including reviews of a number of applications. Cost: R35. Contact: 021 975 7224 or visit snap.org.za websites netbuddy.org.uk has tips for computer gaming momswithapps.com has a specific page on apps for children with special needs snapps4kids.com
y five-year-old son’s face is alight with that wonderful mix of concentration and the joy of achieving. Matt is doing a puzzle on his iPad. Using one finger, he slides the puzzle pieces into place with great ease, showing that his mind can see exactly where the pieces should go. Matt has a rare genetic syndrome that results in global developmental delay with fine motor and speech difficulties. He enjoys doing real puzzles, but his hands often let him down. Sometimes it takes him five or six frustrated attempts before he eventually gets the piece in place. That’s a whole lot of effort for one successful puzzle piece placement. But the iPad offers him movement at a flick of his finger, allowing him to achieve tasks free from the limitations of his fine motor difficulties. As Matt’s physiotherapist, Pamela Hansford, explains, “The iPad is an exciting tool which puts ‘fun’ into ‘function’ as it reduces the effort required for a task while increasing the success rate.” Children need to experience success to confidently engage with the world around them.
holiday without the hassle CHRISTINA CASTLE offers 10 tips for a stress-free family getaway.
1 make a plan
2 switch off
While the memory of spontaneously
That means your cellphone, laptop, iPad, alarm clock and anything else that connects you to the world. Switching off means time-out from everyday life. Focus on downtime, grabbing afternoon snoozes and catching up with family. Sure, it may take a couple of days to really unwind and stop checking those work emails, but there’s nothing better than surrendering to a holiday. You deserve it.
wandering the world with a backpack may not seem too distant, doing it with children in tow can cause a few anxieties. So, whether you are camping it or fivestarring it, map out your holiday with their help. Researching it together on the internet is a great way to ensure you are all on the same page and have similar holiday expectations. Book ahead for activities and accommodation. This prevents disappointment and grumpy fellow travellers. These days everything can be booked online, from flights and hotels to restaurants, and doing so gives you more time to explore, relax and pretend you are a backpacker again.
3 expect the unexpected
4 get real
5 keep it simple
We all go on holiday with great intentions and expectations. I usually plan to read my camera’s instructions, refine my photographic skills and produce award-winning shots when I go away. My husband always says he’s going to teach the boys how to fish and feed the family for the time we are away (ja, right). Horse riding on the beach, climbing Table Mountain, cooking lessons with locals – no matter how keen you are to get out and do everything, you have to get real and realise that you are on holiday, and some of that time can be spent doing, (dare I say it?), absolutely nothing.
These three words you really need to hang on to, whether you are heading for a globetrotting marathon or escaping to the coast. Nobody wins awards for how many kilometres they cover or how many activities they cram into a day. While you may be heading to a destination with a million things to add to the “to-do” list, make sure you prioritise. Not only can all these activities break the bank, they can break the holiday mood and send you home feeling more exhausted than when you left. Discuss activities with the family and make a democratic call on which ones you are going to pursue.
No holiday will ever go according to plan. I often think of the poor tourists who visit Cape Town and are unable to get to the top of Table Mountain because of bad weather. You may experience things such as flight delays, road works, mechanical problems and poor navigation. “It’s all part of the adventure,” I said to the boys on a recent trip to Australia. Our plane was delayed due to technical problems and we spent our first night on holiday in a sad little hotel in Benoni. At least we managed to get a glimpse of the place Charlize Theron calls home.
6 medically speaking This is where I shift from Type B personality into Type A in the blink of an eye. One of my pet fears is being caught in a remote location without appropriate medication, so my holiday first-aid kit is packed before we have even decided to go on holiday. The thought of being caught in the middle of the Zambezi with a runny tummy and no remedy or toilet paper is enough to make me nauseous. My son’s asthma pumps are strategically placed in all luggage. So too are sunscreen, painkillers and plasters. Call me a pharmacy on safari, but I feel secure knowing that whatever the ailment, we can pretty much deal with it.
7 set a few boundaries Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean rules and routine go out the window. While we may thrive on being out of our comfort zones in new and exciting places, our children still need to feel safe within a system that they know, respect and love. Breakfast time is still breakfast time; sleep time is still sleep time. But don’t beat yourself up if these times get a little stretched. You’re on holiday after all.
8 don’t go it alone Admit it: how often have you returned from holiday in need of another one? This defeats the purpose of a getaway altogether. The planning, preparation and execution of a trip is hard work. Share the love and the limelight by letting someone else take responsibility for organising a meal, suggesting the odd activity or hunting for accommodation. Sometimes just being able to hand over the reins of responsibility is all the respite you need to recharge those batteries. You’ll be amazed at the eager hands just waiting to take over.
9 pack right Don’t overdo it, but don’t under do it. Coming short of clean undies on a camping trip is no joke. Neither is rocking up in a cold spot shy of a few jerseys. While you don’t want to pack your entire wardrobe, you do need to be in the know as to exactly what is required. There are some great international weather sites that can give you an idea of what to pack. You need to be ruthless, yet realistic – like no heels in Namibia and an extra bikini in Mauritius. And always, always, throw in an extra pair of undies for each member of the family (it’s a very welcome surprise just when you think you’re clean out). While we love handing over the responsibility of packing to our older children, just give their bag a quick once over before you zip up.
10 home sweet home The last thing I need when I am away is a call to say that something has gone wrong at home. We once spent a three-week holiday away only to arrive home to discover the electricity had tripped and recently bought seafood had defrosted and drained from the freezer, leaking into every carpet in the house. Yes, we should have had an idea of the problem when the neighbours called every day to say our alarm was going off. Find a house-sitter, dog-sitter or at least someone you can trust to keep an eye on the place while you are away. It saves you the worry, creates an impression that your house isn’t empty and is worth every cent.
spare the rod Is a quick smack a suitable form of punishment, or should any form of hitting be avoided?
lthough many of us may have felt the urge to smack when provoked beyond endurance, an increasing number of parents make the ideological decision that this form of punishment is not appropriate. Are they correct, and is smacking likely to lead to horrible consequences? Rachel Ferriman, 35, lives in Randburg, and is a stay-at-home mother to three children, aged six, four and two. She says, “Smacking is effective before children can talk or understand abstract concepts clearly. A smack is designed to redirect a child’s action. The first time I smacked my first-born, he was about 10 months old. I was changing his nappy on white bedding, and he was trying to move away from me. Of course, I’m entirely to blame for
the situation – I definitely should not have changed him there. But it was too late, and a quick, sharp smack stopped him in his tracks. From then on he usually lay still when I changed him and because I wasn’t trying to stop him turning and escaping, I could be calm and tender with him, which we both enjoyed. I would have thought it was too early to smack a child – before his first birthday – but it wasn’t.” Cape Town writer Penny*, 39, has one son, aged three-and-a-half, whom she has smacked on a few occasions. “Smacking is justified when a child is not in a correct mindset to think about what he is doing – for example, the child believes the activity is fun, or he is in the middle of a tantrum, or he is being purposefully defiant.”
PHOTOGRAPHS AND ILLUSTRATION: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
LISA LAZARUS investigates.
Under such circumstances, she feels it is beneficial to associate a danger with a short, sharp (non-lasting) pain, coupled with a stern rebuke from a loving parent. “It provides an effective deterrent for children who are not old enough to understand the consequences of their actions, or the concept of danger,” she explains. But educational psychologist and founder of the Bella Vida Centre in Johannesburg, Ilze van der Merwe-Alberts, does not support the smacking of a child of any age. “There are better ways to discipline children,” she says. “Also, it teaches children double standards, because you’re saying that they can’t smack another child, but that it’s okay for an adult to smack. This is confusing for a child.” Dominique Phohleli, 37, from Fourways, is the mother of two children, aged seven and 11. When her son was five years old, he went around his aftercare swearing at the other children, using offensive language he had picked up from a friend. “The next day I made him apologise to each child and to the teacher as well. It was a difficult thing for him to do,” she says. “He resisted, but I insisted. It was hard for me too, because I felt humiliated at the way
he had behaved. I don’t believe a hiding would have been half as effective.” Even though she was smacked as a child, not regularly, but on occasion, Dominique doesn’t think it had any effect on how she made decisions, except to show her that this is not an effective form of discipline. This is a somewhat unusual response, as discipline strategies are fairly
Newsweek’s blog reports on an American population study by Dr Marjorie Gunnoe, a professor of psychology at Calvin College, Michigan. In this ongoing study, adults and their teenage children are interviewed every three years, over a 20-year period. Almost a quarter of these adolescents claim that they were never smacked. Those who were smacked as young children, between the
There are better ways to discipline children… also, it teaches children double standards. likely to pass from one generation to the next. A 2003 study in the Journal of Family Psychology indicated that adolescents’ approval of smacking was highly likely if they themselves were hit as young children.
be consistent Surprisingly, there is little research that compares children who have been smacked with those who haven’t. It’s probably because most children have been smacked at least once in their lives. However, as a parenting style of no-hitting gains popularity, new evidence is starting to emerge, and the results are intriguing.
ages of two and six, were doing better as teenagers across a number of outcomes, including academic rank, volunteer work, tertiary aspiration and hope for the future. Po Bronson, co-author of a parenting research book NurtureShock (Twelve Publishers), hypothesises that the lack of consistency when it comes to disciplining, whether you’re a smacker or not, is at the heart of the problems. “My thoughts jump immediately to the work of Dr Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, a professor of human development and family science, (who) found that children of progressive dads were acting out more in school. This
the current debate Proposed changes to the Children’s Act could make it illegal for you to smack your child. Although the Schools Act of 1996 has banned corporal punishment in the classroom, there is no legislation stopping parents from hitting their children at home. A Western Cape lobby group, the Children’s Rights Project, wants this to change, and has asked the Department of Social Development to ban the practice as it considers amendments to the Children’s Act. Their submission will be considered by the department in May. There are concerns that a blanket ban on spanking would turn parents into criminals if they disciplined their children. It would also be difficult to police. But some children’s rights groups maintain that the new legislation will protect children from abuse. Several countries, including Kenya, Sweden, Finland and Germany, have banned corporal punishment in the home.
was likely because the fathers were inconsistent disciplinarians; they were emotionally uncertain about when and how to punish, and thus they were reinventing the wheel every time they had to reprimand their child. In other words, spanking regularly isn’t the problem; the problem is having no regular form of discipline at all.” Cape Town-based clinical psychologist Emilita Pecego supports Bronson’s interpretation. “I think those children who were smacked and did well, did so not as a result of the physical punishment that they received, but because they had parents who responded to them consistently. No response or discipline is probably more harmful to children than a ‘mild’ smack, which is then followed by a loving response, such as a hug.”
behaviour tends to reduce the incidence of bad behaviour,” she says. She doesn’t smack her children, because she believes it doesn’t teach them anything valuable in the long term. “This is a difficult thing for me to admit,” she says, “but if I’m honest with myself, I know the times I’ve been sorely tempted to give a smack were more about me looking for an outlet for my anger rather than an attempt to teach my child something about his behaviour.” Pecego states that parents often smack when they’re feeling overwhelmed by their feelings of anger or frustration. Although she acknowledges the acceptability of these feelings, their physical expression should try to be avoided. “Particularly in a South African context with its high levels of personal trauma and public violence,
No response or discipline is probably more harmful to children than a ‘mild’ smack, which is then followed by a loving response, such as a hug. Yet, Pecego does not support smacking as a means of disciplining a child. She states, “I believe that it is preferable to set limits in non-violent ways, as this preserves the integrity and respect within the parent-child relationship.”
effects of smacking Gunnoe’s research also looked at the effects of smacking older children. Those who experienced their last smack between the ages of seven and 11 were slightly worse off on negative outcomes when compared with the never-been-smacked, but a tad better when it came to the positive outcomes. However, adolescents who were still being smacked were always worse off, and clearly exhibited problems. Van der Merwe-Alberts has the following advice if a parent decides to use smacking as a form of discipline: • Don’t smack in anger. • Make sure your child knows you’re going to smack so there are no big surprises. • Remain under control. • Discuss afterwards why the child was smacked. • Reassure the child of your love.
consequences, not punishments For Dominique, an important part of child rearing involves praise for good behaviour. “Star charts or keeping track of good
parents need to support (and receive support) in fostering a safe and violencefree society,” she says. So what does Pecego propose as an alternative? “It’s absolutely vital for parents to set limits or boundaries for their children,” she says. “I think that the lack of a parental response – in other words, no boundaries – or the inconsistent implementation of boundaries, leaves a child confused about what behaviour is acceptable. Also, the value of a boundary, that it can be very helpful for protecting oneself and others, is not learnt.” If these boundaries are transgressed, then there must be consequences. “Consequences rather than punishments, especially physical punishments for inappropriate behaviour, fit more naturally with how life works. For example, if you refuse to share with friends, they may stop playing with you. The way consequences are enforced should be adapted to the age of the child.” Parenting is sometimes like a complex strategy game, where you need be patient but firm, wily yet humorous. And the end result takes years, even decades, to emerge. But, ultimately, helping a new life manoeuvre competently through the world is surely a challenge worth working at. * Name has been changed. magazine joburg
age-appropriate discipline babies • Discipline cannot be enforced, but it is important to respond consistently, according to the needs of your baby. young toddlers – one to three years old • Apply consequences in a practical way through your actions, and with the understanding that the toddler may not fully understand that his behaviour is a problem. • Use distraction. Try and interest the child in something else, or remove a dangerous object and verbalise why you are doing this – “I’m taking the fork away, because it can hurt you.” preschool – from three years old • Children have the beginning of a sense of right and wrong, even if they don’t always understand why certain behaviour is inappropriate. • State the problem. Say, “You are jumping on the couch and that is not allowed, please stop.” If the child does not listen, tell her she will have a time-out. • Always implement your threat. • One minute of time-out per year of child’s age. • Educational psychologist, Ilze van der MerweAlberts, recommends the following approach for children over the age of two: when you, as the parent, have made a decision, give the child a choice of two ways of executing that decision. For example, at bath time, the child is given the choice of running to the bathroom either as a racing car or a racing horse. The advantages are that you’re using the child’s language of play, and allowing the child some choice, while still retaining the ultimate parental control. primary school • At times, allow natural consequences to take their course. For example, if the child does not do his homework, then he will have to face the consequences at school. Don’t step in and “save” your child. • Consequences like no TV or no pocket money would be appropriate, but it does depend on the particular activities that the child enjoys. teenagers • It is important for parents and teenagers to reach some agreement on appropriate and inappropriate ways of behaving, and then to negotiate the consequences for lack of compliance. • The challenge for this age group is to develop a sense of autonomy and identity, and to begin the process of separating from the parents. Therefore, a more collaborative approach is better. • The effects of not responding or responding inconsistently at this stage can be serious.
what you said on
a river SUE SEGAR and her family spend a weekend doing the magical Whiskey Creek Canoe Trail on the Keurbooms River outside Plettenberg Bay.
he comments in the visitors’ book of our remote log cabin on the bank of the Keurbooms River said: “Animals we saw include puff adder, scorpions, spiders and the house snake” and “Paddle further upstream and you will find some White Nile water”. The children, intrigued, were reading the book aloud after arriving at the overnight hut tucked in a forest above the river, the final destination on Cape Nature’s Whiskey Creek Canoe Trail. We’d just arrived – two parents, two children and their vegan godmother – after a 7km
time, but wanted to wait until the children were ready. Now, with a successful Whale Trail behind them and a childhood of holidays spent paddling on the Duiwenhoks River, I was confident that they were up to it. We left on a Friday straight after school and, to break the trip, spent the night in Bonnnievale at one of the country’s only persimmon farms. Early the next morning, we took a back route through the Bonnievale valley, which was a treat in itself, to Swellendam and back on to the N2 heading for Plett.
From top to bottom: Saskia in her helmet, ready for the river; Dad (Martin) hauls his canoe over the shallow rapid; Tom gets to know his boat.
paddle up the whiskey-coloured river, starting at the river mouth just outside Plettenberg Bay, and winding through beautiful high gorges and forests of keurboom (the signature tree in this area), stinkwood, yellowwood and Cape beech. We were there because we wanted to have an adventure with our children, something that could be done over a weekend. It had to be a challenge, but nothing too dangerous – a mini Survivor weekend of sorts. We had been in that jaded family space that comes from just one weekend too many in the city. Saskia, 11, needed a break from soil erosion projects, music exams and pre-teenage girl politics. Tom, nine, just needed to do something exciting out of The Dangerous Book for Boys. As a great fan of Cape Nature – at the beginning of every year, I park myself in their head office and make four or five bookings in different spots for the family – I’d had my eye on the canoe trail for some
Part of the fun of planning the trip was the “sight unseen” factor, as we had not been up the river before and we had no clue what our canoes would look like. But the challenge that preoccupied me most, while planning the trip into relatively unknown territory, was how to feed the delightful, but determinedly vegan, godmother. Especially as all the clothes, sleeping equipment and food for two nights had to be squeezed into the hulls of three canoes (this was a safari into Africa, minus the bearers). Once there, we related to another comment in the visitor’s book: “Incredible location. Our second visit. The first time we turned back because we couldn’t find the hut.” Having packed everything into the canoes, making space for the quinoa, the avos and cannellini beans for the VG, we paddled for about three hours upriver, stopping on the bank for a picnic of smoked mussels and crackers as storm clouds gathered above us, ready to burst.
illustrations: shutterstock.com / Photographs: robyn rorke
We had been in that jaded family space that comes from just one weekend too many in the city.
Far Left: The deck of the log cabins; Left: The view during our stay; Top: The bunk beds inside our cabin; Bottom left: The family prepares for the second day on the river.
At first, we were shockingly incapable of paddling a straight course, veering either left or right and into the reed beds on the shore. But after a while, we realised it makes a difference whether one is aiming the front or rear end forward. The first 4km were festive, with occasional picknickers and people on powerboats waving at us; the latter creating exciting waves to paddle through. Then things quietened down, as motor boats are not allowed beyond a certain point upriver, and the river became more tranquil, the birds more plentiful and the weather more overcast. Birds in these parts include the Knysna Loerie and Woodpecker, Malachite Sunbird, Giant Kingfisher, African Fish Eagle, as well as various sunbirds and numerous others. A pair of Egyptian geese, with five goslings bobbing behind them, kept us company for a little while. We loved the serenity of the second half of the trail, with the steep, wooded slopes rising on either side of the broad, gentle river. About three hours from the start, we reached a narrow section of the river. The fast rapids in the shallow water prevented us from paddling any further so we pulled the canoes over the brown stones and to the side of the river. It took quite a while of strolling up and down the sandy bank before we spied a tiny path winding into the bush and to our hut, the Whiskey Creek Log Cabin. The children yelped in delight as they ran up the stairs of the golden pine house, which is set on stilts (to accommodate the occasional flood) in the dense riverfront shrubbery, backed by giant indigenous trees. With its fireplace on the wide verandah and an open air kitchen and eating area that looks out onto the river, the house is great for a sociable group of people. The sleeping area is a spacious
single room, with four bunk beds and two single beds. We lit a fire and ate supper under the stars before the children managed to talk their godmother into sleeping on the deck. Most visitors paddle back downstream after only one night; we decided to stay for an extra day in the wild, doing nothing except maybe lying on the deck reading. We packed a picnic and spent most of the day wading and swimming upriver. It’s absolutely essential to wear shoes in this river as the stones are very hard on the feet. It was idyllic to swim in the warm water and walk in the sun with the sound of the birds and the gurgle of water over the river stones. The children and their godmother walked further than we did, in search of the “Nile’s white water”. About 20 minutes later, screams of excitement and delight wafted down the river and we knew they had found something that met their expectations. That night, with the children asleep again under the stars, my husband said to me, “Everyone’s gone in for glamour lodges. They have forgotten about nature and the holiday huts in the wild that abound and which give double the reward at a tenth of the price.”
• The Keurbooms River Nature Reserve is situated about 8km past Plettenberg Bay on the N2 towards Port Elizabeth. • You must arrive at the gate by 3:30pm to depart no later than 4pm for the trail. • The trail is limited to 10 people for the overnight hut. Canoes, as well as the compulsory helmets and life jackets, are included in the trail and accommodation tariff. Waterproof shoes with grip soles are essential. • The dorm-like bedroom contains four double bunks and two single beds. Each bed is supplied with a mattress with cover, pillow and pillow slip. • The kitchen has a gas stove, fridge, crockery, cutlery and fresh rain water. • Electricity is supplied via solar power so the optimal functioning of the geyser, lights and freezer cannot be guaranteed. • A braai grid and black pot are supplied. Braai wood is sold at the security gate. • Take food, towels, sleeping bags, bedding and fire lighters, torches and matches. For more information on the Keurbooms River Nature Reserve: visit capenature.co.za
stand by me Most children naturally gravitate towards each other, but what if your child is struggling to make friends? By VANESSA PAPAS
socialising Teixeira explains that socialisation involves the acceptance of others and in turn being accepted by others. “Learning to socialise with others is a process of trial and error. At first, a young child will not be willing to share their toys but with encouragement from their parents and teacher, they will learn that the best way to make a friend is to be a friend. By the age of three, children are well on their way to making real friends.” Successful socialisation also depends on how much exposure your child has to other children. “If your child spends the bulk of their time in the company of adults, they will find it difficult to relate to children their age,” she says. “In order to thrive, children need to also spend time with other children. They learn a tremendous amount from observing modelled behaviour and through interacting with their peers. When they learn how to empathise with others and how much fun it is to interact with others, they start developing true and lasting friendships.” Shantal Singh, a clinical psychologist in Durban, says, “Playing with other children helps your child develop communication skills, assists in establishing social maturity, by engaging in activities and respecting the rules of games played between children and it encourages comparative development. Through playing, children are able to form positive relationships with others and this in turn establishes security in the development of positive relationships when they become adults.”
friendship problems If your child is battling to make friends, understanding their personal circumstances, level of emotional maturity and social context could help unravel the reasons. Singh
says, “Maybe you’ve moved to a new neighbourhood, or your child has changed schools, or they’re trying to cope with an emotional stressor such as bereavement or separation from a parent. Love your child enough to communicate with them in an open and trusting manner. If you are concerned that your child is not making friends, discuss the issue with them instead of making assumptions as to why they can’t make friends. By finding out whether something in particular is making your child withdraw, you can work on the problem together.”
When they learn how to empathise with others and how much fun it is to interact with others, they start developing true and lasting friendships. Cape Town-based counselling psychologist and teacher Kerry Acheson says that while factors in your child’s life can play a role in how easily they make friends, it’s also important to recognise that all children are different and they have unique personalities. “Children who are naturally spontaneous and outgoing will generally make friends more readily than children who are naturally more reserved or shy. Some children are simply more comfortable with one very familiar friend than with socialising in a group. Some children who have had painful experiences, such as bullying or rejection, may avoid risking future pain by sticking to themselves and not making attempts to make friends. Some simply lack the social skills necessary in order to facilitate effective friendship-making due to the lack of opportunities for socialising, as is sometimes the case with an only child. The key is not to put too much pressure on your child but rather to provide them with opportunities to engage with other children, and encourage them to be more social.”
Invite friends from your child’s class for play dates. Start with one-on-one play dates rather than groups. Enrol them in extramural or co-curricular activities that they show an interest in. This gives your child a chance to develop an interest they have in common with others and often leads to the building of lasting friendships. Collaborate with your child’s teacher, as they can be your child’s ally in this area. In cases where the child’s social difficulties are marked, a social worker or psychologist can assess and provide play therapy in order to help support friendship-making skills.
a need to belong When it comes to older children between the ages of 10 and 12, and teenagers, having friends becomes even more crucial. “This age group has a strong desire to ‘belong’ and their social development becomes characterised by an increasing need to be involved with friends,” says Dale Davidson, a Durban-based clinical psychologist. “Close friendships help them cope with the stressors of adolescence, such as physical development, school life, issues with parents and relationships.” Should your older child be battling to make friends, Davidson says a great way of helping them along is encouraging them to play sport. “Sport involvement is an excellent way for them to make friends, or widen their social circle. It also reduces stress, depression and anxiety and helps youngsters cope better with the challenges of adolescence.” At times, there may be more serious, clinical reasons why your older child may be socially withdrawn and struggle, or not want to make friends. “A sudden change in behaviour is often indicative of some form of emotional struggle they may be experiencing. Genetic vulnerabilities and environmental factors may result in the development of psychological disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety, all of which need to be treated and managed by the appropriate health care provider, such as a doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist,” says Davidson.
how you can help • Make sure your child feels nurtured, valued and supported in the family. Model good social skills and maintain a consistent and positive atmosphere at home. • Teaching your child respect and appropriate manners often lays the platform for social engagement. • Praise and encouragement instils confidence and a sense of competence in your child. Work with their teacher to help your child develop self-confidence. A confident child is more likely to try and make friends. • Teach your child conversation skills, such as listening without interrupting, and how to greet people appropriately. Develop your child’s empathy by asking, “how would you feel if...”. • Practise social skills in role-playing, or by playing with dolls. • Encouraging your older child or teenager to take up a sport is an excellent way to help them make friends. • A social worker or psychologist can assess and provide play therapy to help support friendship-making skills. • Remind them that friendship is about more than just adding a new friend on Facebook or MXit. It involves respect, compassion and face-to-face time.
he process of socialisation begins at birth and it all starts with you – the parent. You are your child’s first connection to other people; their first friend. Through their interaction with you, your child will gradually become familiar with others and learn to enjoy their company too. “The first five years are critical in the development of your child’s social skills,” says Johannesburg-based primary school teacher, Charmaine Teixeira. “During the first year, a child’s primary focus is on discovering his physical capabilities, such as learning to crawl or walk, picking up things and throwing them. They also learn to interact with their parents and siblings. At around the age of two, children begin to enjoy playing with others. Play becomes a critical area of learning and developing acceptable social skills. Initially, children play alongside one another. This is called ‘parallel play’. They may be in close proximity, but their play is individual. As they get older and become more curious about what the other children are doing, they learn to play interactively. They may integrate into the other child’s games, or they may allow others to integrate into their own games.”
get your paws sticky The whole family will love experimenting with these recipes inspired by Paddington, the much-loved bear from the popular children’s books.
croque monsieur Serves 2
You will need: • Cheese grater • Chopping board • Knife for buttering • Small saucepan • Tablespoon • Wooden spoon • Frying pan • Fish slice
Ingredients: • 75g Gruyère cheese • 60g butter, softened • 4 thick slices white bread • 15g plain flour • 100ml whole milk • 1 egg yolk • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard • 4 slices good quality ham
What to do: • Grate the cheese. • Butter the bread, using 20g or a third of the block of butter, and put the slices on a board, buttered side down. • Melt the rest of the butter in the saucepan over a medium heat and add the flour. Stir with the wooden spoon for a couple of minutes until well mixed, then add the milk gradually, stirring all the time, until the mixture is thick and smooth. • Take the saucepan off the heat and stir in the egg yolk, the mustard and the grated cheese. Beat the sauce with the spoon until the cheese has melted. • Spread the cheese mixture on two slices of the bread waiting on the board. Fold the ham and put two slices on each of the cheese-sauce-covered slices. Put the remaining two slices of bread on top of each of the cheese and ham slices (butter side up) and press down softly. • Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the sandwiches for about three minutes on each side until they are crisp and golden. (Because they are buttered, you don’t need any fat or oil.) • Using the fish slice, take them out of the pan, cut into halves diagonally and serve at once.
sweetcorn fritters Serves 2–4
You will need: • Large bowl • Sieve • Kitchen roll • Measuring jug • Tablespoon • Whisk (hand or electric) • Frying pan • Fish slice
Ingredients: • 100g plain flour • 1 tbsp baking powder • Salt and pepper • 1 large egg • 150ml milk • 200g tinned sweetcorn kernels • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
What to do: • Sift the flour, baking powder and a good pinch of salt and pepper into the bowl. • Make a well in the centre, add the egg and gradually beat in the milk with a whisk to form a smooth batter. • Drain the sweetcorn kernels thoroughly. (Patting it with kitchen roll is a good idea – it stops extra liquid diluting the batter.) Add the kernels to the batter mix. • Heat the vegetable oil in the frying pan over a medium heat. Fry dollops (about two tablespoons) of the mixture for two minutes or so on each side until golden and crisp.
spicy chicken noodles Serves 2–4
You will need: • Bowl • Chopping board • Sharp knife • Tablespoon • Wok or frying pan • Measuring jug • Wooden spoon
Ingredients: • 125g Chinese noodles, cooked or ready to use • 75g frozen sweetcorn kernels • 75g frozen peas • 400g chicken breast • 4 spring onions • 3 tbsp vegetable oil • 2 tbsp mild curry paste (korma is ideal) • 150ml chicken stock • 150ml coconut milk • Pinch of dried red chilli flakes • Juice of ½ lime
What to do: • Cook the noodles, following the instructions on the packet, and set aside. Measure out the sweetcorn and peas and leave them in a bowl to defrost. • Cut the chicken into strips. Chop the spring onions. • Heat the oil in the wok or frying pan. Add the spring onions and stir fry for about two minutes. • Now add the chicken strips and stir and cook for five minutes. • Add the curry paste, stock, coconut milk and chilli flakes. Stir well, bring it up to a simmer and let it cook for 10 minutes. • Add the noodles, sweetcorn and peas, and cook everything for a further three minutes. • Lastly, add the lime juice, give everything a final stir and serve up in bowls.
Text copyright © Michael Bond 2011 / Recipes copyright © Lesley Young 2011 / Illustrations copyright © R. W. Alley 2011 / Photographs copyright © HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2011
blackberry and apple crumble Serves 4–6
You will need: • Chopping board • Sharp knife • Potato peeler • Ovenproof dish about 20cm x 30cm and 5cm deep • Mixing bowl • Sieve • Tablespoon
Ingredients: • 500g cooking apples • 250g blackberries • 55g caster sugar • 200g plain flour • 100g unsalted, cold butter, cut into cubes • 125g demerara sugar
What to do: • Preheat the oven to 200ºC. • Peel and core the apples and cut into large chunks. Wash the blackberries and place all the fruit in the ovenproof dish. • Add the caster sugar, and mix it through the fruit with your hands to spread it about. • To make the crumble, sieve the flour into the mixing bowl and add the butter. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips, until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the demerara sugar. • Spread the crumble mixture over the fruit in the dish and pat it down so there are no bald patches. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and there are purple juices bubbling at the edges. • Leave for 10 minutes before dishing up. Serve with cream, crème fraîche or ice cream.
about the book Michael Bond, author of the popular Paddington series, says that the simplest of dishes, provided they are made with style, are the most satisfying. This is why these unpretentious, yet delicious dishes will satisfy even the fussiest of young gourmands. Paddington, who hails from Peru, loves food, especially if it contains marmalade. He lives with the Browns at Number 32 Windsor Gardens and has been taking cooking lessons from their housekeeper, Mrs Bird. In this delightful book, Paddington’s Cookery Book (HarperCollins Publishers), with its illustrations by R.W. Alley and recipes by Lesley Young, Paddington shares some of his favourite dishes. The recipes have easy, step-by-step instructions and there are wonderful stories about Paddington’s trips to the market, preparations for his Christmas birthday party and his first blackberry-picking expedition. Children of all ages will treasure this story-cum-cookbook. It is available at all good bookstores.
Get out the atlas, renew everyone’s passports and pick one (or more) of these inspirational travel ideas for your next family holiday. By CHILD MAGAZINE
False Bay, Cape Town Muizenberg is home to a historical battle site and Het NEAR Posthys, the oldest building on the False Bay coastline, while the Edwardian-style Railway Station and Victorian beach houses showcase the area’s distinctive architecture. Simon’s Town’s historical mile gives visitors the chance to learn about the area’s naval history. Visit museums, browse antique shops or take in the harbour. For more info: visit awhaleofaheritageroute.co.za Sterkfontein Caves, Gauteng The Cradle of Humankind, with its archaeological digs
and fossil deposits, is a site worth seeing. It was here that Mrs Ples, a 2,1 millionyear-old Australopithecus africanus skull, was discovered. The almost complete skeleton of Little Foot, dating back three million years, was also discovered here. Tours take visitors deep into the caves where you can see amazing rock formations and learn about our early ancestors. For more info: visit maropeng.co.za Ephesus, Turkey This ancient city has a vibrant mix of culture and history, and is known as FAR one of Turkey’s great outdoor museums. Built by the Greeks and inhabited by the Romans, Ephesus also
Machu Picchu, Peru
played host to the likes of Alexander the Great, John the Baptist, and, some say, the Virgin Mary. Visitors should see the Hillside Houses, the Library of Celsus and the amphitheatres. Be sure to sample Turkish apple tea and bargain with shop vendors. For more info: visit kusadasi.biz Machu Picchu, Peru Ancient Incan ruins are hidden high in the mountains where visitors can see temples and houses built from stones carved out of the mountainside. Of particular interest is the Intihuatana Stone, which is the only ritual stone not destroyed by Spanish conquerors. Nearby Cusco gives tourists the chance to experience Inca culture first-hand. For more info: visit machupicchu.org
The Garden Route Cycling around the Knysna area gives families the opportunity to see NEAR beautiful scenery, including panoramic views of the Knysna Heads. Harkerville has a number of circular routes, ranging from easy to tough, while the Homtini Trail is moderate with some steep bits. The weather is usually mild, but heavy rain may close several of the routes. You also need a permit for some of them. For more info: visit gardenroute.co.za Namaqualand Granite rock formations, farm towns and fields of daisies make this destination a must-see. There is plenty of accommodation in the area, so it is easy to find a base and cycle from there. Routes accommodate different experience and fitness levels, and travel through mountain passes or along district roads. Go after the winter rains, when the desert flowers bloom. Permits are required on most routes. For more info: visit namaqualand.com Denmark With over 12 000km of marked cycle routes and paths that run alongside main roads, FAR this is a bicycle-friendly country. The distances between stops are generally quite short, but you can take bicycles with you on the trains. Most of the routes are on flat terrain, and take you past
The Garden Route
numerous family-friendly campsites. You can also see Viking castles or other historical relics on your travels. Avoid visiting in February when the temperature plummets and most of the sights are closed. For more info: visit cycling-embassy.dk Mallorca, Spain This island is a popular cycling destination, given its mild winter weather and extensive route networks. The terrain ranges from flat to hilly and mountainous. Take short trips between the villages, or travel longer routes around the island. Stay over at the fincas or country farms. For more info: visit seemallorca.com
Sodwana Bay, KwaZulu-Natal Snorkelling in these warm waters will give you a taste of the NEAR kaleidoscopic ocean, but to fully appreciate all that it has to offer you would need to slip on an oxygen tank and explore the many caves, pinnacles and drop-offs. Introduce children to snorkelling by letting them explore the natural rock pools. The best time to visit is from November to February, when leatherback, loggerhead and green turtles breed on the shores of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. For more info: visit sodwanabay.com Snorkelling with seals, Cape Town If you can brave the icy waters of the Atlantic with a wet suit, snorkel and mask, you will be able to dip below the surface and experience life through the eyes of a playful seal. No previous snorkelling experience is necessary, but you do need to be a good swimmer. Go with one of the companies that organises look-outs for sharks to ensure your safety, giving you the peace of mind to interact freely with the seals. For more info: visit scubashack.co.za
The Indonesian Archipelago This region comprises more than 17 000 islands, each with unique attractions and diverse marine life. There are beginner
and advanced diving options (with reef sharks and majestic whale sharks as possible dive companions) and various activities such as hikes up dormant volcanoes and visits to religious temples. For more info: visit indonesia.travel Bonaire, Caribbean The island of Bonaire is encircled by a 30-year-old marine sanctuary that is home to sea horses, shipwrecks and a coral reef. It is ranked as one of the top four scuba diving and snorkelling destinations and offers mangroves for kayaking, bays for wind surfing and the Washington Slagbaai National Park for hikes. Young children who are just learning to swim will enjoy its calm waters and warm ocean temperatures. For more info: visit infobonaire.com
Craven Country Jamboree, Qu’Appelle Valley, Canada This country music festival takes FAR place in July and offers a starstudded line-up, rodeos and street carnivals. When you’re not dancing to the sounds of the main stage’s offerings, you can watch professional bull-riding demonstrations while eating breakfast. Take
Nqileni Village, Transkei As the Bulungula Lodge team says: paradise is, by definition, difficult NEAR to get to, but see it as a fun mission. The eco-friendly backpacker’s lodge, just two-and-a-half hours from Coffee Bay on the Wild Coast, has been voted one of the world’s top 25 ethical travel experiences. Get involved in the community by volunteering with one of the projects run by the Bulungula Incubator. For more info: visit bulungula.com and http://bulungulaincubator.wordpress.com
Nqileni Village, Transkei
Tutuka Family Conservation Project, Botswana If you have children aged eight to 16 years, you can join this project. You learn about the unique ecosystems and wildlife while conducting real conservation tasks and studies alongside an experienced wildlife ranger. You provide hands-on support to disadvantaged rural schools, helping with maintenance as well as educating the school children about their environment. Discover and explore the bush ecosystems by vehicle and on foot. For more info: visit conservationafrica.net magazine joburg
PHOTOGRAPHS AND ILLUSTRATIONS: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM / SODWANA BAY – Steve Rubin / NQIleni village – Mike cohen
AfrikaBurn, Tankwa Karoo National Park A community of volunteers gathers once a year in NEAR the desert to create a temporary city of music and performance, art, theme camps and costumes. When you think “AfrikaBurn”, think “radical” in every sense. The April festival does not allow any commercial exchange, so there are no cash bars, vendors or branded promotion of services or products. You have to bring everything that you’ll need for the duration of your stay and you may want to make use of the festival’s gift economy option. Their website provides a breakdown of necessities. You still have to pay an entry fee as there is no corporate sponsorship of the event. Children under 14 enter free. For more info: visit afrikaburn.com White Mountain Festival, Central Drakensberg This three-day acoustic music festival takes place in September, coinciding with the start of the school holidays. Expect performances by top South African artists, as well as art and crafts, a beer market, and assorted food stalls and outdoor activities, which range from abseiling, paintball and helicopter flips to fishing, boating, hiking and a zip-line across a 100m-wide gorge. Festival-goers can also make full use of the lodge’s facilities, including a restaurant and rustic 150-year-old pub, a children’s playground and swimming pool, and you can choose from camping, caravanning or a chalet for accommodation. For more info: visit whitemountain.co.za
the family to a hypnotist act, a songwriter’s circle, a karaoke session at the chilledout Trailer Park Saloon or attend a nondenominational church service. For more info: visit cravencountryjamboree.com Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire, England This festival of music, food and literature, which was named best new festival in 2011, is set among the meadows, lakes and canopies of the ancient Wychwood Forest and takes place in August (summer). Boutique Babysitting allows children from two to eight to play in a safe, covered area and offers organised, age-appropriate activities. For more info: visit wildernessfestival.com
Jabillos, Costa Rica You find yourself immersed in nature, surrounded by plants and FAR animals, with tropical beaches in one direction, and rainforests and active volcanoes in the other. Volunteer your time at the Jabillos-based Proyecto Asis Wildlife Rescue Centre for injured, orphaned or illegally traded animals such as sloths, raccoons, owls and macaws. You can also explore La Fortuna, a town offering activities centred on the Arenal Volcano. Either hike to a lava field, glide along cables above the rainforest canopy or splash in a hot spring at the volcano’s base. For more info: visit handsupholidays.com Phnom Penh, Cambodia From your base in an eco-luxury boutique hotel in Cambodia’s capital, explore one of the new Wonders of the World, Angkor Wat and the temple complex, and discover the floating village on Tonle Sap Lake. Tour the Royal Palace and renowned Wat Phnom Hill and visit the Siem Reap night market. After sightseeing, help teach at an orphanage in the Angkor Wat temple complex or help build a house for an impoverished family. For more info: visit handsupholidays.com
Wathaba trail, Mpumalanga An untouched treasure in the Skurweberg mountains where NEAR you can hear the chatter of the wagtail and crashing of the seven magnificent waterfalls. There is a 10km and 4km circular trail that winds around mushrooms, lichen and wild flowers on its way to the impressive Rainbow Falls. These trails are suitable for young children, from the age of five. The more adventurous hiker will find the neighbouring Num-Num Trail more challenging. For more info: visit wathaba.co.za or thenum-numtrail.co.za
Wathaba Trail, Mpumalanga
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Slackpacking on the Wartrail Wander With bubbling brooks that snake through the valleys to the soaring eagles you encounter on the peaks, the Wartrail traverses the southern Drakensberg in the Eastern Cape, past Bushmen paintings and unique rock formations. Children must have some hiking experience and, as a guideline, be older than 12, although it does depend on the child’s fitness. It can be arranged for children to take part in farm activities while you tackle the trail. For more info: visit footprint.co.za Dubrovnik, Croatia Vehicles are not allowed in this medieval city, making it safe for you to stroll FAR along its paved streets, taking in the warmth and charm of the residents who frequent its cafés and courtyards. A 2km walk along the wall of the Old City gives you a view of the Adriatic Sea. The best time to visit is during the summer festival, a 45-day cultural event with live plays, concerts and games. For more info: visit dubrovnik-guide.net Walking in Segovia, Spain Hire a donkey to ride at a leisurely pace in the towns or the Guadarrama Nature Reserve. Conjure up a world of dragons and knights, as you tread past the Roman aqueducts and castles. The children can take turns leading or riding on the backs of the placid donkeys. For more info: visit awayfromthecrowds.com
always a firm favourite Built with families and children in mind, the Disneylands, worlds and parks come with theme parks, rides, hotels, restaurants and entertainment. Plus, children get the chance to meet their favourite Disney characters. In the United States, there is the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida, which is the most popular theme park in the world. Disneyland Park is in California, and is home to Space Mountain, Pixie Hollow and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Internationally, Tokyo Disney Resort is the third most popular theme park in the world, and boasts DisneySea, a unique Disney theme park. Disneyland Paris has three main areas, one of which is Walt Disney Studios, where visitors can get a taste of Hollywood. Hong Kong Disneyland has incorporated Chinese culture into the design, but still offers the same Disney experience. You can also hop on board one of the Disney Cruise Lines. These luxury ships offer visitors pools, restaurants, youth clubs and Disney activities, as well as something for the adults. For more info: visit disneyparks.disney.go.com
a good read for toddlers
Turn and Learn: Baby Animals and On the Farm By Roger Priddy
Gruffalo What Can You See? By Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler (Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, R64) This handy little pram book is perfect to introduce very young children to the ever-popular Gruffalo character. Join the Gruffalo as he takes a stroll through the Deep Dark Wood in this bold, bright and portable book. Point out the rustling leaves, big green trees, spotty toadstools, little butterflies, beautiful birds, scuttling bugs and all the characters from the classic story. This book is part of the new My First Gruffalo series for babies and toddlers, from the bestselling author/illustrator team.
(Published by Priddy Books, R48 each) Children from the age of two can turn the wheels and learn more about farm animals and baby animals in these two board books with bright colours and real photography. The interactive books encourage your toddler’s imagination; help with problem solving and handeye coordination. There are furry rabbits, playful puppies, seal pups, adventurous lions, fluffy chicks, leaping kittens, hanging monkeys, an elephant calf, barns, horses, farm produce and spotty pigs to play and interact with.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Pop-up Book By Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake
The Cross-With-Us Rhinoceros, The Warthog’s Tail and The Giraffe who got in a Knot By John Bush; illustrated by Paul Geraghty and Lindsay van Blerk (Published by Storytime Africa, from R69) A group of young adventurers discover a lone rhinoceros. Panic sets in and they run for safety. In the second book, the warthog’s tail is a wonder. When he runs it stands up and when he stands it goes under, but it hasn’t always been like this. In the last book, in a rapture of eating, Cardwell Giraffe closes his eyes and begins munching away. What follows next will have you in knots of laughter. For direct orders: email@example.com
(Published by Puffin Books, R269) The story is still the same: Charlie Bucket loves chocolate, and Mr Willy Wonka, the most wondrous inventor in the world, is opening the gates of his amazing chocolate factory to five lucky children. It’s the prize of a lifetime! Gobstoppers, wriggle sweets and a river of melted chocolate delight await. Charlie needs just one golden ticket and these delicious treats could all be his. With this book, including original illustrations by Blake, children can explore Willy Wonka’s amazing world with unique pop-ups, tabs to pull and flaps to lift. Each book comes with a golden ticket.
for early graders Ruby Redfort: Look into my Eyes By Lauren Child
t llen exce d rea
(Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, R140) Break out of the boredom of ordinary life with Ruby Redfort, the new creation from multimillion-copy bestseller, Lauren Child. She’s a code-cracker, a daring detective, and a special agent who just happens to be a 13-year-old girl. Somehow Ruby finds her way into the HQ of the secret agency, Spectrum where she gets involved in a high-action adventure. This great new read for youngsters goes back to Ruby’s beginnings as an agent.
The Book of Which? Illustrated by Ray Bryant (Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, R88) The world is full of questions. Now, at last, you can get the answer to 50 of the most mind-boggling of all. These include: Which bird flies underwater? Which computer was as big as a bus? Which country has more sheep than people? Which planet is king? Which is the biggest creepy-crawly? Which are the steepest railways and which bridge can break in two? Apart from the descriptions, each insert comes with a handy little “did you know?” box, giving your child even more information. The illustrations are child-friendly – bright and humorous and the book includes a few quizzes and a section explaining difficult words.
Tollins 2: Dynamite Tales By Conn Iggulden and illustrated by Lizzy Duncan (Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, R158) This is the second collection of three stories of the Tollins in which they face the trials of theatre, radio and armed invasion. In Romeo and Beryl, Sparkler discovers an old human book and decides to put on a play. It’s a story of great love, with quite a bit of shouting. In Radio, the Dark Tollins of Dorset invade in force, with a cat in tow. Sparkler, Wing and Grunion must find a way to save themselves, and possibly the cat. In Bones, the Tollins leave Chorleywood on a mission of mercy. You will discover the importance of hot tea and toast, as well as jam, in such desperate times.
for preteens and teens The Unforgotten Coat By Frank Cottrell Boyce
(Published by Walker Books, R118) This book for children from the age of nine was short-listed for the Costa Book Awards 2011, one of the UK’s most popular and prestigious literary prizes. Two refugee brothers from Mongolia are determined to fit in with their Liverpool schoolmates. However, they bring so much of Mongolia to Bootle that their new friend and guide, Julie, is hard-pressed to distinguish truth from fantasy as she recollects a wonderful friendship that was abruptly ended when Chingis and his family were forced to return to Mongolia. Told with humour, warmth and brilliant detail, this magical and compelling story is enriched by stunning and atmospheric Polaroid photos.
for preteens and teens
Gangsta Granny By David Walliams
Gallows Hill By Margie Orford
(Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, R150) Walliams has been called the natural successor to Roald Dahl, and in Gangsta Granny he proves this with his wit, warmth and humour. Our hero, Ben, is bored beyond belief after he is made to stay at his grandma’s house. She’s the dullest grandma ever: all she wants to do is play Scrabble and eat cabbage soup. But there are two things Ben doesn’t know about his grandma: she was once an international jewel thief; and two, she has spent her whole life plotting to steal the crown jewels, and now she needs Ben’s help…
(Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers, R176) A dog scavenging in an illegal building site digs up a human bone. She drags it back to where her mistress lies dead in an abandoned shed, but there are hundreds more... skeletons, which have lain undisturbed for centuries beneath Gallows Hill, where Cape Town’s notorious gibbets once stood. Investigative profiler Dr Clare Hart is called in by Captain Riedwaan Faizal and she soon discovers that a deadly secret lies hidden among these long-buried bones. Who was the woman in the green silk dress and who wanted her dead? Against the backdrop of corporate corruption and seething political tensions, Clare and Riedwaan’s complex relationship remains as explosive as ever – and their lives are at risk: the keepers of the secret of the woman in the silk dress will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.
Been There Done That By David Bristow (Published by Struik Travel and Heritage, R262) At the age of 14, author David Bristow stuck a large touring map of South Africa on his bedroom wall, determined to eventually mark off every road. Indeed, in 40 years of dedicated travelling, David has pretty much “been there, done that”, visiting most of South Africa’s game parks, nature reserves, mountain ranges, beaches and towns, as well as hiking and biking countless trails. This book is the accumulated knowledge of all those explorations: the history, wildlife, geography, art and culture, things to do, places to stay and routes and trails to be discovered. Anyone who has ticked off a tenth of the entries here is, according to the author, qualified to wear the T-shirt.
proudly south african
The Principal of Fun By Almarie Mead (Published by Principal of Fun, R180) Almarie Mead, a principal for over 18 years and with 31 years in education, wrote this guide filled with 134 positive and constructive ideas of how to establish and grow a school with heart. Each idea can be used by someone who is passionate about children and education. They are easy to implement and will make a significant difference in any school. Presented in a useful handbook format, with space for your own notes, support documents and templates included, this book can be re-used. To order and for more information, visit theprincipaloffun.co.za or visit them on Facebook at The Principal of Fun. We’ve added some nifty tools from the book for you to use online. These include an anti-bullying guideline and procedure document and a “I am not a bully” pledge. To download these, visit childmag.co.za/content/bullying
what’s on in march
You can also access the calendar online at
Here’s your guide for what to do, where to go and who to see. Compiled by Simone Jeffery.
FUN FOR CHILDREN – p43
ONLY FOR PARENTS – p47
Rotary River Festival Carve a pumpkin, listen to music and spend a day on the banks of the Vaal.
The Universal Ballet of Korea The majestic beauty of 58 “swans” grace the stage.
bump, baby & tot in tow – p49
how to help – p50
Playdays at The Yard Children can bounce, tumble and climb.
Cansa Relay for Life Come together to show your support and raise awareness for cancer.
SPECIAL EVENTS – p40 Lights out at the zoo Camp out at the Joburg Zoo for Earth Hour.
SPECIAL EVENTS 2 friday Education and Career Exhibition Ask questions, plan for the future and discover the tertiary study options that are available for your children. Ends 4 March. Time: 9am–6pm. Venue: Clearwater Mall, Piazza Court, cnr Hendrik Potgieter Dr and Christiaan de Wet Rd, Strubens Valley. Cost: free. Contact Donna: 083 552 8778, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit thelearningpoint.co.za
Hobby-X Covering a multitude of hobbies, from the extreme to the sedate, one can interact in hands-on workshops, learn tips and tricks in the creative theatre, win prizes and purchase products. Ends 4 March. Time: 9am–6pm. Venue: Coca-Cola Dome, Northriding. Cost: adults R50, children R20. Contact: 0861 462 299 (HOBBY X), email@example.com or visit hobby-x.co.za or coca-coladome.co.za Valentine’s bash Come dressed in red and white for a night of dancing for Valentine’s Day, brought to you by The Living Link, a non-profit organisation that supports the inclusion of people with intellectual impairments into society. Booking essential. Time: 6pm–10pm. Venue: The Living Link, Village Mall, 1–17th St, Parkhurst. Cost: members R30, non-members R50. Contact Lisa: 011 447 7183 or lisa@ thelivinglink.co.za
3 March – Cansa Shavathon
Cansa Shavathon Show your support for the fight against cancer by shaving or colouring your hair at one of the participating shopping centres. Also 4 March. Time: 9am–3pm. Cost: adults R50, children R25. Contact: 0800 22 66 22, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit shavathon. org.za or cansa.org.za. Coopers Cave picnic Explore the 1,5 million-year-old cave and search for fossils in the recently excavated deposits. Booking essential. Time: 9am. Venue: Sterkfontein
Sew and Grow open day Children can try their hand at sewing in straight lines while you meet the instructor and learn more about the easy-to-follow sewing programme. Book to ensure there are machines available. Suitable for children 6–19 years old. Time: 9:30am–5pm. Venue: 17 2nd, Melville. Cost: free. Contact Fatima: 011 482 6542, 082 568 7408, email@example.com or visit sewandgrow.co.za
Caves, Cradle of Humankind. Cost: R350, includes picnic lunch. Contact: 014 577 9000, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit maropeng.co.za Little Eden fête Pop into Little Eden’s annual fête. There is live entertainment, a variety of games, delicious food and a variety of stalls. Little Eden is a non-profit organisation that helps people with physical and mental disabilities. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: Little Eden, Edenvale Home, cnr Harris Ave and Wagenaar Rd, Edenglen. Cost: R5. Contact: 011 609 7246, info@ littleeden.org.za or visit littleeden.org.za
Rotary River Festival There are raft races, a Scottish pipe band, Lego competition, a Pumpkin King and many other activities to enjoy. Time: 10am–9:30pm. Venue: Stonehaven on Vaal, next to Baddrift Bridge, Sylviavale AH, Vaal River, Vanderbijlpark. Cost: adults R100, children R20. Contact: 016 982 2951/2, email@example.com or visit riverfestival.co.za Scholarship exams for Dainfern College Children and parents hoping for a Grade 8 scholarship to Dainfern College for 2013 are given an opportunity to write a two-hour entrance exam. Booking
essential. Also 6 March. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Dainfern College, Broadacres Dr, Dainfern. Cost: free. Contact Caroline: 011 469 0635, cgrobbelaar@dainferncollege. co.za or visit dainferncollege.co.za Steam train to Magaliesburg Take a trip to the tranquil countryside of Magaliesburg aboard a steam locomotive. Time: 9am–5:30pm. Venue: main station, Park Station, cnr Rissik St and Wolmarans St. Cost: adults R220, children R150, children under 4 free. Contact Lauren: 011 025 4363, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit reefsteamers.com
5 monday Naledi Theatre Awards The awards recognise and honour those who have excelled in live theatre over the past year, as well as lifetime achievers. No children under 3 years. Time: 7:30pm. Venue: The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City Casino. Cost: R200, includes cocktails and wine. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com
7 wednesday AFI Joburg Fashion Week A showcase of South Africa’s top fashion designers, including David Tlale, Klûk CGDT and Marianne Fassler, who have been busy snipping, measuring and stitching for a week of innovative design. Ends 10 March. Time: varies. Venue: Sandton Convention Centre, Maude St, Sandown.
Cost: tbc. Contact: 011 779 0000, info@ saconvention.co.za or visit afisa.co.za
10 saturday Motorcycle run A commemorative run, which started in Durban on Friday, is completed by 135 motorcyclists. All the motorcycles taking part were manufactured before 1936. Time: 12:30pm–5pm. Venue: James Hall Museum of Transport, Pioneers’ Park, Rosettenville Rd, La Rochelle. Cost: free. Contact: 011 435 9485, peterh@ joburg.org.za or visit jhmt.org.za
17 March – Mommy and Me cook-off
Zoo trot A fun 5km or 10km run or walk around the zoo. Time: 7am–10am. Venue: Johannesburg Zoo, Jan Smuts Ave, Parkview. Cost: R35. Contact Sophia: 011 646 2000 ext.221, sophia.mtshali@jhbzoo. org.za or visit johannesburgzoo.co.za
and socialise with the special needs learners of Unity College. Suitable for children 6–12 years old. Time: 11am–12:30pm. Venue: Unity College (Special Needs Education), 126 Cedar Rd, Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: free. Contact: 011 465 2422 or email@example.com
Festival of Fame The students of the National School of the Arts take to the stage for a festival of art, dance, drama and music. The festival’s programme is available on the website. Ends 17 March. Time: 8:30am–9:15pm. Venue: varies. Cost: varies. Contact: 011 339 3941, pro@ artschool.co.za or visit festivaloffame.co.za
Mommy and Me cook-off Bond and bake with your child in an interactive cooking class where your child gets to be the head chef and you are the assistant. Suitable for children 3–12 years. Time: 9:30am–11:30am. Venue: Taste Bud Cooking Studio, 3 Waterford Place, Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: R200. Contact Nicola: 082 331 9987, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit tastebudstudio.co.za Paddy Party This St Patrick’s Day party is held to raise funds for TLC, The Love of
15 thursday Play date This is an opportunity for mainstream students to participate in events
Christ Children’s Home, an organisation that looks after abandoned children. Enjoy a scrumptious Irish dinner, live entertainment and loads of dancing. Time: 7pm. Venue: The Irish Club, 7 Marais Rd, Germiston. Cost: R260. Contact: 011 948 7917, bpeters@ corocap.co.za or visit tlc.org.za St Patrick’s Day Everything is turning green on the banks of the Vaal River to celebrate St Patrick’s Day at Stonehaven. There is a wide selection of Irish food, green drinks, green décor and plenty of fun activities for the children. Time: 12pm. Venue: Stonehaven on Vaal, next to Baddrift Bridge, Sylviavale Ah, Vaal River, Vanderbijlpark. Cost: varies. Contact: 016 982 2951/2, email@example.com or visit stonehaven.co.za St Patrick’s Day walk Don green for a walk on St Patrick’s Day, which starts with Kilkenny Castle and continues down Kilkenny Road through to the
15 March – Play date
Gordon Leith homes of Westcliff. Time: 2pm–4:30pm. Venue: meet in Kilkenny Rd, near the cnr of Wexford Rd. Cost: members R70, non-members R100. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit computicket.com
18 sunday Rustig day walk Feel the wind in your hair and the sun on your cheeks as you enjoy an easy to moderate walk on the Magaliesburg mountain range. Booking essential. Time: 8am. Venue: Rustig, off the R560, Hekpoort. Cost: tbc. Contact Rosa: 012 803 9109, email@example.com or visit footprint.co.za
20 tuesday World Theatre Day Refer to Fun for Children, On Stage and Screen for a list of current productions to celebrate the day. SMS theatre4youth to 38490 to donate R10 to the “Take a child to the theatre today” campaign.
21 wednesday Human Rights Day Celebrate by cruising the Vaal onboard the luxury cruiser, The Spirit of Jen. The cruiser leaves every
hour. There are various meal options, lush lawns and 1 000 rose bushes on the river estate. Venue: Stonehaven on Vaal, next to Baddrift Bridge, Sylviavale Ah, Vaal River, Vanderbijlpark. Cost: adults R40, children R30. Contact: 016 982 2951/2, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit stonehaven.co.za
Boat, Leisure and Camping Show For all the items to make your next camping holiday a success, pay a visit to the grassed area next to Tom Jones Rd. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: Lakeside Mall, Tom Jones Rd, Benoni. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 427 1801 or visit lakesidemall.co.za Our southern skies An interesting talk about the stars in our southern skies. Bring along binoculars so that you can take part in the laser-guided sky tour. Time: 6pm. Venue: Maropeng Hotel, on the R400, just off the R563 Hekpoort Rd. Cost: R295, including a buffet dinner. Contact: 014 577 9000, email@example.com or visit maropeng.co.za Sting: Back to Bass Sting celebrates the 25th anniversary of his solo career. Also 25 March. Time: 8pm–9:30pm. Venue: CocaCola Dome, cnr Northumberland Rd and Olievenhout Ave, Northriding. Cost: R395– R770. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com
Autumn Rose Festival Celebrate the onset of autumn with a fun family day out. Children can take part in Miss Rosebud Princess, pot their own mini garden, enjoy a puppet show or visit the Butterfly Garden. Also 18 March. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: Ludwig’s Roses, N1 highway, Wallmannsthal off-ramp. Cost: R85 per child (includes a light lunch). Contact: 012 544 0144 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Large on the Lawn Enjoy a relaxing afternoon listening to the semi-acoustic sets performed by top South African artists including Arno Carstens, Albert Frost and Laurie Levine. Time: 11am–7pm. Venue: Mark’s Park Sports Club, Orange Rd, Emmarentia. Cost: R250, R40 for parking. Book through Ticketbreak: 083 296 8141 or visit ticketbreak.co.za or lotl.co.za
29 thursday Kids & Baby expo A wide assortment of practical and innovative products are available for you, your pregnancy, your baby or your child. There are live performances and fun activities for children to take part in, and a variety of prizes up for grabs. Ends 1 April. Time: 10am–6pm. Venue: Centre Court, Emperors Palace, 64 Jones Rd. Cost: adults R45, children free. For more info: visit kidsandbabyexpo.co.za
31 saturday A miniature showcase All ages can enjoy this display of miniature items created by artisans who specialise in making dolls’ houses and miniatures. magazine joburg
There are stalls selling supplies for the budding enthusiast. Time: 9am–12:30pm. Venue: Parkhurst Recreation Centre Hall, cnr 13th St and 5th Ave, Parkhurst. Cost: free but donations to the Cerebral Palsy Association are welcome. Contact Sue: 011 787 2340 or email@example.com Lights out at the zoo Enjoy storytelling around a bonfire, stargazing with the Astronomy Club, and night tours as the zoo goes dark for Earth Hour. Booking essential. Time: 4:30pm. Venue: Johannesburg Zoo, Jan Smuts Ave, Parkview. Cost: R130. Contact Lebo: 011 646 2000 ext 261, lebo. firstname.lastname@example.org or visit jhbzoo.org.za Wedding Expo View fashion shows that inspire, taste cakes and get advice from 300 bridal specialists on everything that is needed for your, or a loved one’s, special day. Ends 1 April. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: Coca-Cola Dome, Northriding. Cost: R100. Contact: 086 111 3997, email@example.com or visit wedding-expo.co.za Open Day at The SABT Get a glimpse behind the scenes as the members of the South Africa Ballet Theatre prepare for the upcoming production of Giselle. For children aged 3 and older. Time: 10am–11am. Venue: SABT Studios, Hoofd St, Braamfontein. Cost: R80. Contact Mr Moagi: 011 877 6898, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit saballettheatre.co.za
31 March – Open Day at The SABT
FUN FOR CHILDREN art, culture and science Craft evenings Create a masterpiece on either a canvas or a plate. Money raised is donated to Nyeleti Children’s Home. Time: 6pm–8pm, every Friday and Saturday. Venue: Lakeside Mall, Tom Jones Rd, Benoni. Cost: first craft item is free, R40 for additional material. Contact: 011 427 1801 or visit lakesidemall.co.za International Letter-Writing Competition Children are challenged to write a 500- to 1 000-word letter to a sports hero they admire, explaining what the Olympics means to them. There are great prizes up for grabs. Suitable for children up to 15 years old. Competition closes 31 March. Post your entries to: Letter-Writing Competition, PO Box 800, Pretoria, 0001. Contact Nancy: 012 649 6554 Let’s get arty Every week children get to create a craft and learn something new in a relaxed environment. Time: 1:30pm–2:30pm, every Tuesday and Thursday for 4–6 year olds; 3pm–5pm, every Thursday for 7–13 year olds. Venue: Field and Study Centre, Louise Ave, Parkmore, Sandton. Cost: 4–6 magazine joburg
31 March – Wedding Expo
year olds R100 per class; 7–13 year olds R200 per class. Contact Louise: 082 643 6845, email@example.com or visit artfundamentals.co.za
classes, talks and workshops
Confident Kidz workshop Children who feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts, coping with life, making friends and socialising. Clinical psychologist Joanna Kleovoulou facilitates the group. Booking essential. Suitable for children 8–13 years old. 31 March. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: Psychmatters Family Therapy Centre, 9 Park St, Bedfordview. Cost: R2 000, includes lunch. Contact Lin: 011 450 3576, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit psychmatters.co.za Cooking up a storm Children can explore the creative world of cooking with these hands-on cooking classes. From baking milk tarts for high tea to crispy chicken pops and mouth-watering carrot cakes; your child can be a pro in no time. Suitable for children 3–12 years old. Time: 2:30pm–3:30pm, every Wednesday. Venue: Taste Bud Cooking studio, 3 Waterford Place, Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: R100. Contact Nicola: 082 331 9987, email@example.com or visit tastebudstudio.co.za Hip Hop and Jazz A fun way for children to learn a few dance moves and keep fit. Time: 5pm–6pm, every Friday. Venue: Dance Cafe, The Square Shopping Centre, cnr Naivasha Rd and Leeuwkop Rd, Sunninghill. Cost: R65. Contact: 011 234 0448, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit dancecafe.co.za Introduction to filmmaking Schools and individuals are invited to learn more about the art of filmmaking, specifically animation. Booking essential. 7 and 14 March. Time: 11am–1pm. Venue: The Bioscope Independent Cinema, 286 Fox St, Maboneng Precinct. Cost: free. Contact Puleng: 076 253 2530 or puleng007@ gmail.com Learning to love food Cooking and baking are great ways to teach children about the food they eat. Booking essential. 2 and 9 March. Time: 3pm. Venue: Tots n Pots, Norscot Manor Recreation Centre, Fourways. Cost: R475. Contact Jotika: 083 265 5515, email@example.com or visit totsnpots.com March 2012
Landy Festival An
incorporating an expo of Land Rovers, and related services and accessories.
camping on the reserve and join the attempt at a Guinness World Record for the most Land Rovers in a convoy on Sunday. Ends 4 March. Venue: Malonjeni Game Farm, R42 between Vereeniging and Heidelberg, Vaal Triangle. Cost: day visit R50; camping: adults R150, children under 16 R75, children under 12 free. Contact: 016 424 5932, bookings@malonjeni. co.za or visit malonjeni.co.za or landyfestival.co.za
Picnics in the Sky After browsing the stalls at the market for additional tasty treats for your picnic basket of basics you can head to the 50th floor of the Carlton Centre for an amazing view of Johannesburg. Book online. Time: 11am–2pm, every Sunday. Venue: meet at Market on Main, 286 Fox St, Maboneng Precinct. Cost: adults R150, children R60. Contact: 072 880 9583, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit mainstreetwalks.co.za The world under your feet The maze has been growing tall and green this year to create 3,5km of pathways and dead ends. Time: 10am–5pm, every Saturday and Sunday. Venue: Honeydew A-maizeing Mazes, Boland St (off Beyers Naudé Dr), Honeydew. Cost: adults R90, children R65, family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) R280. Contact: 073 795 2174 or visit honeydewmazes.co.za
finding nature and outdoor play Animals @ play This month you can watch the rhinos, condors and polar bears play with an assortment of balls of all shapes and sizes, as they attempt to get to the treats inside. 2, 3 and 23 March. Time: 10am. Venue: Johannesburg Zoo, Jan Smuts Ave, Parkview. Cost: adults R55, children R34. Contact: 011 646 2000 ext 260 or visit jhbzoo.org.za 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 R195, children 3–14 years R95. Contact: 012 258 9908/9 or visit monkeysanctuary.co.za Catch and release a butterfly Learn about butterflies with Grant Egen. Booking essential. Time: 9am. Venue: Kloofendal Nature Reserve, Galena Ave, between Topaz and Argent Ave, Roodepoort. Cost: adults R40, FroK members R30, children R20. Contact Karin or Steve: 079 693 5608 or visit kloofendalfriends.org.za Croc City Crocodile Farm View crocodiles and hatchlings. Time: 9am–4:30pm, Monday–Sunday. Venue: Old Pretoria Rd, Nietgedacht. Cost: adults R60, children R40. For more info: visit croccity.co.za
Early bird Walk around the reserve searching for the hawks, kites and other winged creatures. Time: 6am. Venue: Kloofendal Nature Reserve, Galena Ave, between Topaz and Argent Ave, Roodepoort. Cost: adults R40, FroK members R30, children R20. Contact Karin or Steve: 079 693 5608, sspotty@pixie. co.za or visit kloofendalfriends.org.za Nocturnal creatures Search for nocturnal creatures with the aid of lamps and nets. 10 March. Time: 6pm–8:30pm. Venue: Kloofendal Nature Reserve, Galena Ave, between Topaz and Argent Ave, Roodepoort. Cost: adults R50, FroK members R40, children R25. Contact Karin or Steve: 079 693 5608, email@example.com or visit kloofendalfriends.org.za
Art at Smudge Under the guided supervision of a qualified art teacher, children can paint, decorate and creatively express themselves through music. Time: 10am–5pm, Tuesday–Friday; 10am–4pm, Saturday; 10am–1pm, Sunday. Venue: Valley Centre, 396 Jan Smuts Ave, Craighall Park. Cost: R120 per child for the first hour, R60 for every hour thereafter (including materials). Contact Sandra: 011 501 0234, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit smudgeart.co.za
Reptiles Jens Reissig leads the walk and gives an interesting presentation on our cold-blooded friends. Booking essential. 10 March. Time: 9am. Venue: Kloofendal Nature Reserve, Galena Ave, between Topaz and Argent Ave, Roodepoort. Cost: adults R40, FroK members R30, pensioners and children R20. Contact Karin or Steve: 079 693 5608, email@example.com or visit kloofendalfriends.org.za Scorpions and spiders Walk around the reserve searching for scorpions and spiders. Booking essential. 2 March. Time: 6:30pm. Also 3 March at 9am. Venue: Kloofendal Nature Reserve, Galena Ave, between Topaz and Argent Ave, Roodepoort. Cost: FroK members R30, non-members R40, children R20. Contact Karin: 011 674 2980, 072 595 6991, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit kloofendalfriends.org.za Useful insects Bernice Aspoas leads a walk through the reserve, looking for and identifying insects. 24 March. Time: 9am. Venue: Kloofendal Nature Reserve, Galena Ave, between Topaz and Argent Ave, Roodepoort. Cost: adults R40, FroK members R30, children R20. Contact Karin or Steve: 079 693 5608, sspotty@pixie. co.za or visit kloofendalfriends.org.za
markets Baby Bargains Market A market for used baby products. The products are put through a strict inspection to ensure they are all in good condition. 31 March. Time:
9am–2pm. Venue: 81 Pomona Rd, Kempton Park. Cost: free entry. Contact René: 076 158 8448, email@example.com or visit babybargainsmarket.co.za Blubird Wholefood Morning Market Nibble on Polish paczki, Bulgarian yoghurt, Albanian cheese and many more exotic treats from around the world. Time: 9am–2pm, every Saturday. Venue: Blubird Shopping Centre, Athol Oaklands Rd, off Corlett Dr, Birnam. Cost: free entry. Contact Robyn: 083 311 4768, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit wholefoodmarketsa.com Bokkie Park Craft Market Browse through items such as aromatherapy soaps and candles, pet accessories and handmade jewellery, and treat the children to sand art, face painting, ceramic painting, pony and camel rides and farmyard activities. 3 March. Time: 9am–2:30pm. Venue: Bunny Park Craft Market, Pretoria Rd, Rynfield, Benoni. Cost: free entry. Contact Janine: 011 896 3890, 083 294 1817 or visit craftsinthepark.blogspot.com Craighall River Market If you’re into crisp, fresh produce, home-baked items and unusual art and crafts, then pop in and take a walk around the various stalls. Time: 8:30am–1:30pm, every Saturday. Venue: next to Colourful Splendour Nursery, Marlborough Dr, Craighall Park. Cost: free entry. Contact Roy: 011 465 3413 Irene Village Market Children can bounce away the morning on the jumping castle and
ride around the market on a pony or camel while you peruse the stalls. 10 and 31 March. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Irene Market, Smuts House Museum, Jan Smuts Ave, Irene. Cost: free entry. Contact Josene or Corlia: 012 667 1659 or visit irenemarket.co.za
10 and 31 March – Irene Village Market
on stage and screen Alice in her Wonderland Follow Alice as she chases a White Rabbit down a rabbit hole and into a phantasmagoric world of colourful characters, including a few surprise encounters with Shakira and the Jonas Brothers. 31 March and 2 April. Time: 11am. Venue: Rivonia Barnyard Theatre, cnr Witkoppen Rd and Rivonia Rd, Rivonia Crossing. Cost: R50. Contact: 011 467 6983, email@example.com or visit barnyardtheatre.co.za André the Hilarious Hypnotist Get hypnotised by André and soon you may start speaking moon language, forgetting your name or impersonating a chicken. 1–11 March. Time: 8:15pm,
Garden Design Show There is a children’s play area with a roller coaster and free pony rides to keep them happy while you learn a few tips and tricks from the contemporary displays of this year’s gardening trends. Ends 27 May. Time: 7:30am–5pm, daily. Venue: Lifestyle Garden Centre, cnr Beyers Naudé Dr and Ysterhout Ave, Randpark Ridge, Randburg. Cost: free. Contact Ursula: 011 792 5616, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit lifestyle.co.za
calendar Wednesday–Saturday; 5:15pm, Saturday; 3:15pm, Sunday. Venue: Studio Theatre, Montecasino, cnr William Nicol Dr and Montecasino Boulevard, Fourways. Cost: R100. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com Balloon Adventure Three siblings discover a time machine in their father’s workshop. While exploring the time machine, they accidentally activate it and take a journey through time. 30 March–1 April. Time: 7pm, Friday and Saturday; 12pm, Sunday. Venue: Bosmont Congregational Church, Pappegaaiberg Rd, Bosmont, West Rand. Cost: tbc. Contact Melanie: 076 246 7823 or email@example.com Big Top Rock Enjoy the foot-tapping rock music accompanied by aerial acts, jugglers and a trapeze act. Ends 29 April. Time: 2pm and 8pm. Venue: Barnyard Theatre, Cresta Shopping Centre, cnr Beyers Naudé Dr and Weltevreden Rd, Cresta. Cost: R95– R145. Contact: 011 280 4370 or visit barnyardtheatre.co.za El Milagro: Madame Zingara For a truly unique theatre experience, dine in Madame Zingara’s mirrored tent while being entertained by a troupe of performers from around the world. Starts 1 March; end tbc; limited season. Time: 7pm–11pm, Thursday–Saturday. Venue: Montecasino, cnr William Nicol Dr and Montecasino Boulevard, Fourways. Cost: R410–R496, includes welcome drinks, a four-course dinner and the show. Contact: 0861 623 263, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit madamezingara.com The Jungle Book Follow the man-cub Mowgli and his lovable friends as they journey through the jungle on their way to the village. 17 March–15 April. Time 10:30am and 2:30pm. Venue: The People’s Theatre, cnr Loveday St and Hoofd St, Joburg Theatre Complex, Braamfontein. Cost: R99. Book through Joburg Theatre: 0861 670 670 or visit joburgtheatre.com
playtime and story time Build-A-Bear workshops Create your own teddy bear or stuffed animals. Time: daily, dependent on store. Venue: several in the Johannesburg area. Cost: varies. For more info: visit buildabear.co.za Moyo kids Children can learn to dance, create crafts, listen to stories or play traditional African games. Children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Time: 10:30am–3:30pm, every Saturday and Sunday; closed if there’s a party. Venue: Moyo, Zoo Lake Park, 1 Prince of Wales Dr, Parkview. Cost: free, additional materials are charged for. Contact Yvonne: 011 646 0058, 073 489 1269 or visit moyo.co.za
Yeesh! Develop your child’s motor skills, spatial awareness, confidence and social skills as they run, stretch and play in the two-level structure. For children 1–12 years old. Time: 9am–5pm, Tuesday–Sunday. Venue: Yeesh! Woodmead and Bryanston. Cost: R45 for the first hour, R40 after that; for 1 year olds R25. Contact: 011 656 9669 email@example.com or visit yeesh.co.za
sport and physical activities Introductory fly-fishing Escape to Magaliesburg and learn the art of flyfishing. The fishing clinic lasts for 2½ hours and thereafter you can picnic and enjoy the tranquil surrounds. 15–30 March. Time: 8am. Venue: Steenkoppies Farm, Rustenburg Rd, Magaliesburg. Cost: adults R150, children R100, non-fishing adult R50, rod hire R50, fly pack R35. Contact: 011 315 4503, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit sundowner.co.za Sugar Bay camp Children can take part in a holiday programme, similar to an American summer camp, on the Durban seashore. They take part in outdoor sports, structured games on the beach and enjoy the sunshine under the watchful eyes of the camp counsellors. Suitable for children 7–17 years old. 25 March–30 April. Venue: near Zinkwazi beach, Sugar Bay, Durban. Cost: five days R3 199, seven days R4 699, 10 days R6 499. Contact: 032 485 3778, 082 622 6230, email@example.com or visit sugarbay.co.za
26–30 March – Tennis clinic
Tennis clinic Classes are kept small to ensure individual attention. Booking essential. 26–30 March. Time: 8:30am–9:30am for 3–6 year olds; 9:30am–1:30pm for 6–16 year olds. Venue: Lonehill Crawford Pre-preparatory School, Lonehill Boulevard. Cost: 3–6 year olds R80 per day, R240 for five days; 6–16 year olds R200 per day, R900 for five days. Contact: 083 443 3391, michele@itatennis. co.za or visit itatennis.co.za Walk with dogs Take your socialised dog for a walk around Melville Koppies. For children 6 and older. 3 March. Time: 8am. Venue: park in 3rd Ave, Westdene. Cost: R20, dogs are free. Contact: 011 482 4797, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit mk.org.za
15–30 March – Introductory fly-fishing
Charlotte’s Web A touching story about friendship, love and caring in which Fern, a young girl who can speak to animals, and the spider named Charlotte, save Wilbur from Mr Zuckerman’s axe. Suitable for children 3 years and older. Ends 14 April. Time: 9am and 11am, weekdays; 10:30am
and 2:30pm, during the holidays. Venue: National Children’s Theatre, 3 Junction Ave, Parktown. Cost: adults R100, children R80. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com or jyt.co.za
only for parents classes, talks and workshops 123 Magic! A course that teaches you methods of discipline so that you have time to enjoy your children. Discipline for children 2–12 years old. 10 and 24 March. Time: 8:30am–1pm. Venue: Green Acres Business Park, Victory Park. Cost: R200 per person, R300 per couple, R50 for domestics and caregivers (one per person). Contact Pauline: 076 481 6410, email@example.com or visit understandingfamilies.co.za Anxiety disorders in children Learn to identify the contributing factors to your child’s anxiety and understand the role of medication and therapy. 7 March. Time: 7pm–8pm. Venue: Bellavista School Hall, 35 Wingfield Ave, Birdhaven. Cost: R60. Contact Imogan: 011 447 4110 or firstname.lastname@example.org Beat the bullying This is a powerful talk for parents, teachers and adults that reveals how to identify types of bullying, signs to watch for, what are your rights and responsibilities, how to deal with a child that is being identified as a bully, why bullying is happening, and how to teach your child to be assertive. Booking essential. 14 March. Time: 9am–11am. Venue: Psychmatters Family Therapy Centre, 9 Park St, Bedfordview. Cost: R500. Contact: 011 450 3576, email@example.com or visit psychmatters.co.za Birthday talk Nikki Bush shares her insights into the social issues and etiquette surrounding your children’s birthday party. Suitable for parents of 2–8 year olds. 9–10 March. Time 9am–11am. Venue: Miele Gallery of Fine Living, Bryanston. Cost: R185, includes refreshments. Contact: 083 265 5754, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit brightideasoutfit.com Craft club Learn to transform your wardrobe with tie-dye and lino printing. Bring along your own fabrics or garments. Booking essential. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: Northriding. Cost: R350. Contact Melanie: 083 568 9150 or email@example.com Dealing with childhood illnesses Leeann Holdsworth, who has worked with children in different fields for 17 years, talks about the general illnesses that must happen during the development of your child. Booking magazine joburg
essential. 10 March. Time: 9:30am–12pm. Venue: Psychmatters Family Therapy Centre, 9 Park St, Bedfordview. Cost: R500. Contact Lin: 011 450 3576, info@psychmatters. co.za or visit psychmatters.co.za Dealing with divorce Learn to identify and address problems that your child may go through. Booking essential. 24 March. Time: 9am–11am. Venue: Psychmatters Family Therapy Centre, 9 Park St, Bedfordview. Cost: R500. Contact Lin: 011 450 3576, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit psychmatters.co.za Gift of Dyslexia This workshop teaches you about the Davis method for eliminating dyslexia in adults and children. 31 March– 3 April. Time: 8:30am–5pm, Saturday– Monday; 8:30am–1pm, Tuesday. Venue: Crossroads Remedial School, Victory Park. Cost: R5 000. Contact: 021 783 2722 or visit gifteddyslexic.com Growing through writing Learn to process your thoughts through a range of writing techniques. Booking essential. 3 March. Time: 8:30am–5pm. Venue: Parkview; tbc on booking. Cost: R1 200. Contact Trish: email@example.com or visit allaboutwritingcourses.com Knowing your teenager Learn more about your teen as they go through these formative years. 24 March. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: Psychmatters Family Therapy Centre, 9 Park St, Bedfordview. Cost: R500. Contact Lin: 011 450 3576, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit psychmatters.co.za Kumon franchise session If you are interested in a Kumon franchise then this presentation, followed by a maths and English assessment, answers all your questions. 12 March. Time: tbc. Venue: tbc. Cost: free. Contact: 0800 002 775, email@example.com or visit kumon.co.za Let’s talk seeds Learn more about growing plants organically and about openly pollinated heirloom seeds. Booking essential. 18 March. Time 10:30am. Venue: Garden World, Beyers Naudé Dr, Muldersdrift. Cost: R45, includes refreshments. Contact Magriet or Corné: 011 956 3003, 083 997 6142 or visit gardenworld.co.za Nestlé Good Food Good Life and Foodiction For an inspiring morning of cooking and learning. 9 March. Time: 10am–11:30am. Venue: 8 Anslow Crescent, Byanston. Cost: R150. Contact Gillian: 011 514 6232 March 2012
calendar Neuro therapy Learn more about Play Attention, a dynamic integrated learning system that allows a child to train their brain to improve concentration. Booking essential. 24 March. Time 9am–10am. Venue: Psychmatters Family Therapy Centre, 9 Park St, Bedfordview. Cost: free. Contact Lin: 011 450 3576, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit psychmatters.co.za The Five Love Languages Carol Ballie from Dare to Love helps you to identify the language of love that your children use so that you can understand them. 10 March. Time: 9am. Venue: Gracepoint Church, 125 Duncan Rd, Glenferness. Cost: R100, includes refreshments and a gift. Contact: email@example.com The importance of reading A workshop on the importance of literacy and how you can encourage this skill in your children. For parents and caregivers of children 0–6 years old. 24 March. Time: 10am. Venue: Parkhurst Recreation Centre. Cost: R100, includes tea and handouts. Contact: 074 102 6200 or firstname.lastname@example.org The Power of Conscious Parenting Clinical psychologist and a specialist in mindful-based parenting, Lana Levin is giving the talk. The evening challenges, stimulates and refreshes your current parenting style. Space is limited. 6 March. Time: 7:30pm. Venue: 32 Sunny Rd, Glenhazel. Cost: R150 per person, R50 to enter the raffle (proceeds are donated to an infertility fund). Contact: 011 786 5365
12 March – Kumon Franchise Session
Wine course: level 1 A short course to discover the world of wine. Booking essential. 31 March. Time: 8:30am–1:30pm. Venue: Cape Wine Academy, Michelangelo Hotel, Sandton Square, Sandton. Cost: R1 095, includes course material, four glasses and a cooler pack. Contact: 011 024 3616, email@example.com or visit capewineacademy.co.za
on stage and screen American Anthems America’s most iconic rock songs are featured in this musical about a search for a legendary rock star who disappeared. They track him across America to bring him back for one last concert. Ends 11 March. Time: 2pm, 5pm
and 8pm. Venue: The Joburg Theatre, cnr Simmonds St and Stiemens Rd. Cost: R120–R230. Contact: 0861 670 670 or visit joburgtheatre.com Classical Interlude Enjoy a performance of classical music. Time: 5:30pm–6:30pm, every Monday. Venue: UJ Arts Centre, cnr Kingsway and University Rd, Auckland Park. Cost: free. Contact Ehllené: 011 559 3058 or visit uj.ac.za Comedy at TSG Top comedians such as Mel Miller, Tony King, Al Prodgers and the Magic Man are offering you a midweek break filled with laughter. Booking recommended. 7 and 21 March. Time: 7pm. Venue: TSG Fourways, Leaping Frog Shopping Centre, cnr William Nicol Dr and
Mulbarton Rd. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 465 7270, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit tsg4ways.co.za Hansa Festival of Legends Usher is headlining this tour. 10 March. Time: 8pm. Venue: Orlando Stadium, Soweto. Cost: R215–R455. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com Joburg Comedy Cartel Enjoy an evening of bizarre stand-up with the comedy cartel of Alyn Adams, Vittorio Leonardi, Shaun Wewege, Warren Robertson and guest performers. 2 March. Time: 8pm. Venue: Foxwood Theatre, 13 5th St, Houghton. Cost: R100. Contact: 011 486 0935, admin@ foxwood.co.za or visit foxwood.co.za The Phantom of the Opera Get swept away by the romantic scores of the muchloved Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. 1 March–22 April. Time: 8pm, Tuesday– Friday; 3pm and 8pm, Saturday; 1:30pm and 6:30pm, Sunday. Venue: Teatro, Montecasino Boulevard, cnr William Nicol Dr and Witkoppen Rd. Cost: R125–R425. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com The Universal Ballet of Korea This is the first ever performance by them in South Africa – the 58-member ballet company from South Korea performs Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. 16–18 March. Time 3pm and 8pm. Venue: The Mandela, Joburg Theatre, cnr Simmonds St and Stiemens Rd. Cost: R250–R400. Contact: 011 877 6800 or visit joburgtheatre.com
St Teresa’s open day Walk around the beautiful premises of St Teresa’s school and meet the teachers. For parents with children in Grade 00–Grade 3. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: 30 Rutland Ave, Craighall Park. Cost: free. Contact: 011 442 9127 or visit stteresas.co.za
out and about Bone detectives: transformations in body and mind Learn the story of hominid evolution. Booking essential. 10 March. Time: 9am. Venue: Sterkfontein Caves, Cradle of Humankind. Cost: R350, includes the presentation, tour, exhibition and a light picnic. Contact: 014 577 9000, childmag@ maropeng.co.za or visit maropeng.co.za HeronBridge open day View the facilities and meet the teachers. If you are not able to make the open day, they offer open mornings every Tuesday from 9am. For parents with children going to Grade 000–
Grade 12. 10 March. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: HeronBridge College, No 36 on the R114, Nietgedacht. Cost: free. Contact: 011 540 4800, email@example.com or visit heronbridgecollege.co.za Ladies’ night: chocolate tasting Ladies can indulge in chocolate tasting and other treats. 1 March. Time: 6pm. Venue: meet at the boat deck, Lakeside Mall, Tom Jones St, Benoni. Cost: R150, includes a drink, snacks and a goodie bag. Contact Carolynn or Lee-Anne: 011 427 1801, marketingtlakesidemall@growthpoint. co.za or visit lakesidemall.co.za Open day at Dainfern Meet the teachers and view the facilities at Dainfern College. It is a co-educational college catering for Grade 0–Grade 12 learners. 1 March. Time: 9am–10am. Venue: Dainfern College, Broadacres Dr, Dainfern. Cost: free. Contact Caroline: 011 469 0635, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit dainferncollege.co.za St Benedict’s open day This is an ideal opportunity to view the facilities and meet the teachers. The school choir is performing at 11am. 17 March. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: St Benedict’s Junior Preparatory School, Harcus Rd, Bedfordview. Cost: free. Contact: 011 455 6192, juniorprep@ stbenedicts.co.za or visit stbenedicts.co.za Swartkrans tour Visit a rich fossil site in the Cradle of Humankind. 17 March. Time: 9am. Venue: Sterkfontein Caves, Cradle of Humankind. Cost: R350, includes a picnic
lunch. Contact: 014 577 9000, childmag@ maropeng.co.za or visit maropeng.co.za Waterstone College open day View the facilities and meet the teachers. The annual cricket sixes and touch rugby festivals are also taking place. 10 March. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: Waterstone College, Main Service Rd, Kibler Park. Cost: free. Contact: 011 943 2682, email@example.com or visit waterstonecollege.co.za 17 March – St Benedict’s open day
bump, baby & Tot in tow
classes, talks and workshops BabyGym This five-week course helps you stimulate your baby and ensure whole brain development. Suitable for babies 2 weeks–1 year. 5 March–2 April. Time: 10:30am–12pm, every Monday. Venue: The Children’s Therapy Centre, Petervale, Bryanston. Cost: R630. Contact Joanne: 083 303 1190 or joanne.bradley@ babygym.co.za Bonding with your baby Learn how to develop an emotional tie with your newborn. Booking essential. 24 March. Time: 9am–10:30am. Venue: 35 Northwold Dr, Saxonwold. Cost: single R150, couples R300. Contact: 011 447 2202 or visit brightstartrightstart.co.za Learn to massage your baby Soothe problems such as colic and sleep. Suitable for babies 2 weeks–1 year. 8–29 March. Time: 11:30am–12:30pm, every Thursday.
Venue: The Children’s Therapy Centre, Bryanston. Cost: R480. Contact: 083 303 1190 or firstname.lastname@example.org Womb to World This workshop aids you in adapting your environment and informs you on positioning, feeding, routines and what to expect developmentally in the first few weeks. 29 March. Time: 6:30pm–8pm. Venue: 5 Northwold Dr, Saxonwold. Cost: single R150, couples R300. Contact: 011 447 2202, email@example.com or visit brightstartrightstart.co.za
playtime and story time Larney Ladybirds Children blow off some steam on the climbing frame, sandpit, pool and scooter track. For children aged 0–6 years. 7, 14 and 28 March. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: Larney Ladybirds Party Venue, Valley Rd, Broadacres. Cost: adults R25, children R15 (includes refreshments). Contact: 083 770 7702, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit larneyladybirds.co.za
Meals on Wheels
Play days at Elf’s Hill Sit back and relax while your child plays on jungle gyms, trampolines, a treehouse, bike track and lush green lawns. 9, 23 and 30 March. Time: 1pm–5pm. Venue: Elf’s Hill, Plot 29 Zandspruit Rd, Chartwell West. Cost: adults R20, children R15 (includes snacks and refreshments). Contact: 011 708 3078, email@example.com or visit elfshill.co.za The Yard Children spend the afternoon on rocking giraffes and zebras, playing with bunnies and soft-play equipment. Suitable for children 1–5 years. Time: 1pm, every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Venue: The Yard, 11 Meadows End, Woodmead. Cost: R25, includes refreshments. Contact Kerry: 083 391 4921
Adoption South Africa Offers support groups for adopters as well as extensive services in counselling and legal social work. For more info: visit adoptionsa.co.za Bedwetting Support Group Time: 8am–5pm, Monday–Friday. Contact: 083 289 6640 Cleft friends Support for parents with babies born with cleft lips and palates. For more info: visit cleftfriends.co.za Compassionate Friends Support group for bereaved parents, siblings and grandparents. Contact: 011 440 6322 or visit compassionatefriends.org.za Hi Hopes Early intervention programme to empower parents of deaf or hearing impaired children aged 0–3 years. Contact: 011 717 3750 or firstname.lastname@example.org Neobirth Pregnancy Care Centre Support for crisis pregnancies, abortion, miscarriages, adoption as well as support with general parenting issues. Contact: 012 343 6401, email@example.com or visit neobirth.org.za Respect Me Support for children affected by bullying. Contact Kelly: info@respectme. co.za or visit respectme.co.za Sadag’s toll-free suicide crisis line Contact: 0800 567 567 for a counsellor (8am–8pm, daily) 011 262 6396 SA Preemies Support group for the parents and families of premature babies. Contact: 080 773 3643, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit preemiesforafrica.org
South African Multiple Birth Association Provide moral and practical support to parents or guardians of multiple births. Contact: 0861 432 432
how to help Cansa Relay for Life Gather your family and a group of friends and commit to keeping at least one member of your team on the track throughout the night. 9, 16, 23 and 24 March at venues across Gauteng. Time: 7pm–7am. Cost: varies. Contact: 011 648 0990, email@example.com or for a list of venues: visit cansa.org.za Charity golf day Tee off for the children of Johannesburg. 15 March. Venue: Observatory Golf Club, Steyn St, Observatory. Cost: four-ball R2 500, fourball and branding a hole R3 000. Contact Tracey: 011 298 8567, pr@jhbchildwelfare. org.za or visit jhbchildwelfare.org.za Collect-a-Can competition Cash prizes are available for the schools that collect the most beverage cans per month and throughout the year. Register online.
Ends October. Contact Janette: 011 466 2939, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit collectacan.co.za Décor and design for Child Welfare For a morning dealing with the latest trends, tips and techniques in food, design and gardening. Proceeds go to Johannesburg Child Welfare. Seats are limited. 14 March. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: The Saxon Boutique Hotel, 36 Saxon Dr, Sandhurst. Cost: R450, includes a light lunch. Contact Tammy: 011 783 5887, email@example.com or visit jhbchildwelfare.org.za Meals on Wheels An organisation that provides meals for people too poor or infirm to fend for themselves. You can sponsor a hungry person by SMSing “MEAL” to 39055, charged at R15 per SMS. For more info: 0860 000 700 or visit mow.org.za Raising funds for Unity College They recycle cellphones you no longer use to raise funds for this college. The cellphones must still work and the screens be intact. The drop-off point is at Unity College, 126 Cedar Rd, Witkoppen. Contact: 011 465 2422 or visit unity-college.org.za
don’t miss out! For a free listing, email your event to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it to 011 234 4971. Information must be received by 24 February for the April issue, and must include all relevant details. No guarantee can be given that it will be published. To post an event online, visit childmag.co.za
itâ€™s party time For more help planning your childâ€™s party visit
itâ€™s party time
our life in piñatas You can never have too many shots at beating the stuffing out of an animal-shaped papier-mâché object, muses SAM WILSON.
s there anything more exotic to a small child than a piñata? Even the word looks mischievous and full of fun, with that festive little squiggly flourish and echo of a party drumbeat. I remember the first time I came across one. I was about 10 years old and watching some TV programme about a Mexican family celebrating in this traditional way. “You’re kidding,” I said to my mother, who was watching with me. “Those children are allowed to take a baseball bat to that pretty hanging thing, and if they manage to break it they are rewarded by, like, a whole shower of assorted sweeties?” My mother was also bemused. “It just seems wrong, doesn’t it?” she said. And that was the last she thought of it. I, on the other hand, couldn’t let go so easily. I mean, there was ludicrously cool fun being had out there, and I wasn’t
the one having it. I continued to dream of fantastically decorated papier-mâché animals having the delicious stuffing whacked out of them. And, by gumballs, one day it was going to be me wielding that Bat of Awesome. All of this childhood longing was kicked back into high gear when Dreas and I had children of our own. “We need to make a piñata for Joe’s birthday party,” I said to Andreas. “And when I say we, I really mean you, because I have to figure out how to make those little biscuit racing cars with the mint-sweet wheels and the half-jelly baby drivers.” “He’s one years old, my love,” replied Andreas. “He’s going to be lucky if he stands up for his party, let alone fells a large hanging animal. I know how you feel about piñatas, but I think you’re going to have to hold that thought for a few years.”
And hold it I did, which was a good thing because, well, who knew piñatas were so difficult to make? Over the years, Dreas and I have covered balloon after balloon in sticky paper and streamers, willed them to dry in front of the fire – our sons have winter birthdays – and painted the resulting malformed animals in a variety of apologetically garish colours, but all for naught. Actually, I lie. We did once manage to get a semblance of a piñata up at one of Benjamin’s birthdays; it just didn’t really perform as intended. “Hey, where did you get that Fizzer?” Benj asked one of his guests. “It fell out of that weird purple car thing!” said the guest, pointing to the gaggle of children falling on the pile of sweets that had leaked out of the alleged piñata, long before anyone had even found a bat.
“That’s not a purple car,” bristled Andreas, just as the leaking, sticky mess gave up all shape and fell to the floor. “It’s Barney the Dinosaur.” Why am I telling you all this? Because people, the marvellousness is finally upon us. In the last year or so, party shops have started to stock piñatas, which – and I know you won’t believe me but it’s true – you can take home, fill with sweets, hang in a tree and bash to your heart’s content. So I am so making up for lost time. I take piñatas to picnics, engagement parties, birthdays, hell, even to after-work drinks. And I have realised my entire life philosophy can be summed up like this: there can never be too many piñatas. Sam Wilson is now the digital editor for Woolworths and sadly, this is her last column for Child magazine.
PHOTOGRAPH: Andreas SpÄth
Joe, Sam and Benj