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J O B U R G ’ S

b e s t

gu i d e

f o r

p a r e n t s

beautiful bedrooms spaces that evolve as your child grows

health &

feet first choosing the right shoes

mealtime battles

tips for feeding fussy eaters

April 2013




four-legged friends the perks of owning a pet



April is our health and wellness issue, where we look at ways to improve our overall wellbeing. Studies show that owning a pet has many health benefits.

Hunter House P U B L I S H IN G

Publisher Lisa Mc Namara •

Editorial Managing Editor Marina Zietsman • Features Editor Anél Lewis • Resource Editor Simone Jeffery • Editorial Assistant Lucille Kemp • Copy Editor Debbie Hathway

Art Designers Nikki-leigh Piper • Alys Suter • Mariette Barkhuizen • Mark Vincer •

Advertising Lisa Mc Namara •

Client Relations Renee Bruning •

Subscriptions and Circulation Helen Xavier •

I grew up in a house that was always home to at least two cats and two dogs. My brother and I toyed with the idea of a snake, an egg-eating one I think, but we didn’t get that past my parents, so we settled on a goldfish and a hamster or two. But somehow, it was always the dogs who stole the show, and our hearts. I am pretty sure our rescued mutts, Tsepi and Caesar, got bigger smiles and hugs, from my dad as he walked through the door after a long day’s work, than we did. How could he not be cheered by all that tail wagging? Research has shown that dog owners – if we can claim ownership – are healthier, happier and seem to live longer. If that is true, my family is going to live a very long and healthy life. We are besotted with our dogs and I have to admit that I greet them first when I arrive home in the evening. They are just so happy to see me; they love unconditionally and amuse us endlessly. But

they are not without huge responsibility and commitment. Sadly our rescue pup, Ollie, passed away a year ago. His loss was devastating for our family, especially my eldest and our remaining dog, Buddy. After many rather sad months, we eventually have a new little pup to complete our family and while Scout has restored joy to our home, it will never be the same without Ollie. Who knew that the fourlegged members of our family would prove to have such an impact on our happiness and overall wellbeing? You’ll find pictures of our puppy on Child magazine’s Facebook page – why not post some pics of your family’s pets there too? Buddy and Ollie on the beach in Pennington

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

Joburg’s Child magazineTM is published monthly by Hunter House Publishing, PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010. Office address: Unit 5, First Floor, Bentley Office Park, cnr Rivonia and Wessel Rd, Rivonia. Tel: 011 807 6449, fax:

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April 2013



april 2013

upfront 3

a note from lisa

6 over to you readers respond

features 16 food fights

Anél Lewis gives tips on how to get a fussy eater interested in healthy grub

18 be prepared


Donna Cobban shares her experience of her toddler’s first operation 20 room to move

Heidi Janit explains the science and psychology behind decorating a child’s room

25 embrace your environment  going green has more rewards beyond saving the planet. By Hayley Komen

regulars 9 upfront with paul

28 local is lekker  in her cookery book, Sydda Essop shares recipes and stories of cooks from the Karoo 32 put the right foot forward

looking after your child’s feet is just as important as having their eyes tested. By Tori Hoffmann

 o wonder our children lack sleep, says n Paul Kerton, their bedrooms resemble a Nasa control station

12 pregnancy news – a new lease on life

storing your newborn’s stem cells could be life-saving. By Lisa Witepski

13 best for baby – babies who bring up

Anél Lewis looks at infant reflux

34 the truth about cats and dogs

14 dealing with difference

 Lucille Kemp gives you advice on keeping your beloved pet happy and healthy

haemophilia doesn’t have to deprive your child of a normal life. By Vanessa Papas 36 resource – it’s a common problem

health 8

know your child’s numbers

children should also have their cholesterol levels tested, advises Tamlyn Vincent

we asked preschool teachers about the most common developmental problems they encounter and how to deal with them

40 a good read

new books for the whole family

44 what’s on in april 58 finishing touch


Anél Lewis is under no illusion – she knows her daughter will never win Idols

classified ads 53 family marketplace 55 let’s party

this month’s cover images are supplied by:


April 2013


Cape Town



Rage Model Management

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April 2013



unfair anti-hospital sentiment In response to your article “birth partners” (March 2012); prior to the birth of my first child, my husband and I attended an antenatal course. The advertisement for the course said it would provide valuable information on natural birthing, breastfeeding and natural pain management. While the course did provide some interesting information, the blatant anti-hospital sentiment expressed by the midwives running it was staggering. We were told repeatedly that all doctors were “butchers” who would play no role at all, except to leap at the opportunity to “cut us open and conduct episiotomies, just to feel like they actually did something during the birth”. Hospitals were described as uniformly cold and impersonal and doctors and nurses uncaring. I left the course absolutely terrified. A month later my daughter was born via emergency Caesarean and I cannot speak warmly enough about the whole experience. The attending obstetricians were wonderful and special attention was given to me in the maternity ward. In the move towards natural births with midwives and doulas, it seems a blatant anti-hospital sentiment has occurred. I come from a family of doctors and healthcare professionals and I often feel insulted on their behalf when I hear some of the propaganda circulated. Frankly, when complications arose with my pregnancy, I was so relieved to know that I was in safe and experienced hands. I applaud women who elect to have natural deliveries, but feel mothers don’t care about what they have to go through provided that their baby is healthy and delivered safely. Caroline

a couple of concerns In your article “manage your child’s stress” (November 2011), a mother stated that her child was living in very stressful circumstances and had a busy life. In order to help her child adapt to this lifestyle, she took her for stress management classes. I think a better way of dealing with this issue is to reduce the load that the child is carrying. Simplify the child’s life rather than trying to make her adjust to a lifestyle that is too demanding.

over to you response to “hey, stop pushing” While I totally agree with Paul Kerton’s sentiment with regards to pushing children too hard from a young age (“upfront with Paul”, February 2013), I feel his comments about baby sign language to be totally unfounded and misguided. Had he taken the time to research the subject before “bashing” it, he wouldn’t have been as misinformed to make a connection between “pushing babies” and sign language. The latest research coming from the United Kingdom and South Africa has shown that the natural development of communication is a highly threatened process. Six million years of evolution have not prepared our children for technology-driven entertainment versus the muchneeded, one-on-one loving communication between parent and child. I CAN, a children’s communication charity, says there has been a 70 percent increase in communication challenges over the last seven years in the UK, with children reaching school unable to string five words together or to follow simple instructions. This is largely attributed to our modern lifestyle, technology-based toys and entertainment, and the lack of time parents spend speaking to their babies and toddlers. Research by Dr Shirley Kokot of Unisa shows that 51 percent of children in Grades 1, 2 and 3 have learning difficulties, one of which is the inability to read effectively or express themselves. Early meaningful communication, whether verbal or through gestures, is at the heart of child development on every level – cognitive, social, emotional and behavioural.

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April 2013

It is just as important for children to have time to play and just be children, as it is for them to do extramurals. Secondly, my sister’s son, age three, was beside himself at a party when a piñata was bashed to disembowel it for its sweet contents. The reason for his distress was that it was shaped like Winnie-the-Pooh and he did not understand why children would want to become so aggressive and violent toward it. Although it is a tradition, I think we need to look critically at what it is that we are allowing our children to participate in. Cindy

our poor planet Even the most perfect parent has been tempted to stop at a fast-food outlet for a bite to eat. Our daughters attend a school that goes to great lengths to teach a proper environmental ethos. The school play last year was all about reducing, reusing and recycling. A group of seniors addressed parliament on the environment last year. They take it seriously, as do the children and parents, and so we should. Recently we visited a popular fast food outlet for an ice cream on a hot day, and we washed it down with juice. Our daughter wanted to return the glass to a recycling bin, yet there was not a single one in sight. I spoke to the owner, who was keen to assist, yet told us that under franchising guidelines, he did not have any specifications, nor was he allowed to provide his own, non-brand-approved recycling solution. He even had some of his own ideas about packaging materials that could improve the outlet’s footprint, yet had no scope to introduce anything of this nature. If this is the approach to the environment of one of the largest fast food groups in the country, and during a period where governance rules suggest triple bottom line reporting, surely something is very wrong. May we suggest that other parents who feel similarly complain about their concerns or exercise their own judgement about which outlets they may want to support in the future? Charl du Plessis

Let us know what’s on your mind. Send your letters or comments to or PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010.

Our children are not only having to contend with less time spent with their parents because of two-income households or single-parent households, but because they then have to compete with the television, and other electronic devices, for their parents’ attention. The signing and the singing, and even reading, that forms part of most baby sign language courses, gives parents tools to communicate with their children, enabling them to express their needs and reduce frustration. It brings babies and toddlers back onto the laps of their parents. This is in addition to the profound benefits of early meaningful communication when it comes to social, emotional, cognitive and behavioural development. Gesturing is actually a very natural and primal form of communication. The vast majority of children still use gestures to communicate their needs, feelings and thoughts until they are two years old. Baby sign language simply puts the baby and parent onto the same page in terms of what these gestures mean. Loren Stow

with a little help Recently, my child’s Grade 2 teacher suggested I discontinue sending my daughter to extra maths lessons, as “there would eventually be a discrepancy in the different teaching methods”. As we live in a world where absolutely everything is enumerated, what chance do we have if we don’t have a good relationship with numbers? We all know that one bad teacher can damage your child’s ability to do maths. In a recent

survey, South African teachers came almost last in their ability to teach maths and science properly. I’ve calculated the risks and the maths lessons stay. Nicola

your response on Facebook and Twitter to the article “get that shot” (February 2013) Nice to see that Child magazine debunked a reader’s nonsense anti-vaccine letter so thoroughly. Well done! Kim Norton Jurgens via Twitter to the article “wonderful words” (online) Making funny noises when reading to my children keeps them entertained. You don’t need to be good at accents or voices, because your children are your biggest fans. Dagmar on Facebook

erratum In the article “surf with savvy” (March 2013), under “points for plagiarism”, the website for Wits University’s LibGuide on Plagiarism, Citation and Referencing Styles was printed incorrectly. The correct website address is We apologise for the inconvenience. subscribe to our newsletter and win Our wins have moved online. Please subscribe to our newsletter and enter our weekly competition. To subscribe, visit

We reserve the right to edit and shorten submitted letters. The opinions reflected here are those of our readers and are not necessarily held by Hunter House Publishing.

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April 2013



know your child’s numbers With childhood obesity on the rise, it’s not only adults who need to test their cholesterol. By TAMLYN VINCENT

what’s to blame? The culprit is cholesterol, a fat particle that is produced by the liver to help build cell membranes and hormones. The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA) says that our bodies produce all the cholesterol we need. The problem arises when we eat foods high in saturated and


April 2013

trans fats that raise the level of low-density lipo protein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. This “bad” cholesterol can’t be used, so it builds up on the walls of the arteries and hardens into deposits called plaques. If the arteries become too blocked, it can cause a heart attack or a stroke. The AAP recommends that your toddler’s total cholesterol be below 170mg/dL and the LDL (or bad) cholesterol be below 110mg/dL.

risk factors Lucy Gericke, a registered dietician at HSFSA, says genetic factors are unmodifiable, but you can do something about the other risk factors, such as poor diet, being overweight, lack of exercise, stress, excessive alcohol consumption (in adults) and exposure to smoking. Gericke adds that more children are exceeding their recommended weight, with 17 percent of children between the age of nine and 11 years old being overweight. An estimated 20 percent of children in Grades 8 to 11 are overweight, with five percent of these being obese. Children are also becoming less physically

active. Gericke points out that while younger children may not smoke, many are exposed to second-hand smoke, which lowers the level of “good” cholesterol in the body.

keep it at bay High cholesterol can be prevented and managed by following a heart-healthy lifestyle says Gericke. Central to this is a diet that includes different fruits and vegetables, and fibre, and is low in fat and refined foods, such as biscuits, cakes and sugars. Remove fat from meat and choose skinless chicken and fish over red meat, processed meats, like sausages, and organ meats. Choose healthier fats, such as vegetable oils, nuts and avocado, and low-fat or fat-free dairy. Avoid drinks that are high in added sugar. Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week. While medication is seldom prescribed for children, a doctor may recommend it depending on the cholesterol level and other risk factors. However, Francis says medication can cause adverse side effects, so it’s important to start screening early and to encourage healthy habits from a young age.

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lthough it is not something most parents would think about, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children at risk of obesity or with a family history of heart disease, get screened for high cholesterol “from as young as two years old”, with screening for all children between the ages of nine and 11 years old. This needs to be repeated from the age of 17. Research shows that the hardening of the arteries starts during childhood, and if left untreated, may cause cardiovascular disease and other problems. Children with high cholesterol are also at risk of developing lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, says Kelly Francis, a registered dietician in Durban.

upfront with paul

time to tune out It’s impossible for children to switch off and relax when their bedrooms are filled with electronic gadgets that are always turned on, says PAUL KERTON. Saskia, Paul and Sabina



f you want your child to sleep properly then make sure their bedroom is comfortable, secure, quiet and at an even temperature, and that their bed is surrounded with their favourite things. This is simple at the baby stage but can get increasingly complex as they get older. As a child, I considered my bedroom to be my haven, bunker, lair and personal fiefdom. The door policy was “by invitation only”. If I caught my sister rifling through my treasures and “borrowing” any of my priceless possessions, war broke out. And I mean war. I designed elaborate booby traps to deter entry and every now and again she would appear with telltale blobs of paint, smelly water or sticky glue in her hair. “Aha, I told you to stay out of my room. Loser!” The fact that I sneaked into

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her bedroom and “borrowed” her things didn’t count. My big-bedroom revolution happened when my parents optimistically bought me a desk and chair with a view to encourage me to study more effectively. Unfortunately for my loving parents, I passed on the study option as the desk was used more as an aircraft carrier that doubled as a racetrack and trebled as a building site. I gave in to a desk when the pressure of exams became intense and I spent hours on my own in my room wading through my notes and being reasonably studious. Nobody had a television in their room because TVs were ultra-expensive and the size of a tea chest. Also, the combination of a TV plus bedroom was deemed evil, by parents and schoolteachers. Computers

hadn’t been invented, nor cellphones, and there was generally only one landline telephone per household situated in the living room, because Telkom rationed every domicile to just half a metre of cable. When I walk into a child’s bedroom today it’s like entering Nasa’s mission control centre boasting computers 10 times more powerful than those used to put the first man into space. There are screens everywhere – for the smartphone, tablet, desktop computer, laptop, computer game and TV, if they are lucky – all humming and throbbing with their bright standby lights and emitting brain-frying waves. All of this makes it very difficult for older children to get to sleep. The phrase “I’ll just...” will precede any amount of distractions, the top four being; “...finish

emailing” or “ this song” or “... watch this movie” or “ this game.” You’ve heard them all. Except you may have noticed that children never actually finish anything because technology is so relentless and addictive, creating a timeless smog in which they can disappear. This means that they don’t get much sleep. A clever friend who grew sick of spending stressful mornings trying to wake her redeyed, sleep-deprived geeky teenager from his slumber, and get him to school on time, has now turned into an enforcer. Her trick is to make him put all his electronic gizmos into a small washing basket outside his room before he goes to bed, to remove any temptation. This has been going on for three months now and it works. Try it. Follow Paul on Twitter: @fabdad1

April 2013


pregnancy news

a new lease on life Stem cells removed from your newborn

cells that have been used until now.” Families of African descent or of mixed race would also benefit, as they are not as well represented in donor banks and registries. Gray Epstein, a Joburg father of a four-year-old boy and one-year-old girl, views stem cell storage as “a prenatal insurance policy”. He admits that his decision to store the stem cells of both his children may have been a reaction to “a generation that exerts tacit pressure to be the best parent possible”, and notes that the procedure is costly and that medical advances may make it possible for stem cells to be extracted from adult skin in the not too distant future. “Nonetheless, we’re happy with our decision. It’s about acting in the best interests of your children, even before they’re born.” Rehrl warns, however, that although umbilical stem cells may be the answer to a number of illnesses, they should not be considered a miracle cure-all.

why you should consider it According to Netcells Biosciences, the largest stem cell laboratory in Africa, families with a history of disease that could be treated with stem cells should consider this option. Stem cells can also be used to treat siblings, says Rehrl. “This is important because stem cell therapy can negate the need to find a matching donor, which is a costly process. Stem cells also have a higher potency than the bone marrow


April 2013

how is it done? Make enquiries preferably between 24 and 34 weeks of pregnancy to ensure sufficient time to learn about the process and complete an application form. Upon paying the deposit, you will receive a stem cells collection kit, which is packed into your hospital bag. Advise your doctor or midwife that you’re planning for the stem cells to be collected.

collecting the cells • On the day of the birth, the medical professional will cut and clamp the umbilical cord as usual, but the blood and tissue will be collected before the placenta is birthed or, in the case of a Caesarean section, removed. • The blood bag and necessary paperwork is placed in a specialised collection box, which is collected within a few hours. • The sample is processed and tested inside a laboratory, before being frozen. Umbilical cord stem cells can be effectively stored for 23,5 years. • Netcells’s pricing starts at R3 000 for the collection of cord blood, with processing and storage costing R11 500. • Cryo-Save has a collection fee of R3 000 for cord blood and a processing and storage fee of R9 800. • For more information, contact Cryo-Save: 087 808 0170 or visit; Netcells: 0861 638 2355 or visit

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tem cell transplants are not new, explains Louis Rehrl of Cryo-Save, one of two stem cell banks operating in South Africa. However, it is only in the past two decades that it has been discovered that the leftover umbilical cord in the placenta is a rich source of stem cells, and that these unique cells can be used to treat over 70 different diseases. There are currently about 4 000 ongoing clinical trials in progress, so it’s only a matter of time before new uses for medical needs and applications in regenerative medicine are uncovered, says Rehrl. “At present, stem cell therapies specifically play an important role in the treatment of children with blood cancers and blood-related disorders, like leukaemia and lymphoma. The number of treatable diseases has increased exponentially over the last 20 years, and we expect this trend to continue.”

could be life-saving. By LISA WITEPSKI

best for baby

babies who bring up ANÉL LEWIS finds out more about infant reflux.



t can be alarming when your baby spits up a mouthful of milk but reflux, or the involuntary regurgitation of food or milk, is a common phenomenon that does not always require medical treatment. According to Alta Terblanche, a paediatrician writing for the South African Pharmaceutical Journal, reflux occurs frequently in infants because of the immaturity of their developing oesophagus and stomach, their higher fluid intake and the small capacity of the oesophagus, which can only hold about 10 mililitres. Cape Town-based paediatrician Dr Hanneke Heyns goes on to explain that if the valve at the top end of a baby’s oesophagus is not functioning properly, milk that has mixed with stomach acid is pushed back into the oesophagus, causing heartburn. Most babies will outgrow their reflux by the time they turn one. Silent reflux occurs when a baby brings up milk, and then swallows it again, often because of overfeeding. There is not much spit-up, but your baby may show signs of pain after feeding. In some cases, however, regurgitation could be a sign of something more serious, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or an allergy. Babies with these conditions often fail to thrive; they may lose weight and refuse to eat.

reading the signs Sister Alex Turner of a well-baby and child clinic in Cape Town, says there will be persistent regurgitation or spitting up, or discomfort within minutes of feeding. This includes arching of the back and excessive fussing. Heyns says these signs look similar to those exhibited by babies with colic. But she adds, “They tend to want to drink all the time, a little bit at a time. They bring up milk, fresh and sour, with most of their feeds, they may become wheezy and they do not want to lie flat.” Turner says babies with reflux may also suffer from a chest infection and have “persistent nasal stuffiness”.

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when to worry Turner says you should consult your doctor if you are concerned, or if any of the following symptoms are evident: there is vomiting of dark green bile or blood; your baby refuses to feed or takes in significantly less than normal; there is a choking episode when your baby stops breathing momentarily; your baby struggles to gain more than 140 grams each week for the first three months; there is excessive projectile vomiting with each feed and fussiness when you try and put your baby down; there is recurrent oral thrush, despite treatment of the condition, and if your baby appears paler than usual.

resisting reflux Heyns suggests elevating the cot so that your baby sleeps at a 30-degree angle. You can also keep your baby upright for about half an hour after a feed. Avoid over-vigorous burping, says Turner, as this can place unnecessary pressure on the stomach. Try and stick to a three- to four-hourly feeding schedule where possible, rather than demand-feeding. “Babies with reflux should not be taken off the breast unless there is a very good medical reason,” says Turner. Pharmacist Karen van Rensburg says 40 percent of babies with GERD have an intolerance to cow’s milk protein. Breast-feeding mothers can avoid cow’s milk for a two-week trial period. If the baby’s reflux clears up, this diet can be continued until the baby is weaned. A healthcare practitioner may recommend a thickened anti-reflux alternative for formula-fed babies, says Turner. Medication, such as oral antacids, may also be prescribed by your doctor.

April 2013


dealing with difference

when a plaster is not enough With modern treatment a child with haemophilia can live a full life, says VANESSA PAPAS.


umps and bruises are a natural part of growing up, but you should be concerned if your child bruises very easily, bleeds spontaneously in soft tissue or from the mouth, or displays symptoms of bleeding into their joints, as there is a chance they could have a chronic bleeding disorder known as haemophilia.

what is it? Nerissa D’Alton’s son Ezra, now 16 months old, was diagnosed with the condition a few days after birth, when he was circumcised and the wound would not stop bleeding. “It has been a difficult journey for the entire family; we have had to learn a lot about this condition and we have become ‘experts’ in a very short time,” says Nerissa. Diagnosed with a blood test, haemophilia is a rare disorder that affects the protein or factor in blood that enables it to clot. It is usually inherited, with the female being the carrier, and mostly affects boys. In some cases, however, it can arise

is considered to be an ‘orphan’ disease, a condition that affects very few people, but there is extensive research being conducted by pharmaceutical companies in this field. There are also varying degrees of the condition, from severe to moderate or mild according to the levels of circulating factor VIII or IX, with severely affected patients bleeding more frequently and also spontaneously.”

treatment options “The risk of muscular or joint bleeds with haemophilia A or B sufferers is high and can cause permanent damage and affect the way a person sits, stands and walks,” he says. “Infants and children with mild haemophilia must rely on a haemophilia treatment centre or other medical facility for coagulation factor infusions, while parents of children with severe haemophilia are usually trained in home infusion when their child is about four years old. Self-infusion is normally

spontaneously through genetic mutation, or develop after a period of “normal” factor levels. For blood to clot properly, you need at least 30 percent of the clotting factor. Bradley Rayner, who has severe haemophilia and is national chair of the South African Haemophilia Foundation, says the most common form is haemophilia A, in which clotting factor VIII is deficient. In haemophilia B, clotting factor IX is deficient; and there are some other, much rarer clotting disorders, which are affected by factors. According to Dr Johan Potgieter, a pathologist in Pretoria, the prevalence of haemophilia A is 1 per 10 000 of the general population. “An estimated 2 000 people with haemophilia have been diagnosed but, at least 5 000 are suspected to suffer from this condition in South Africa,” he explains. “Haemophilia


April 2013

accomplished by 12 to 14 years of age. Bleeding patterns differ. Infants usually bleed into soft tissues or from the mouth but as they get older, characteristic joint bleeding becomes more common.” Replacement therapy is the mainstay of haemophilia treatment and involves the intravenous administration or infusion of plasma-derived or recombinant concentrates to replace the missing or defective clotting factor. The clotting factor can be administered when a bleed occurs to arrest it or as prophylaxis to prevent bleeds. Regrettably, some sufferers develop antibodies against the factor concentrates given to them. If this happens, the amount of the clotting factor concentrate has to be increased or very costly bypassing agents need to be used instead. magazine joburg

PHOTOGRAPH: Janine Buxey

Treatment has improved markedly over the past 20 years, to the point where a haemophiliac’s life expectancy is now approaching that of the average population.

Rayner’s sister, Janine Buxey, says, “As we have the haemophilia gene in our family, when I discovered I was pregnant with a boy, I had myself tested and was found to be a carrier.” Daniel was tested immediately after birth, and diagnosed with severe haemophilia. “In addition, he had a lung infection and was on a ventilator. When they pulled the tube out they hurt him and he had to receive coagulation factor for the first time. “When he started crawling I made a huge playpen in the lounge with padding and couches so that he could not

• Learn as much as you can about the condition. Contact the South African Haemophilia Foundation: visit or the Haemophilia South Africa Facebook page. • Baby- and childproofing, and adult supervision go a long way in limiting injury. • Apply ice to the bruise as it has an analgesic effect and reduces the blood volume to the affected area. • Rest the affected joint or limb as movement soon after a bleed will easily drive blood to the smooth cartilage covering the bone ends, causing damage. • Make sure that the affected joint and muscle are back to full function and range of movement after each bleeding episode and seek advice from a physiotherapist when in doubt. • Do not give aspirin as it impairs platelet function, which may compound the bleeding. • Encourage your child to do balancing exercises with programmes designed by a qualified physiotherapist, as good balance reduces the risk of an injury from a fall. • Talk to your physiotherapist about which sporting activities are regarded as “low risk” for haemophilia sufferers. • For haemophilia centres in your area, visit:

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Worl d

life with a child who has haemophilia




living with the condition

move anywhere where he could get hurt. We even padded the pram. The most important thing for me was that he did not hurt his head, so we made him a little helmet with foam to assist with all the falling down and knocks. He had lots of bleeds on his buttocks when he sat on his toys or he fell too hard, so we had to pad that part of his body as well. We also custom-made his knee, shin and elbow pads as it seemed the bought ones hurt him. Daniel has received about 27 treatments over the last 23 months. This was due to many bruises and swelling to his legs, arms, buttocks, toes and his genital area.” Judy Butler’s son, Mark, now 45 years old, was diagnosed at the age of one. His haemophilia is thought to be a genetic mutation. “Growing up, school was a challenge as there is great emphasis in South Africa on sport and people with haemophilia avoid playing contact sport,” says Judy. “We tried to encourage Mark to join the chess club, the shooting team and so on, and he was fortunate to have a wonderful group of friends who supported him through high school and beyond. Mark is on home therapy so he treats himself whenever he has a bleed. He lives a full and normal life.” april


Nerissa says, “My husband Steve takes Ezra to the haemophilia clinic once a week, which is very traumatic for them both. Finding a vein in a chubby baby is not easy, and he struggles a lot. We have recently had a port inserted, which means we will be able to inject him directly and we can do this at home.” Currently, there is no cure for haemophilia but research is ongoing. Treatment has improved markedly over the past 20 years, to the point where a haemophiliac’s life expectancy is now approaching that of the average population, provided they receive adequate, appropriate treatment.

e m o ph


Daniel Buxey wears his protective helmet

April 2013



food fights Trying to feed a picky eater can turn mealtimes into battle zones. ANÉL LEWIS learns how to take the fuss out of feeding.


oddlers are wilful beings, especially at mealtimes when eating becomes a bargaining tool. They are also fickle, and will happily declare noodles to be their favourite meal, only to turn up their noses at the stuff a few days later. My daughter will choose tomatoes over crisps, but she will not touch chicken or meat. Sometimes, she forgoes her supper completely. I tell myself that if she’s hungry, she will ask for more, but that niggling feeling that her poor eating habits are a reflection of my parenting skills persists.

extra-sensitive eaters Cape Town-based dietician Lee-Anne McHarry says some children are more afraid of new food, or neophobic, and more sensory-sensitive than others. If a child is particularly disgusted by the touch or smell of a food, stop giving it, as this will only increase their anxiety about eating it. She says sensory-sensitive children need messy play to get used to textures, and food can be introduced at this time, away from the dinner table, so that they become familiar with it.

Jessica Veltman, a Joburg-based dietician, says toddlers tend to be picky eaters because eating is still a new experience, and they are getting used to the different tastes, textures, colours and shapes of food. Cape Town dietician Kim Hofmann advises that children have to taste food 15 to 20 times before they can get over their initial resistance and start liking it, so don’t cut the food out. Veltman adds, “Toddlers are also learning to make decisions and become more independent. This will affect the food choices they make at later stages of their lives.” Their rate of growth is slowing down at this age, so a toddler’s food intake may decrease slightly. If you are concerned, however, that your child is losing weight or their growth is affected because of their eating habits, consult your doctor.


April 2013

make mealtimes fun times again Veltman says it’s important to make eating a relaxed experience. “Avoid distractions such as television and engage in conversation about topics other than food.” Make meals a family occasion, and lead by example. Offer small, regular meals and snacks. Don’t rush meals, but set a limit of about 30 minutes. Use brightly coloured plates and cups to encourage eating. You could even serve food on their toy plates or in snack trays. Let your toddler sit in a chair at the table, or in a feeding chair. Make sure that your child is not filling up on other food, or too much milk, in-between meals. McHarry suggests involving your child in the preparation, in an age-appropriate way. Veltman adds that you should never force-feed your child if it’s

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finicky feeders

clear they’ve had enough, and don’t encourage eating by offering food treats as a reward. Rather use a star chart or promise a game as incentive. Hofmann says children should not be punished for refusing to eat a food, as this will start a negative association.

tips to tickle their taste buds Veltman suggests introducing new foods in tandem with food your child enjoys. Offer smaller portions of the new food and introduce one at a time. Children often find finger foods easier to manage. Plan to introduce new foods at times when you know your child will be hungry. If they prefer drinking to eating, give them nutritious fruit smoothies. Get creative in the way you present the food. Slip diced vegetables into sauces or other favourite foods. You can also create veggie faces by using slices of olives for eyes, a mushroom for a nose and a tomato slice for a mouth. Create interesting sandwiches by using cookie cutters, and top them with vegetable spread, tuna mixed with cottage cheese or other healthy spreads.

Children have to taste food 15 to 20 times before they can get over their initial resistance and start liking it, so don’t cut the food out. Some suggested meals and snacks for picky eaters include boiled egg with toast soldiers and grilled mushrooms; hake, corn on the cob, broccoli and cauliflower; spaghetti bolognaise with cucumber and potato salad; an apple and a teaspoon of peanut butter; cheese triangles, and a banana or some hummus with soft, steamed vegetables.

what’s the link with zinc? McHarry says the symptoms of low levels of zinc include a decreased appetite and poor growth. Zinc also helps with the ability to taste and smell, making it beneficial to fussy toddlers, explains Veltman. Good sources of this trace element are red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, wholegrain cereals and dairy products. The recommended daily allowance of zinc for children from one to three years of age is three milligrams a day. An 84 gram portion of chicken has about three milligrams of zinc. McHarry adds that zinc helps maintain an efficient immune system.

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fish facts Veltman says fish is “one of the most perfect” foods for toddlers, as it is a good source of omega3 fatty acids; which serve as anti-inflammatory agents and immune boosters and aid neurological development. It also contains protein, important for proper growth and development. Hofmann says there’s evidence that fish can also help with managing attention deficit disorder (ADD). Fish is especially important for fussy eaters as they may be lacking certain minerals in their diet. A picky eater who lacks essential nutrients may struggle to concentrate and perform poorly. But how can we get children to eat more fish, not just fish fingers? “Most of the problems regarding fish intake in toddlers is with the lack of enthusiasm from parents, as we think our children won’t want to eat fish,” says Veltman. Hofmann recommends that children under four eat about 85 grams of fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and pilchards, twice a week, while children older than four should be eating this amount three times a week. Incorporating fish into fish cakes or casseroles with potato will make it more palatable to fussy eaters. Introduce fish before a child is one year old, says McHarry.

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be prepared A scheduled surgical procedure for a child is always frightening. DONNA COBBAN

warned – distressed. I was prepared for this, but things swiftly escalated and I was told to get on to the bed with him quickly and hold him. Then all I heard was nurses giving each other quick instructions. “He is losing colour, bring me oxygen, and check his pulse, quick, we need the oxygen now!” And then the words I was really hoping not to hear, “We need to get him back into recovery.” Recovery is a sterile area where I would not be able to be with him. Knowing this, I started to sing softly – the lullabies I had sung to him as a baby. I hummed and sang and held him close, hoping he would know he was safe. His pulse

The best thing you can do is to reassure them. Make them feel safe and loved and then they will calm down and go to sleep. rate normalised, his rapid breathing subsided, his colour returned and the team of super-competent nursing staff dissolved into the background. While we lay there – him under the heavy slumber of sedation and me just wanting to be near, I thought of all the parents all over the world who did what I was doing, but for longer and often devastating reasons. This hospital game is not for the faint-hearted and I was relieved we would be in our own beds that night.

preparation Provide information about the procedure that your child can understand. If your child is a bit older, you can refer to a book or show pictures. Bear in mind to not give information that will be more alarming than helpful. Explain the problem and why surgery is needed. Don’t rely on the hospital staff to do this. Be honest about pain, but reassure your child that you will be there the whole time. Try doing a hospital tour before the day of the operation, to familiarise your child with the environment and meet some of the nursing staff.

after the operation Santi Steinmann, who is based at Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban, warns that children can become disorientated after anaesthetic, and will often cry and fight with their parents and the nursing staff. “The best thing you can do is to reassure them. Make them feel safe and loved and then they will calm down and go to sleep.” A very useful point to bear in mind here is that they do not cry because they are in pain. “Adequate pain control is given in theatre,” says Steinmann. On the morning of my son’s operation, the children who were first in line began to return to our day ward from theatre. Although somewhat dazed and confused, they fell asleep peacefully, so I was not unduly phased as I left my child on the operating table to run downstairs for a cup of coffee. When he did wake, he was as they had


April 2013

staying the night Samantha Shepherd, who is based at Mediclinic Constantiaberg hospital in Cape Town, says that for a

be prepared what your little patient will need • Special blanket or toy; • Set of headphones for the TV if there is one; • Familiar drinking cups or bottles for babies; • Change of pyjamas and a few spare nappies (even for the toilet trained); • Slippers and a dressing gown if it is cold; • Some distractions while you wait for surgery – puzzles, crayons, playdough, books – anything that can be enjoyed while bed bound; • A damp face cloth in a plastic bag that can seal for cleaning faces afterwards; and • A small gift to distract them when they wake up so that the procedure feels like a special event. and for you • If you are staying overnight, get friends or relatives to bring you proper food from home or buy vouchers for canteen food if this is an option.

parent staying overnight, reclining chairs with pillows and blankets are available. “Being a mom myself, and having experienced sleeping overnight in the children’s ward, I suggest parents bring a comfy tracksuit and night socks. A small book light is very convenient if they wish to read after 8pm because the TV and lights go out automatically to ensure the young patients get their rest.” Most private hospitals seem to provide a similar service, with St Augustine’s giving the parent a sleeper couch with pillows and blankets. Other parents report that camping mattresses and the like can be brought from home and that nursing staff are, of course, more than happy to accommodate parents overnight as no one comforts a child in pain or distress quite like a parent can.

a word of caution Kerren Rennie’s son, Caleb, who was then nine months, spent a night in a Joburg hospital to monitor his convulsions. There were other children being treated for gastroenteritis and despite signs about the use of aprons and cleanliness, no one was monitoring this. Kerren tells of how the parents shared one kitchen to sterilise bottles and prepare baby food. Soon after their arrival, Caleb also contracted gastroenteritis. Kerren then found herself sleeping on a hospital floor, on a mattress brought from home, for a whole month. While she is full of praise for the hospital and staff, the fact that there was a shared kitchen meant the inevitable was going to happen. Hospitals do not take this matter lightly and there are usually strict measures in place to avoid this. “Parents with children admitted to the gastro unit or isolation unit have an infectious condition that needs to be treated with the utmost care in order to stop the infection from spreading,” says Shepherd.

• If you are on your own, or if there is no hospital snack bar, bring some fruit and sandwiches to keep yourself going. • Have a change of clothes in case your child spills anything on you, some bed socks and tracksuit pants. • Bring your own blanket, sleeping bag or duvet and a pillow. • Stock the home fridge and freezer and precook meals for yourself and the family. • Make sure the house is clean, laundry is done and that there is clean linen on the beds as it may be a while before you have the energy or inclination to attend to chores. • Pick up some treats and arrange playdates for younger siblings who may not understand why all your attention is focused on the recovering child. • Find someone – a spouse, a kind neighbour, a grandparent or babysitter who will release you for a walk, a yoga class or some sort of exercise to keep you strong during your child’s recovery.

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y son’s snoring, periodic yet alarming sleep apnoea and associated speech delay finally sent me to an ENT (ear, nose and throat specialist). Within 10 days, my son, who was almost four, was booked into a local Mediclinic for a tonsillectomy and the removal of his adenoids. While I am fortunate enough to be able to afford a private hospital plan, I have learnt the hard way that this does not necessarily cover the hide of your wallet. So once I had agreed to the op, I closely quizzed our specialist about costs. With the day of the week decided for us by the availability of the least expensive anaesthetist, I left home before sunrise with a bemused boy staring back at his untouched breakfast bowl. I knew this was going to be the tricky part as breakfast is one of our favourite meals of the day, and lasting until possibly 10am with no food was going to be tough on us both. We entered the children’s day ward armed with distractions – books, puzzles, stickers, crayons, playdough and headphones for the TV. Three other children were already there and I handed out fistfuls of playdough, despite the arched eyebrows of a few nurses. Playdough, I soon discovered, has a particular way of getting all over starched pre-op hospital gowns. We waited and played, watched TV and waited, and then they brought the premeds. This concoction, I later learnt, helps eradicate any memory of the procedure. If only I had been told this at the time, as I spent the post-op week convinced he remembered me pinning him down with the anaesthetist’s gas mask tearing against the skin of his protesting cheeks.

shares her experience.

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April 2013



room to move Your child’s bedroom needs to be functional and fun. HEIDI JANIT


looks at the psychology behind this important décor project.

colour me happy Colour is the most emotional element in any setting, so begin your decorating scheme by choosing the right paint for the walls. Psychological findings suggest that colour selection can influence mood and behaviour, stimulate the brain and body and even affect one’s health. Scientific studies based on Carl Jung’s research and writings on colour symbolism and its effect across cultures and time periods, have found that exposure to certain colours can improve sleep habits, increase memory and enhance academic performance. Even at infancy, a child’s environment can enhance development. Dr William Sears, associate clinical professor of paediatrics at the University of California, says that


April 2013

sight can promote learning and visual stimulation has a great influence on a baby’s nervous system. Always choose colours that encourage growth and stimulation. Be careful not to overstimulate with bright colours. Rather incorporate colour in subtle ways. An environment that both soothes and stimulates can be achieved by using neutral colours on the walls, paired with bright accents in the form of mobiles, linen, fabrics, furniture or rugs. At two months, babies can differentiate between most colours and have preferences for certain colours such as blues and purples, with greens, yellows and reds being preferred less.

pick a theme Use decorative wall decals to introduce a theme or colour to a room. They are easily put up and peel off effortlessly without damaging the walls. Your children’s tastes will change as they get older and these stickers will enable you to alter the theme of their room without breaking the bank. You can also introduce other elements, such as a themed duvet.

comfort, design and ergonomics Physical comfort is all about getting a few basics right: a cot or bed depending on your child’s age; enough

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reating a sleep and play environment that is age appropriate, and that encourages your child’s development, can be challenging. It goes beyond your choice of fabrics, murals or the larger furniture pieces such as the cot or the compactum. You also have to consider comfort, safety and your child’s specific needs. But by understanding what décor and design will work best, and why, you can make this an exciting rather than a daunting project.

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April 2013



storage space; adequate lighting; floor space for play; and eventually a reasonably sized work surface and a supportive chair for school-related tasks. Improve the room’s functionality by ensuring that it is clutter free and that there is enough space in which to move. Bed basics: • Buy a cot with bars very close together so that your baby’s head cannot get caught. The decorative cut-outs on cots and beds should be too small to catch any part of a child’s body. • Make sure the cot’s latching mechanism is not within your baby’s reach, preferably on the outside of the cot, or requires a lot of pressure to release. Many cots convert into beds. • When they move from a cot to a bed, fit safety rails on either side. Choose mattress brands that are approved by the Chiropractic Association of South Africa. • If possible, invest in a three-quarter or double bed that can grow with your child. • Beds must be set at an appropriate height so that children do not have to jump or pull themselves up. Store frequently used items on shelves or in drawers that do not require stretching or straining. You can make use of additional storage space underneath the bed too. • Bunk beds for children of all ages must be sturdy, and come with safety rails and a secure ladder.


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sleep, work, play Use design elements to create a room in which your child can rest and play. • Choose a room that does not face the street; or use acoustic lining in the curtains to block outside noise. Excessive noise can interfere with a child’s sensory development. • Always have enough fresh air flowing through the room, but make sure there’s no direct draft. Ventilation prevents a build-up of moisture in the air, which is often the cause of mould. • Babies younger than six months need to be kept out of direct sunlight. Use curtains with a blockout backing to keep sunlight to a minimum. Blinds are also appropriate for a baby’s room, but choose ones with wooden or aluminium slats as vinyl may give off organic chemicals. • Children with allergies are better suited to a room with blinds because curtain fabrics often attract a lot of

dust. They are also harder to clean than blinds. Wooden and aluminium blinds can be wiped clean with a cloth. • If you do choose to have curtains, opt for a lighter material rather than heavy, thick fabrics. • With the exception of a baby monitor that ideally should be kept at its farthest effective range from the child, keep electrical appliances to a minimum. • Carpets are not ideal for babies and young children, especially those with allergies, as they absorb pesticides and attract dust and mites. Rather go for hard floors such as wood, cork or linoleum and, if needed, use rugs made from natural cotton and wool fibres with vegetable-based dyes. Clean carpets frequently and thoroughly. • Babies need indirect, glare-free light, which creates a soothing environment to promote sleep. Ceiling lighting with a dimmer is ideal and can grow along with your child. Night-lights for young children who are learning to sleep in a new bed create a sense of safety and are available in many themes and colours. For homework purposes, use adjustable desk lights that are glare-free.

storage solutions Children’s storage needs to be functional and sturdy, but at the same time appealing. American designer Susie Fougerousse says, “Every child’s room should be equipped with a sturdy bookshelf for displaying treasures, books, pictures and more. Selecting a basic style in a neutral colour

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will allow parents maximum versatility for use over the long term.” Storage solutions for odds and ends that can easily become lost look great in different sized plastic containers. Take advantage of a spare wall by furnishing it. Cover it with a shelved storage unit that fits the entire length and width of the wall. If you have space, under-bed storage is a clever way to store boxes and containers so that they are easily within reach and look neat and tidy.

tricky spaces Small bedrooms need very creative storage solutions. Consider a captain’s bed, which has drawers in the wood cabinetry under the mattress, or choose a bed with height, known as a high-sleeper, that offers ample storage space. Stackable storage bins against a wall are also a way to incorporate storage space into a small room. Shelves can help declutter a bedroom. Use low shelves that are within your child’s reach for books, games and dolls, while higher shelves can be used for displaying photos and breakables.

budget bedrooms There are many ways to transform a room without spending a lot of money. • Preserve your child’s artwork in differently sized readymade frames. This adds colour to the room while giving the space a personal touch. • Existing furniture can be painted, stained or even distressed to give it a whole new look. Compactums

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can be transformed into desks or shelves for toys, books and treasures and cots can be turned into a cosy alcove or reading nook, or even a chalkboard. • Paint one wall in a different colour or wallpaper it. This creates colour, visual texture and changes the entire feel of the room in one easy step.

design basics Follow these basic design concepts to ensure that you don’t end up with styles that your child will outgrow quickly. • Choose flexible furnishings with simple lines. • Beds made of oak or pine are good investments because they work well with any colour and will stand the test of time as your child grows. • Create a mood board – collect fabric samples, pictures from magazines and paint swatches to keep your vision on track. • Give your child room to grow. Always design with your child in mind. Children need space to move, play, store toys and entertain friends. • Let your child have a say. A bedroom is a private space that should reflect their personality and act as a sanctuary. By involving them you promote their sense of individuality and creative thinking, which is crucial for their development. Embrace their strengths and talents. If your child is musical, allow them to bring elements of it into the bedroom with musical notes on a wall decal, wallpaper or even prints on cushions and linen.

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room for two, or more Don’t despair if you have to accommodate more than one child in a bedroom. Less space need not curtail your creativity. Here are three clever tips that will help you make the most of the space you are working with. • If the bedroom is small, take advantage of the horizontal spacing and opt for bunk beds. This leaves space on the ground for a play and work area. Go for bunk beds that have built-in storage units. • If you have two beds, set them out to meet in a corner with a side table or nightstand in the middle. This perpendicular formation opens up the space. • If your children need their space and want the illusion of a separate room, you can divide the space with a high open shelf. This serves as a room divider and a storage unit in one.

pick a colour Warm colours elicit happiness and comfort. Bold shades can be stimulating and energising, which is beneficial for growth and development, but less advantageous for an overly energetic toddler.



Excites and energises. Don’t go too bold and bright; it can be overwhelming for young children. Red is also associated with an inability to focus, so it is not suitable for children who have trouble concentrating.

The exact opposite of red, it calms the mind and body, lowers blood pressure and decreases feelings of anxiety and aggression. It is the perfect colour for children who have trouble sleeping or who are prone to tantrums. Be sure not to use dark shades as these can have a depressive effect.

pink Evokes empathy and femininity and creates a calming atmosphere.

yellow Associated with happiness and motivation. Subtle yellows promote concentration while brighter yellows stimulate memory.

orange A friendly, welcoming colour that inspires creativity and communication. Use bold shades sparingly.


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Cool colours have a calming effect on the body and can make a bedroom feel relaxing and spacious. They should be paired with creamy neutrals and used with soft fabrics.

purple Combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. Pick a purple in a light shade so it is not too overpowering. The colour is popular with girls, and is thought to stimulate inspiration and intuition.

green Promotes a serene, calming environment. It has a soothing effect and is known to reduce anxiety and promote concentration. Green is also said to reinforce self-esteem.

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embrace your By teaching your children to respect their surroundings, you are helping them develop compassion, creativity and nurture their initiative. By Hayley Komen


emember how, when you were five years old, life was such an adventure? Every rainstorm was a thrill, climbing a tree was an act of bravery and finding a spider on the wall was another chance to exercise your imagination. You were doing more than just having fun. You were living with all your heart; experiencing every second of the day with your entire being and making the most of your environment.


green is for learn

from foundation to finish Treverton Preparatory School and College in KwaZuluNatal began teaching EE in the 1970s and is recognised as a leader in this field, both locally and internationally. Janet Snow, the school’s environmental education liaison officer, has 15 years’ experience in this field. She says that EE is an integral part of Treverton’s practices, from preschool to Grade 12. The results are evident. Many learners are actively helping to maintain and develop the Treverton wildlife area, while the postmatric students, of their own accord, now incorporate an EE component into their annual excursions. They visit schools along their route and run short lessons with the learners, focusing on environmental topics that are directly relevant to them, such as water issues. Janet’s three boys attended Treverton and her eldest, Byron, is now a qualified architect. He is currently

Environmental education is about more than just trees and butterflies. It’s a holistic approach to life that can help our children reach their full potential.

“Going green” has become a bit of a cliché, but environmental education is about more than just trees and butterflies. It’s a holistic approach to life that can help our children reach their full potential. It teaches respect for others and for one’s self, creativity and innovation, physical and emotional wellbeing and a fundamental understanding of the world in which we live. It develops the whole child, not just the aspects that teachers or parents think are important.

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Environmental education, or EE, has evolved enormously since it first became popular in the 1960s. Back then the focus was on nature-based education with the aim of developing an appreciation for the natural world. Today it can be described as teaching for the environment, in the environment. In other words, humans

are now accepted as being part of the environment and how a child learns is understood to be strongly influenced by that environment. It’s a complex concept and teaching it requires skill, creativity and energy. However, incorporating EE at preschool level sets a firm foundation for a lifetime of environmental learning.

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building preschools in Zululand, incorporating grey-water systems into their ablution designs. Janet is heavily involved in programmes to help “teach the teacher”. The new curriculum and assessment policy statements (Caps) that are being rolled out are strongly oriented towards EE, she says. “Teachers are finding lots of new concepts and they don’t know the content and find it difficult to teach.” Tertiary education institutions, nongovernmental organisations and in-service teaching practitioners are jointly developing courses and modules to help teachers become more competent and confident.

a well-rounded start Pauline Randall and her son, David Wratten, started the Green Door Nursery School in Walkerville, south of Joburg, at the beginning of 2011. Pauline, a qualified nurse, midwife and preschool teacher, says that after working in the childcare industry for many years they were inspired to create a school that “got it right”. The school’s name provides a clue to their approach. The Green Door incorporates several “green” activities such as recycling, water conservation, waste reduction, composting and buying locally. But their philosophy extends into other areas too. Parents are encouraged to bring their recyclable goods to the school. Through this, not only are the children and their parents made aware of the amount of waste that they generate but, importantly, they are shown how to turn this waste into works of art, utility items or simply toys to share


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with a friend. It encourages creative thinking, innovation and self-expression. Alan Benington, a software engineer and father to fouryear-old Rain, a learner at the school, talks about an activity that struck a chord with him. The children were tasked with building something that would be taller than teacher Pauline’s ruler. Rain built a skyscraper using boxes, paper towel rolls and bits of foil to construct a tall building complete with windows. “Apparently my son is another budding engineer.”

tried and tested Uresha Sahadev, principle at the Grosvenor Montessori in Joburg, describes a triangle that contributes to a child’s learning. “For a child to develop holistically there must be a strong link between the teacher, parent and the ‘prepared environment’,” she says. “If you have a school that doesn’t look appealing, or that doesn’t use age-appropriate materials, you could have a brilliant teacher, but on their own they would not be able to give the child a holistic education.” Grosvenor Montessori also implements “green” into its daily activities with recycling, composting, a worm farm, growing herbs and vegetables and water conservation. It then incorporates these ideas into lesson plans.

raising the green flag at eco-schools The Eco-Schools Programme is an international sustainability schools initiative that is active in over

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30 000 schools across 51 countries around the world. It aims to create awareness and action around environmental sustainability in schools and their surrounding communities and supports Education for Sustainable Development in the national curriculum. The programme came to South Africa in 2003 and today over 1 100 schools participate in the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa’s (WESSA) National Eco-Schools Programme. Bridget Ringdahl, national Eco-Schools Programme manager, says its success is not measured by the number of participants, but rather by the commitment of registered schools. “They commit to whole-school environmental development, so it’s not a once-off,” she says. “They might earn a flag this year but then they have to step it up to maintain their status next year. So they are on a sustainable trajectory.” Birches Pre-Primary in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal has been part of the programme for the past nine years. Projects they have undertaken include a new waterwise garden, a sustainability project including a solar heating system, a grey-water system, planting a vegetable garden, creating a wetland, worm farming, composting and a permaculture project. They even relocated a family of blue-headed lizards before cutting down some alien trees. Participating schools select projects that are relevant to their own situation. These are then linked to the

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national curriculum and incorporated into normal school teaching as far as possible. However, they must include an action component. Projects also try to include the local community, so that a school might, for example, create a food garden that will benefit those living nearby. Schools are awarded for their ongoing efforts each year by earning bronze to platinum status. After their third year they can earn their first green flag and after five years they are eligible for the international EcoSchools flag. Then they must maintain their status into the platinum years.

learning for the future How can we ask our children to care about their environment if we don’t show them the world exactly as it is and not through the high definition, rose-tinted lens of a television camera? It starts by incorporating environmental education into their lives. • Wash and keep containers. Store your children’s crayons and paints in them, or use them to make things. The foil from chocolate wrappers makes great dollhouse or car windows, while some paint and a bell can turn a yoghurt tub into a Christmas decoration. • Bought a new fridge? That box is a house waiting to be given a door and a happy child to occupy it. • Explore the lawn for creatures. On a sunny day you’ll find an endless variety of ants, beetles and spiders. Lie on a blanket if the idea of creepy crawlies scares you.

• Go on an outdoor expedition with your children. Let them collect the things they find such as feathers and bits of bark. Help them make their own books, with a feather pasted on one page and a picture of the bird on the next. • Plant a garden. You don’t need to buy seeds and saplings; simply cut the tops off a few carrots and plant them, or bury a potato or sweet potato underground and watch it sprout leaves and develop spuds.

environmental resources for teachers and parents • S  hareNet offers a comprehensive list of free EE resources. For more info: visit • EnviroTeach is aimed at teachers interested in including environmental education in every subject. Visit: • EELink is a global community of environmental educators, tied to the North American Association for Environmental Education. For more info: visit • Environment Online (ENO) is a global virtual school and network for sustainable development. Schools and students can register to be part of this network. For more info: visit

April 2013


book extract

local is lekker In celebration of Freedom Day on 27 April, try a few of these truly South African recipes compiled by SYDDA ESSOP in her book Karoo Kitchen.

karoo lamb curry

by Amina Essop, Beaufort West 5 tbsp sunflower oil 2 onions, thinly sliced 1 tsp salt 1 tsp fresh garlic, minced 1 tsp fresh root ginger, chopped 1 tsp fresh or dried red chillies ½ tsp turmeric 1½ tsp ground coriander 1 tsp ground cumin

• 1kg fresh lamb, rinsed well in cold water (we prefer a combination of rib, thick rib and leg chops with good marrow bones) • 3 cups boiling water • 2 ripe red tomatoes, grated • 6 (or more) small potatoes • ½ tsp garam masala • 3 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions until golden brown. 2. Add the salt, fresh garlic, ginger, chillies and all the dried spices. 3. Fry together for about 2 minutes before adding the meat and one cup of water. 4. Stir well, cover and simmer slowly until the meat is almost tender. 5. Add the tomatoes and allow the curry to simmer until the tomatoes have nearly disappeared. Taste and season with salt, if necessary. 6. Add another two cups of boiling water as well as the potatoes, and simmer until the potatoes are cooked. 7. Stir in the garam masala and the fresh coriander and simmer for a further 10 minutes. When the curry begins to float on top of the oil, the food is ready. 8. Serve with rotis or rice.


April 2013

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• • • • • • • • •

auntie meraai’s chicken pie by Adrie Conradie, Kareebosch

pie crust • • • • • •

4 cups cake flour 250g butter (it must be ice cold) 250g margarine (also ice cold) 2 egg yolks 8 tbsp ice water 2 tbsp lemon juice

filling • 1 whole chicken • 1 cup dry white wine (or fruit juice)

• 4–6 cloves of garlic • salt and pepper to taste • fresh or dried mixed herbs to taste • 4 tbsp butter • 1 cup cake flour • chicken stock, to make a white sauce • milk and cream, to make a white sauce • 200g ham, cubed (optional) • 4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped • 1 punnet (225g) fresh mushrooms, sautéed, or 1 can (225g) sliced mushrooms

to make the pie crust 1. Grate the butter and margarine into the flour and rub with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. 2. Beat the egg yolks and ice water together, add the lemon juice and mix into the crumbly flour mixture to form dough. 3. Refrigerate the dough if you are going to use it within a day or two; otherwise it can be frozen. Tip: The dough is also suitable for sausage rolls, savoury tarts and small pies.

according to taste. (You can also use a chicken stock cube instead of the wine or fruit juice, but be careful of too much salt.) 2. Once tender, allow the chicken to cool, remove the skin and bones and flake the larger pieces of meat. 3. Reserve the liquid in which the chicken has been cooked. 4. Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the cake flour and make a thick white sauce by adding the chicken stock, milk and cream according to taste. 5. Combine the chicken, ham, parsley and mushrooms, add the white sauce and stir well. Spoon the mixture into a pie dish. Cover with the pie crust or ready-made puff pastry and bake at 180°C until the crust is crisp and golden.

to make the filling 1. Boil the chicken in water, and add the dry white wine or fruit juice, garlic, salt, pepper and herbs – everything

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Tip: The filling can be frozen without the crust. Defrost and cover with the pie crust or ready-made puff pastry.

April 2013


book extract

vaalboontjiebredie (boiled bean stew) by Liza Brown, Beaufort West

• 500g green beans • 500g stewing meat or knuckles if it’s mutton/lamb, shin if it’s beef • 1 onion, sliced • 2cm stick cinnamon • 2 cloves • 2 pimentos • 2 black peppercorns • ½ tsp garlic • salt and pepper to taste • 2 cups water • 4 large potatoes, quartered

1. Wash beans, de-string and chop. Place meat, spices, onion, salt, pepper and garlic in a saucepan with two cups of water, bring to the boil and simmer until tender. 2. Add potato quarters and continue to simmer until potatoes are nearly cooked. 3. Add chopped green beans. 4. Add one cup of water and simmer very slowly until all the ingredients are soft. 5. Add more water, if needed – the stew must have a sauce and not be dry.

Tip: When everything is done, I mash some of the potatoes with a fork to bind the stew.


April 2013

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quince tart

by Henry Olivier, Prince Albert Serve the tart with fresh cream or custard

preserved quinces • 16 quinces, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 4–5 pieces each • 2kg sugar • 3½ litres water • rind of 2–3 lemons, thinly peeled, all of the pith removed

pie crust • 60g unsalted butter • 150g cake flour • 1 egg

to preserve the quinces 1. Place the quince pieces in a saucepan with enough water, and boil for 15-20 minutes until softer but still firm. Boil the sugar, water and lemon rind in another saucepan until thick syrup has formed. Remove the quinces from the water, put them in sterilised glass jars and fill up with the syrup. Make sure that there are no air bubbles in the jars.

to make the tart 1. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips and add the egg to form dough. Leave to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Roll out the dough thinly and use it to line a pie dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange the preserved quince pieces on the dough and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

about the book Sydda Essop’s Karoo Kitchen (Quivertree Publications) is a celebration of the “unsung heroes” of the Karoo. Sydda interviewed more than 70 self-taught cooks about their experiences and culinary secrets. Many of the recipes have been passed down through generations, and they reflect our country’s rich cultural diversity. Some, like Henry Olivier have made a living from their cooking. The book includes treasured family photographs, as well as exquisite photographs from Craig Fraser. Available at all good bookstores.

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April 2013



put the right foot forward Proper foot care and the right shoes will go a long way to preventing


s your child knock-kneed, flat-footed or sporting a limp? These are common childhood foot problems, but the good news is that more than 80 percent of children will outgrow most of these. However, 15 percent will go on to have foot issues later in life, says Sean Pincus, a Cape Townbased podiatrist. So, if you suspect something is not right with your child’s feet, have them assessed by a podiatrist.

what’s afoot? According to the Podiatry Association of South Africa, only a small percentage of foot problems are genetic, and many develop because of neglect or improper foot care such as wearing ill-fitting shoes. Limping If your child is limping, he’s doing it because his leg is sore and it’s almost always the result of a foot or lower limb problem. Walking on tiptoes Some children are habitual tiptoe walkers while others walk this way because of their short Achilles tendons. While it’s common for a toddler to walk


April 2013

on his tiptoes, if your child is still doing this after he turns three, have him assessed. Intoeing, or walking pigeon-toed, and outtoeing Intoers, whose feet point inwards, are prone to tripping. While it can occur from birth, intoeing can also be caused by children

You take your child for hearing and eye tests, and to the paediatrician for checkups, so why not check out his feet. sitting in a “W” position, so parents should monitor this. Children with this gait are compensating for problems with their feet or rotational deformities of the leg and that needs to be addressed as soon as it’s picked up. It is usually when your child starts walking, anytime between 10 and 16 months.

Flat feet and fallen arches A child’s arches only really begin to develop at the age of three, so this would be when you’d spot it. Your podiatrist may recommend orthotics if the flat foot is causing problems. Knock-knees Bow knees that go outwards and knockknees that go inwards, very often correct themselves. But if they don’t, they will require orthotics, physiotherapy and even surgery to change the angle. Athlete’s foot, plantar warts and ingrown toenails Make sure that your child wears slops at public pools to avoid contracting athlete’s foot and plantar warts. While ingrown toenails can be congenital, they can also be caused by cutting the toenails incorrectly. Trim your child’s toenails straight across and leave them slightly longer than the tips of his toes. Don’t cut the corners or on the sides. Sever’s disease “This is probably the most frequent cause of heel pain that we see in children. Girls develop it at approximately age nine and boys a little bit older, at

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problems with your children’s feet. By TORI HOFFMANN

80% of foot problems are caused by misshapen, inflexible shoes – Vivobarefoot

about age 11,” says Pincus. It’s characterised by activityrelated pain that occurs on the back of the heel, where the Achilles tendon attaches on the heel bone. Your child may have swelling in the area, and it may be tender to the touch. They may limp or complain of heel pain, often when moving from one type of surface to another. “We find it in children who do a lot of running, jumping, and other high-impact activities. It’s one of the foot problems that’s not congenital and has to be managed by controlling the amount of activity that your child engages in,” he says.

when to see a podiatrist The Podiatry Association of SA recommends that you take your child to visit a podiatrist once a year. “You take your child for hearing and eye tests, and to the paediatrician for checkups, so why not check out his feet?” asks Pincus. As the foot starts to form properly from the age of three, arches begin to develop and foot problems may present themselves. “You want a podiatrist to follow your child’s development through his growth years, so that if something changes, you’ve established a baseline. Of course, if there’s an obvious problem, you need to see the podiatrist long before your child turns three.”

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barefoot is best Pincus says barefoot is best, as long as your child is walking in a safe environment, such as grass without thorns, on the beach or inside. This is because a badly fitting shoe interferes with your child’s growth and development. Before the age of three, a child’s feet is made up of mostly cartilage so the younger a child is, the less bone there is in their feet. As the foot serves as an interface between the brain and the surface on which the child is walking, it shouldn’t be restrained by footwear. Pincus suggests the following when choosing shoes for your child: • The shoe must hold onto the foot, not the foot onto the shoe. Look out for soft flexible shoes that allow the foot to function. It should also be flexible across the ball of the foot while the heel counter should be firm and stable. Socks with rubberised soles work well for toddlers. Rigid shoes are a no-no as they interfere with foot development, as are sandals without a backstrap. • Have your older child’s feet measured every three months – there are some shops that do this – and make sure that there is a thumb-width space between your child’s big toe and the top of his shoe. • When it comes to buying a shoe for your older child, go with leather or non-sweat synthetic shoes. Also look for the Podiatry Association of SA’s approved swing tag. • Never put girls younger than the age of 10 in high heels. • Ideally, choose sport-specific shoes. There is no one shoe that will cover all the sports; the surfaces used and the nature of the games differ.

April 2013


family life

the truth about cats and dogs Our pets are treasured members of the family, so it’s important that we keep them healthy and happy too. By LUCILLE KEMP


ost will agree that having an animal companion has the same soul-soothing effect on us as having human friends. Children love, and are fascinated by, their furry friends and research by various psychologists shows the benefits of keeping pets reaffirms this love. Having animals in the home can help children cope with a variety of ailments and conditions, such as depression; they help children develop empathy and compassion, and help with low selfesteem, their cognitive development and to lower stress levels. Pets make children more cooperative and open to sharing and may even buffer loneliness, especially helpful for an only child. Surveys have also found that there is an increase in a family’s happiness and the amount of fun they have when there is a dog to play with or a kitten to cuddle. To get to this happy place, however, takes care and concern for all members of your family, pets included.

Rabies is fatal. It can be contracted from dogs, but it is mostly carried by wild animals so prevent your pets from coming into contact with them. You may consider spaying or neutering your pet to cut down on roaming and aggressive behaviour. Dr Pete Vincent of Netcare Travel Clinics says, “Having your domestic animals vaccinated against rabies is essential and can provide you with protection, as it can prevent your pet becoming infected if a rabid animal bites it.” They must be vaccinated annually. Toxoplasmosis is another serious ailment caused by a parasite found in animal faeces. People can become infected by handling contaminated cat faeces and most will show flu-like symptoms for a month, but it is far more serious for children and pregnant women as the parasite can infect a foetus, causing a miscarriage or a serious birth defect. Pregnant women should avoid cleaning a litter tray and anyone else that does should use gloves. Solid waste should be removed daily and litter trays should be cleaned with boiling water once a week. Cat scratch disease is a bacterial condition spread between cats through fleas. Humans usually become infected from a cat scratch or bite and show flu-like symptoms or they may develop more serious problems such as damage to the valves of the heart. If a cat scratches or bites you or your child, wash the wounds with disinfectant soap and hot water. Keep your pets free of fleas as these are what carry the bacteria initially.

Pets make children more cooperative and open to sharing and may even buffer loneliness.

As a new parent you’d probably be concerned about having an animal that growls or hisses at every noise, and sheds fur over everything, around your new baby. However, research published in the American journal Pediatrics shows that you don’t have to give your pets away for fear of allergies and disease when you bring a baby into the house. Babies who grow up with a pet are less likely to get sick than those who don’t, and there’s growing support for the notion that an overly sterile environment is not that good for a baby’s health. Researchers, led by Finnish paediatrician Eija Bergroth, think pets are linked to a lower risk of allergies because “exposure to pet dander, as well as the microbes that pets carry into the home can prime babies who are not predisposed to developing allergies or asthma, to train their still-developing immune systems to fend off assaults from allergens and bugs”.

healthy pets, healthy children Your child can become sick with the following illnesses if exposed to pets that are not properly cared for. Scabies is caused by a mite and is an itchy, red bumpy rash with white flakes. Get medical attention if you or your dog has a suspicious rash. Ringworm is a contagious fungal infection and is, in fact, not a worm. It is transmitted from direct contact with an infected pet’s skin or hair. Keep surfaces clean and disinfected regularly and wash your child’s hands after contact with a pet. Use an antifungal cream to eliminate the ringworm. Hookworm is an intestinal parasite that can cause abdominal pain, anaemia and diarrhoea. Humans contract the worm when coming into contact with soil or sand contaminated by a pet’s infected faeces. The best prevention is to deworm pets. Roundworm, contracted by humans coming into contact with infected faeces. Roundworm infection is particularly concerning for children. It can cause fever, coughing, appetite loss and congestion. Various dewormers are available. Rabies, which is caused by a virus and spread through bites, affects the nervous system. Early signs are fever and a headache, leading to confusion, sleepiness and agitation.


April 2013

best breeds There are various breeds of dog and cat that come recommended as great companions to children. The sturdy bull dog is a friendly, docile and loyal companion for your child. The clever and cheerful beagle makes a great pet for active children and the bull terrier is protective, and a great pet for large families as she requires a lot of playtime. The collie, Newfoundland, vizsla, Irish setter, poodle and retriever are very popular with families. When it comes to deciding on a breed of cat, you’re really looking for a feline with a child-friendly personality and a tolerance for noise and movement; that is not territorial, enjoys being petted, and is sociable, easy-going and adaptable. Recommended breeds include the Abyssinian, Persian, Ragdoll, Manx, Maine Coon, Burmese, Birman and American Shorthair cats.

smooth introduction If you were a dog- or cat-parent before you were a child-parent, there was probably a time when your pets got the best of you. Now that there is a child thrown into the mix, you’ll need to manage the whole getting-to-know-you process carefully to keep your pet feeling loved, and not jealous, and therefore your child safe. Get your animals acquainted with your baby’s scent from the start by sending your baby’s blanket home before you leave the hospital. Take your pets into the nursery so they can scout out the unfamiliar space; push the pram around and get them used to it as many dogs view turning wheels as a challenge. Take your dog to obedience training, get them used to a leash and ensure that your dog knows commands such as “sit”, “walk”, “gentle” and “stay”. Train dogs to be respectful when they are excited. Your pet should be healthy and exercise. Install a baby gate, teach your child to not hit or pull the animal’s hair, and keep your pet’s food and toys where your child can’t reach them. magazine joburg


peaceful cohabitation

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April 2013



it’s a common problem Teachers of children from preschool to senior primary school identified the issues they deal with most often in their classrooms. CHILD MAGAZINE finds out who can help.

fine motor skills These involve the small muscle movements in the hands and fingers, which are used to perform functions like grasping, writing, doing up buttons or cutting. Children with fine motor skill difficulties may avoid tasks requiring small muscle movement, such as building puzzles and cutting with scissors says Joburg occupational therapist (OT) Cheryl Bennie. Other indications may be difficulty sitting still to draw or colour, swapping hands during fine motor work, rushed and poorly controlled colouring or drawing and an avoidance of grasping objects with isolated finger movements. Children should be developing skills like beading and using an inferior pencil grip by the age of three, but problems may only be identified in Grades 0 or 1, when there is a greater expectation on children to perform fine motor activities. Therapy often depends on the cause of the problem, but it could be as simple as engaging children in ageappropriate fine motor games. In more severe cases, such as where low muscle tone or poor motor planning are involved, an OT will assess your child and advise on the best course of remediation, either through a home programme or regular therapy.

gross motor skills This relates to the large body movements associated with normal human development. Every child is programmed to go through the same sequence of developmental milestones. Delays and/or non-acquisition of these milestones result in the inadequate use of the body, says Joburg-based OT Jennifer Lewkowski. A child may have poor head and neck control, poor control of their posture, they may slouch, prop their head up while sitting or use support when standing. Their hands won’t meet or cross the midline. The child may be seen as accident-prone, as they bump into things. In the classroom, they will struggle to listen, they will fiddle and fall behind because they can’t sit and focus on what the teacher is saying. Gross motor problems may be detected at birth. At school age, you will notice problems with your child’s language, academic work, social behaviour, emotional resolution and decision-making as a grasp of motor abilities is needed for these functional tasks. A paediatrician will identify if there is motor skill dysfunction and then refer you to an OT or a neurodevelopmental physiotherapist.

Low muscle tone is characterised by loose, floppy muscles. Children may also have motor skill problems and poor coordination. They may struggle to maintain their posture and get tired easily. They may slump, have poor head control and have difficulty sitting still. Low muscle tone can lead to difficulties like delays in developing motor skills, speech difficulties and concentration problems. It is normal for babies to have low postural muscle tone, says Bennie, but “lower than normal tone can be seen in infants and toddlers in severe cases”. Typically, it will only be noticeable from about three years old. Children can sometimes grow out of low muscle tone, if it is mild, and if they take part in physical activities such as ballet, karate or gymnastics. If school performance is affected, they should see an OT or physical therapist, advises Bennie. Therapy includes activities that help to develop more tone and muscle strength.


April 2013

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muscle tone

ability to concentrate

sensory integration



fine motor skills muscle tone

gross motor skills

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April 2013



sensory integration Problems occur when the brain does not interpret information from the senses correctly. Lewkowski says, “Imagine going through your day wearing gardening gloves against thorns. Or every time someone hugs or kisses or touches you, the sensation is like scraping chalk on the blackboard.” Signs include being overly sensitive to touch, movement, sight, sound, taste and smell, reacting with irritability or withdrawing when touched, and avoiding certain textures. Children may be easily distracted or fearful of simple movement activities and they may suffer from motion sickness. Some children may seek out intense sensory experiences as they may seem oblivious to pain or can be unaware of where their body is or its movement in space. Sometimes there is a fluctuation between the extremes of over- and underresponsiveness. Their activity level is unusually high or low and there may be a fluctuation from one extreme to the other. Dysfunction can be noticed in the coordination of the large muscles – stability and movement in the torso, body or trunk or with fine motor coordination – using scissors, crayons, buttons, laces, knives and forks. Children may appear lazy, bored, or unmotivated. They figure out ways to avoid tasks at which they fail. It can be recognized immediately after birth and is sometimes mistaken for severe colic and restlessness. If not dealt with early, it will continue until the child becomes extremely distressed and it impacts the way they function at home, in the classroom and in their interaction with caregivers. An evaluation can be carried out by a qualified OT. The therapist might informally observe spontaneous play and ask you to provide information about your child’s development and/or your child’s typical behaviour patterns. It is appropriate and necessary to ask a professional when or how he or she was trained in the evaluation of sensory integration.


April 2013

ability to concentrate An inability to focus on a set task could be a concentration problem. Underlying causes may include hearing or vision difficulties, problems with processing information, cognitive or developmental delays, emotional concerns, or nutritional or physiological deficiencies, says Durban-based psychologist Claudette Jordan. Children may be easily distracted, struggle to focus on a task, or sustain that focus, and struggle to follow instructions. They can get bored easily and may do better on more difficult tasks because of this. Hyperfocus and hyperactivity are also signs, says Jordan. Poor concentration usually becomes apparent during the preschool years, when there is a structured, formal learning environment. “Determining if a child has concentration difficulty can be a complex process of multidisciplinary assessment, as each child differs,” says Jordan. A psychiatrist may prescribe medication, although this may have drawbacks for some children. Brain training is becoming a popular treatment and uses focused and repeated exercises to change cognitive functioning. Nutritional supplements, commonly omega-3 and -6 oils, and a low-GI diet can be used. Supportive therapies include OT or speech therapy to improve information processing. Jordan adds that effective management often needs parents to work on behavioural strategies at home. You could also consult a kinesiologist for this, and for other childhood problems such as learning difficulties and emotional problems. For a list of healthcare practitioners, visit

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speech Speaking with a lisp is a common speech impediment and it involves either a substitution or a distortion of certain sounds. Joburg-based speech therapist Karen Levin says children sometimes substitute sounds, for example, using “w” instead of “r”. This is normal for younger children, especially with the “s” sound, so it shouldn’t be a concern until Grade 0. Levin recommends getting therapy from the second half of Grade 0, so that it is taken care of before Grade 1, where there is more academic pressure. Lisps that involve a distortion of sounds should be treated with therapy as soon as possible. A speech therapist can assess and treat a lisp. Articulation therapy shows children where to position the tongue, and uses listening, mirror therapy and home programmes. Lisps can be caused by a tongue thrust, an immature swallowing pattern or low muscle tone, says Levin. In these cases, a speech therapist could recommend additional treatment, such as oral motor exercises. With delayed language development, a child’s ability to use language doesn’t develop as it should. While children do develop at their own pace, Levin says there are critical language development milestones that children should meet. This starts from nine to 10 months of age, when children’s babbling sounds should sound like speech. By the age of two, children should be putting together simple sentences, and asking for or telling you things. By Grade 1 children should have a concept of time, space and relationships, pick up words easily and seldom make grammatical errors. If you suspect there is a problem, or there are other risk factors such as your child was premature or has hearing difficulties, consult a speech therapist. Therapy may range from parents talking to their child more at home, to home programmes and individual or group therapy.

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hearing Three out of four children have had at least one ear infection before the age of three. Symptoms associated with this include pain, fluid leaking from the ear, irritability and difficulty sleeping. Children with a middle-ear infection may suffer from temporary hearing loss, when sounds are muffled. Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer-ear structures and is caused by bacteria in the water. It won’t however cause lasting hearing problems. If the pain from an ear infection is persistent, there is a high fever or fluid leaking from the ear, consult your doctor, paediatrician or an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT). Treatment may involve a course of antibiotics or, in severe cases, a surgical procedure to insert grommets. Also, have them tested for any hearing loss if ear infections recur, or are severe. Hearing can also be affected by central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), which refers to the communication between what the ear hears and how the brain interprets the information, says a Joburg-based audiologist. When a child’s auditory processing skills are weak, they may experience “auditory overload”, making communication and learning a challenge. This impacts on their ability to listen, speak, read, write and do certain tasks. They may behave as if they have hearing loss, even though a hearing assessment indicates normal hearing thresholds. They will have difficulty learning songs and rhymes, battle to read, write and spell and may mishear words. The auditory system only fully matures from around eight years of age so one can only then establish an auditory disorder. An audiologist is the only person who can correctly diagnose your child with CAPD. The audiologist will make a recommendation to possibly use the sensory integrative approach where the individual is guided through activities that challenge their ability to respond appropriately to sensory input by creating an organised response. A CAPD can be improved with treatment from speech therapists, audiologists, educational psychologists, teachers, doctors and parents.

April 2013



for toddlers

a good read

for preschoolers

Pretty Pru By Polly Dunbar (Published by Walker Books, R88) There is a handbag thief on the prowl and Pru is the victim, but who could have taken it? All her beloved make-up is in the green handbag with the red spots; her blusher, mascara, nail varnish and her red lipstick. No one is prepared to own up, but it can’t remain a secret for long when her friends are wearing the evidence. Hector suddenly has comical long, black lashes. Tiptoe is blushing pretty in pink. Doodle the crocodile, brags with blood-red toenails. Tumpty, the culprit, shows off a pretty necklace. The Tilly and Friends series is very popular for little ones from the age of two.

Blue By Michael Rosen and Michael Foreman

an e pic journ ey

(Published by Walker Books, R183) This is a lyrical story for children from the age of four about a little boy’s life-changing journey through the sky with a magical cat. Raffi’s brother Jake can do everything. He can run fast, jump very high, dance and draw elephants. If only Raffi were good at something too. One evening when Raffi can’t sleep, a magical flying cat called Blue appears and takes him on an adventure through the night sky. They fly off together into the darkness and as they fly, Blue points at shop signs and streetlamps and they light up. They fly higher and higher, spreading light, until they even light up the stars. The next day, thoughtful little Raffi feels just a little bit different. He is happier after his wonderful dream, and has more confidence.


April 2013

Morty and the Selfish Elf By Claudia Eicker-Harris and Juan Carlos Federico

Bomani Meerkat – The Friendship Feather and other Adventures By Ewald van Rensburg and Tanya Joubert (Published by CMP, R40) In the first story King Lion is very sick. Is there anyone in the Kalahari who can help him? As usual, Bomani Meerkat has a plan. He needs to get the feather of a black eagle. And what does one do with a feather? Tickle someone until they collapse of laughter and feel better. It’s a story that teaches children about the importance of friendship – and laughter. Also included are two extra tales. This series is perfect for children from four to six years old. It’s also a tool for parents to teach children valuable life lessons and it includes activities.

(Published by Claudia Eicker-Harris, R65) This is a tale of friendship and forgiveness. Sometimes it takes an act of kindness from an unlikely source to make someone realise that true beauty comes from within. Morty, a friendly monster, meets a very pretty, but selfish elf. Morty teaches the elf that all pretty creatures aren’t necessarily good and all ugly ones aren’t bad. The story aims to teach children that in an age where outer beauty has almost become an obsession, it is inner beauty that really matters. The book also has an underlying anti-bullying message. To listen to an audio version of this book and others, visit

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for preschoolers an absolu te gem

Vumile and the Dragon By Claerwen Howie (Published by Bumble Books, R149) This local gem was voted in the Bookchat Awards 2012 Top Ten for most outstanding contribution to South African children’s literature. The book teaches children to open their eyes and look and see. Katie follows Morris the cat to a hedge where she finds a chameleon. This leads to more exploration on the farm. The drawings are stunning, and children can search for all kinds of creatures. Three year olds can look for goggas in the pages, while older readers will enjoy reading it themselves. A portion of the proceeds of this book goes towards the Worldwide Fund for Nature in support of rhino conservation.

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for early graders Alienography 2 – Tips for the Tiny Tyrants By Chris Riddell (Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, R216) Join Chris Riddell and Colin the alien as they explain their tips for intergalactic domination. Learn how to select a simpering sidekick, how to choose an evil outfit – a good vest is a must – and how to buy the best battle cruiser. You’ll be a butt-kicking baddie before you can blink. Magnificently illustrated and hugely funny, with novelty elements including a mini comic, a fold-out cross-section of the “Centennial Turkey” spaceship, and a “Top Chumps” card game, this second book in the series will be just as popular as the first one with children from the age of seven.

Raccoon Rampage By Andrew Cope

have a laug h

(Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, R88) From the award-winning author of the Spy Dog series comes a wildly funny tale in the Awesome Animals series, starring the wildest of wildlife from leading authors. The Hole-in-the-Tree gang, led by Quickpaw Cassidy and The Sunshine Cub, is the most daring group of raccoons in town. But when these cheeky chancers carry out the biggest, boldest heist of their lives, they push the neighbourhood too far. The heat is on and the gang goes on the run in a wild adventure that ultimately teaches them that there’s no place like home.

The Rescue Princesses – The Secret Promise, The Moonlit Mystery and The Wishing Pearl By Paula Harrison (Published by Nosy Crow, from R73 each) Don’t be fooled by the candied covers of this series for girls from the age of seven. The Rescue Princesses will get even the toughest tomboy interested in books. These princesses know karate moves and they are out to rescue all kinds of animals. In The Secret Promise Princess Emily is excited about her first Grand Ball, but she’d rather be on the zip wire in the castle grounds than trying on dresses. She and her friends slip out to have some fun, but the girls find a trapped deer in the forest. In The Moonlit Mystery Princess Lulu decides to visit the lion cubs that live on the Undala Plains, but they’ve disappeared. In the third book, Princess Clarabel finds a wounded dolphin.

April 2013



for preteens and teens a life guide

Skylark By Meagan Spooner (Published by Random House Struik, R115) Vis in magia, in vita vi. In magic there is power, and in power life. For 15 years, Lark Ainsley waited for the day when her Resource would be harvested and she would finally be an adult. After the harvest she expected a small role in the regular, orderly operation of the City within the Wall. She expected to do her part to maintain the refuge for the last survivors of the Wars. She expected to be a tiny cog in the larger clockwork of the city. Lark did not expect to become the City’s power supply. Her only choice is to escape; to follow the birds into the wilderness beyond. This book, which is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, offers an electrifying tale of magic, secrecy and survival.

Life Talk for a Daughter and Life Talk for a Son By Izabella Little-Gates and Patrick Wilson (Published by Random House Struik, R159) These updated guides of the bestselling series are an essential toolkit of lessons for life. Life Talk for a Daughter explores choices and consequences, and offers practical insight into the values of self-respect, personal integrity and a healthy attitude. Its candid and comprehensive advice empowers teenage girls to achieve the most out of life, and provides them with the skills necessary for tackling life’s challenges with grace and humour. In Life Talk for a Son, the author tackles issues such as leadership, staying fit, fitting in, DIY, sex and drugs.

Career? Sorted! By Gloria Marsay (Published by Shuter, R95) This is a simple and appealing handbook on careers for young South Africans. Young people in our country face unique challenges, and this book equips readers with the background, knowledge and insight they need to successfully rise to these challenges. Part one explores the contemporary world of work, shedding light on why things are the way they are today, and suggesting a fresh approach to finding and developing a career. Part two facilitates self-exploration and self-awareness by identifying one’s skills, talents, interests and personality. In part three, the reader is shown some fundamental and indispensable tools to get ahead in the real world, including how to write a curriculum vitae and how to ace an interview.

for us Where’s the Chicken? Making South Africa Safe By John Cartwright and Clifford Shearing (Published by Mercury, R90) Written by two experts on crime and safety and civic affairs, this is a book about making South Africa safe. It is a unique, interesting and potentially life-changing read for many South Africans. But it is not a step-by-step manual with detailed instructions on how to burglar-proof your house or escape a carjacking. Instead, it is a book with creative suggestions about other ways of thinking for those who no longer wish to consume ready-made solutions. It is a burst of fresh energy for those who prefer to ask different questions and find unexpected answers. It’s a book for the politician, the captain of industry and the ordinary man – and woman – in the street who sees their future in South Africa and South Africa in their future.


April 2013

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for us No! I Don’t Need Reading Glasses! By Virginia Ironside


s com ic relief

(Published by Quercus, R221) Marie may be “getting on a bit” but it’s certainly not getting her down. She’s working part-time so there are more hours each day to enjoy life. She has her friends and Pouncer, the cat, as well as a darling grandson. And she has Archie to share her bed. She has all this, plus the Daily Rant’s screaming headlines to wake her up in the morning. But, a roller-coaster of a year beckons; a year that contains love and death, and the bizarre decision to take up temporary residence in a tree. Always funny, often touching, this book shows that getting on a bit does not mean giving up, or growing up.

Eating for Two By Annabel Karmel (Published by Random House Struik, R220) Good nutrition is vital during pregnancy, and every expectant mother wants to eat the right things for herself and her baby. This indispensable guide will help you make healthy, delicious meals during your pregnancy and beyond. Here, bestselling writer Annabel Karmel and nutritionist Fiona Hinton guide you through each stage of your pregnancy with meals to suit. The book includes over 90 delicious recipes; tips and advice on optimizing your intake of vitamins and minerals; information on which foods to avoid; ideas for countering morning sickness, sleeplessness, anaemia and heartburn; and suggestions for meals to make ahead and freeze ready for when you have your baby.

parenting books The Sibling Effect By Jeffrey Kluger (Published by Riverhead Books, R172) Our siblings are our collaborators and coconspirators, our role models and cautionary tales. They teach us how to resolve conflicts, how to conduct friendships and when to walk away. Our siblings are the only people we know who truly qualify as partners for life. In this ground-breaking book, Kluger explores the complex world of siblings with equal parts science, psychology, sociology and memoir. Based on cutting-edge research, he examines birth order, twins, genetic encoding of behavioural traits, emotional disorders and their effects on sibling relationships, and more.

entertaining and insightful

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Fantastic Fingers By Ingrid C. King (Published by Love2Learn&Grow, R250 for book and DVD, R200 for DVD only) This is a unique concept developed by a paediatric occupational therapist. King has worked with children, parents and teachers for over 12 years. The songs and games are suitable for children ages four to six years old and can be adapted for older children with special needs. The activities focus on developing muscle strength in the trunk, arms and fingers, improving coordination, pencil control and enhancing sensory awareness. Children learn the correct pencil grip through a fun story with finger characters. The songs and games also promote directionality, the ability to follow instructions, and improve rhythm and motor planning. April 2013



You can also access the calendar online at

what’s on in april

Find out what’s happening in and around your city. Compiled by SIMONE JEFFERY




Body Worlds and the Cycle of Life Exhibition The first of its kind to display real human bodies.

Le Zoulou Blanc An evening with Johnny Clegg as he celebrates South Africa‘s journey over the past 30 years.

bump, baby & tot in tow – p54

how to help – p54

Baby and toddler care course Your nanny learns the basics of safety, hygiene and housework.

The Rozy-Pink bracelet initiative This idea is in honour of the many women who are fighting cancer.

SPECIAL EVENTS – p46 REEA Riverside Carnival Take part in old–fashioned carnival games and create your own mini–scarecrow.


April 2013

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magazine joburg

April 2013



27 saturday Royal Drakensberg MTB Challenge

6 sat

SPECIAL EVENTS 1 monday Thys die Bosveldklong Catch the comedian, singer and presenter for a humorous day of family fun. Time: 1pm–2pm. Venue: B&B Markets Hillfox, Hendrik Potgieter Dr, Hillfox Value Centre, Weltevreden Park. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 442 4488 or visit

A weekend for the dedicated cyclist looking for a challenging route, the intermediate rider who wants to tackle the night ride of Putterill Valley, and for the novice cyclist who just wants to take in the breathtaking scenery of the Drakensberg and enjoy a swim in the river along the way. Ends 7 April. Time: varies. Venue: The Cavern Drakensberg Resort and Spa, at the end of D119 Rd, Bergville District, KwaZulu-Natal. Cost: R50–R150. For more info: visit

Zoo snooze Rough it during an overnight campout at the zoo where you are also treated to a behind-the-scenes tour. Booking essential. Ends 14 April. Time: 2:30pm–8am. Venue: Johannesburg Zoo, Jan Smuts Ave, Parkview. Cost: R90–R130. Contact: 011 646 2000 ext 216, or visit

6 saturday Holi One Colour Festival The Indian Hindu religious festival of colour, music and dance is coming to South Africa. Dress in white and express your freedom by throwing handfuls of brightly coloured powder into the air and at each other. The powder is completely safe, nontoxic, water soluble and environmentally friendly. Strictly no under 18s. Time: 12pm. Venue: Emmarentia Dam, entrance off Thomas Bowler St. Cost: entry R190; entry with powder R290. For more info: visit The Stargazers Astronomer Vincent Nettmann provides an interesting look at the role of astronomy in the development of the human mind and what we have learnt about the starry skies. Time: 6pm. Venue: Maropeng, Cradle of Humankind. Cost: adults R230, children R145. Contact: 014 577 9000 or visit

7 sunday Miniature steam train rides All aboard the miniature steam engine for a gentle ride along the 1km railway track. Also 21 April. Time: 9:30am–4:30pm. Venue: Len Rutter Park, cnr Louis Botha Dr and Golf Club Terrace, Florida Park. Cost: free entry, R5 per ride. Contact: 011 046 9179 or visit

13 saturday Delta Dash MTB race An annual event for the whole family. The fun walk starts at 7am before the endurance MTB race, which is at 9am. There is a flea market and beer garden. Food stalls and live music are also available. Time: 7am–3pm. Venue: Delta Park School, Standard Dr, Blairgowrie. Cost: free entry. Contact Ronel: 011 888 7228, or visit


April 2013

A Birthday for the Birds Face painters, mime artists, stilt walkers, buskers and the Toucan mascot are coming out in full force to celebrate Montecasino Bird Gardens’s 12 th birthday. Time: celebrations from 10am–4pm, gardens are open 8:30am–5pm; Flight of Fantasy bird show 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Venue: Montecasino Bird Gardens, cnr William Nicol Dr and Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: adults and children over 10 years R53, pensioners and children under 10 years R30. Contact Susannah: 011 511 1864, or visit REEA Riverside Carnival This comprises a vegetable exhibition, scarecrow festival and potjie competition hosted by the REEA Foundation, a nonprofit organisation for adults living with epilepsy and mild mental disorders. There are old-fashioned carnival games and mini-scarecrow building activities for the children, a vintage car display, and live entertainment by various musicians. Time: from 9am. Venue: REEA, cnr Marlborough Dr and Richmond Ave, Craighall Park. Cost: adults R20, children and pensioners R10. Contact Daniella: 072 207 8196, or visit Stop Hunger Now Join the students of Crawford College Sandton as they pack meals for hungry preschoolers around Gauteng. Time: 9:30am–12:15pm. Venue: Benmore Gardens Shopping Centre, Sandton. Cost: donations welcome. Contact: 011 872 2498, or visit

FUN FOR CHILDREN art, culture and science

14 April – Sandton SPCA mutt walk

14 sunday Sandton SPCA mutt walk A 5km awareness walk for families of animal lovers and their dogs. Enjoy an outing with the canine members of your family while helping the Sandton SPCA to continue their vital welfare and educational work. Time: 8am. Venue: Field and Study Centre, Parkmore. Cost: adults R60, children R30, children in prams free, dogs R20. Contact Candice: 011 444 7730 or visit

Art at the Manor Gallery An exhibition by The Watercolour Society of Africa and The Art Society Africa features paintings in all media by top South African artists. 9 March–4 May. Time: 10am–4pm, Tuesday–Friday; 10am–2pm, Saturday. Venue: Manor Gallery, Norscot Recreation Centre, Penguin Dr, Fourways. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 465 7934, gallery@ or visit Artists Under the Sun Meet the artists as you walk around this open-air exhibition of fine art and sculptures, in a variety of mediums, styles and subjects. 6 and 7 April. Time: 9am–4pm. Venue: Zoo Lake,

cnr Jan Smuts Ave and Westwold Way, Saxonwold. Cost: free entry. Contact Val: 083 470 1998 Body Worlds and the Cycle of Life Change the way you see yourself at the first exhibit of its kind to display real human bodies. The bodies, organs and body slices on display have been preserved through a revolutionary technique called plastination, invented by Dr Gunther von Hagens in 1977. 20 March–30 June. Time: 9am–6:30pm, daily. Venue: Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, cnr Miriam Makeba St and President St, Newtown. Cost: adults R140, seniors and students R110, children R90, family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) R400. Contact: 071 547 5558 or visit Creative Expressions This exhibition by contemporary South African artist, Jeremy Franklin consists of sculptures, etchings and paintings. 5–14 April. Time: 10am–3:30pm. Venue: Upstairs@Bamboo, Bamboo Lifestyle Centre, 53 Rustenburg Rd, Melville. Cost: free entry. Contact Alison: 011 726 1701, alisong@kingsley. or visit

classes, talks and workshops Confident Kids Healthy self-esteem is a child’s armour against the challenges of the world. This workshop is designed to help build your confidence. Booking essential. For children 8–13 years old. 13 April. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: 9 Park St, Bedfordview. Cost: R2 000 (snack and lunch included). Contact Linor: 011 450 3576, or visit

Spin-a-long for The Sunflower Fund

25 thursday Open moonlight tour Explore the zoo in the evening and visit the nocturnal animals. Hear their unique sounds and watch them as they come out to play. Bring a picnic basket and torch. Time: 5:15pm. Venue: Johannesburg Zoo, Jan Smuts Ave, Parkview. Cost: R95. Contact Lebo: 011 646 2000 ext 216, lebo.moalusi@jhbzoo. or visit

9 March–4 May – Art at the Manor Gallery

6 sat

Support The Sunflower Fund by joining in on a fun-filled morning of spinning in unison. All proceeds go towards paying for testing costs so that more donors can be placed onto the SA Bone Marrow Registry. Time: 7:30am–1:30pm. Venue: Promo Court at Brightwater Commons, Republic Rd, Randburg. Cost: R150 per bike, per 45-minute session. Contact Lauren or Ingrid: 011 781 4200 or visit

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magazine joburg

April 2013



family outings

27 April – Peer pressure

Creative ceramics and mosaics Spend the morning or afternoon painting a ceramic item or try your hand at mosaics. Children under 6 need to be accompanied by an adult. Bookings essential. 13 April– 6 May. Time: 9am–4pm, Monday–Friday; 9am–2pm, Saturday. Venue: Pottery Junxion, 5 Glendower Place, 99 Linksfield Rd, Dowerglen, Edenvale. Cost: R20 per person per hour (excludes products). Contact Rosie or Lorraine: 011 453 2721, or visit Culinary creations Enjoy a morning or afternoon of cooking where you make various treats from healthy hake burgers to new breakfast ideas and milk tart. For children 2–15 years old. 4 and 5 April. Time: 9am–12pm and 1pm–4pm. Venue: Little Cooks Club, 231 Trichardt Rd, Cinderella, Boksburg. Cost: R160–R240. Contact Erika: 072 271 8904, erikab@littlecooksclub. or visit Life skills workshops These workshops have been put together to help children develop their self-esteem, confidence and emotional life skills through the use of fun games, activities and relaxation techniques. For children 6–12 years old. 13 April. Time: 9:30am–1:30pm. Venue: Good Vibrations, 9A 11th Ave, Rivonia. Cost: R500 per child, R250 per sibling. Contact Caryn: 082 602 7689, info@, or visit Little Cooks Club Morningside These cooking classes introduce your child to the basics of nutrition and healthy eating as

they cook simple recipes. For children 2–14 years old. Time: children 2–6 year olds: 2:30pm–3:30pm, Monday–Friday; children 7–14 years old: 9am–11am, every Saturday. Venue: 123 Ballyclare Dr, Morningside. Cost: children 2–6 years old R95 per lesson; children 7–14 year olds R220 per lesson. Contact Megan: meganh@littlecooksclub. or visit Mastering mosaics A creative morning for children (moms can come too) in which they can mosaic an object of their choice. 5 April. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: Seedpod Studio Parkhurst, 13 4th Ave, Parkhurst. Cost: R200. Contact: 011 447 0006, parkhurst@, info@seedpodstudio. or visit Peer pressure Your children learn how to cope with peer pressure, where to obtain help when life gets too much and how to stand their ground and not give in to these pressures. For children 9 years and older. 27 April. Time: 9–11 year olds: 9:30am–10:30am; 12 year olds and older: 11am–12pm. Venue: The Academy of Light, 160 Coleraine Dr, Rivonia. Cost: R100. Contact Julie: 083 677 1402, madpupssa@ or visit Physical and emotional abuse Your children are taught how to recognise all forms of abuse and how they can put a stop to it. Children are divided up according to their age group. For children 3 years and older. 6 April. Time: 9am–2:30pm. Venue: The Academy of Light, 160 Coleraine Dr, Rivonia. Cost: R100. Contact Julie: 083 677 1402, or visit

Trail ride and breakfast Take a 90-minute horse trail ride




countryside, followed by a hot English breakfast on the stoep of the old farmhouse. Bookings essential. For children 8 years and older. 31 March and 28 April. Time: 9am. Venue: Shepherd’s Fold Stables, 55 Sunset Dr, Elandsdrift, Lanseria. Cost: R375. Contact Belinda: 084 220 2657, or visit


April 2013

Easter at Random Harvest Children can take part in an Easter egg hunt by following the clues laid out around the nursery and discovering wonderful facts about the indigenous plants. A treat awaits them at the end of the hunt. 30 March–6 April. Time: 8am–5pm. Venue: Random Harvest Nursery, off Beyers Naudé Dr, Muldersdrift. Cost: free. Contact: 082 553 0598, info@ or visit Easter Monday at Garden World Children can use their wild imaginations while painting their very own plate, and then let off some steam with an Easter egg hunt and tractor ride through the centre. Booking essential. 1 April. Time: 1pm. Venue: Garden World, Beyers Naudé Dr, Muldersdrift. Cost: R30. Contact: Magriet or Corné: 011 957 2545, 011 956 3003, or visit Live Vibe Sundays Enjoy live music in the outside dining area and sing along to the songs of yesteryear while nibbling on Mediterranean cuisine. Time: 3pm–6:30pm, every Sunday. Venue: TSG Fourways, Leaping Frog Shopping Centre, cnr William Nicol Dr and Lonehill Boulevard, Lonehill. Cost: free entry; food costs vary. Contact: 011 465 7270, or visit Sunday high tea Indulge in decadent treats, from a mouthwatering selection of finger sandwiches to a delectable spread of pastries and cupcakes that are almost too beautiful to eat. Time: 2:30pm, every Sunday. Venue: Belle’s Patisserie, Blubird Shopping Centre, shop 16, cnr AthollOaklands Rd and Fort St, Birnam. Cost: R100 per adult, R80 per child, R200 per couple. Contact Linda: 082 944 4018 or visit

finding nature and outdoor play Cuddle with a lion cub Snuggle up to the king of the jungle during a visit to Thaba Ya Batswana. There is a restaurant with a deck that overlooks the nature reserve and the Sinzinani Spa, which offers mother and daughter treatments. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Time: 9am–11am and 2pm–5pm, Monday–Friday; 9am–3pm, Saturday and Sunday. Venue: Thaba Ya Batswana Eco Hotel & Spa, Impala Rd, Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve, Rietvlei. Cost: R70. Contact: 011 959 0777, or visit Feeding time at the zoo Watch the animals as they tuck into their favourite meals and treats, and listen to the animal keepers as they tell you more about them. Chimpanzees and polar bears are a few of the animals being fed. Time: 10am–2pm, every Saturday and Sunday. Venue: Johannesburg Zoo, Jan Smuts Ave, Parkview. Cost: adults R58, children R36. Contact: 011 646 2000 or visit

tennis. For children 3–16 years old. 1–5 April and 15 April–3 May. Time: 8:30am–1:30pm, Monday–Friday. Venue: 1–5 April: Lonehill Crawford Preparatory School, Sceales Rd, Lonehill; 15 April–3 May: Craighall Park Tennis Club, St Alban’s Rd, off Jan Smuts Ave, Craighall Park. Cost: varies. Contact: 083 443 3391, or visit Development through play A comprehensive programme covering ageappropriate development through free play, acting, drama, music, fine and gross motor activities, an interactive story time and more. 21 March–8 April (excluding public holidays). Time: 8am–5pm, Monday–Friday. Venue: Houghton Estate Family Centre, 58 St John’s Rd, Houghton. Cost: R100 per day. Contact Tracy: 011 487 3129

Walk with a purpose

21 sun

A fun 5km walk in aid of Choc and Reach for a Dream. The walk has been organised by Mandy Joubert in loving memory of her daughter, Zoey, who would have turned five on this day. Time: 8am. Venue: Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, end of Malcolm Rd, Poortview, Roodepoort. Cost: adults R50, children R25. Contact Mandy: mandy.joubert@

FlipFlop Gymnastics holiday camp Fun fitness activities, treasure hunts, campfire tales, baking and more. Children are not allowed to bring their cellphones. Space is limited. 5–9 April. Time: departs 3pm. Venue: leaves from Hurlyvale Primary School, St Andrews Rd. Cost: R1 700, includes transport, meals, drinks, three nights’ accommodation and activities. Contact Tanya: 072 238 7342, flipfloptv@ or visit Glass-blowing workshops Children create their own Easter egg out of glass. For children 5 years and older. 21 March–7 April. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: The Crucible, 3 8th Rd, Rynfield A.H., Benoni. Cost: R250. Contact: 011 969 6105, info@thecrucible. or visit

holiday programmes Anyone for tennis? Children can learn the rules and skills needed at a fun holiday clinic. Children 3–6 years old take part in mini

Cuddle with a lion cub at Thaba Ya Batswana

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magazine joburg

April 2013



Kids Cooking at Domestic Bliss

Holiday cooking classes Children create their own quick and easy recipes from start to finish and learn new cookery skills. For children 6 years and older. 2–4 April. Time: 10am–12:30pm. Venue: Robindale. Cost: R200 per day, R500 for three days. Contact Jeanri: 083 408 8802, or visit Holidays at Feastt Children can chop, stir, blend and cook as they learn to create a few delicious recipes. Bookings essential. For children 3 years and older. 21 March–2 May. Time: 1:30pm–3:30pm, every Thursday. Venue: Feastt, Parktown Quarters, Parktown North. Cost: from R70. Contact Rene: 011 447 8001 or visit Holidays at Serendipity Children are kept happily active and engaged during a full-day or half-day holiday programme. They take part in baking, art and crafts activities as well as organised games. 21 March–5 April and 12 April–7 May. Time: 9am–5pm, Tuesday–Friday; 8:30am– 5pm, Saturday; 8:30am–4:30pm, Sunday. Venue: Serendipity, 48 Keyes Ave, Rosebank. Cost: R150–R240 (includes lunch and refreshments). Contact: 011 447 7386, or visit

Jungle Joes holiday programme A varied, structured holiday programme that keeps children busy with a daily project, and allows for free play, singing and story time. For children 2–7 years old. Bookings essential. 25 March–5 April and 15 April– 10 May. Time: 8am–1pm. Venue: Jungle Joes, 205 Corlett Dr, Bramley. Cost: R100 per morning (includes a snack). Contact: 011 887 1771, or visit Junior Ranger programme Explore various aspects of bush life, such as how not to damage plants and how to look after them; investigating snakes, spiders, scorpions, insects and birds; spotting animals; using a compass; and avoiding and dealing with bites and stings. Bookings essential. For children 7–13 years old. 19 April. Time: 8am–2pm. Venue: Domestic Bliss, 235 Jan Smuts Ave, Parktown North. Cost: R275 (includes use of equipment, cool drinks and snacks). Contact: 011 447 5517, 083 525 4992, db@domesticbliss. or visit Kids cooking Have your children develop a love of cooking as they learn about kitchen safety, cooking terms, measurement, hygiene and nutrition, and cook tasty treats. Activities take place under the guidance of an entertaining expert. For children 7–13 years old. 2, 3, 5, 10, 11, 13, 20, 23 and 24 April. Time: 8am–2pm. Venue: Domestic Bliss, 235 Jan Smuts Ave, Parktown North. Cost: R590. Contact: 011 447 5517, 083 525 4992, or visit My World autumn holiday programme The hands-on staff take good care of your children during an action-packed holiday programme that includes theatre groups, dress-up days and more. For children 2–5 years old. 15 April– 6 May. Time: 7am–5:30pm. Venue: My World, 78 Worcester Rd, Parkwood. Cost: R3 780 per child (includes meals). Contact Natalie: 011 447 9014, 084 711 7899, or visit

Jersey Boys A multi-award-winning musical that tells the true, real-life story of how four children on the poverty line and from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. 3 April–26 May. Time: 8pm, Tuesday–Saturday; 3pm, Saturday; 2pm and 6pm, Sunday. Venue: Teatro at Montecasino, cnr Witkoppen Rd and William Nicol Dr, Fourways. Cost: R100–R400. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit


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April 2013

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16 April–5 May – Essence of Ireland

Supakids holiday programme There are three days of challenges and rewards that enhance your child’s self-esteem and improve their emotional intelligence. Children learn to recognise different emotions, complete puzzles and riddles centring on EQ, take part in role playing and lots more. Booking essential. 3–5 April for children 5–8 years old; 17–19 April for children 7–10 years old. Time: 8am–1:30pm. Venue: Douglasdale. Cost: R2 250. Contact Leigh-Anne: 083 675 0045 or The Creative HotHouse holiday programme A unique five-day journey of creative fun that includes art, dance, drama, singing and the recording of a CD. The programme ends with a concert on the final day. For children 6–11 years old. 22–26 April and 29 April–3 May. Time: 9am–4pm. Venue: Creative HotHouse, Hamilton Ave, Craighall Park. Cost: R1 600 for the week (includes lunch, snacks and materials). Contact Sue: 083 230 0319 or Wild Kids holiday programme Children spend the day outdoors in the natural environment and learn through play. For children 3–9 years old. 15, 19, 22 and 26 April. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: Field and Study Centre, Louise Ave, Parkmore, Sandton. Cost: R250 (includes a drink and healthy snack). Contact Troye: 083 457 4106 or visit

markets Bryanston Organic and Natural Market Find everything from crafts and curios to jewellery, children’s clothing and toys. Children can get stuck into sand art, candle dipping. On Saturdays they can rummage through the gemstone scratch patch. Time: 9am–3pm, every Thursday and Saturday. Venue: Bryanston Organic and Natural Market, Culross Rd, off Main Rd, Bryanston. Cost: free entry. Contact Glenda: 011 706 3671, glenda@ or visit Paulshof Food Market Bring your family and friends and enjoy fine cuisine in the forest. Products on offer range from quality cheeses, freshly baked breads, coffee, delicious cakes, sticky treats and much more. Time: 8am–2pm, every Saturday. Venue: 131 Holkham Rd, Paulshof (next to the German Country Club). Cost: free entry. Contact Sally-Ann: 082 465 3682 or magazine joburg

Rotary Farmer’s Market and Collectables Fair A quality craft market held on the banks of the Vaal River. Wander among the many stalls and visit the Garden Restaurant that boasts over 1 000 rose bushes, charming ponds, water features, and herb gardens. 7 April. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: Stonehaven on Vaal, next to Baddrift Bridge, Sylviavale A.H., Vaal River, Vanderbijlpark. Cost: free entry. Contact: 016 982 2951/2, or visit

on stage and screen Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Soaring music and amazing sets take children on an enchanted fairytale journey. 21 March– 21 April. Time: 10:30am and 2:30pm, Tuesday–Sunday. Venue: People’s Theatre, Joburg Theatre Complex, Braamfontein. Cost: R65–R99. Contact: 011 403 1563/2340, or visit Essence of Ireland Set against the backdrop of Ireland, England and America in the 20th century and inspired by true events, Essence of Ireland tells a story of love, joy, happiness and heartache. 16 April–5 May. Time: 8pm, Tuesday–Saturday; 3pm, Saturday; 2pm, Sunday. Venue: The Mandela at the Joburg Theatre complex, 163 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein. Cost: R140–R250. Book through the Joburg Theatre: 0861 670 670 or visit Goggas A feel-good production that follows Anthony, the picnic ant, as he travels through Joburg helping a beautiful British butterfly who has lost her way. 4 March–21 April. Time: during the school term: 9am and 10:30am, Monday–Friday; 2:30pm, Saturday; during school holidays: 10:30 and 2:30pm, Tuesday–Sunday. Venue: National Children’s Theatre, 3 Junction Ave, Parktown. Cost: adults R110, children R90. Contact: 011 484 1584, za or visit

Paulshof Food Market April 2013


calendar The Amazing World of Gumball Brand new episodes of the quirky Watterson family and their fearless blue cat, Gumball. From 1 April. Time: 5:50pm, Monday– Friday; repeats at 7:25am, Monday–Friday, 10:25am and 3pm, Saturday and Sunday; on Cartoon Network, channel 301 on DStv. For more info: visit The Croods A 3D comedy adventure that takes place during the Croodacious Era, an epoch when Mother Nature was still heavy into experimentation, resulting in a planet filled with extraordinarily bizarre flora and fauna. Premiere 29 March. Time: varies. Venue: at cinemas nationwide. Cost: varies per cinema. For more info: visit sterkinekor. com or

older. 27 April. Time: 9am–12:15pm. Venue: The Good Vibrations Studio, 9A 11th Ave,

7, 14 and 21 April – Sunday stroll on the Koppies

playtime and story time Love Books storytelling A delightful story is read to your children while you browse the stalls of the upstairs market or pop into the gallery. Children younger than four must be accompanied by an adult. For children 4–8 years old. Time: 10am, every Saturday. Venue: Love Books, Bamboo Centre, cnr Rustenburg Rd and 9th St, Melville. Cost: free. Contact: 011 726 7408, or visit Story time at Boskruin Introduce your children to the wondrous world of books with a storybook reading in the library. For children 3–6 years old. Time: 3pm–4pm, every Tuesday. Venue: Boskruin


April 2013

Library, Boskruin Community Centre, Kelly Ave, Boskruin. Cost: free. Contact: 011 792 7424 Story time in Bryanston Choose your spot and settle down for an imaginative storybook reading by the librarians. For children 2–6 years old. Time: 2:30pm–3pm, every Wednesday. Venue: Bryanston Library, cnr New Rd and Payne St, Bryanston. Cost: free. Contact: 011 706 3518 Storytime at Linden Library An interactive story reading followed by a craft activity. This month, they are making paper-chain bunnies. Bookings essential. For children 3–8 years old. 3 April. Time:

3pm–4pm. Venue: Linden Library, cnr 4th Ave and 6th St, Linden. Cost: free. Contact Wendy: 011 888 5685

sport and physical activities Dog walking in Delta Bring your canine friend for a walk around the park with the Sandton SPCA. Time: 9am, every Sunday. Venue: meet in the car park next to the Environmental Centre, Delta Park, Craighall Rd, Victory Park. Cost: free. Contact: 011 444 7730 or visit Soul Child Moms and their children can salute the sun, do the downward facing dog, and stand on one leg for the calming yoga tree pose. For children 3 years and

Rivonia. Cost: R160 per child and parent; R200 for a family of three. Contact Suzie: 083 299 6555, or visit Sunday stroll Learn more about the geology, archaeology, history, flora and fauna during a three-hour guided tour of the Koppies. 7, 14 and 21 April. Time: 7 and 21 April: 3pm; 14 April: 8:30am. Venue: opposite Marks Park, Judith Rd, Emmarentia. Cost: adults R40, children R10. Contact: 011 482 4797 or visit Yoga for Kids Children enjoy contorting their bodies into the different yoga poses during these afternoon classes. Time: 3:30pm–4:15pm, every Monday. Venue: Ladybird Corner, 24 12th Ave, Linksfield Netcare Hospital. Cost: tbc. Contact Lerato: 011 485 3057 or

only for parents classes, talks and workshops Childcare course Change your life and have your domestic worker trained on an accredited course that takes place over five weekly sessions. Starts 4 April. Time: 8:30am–2pm. Venue: Domestic Bliss, 235 Jan Smuts Ave, Parktown North. Cost: R1 950. Contact: 011 447 5517, 083 525 4992 or visit

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Cooking in the garden Join Amore Bekker from RSG and Clover SA for an informative cooking demonstration. Bookings essential. 6 April. Time: 9:30am. Venue: Garden World, Beyers Naudé Dr, Muldersdrift. Cost: R100 (includes refreshments). Contact: 011 957 2545, 011 956 3003 or visit Emerging readers Get practical tips and valuable skills to use when reading to your children. This course will help you realise the part you play in getting your child ready for reading. Booking essential. For parents of preschoolers. 8 April. Time: 9am–11am. Venue: Rivonia. Cost: R450. Contact Marian: 082 780 8546, or visit Herbal tea tasting Rosemary Sneyd of the Organic Herb Company discusses the 10 most popular herbs used in the kitchen and leads a herbal tea tasting. 6 April. Time: 10am. Venue: Ngwenya Glass Village, R114 off Beyers Naudé Dr, Muldersdrift. Cost: R80 (includes tea, coffee, cake and a contribution to a charity). Contact Athalie: 083 285 8383 Kids development training Discover the joys, benefits and importance of physical activity for children, and the differences in training children as opposed to adults. Booking essential. 20 and 21 April. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Health and Fitness Professionals Association, unit 4, Rivonia Village, Rivonia Boulevard. Cost: R1 750. Contact: 011 807 9673, info@ or visit

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Learning together Learn how you can help your child achieve with useful homework and reading tips. Booking essential. For parents of children in Grade 1–2. 9 April. Time: 7:30pm–9:30pm. Venue: Rivonia. Cost: R500. Contact Marian: 082 780 8546, or visit

Don’t Dress for Dinner Bernie is hoping to entertain his mistress for the weekend and has even invited his best friend, Rob, as an alibi, but everything goes wrong. 6 March–14 April. Time: 8pm, Wednesday–Saturday; 5pm, Saturday; 3pm, Sunday. Venue: Pieter Toerien Main Theatre, Montecasino, Fourways. Cost: R100–R160. Contact: 011 511 1818 or visit

Natural soap making workshop Make 12 bars of soap from scratch using natural ingredients. 20 April. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, Poortview, Roodepoort. Cost: R350, includes all material and refreshments. Contact Joan: 083 326 5157 or visit Tiny Handz intermediate workshop Parents and caretakers learn how to communicate emotions, various nouns, the alphabet, numbers and lots more with their little ones. Classes are presented in both English and Afrikaans. Booking essential. Intermediate workshop 19 April; basic workshop 20 April. Time: 8am. Venue: Midrand. Cost: professionals R830, nonprofessionals R800. Contact Monita: 082 218 7339, or visit Top 100 herbs Join herb guru Margaret Roberts for an informative talk on her top 100 herbs. Booking essential. 13 April. Time: 9:30am. Venue: Garden World, Beyers Naudé Dr, Muldersdrift. Cost: R100 (includes refreshments). Contact Magriet or Corné: 011 957 2545, 011 956 3003 or visit

on stage and screen A Handful of Keys This production features two grand pianos played with unparalleled skill by Ian von Memerty and Jonathan Roxmouth. 16 April–5 May. Time: 8pm, Tuesday–Saturday; 5pm, Saturday; 3pm

16 April–5 May – A Handful of Keys

and 6pm, Sunday. Venue: Pieter Toerien Main Theatre, Montecasino, cnr William Nicol Dr and Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: R100–R160. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit Le Zoulou Blanc Experience the thrill of music and dance with Johnny Clegg as he associates his music to the journey South Africa has taken over the past 30 years. 12 and 13 April. Time: 9pm. Venue: The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, take the M1 South, Booysens exit. Cost: R161–R263. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit

family marketplace

April 2013



The Family Life Centre

The Drifters See them celebrate their 60th anniversary with the Diamond Dynasty world tour. The concert features their greatest hits like Under the Boardwalk, Up on the Roof and Save the Last Dance for Me, as well as new material from their 2009 and 2011 albums. 6 April. Time: 8pm. Venue: Carnival City Big Top Arena, cnr Helderberg Rd and Elsburg Rd, Brakpan. Cost: R275–R650. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit Without a Hitch Friends and neighbours Julia and Caryn make the decision to swap husbands after an evening of indulgence. 13 March–14 April. Time: 8:15pm, Wednesday–Saturday; 5:15pm, Saturday; 3:15pm, Sunday. Venue: Studio Theatre at Montecasino, cnr Witkoppen Rd and William Nicol Dr, Fourways. Cost: R150. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit

out and about Avril Elizabeth Home mom’s tea Attend this social get-together for moms, with guest speaker Edith Venter. Bring a plate of snacks. 20 April. Time: 2pm–4pm. Venue: Avril Elizabeth Home, 11 Castor Rd, Fishershill, Germiston. Cost: R25. Contact Janet: 011 822 2233, or visit Bryton Cradle View run This technical trail run tests your stamina, strength and fitness as you traverse the wide variety of surfaces that meander along the Blaauwbank River and up the rocky back of the Zwartkops Mountain. 21 April. Time: 7am. Venue: Glenburn Lodge, off the R374, Cradle of Humankind. Cost: 13km R100, 5km run/walk R67. Contact Kris: 083 653 4367 or visit

Open day at Michael Mount Waldorf School Find out more about the school’s ethos and approach to education with a morning talk and tour of the school. 20 April. Time: 9:30am. Venue: Michael Mount Waldorf School, 231 Bryanston Dr (entrance in Culross Rd), Bryanston. Cost: free. Contact Theresa: 011 706 6125 or visit Walk among our ancestors Take this rare opportunity to observe an active palaeontological dig, guided by scientist Morris Sutton. Booking essential. 20 April. Time: 9am. Venue: Sterkfontein Caves, Sterkfontein Caves Rd, off the R563. Cost: R375. Contact: 014 577 9000 or visit

support groups Autism South Africa Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders are able to get advice, guidance and support. Contact: 011 484 9909 or visit Mom Squad A support group for new or expectant moms to share the joys and challenges of motherhood under the guidance of a doctor and mother of two, Karin, and her mom, Liz. Time: 9am–11am, every Thursday. Venue: 4 Pafuri Rd, Emmarentia. Cost: R10 donation towards refreshments. Contact Liz or Karin: 083 226 7130 or Single Parents Support Group A social club for single parents and their children that meets up and takes part in various activities once a month. 27 April. Time: 1pm. Venue: varies. Cost: free membership. Contact Jean-Marie: 076 054 5510 or visit The Family Life Centre They hold regular group meetings for parents to share their trials, tribulations, joys and accomplishments. Venue: 1 Cardigan Rd, Parkwood. Contact: 011 788 4784/5, or visit

bump, baby & Tot in tow

classes, talks and workshops

20 April – Open day at Michael Mount Waldorf School


April 2013

Babies in Mind workshop These workshops offer support to parents (or caregivers), encouraging their natural ability to care for babies. 5 and 19 April. Time: 9:30am–11:30am. Venue: Ladybird Corner, 24 12th Ave, Linksfield Netcare Hospital. Cost: R300 per person, R550 per

couple. Contact Lerato: 011 485 3057 or Baby and toddler care course A twoday course teaches your nanny how to handle your baby or toddler on a daily basis, including safety, hygiene and the balancing of housework. 2 and 9; 14 and 21; 18 and 25 April. Time: 9:30am–4pm, weekdays; 8:30am–3:30pm, weekends. Venue: Hammets Crossing Office Park, 2 Selbourne Rd, Fourways. Cost: R1 400. Contact Marinda: 011 462 3139, 083 625 8033, or visit Doula and hypnobirthing This childbirth method is as much a philosophy of birth as it is a technique for achieving a satisfying, relaxing and stress-free method of birthing. Booking essential. Time: 9:30am–12pm, every Thursday. Venue: Ladybird Corner, 24 12th Ave, Linksfield Netcare Hospital. Cost: R1 750 per couple. Contact Lerato: 011 485 3057 or info@ Essential birth preparation These interactive half-day workshops inform and prepare you for the birth of your child. During the weekend you learn about available birthing methods, what to expect during labour, guidance for your birthing partner and more. 26–28 April. Time: 6:30pm–9:30pm, Friday; 8:30am–1pm, Saturday; 8:30am–12pm, Sunday. Venue: Genesis Clinic, cnr Jan Smuts Ave and Northwold Dr, Saxonwold. Cost: R1 400, includes refreshments and lunch or breakfast. Contact Tertia: 083 738 7439, or visit

playtime and story time Afternoons at The Yard Relax in the tranquil garden setting with refreshments on hand as your children slide, swing, run and climb on the jungle gym and various other play structures. For children 1–6 years old. Time: 2pm–5pm, every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Venue: The Yard, 11 Meadows End, Woodmead. Cost: R30. Contact Kerry: 083 391 4921 or Play days at Elf’s Hill There are jungle gyms, a trampoline, tree house, Wendy house, bike track, sandpit, toadstool house and much more. Booking essential. Time: 1pm–5pm, every second Wednesday. Venue: Elf’s Hill Party Yard, plot 29 Sandspruit Rd, Chartwell West. Cost: adults R20, children R15 (includes refreshments). Contact Anne: 082 3375 646 or visit Wonderful Wednesdays On Wednesdays, Larney Ladybirds is open to the public for an afternoon of unbridled play on the jungle gyms, sandpit, bike track and lush lawns. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: Larney Ladybirds, Valley Rd, Broadacres, Fourways. Cost: adults R25, children R15 (includes refreshments). Contact Bianca: 083 770 7702, or visit

support groups La Leche League South Africa A breast-feeding support group. Cost: membership R200 per annum. For more info: visit

New parents group Have all your questions answered and your nerves settled during the group meetings every Wednesday. Booking essential. Time: 9:30am–11:30am, every Wednesday. Venue: Ladybird Corner, 24 12th Ave, Linksfield Netcare Hospital. Cost: R100 per person, R160 per couple. Contact Lerato: 011 485 3057 or Thirsty Tuesdays A breast-feeding advice and support group, hosted by Sr Jane MacLaren. Time: 10am–12pm, every Tuesday. Venue: Ladybird Corner, on the grounds of Linksfield Hospital. Cost: R60. Contact Lerato: 011 485 3057 or info@

how to help ForKidsByKids Piggy Bank Campaign This initiative by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust encourages students and schools to host fundraising activities for the building of the hospital and to become part of Madiba’s lasting legacy. Contact Rebe: 011 274 5600 or visit Pampers-Unicef MNT campaign During April and May, Pampers will donate the cost of one life-saving maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) vaccine to Unicef for every pack of Pampers Active Baby, Premium Care and Wipes sold. Pampers will also donate one vaccine for every additional Facebook fan gained. For more info: visit Winter Tracksuit Drive Out of the Box requires donations of money and fabric suitable for making tracksuits for 2–8 year old boys and girls in informal settlements. Cost: R15 to make the top and bottom. The money goes to the seamstresses to help them earn an income. Contact: 011 673 6592, or visit

The RozyPink bracelet initiative This honours the many women who are fighting cancer. The funds raised go towards cancer awareness and to charities helping women who are dealing with the effects that the therapy has on their appearance. Cost: R30 per bracelet. To buy a bracelet contact Leora: leora@

don’t miss out! For a free listing, email your event to joburg@childmag. or fax it to 011 234 4971. Information must be received by 5 April for the May issue, and must include all relevant details. No guarantee can be given that it will be published. To post an event online, visit

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

magazine joburg

April 2013


it’s party time



April 2013

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magazine joburg

April 2013


finishing touch

singing their praises Children need plenty of affirmation and encouragement, and


Erin, Anél and Conor

e were enjoying the tranquillity of dusk recently – and I use that phrase with a definite hint of irony, as tranquillity does not really exist in a house with two young children – when we heard an unfamiliar sound. It was faint at first, but soon we could make out “Jingle bells, jingle bells… all day long.” It was Erin, singing loudly to herself as she picked flowers in the garden. She may be a few months late with the festive cheer, but her heart is clearly filled with song, which makes mine full as well. A singing child is a happy child, I think.


April 2013

I should be honest here, however, and admit that she is quite tuneless. Her rendition of a popular Christmas carol, combined with “The wheels on the bus” is never going to be a chart topper and I don’t think there is much chance of her begging me to allow her to join the thousands of hopefuls when they start auditions for Idols 2027. But there’s no way we would ever tell her that. Instead we applauded her choral skills, much to her delight. It got me thinking about how important our actions and affirmations are for her, and her brother, already at this young stage. Erin loves playing with my make-up. The first time she emerged from the bathroom, looking like something from the eighties band Twisted Sister, with blue eye shadow smeared on her cheeks, Craig almost had an apoplexy. But before he could admonish her for the face paint,

I signalled to him that this was not the time for reproach. She was proud of her handiwork, and I could see that she just wanted him to acknowledge that she looked pretty. I’m sure in a few years’ time her cosmetic antics will be less well-received, but for now, it’s about letting her explore her self-image in a healthy way. Our children learn most from what we do, and not what we say, so I am mindful of my approach to my own body image. I avoid saying things like, “I look fat in this”, or “this makes me look ugly”. Instead, I hold onto the compliments I get from Erin, who will tell me if she thinks a certain pair of shoes are “nice”, or if she particularly likes a necklace. Conor, at almost 11 months, is (thankfully) not playing with my make-up, but he is super-aware of what his father is doing. I notice how he observes Craig’s

every movement, and how he mimics certain actions. He will tinker for ages with some blocks to figure out if they fit together, much like his dad doing DIY. He also looks to his big sister for affirmation and, alas, also for inspiration. A few days after Erin’s impromptu garden concert, we heard what sounded like an ambulance siren that was running low on battery power. It was Conor, emulating his sister’s singing, and it was just as bad. As with Erin, we made sure to praise his efforts, but we are clearly going to have to gently encourage him to work on his other talents as well. Anél Lewis is Child magazine’s features editor. She’s bought her son a rugby ball, in the hope that he will swap singing for scrumming. Erin, however, is now hard at work tweaking her latest musical offering: “Happy birthday… all day long”. Follow Anél on Twitter: @ChildMagParent

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sometimes, a nudge in another direction, says ANÉL LEWIS.

Child Magazine | Joburg April 2013  

Joburg's best guide for parents

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