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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

holidays bumper guide what’s on in december and january

keeping it in

the family

memories that need to be shared

around the world on a bike or a barge

pink, blue or neutral what toy will you buy your child this year?

Dec 2013 / Jan 2014



get set for back to school – tips to get ahead




Hunter House P U B L I S H IN G

There is so much to love about December – the promise of a little time off, plenty of family time and hopefully an outing or trip somewhere brand new.

Publisher Lisa Mc Namara •

Editorial Managing Editor Marina Zietsman • Features Editor Cassandra Shaw • Resource Editor Simone Jeffery • Editorial Assistant Lucille Kemp •

It has to be my favourite month, with the first sighting of the Christmas beetle heralding the beginning of the end of what has been another unfailingly busy year. Walking my daughter into school one morning this term, Julian and I overheard a preschooler ask: “Why are you in such a ‘hush and a push’ this morning, Mom?” Sweet and apt. But thankfully, now the time has come to leave the “hush and push” behind, to take a deep breath and recharge our batteries.

Copy Editor Debbie Hathway

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

Advertising Lisa Mc Namara •

Client Relations Renee Bruning •


Nicolene Baldy •

From all of us at Child mag, thank you for your letters, comments, suggestions and encouragement. Your enthusiasm has kept us going and growing for 10 years and we wish you and your family a peaceful and fun festive season. Happy holidays!

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,

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December 2013 / January 2014


contents december and january



3 a note from lisa

9 pregnancy news – bugs with a bite Marina Zietsman looks at why

6 over to you readers respond


mosquitoes favour pregnant women

10 best for baby – holiday upheaval how you can holiday

14 happy travels holidaying with family and friends isn’t always plain sailing. Marina Zietsman gives tips

16 better together Lucille Kemp explains the value of family traditions

18 3 days in the city of gold if you have to play tour guide over the holidays, this itinerary will help. By Simone Jeffery

22 your future investments Cassandra Shaw brings you inspirational stories of women who made sound financial investments

24 everyday delicious Christine Capendale inspires us to celebrate the West Coast way armed with her new recipe book

27 back to school already? Tamlyn Vincent gives tips on ways to prep for the new school year


without disrupting your baby’s developmental milestones. By Ruwaydah Harris

12 dealing with difference Tamlyn Vincent looks at toys and their link to gender stereotypes

21 upfront with paul Paul Kerton wonders if our children learn enough about manners and decency

30 resource – see the world by bike or barge Child magazine unlocks the traveller in you with this destination guide

36 a good read for the whole family 40 what’s on in december & january 58 finishing touch if Conor gets a vacuum cleaner from Santa, he’ll be over the moon, reckons Anél Lewis

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8 getting smart about vaccines decisions affecting our children’s health should be based on sound reasoning, says Marc de Chazal

53 family marketplace 55 let’s party

this month’s cover images are supplied by:


December 2013 / January 2014


Cape Town




Jean Bourget Jelli Children’s Boutique

Jean Bourget Jelli Children’s Boutique

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December 2013 / January 2014



over to you sharing my thoughts I really enjoy all the articles in your magazine and hope that the parents at our school take the time to read them. I thought I would just share some of my opinions on a few issues. 1. Discipline in schools: to debate whether we should be allowed to smack our children is a moot point, because it is illegal to do so. Part of our school’s values programme is teaching children about bullying. We teach the bully the correct way to behave and the victims how to stand up for themselves. With all the violence in this country, children have to be taught to resolve problems without resorting to violence. Many schools face a lack of support from parents when dealing with discipline issues. This makes it that much harder to deal with a tricky situation and to teach a child acceptable behaviour. Parents are supportive when their child is the victim, not so much when their child is the aggressor. 2. In response to the reader’s letter, regarding finding a suitable school for her Down’s syndrome child (October 2013 issue): I have not been in favour of including


December 2013 / January 2014

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

a child with Down’s syndrome in a [mainstream] school. To be honest, I have never experienced it to see whether it works. However, next year we will be welcoming a little girl with Down’s syndrome. The head of department, the class teacher and myself are keen to meet this challenge and find out what we can learn from her. We have had a meeting with her mom who is keen for her to be part of a mainstream school, but who is aware of her limitations. Her mom is a very involved mom and is organising a meeting with the rest of the preschool staff to teach them about a Down’s syndrome child and how to handle her. I am positive about this inclusion. Knowing that we have extremely supportive parents and teachers, makes this a good decision. Perhaps there are other preschools who have a Down’s syndrome child, who could get in touch with us and offer any pointers. 3. Our school has made the wearing of brimmed hats compulsory during break. Children who forget their hats have to sit under a shelter. The little boys hate this, because they can’t run around and kick a ball.

We started this in the first term this year and, like with anything new, there were a few grumbles, but everyone has got the hang of it. The teachers also wear hats while on duty. 4. Paul Kerton and Anél Lewis make so much sense. I hope that parents take the time to read their columns. Most of us can identify with them, having gone through what they are experiencing or, like them, are currently experiencing the same issues. Parents should read these columns as they are short and to the point.  Fiona Coetzee, principal

importance of reading I enjoyed the article “read to write” (September 2013 issue). I have three daughters and my two oldest daughters were reading before Grade R. I think their interest came from me reading stories to them every night. They kept asking me what the words said, so I taught them how to read phonetically, using homemade phonics cards and Ladybird Read With Me books. They are now in Grade 1 and 2 and have a passion for reading.

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The biggest problem I face now is finding books that are age-appropriate and matched to their reading level. They enjoy Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, Dr Seuss, the fairy books by Daisy Meadows and the Animal Ark books by Lucy Daniels. I will never regret teaching them to read at a young age. It opened up a whole world of literacy for them. They can keep themselves entertained for hours, and it has made their lives at school much easier, cutting down on homework time. Their vocabulary and spelling is excellent. Reading is a life skill that should never be neglected. Mel

dangers of cellphones I read your article “a valuable learning tool” (November 2013); what the article forgot to mention was how our children’s health is at risk from cellphone use. I read an article called “cellphones and child brains: casualty catastrophe” by Alexandra Bruce, which gave much food for thought. Top neurologists issue warnings to patients about the health dangers of cellphone use. iPhones also contain a legal disclaimer page with fine print, which is difficult to read, and discloses the dangers of radiation exposure from cellphones. It advises users to keep the device 10mm away from the body. How dangerous is cellphone use for our children whose skulls are thinner and whose bodies are still developing? According to

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statistics on brain tumours associated with cellphoneuse, this has replaced leukaemia as the number one child killer. Not to mention other effects, ranging from DNA damage, a reduction in sperm count to an increase in tumours in the area of the body where the cellphone is in contact with the skin. A radiation detector measured a smartphone to emanate 40 000 microvolts compared to the 800 microvolts of a microwave oven and the 800 micro volts of a WiFi router. Normal background radiation levels should not be more than 30 microvolts. In France, WiFi is being removed from schools and replaced with cabled internet and Germany, Israel and Finland are moving towards banning the sale of cellphones to children. In Japan there is a general limitation of cellphone use for those under 18 and in the UK for those under 12. Many countries like India issue warnings against the use of cellphones by children. As an educator and a parent, knowing this, I would not support cellphone use in the classroom. Shelley Hindmarch

hubbly bubbly In response to the article “smoke screen” (November 2013); as a parent to three growing girls, it has disturbed me to see so many young people smoking hubbly bubbly.

I’m so grateful for your article on the dangers and false perceptions of smoking this pipe. This article is now my ammunition to inform our youth and parents of the dangers of smoking hubbly bubbly. Avril Adams

hairy issue I have witnessed thousands of children having their first haircuts as I have had two children’s hair salons in Joburg for the last 15 years. I believe children should be brought into the salon several times until they feel comfortable or brave enough to have their hair cut. To make the experience fun, we have created a child-friendly ambiance: murals on the walls, the ceiling, the floor and the furniture, plus each child gets their own television. The stylist plays her part with sweets, balloons, bubbles and a certificate of the experience. The boys are generally not as comfortable, but this is most likely because girls are familiar with the set-up by watching their moms getting groomed. Anonymous subscribe to our newsletter and win Our wins have moved online. Please subscribe to our newsletter and enter our weekly competitions. 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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December 2013 / January 2014



getting smart about vaccines When making decisions regarding our children’s health, it’s important to base our reasoning on sound fact


hanks to worldwide immunisation campaigns, lifethreatening infectious diseases have been controlled and have dramatically decreased. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), vaccines against diseases such as polio, last seen in South Africa in 1989, save more than three million lives every year. Measles is also targeted for elimination, but misinformation can dramatically hamper these efforts. In the late 1990s Welsh parents heeded the warnings of a debunked study spuriously linking the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine to autism, which eventually led to a measles outbreak in 2013. This highly contagious disease causes pneumonia, deafness and, in one out of 1 000 cases, death. How then should we make informed decisions about vaccines?

make sure the information is from a trusted, knowledgeable and highly respected source,” she says. “The Vaccine Safety Network is accredited by the WHO, so any information you find on these websites can be trusted. For Facebook fans, I recommend the VacciNewsNet page,” she adds. Burnett points out that South Africa does not blindly follow global trends when including a vaccine in the national immunisation programme. “The National Advisory Group on Immunisation (NAGI) is an independent body that includes eight academic experts who all need to reach consensus based on the available scientific evidence before a vaccine is considered safe and essential for the health of our children,” she explains.

what to take in trusted sources There’s nothing wrong with doing our own research on the internet, but Dr Rose Burnett, a public health scientist and senior lecturer at the University of Limpopo’s department of virology, advises caution. “You need to


December 2013 / January 2014

You will find many websites with legitimate-sounding names that actually sprout nonsense about vaccines. “Most of the misinformation that fuels anti-vaccination claims is dealt with by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” says Burnett.

“For claims that are not dealt with by the CDC, my advice to parents is to look at the evidence behind the claim,” says Burnett. She suggests we ask: • Did the study compare vaccinated children to unvaccinated children using a large sample size for both groups? Most anti-vaccination claims are based on small studies of only vaccinated children. “Huge studies conducted on over a million MMR vaccinated and unvaccinated children have shown the same rates of autism in both groups,” says Burnett. • Did the study report a correlation and then conclude that this shows cause? Correlations are not causal. • Is the website promoting an alternative to vaccines? “There is absolutely no scientific evidence that these alternatives work,” says Burnett. • Is the claim linked to a conspiracy theory? Conspiracy theorists have been shown to be more likely to believe and promote misinformation about vaccines. There are, of course, children who have medical conditions that preclude them from some vaccinations. If you are ever in any doubt about vaccines, your paediatrician is the best person to turn to.

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and consensus. MARC DE CHAZAL explains why.

pregnancy news

bugs with a bite Why do mosquitoes find pregnant women so “attractive”? Marina Zietsman finds out. what attracts mosquitoes? The five human scents that attract mosquitoes most come from carbon dioxide, which we exhale; body odour, particularly sweat; secretions, when compounds known as saccharides and antigens are secreted through the skin; certain blood types; and lactic acid, which is emitted through the skin when you are active or have eaten specific types of food.


why pregnant women? When a woman becomes pregnant, her need for oxygen increases by as much as 20–40%. As you need more oxygen during pregnancy, your body adapts to meet this need in several ways. As a normal part of pregnancy, your breathing may be affected by the increase in the hormone progesterone, which causes you to breathe in more deeply. Towards the end of your third trimester, your uterus begins to push upwards into your ribcage, which then presses on your lungs, naturally

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forcing you to breathe deeper and more often, thus emitting more carbon dioxide. Perspiration (or sweat) comes from sweat glands in the skin and helps to regulate your body’s temperature when you get too hot. Carrying a baby bump around is hot and hard work, no matter what the weather is, because your core body temperature rises. Hormones play a role too, in pregnant women, increasing blood flow to the skin leaving you feeling warm, looking flushed and sweaty.

the biggest culprit Dr Karen Minnaar, a gynaecologist and obstetrician in Centurion, says that malaria can be fatal in pregnant women. “The placenta acts as a reservoir for the parasite and it is difficult to treat during pregnancy. Malaria is still a major cause of maternal deaths in Africa and it is better to prevent an infection, than to treat it,” says Minnaar. She strongly recommends not travelling to areas where there is a risk of getting

infected. It is always safer to postpone these trips until after delivery and when the baby and mom can get immunisations or take preventative medication. “Pregnant women can get very ill if they are infected with malaria during pregnancy,” says Minnaar. “It could cause a miscarriage or congenital malaria infection in the unborn baby.” She adds that pregnant women may not take any antimalarial drugs unless they are infected with the parasite and it is used for treatment. Minnaar advises that if a pregnant woman must enter a malaria area, she should avoid going in the summer. She should wear long sleeved clothing; avoid going outside at dawn or dusk, when the mosquitoes are most active; and to sleep under a mosquito net.

repellents Most insect repellents contain the chemical N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide, commonly known as Deet. This is a highly effective insecticide, and Deet-based insect repellents are

relatively safe if you use them carefully. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, “Deet does cross the placenta, however, the effects of Deet use in pregnancy have not been thoroughly studied. There have been no studies of picaridin (the synthetic compound in Deet) use in pregnant women. Infection spread by mosquitoes can be harmful to a developing baby, therefore the benefits of insect-repellent use might outweigh any potential harm.” Minnaar says citronella oil or lemongrass oil can be mixed with aqueous cream and applied to the skin. Also, “citronella soaps can be used or citronella candles can be burned,” says Minnaar. “If this is not effective, Deet-containing repellents can be used, but women should try and use a product with a low concentration of Deet. They could also spray the Deet on their clothing.” Minnaar says plug-in repellents can also be used; both the ones containing chemicals and UV mosquito lights.

December 2013 / January 2014


best for baby

holiday upheaval Taking your child on holiday and away from a familiar routine can seem a little daunting especially if you started potty training or you’re in the process of weaning your baby off the breast or bottle. But there are ways to manage, says RUWAYDAH HARRIS. oing on holiday requires good timing and, at times, thorough planning, especially if your baby is busy learning something new. Abandoning routine for the sake of enjoying a stress-free holiday may be tempting, but sticking to routine, as best you can, even when you’re away from home on a much-deserved family vacation, is important in your child’s development. “A predictable routine gives children a sense of security and helps them develop self-discipline,” advises Dr Laura Markham, an American clinical psychologist and founder of the website Aha! Parenting. “Even though they are in a different location and the bricks and mortar are different, is it important to keep as close to the child’s routine as possible,” advises baby and toddler expert and best-selling author of Toddler Sense, Sister Ann Richardson. And in order to manage routine effectively, hands-on parenting is needed. However, if you’ve already started something new, Sister Ann offers tips and advice on how to ensure you still maintain a healthy routine while on holiday.


December 2013 / January 2014

sleep patterns Routine, routine, routine, reiterates Sister Ann. “Parents must try to keep the routine as normal as possible. Going to bed too late and hyped up (whether it be with overstimulation or too many holiday treats containing sugar) can disrupt sleep patterns.” However, it’s also important to be flexible while on holiday, so sometimes (not every night) bedtime may be a little later than usual. Enforcing day sleeps are important though, as missing out on a much-needed day nap will impact on the child’s behaviour, eating habits and bedtime happiness.

potty training If your child is developmentally ready to be potty trained, then potty training must proceed as normal. Introduce your little one to a set routine from the start and be consistent about it. The holidays are often a good time to potty train as there is more one-on-one, quality time to spend with your child. Don’t forget to pack your child’s

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potty and put it in a place that reminds him or her of a similar spot in your home. Use the warm weather to your advantage. Let your little one run around in just a pair of swimming pants. They will be less likely to urinate in the swimming pants and will remember to ask for the potty.

breast-feeding Time management is important so feeds are timed in a way that is comfortable for you. If you can’t change location, be organised and take along an extra cotton blanket or wrap if you prefer to be discreet.

weaning baby off the breast or bottle If your family is on their own with no immediate neighbours or other house guests, then proceed with the weaning programme. But, if there is going to be fussing and crying involved and perhaps some sleepless nights, then it is advisable to wait until the family returns home. The advantage of weaning in the holiday season is that parents are more relaxed, with no work and pressurised deadlines, and where possible, there is always the support of the partner and extended family to call on.

introducing solid foods Be prepared and organised. Pack everything you will need if you are unsure of shopping availability at your destination. Follow your plan for introducing solid foods or

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changing diets and don’t let too many boundaries around eating expectations loosen. Holiday times are generally a good time to do something new, as both parents and the family are more relaxed.

dealing with nappy rash The most common nappy rash is a fungal infection caused by the candida fungus, which causes thrush in the nappy area. This is usually due to wet nappies, heat, beach sand and swimming pool chemicals. Eating too much sugar is also a common cause of candida. On the beach or around the swimming pool is an ideal time to air little bottoms. Take off wet swimming costumes and keep the nappy area dry. Frequent nappy changing is important if you are going on long car trips or aeroplane flights.

on the flip side With children there is never a perfect time for anything out of the norm. So, when you have a holiday it’s important to enjoy them, and to make the most of what you’re given, when you can. • Spend your holiday creating good family memories that you and your children can look back on fondly together. • Read stories, eat together, spend time outdoors, play and have fun. Just be mindful of your child’s routine. • You don’t need to be rigid. Instead try to be practical and enjoy yourselves.

holiday dos and don’ts • B  e organised and prepared before any outings. A day on the beach with small children, for example, requires a lot of planning, so make sure you pack sunscreen, hats, towels, plenty of snacks and water, wet wipes and tissues. • Don’t leave home without probiotics in your medicine kit and an antifungal cream. Ask your chemist to recommend suitable products.  • Make sure you pack your child’s favourite toy, blanket and bedtime story books and CDs. • Don’t plan too many activities and keep in mind that your baby or toddler needs some downtime and being around too many people, constantly, may be overwhelming. • If your baby doesn’t sleep in your bed at home, don’t start now. Make the necessary sleeping arrangements.

December 2013 / January 2014


dealing with difference

dolls vs trucks Tamlyn Vincent explores the link between toys and gender stereotypes, and discovers how to encourage gender-conscious parenting.


e’ve come prepared this year; having arrived early to avoid the hustle of the crowds that are sure to come. We tackle the boys’ section first. It’s easy finding Christmas presents for them. A talking superhero or a collection of larger-than-life bugs, complete with slime, will do the trick. Then I do an about turn, and head to the girls’ section, easy to find with the pink glow emanating off the rows of dolls and kitchen sets. Do I go with the pink tea set or doll, for my niece? I worry that by choosing these toys, I am conspiring to keep girls stuck in the kitchen. And surely muscled superheroes and toy tanks aren’t sending the right message to our sons either. It is this same concern that has seen many international toy stores come under fire for having girls and boys categories. Lego took some heat as well, when it released the Lego Friends range, marketed specifically for girls and available in a range of pinks and purples. Parents are concerned that stereotyping gender like this negatively impacts their children.

But gender stereotypes don’t originate in toy stores. Claire O’Mahoney, a play therapist in Joburg, says that toy preference often starts at home. Toddlers play with the toys that they are given, often selected by parents or found in an older sibling’s room. Gender identification only starts at 24 months, says Durban psychologist Gabi Kell, with children only really beginning to understand gender differences by three years. So a child’s primary socialisation and understanding of gender comes from parents and family. Without realising it, parents commit to gender, says Kell. They may choose the clothes that girls wear, or tell boys that pink is for girls. Carlyn Foster, who works on marketing projects for big brands, points out that there are many baby and childcare products, from toys to clothes, that differentiate between gender and come in either blue or pink. Huggies have recently launched a range of gender-specific nappies, and while their product speaks to a physiological difference between boys and girls, they have embraced the opportunity to create different designs for both sexes. The growth shown by this product suggests that it is popular with the public, as moms understand the need for boys and girls nappies to be functionally different, but also appreciate the visual appeal. Even when parents consciously work to avoid distinguishing between genders, children pick up on it, and become aware of these differences. Marketing manager Michelle Thomas says that choosing gender-specific toys often starts with the parents.


December 2013 / January 2014

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learning gender

“Dads buy their boys Lego because they remember the positive experiences they had with the brand.” Older siblings and friends at school will also impact how children understand gender. Thomas remarks on how common it is for parents to look for a toy that their child wants, but have no idea where he heard about it. My son, having never watched an episode, can tell me all about Ben 10. Guess what he wants for Christmas?

neutral ground The entertainment industry also plays a part in socialising children. Thomas points out that movie and TV trends influence what the next craze will be. Their newest trend seems to be moving towards a more gender-neutral space, with titles appealing to a broader audience. Disney’s Brave, an animated movie about a bow-shooting princess, saw a mixed audience in its opening weekend, with just less than half of the audience being male. Gender neutral films will foster an industry for toys that appeal to both sexes. This gender neutral approach has been adopted by overseas toy companies, like Harrods, which have reorganised toys into themes. This is, in part, due to pressure from society. The Let Toys be Toys campaign encourages toy retailers and manufacturers to stop marketing toys for a specific gender, and rather let children choose whichever toy they want to play with. Wanda Ambrosini, managing director for a big toy company, says that the move towards being gender neutral is also less risky, as “a product that is developed for boys and girls is less expensive.” There is a need for gender neutral toys, says O’Mahoney, as many toy manufacturers are leaning towards educational toys. In the past, boys played with blocks and developed gross motor skills. Girls played at dressing dolls, and developed fine motor skills. Many toys are now developed to help both sexes develop a range of skills. The development of these toys, and the new direction of the entertainment industry has resulted in a broader genre appeal. “There has definitely been a shift in the kinds of products we’ve seen developed in the toy world that will bring unfamiliar toy items to gender-neutral spaces, such as the Nerf Rebelle, a girl-themed crossbow,” says Thomas.

Let children play with whatever toys they choose, without limiting their choice or ignoring their preferences. a matter of difference But gender specific toys are hardly a thing of the past. Although children do learn about gender from parents, friends and society, biology also influences the toys children play with. Research has shown that boys and girls 12, 18 and 24 months old show toy preference, says Kell. At this presocialised age, girls were found to watch dolls more, while boys watched cars, suggesting that toy preference is biological. Another study had male and female monkeys choosing toys. The male monkeys favoured wheeled toys while the female monkeys chose to play with dolls. Children gravitate towards gender-specific toys, says Kell, and the marketing reflects this. Girls tend to show less rigid commitment to gender-specific toys than boys do, perhaps because it is more socially acceptable. Boys don’t want to play with toys that are feminised, says Kell. This will influence toy preference and the marketing of toys. “Big toy brands will continue to market their popular products to the relevant gender especially as specific play patterns remain popular with this gender,” says Thomas.

playtime While there is a space for gender-neutral toys, particularly those that are developmental, O’Mahoney points out that, as parents, we need to acknowledge these gender differences between girls and boys. We also need to allow children to explore these differences for themselves. Children need to be exposed to a variety of toys, advises Kell. Girls can benefit from playing with mechanical toys, just as boys can benefit from playing with toys that encourage caring and language development. For children with a different gender sibling, this is easier as they have more access to a variety of toys and aren’t limited in their play, says O’Mahoney. Parents can also let children play with whatever toys they choose, without limiting their choice or ignoring their preferences. In this way, children can develop a variety of interests and skills, from the social and language skills developed by toys like dolls, to the spatial development learnt from construction sets. So as I stare at the rows of pink toys, I remember that while my niece enjoys playing with dolls, she also enjoys playing with blocks and designing treasure maps. And while my son wants the biggest ninja turtle there is, he still plays with his teddy bear. So if he wants a baking set for Christmas, I’m sure Father Christmas will sneak one into his stocking. magazine joburg

December 2013 / January 2014


happy travels Holiday travelling with an extended family is often filled with stress. MARINA ZIETSMAN explains how to avoid an awkward situation before it happens.


ost of us have had the “thrill” of holidaying with extended family or friends. Sharing a stress-free braai on a Saturday is one thing, but getting along in a confined space, far from home, over a long period of time, is never as simple as it seems. Sometimes being able to think about an issue before it turns into something serious can help to prevent a messy situation. Some parents have shared their stories and advice on how to ensure a stress-free holiday with extended family or friends.

cry freedom It’s everyone’s holiday, and everybody should feel free to do what they please. Although suggestions for activities should be welcomed, let it go if someone chooses not to join in. Someone could say, “We are going to catch a movie, who wants to join us?”, and if the answer is, “No thanks, I’d rather read a book”, don’t nag or take it personally – everyone has different interests and priorities. One way to avoid a scene is to ensure that each family has their own transport. After all, if “Uncle Bill”, who’s allergic to children, wants a minute of peace at a seaside restaurant, but you and your three young ones want to go to a wild waterpark, then each family is free to go their separate ways, do their own thing, and come back happy. Erica*, a


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Pretoria mom with two teenagers, regularly goes on holiday to Stilbaai with friends from Cape Town. “They don’t understand that us ‘Valies’ don’t see the ocean every day and want to spend as much time as possible on the beach. One year we flew down to save costs, and it almost turned into a disaster.” Having your own transport definitely helps.

money matters If you share a house, you’ll also be sharing certain meals and household products. To avoid arguments about money, keep a kitty. Discuss the contribution ratio even before you leave home. Ideally, costs should be divided between the people in the party, including children. But be fair. You don’t have to include a baby on the loo paper bill, but if your teenager has the appetite of a horse, or your child is on a special diet, then compensate for any extra costs. Communication is key. “We are usually about four families over the Christmas holidays,” says Irene* from Bellville in Cape Town. “We count the adults and children under 12 as half, and share basic costs. But nobody wants to be counting money the entire holiday, so the golden rule is to keep tabs, like for restaurants or drinks. Once a day we add costs to a spreadsheet and on the last day of the holiday, we settle all outstanding amounts as per the sheet.”

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But Irene warns against the odd house guest, with no strings attached, like a family member’s new fling, your best friend who brings her family for the day, or your child’s friend. Either way, the visitor or the family that invited them should help out financially.

make space Think about the seating arrangements, before the meal is laid out, and make sure that your child, no matter their age, has a seat or a highchair. Marian*, from Cape Town says, “Whenever my husband’s family has a holiday meal, they always forget to give my son his own seat, and he ends up having to sit on my lap. This drives me crazy, as it makes him feel excluded, and also forces me to carefully plan and manoeuvre each mouthful past my toddler’s moving head and arms.”

where to sleep? When booking accommodation, make sure there is enough space for everyone. “My parents once changed their time-share option online and invited our family and my brother’s family over for Christmas. We all arrived on the same day, so they couldn’t warn us. We were stuck in a two bedroom apartment,” says Frances* from Durban. “I had three little ones, aged three, five and seven, and my sister in law was seven months pregnant. I felt so guilty

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with my children making a noise early in the morning, and my poor sister-in-law struggling to sleep at night… Let’s just say we didn’t visit each other for a few months after that.”

chores and hygiene To avoid certain people not “pulling their own weight”, do a bit of planning. Kara*, mom to three-year-old Alex*, says her best holiday was with a big group of almost 20 people, but because it was well planned, everybody could relax. “The families were divided into groups,” says Kara, “and given tasks. One group made breakfast, and another cleaned up afterwards; the same for lunch and dinner. Each day one group was also responsible for general tidying.” It worked like a bomb, she says, because if you were not on duty, you didn’t have to stress about pitching in, as your turn would come. “It was one of the most relaxed and well-oiled holidays we’ve had in years.” It helps to have a set of household rules that everyone adheres to. It’s likely that your children will leave a few toys scattered on the floor or your teenager will not always make their bed, but try to be respectful of those around you. Communicate or apologise should you notice this behaviour is bothering anyone. Better yet, encourage your children and teenagers to tidy up after themselves.

saving the world Unsolicited parenting advice is uncalled for and holidays are not the time to clear up political and religious differences. Try to avoid sensitive issues, unless your fellow holidaymakers are breaking the law. Holidaying with your in-laws can also be testing but it’s difficult to wish MIL (motherin-law), FIL (father-in-law), SIL (sister-inlaw) and BIL (brother-in-law), out of your life. Jane*, a mom of six-year-old twins from Sunningdale in Cape Town, decided to take the “high road”. “We went on holiday with MIL and FIL for the first time last year. It was, in essence, the perfect beach holiday. On the third day I emptied

the laundry basket to do washing, when to my surprise the basket was devoid of my husband’s clothes. As I walked past my in-laws’ bedroom, my husband’s clothes were washed and neatly folded on their bed. MIL actually went through our basket, took out her son’s clothes, and washed and ironed them! Later that evening she simply put it on our bed. At first I wanted to confront her, then thought: ‘You know what, it’s less washing for me and I’m not going to spoil our break by arguing with MIL’. I’m just wondering if she thinks I can’t do washing, or was it just her motherly instinct taking over? I’ll never know.” *Names have been changed

practical boundaries • E veryone has different parenting styles – be mindful and don’t criticise those dissimilar to yours. • Suggest activities that appeal to all age groups. • Don’t assume that everyone wants to babysit your children. • Be considerate of other parents’ schedules – especially if they have a baby. • Give your teenagers a curfew realistic to sleeping patterns in the house. • When cooking, be mindful of other children’s or family member’s diets or allergies. • Don’t start a holiday meal without a parent who is away bathing or putting their child to sleep. • Not all parents appreciate a children’s table. Ask parents ahead of time to see what they prefer. • Running, screaming children are not always “cute”, especially during a family meal or when others are trying to read or relax. Find quiet activities for your children during these times.

December 2013 / January 2014


family life

better together generation, start with simple time spent with your loved ones. By LUCILLE KEMP

y mom loves to over-cater; at this time of year I’m hitting the gym hard in preparation for the famed Christmas lunch hangover, which sees me through to New Year’s Eve. When my brother and I were growing up, this abundance meant there were always leftovers from our parties. So, at some point it became an annual thing, to head off as a family to a local children’s home with cake, sweets, cupcakes and chocolates the day after. I remember this time clearly. Not only for its potent lesson in sharing and giving to those less fortunate, but also because it was my family’s special thing to do.


December 2013 / January 2014

Each family has something that keeps them connected and provides a shared comfort and enjoyment. These things are what make Boxing Day memorable, and a Sunday lunch over the holidays taste extra yum as they come from simple, everyday acts in the home.

give them the back story What was life like when you were growing up, Mom? What was your favourite present from Father Christmas, Dad? What city did you live in? What was Aunty Padmany like when she was younger? Who was the naughty one in the family? Slindile and Sihle Gumede’s children are still small

but they say, “We want them to continue with our culture’s beliefs and practices and we try to expose them to traditional ceremonies, one such being the baby naming ceremony.” For me, the holidays are that time of year when I whip out all the family albums; one goes back 35 years to when my parents were still only dating and true to ritual my dad will have a story for pretty much every photo in that album. Just the other day, Cindy Perry, mom to Josh (10) and Rachel (14), found herself driving past her old house with Josh and got to talking to him about her childhood. “Normally he talks while I talk, but he was quiet so I know he was interested. He had endless questions.” Children

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Special family traditions, which are cherished and often passed from generation to

are interested in our past and the things that make us who we are, that’s why it’s important to pass on our traditions to them now.

inspired by boredom Any parent will tell you that, often, inspiration for what to do with their young children comes from needing to burn off their excess energy, and these days will surely come during the long school holidays, so be prepared and get creative. Cassandra Shaw’s extended family used to spend the time playing charades or board games – things that everyone could be involved in. “I remember playing massive games of Pictionary – we’re all pretty competitive and we used to stay up late laughing at each other’s cartoonish renditions of things.” This Christmas she hopes to get her almost four-year-old son involved. It’s worth having a solution stacked in the cupboard for those rainy days or evenings with family and friends over the holidays. Think Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, 30 Seconds, Twister and Uno, or be creative and come up with your own.

share Cindy gives her children room to be themselves by sharing her space in the home. “Josh enjoys making marinades and sauces. So, if I need meat marinated I leave it completely up to him – a bit nervously at first, but it turns out he makes it super yummy so I trust his concoctions.” This has taken the tired task, of getting the meat prepped for endless summer braais this holiday, off Cindy’s plate and turned it into a fun activity for the whole family.

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Marius Baldy, married to Nicolene, is the cook in his home and has made it a thing that he and his six-year-old son Tyler do together. This is their one-on-one time before Mom gets home from work. It would be no surprise if the day comes soon when Tyler is roasting the turkey and prepping the trimmings.

I remember this time clearly. Not only for its potent lesson in sharing and giving to those less fortunate, but also because it was my family’s special thing to do. there are simple ways to be hands-on Tessa Daniel, mom to three-year-old Mae, grew up with a very busy dad. However, she notes how he did a good job of keeping her close because he found a hook – walks on the beach with their black Labrador Jackson, that Tessa loved to pieces. When she’s home for Christmas they will keep that tradition alive by stealing a moment to go for their walk. Cindy recalls from her own childhood a simple act of kindness, “My dad was a printer, so he would design and print special little exercise books for me and my brother to use to practise our schoolwork.” This, Cindy came to know as classic Dad behaviour.

your precious experiences will inform your children’s “Growing up, the most amazing time was when my mother took us to the beach. She worked hard as a nurse and we hardly got to spend quality time with her, so those trips were cherished,” says Slindile who plans to keep family beach days alive with her boys this summer. Cindy has many holiday memories of her own growing up over the years – from camping and hiking to trips to a specific restaurant when, at their dad’s insistence, they could order anything off the menu. Her dad’s sense of adventure, generosity and his desire to constantly go the extra mile for them has played a part in who Cindy is, as a mom. So when she reads a story she gets into character, using funny voices and acting like a “simple”, and when her children want to draw not only does she find a picture and get the table set up, she also puts music on. Having time off over the holidays allows us the chance to do these things more often.

holiday memories endure My memories of our annual summer trip to Salt Rock, on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal, to holiday with the Gaileys from Gauteng, are vivid. Body surfing, playing hours of make-believe in the garden, trips down to the rocks with the dads to pick mussels (no licence needed back then), table tennis tournaments, solitaire sessions with real playing cards and general knowledge quizzes with good old-fashioned pen and paper – I plan to carry these all on to holidays with my children one day.

December 2013 / January 2014




in the city of gold Playing tour guide, over the holidays, is never easy – especially when planning for different age groups. To make life simpler, SIMONE JEFFERY has compiled a threeday travel guide for families in Joburg.



a city is born

Gold Reef City


December 2013 / January 2014

Apartheid Museum

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The city of Joburg was founded in 1886, useful contacts with the discovery of gold. So, the first day of our tour will start there. The historic theme park Gold Reef City offers a wide range of attractions for all ages, including an underground mine tour. You will take a lift down a mine shaft and experience the world below your feet as a prospector with gold fever once did. If the idea of descending into the dank, dark depths of the earth gives you sweaty palms, the tour also includes a surface tour with gold panning, a gold pour and a walk around the museum’s houses. The tour takes place five times a day, but it’s usually best to do it first thing in the morning, as you won’t be able to pull your children off the amusement rides once they get started. The rides in the theme park are suitable for both pipsqueaks and adrenalin-seeking adults. Most of the thrill rides have a height restriction of 1,3m, but there are plenty of family-friendly rides, a 4D theatre, putt-putt and an animal farmyard. There are also a number of restaurants and fast-food establishments in the park. In the afternoon, head over to the Apartheid Museum situated alongside Gold Reef City. The museum is open until 5pm and children can remain fairly well-behaved for an hour, before getting restless. The museum details South Africa’s oppressive past, with a series of photographs, text panels, videos and artefacts that depict the rise and fall of apartheid. The museum is closed on Mondays. If you’re not ready to go home at 5pm, you can catch a theatre production at the Lyric or Globe Theatre in the Gold Reef City Casino complex. Visit their website to find out what’s showing or book through Computicket. If you prefer not to drive to Gold Reef City, consider taking Joburg’s Red Bus, a double-decker, open-top bus, which offers a hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tour of the city. You can catch the bus at the Gautrain station, at Park Station, where you can use the safe parking or park at a station further down the line. Bring drinks and a few snacks to enjoy as you sit on the roof of the bus and catch a glimpse of Jozi as the bus navigates the traffic.



a day of contrasts

Today, it’s about Joburg’s urban useful contacts sprawl; with businesses and residences having moved out of the city and into the surrounding suburbs. After a hearty breakfast, get yourself ready for a hour bicycle tour of Soweto. Soweto Bicycle Tours offers a two-hour, four-hour or a full-day tour; a pick-up and drop-off service, which is extremely convenient if you’re a nervous driver; as well as a tuk-tuk tour, if you prefer not to cycle. The two-hour tour gives you a taste of what Soweto is all about, and includes a visit to the Hector Pieterson Memorial, Mandela’s former home, and a drink or two at Lebo’s, a local shebeen. Having worked up an appetite with all that peddle power, it is time for lunch, with a spot of people watching and shopping thrown in for good measure. Sandton City is situated in Africa’s richest square mile and is the business hub of Gauteng. The shopping complex offers international and local brands, African art and crafts, as well as health, beauty and leisure stores. Grab a table at one of the restaurants that overlook Nelson Mandela Square and watch as the suits and heels of the business district scurry past. Baglios is an Italianthemed restaurant situated at the entrance to Nelson Mandela Square. The food is good, appealing to most tastes, and the sorbets, ice creams, milkshakes and smoothies go down really well on a hot summer’s day. Now that your friends and family are thoroughly exhausted from their first two days in Joburg, take them to the leafy suburbs of Parktown for an African-themed dinner at Moyo at Zoo Lake. The restaurant has a relaxed family atmosphere and the evening includes face painting, children’s craft activities, a hand-washing ceremony and some African entertainment. Alternatively, you can end your second day in Joburg with a trip to Montecasino, an indoor, Tuscan-themed entertainment venue in the northern parts of Joburg. There you will enjoy various restaurants, a bowling alley, a cinema complex, an arcade and musical fountains in the outdoor piazza.

Soweto Bicycle Tours

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Moyo at Zoo Lake December 2013 / January 2014





safari and “the surf”

Take a two-hour drive out of Joburg, past the rich platinum useful contacts mines of North West Province, to spend the day at the Sun City Resort Complex and the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Game drives into the Pilanesberg depart three times a day: morning, afternoon and evening. You can also tour the park in your own car. After you’ve viewed the Big Five at Pilanesberg, you can cool off at the many pools in and around Sun City’s hotels and enjoy the thrill of the water slides and hydraulic wave pool in the Valley of Waves. On your way to the Valley of the Waves you must be sure to cross the Bridge of Time on the hour, as it shakes with volcanic activity and children love it. There are various restaurants and accommodation options available. The centre also offers a babysitting and chaperone service for those wanting a romantic evening. Should you prefer not to spend two hours in a car, head down to the Rhino and Lion Park situated in the Cradle of Humankind, approximately 40 minutes from Sandton. When you arrive, head to the reception area to arrange for a cuddle with a baby lion cub, a trip to the Wonder Caves or an open vehicle game drive. You can also drive around the park in your own vehicle. There are snake displays, a children’s play area and a reptile park. On the weekends, public holidays and on Wednesdays, you can see them feed the lions, cheetahs and wild dogs. Rhino and Lion Park

For more day trips around Joburg, visit childmag. If you’re keen to experience more familyfriendly South African excursions, take a look at our other three-day travel guides for Cape Town, Pretoria and Durban online. For your convenience, our Joburg guide is also available online. Sun City Resort


December 2013 / January 2014

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upfront with paul

the intangible curriculum Human decency and manners are not focused on as much as they should be. PAUL KERTON explains. Saskia, Paul and Sabina



n our eagerness to develop our children into the smartest, brightest specimens on the planet, chasing their – and our – noble aspirations, we focus on the three Rs – reading, writing and arithmetic – as an exam-based, default knowledge foundation. Clearly this has been working for centuries. People are generally forgiving of a rude, arrogant narcissist, providing that narcissist is clever enough to find a cure for cancer. We all hope that the other life skills necessary for basic survival will magically materialise amoeba-like in little Jimmy’s person along the way, at the hands of parents, teachers and their peers. Nobody teaches you social skills. You have to pick them up yourself through trial and error and finding what works for you.

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These are intangible things like holding a conversation and knowing when to edge into the debate to make a contribution and express an opinion without seeming arrogant, rude or up yourself. How to say “no” politely without upsetting anyone and being true to yourself instead of being badgered into something you don’t want to do; particularly relevant with regards to alcohol, drugs and sex. Yes, there have been great strides in education to address this gap but have we gone far enough? The same goes for dealing with intense emotions like “love”, which is incredibly difficult to deal with and haunts the teenage psyche particularly as their hormones run amok. Everybody talks about it, sings about it and it is the subject of zillions

of celluloid dramas. We all certainly feel something and think we know what it is, but nobody can give a clear definition and signal when it starts; or the difference between lust and love, obsession and love, and degrees and types of love. Good teachers impart a lot of these life skills through simply being good people themselves or at least impressing on their learners a step-by-step moral compass for them to follow, through their own example and individual style. You can tell immediately whether one is good at this or not by their influence on your children, and the state of the classroom. If it looks like the baboon enclosure at London Zoo then, the loose rein, anything-goes liberalism suggests Sex-Pistol’s anarchy.

I’ve always thought that South African children – by and large – are very well mannered by modern international standards. As manners go out of the window across continents, the excuse is that nobody has the time to be polite and courteous anymore, which seems truly pathetic. I think nobody has the time to teach children manners and, sadly, we accept the alternative without complaint. I read today that the sales of baths are dropping like flying pigs. A survey concluded that people no longer soak in baths, preferring the instant gratification of a shower. The same people haven’t got time to say thank you either. Go on, have a bath and say thank you. Follow Paul on Twitter: @fabdad1

December 2013 / January 2014



your future investments Women are buying more than just handbags and shoes. CASSANDRA SHAW speaks to a


few women about their savvy financial investments, and passes on some helpful tips.

ore and more women are investing in themselves and their future. It’s not always easy to know which sorts of investments fit best or how to get started, but there are a number of possibilities out there for those of us that are willing to start. We spoke to a few women who have made successful investments, and how these investments have helped to enrich their lives. They offer us their stories and share with us valuable advice.

that she found a piece she liked and when she sold it a year later, it had already doubled in value. Regardless of the returns, Tina finds the process enjoyable. “It is an easily understandable investment, no derivatives, complex acronyms and not too much drama, plus the window shopping is fun and you are acquiring valuable industry knowledge and pleasing aesthetics,” she says.

personal health and growth returning to campus and investing in artwork Tina Retief, a Cape Town local, recognised various gaps in her life and felt strongly that she needed to address them. She chose to further her education and invest in an MBA. “I needed financial training and knowledge to credibly operate in the business sector, especially at a higher level than I was operating at,” she says. As a result, she decided to take a year off and invest in herself. Tina feels that, as individuals, we forget to strategically plan our lives. Rather, we need to examine and initiate where we want to go in life, not just put our heads down and work for the next salary, she says. Entering her programme, Tina was surprised at how normal it was for people to go through a 30s crisis and she found others, like herself, who also wanted to make a difference. She was surrounded by a diverse group of professionals, and the experience made her realise how unique she was. “You realise you have great skills, which others do not have, and you are not just another one in your tribe, she says.” Although she explains that it is an expensive year, with long hours and demanding work, she has found it very rewarding. “Studying as an adult you value the content and you can relate to it. It enables you to have a debate with a diverse range of individuals with strong, very different opinions. It has given me a new lease on life. I feel more balanced as both a person and a professional,” she explains. When asked what advice she would offer other women wanting to continue their education, Tina says that if you can, “give it a shot. We underestimate ourselves and are our own worst enemies. Our male counterparts are more likely to take the risk and resign to spend a year developing themselves and their skills. We (females) are far more cautious considering the bond and our responsibilities.” Although Tina is currently focusing on her education, she also enjoys investing in artwork that she loves. After finding a knowledgeable art merchant in her area, she says

Investing in your health and overall wellbeing can also act as a good investment. Michele Jones, a Cape Town mother, realised that she wanted more out of life. She took an active approach in her future and invested in things like her health and her mind. “I needed to get fit and I wanted to build up my strength, so I signed up with a personal trainer. It’s now eight months and I can see the physical, emotional and mental benefits,” she says. She also started going to counselling to develop her own personal growth. Whether you visit a therapist, a life coach or a career counsellor, investing in your mind and thus how you see yourself and your place in the world can also produce advantages. “There is a great benefit in having a trusted ‘sounding board’ – time to reflect, to review, to understand, to challenge the status quo of what makes up your view of yourself and our experiences,” she says. Since embarking on these changes, Michele has seen the benefits of her actions. She has more stress-free time to spend with her son, and she feels “more present and not just an observer in [her] own life.”

We need to examine and initiate where we want to go in life, not just put our heads down and work for the next salary.


December 2013 / January 2014

Bjefke Breebaart, a Pretoria mother of two, has experienced the value that involvement in the art world and property market can bring. Possessing a keen eye for aesthetics and having practiced various types of art herself, she joined the art committee at work, and is currently responsible for art acquisition within her company. “It’s given me great exposure to artists, galleries, collectors and auction houses”, enough to “have built up the knowledge to start investing in a personal art collection,” she says. If you buy art wisely and purchase the work of an established artist, then you are likely to make a good investment. But she warns that work by an established artist may already fetch high prices and there are also a lot of unknown factors related to an art piece. So, educating yourself about the artist that you’re thinking of investing in is important. “You need a lot of knowledge in terms of which

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from paintings to property

artists to buy as well as which piece is most representative of that artist,” says Bjefke. She recommends buying from a reputable gallery – they are well informed, always seeking out new talent and try to ensure the longevity of the artist, before they decide to support them. There are many young artists with promise and potential, but who stop producing before they become established, which negatively impacts the value of their work. Supporting them, though, will directly make a difference in their lives, she adds. Bjefke has also invested in property, and made her first investment about 10 years ago – having realised the benefit of a tenant contributing to her bond. She explains that she

was fortunate to have brought just before the property boom and as a result has benefited from good growth and return on her properties. She sees this as a long term approach and believes that her investments will directly contribute to her retirement earnings and help her family’s financial future. She’s also found that commercial property may be a better investment than residential, but understands that not everyone has the financial means or experience. One thing that Bjefke has done is invest in shares and unit trusts, where companies are investing in property for you. This takes “a lot of the risk and stress out of it, leaving you with the benefit of good growth and return,” she says.

professional investment advice

wanting to further your education? Tina says:

Debbie Netto Jonker has been in the industry for 25 years and has assisted countless

• • • •

individuals with their financial planning. She feels strongly that everyone should have a financial plan. “You don’t land up in an investment by accident, and it’s important that people try to get some education in how to plan their future whether it be a course or a financial planner,” she says. A good financial investment is one

Call someone that’s done it and ask their advice. Attend an open day. If you are looking to study while working, speak to your boss as soon as possible. Don’t doubt it for too long. Once you’ve recognised the need to further yourself you are halfway there.

that gives you diversity – a balance of shares, property, bonds and cash, that includes an appropriate allocation of investment offshore, she adds. As a planner, her role would be to change the balance appropriate to what your objectives are. It’s important to understand the type of investments that you’re investing in and the risks involved. “There is a risk-reward relationship. Shares can be more volatile than cash,” she says. But adds that “your greatest gain will come from utilising your tax deduction; your investments in your retirement or pension fund are good because you get immediate return on your investment equal to the tax saved.” Debbie says it’s important that you “pay yourself first” and decide how much

things to think about before buying property: • K  eep an eye out on what’s available in the area – what properties are on the market for and what they sold for. • Work out your return on investment beforehand, weighing up the potential rent against the cost of the bond and rates. • Buy in a good area and only what you can afford.

is usually available after you’ve paid everything budgeted for; don’t wait to see what’s available at the end of the month. “We also need to remember that a man is not a financial plan. Many women end up retiring in poverty because they’ve left their paid work to have children and abandon their own financial plan – they

Bjefke and Tina’s tips for purchasing artwork

actually need to maintain it through their married life.”

• • • •

The things people often forget: 1 To stay on course – don’t switch an investment due to headline news. 2 It’s never too late to start. 3 Remember to insure the ability to earn – make provision for illness or disability.

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Love what you buy. Some cities host a monthly social and art affair, see if there’s one in your city. Follow art blogs and news to keep an eye on new artists. Buy from a reputable gallery with tastes similar to your own and ask them to contact you when they see something you would like.

December 2013 / January 2014


book extract

everyday delicious December is a time to celebrate with family and friends. In her book, Everyday Delicious, CHRISTINE CAPENDALE shares some of her recipes that your holiday guests will love.

fresh tomato and olive tart with basil short crust pastry • • • • • •

500ml cake flour 2,5ml salt 200g butter 50ml cold water 20ml brandy 1 egg yolk

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C. 2 Sift the flour and salt together and rub in the butter to form coarse crumbs. 3 Mix the water, brandy and egg yolk together. 4 Add the liquid to the flour mixture and cut it in with a small knife to form the pastry. 5 Use your hands to gather and knead the mixture gently until it forms a ball. Leave to rest in a cool place for 1 hour. 6 Line a large round or rectangular loose bottom pan with the pastry. Line with baking paper and fill with pastry weights or dried beans. 7 Bake blind for about 10 minutes. Remove the pastry weights and bake for another 5 minutes until the pastry is golden brown in colour. Leave to cool.

• 60ml olive tapenade or pesto of your choice • 200ml pitted and halved black olives • Parmesan shavings and fresh basil to serve

filling 1 Place the tomatoes, balsamic glaze, salt and pepper in a bowl and marinate the tomatoes for about 10 minutes. 2 Drain well. Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the onions. 3 Add the garlic and season with salt and black pepper. Leave to cool.

to assemble 1 Spread the olive tapenade on the baked crust. 2 Mix the olives, drained marinated tomatoes and the onions together. 3 Spoon the mixture into the cooked pastry shell. 4 Season the tart with a bit of salt and black pepper and top with Parmesan shavings and fresh basil leaves.


December 2013 / January 2014

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Serves 6 • 600g baby rosa tomatoes, halved • 30ml balsamic glaze • salt and black pepper • 30ml olive oil • 2 onions, sliced • 2 cloves garlic

west coast seafood and chicken paella This is my West Coast twist on the Spanish paella. It is moist, easy and it looks impressive. Serve with crusty bread and salad. Serves 6 hungry people • 500g rice • 10ml fish spice • 5ml paprika • 10ml spice for rice • 50ml oil • 1 large onion, chopped • 1 yellow pepper, cut into strips • 1 red pepper, cut into strips • 500g seafood mix, thawed and drained well • 80g butter • 2 cloves garlic, crushed • 6 cooked chicken drumsticks or thighs • 250g shrimps, thawed and drained well • 150ml frozen peas, thawed • chopped fresh parsley • 50ml good-quality mayonnaise • 30ml sweet chilli sauce • 1 box (800g) 21/25 prawns, cleaned and deveined • salt and black pepper • 250g mussels on the half-shell, rinsed well and steamed • lemon slices or wedges

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1 Place the rice in a large saucepan with enough water to cover. Parboil for about 2 minutes. 2 Rinse several times with cold water until the water becomes clear. It is important to wash off most of the starch. 3 Cover the rinsed rice with water and add the fish spice, paprika and spice for rice. Boil until almost cooked. 4 Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion. Just before the onion is soft, add the peppers and cook for a few more minutes. 5 Add the peppers and onion to the rice and cook until done. 6 Sauté the seafood mix very briefly in half of the butter. Add the garlic, remove from the heat and set aside. 7 Add the chicken, seafood mix and the shrimps to the rice and cook through for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the peas, some chopped parsley, the mayonnaise and the sweet chilli sauce. 8 Fry the prawns quickly in the rest of the butter until they turn pink on both sides. Turn them over at least once during the cooking time. Season with salt and black pepper. 9 Place the rice mix in a serving dish. Top with the prawns, half-shell mussels (quickly heated in the microwave just before serving), more parsley and lemon wedges.

December 2013 / January 2014


book extract

pear, toasted hazelnut and orange pavlova drizzled with dark chocolate meringue (Serves 6) •  6 egg whites (180ml egg white or 30ml per egg white) • 450ml castor sugar • 2,5ml cream of tartar • 5ml vanilla essence or seeds of 1 vanilla pod 1 Preheat the oven to 100°C. Line a baking sheet with a double layer of baking paper and grease well. 2 Whisk the egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Add the sugar gradually whilst beating, to make sure it’s incorporated completely. Whisk until very stiff and shiny. 3 Add the cream of tartar and vanilla. 4 Shape a free-form meringue on the baking paper. 5 Bake for 2 hours and then switch off the oven. Leave the meringue to dry and cool in the oven – preferably overnight. Place on the serving dish once cooled.


December 2013 / January 2014

topping • 350ml fresh cream • 50ml castor sugar • 1 tin (410g) pears, drained and chopped into large chunks • 50g toasted and chopped hazelnuts • finely grated rind of 1 orange • 100g dark chocolate, melted

to assemble 1W  hip the cream and add the castor sugar.

2 Spoon a generous layer of the whipped cream over the meringue, and then top with the pears, hazelnuts and orange rind (only a small amount). 3 Drizzle the pavlova with the melted dark chocolate.

about the book This book includes a number of jazzed up recipes each inspired by South Africa’s West Coast. Readers will find everything from yellowtail and bacon kebabs to chocolate pizza. Christine, a trained chef, has also taught cooking classes in Langebaan, and she loves to share her passion for food with others. Everyday Delicious is published by Human & Rousseau and is available at all major bookstores.

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your child’s life

back to school already? Doing some back-to-school prep early on, means children are all set for the new year.



TAMLYN VINCENT looks at some of the tasks parents can tackle during the holidays.

y son is starting “big school” next year and, to be honest, I’m a little nervous. I know myself; the holidays will start. I’ll put my feet up, relax, play with my son and forget about the long list of back-to-school shopping and planning. But all too soon, Christmas will be over. New Year’s will have come and gone. And school will start tomorrow. But putting in a bit of work at the end of the year can save plenty of stress at the beginning of a new school year. “Starting school, regardless of the grade, is a big event in a child’s life,” says Carmen Weir, headmistress of Tyger Valley College Pre-Preparatory school in Pretoria. Children will be meeting new and old friends, getting to know new teachers and adapting to a new routine. “For children to ease into the system, it is important for them to be well prepared,” says Weir.

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Being prepared means ensuring your children have the correct stationery and uniform. Weir says it also means understanding the school’s expectations of your child. Children feel safe and secure when they feel

Do your shopping when everyone else is not doing it. comfortable and when they feel like part of the group. “If they are singled out, intentionally or not, they will feel insecure and the experience will become negative,” says Weir. To start off the year on a good foot, parents should send children to school with everything they need for a positive learning experience.

school supplies “Don’t lose the stationery list,” says Isabelle De Grandpre, a professional organiser based in Durban. She suggests getting stationery organised as soon as children finish school. Ask the school to send home any leftover exercise books, pastels or anything else that can be used again. Check the cupboards at home for unused stationery supplies. Take stock of what you already have, then figure out what you still need. Avoid doing stationery shopping just ahead of school, when shops sometimes run out of items – like the school dictionary your child needs. To avoid stress at the end of the holidays, especially when money may be tight, shop when everyone else is not shopping, advises De Grandpre. If you’re ordering stationery online, do it early so that everything arrives on time, and in good order.

December 2013 / January 2014


your child’s life

Cover exercise books in the holidays. For my son I’m thinking rocket ships and planets. If your children are old enough, they can do this themselves and decorate their books with pictures, stickers or glitter pens. Perhaps get them to invite friends around for a book-covering session, where they can catch up with each other and start to look forward to the year ahead. During the holidays, start an art and crafts drawer. Collect anything that may be useful for school projects or extramural activities, which could vary depending on children’s ages. Preschoolers could construct cardboardbox robots or paper-plate jellyfish, while older children may need items for leaf rubs, building an ant farm, or making cardboard spirals for snails. Collect cardboard, plain or decorative paper, or kitchen towel rolls. Also look out for stamps, stencils, glue and paint.

lunchboxes and shoes. Getting children to choose or decorate their own labels, in their signature colour of course, can help ensure everything comes home. The week before school starts, it’s time to cut hair, check for lice and deworm. Children should be dewormed every six months, so do it at the beginning of the year and again half way through. At the same time, deworm your pets and everyone else in the house. The day before school, check that uniforms are ironed and shoes are polished.

school bags Bags should be packed and ready to go the night before school starts. But at the beginning of the holidays, check that school bags are still in good condition and will last for another year. If a new bag is in order, add it to your stationery list. At the same time, ensure you have a lunch bag, lunch containers and a good juice bottle.

uniforms Shop early for school uniforms, says De Grandpre. Make a list of uniform requirements, including PE kits and any extramurals your children will be doing, such as swimming or ballet. If you’re not sure what extramurals they’ll be doing, hold off until you’re certain. For art classes, get an apron or an old T-shirt. If your children need new school shoes, buy these and new white socks early on. Children should wear in shoes over the holidays to prevent first day blisters. If my son is anything to go by, boys will be reluctant to wear shoes any longer than they have to, so let them play or kick a ball, while wearing their shoes. Don’t forget about labels, advises De Grandpre. Use these on everything, from shirts and blazers to PE kits and bags. Labels can also go on books, stationery, calculators,


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lunchboxes The thought of making lunches for another year may have you quitting before you’re ahead, but providing healthy lunches need not be a hassle. Before planning lunches, ask your children what they like. They could think beans are gross and egg mayo is smelly, or they may just love hummus and veggie sticks. Christine Phillips, chef and founder of a children’s cooking group, says that lunchboxes should include one portion each of starch, dairy, fruit, vegetables and protein. Phillips suggests mixing it up by using alternatives. Try brown rice wraps or seeded, low GI breads as a starch. Yoghurt, cheese cubes or milk work as dairy. For fruit and vegetables, Phillips says, “buy what is in season, which is more economical

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and adds variety to a diet.” Cubed melon, berries, dried fruit and bananas are good options. Vegetables could include shredded lettuce or baby spinach on a sandwich, pesto, pepper, cucumber or bean salad. Choose lean, unprocessed meats for proteins, but avoid having meat everyday by using cheese, tuna or hardboiled eggs. Nuts are a healthy snack, but find out if they’re allowed in the class or school, as some children have severe nut allergies.

getting organised The more routine your family has, the better, says De Grandpre. Before school starts, set up a schedule that works for each child and put it where they will see it, such as the bedroom or kitchen. Avoid a chaotic timetable by looking at how much children are taking on after school. De Grandpre suggests talking with your children, possibly before school starts, about what they want to do and what you can cut back on. You may find that they don’t like soccer, or that they would rather prefer trying guitar lessons. Telling time is a useful skill for older children. Get them an alarm clock or watch and teach them how to tell the time. Get into a routine the week before school starts, by setting the alarm for an early morning hour, without too many snoozes. Turn this into a game, awarding a prize to whoever gets ready first or schedule some exciting early morning outings for this week, such as a harbour ride or breakfast at a pancake house. If they’ve been staying up late during the holidays, children can start going to bed earlier in the last week before school starts. Set up a homework space, either in a communal area or in the bedroom, and ensure everything children need is there. Put up a pinboard for their schedule or make a funky

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pencil holder with them. This can also be an area to store school bags when children get home, making it easier for them to find their homework. Whether children are starting school for the first time or returning after a long break, they need to adjust to the school environment. “Discipline children at home, so that they are able to adapt to the structures and expectations of school life,” says Weir. If you establish ground rules for appropriate behaviour at home, and teach children the difference between right and wrong, it will be easier for them to cope at school.

where to go Showing up late on the first day is never a good thing, for children or for parents. Find out which classroom children will be in, and how to get there. If it’s your first year at the school, you may want to do an early morning trial drive, so you know how long it takes to get there, especially taking traffic into account.

lunchbox ideas Christine Phillips, chef and founder of a children’s cook group, suggests the following: • Homemade health bars, oat biscuits or rusks • Popcorn • Bran muffins with grated apple and carrots • Chopped fruit and a small yoghurt (pack a teaspoon) • Pita bread with cheese, gherkins, cherry tomatoes and olives • Chicken Caesar salad (pack a fork) • Shredded chicken, avo and lettuce wrap • Boiled eggs, meatballs, cream cheese, cherry tomatoes and cucumber • Low GI sandwich with hummus, baby spinach and grated carrot • Sliced beef sandwich with chutney and cheese

thinking ahead Keep brains active by encouraging children to think over the holidays. Stimulate them, says Weir, by providing learning opportunities where you can. Plan holiday outings to a local heritage site, learn a new computer skill, make something using your art and crafts drawer or send them into the garden to see what they can learn. Speak to children, and keep them reading and learning. Armed with my checklist, I am determined to be prepared for the start of the school year. This may mean that I won’t get to freewheel into the holidays, but it does mean that my son and I get to relax into the new school year.

December 2013 / January 2014



see the world by bike or barge

Holidays do not always have to be conventional. Child magazine has compiled a list of extraordinary and adventurous destinations that put a new spin on family holiday memories.

where to go The Canal du Midi runs from Agde, in the Mediterranean, to Toulouse. the adventure The canal is characterised by 42 000 plane trees that line the 241 kilometre waterway, which meanders through the French countryside and past historic towns. The canal itself is 300 years old, and has been named a Unesco World Heritage Site. The hydraulic engineering used to build the canal is a modern marvel, and is sure to impress any budding engineers as they travel through the 300-plus structures, including locks and bridges. Of note is the round lock at Agde, and the nine-stepped locks at Fonserannes. Also of interest are the towns and cities through which you’ll travel, including the medieval fortified city of Carcassonne and Narbonne, with its Gallo-Roman influences. The smaller towns and villages offer interesting stops along the route, and many tours include visits to chateaux where parents can enjoy a wine


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tasting. With the Pyrenees in the distance, and vineyards stretching out along the banks, this is a relaxing, slow way to see the French countryside. Bicycles are often included on the barges, giving you the opportunity to stretch your legs by cycling to local villages or for children to ride alongside the canal. Speak to the tour operator about other activities to keep children busy, such as horse-riding or a game of tennis. for the family This is a popular barging destination with a host of tour operators hiring out barges. Look for a family barge, or one a bit bigger for a larger group. There are also a number of family-friendly tour options, which offer activities to suit your family’s needs. a bit extra The canal is open from March through to November, but you may want to skip July and August, when the waterways can get a bit clogged with traffic. more info visit

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barging on canal du midi

biking through the danube valley where to go Visitors can travel along the Danube bike path from the German city of Passau, on the Germany-Austria border, all the way to Vienna. the adventure Castles, mountains, green valleys and medieval villages make this an impressive destination. Historical sites worth seeing are the town of Krems and the fortress of Dürnstein. But the route also offers views of vineyards, fruit orchards and castle ruins. Vienna is a cultural centre that offers family entertainment in the form of an adventure park and Ferris wheel. Visitors will also get to experience the best of Austrian cuisine, and maybe even join in a strudel making class. While there are some hilly rides along the way, it is for the most part a flat route along a well-kept network of paths. Boat rides along the river offer tourists the chance

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to skip riding while you take in some of the sights. This may prove a useful option for families with young children. There are a variety of tour operators and options along this route, including self-guided tours or those with a guide. The route is home to many family-friendly hotels that cater for children. for the family It is ideally suited to families, with its mostly flat, well-maintained cycling paths that wind along next to the Danube River. a bit extra The best time to visit is during the summer months. But this is one of Europe’s most travelled bike routes and most people begin the route on the weekends, clogging up the paths and the hotels. If you’re starting in Passau, begin the route on a week day. more info visit

biking and barging in the west frisian islands where to go The West Frisian Islands of Texel, Terschelling and Wieringen are a chain of islands that lie on the northern side of the Netherlands. the adventure You can see these parts of the Netherlands on a bike and a barge. Touring this part of the world also allows you to visit the cities of Amsterdam and Enkhuizen, and sail the Wadden Sea. Canals, dykes, lakes and the seashore add to the landscape, as do the familiar sights of windmills and fields of tulips. Tours travel along country roads to old Dutch villages. The museums, mills and cobble-stoned villages offer children the chance to explore. The Commandeurs’ homes in the harbour towns give you an insight into the lives of

the captains of the old whaling ships. On Texel Island, bird enthusiasts can see a wide variety of bird species. The cities of Enkhuizen and Hoorn are both home to impressive harbours dating back to the 17th century. And you can’t visit the Netherlands without tasting the cheeses for which it is known, Edam and Gouda. for the family The paths are easy to cycle and the roads are generally flat. Tours can include a range of activities, from visiting the beach to exploring the forests, dunes and villages. Younger children may enjoy seeing old castles along the route. a bit extra Plan to visit this area in the late spring and summer months. more info visit

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liveaboard in whitsunday islands where to go Great Barrier Reef between Mackay and Bowen, just above Brisbane in Australia the adventure Whitsunday Islands National Park is one of the best sailing destinations in the world and consists of 74 islands. You can hire a yacht, put on the skipper cap, and chart an island-hopping course through paradise, or as they say in the industry “bareboat” a charter. If you don’t feel confident enough to hoist the sails, you can opt for a power boat or catamaran, or hire a skipper for all or part of your trip. A must see are the panoramic views of Whitehaven Beach, visible from the Tongue Bay walking track. The crystalclear water may even allow for a sting ray or two to be spotted. In winter, from May to September, the waters are home to humpback and pilot whales. They are a fantastic sight to behold, but be sure to keep a safe following distance.

for the family Choose between snorkelling, fishing, camping and more; there is something to do for all ages. a bit extra It is common for people to wear full-length lycra suits or stinger suits to protect them from the jellyfish. The suits will also protect you from getting sunburnt. They can be rented from the local tour operators. more info visit

rottnest island by bike where to go On the western side of Australia, a 45-minute ferry ride from Perth, lies Rottnest Island. the adventure The island is a protected reserve, providing recreational and holiday facilities, but with a strong emphasis on maintaining the natural environment. The reserve also boasts one of the largest bike hire facilities in the southern hemisphere, so you’re likely to find a bicycle to suit your needs. They cater to children and adults, and have bikes for individuals with disabilities. They also offer bikes with children’s seats. You can rent bikes and ride from beach to beach, stopping off to snorkel, surf or kayak, and when you find that you’ve run out of peddle power, you can leave the bike at a bus stop and take the bus back to the ferry. for the family There are plenty of activities on the island: an 18-hole golf course, Just 4 Fun Aqua Park and a Family Fun Park. a bit extra The island hosts a variety of events throughout the year, such as fun runs and golfing tournaments – visit their website to see what’s happening. more info visit

charter a houseboat on lake taupo where to go Lake Taupo is situated in the northern Island of New Zealand and is the largest freshwater lake in Australasia. the adventure If you look at the mountains to the south of Lake Taupo, you might spot a hobbit. These ominous mountains were featured in The Lord of the Rings trilogy as Mt Doom. Twelve-metre-long houseboats are available for skippered charters or overnight stays, and can accommodate up to eight people. If the land lovers want to spend the day off the boat you can visit Taupo, the nearby town that features Huka Prawn Park, a six-hectare parkland dedicated to the production of New Zealand prawns and home to Shawn the Prawn; Huka Honey Hive, where you can watch bees in their glass hives; Taupo DeBretts Hot Springs or AC Baths, thermally heated swimming pools or the Whitewater World River Adventure HQ Experience, a 4D simulator that will enable you to experience a helicopter flight and whitewaterrafting. There are a number of easy to difficult biking trails around the great lake, along the Waikato River waterway and in the nearby Pureora Forest Park. for the family There are shorter loops of 5km or 8km in the Forest Park. Bikes are available to hire. a bit extra You can also enjoy jet boat rides, quad biking, mountain boarding, windsurfing, hot pools, hydroslides, hiking, kayaking, bungee jumping, mountain biking, swimming, water skiing, skydiving, fishing and golf. more info visit or


December 2013 / January 2014

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biking in cambodia where to go The Temple of Angkor Wat is approximately a five-hour bus journey to the north, from the capital Phnom Penh. the adventure The site of Angkor in Cambodia is the largest religious monument in the world and is comprised of the Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple with countless sculptural decorations. Once the centre of the Khmer Kingdom, it is now a Unesco World Heritage Site. Bicycles can be hired in the town of Siem Reap and you can join a tour to the temples or go on your own and enjoy it at your own pace. The temples are easy to find and the 12km road you take to get to them is flat. An alternative way to view the temples is from a distance in a hot-air balloon at sunrise or sunset.

When visiting the temples try to dress respectfully by covering your shoulders and not wearing shorts. Festivals to watch out for in Cambodia include Bon Om Tuk (Water festival) in November or the Khmer New Year celebrated in April. for the family Just 40km away is the Beng Mealea Temple, where children of all ages can have a true Indiana Jones experience. The temple has been left untouched, and children can hang from trees, treasure hunt and just run wild. a bit extra The best time to visit Cambodia is in the winter months from November to February. Although this is the peak of the tourist season, the temperature and humidity levels are lower at this time. more info visit

island-hopping in a dhow where to go Menai Bay Conservation Area, southern Zanzibar the adventure Safari Blue picks you up from Fumba Village, south west of Stone Town in Zanzibar. For a full day you will explore the wildlife, isolated sand banks and rugged island scenery of the Menai Bay Conservation Area on traditional handbuilt mahogany sailing dhows. Expect dolphin watching and guided snorkelling, a delicious Zanzibari seafood lunch and tropical fruit tasting. You’ll swim in the mangrove lagoon, explore in a ngalawa (canoe), climb an ancient baobab tree and then return to Fumba by traditional sail. Zanzibar is cooler from April to August and gets increasingly warmer from November through to March. It is never cold but there

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are rainy seasons, which are becoming less defined and intensive. It’s popular for South Africans who wish to escape the winter. Zanzibar is very humid from December to March, but not worse than Durban. for the family Children of all ages love the Safari Blue tour as it is an active day with a steady pace of things to do and see, but there is also ample opportunity to “take time out”. a bit extra Menai Bay was declared a conservation site in 1997 and is referred to as a “gift to the earth”, so expect an abundance of wildlife and an unspoilt beach. A little off the shore, taking place round the month of July, Zanzibar holds an international film festival. more info visit

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houseboat safari where to go Chobe River, bordering Namibia and Botswana the adventure The Ichobezi Safari Boats operate on the Chobe River, on the very tip of the Eastern Caprivi. As they are allowed within the Chobe National Park at all times, you are likely to witness the thousands of elephants (largest population in the world exists here), antelope, buffalo, lions and leopards. The two houseboats each have four cabins and they work like a hotel so you don’t need to take over the houseboat, you can just reserve the room. Each houseboat also has four smaller “tender” boats, allowing you to focus on the activities that most interest you, which could be a sunset cruise along the banks of the Chobe National Park, some outstanding birding offered by the Caprivi wetland, or tiger fishing in the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers. The weather is warm, with the occasional spectacular storm. The green season, from January to June, offers stunning birdlife while the high season, from June to December, is much cooler. The dryer weather means that game viewing is really impressive with great sightings every day, although elephant viewing is great all year round. for the family Children are welcomed onboard, with those aged seven years and younger being allowed to sleep in your


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bedroom. Cabins are fairly close together so your children are nearby all the time. There is a plunge pool on the sun deck and the guides are well-trained to handle children of all ages. a bit extra Apart from tiger fishing from a tender boat, you can fish for barbel, off the back of the houseboat, with bits of bacon. On your walk along the Caprivi flood plain there’s a chance to visit one of the local villages. more info visit

galápagos voyage where to go The Galápagos Islands are in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 1 000km west of Ecuador, South America. The islands are distributed either side of the equator. the adventure You will visit the major islands in the archipelago – usually six to eight different islands, under the guidance of specially trained naturalists. In between these guided hikes and lectures, the

family can swim, snorkel and kayak in the protected coves and shorelines. Children can frolic with playful sea lions, and spot crabs scuttling across the black lava fields as well as whales and pods of dolphins breaching and playing around the yacht. Each evening, the naturalists enlist younger passengers in various games and costumemaking contests, to test who has learnt the most that day. You’re advised to select a vessel with wetsuits; most offer them without charge. The hottest months are December to May. for the family Designated family departures mean your child will meet and bond with children from different countries and cultures who are the same age. The naturalist guides working on the yachts are experts at targeting their information to the level of the group they are leading. Children will love the sea lion pups, which have absolutely no fear of humans, as well as kayaking into sea caves. a bit extra Rainfall is most likely in the months of January to April, so travel during these times may call for sturdy, waterresistant hiking boots with excellent ankle support. For the motion sensitive, avoid travelling in August to early September as there is a lot of turbulence in the archipelago. On the other hand, if you do not get easily seasick, these colder waters will bring more nutrients, thereby attracting more dolphins, whales and pelagic birds. more info visit

caribbean island go-slow where to go The island of Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean the adventure As the island is small, Antigua is well-suited to cycling. The hills are negotiable and generally not too steep. The scenery is varied and village life is much more suited to observation from a slowmoving bicycle than from a speeding car. The best bike shop in Antigua is apparently Bike Plus, which is located in St John, close to the start of All Saints Road. You can hire bikes or get spares from them, and if you hire a bike for a week you’ll get a free road map with directions to all 365 beaches. Traffic is generally light, but common sense, in regards to safety, should be applied. You will find a list of cycling routes on Antigua Outdoors (link is below) and for those families that are serious about cycling there is a Cycling Association in Antigua, which organises cycling events. for the family If you’re cycling around Reservoir Range, book a session of archery, mountain-biking or air-pistol shooting; there are also picnic pavilions. On the off-road trail around the Potworks Dam Reservoir, you will pass farmland and a donkey sanctuary. Here you can explore the island, away from the resorts. a bit extra Watch out for thorns and take plenty of water – Antigua Tourism advises a litre per riding hour. more info visit

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glacier cruise where to go Southeast Alaska the adventure On a cruise through the enormous wilderness of southeast Alaska you should expect to see Leviathan whales, countless eagles, bears catching wild salmon, sea lions, porpoises and various seabirds too numerous to count. Highlights of the Alaskan adventure are seeing calving glaciers, walking through old-growth rain forests, sea kayaking, strolling along secluded beaches and seeing incredible land, air and sea wildlife. The best time to visit is between May and September.

some local spots for the family This destination is great for families with children as young as eight years old. Accommodating up to a mere 12 guests, these small ships find remote passages that larger cruise ships cannot access. ROW’s adventure cruises are joined by expert naturalist guides who will share knowledge of the local flora and fauna, and the natural and cultural history of this remarkable place. a bit extra ROW Adventures was winner of the 2012 National Geographic “Tours of a Lifetime”. more info visit

biking Cape Town’s Wine Route There are several biking routes in and around Cape Town to choose from. You can opt for tours in Stellenbosch, through the Devon Valley, Franschhoek or the Durbanville Hills, where cyclists can travel through winelands. Stop at the vineyards, where you can sample wine, or find a spot to enjoy lunch and let the children run around. Dinokeng Nature Reserve A cycling safari provides cyclists with the chance to see wildlife, birdlife and nature up close. Situated just north of Pretoria, Dinokeng offers various cycling and MTB trails, along with tours of Cullinan, hot-air balloon rides, scuba diving and more. The Wild Coast Ride along the Eastern Cape coastline, with trails starting in Port Edward, and moving through Msikaba, Port St John’s, Umngazi and Coffee Bay. The changing landscape offers beaches, waterfalls and cliff faces, and difficulty levels will depend on the route chosen.

barging Knysna Lagoon Hire a houseboat and spend your holiday gently cruising around the lagoon, finding sunny beaches or letting the children ride a tube behind the boat. The area also offers hiking, the chance to meet elephants, and a variety of nearby shops and markets. The Vaal River Float along the Vaal in a houseboat, taking in the sights of the wetlands, enjoying a braai on board or docking at a restaurant for dinner. Whether you’re looking to fish, or just enjoy a gentle cruise, this destination offers a variety of activities. Langebaan In the West Coast National Park, at Kraalbaai, you can rent houseboats for a family getaway of fishing, swimming, skiing, tubing, walking, hiking, bird-watching, beach fun or simply relaxing on board.

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December 2013 / January 2014



a good read for toddlers

for preschoolers packed w ith fun extras

Little Mouse’s Big Book of Beasts By Emily Gravett

Wild Animals Number Fun By Ben Adams and Sarah Pitt (Published by NB Publishers, R89) This wipe-clean playbook is recommended for children from the age of three. They can turn the picture wheel and open the foldout pages to share numbers and counting activities. The pages can be wiped clean, so the book can be used again and again. Activities include joining the numbered dots to complete pictures, counting animals and their features, interactive noise and clapping fun as well as drawing. The illustrations are bright and cheerful, which will keep young children interested and occupied.

Zoe and Beans – How Many Pets? By Chloë and Mike Inkpen (Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, R89) Children from as young as a year old can learn to count with Zoe and Beans. How many pets can you see? Join Zoe and Beans and their new friend Oscar as they count the animals, from one to 10. This is the start of a brilliant new series of board books featuring the adorable Zoe and Beans and all of their friends. With its gentle rhyming text, beautiful artwork and familiar and funny animals, this book is perfect for sharing with toddlers and young children.

The Toucan Brothers By Tor Freeman

laugh-out -loud

(Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, R125) What do you do when your sink’s on the blink? In Tapton everyone knows who to call – the fast-plumbing toucans, Sammy and Paul. But when a new plumber, Flash Rover, swings into town, the toucans’ telephone stops ringing. Flash Rover may be faster and cheaper, but he’s also a rotten cheat and it isn’t long before the people of Tapton find themselves in deep, deep water… literally. “Tapton is drowning, we’re right in a jam. And no-one can save us but Paulie and Sam!” The two birds were touched by the pleas of the town, and this was their home too, so they will not let it drown. This is an absolutely hilarious story, with stunning illustrations where a lot is happening, which makes it one book that will be read over and over again.

(Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, R128) Little Mouse is back with a whole host of terrifying beasts. Little Mouse has found a new book, and this time it’s full of scary creatures. Undaunted, he bravely sets about removing or altering all the scariest bits: cosy mittens to cover the lion’s claws, ruby lips to replace the shark’s teeth, and he even pole vaults out of the way of the bear. Full of flaps, jokes and Emily Gravett’s trademark wit, with a brilliantly satisfying ending, this is a worthy successor to Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears. It’s also filled with activities like folding an origami mouse and shark, tips on dental care (there’s nothing like a crocodile to inspire this) and flaps to lift.

The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit By Emma Thompson

Jo-Jo the Melon Donkey By Michael Morpurgo and Helen Stephens

(Published by Penguin Books, R233) The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit is a brand new story from acclaimed British actress Emma Thompson. It’s the perfect Christmas tale: Peter and his cousin Benjamin are on a mission to help a special friend from becoming Mr and Mrs McGregor’s Christmas dinner. Will Peter and Benjamin be able to save him? Thompson is also an Oscar-winning screenwriter, and lives in London and Argyll.

(Published by Penguin Books, R108) Jo-Jo is a lovable donkey, who carries heavy melons through the streets of Venice, that need to be sold. He is bullied by his master and plagued by flies. Jo-Jo is loved by nobody. But one day, somebody notices Jo-Jo; the famous duke’s daughter herself. And when danger looms, the Venetians need a hero to save them. A real feeling of warmth and hope is created in this timeless, classical tale.

Table Mountain’s Holiday By Lucy Stuart-Clark The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water By Gemma Merino (Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, R121) Everybody knows that crocodiles love water, but this little crocodile is different. He doesn’t like water at all. In fact, he prefers climbing trees. But it can be lonely when you’re the odd one out, so the little crocodile tries his best to change, but being wet isn’t for everyone, and a shiver soon becomes a cold and the cold becomes a sneeze – a very hot sneeze… Could it be that this little crocodile isn’t a crocodile at all, but he might just be a dragon? And dragons aren’t born to swim. They are born to fly and to breathe fire. This is a lovely story about uniqueness from the winner of the 2011 Macmillan Prize for Illustration.

(Published by Bumble Books, R135) Tired of being covered by a cold, cloudy blanket, Table Mountain, a dinosaur, waves goodbye to Lion’s Head and goes on holiday. He feeds squirrels in The Company’s Garden, has tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel, and catches a boat to Robben Island. He visits the Waterfront where he catches a movie, and then sets out for Muizenberg. He even tries shark-cage diving in False Bay. He also goes on a short trip to the Karoo. But then he misses Lion’s Head too much and decides to go home. To order, email or visit

Mysterious Traveller By Mal Peet, Elspeth Graham and PJ Lynch (Published by Walker Books, R225) This is a moving story, stunningly illustrated by PJ Lynch for children from the age of five. The tale begins with a camel, trying to protect a little baby from a violent desert storm. He is rescued by Issa, the desert guide, who takes the child in, naming her Mariama. She becomes Issa’s only family and his eyes as he begins to lose his sight. Years later, a stranger arrives at their door, who will change their lives forever.


December 2013 / January 2014

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for early graders

for preteens and teens Above World By Jenn Reese

Ella’s Kitchen – The Cook Book: The Red One (Published by Hamlyn, R218) Ella’s Kitchen is the fastest growing brand in the UK baby food sector and this new title is the first in a series of books aimed at creating nutritious, convenient food that children from the age of eight will love. There are 100 recipes to inspire big and little cooks, ranging from the easiest of snacks and light meals that can be rustled up in minutes to delicious and satisfying dinners. Interesting twists and clever shortcuts, such as salmon fillets baked in parcels, make life as easy as possible for busy parents. For weekends there are breakfast recipes such as Blueberry Pancakes and more involved cooking projects such as a Pasta Weekend.

Dogtective William and the Pirates By Elizabeth Wasserman and Chris Venter (Published by NB Publishers, R115) Adrian is 12 years old and an only child. He spends a lot of time with his dog, William, which the family got from the SPCA. But only Adrian knows William’s secret: he understands humans and he can talk. In the second book of the series, Alex’s mom wins a luxury cruise holiday and takes her son along. William plays stowaway in Alex’s backpack, and when modern day pirates take the ship hostage, William’s sleuth skills save the day. Alex and William work together to foil the pirates’ plans, which include locating and stealing a treasure.

(Published by Walker Books, R114) Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life in the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, the Kampii’s breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for a way to save their people. But can Aluna’s determination and fighting skills, and Hoku’s tech savvy keep them safe? Set in a world where overcrowding has led humans to adapt – growing tails to live under the ocean or wings to live on mountains – here is a ride through a future where greed and cruelty have gone unchecked, but the loyalty of friends remains true. Above World is recommended for children from the age of nine.

Kite Spirit By Sita Brahmachari (Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, R101) During the summer, Kite’s world falls apart. Her best friend, Dawn, commits suicide after a long struggle with feeling under pressure to achieve. Kite’s dad takes her to the Lake District to give her time and space to grieve. At home in London, Kite is a confident girl, but in the countryside she feels vulnerable. Kite senses Dawn’s spirit around her and is consumed by powerful, confusing emotions – anger, guilt, sadness and frustration. It’s not until she meets a local boy, Garth, that Kite begins to open up – talking to a stranger is easier somehow. Kite deeply misses her friend and would do anything to speak to Dawn just once more, to understand why, otherwise how can she ever say goodbye? Kite Spirit is for children from the age of 11.

Versailles and San Francisco – ThreeDimensional Expanding Pocket and City Guide By Nina Cosford and Charlotte Trounce (Published by Walker Books, R86 each) Discover one of the world’s most famous palaces with these cut-paper pocket guide and bring San Francisco to life with a three-dimensional expanding city skyline. Unfolding to a length of 1,5m and presented in a beautiful slipcase, the Versailles guide features sumptuous rooms and magnificent treasures such as the Hall of Mirrors, the King’s Room, the Grand Trianon and the Queen’s Hamlet. Each illustration is accompanied by a short description, making this the perfect souvenir. The San Francisco cutpaper guide features the important sights in the city, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman’s Wharf, the AT&T Park and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Ladybird Bedtime Tales for Children Retold by Mandy Archer

for the bookshelf

(Published by Penguin Books, R135) This gorgeous Ladybird treasury of eight classic, traditional tales is guaranteed to delight and entertain young children. Each favourite fairytale or story has been sensitively retold for modern readers and the mix of amazing animals, magical marvels and classic characters is perfect for both boys and girls. An ideal gift, it comes complete with a ribbon page marker and sparkly foil on the cover. The stories include Chicken Licken, Rapunzel, The Enormous Turnip, The Wizard of Oz, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Rumpelstiltskin and Heidi. This keepsake can be read to children as young as three, but your seven year old will also get hours of pleasure from the classic stories and bright, colourful illustrations.

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The Sleeping Baobab Tree By Paula Leyden (Published by Walker Books, R102) This is a funny, heart-warming story set in modern-day Zambia for children from the age of nine. One morning 12-year-old Fred wakes up with an unaccountable sense of foreboding, which his friend Bul-Boo, one of the twins from next door, insists is just his imagination. However, the feeling persists, and grows stronger when Fred’s terrifying great-granny, Nokokulu, asks him to accompany her on a trip to an ancient burial site known as the Place of Death. Then Bul-Boo overhears her parents talking about patients going missing from her mother’s Aids clinic, and when one of the patients turns out to be Fred’s Aunt Kiki, the children suddenly view Nokokulu’s trip in a different light. As the three friends and the old woman journey into the heart of Zambia, dark clouds are gathering and ancient magic is in the air.

Molly Moon and the Monster Music By Georgia Byng (Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, R100) This is the sixth adventure in the bestselling Molly Moon series. Eleven-year-old Molly Moon is known and loved for her incredible powers – hypnotism, time travelling and mind reading, but now something seems to have power over her. Not only has it made her a brilliant musician, it’s given her thousands of new fans, all of whom are mesmerised by her. Only Petula, her pet pug, senses an off note. Molly-the-Makerof-Magical-Music is one thing, but Mollythe-Big-Old-Meanie is another, and every day Petula sees her kind owner become more and more horrible. What is going on? And can one determined dog sort it out before Molly becomes truly monstrous? This popular series is recommended for children from the age of nine. December 2013 / January 2014



for preteens and teens

for us Zoo Time By Howard Jacobson

The Last Wild By Piers Torday

imaginati ve genius

(Published by Quercus Publishing, R173) In a world where animals no longer exist, 12-year-old Kester Jaynes sometimes feels like he hardly exists either. Locked away in a home for troubled children, he’s told there’s something wrong with him. So when he meets a flock of talking pigeons and a bossy cockroach, Kester thinks he’s finally gone a bit mad. But the animals have something to say… They fly Kester to a place where the last creatures have survived. A wise stag needs Kester’s help, and together they must embark on a great journey.


December 2013 / January 2014

And When She Was Good By Laura Lippman (Published by William Morrow & Company, R295) Heloise, a single mother, runs her own business, avoids attention and keeps her private life to herself. But Heloise’s life is also a precarious one, because her business is one that takes place in discreet hotel rooms and, for the right money, she could be the woman of your dreams. Now her carefully constructed world is under threat. Her once oblivious accountant is suddenly asking questions; her protector is hinting at mysterious dangers, and another so-called suburban madam has been found dead. Lippman delivers a brilliant novel about a woman with a secret life who is forced to make desperate choices to save her son and herself.

(Published by Bloomsbury Publishing, R175) Novelist Guy Ableman is in thrall to his vivacious wife Vanessa, a strikingly beautiful redhead, highly-strung and blazingly angry. The trouble is, he is no less in thrall to her alluring mother, Poppy. Mother and daughter come as a pair; a blistering presence that destroys Guy’s peace of mind, suggesting the wildest stories but making it impossible for him to concentrate to write any of them. Not that anyone reads Guy, anyway. His publisher has committed suicide. His agent is in hiding and Vanessa is writing a novel of her own. Guy doesn’t expect her to finish it, but he dreads the consequences if she does. Now Guy wonders if it’s time to take his love for Poppy to another level. Zoo Time is a novel about love – of women, of literature, of laughter. It shows a funny writer at his brilliant best.

The Dog Encyclopedia Senior editor Kathryn Hennessy

for the coffee tab


(Published by Penguin Books, R414) This is the comprehensive compendium dedicated to all things canine. From Beethoven to Toto, dogs have been adored for their unswerving loyalty and companionship throughout history and this is the perfect celebration of man’s best friend. This extensive catalogue of over 400 dog breeds, from Labradors to German Shepherds and every pedigree in between, provides photographs and profiles detailing character, compatible owner traits, and breed-specific advice. You’ll also find features on famous fictional dogs, canine heroes and a fact-packed guide to canine evolution. Expert advice on everything from exercise and feeding your pooch, to grooming and puppy training is included.

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for us

parenting books When One is Expecting From the creator of @pippatips

Things to Make and Do with Your Children By Myleene Klass

100 Clever Digital Photography Ideas By Peter Cope

(Published by Orion Publishing, R260) Packed full of stories, rhymes, activities and advice, this is a great book to share with your two to five year old. Published as a big bumper book, this full-colour edition is perfect for parents and children to enjoy together. Stories and rhymes are appealing, interactive and high in early-learning content; there is a wide range of traditional stories as well as ones about big occasions in a child’s life. The craft and creative play ideas are varied, including dressing up and face painting; food to prepare together; and things to do outside. The sections are interspersed with Myleene’s advice to parents based on her experiences as a mother to two young daughters, which make her an inspiration to both stay-athome parents and those who work.

(Published by Metz Press, R180) This is a practical, accessible guide to the ingenious and inspirational ways to get the most from your basic camera and camera phone. Discover clever ways to share your photos using Facebook and Flickr, or create web galleries, photo books and largescale versions of your prints from canvas to wallpaper. Understand how to use all those modes and menus to get the best possible picture every time. It is filled with invaluable, imaginative tips from shooting for online auctions and photographing children and pets to organising your own photo treasure hunt and interesting ways to let your old camera live on. Open your eyes to the creative possibilities with your digital photo technology. The book includes a “jargon buster” section.

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(Published by Icon Books, R179) “Does ‘nesting’ mean I have to live in a tree?” “Is there any salad involved in a Caesarean section?” “Is caviar suitable for puréeing?” Apart from deciding which hat to wear for a posh celebration, having a baby is the biggest challenge a person can face. With tips to take you from womb to silver spoon, When One is Expecting is the definitive guide to raising your little prince or princess the aristocratic way. The advice in this book has been produced as a parody and should not be taken seriously. Whether you want a child to brighten up the east wing, avoid a succession crisis, or simply get more out of Mother’s Day, pregnancy and parenting are often the best way to achieve this. But getting there can be far from plain sailing…

Blame my Brain: The Amazing Teenage Brain By Nicola Morgan (Published by Walker Books, R102) This is a comprehensive guide to the biological mysteries that lie behind teenage behaviour. Contrary to popular (parental) opinion, teenagers are not the lazy, unpleasant louts they occasionally appear to be. During the teenage years the brain is undergoing its most radical and fundamental change since the age of two. Nicola Morgan’s carefully researched, accessible and humorous examination of the ups and downs of the teenage brain has chapters dealing with powerful emotions and much more. The revised edition contains new research, including information on mirror neurons. It should be read by parents of teenagers and even children from the age of 10.

December 2013 / January 2014



what’s on in december & january

You can also access the “what’s on” section online at

Your guide to the holiday season’s festivities. Compiled by SIMONE JEFFERY.




Sleeping Beauty on Ice See this dazzling rendition of the timeless love story by the Imperial Ice Stars.

The Maxwell Live in SA tour Buy a ticket for an evening of R&B, funk, neo soul and jazz.

bump, baby & tot in tow – p54

how to help – p55

Open days at Larney Ladybirds Spread a blanket under the trees and watch your children run and play.

2014 SAID Calendar Proceeds made from sales benefit the Society for Animals in Distress.

SPECIAL EVENTS – p42 HospiceWits Tree of Light The Tree of Light, symbolising Christmas and the spirit of community, comes to life.


December 2013 / January 2014

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December 2013 / January 2014




december 2013 1 sunday Christmas in the tea room Young ladies can enjoy going to Crabtree and Evelyn’s tea room for a few festive treats, mince pies, eggnog and Liz Wood Christmas cakes. The room above the shop houses an eclectic mix of antique furniture and contemporary visuals. Booking essential as space is limited. Also 30 November and 14–16 December. Time: 9am–5pm, Monday– Saturday; 9am–4pm, every Sunday and public holiday. Venue: Crabtree and Evelyn,

Christmas in the tea room


December 2013 / January 2014

shop 14, Design Quarter, off William Nicol Dr, Fourways. Cost: varies. Contact: 011 465 8276, or visit Classic Car Show View the well-polished display of hot rods, vintage cars and bikes, and over 1 000 pimped out VWs. There is live entertainment, a beer garden, and a market of bits and bobs. Time: 8am–4pm. Venue: Johannesburg Expo Centre, cnr Randshow Rd, Nasrec. Cost: adults R60, children R20. Contact: 011 432 0463, or visit Collector’s Toy Fair There are plenty of dolls, teddy bears, Smurfs, Barbies, Matchbox cars, and Hornby trains and planes for sale and on display. If you have any old toys that you would like to get valued, sell or have repaired, take them along and they will try to assist you. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: Blairgowrie Recreation Centre, Park Lane, off Conrad Dr, Blairgowrie, Randburg. Cost: adults R10, children free. Contact: 011 787 2696, or visit Farm to table Guests can enjoy a delicious farm-style alfresco buffet made from locally farmed ingredients. Children have the opportunity to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors, have their faces painted, ride a horse and colour in. Booking essential. Time: 12pm–5pm. Venue: Vasco

1 December – Farm to table

Henriques, Lanseria. Cost: adults R330, children 4–13 years old R150, children 0–3 years old free. Contact Hazel: 087 310 3888, or visit HospiceWits Tree of Light Tonight the Tree of Light, symbolising Christmas and the spirit of community, comes to life. Bring a picnic to enjoy on the lawns and purchase a globe in support of HospiceWits. Time: from 5pm. Venue: Johannesburg Zoo, Jan Smuts Ave, Parkview. Cost: free entry after 5pm, globe R50. Contact: 011 483 9148 or My pet’s day out This is a social event for pets and their owners, with a variety of activities and competitions taking place

throughout the day. Dogs can take part in a fancy dress, golden oldies or obedience competition. There is also an Ivok Gallery auction and numerous animal-related products are on sale. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Brightwater Commons, Republic Rd, Randburg. Cost: competitions R10 entry per dog. Cost: 011 789 5052 or visit STM Summer Festival Revel in summer’s beauty with great food, craft beer, an art and craft market, children’s entertainment, rides and more. The festival incorporates a colour festival. Bring your umbrellas and picnic blankets and spend the day enjoying live music. All ages. Time: 10am–6pm. Venue: Ball and All Driving Range, plot 126,

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cnr Malibongwe Dr and R114 Rd (opposite the Lion Park), Nooitgedacht. Cost: adults R120, children R60. Contact: 071 868 7168 or visit

3 tuesday Mrs Claus’ Kitchen The centre keeps children busy these holidays. They prepare tasty treats for Santa and his elves in Mrs Claus’ Kitchen, from candy reindeer and sugar-cone angels to marshmallow snowmen and Christmas wreaths. Booking recommended. For children 4–8 years old. 3–16 December. Time: 45-minute classes 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm, 3:30pm and 5pm,

Monday–Saturday; 11am, 12:30pm and 2pm, Sunday and public holidays. Venue: Pick n Pay Court, Bedford Centre, cnr Smith Rd and Van der Linde Rd, Bedfordview. Cost: R20 per session. Contact: 011 622 1840 or Nedbank Golf Challenge Things are going to get tense at this year’s Nedbank Golf Challenge with a change in the format, increased prize money and the addition of official World Golf Ranking points. Comedians and bands perform every day from 4:15pm–7pm. Ends 8 December. Time: 10am. Venue: Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, North West. Cost:

Garden World’s carols by candlelight The evening will be hosted by MC David Louw and Leanne Heyl (Boeboe from Vetkoek Paleis) and feature the Villa Rose actors and artists from the West Rand. All proceeds will go to Abraham Kriel Childcare. Time: 6:30pm. Venue: Garden World, Beyers Naudé Dr, Muldersdrift. Cost: donations welcome. Contact: 011 957 2545 or visit

6 fri

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adults R80–R200, children 12–17 years old free–R100, children under 12 free. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit

4 wednesday A chorus of carols Join Avril Elizabeth Home for a night of carols and Christmas shopping. The home cares for intellectually disabled children and adults, many with a physical disability. Time: 5:30pm–9pm. Venue: Avril Elizabeth Home, 11 Castor Rd, Fishers Hill, Germiston. Cost: free. Contact Allison: 076 166 9173, Linda: 011 822 2233 or visit Carols with the Lipizzaners Join the majestic Lipizzaner stallions for an evening of Christmas carols with the Welsh Male Voice Choir. Booking recommended. Ends 23 December. Time: varies. Venue: Lipizzaner Centre, Kyalami Equestrian Park, 1 Dahlia Rd, Kyalami. Cost: R150. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit Christmas Festival Find all the goodies you need to get your house and pantry ready for Christmas, from tinsel and Christmas cake to Panettone and mince pies. Ends 8 December. Time: 10am–6pm. Venue: Benmore Gardens Shopping Centre, cnr Grayston Dr and Benmore Rd, Sandton. Cost: free. Contact: 083 311 4768 or

5 thursday Jacaranda 94.2 Christmas Carols An evening of traditional Christmas carols with some of South Africa’s top performers including Loyiso Bala, Lloyd Cele, Nianell, the Mzansi Youth Choir and more. Time: doors open 4pm, the concert starts 7pm. Venue: Coca-Cola Dome, cnr Northumberland Rd and Olievenhout Ave, North Riding. Cost: free, take a toy to donate to charity. Contact: 011 063 5700 or visit

6 friday XmasXpo Stock up on Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, toys, gifts and crafts. Father Christmas is also there until 1 December to give the children gifts that parents have bought from the website. Ends 8 December. Time: 9am–9pm, Friday and Saturday; 9am–5pm, Sunday. Venue: Montecasino Outdoor Event Arena, cnr William Nicol Dr and Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: adults R50, children R20, children under 1 free. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit

7 saturday Family bird walk Ella Roberts is leading a walk through Northern Farms in search of our fine feathered friends. Bring binoculars and a picnic basket. Booking essential.

December 2013 / January 2014



13 friday

Time: 7am. Venue: Northern Farms, off the R114, Diepsloot. Cost: WSNBG members: adults R30, children R15; non-members: adults R60, children R30. Contact: botsoc@ or visit Christmas with Richard Cock Ring in the festive season with a Christmas concert by the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg and a full orchestra conducted by Richard Cock. Also 8 December. Time: 7pm, Saturday; 3pm, Sunday. Venue: Linder Auditorium, St Andrews Rd, Parktown. Cost: R145. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit Gerber Gear Mud Run Conquer the 12km (18 years or older) or 5km (8 years or older) trail run with its obstacles. You need to be relatively fit as the obstacles are quite tough. Enter at Trappers Trading stores in Fourways, Northgate, Boksburg, Cradle Stone or Kolonnade Centre. For children 8 years and older. Time: starts 7:30am. Venue: Avianto Clubhouse, R114, Muldersdrift. Cost: adults R300, children R80. For more info: visit The Smurfs are coming Papa Smurf, Smurfette and Clumsy are entertaining children with lots of fun, laughs, song and dance. You can also buy a Smurfs magnetic photo frame in aid of an orphanage. Ends 24 December. Time: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm, Monday–Saturday; 12pm, 2pm and 4pm, Sunday. Venue: Strelitzia Court, Eastgate Shopping Centre, 43 Bradford Rd, Bedfordview. Cost: free, photo frame R10. Contact: 011 479 6000 or visit

100 000 Stairs of Hope Leukaemia survivor Ray Funnell and his team of 20 incredible athletes are attempting to climb a height equivalent to Mt Everest (8 850m) in 36 hours non-stop. This entails climbing 100 000 stairs, to cover a distance of 100km and complete over 200 reps of the famous Westcliff Stairs. Sibusiso Vilane, the SA mountaineer who has conquered Everest twice, is part of this team. Ends 15 December. Time: starts 6am (14 December), ends 6pm (15 December). Venue: Westcliff Stairs, Crescent Dr, Westcliff. Cost: donations of R10 per stair. Contact: 021 701 0661, or visit

10 tuesday

25 wednesday

Mzansi Spelling Bee national final Fifty children from across South Africa are battling it out to be the Mzansi Spelling Bee champion of 2013. The children had to beat hundreds of competitors, aged 9–14 years old, and struggle with vowels and consonants to make it through to the finals. Ten South African personalities are also competing to be crowned the “spellebrity” of the year. Time: 6pm. Venue: Mandela Theatre at Joburg Theatre Complex, 163 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein. Cost: R50. Book through the Joburg Theatre: 0861 670 670 or visit

Christmas Picnic Enjoy a scrumptious family picnic with all the trimmings, set on the lawns of Toadbury Hall. Booking in advance essential. Time: from 11am. Venue: Toadbury Hall, Beyers Naudé Dr Ext, Elandsdrift. Cost: adults: standard R350, vegetarian R295, children R180. Contact: 010 593 7523, or visit

Summer fun at Poplar Academy Children can test their wits and survive the challenges during the Summer Survivor campout, for children 8 years and older. In January the whole family can join Poplar Academy in celebrating their birthday with a day packed full of activities, such as Amazing Race, a Wii Sports tournament, goof duck racing and a “Beat our Braniacs” battle. Summer Survivor ends 14 December; Poplar Academy’s birthday bash: 25 January. Time: summer survivor: starts 1pm, Friday, ends 3pm, Saturday; birthday bash: 9am. Venue: Poplar Academy, 39 Whisken Ave, Crowthorne. Cost: summer survivor: R100 (includes meals), birthday bash: free entry. Contact: 011 702 3299, 082 655 0723, or visit

14 saturday

31 tuesday New Year’s Eve sky lantern offering The Buddhist temple is conducting a ceremony in the main temple to welcome the New

10 December – Mzansi Spelling Bee national final


December 2013 / January 2014

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6 fri

29 wednesday Learning Point High School Expo Have all your questions regarding your child’s future education answered by the high schools (state and independent) that are exhibiting in the school hall. Time: 2pm–6pm. Venue: Grayston Preparatory School, cnr North Rd and Gillard St, Sandton. Cost: free. Contact: 074 408 2408, or visit

FUN FOR CHILDREN art, culture and science

Breakfast Trail Ride Explore the countryside on horseback and enjoy a hearty buffet breakfast on the stoep of the old farmhouse afterwards. This trail has a Christmas theme. No experience needed. Booking essential. For children 8 years and older. Time: 9am. Venue: Shepherd’s Fold Stables, 55 Sunset Dr, Elandsdrift, Lanseria. Cost: R375. Contact: 084 220 2657 or belinda.

Year with a fireworks show and the release of lanterns. Accommodation is not available at the temple. The lanterns are released at 10pm, with the fireworks show following at midnight. Time: 10pm. Venue: Nan Hua Temple, 27 Nan Hua Rd, Cultura Park, Bronkhorstspruit. Cost: free entry, lanterns vary. Contact: 013 931 0009, info@nanhua. or visit

january 2014 25 saturday Checkmate Think strategically and knock out your opponent during the fun chess tournament at the cinema court. For children 7–13 years old. Time: 9:30am registration, 12:30pm tournament. Venue: Killarney Mall, 60 Riviera Rd, Killarney. Cost: R50. Contact: 072 768 5521 or visit

28 tuesday Me-Nuts Like2Bike cycling series The 2014 series kicks off with a duathlon where children have the option of completing a 1km run followed by a 5km cycle, or a 2km run and 10km cycle, or just the stand alone cycle. There are six child-friendly events throughout the year focused on getting children on their bikes and fostering a love and enjoyment for the sport. For children 2–14 years old. Time: starts 8:30am. Venue: The Big Red Barn, Olifantsfontein. Cost: R120. Contact: 083 326 6721, or visit magazine joburg

Legacy of the Mine A photographic exhibition by Ilan Godfrey, winner of the Ernest Cole Award, which explores the impact of mining on South Africa’s social and environmental landscapes. 14 November–15 December. Time: 10am–4pm, Wednesday–Sunday. Venue: Wits Art Museum, University Corner, cnr Bertha St (extension of Jan Smuts Ave) and Jorissen St, Braamfontein. Cost: free. Contact: 011 717 1365, info.wam@wits. or visit Monotype Semblances View the exhibition of monotype semblances by Sue Pam-Grant, titled Mama, I swam 7 times today. The series of works on paper bring together private interiors on found public papers. 6–8 December. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: Upstairs Gallery at Bamboo, 53 Rustenburg Rd, Melville. Cost: free. Contact: 028 284 9827 or visit NOW An exhibition of the 2013 additions to the WAM collection. Works include a new large-scale sculpture by Clive van den Berg and important additions to the museum’s collection of West African art. 13 November–15 December and 8–19 January. Time: 10am–4pm, Wednesday–Sunday. Venue: Wits Art Museum, University Corner, cnr Bertha St (extension of Jan Smuts Ave) and Jorissen St, Braamfontein. Cost: free. Contact: 011 717 1365 or visit

classes, talks and workshops Christmas cake workshop Children can bake and decorate their own Christmas cakes and package them in boxes to take home. Children need to attend both days. Booking essential. For children 7–15 years old. 5 and 6 December. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: Little Cooks Club Morningside, 123 Ballyclare Dr, Morningside. Cost: R600 per child. Contact: 083 985 8080 or meganh@ Fire your imagination Spend a few happy hours in the pretty pastel studio creating something special and unique out of pottery or mosaic. They supply the paint, stencils, stamps and everything else you may need to create your masterpiece. A qualified staff member is always on hand to help. Closes 22 December. Open 27–29 December. Reopens 4 January. Time: 9am–5pm, Monday–Saturday; 9am–3pm, Sunday. Venue: Color Café, shop 14, Hyde Square Shopping Centre, cnr Jan Smuts Ave and North Rd, Hyde Park. Cost: varies. Contact: 011 341 0734 or visit December 2013 / January 2014



6 fri

Garden of Lights Take your children to gaze at the thousands of coloured lights that form reindeer, elves, Christmas trees and a range of other well-known fairytale characters. Santa is there until Christmas Day. If it rains, it will be closed. 6 December–5 January. Time: sunset until 10pm. Venue: Emperors Palace, 64 Jones Rd, Kempton Park. Cost: free entry, donations of a new toy for the selected charity are welcome. Contact: 011 928 1000 or visit

For the love of food Children learn how to make a Chinese, Greek or Italian dish, baked goodies or homemade pasta. Booking essential. For children 6–14 years old. 17–20 December. Time: 9am–11am and 2pm–4pm. Venue: Good Food Studio Pick n Pay on Nicol, cnr Republic Rd and William Nicol Dr, Sandton. Cost: 6–9 year olds R215, 10–14 year olds R225. Contact: 011 998 3310, or visit


December 2013 / January 2014

Potter in the studio Children of all ages paint on ceramic figurines or mosaic on a mirror, heart or other wooden cut-outs. Children under 6 need to be accompanied by an adult. Booking essential. Closed 23 December–1 January. Time: 9am–4pm, Monday–Friday; 9am–2pm, Saturday. Venue: Pottery Junxion, 5 Glendower Place, 99 Linksfield Rd, Dowerglen, Edenvale. Cost: R20 per hour (excluding materials). Contact: 011 453 2721 or visit

‘Tis the season to be cooking Boys and girls get their hands sticky as they learn to make a fruity pavlova, sweet snowballs or Christmas jelly slices, and discover interesting facts about the food they prepare. Recipes change daily. Booking essential. For children 3–12 years old. 5 November–14 December. Time: 1:30pm–2:45pm, Tuesday and Thursday; 10am–12pm, Saturday. Venue: Tots n Pots, 25 Jessie St, Olivedale. Cost: weekday classes R80; Saturday workshops R100. Contact: 083 234 3512, or visit Tools for Life This workshop teaches children to be confident and independent through role play, interactions, group discussions and guidance. The activities aim to increase your child’s emotional intelligence, and open discussions about feelings, value systems, the power of words, and the principles and importance of thankfulness. Booking essential as space is limited. For children 8–12 years old. 6 and 11 December. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: Bella Vida Centre, 268 Bryanston Dr, Bryanston. Cost: R800. Contact: 011 463 4438, or visit

family outings Canon Expo See a showcase of Canon’s consumer imaging and bigger business solutions. Visitors to the event are able to interact with the experts and products,

see and touch some of the company’s latest technologies, and attend live training sessions. The top entries in the photographic competition, which runs during the event, are on display in the dedicated gallery. 29 November–1 December. Time: 10am–6pm. Venue: exhibition hall 1, Sandton Convention Centre, 161 Maude St, Sandton. Cost: free. For more info: visit Magaliesburg Express Chug along in a steam locomotive from Joburg to the quiet town of Magaliesburg. On arrival, you can enjoy a picnic or braai on the lawns, and visit the nearby Magaliesburg Goods Shed with its candle-dipping shop and antiques store. 7, 14, 16 and 21 December. Time: departs 9am, scheduled return 5:30pm. Venue: platform 14, Johannesburg Park Station, Rissik St, Joburg CBD. Cost: adults R250, children R165, children under 4 free. Contact: 011 888 1154, bookings@ or visit Smile, it’s Christmas Pop into Town Square at Lakeside Mall to have your photo taken with Father Christmas, make a few colourful crafts at Teddy’s Christmas Corner and take advantage of the giftwrapping service. 16–23 December. 14 December: Teddy Bears’ Picnic with loads of games and treats, followed by a Christmas sing-along at 5pm. Time: craft corner: 11am–1pm, photos with Father Christmas: mall operating hours, Teddy Bears’ Picnic: 3pm. Venue: entrance 5, Lakeside Mall, Tom Jones St, Benoni. Cost: photo costs

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vary, Teddy Bears’ Picnic: donation of a new soft toy. Contact: 011 427 1801 or visit

finding nature and outdoor play Aragon Stables pony camp Join in for three days of horse riding and related activities as well as swimming in a dam, treasure hunts, obstacle courses and games such as stalk the lantern. Children are also taught about the ponies and how to look after them. For children 6–12 years old. 9–11 December. Time: 8:30am–5pm. Venue: Aragon Stables, plot 158, Mountainview Dr, Muldersdrift. Cost: R250 per day, R800 for all three days. Contact: 082 666 3728, or visit

Feathers and scales Children learn new and exciting facts while taking part in interactive activities and creating crafts to take home. Booking essential. For children 6–11 years old. 9–20 December. Time: 8:30am–2:30pm. Venue: Montecasino Bird Gardens, cnr William Nicol Dr and Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: R120 per day. Contact: 011 511 1864, welile@ or visit Shepherd’s Fold Stables pony camp A fun two-day pony camp teaches children how to ride and care for a pony. Children 8 years and older can choose to sleep over. Booking essential. For children 6–16 years old. 4–6 and 9–13 December and 8–10 January. Time: 8am–5pm. Venue: Shepherd’s Fold Stables, 55 Sunset Dr, Elandsdrift, Lanseria. Cost: R300 per day, R50 extra per

4–6, 9–13 December and 8–10 January – Shepherd’s Fold Stables pony camp

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night to sleep over. Contact: 084 220 2657 or Survive or race the adventure Challenge your friends to a number of physical and mental challenges and find out who is the ultimate survivor, or which team will check in first. Picnic and braai facilities as well as swimming pools are available. For children 6 years and older. Time: 9am, 12pm and 3pm, every Saturday and Sunday. Venue: Pelindaba, Hartbeespoort. Cost: adults R225, children R165. Contact: 082 895 2513, or visit

holiday programmes A stitch in time The Sew and Grow holiday programme teaches girls and boys how to sew their own sewing bag and denim skirt or backpack using a sewing machine. Booking essential as space is limited. For children 8 years and older. 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, 13 and 14 December. Time: 4, 5, 9 and 11 December: 10:30am–12:30pm; 2 and 13 December: 2:30pm–4:30pm; 14 December: 9:30am–1:30pm and 11:30am–1:30pm. Venue: Sew and Grow, 17 2nd Ave, Melville. Cost: R500 for two slots, including all fabrics. Contact: 011 482 6542, 082 568 7408, fatima@sewandgrow. or visit Buzz holiday course Dust off your little one’s dancing boots and get them ready to pop, lock, move and groove to the beat of their favourite rock and pop tunes.

Children take part in two hours of highenergy games, character play and endless fun. Booking essential. For children 5–9 years old. 9–12 December. Time: Mall of Rosebank: 10am–12pm; Norscot Manor: 2pm–4pm. Venue: Mall of Rosebank in the Dance Junxion; Norscot Manor Recreation Centre, Fourways. Cost: R800, siblings R600. Contact: 011 025 2525 or visit Chefs and rangers Domestic Bliss offers two holiday programmes for boys and girls. Children can develop a love for cooking as well as learn about kitchen safety, cooking terms and nutrition. They can also explore various aspects of bush life, learn to use a compass and investigate snakes, spiders, birds and more. Junior ranger: 9 December; cooking: 10–13 December. For children 7–13 years old. Time: junior ranger: 8am–2pm; cooking: 9am–12:30pm. Venue: Domestic Bliss, 235 Jan Smuts Ave, Parktown North. Cost: junior Ranger: R275, cooking: R320, includes cool drinks and snacks. Contact: 011 447 5517, 083 525 4992, or visit Christmas and summer holiday workshops Activities change daily during this holiday programme, but always include a cooking activity and a game. Children might learn to make biscuit star trees, play Christmas bingo, make gift packs and play pass the parcel. Space is limited. For children 5–13 years old. Christmas

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6–19 December – Survival camp

cooking workshop: 5–13 December; summer cooking workshop: 6–10 January. Time: 8am–4pm, Monday–Friday. Venue: 48 Bambi Rd, Rispark. Cost: R150 per day, includes all the ingredients, lunch, juice and snacks. Contact: 072 349 4618 or Christmas craft club Sign up for a week of fun, crafting and baking Christmas treats. Booking essential as space is limited. 9–13 December. For children 3 years and older. Time: 8am–12:30pm. Venue: Faraway Tree Play School, 7 Condor Rd, Douglasdale. Cost: R150 per day, inclusive of all craft supplies. Contact: 083 234 4120 or Cooking in Benoni Children have fun making omelettes, quiches and homemade pizza, as well as cookies and muffins this holiday. Booking essential. For children 2–15 years old. 3–20 December. Little Cooks Club in Mondeor also hosts a holiday programme from 9–13 December, while Little Cooks Club in Roodepoort runs activities from 5–21 December. Time: 9am–12pm or 1pm–4pm, Monday–Friday. Venue: Little Cooks Club, 231 Trichardts Rd, Cinderella, Boksburg. Cost: 2–6 year olds R160, 7–15 year olds R230. Contact Erika: 072 271 8904, erikab@littlecooksclub. or visit Creative hothouse course This fiveday programme is filled with creative fun, which includes art, dance, drama, games, the recording of a CD, swimming and more. The week culminates in a concert for parents. For children 6–11 years old. 9–13 and 16–20 December. Time:

3–21 December – Cooking in Benoni


December 2013 / January 2014

9am–4pm. Venue: Hamilton Ave, Craighall Park. Cost: R1 800, includes snacks, lunch and materials. Contact: 083 230 0319 or EQ Explore life skills holiday programme Children develop social and emotional skills while taking part in a five-day holiday programme that is both educational and fun. Full day and half day options are available. For children 7–13 years old. 5–11 December. Time: 7:30am–4:30pm, Monday–Friday. Venue: Stepping Stones Garden Village and Wellness Centre, unit 15, Honeydew Rd West, Honeydew. Cost: half day R500, full day R1 000. Contact: 083 315 4464, or visit Festive workshop at Tots n Pots Children bake and decorate gingerbread men and ladies, and possibly a Christmas treat trifle. Recipes may change without notice. Booking essential. 1 and 7 December. Time: 10am–11:30am. Venue: Tots n Pots Kitchen, shop 10, Kruin Centre, Banket Dr, Helderkruin, Roodepoort. Cost: R200 per child, juice and snack included. Contact: 082 389 1564 or visit FlipFlop camp Qualified instructors watch over your children for three nights and get them involved in various activities, treasure hunts, nature walks, baking and campfire tales. Space is limited. For children 2–13 years old. 6–9 December. Time: departs and returns 3pm. Venue: departs from Sixteen10 Restaurant, Plantyard Nursery, Herman Rd, Meadowdale Mall, Edenvale for Hartbeespoort Dam Resort. Cost: R1 700, includes transport, meals, drinks, accommodation and activities. Contact: 072 238 7342, or visit FROK holiday programme Children can make art from nature, “hunt” for spiders or birds, go on a bundu-bash adventure, explore the reserve at night or take part in the junior ranger programme. Contact Karin for the day’s programme. 9–15 December. Time: 8am–11am, Monday– Friday; 5pm–8pm, Saturday; 2:30pm– 5pm, Sunday. Venue: Kloofendal Nature Reserve, cnr Galena Ave and Veronica St, Kloofendal, Roodepoort. Cost: R80– R120. Contact: 079 693 5608 or visit Goof Summer Splash holiday camp A swimming camp where children have fun in a safe and secure environment while learning a valuable life skill. All ages. 9–13 magazine joburg

December. Time: 7:30am–1pm. Venue: Goof Swim, 39 Whisken Ave, Crowthorne (within Poplar Academy). Cost: R150 per day, includes snacks and lunch. Contact: 084 410 9242, or visit Horses Healing Humans holiday camp Learn how to make friends, identify and express feelings, communicate better, trust and respect yourself and others, and have fun through experiential learning. 9–13 December. For children 6–16 years old. Time: 8am–5pm, Monday–Thursday; 8am–2pm, Friday. Venue: Autumn Leaves Farm, 100 Hartzvalley Estate, Hartzenbergfontein. Cost: R1 500, lunch and snacks included. Contact: 011 432 2056, 083 222 9376 or Kidz Take Over Drama School In three months children build on their unique talents while being taught acting skills for the stage. At the end of the course they will stage a production at the Auto and General Theatre on the Square in Sandton. Classes are for children 6–13 years old. Courses start 24, 25 and 29 January. Time: varies per venue. Venue: The Mustard Seed Children’s Venue, 153 Van Dalen Rd South, Ruimsig; The Italian Club, 7 Marais Rd, Bedfordview; The Dance Zone, Bryanpark Shopping Centre, cnr Cumberland Rd and Grosvenor Rd, Bryanston. Cost: R1 260 per course. Contact: 082 871 0034, shaye@ or visit Kings Sports holiday programme Children are kept active with their favourite sports, including dance, cricket and soccer, and are exposed to new games and activities to expand their interests. Booking essential. For children 4–17 years old. 9–13 December. Time: 8am–4pm; half-day until 2:30pm. Venue: Kingsmead College, Oxford Rd, Rosebank. Cost: from R450. Contact: 087 550 2910, info@kingssports. or visit Performing arts holiday programme A high-energy programme with hip-hop, freestyle, basic ballet, rock n roll, drama, singing, Irish dancing and more. Children perform in a concert at the end. Booking essential. For children 4–12 years old. 9–13

December. Time: 8:30am–12pm. Venue: Norscot Manor Recreation Centre, 16B Pengiun Dr, Fourways. Cost: R700 for the week. Contact: 079 497 2680, lindy@ or visit Survival camp Children learn how to make fire using only a flint, find food and water, build shelters, make a bow and arrows, set traps and more. 6–8 December: children 6–14 years old; 10–12, 13–15 and 17–19 December: 14–18 year olds. Time: departure 4pm, return 3pm. Venue: Kareekloof Farm, Lanseria. Cost: R750–R850, food and drinks included. Contact: 076 429 6739, or visit Two cups of fun Add two cups of fun, a spoon of education and a pinch of creativity during the varied cooking programme designed to keep children entertained for the morning. Apart from cooking, children take part in other activities such as Christmas crafts and planting. For children 6–12 years old: 11–13 December; children 3–6 years old: 18 and 19 December. Time: 6–12 year olds 9am–12pm; 3–6 year olds: 9am–10:30am. Venue: Little Cooks Club Fourways, 5A Valk Rd, Fourways. Cost: 3–6 year olds R180; 6–12 year olds R240. Contact: 082 874 2851 or visit VLC Water Sports Institute holiday camp This programme offers rowing, sailing, canoeing, stand-up paddling and windsurfing. For children 10–18 years old. 7–11 December. Time: registration 8am–9am. Venue: Victoria Lake Club, Lake Rd, Germiston. Cost: R1 250, inclusive of meals and accommodation. Contact: 083 626 7597 or watersports@ Wild Kids holiday programme Children spend three hours in the outdoors taking part in structured physical activities, creating a nature craft that will exercise their motor skills and tactile perception, as well as enjoy a snack and supervised free play. Each day follows a different theme. Booking essential as space is limited. For children 3–9 years old. 6, 9, 11 and 13 December. Time: 9am–12pm, Monday


mon Fame Academy musical theatre workshop They offer a jam-packed week of singing, dancing and acting. Final performance on stage at the Auto and General Theatre on The Square. For children 6–16 years old. Ends 14 December. Time: 9am–12pm, Monday–Saturday. Venue: Crawford College, Waterstone Dr, Benmore, Sandton. Cost: R850. Contact: 082 336 4424 or

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December 2013 / January 2014


calendar and Friday. Venue: Sandton Field and Study Centre, Louise Ave, Parkmore. Cost: R250, including all materials and a healthy snack. Contact: 082 379 2675, 083 457 4106 or visit Woodworking holiday programme Learn woodworking skills such as using a drill, saw and hammer, and leave with something you have made yourself. Create wooden Christmas trees, decorations, go-karts, tyre swings or an outdoor shower. Booking essential. For children 5–14 years

old. 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 December. Time: varies. Venue: Tool Share Studio, unit 6, Ferndale Commercial Park, cnr Hylauma St and Struik St, Randburg. Cost: R350–R800. Cost: 011 791 7790 or visit Zen Zoo Kids summer club Children connect with nature in a safe environment. They take part in yoga workshops, art and crafts, affirmations, relaxation and story time. Space is limited. For children 3 years and older. 3–6 year olds: 9 and



Virgin Active Kids holiday camp A fun and engaging way to keep your children entertained and active this holiday season. The camp offers fun group fitness activities, basic art and crafts, and interactive PlayStation games where possible. For children 3–7 years old. 9–13 December. Time: varies per club. Venue: at Virgin Active Clubs across Gauteng. Cost: free for Virgin Active Club V members. Contact: 0860 200 911 or visit


December 2013 / January 2014

10 December and 6 and 7 January; 7 years and older: 12 and 13 December and 9 and 10 January. Time: 4pm–5pm. Venue: Zen Zoo Kids, 8 Korsman St, Rynfield, Benoni. Cost: R300 per child, healthy lunch and refreshments included. Contact: 011 849 6219, 082 461 2533 or visit

markets Baby Bargains Market Find quality pre-loved baby and toddler products at affordable prices. 7 December. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Loving Moments, 140 Forest Rd, Benoni Agricultural Holdings. Cost: free entry. Contact: 076 158 8448, or visit Bamboo Farmers’ Market This small rooftop market features stalls of local and organic produce straight from the local producers. You can expect to find farm milk and butter, free-range eggs, fair-trade coffee, vegetables and more. From 10am, children can visit Love Books on the lower level of the shopping centre for a storybook reading. Closes 21 December. Reopens 11 January. Time: 9am–1pm, every Saturday. Venue: Bamboo, 53 Rustenburg Rd, Melville. Cost: free. Contact: 083 284 6226 or visit bamboo- Christmas Craft Market Shop at your leisure in a beautiful, enclosed park with plenty of stalls stacked with a colourful collection of art and crafts and distinctive

7 and 14 December – Christmas Craft Market

goods. Treat yourself to tea in the tea garden, grab a snack from one of the many food stalls or head off into the beautiful park for a picnic or braai. Children can ride a pony or camel. 7 and 14 December. Time: 9am–2:30pm. Venue: 14 December: Bunny Park, Pretoria Rd, Rynfield, Benoni; 7 December: Bokkie Park, Southvale Rd, Parkdene, Boksburg. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 741 6460, 072 713 3332 or visit Favourite Things Market This vintage and collectibles market is set on the verdant lawns of the REEA Foundation, alongside a river. There are a few food stalls and pony rides for the children. 7 December. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: REEA Lawns, cnr Richmond Ave and Marlborough Ave, Craighall Park. Cost: free entry. Contact: 072 207 8196,

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Moonlight Market at the Italian Club This night market offers stalls selling food, jewellery, toys, embroidered goodies, and art and crafts, as well as a children’s play area, jumping castle and live entertainment. 6 December. Time: 5pm–9pm. Venue: Italian Club, 7 Marais Rd, Bedfordview. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 453 0587, 073 857 0071 or info@ Parkview Christmas Market Experience a Christmas wonderland with entertainment by local artists, over 70 craft stalls, and a variety of activities for everyone. Proceeds from the market are donated to Nicarela Charity. 1 December. Time: 10:30am–4pm. Venue: George Hay Park, 45 Lurgan Rd, Parkview. Cost: adults R40, children free. Contact: 082 450 4599, or visit

on stage and screen Abominable Christmas In this Christmasthemed, animated movie, two abominable snow children are chased from their mountain hideaway and forced to spend Christmas with humans. They come to understand the meaning of Christmas as they help the family learn to appreciate each other. The film features the voices of Emilio Estevez, Ray Liotta and Matthew Lilliard. 21 December. Time: 10:40am on DStv, Disney Channel, channel 303. For more info: visit

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Magical Moonlight Markets



In the run up to Christmas the Bryanston Organic and Natural Market is once again open every Tuesday evening. Shop for quality products and stocking fillers for your loved ones and enjoy the evening’s entertainment. Also 10 and 17 December. Time: 5pm–9pm. Venue: 40 Culross Rd, Bryanston. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 706 3671, enquiries@ or visit

André the Hilarious Hypnotist André’s funny, interactive show sees audience members perform eccentric stunts while under his “spell”. 16 January–10 March. Time: varies, Wednesday–Sunday. Venue: Studio Theatre at Montecasino, cnr William Nicol Dr and Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: R100. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit Aria! Opera for Everyone This forms part of a series of concerts aimed at making opera accessible to everyone, from opera connoisseurs to first-timers of all ages. 6 December. Time: 8pm. Venue: Joburg Pro Musica Theatre, 100 Christiaan de Wet Rd, Florida Park, Roodepoort. Cost: adults R120, students R90, children R50. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit Disney’s Cinderella Kids Children are reminded that dreams really do come true with the story of poor Cinderella who is denied a chance to go to the royal ball, but gets there and meets her Prince with a little help from her mice friends and her fairy godmother. Booking essential. 4 November–24 December. Time: during government school terms: 9am and 11am, Monday–Friday; during government school holidays, Saturdays, public holidays and certain Sundays: 10:30am and 2:30pm. Venue: People’s Theatre, cnr Loveday St and Hoofd St, Joburg Theatre Complex, Braamfontein. Cost: members: adults R90, children R70; public: R105; membership:

R90. Contact: 011 403 1563/2340 or visit Fairytale Adventures Get whisked away to a land of castles and princesses as the magical moments from six of the all-time favourite fairytales are brought to life. All ages. Rivonia Barnyard: 9–12 December; Boksburg Barnyard: 18–21 December; Cresta Barnyard: 23 and 24 and 27 and 28 December. Time: 2pm. Venue: Barnyard Theatres in Boksburg, Cresta and Rivonia. Cost: R65. For more info: visit Free Birds Two turkeys from the opposite side of the tracks team up to remove turkey from the holiday menu. Featuring the voices of Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson and Amy Poehler. All ages. Premieres 6 December. Time: varies. Venue: cinemas nationwide. Cost: varies per cinema. For more info: visit or Janice Honeyman’s Aladdin Her production is steeped in magic, full of wonder and packed with surprises. Evil Abanazar (Jeremy Mansfield) wants the magic lamp, Widow Twankey wants a husband, Aladdin wants adventure, and Wishee Washee wants a clean vest – can the genie of the lamp grant their wishes? 21 November–29 December. Time: varies. Venue: Joburg Theatre, 163 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein. Cost: R180–R290. Book through Joburg Theatre: 0861 670 670 or visit

December 2013 / January 2014


calendar Puppet shows, shadow theatre and magic Performances with glove puppets, marionettes, magic shows and shadow theatre on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. 3 December: Rudolph on Safari; 17 December: The Mysterious Gift. For children 3 years and older. Time: 3 December: 3:30pm; 17 December: 10am. Venue: Kinderspiel, 39 Greenhill Rd, Emmarentia. Cost: R50. Contact: 011 646 0870 or visit Seussical Jr A magical, music extravaganza brings to life the famous stories by Dr Seuss. The story centres around Horton, the elephant, who finds himself having to protect his tiny friend, JoJo the Who, and all the other Whos of Whoville. Booking essential. 4 November–22 December. Time: during the public school term: 9am and

20 December – Walking with Dinosaurs


December 2013 / January 2014

11am, Monday–Saturday; during public school holidays: 10:30am and 2:30pm, Tuesday–Sunday. Venue: National Children’s Theatre, 3 Junction Ave, Parktown. Cost: chairs R110, cushions R90. Contact: 011 484 1584, or visit The Aristocats In this Disney classic, nasty Edgar, the butler, catnaps Duchess and her kittens to ensure he gets his hands on Madame Adelaide’s fortune. His plans are foiled when an alley cat named Thomas O’Malley comes to the rescue. 9–22 December. Time: 10am and 2:30pm. Venue: Joburg Promusica Theatre, 100 Christiaan de Wet Rd, Florida Park, Roodepoort. Cost: R85. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit

Walking with Dinosaurs See and feel what it was like when dinosaurs roamed the earth. This animated film produced by BBC Earth uses computer-animated dinosaurs in live-action settings to put audiences in the middle of a thrilling, epic prehistoric world where an underdog dino becomes a hero. Premieres 20 December. Time: varies. Venue: cinemas nationwide. Cost: varies per cinema. For more info: visit, or 18 January – A passion for rugby

playtime and story time Christmas at Weltevreden Park Library Children have the opportunity to create their own Christmas and season’s greetings cards and Christmas decorations. 9 December: greeting cards; 11 December: Christmas decorations; 18 December: project still to be confirmed. Bring a picnic hamper of snacks and goodies to enjoy on the lawns of the library, and enjoy a jolly visit from Father Christmas. For children 3–10 years old. Time: 10am–11am. Venue: Weltevreden Park Public Library, 1203 Fern Rd, Weltevreden Park, Roodepoort. Cost: free. Contact: 011 679 3406 Family Fun Zone Under your supervision, children can choose from the wide range of indoor and outdoor jungle gyms and activities. Slide down the slope in the fun zone, play volleyball or beach soccer, ride on a quad bike or get adventurous on the dirt track. For children 15 months–

12 years old. Time: 9am–5pm, daily. Venue: Family Fun Zone, 1 Allandale Rd, inside the Kyalami racetrack, Midrand. Cost: adults free; children R50 for one hour, R75 for two hours, R100 for three hours. Contact: 011 047 0129, or visit Happy holidays at Montecasino There is a playground in the outdoor piazza offering an inflatable twister, sand art, pick-and-paint ceramics, a human bowling alley, and many more games and activities that children can enjoy. For children 2–14 years old. 13–22 December. Time: 10am–5pm, Friday–Monday; 12pm–4pm, Tuesday–Thursday. Venue: Montecasino outdoor event arena, cnr William Nicol Dr and Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: free entry, cost for activities vary. Contact: 011 510 7995 or visit

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Killarney goes kid-azy Six PlayStation stands have been set up in the mall for some friendly competition. There are also daily competitions. For children 2 years and older. 9–24 December. Time: 10am–3pm. Venue: Killarney Mall, 60 Riviera Rd, Killarney. Cost: free. Contact: 011 646 4657 or visit Story time at Reader’s Warehouse Come meet Spot the Dog, Maisy Mouse, Santa Claus, Peter Rabbit, Wally or the Gruffalo. Children can also listen to stories, take part in activities and win prizes. 1, 7, 8, 14, 15 and 21 December. Time: 10:30am–11:30am. Venue: 1, 8 and 15 December: Norwood Mall; 7, 14 and 21 December: Broadacres Lifestyle Centre and Randburg Lifestyle Centre. Cost: free. Contact Norwood: 011 483 0737, Broadacres: 011 467 0390, Randburg: 011 792 3499 or visit

sport and physical activities A passion for rugby Classes teach children all aspects of rugby, such as running with the ball, finding space, kicking, catching, scoring a try and much more in an entertaining, secure environment. For children 3–7 years old. Starts 18 and 21 January. Time: 8am–10am, every Saturday and 4:30pm–6pm, every Tuesday. Venue: Modderfontein Sports Club, Casino St, Lethabong. Cost: R75 per class. Contact: 083 375 5632, or visit

Adventure is calling Pop into the Jozi X Adventure Centre for a range of highflying, thrilling rides suitable for children 5 years and older. Be daring and try the tight rope, trapeze and jungle swings, or stay closer to the ground at the Slackline Park and slip n slide. Time: 10am–5pm, Wednesday–Sunday. Venue: cnr Main Rd and Sloane St, Bryanston. Cost: R100, Wednesday–Friday; R120, Saturday and Sunday. Contact: 082 456 2358, info@ or visit Holiday cricket clinic A four-day cricket clinic covers a broad range of cricket topics, including general knowledge and playing etiquette. On the last day parents can join their children for a free coaching session and enjoy the prize-giving. For children 4–14 years old. 16–21 December and 6–9 January. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: University of Johannesburg’s cricket oval, Radnor St, Melville Ext 3. Cost: R600. Contact: or visit

Martin Whitcher’s junior golf clinic Children develop patience and perseverance while learning the basics of golf. Equipment is provided. For children 6–17 years old. 9–13 December. Time: 8am–10am or 3pm–5pm. Venue: Randpark Golf Club, 1 Setperk Rd, Randburg. Cost: tbc. Contact: 011 476 6172, 011 678 8082 or visit Meditation for all Every Sunday, during an hour-long meditation session, children can focus on aligning their chakras, and keep themselves in balance. All ages. Time: 8am–9am, every Sunday. Venue: The Core Shopping Centre, Leeuwkop Rd, Sunninghill. Cost: free. Contact: 079 136 0040, or visit Quiet on the court A fun, relaxed holiday clinic teaches children all the rules and skills needed to enjoy social tennis. Children 3–6 years old take part in mini tennis. For children 3–16 years old. 9–13 and 16–20 December. Time:

16–21 December and 6–9 January – Holiday cricket clinic

8:30am–1:30pm. Venue: Craighall Park Tennis Club, St Alban’s Rd, off Jan Smuts Ave, Craighall Park; or Lonehill Crawford Preparatory school, Sceales Rd, Lonehill. Cost: mini tennis: R240 per clinic, R80 per day; half-day clinic: R900 per clinic, R200 per day; intermediate: R500 per clinic, R120 per day. Contact: 083 443 3391, or visit Zoo trot This 5km or 10km fun run or walk takes you through the zoo’s tranquil settings. 8 December. Time: 7am–10am. Venue: Johannesburg Zoo, Jan Smuts Ave, Parkview. Cost: R40, children under 3 free. Contact: 011 646 2000 or visit

only for parents classes, talks and workshops Christmas crafts Learn how to make heirloom Christmas ornaments using eggs and Dremel tools while your children are kept busy making Christmas crafts. Bring six blown eggs with you. Booking essential. 11 December. Time: 9am-12pm. Venue: 14 Jatinga Lodge, Kitaar St, Radiokop. Cost: R400. Contact: 078 231 2762 or visit Domestic Bliss Accredited courses teach your domestic worker to cook family favourites, manage your home, or take care of your children. Courses all take place over five weekly sessions.

family marketplace

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December 2013 / January 2014





Sleeping Beauty on Ice This dazzling production of Sleeping Beauty is performed by the talented Imperial Ice Stars. Sleeping Beauty on Ice presents the timeless love story through high-speed leaps and throws, graceful ice dancing, acrobatics and aerial gymnastics, stilt skating and spectacular visual effects. The stage of the Teatro is transformed into a temporary ice rink with a staggering 14 tonnes of ice to accommodate the 26 skaters. Ends 12 January. Time: 7:30pm, Tuesday– Saturday; 2:30pm, Saturday; 2pm and 6pm, Sunday. Venue: The Teatro at Montecasino, cnr William Nicol Dr and Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: R100– R400, family discount packages available. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit

packs get audience members involved in the action. No children under 16 years old. 24 January–30 March. Time: 8pm, Tuesday–Saturday; 4pm, Saturday; 2pm and 6pm, Sunday. Venue: Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre, cnr William Nicol Dr and Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: R100– R350. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers David Kramer has adapted Willy Russell’s acclaimed musical for the South African stage. Blood Brothers is the story of two brothers who were separated at birth, but brought together again by chance. 15 November–5 January. Time: 8pm, Wednesday–Saturday; 4:30pm, Saturday; 2:30pm and 6pm, Sunday. Venue: Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre, cnr William Nicol Dr and Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: R100–R280. Contact: 011 511 1818 or visit

out and about Household management: starts 21 January; elementary cooking course: starts 22 January; childcare course: starts 30 January. Time: 8:30am–2pm. Venue: 235 Jan Smuts Ave, Parktown North. Cost: childcare and household management course: R1 950 each; elementary cooking course: R2 250. Contact: 011 447 5517, 083 525 4992 or visit First aid and CPR for parents The course is geared specifically at dealing with babies and children in emergency situations. 25 January. Time: 8:30am–3:30pm. Venue: Hammets Crossing Office Park, 2 Selbourne Rd, Fourways. Cost: R550. Contact: 011 462 3139, 083 625 8033, or visit Multi-sensory activity kit demonstration Learn more about Raising Readers Multi-sensory Activity Kits that cover both the alphabet and number pack. For parents with children 2–8 years old. 2 December. Time: 11:30am–12:30pm. Venue: Sunninghill Gardens. Cost: free. Contact: or visit Rebozo workshop This six-hour workshop is for doulas, midwives and other caregivers in the birthing field. You learn about the history of the rebozo and how to use it to provide relaxation, comfort and strength to the couple in labour. Wear comfortable clothes and bring a yoga mat as you will be kneeling, standing and squatting quite a bit. Booking essential. 7 and 8 December. Time: 8am–5pm. Venue: Gentle Presence at Ladybird Corner, 24 12th Ave, north parking, Linksfield Netcare Hospital. Cost: tbc. Contact: 083 310 8162, or visit

on stage and screen Alison Moyet Live To celebrate Emperors Palace’s 15th birthday, the soulful Essexborn Alison Moyet performs her emotive songs that first hit the British punk scene in the 1980s, as well as her latest works. 13 and 14 December. Time: 8pm. Venue: Centre Court at Emperors Palace, 64 Jones


December 2013 / January 2014

Rd, Kempton Park. Cost: R295–R625. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit Elvis, the Show Relive the magic of the king of rock and roll. Texas-born Elvis impersonator Nathan Belt has been performing Elvis tributes since 1999, perfecting everything from facial expressions to speech and vocals. 16 January–2 February. Time: 8pm, Thursday– Saturday; 3pm, Sunday. Venue: Mandela Theatre at Joburg Theatre Complex, 163 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein. Cost: R100– R250. Book through Joburg Theatre: 0861 670 670 or visit The Maxwell Live in SA tour American soul superstar Maxwell sings some of his earlier classics and numbers from the first of the BLACKsummers’night trilogy albums. Maxwell’s music spans the genres of R&B, funk, neo soul and jazz. 7 December. Time: 7pm. Venue: Coca-Cola Dome, cnr Northumberland Rd and Olievenhout Ave, North Riding. Cost: R490–R1 100. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit The Rocky Horror Show The classic rock musical is performed by a South African cast, accompanied by a live on-stage band, as they belt out iconic hit songs. Official dress-up nights take place every Friday and Saturday night, and the participation

Chantilly Networking forum Mingle and make connections with other women entrepreneurs and enjoy a cocktail or two. Partners are welcome to join. Space is limited. 4 December. Time: 6pm–8pm. Venue: Rustika Guest Lodge, Rustic Timber, cnr Witkoppen Dr and Kingfisher Rd, Fourways. Cost: R200, includes snacks and punch. Contact: 082 653 5128 or sheil@

support groups Heart and Stroke Health Line Helpful dieticians are on hand to answer your questions regarding heart and stroke conditions, and to offer tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, changing your diet, incorporating exercise into your routine and how to quit smoking. You can also enquire about stroke support groups in your area. Lines are open from 8am–4pm, Monday– Friday. Contact: 0860 1 HEART (0860 1 43278) or visit

bump, baby & Tot in tow

classes, talks and workshops Moms n babes yoga The emphasis is on nurturing and support for moms, promoting ease and comfort, stabilising the pelvis, toning the abdominal region,

My mother’s Italian, my father’s Jewish, and I’m in therapy This side-splitting, one-man play, starring Michael Richard, is based on the original American comedy by Steve Solomon. Michael tells the story of an Italian-Jewish family and the crazy characters that drive our hapless hero straight into the therapist’s chair. 6 November–5 January. Time: 8:15pm, Monday–Saturday; 4:15pm, Saturday; 3:15pm, Sunday. Venue: Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre, cnr William Nicol Dr and Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: R150. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit

and supporting the lower back. There is also lots of fun and stimulation for babies. For parents and their babies aged 6 weeks– 2 years. Time: 10:15am–11:15am, every Saturday. Venue: Good Vibrations Health Sanctuary, cnr 9th Ave and Homestead, Rivonia. Cost: from R100. Contact: 076 081 7615, or visit

playtime and story time Grannies House and Gardens There are indoor and outdoor play areas with dressup and fantasy rooms, ziplines, a bike track and a modular play area. Closed from 13 December–6 January. Time: 10am–5pm, Monday–Friday; 9am–5pm, Saturday and Sunday. Venue: 138 Barkston Dr, Blairgowrie. Cost: R15, Monday–Thursday; R30, Friday–Sunday and public holidays; maximum R90 per child. Contact: 011 326 4265, 082 456 9887, info@granniesgarden. or visit Miniature steam train rides All aboard the miniature steam engine for a gentle ride along the 1km railway track at Len Rutter Park, home to the Rand Society of Model Engineers. 1 December. 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 Open days at Larney Ladybirds Spread a blanket under the trees and lie back as your children run and play in the fully equipped playground. 4 and 11 December. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: Larney Ladybirds, Valley Rd, Broadacres, Fourways. Cost: adults R25, includes cake/ muffin and bottomless tea/coffee; children R15, includes packet of chips, juice, fruit stick and a small surprise. Contact: 083 770 7702, or visit Play days at Elf’s Hill Party Yard They offer a large garden with jungle gyms, a mini garage, a trampoline, a treehouse, a Wendy house, a bike track and more. 4 and 11 December; 15, 22 and 29 January. Time: 1pm–5pm. Venue: plot 29, Sandspruit Rd, Farmall. Cost: adults R30, including cake, tea/coffee; children R20, including chips and juice. Contact: 082 337 5646, or visit

support groups Born Sleeping Parents bereaved by stillbirths, miscarriages or neonatal death share experiences. Contact: 084 524 1541/2, or visit their Facebook page: Born Sleeping Pierre Robin Sequence Foundation A registered, non-profit organisation established to support families and individuals affected by Pierre Robin Sequence (PRS) and its associated syndromes. The priority and focus is to provide financial assistance for children requiring facial cranial reconstructive surgery, who would otherwise not have the means to do so. Contact Leigh: 082 410 3197, or visit magazine joburg

18 sat

Toptots workshop Be a part of your little one’s development while having fun with other moms. For babies 3 months–4 years old. Starts 18 January. Time: varies. Venue: branches across Gauteng. Cost: varies. Contact: 082 876 7791, or visit

how to help 2014 SAID Calendar Assist the Society for Animals in Distress (SAID) by purchasing their 2014 A3 calendars. SAID is an animal welfare association that protects and treats animals in need, and provides veterinary care for domestic animals in eight townships north and north-east of Joburg. Cost: R125, minimal charge of R35 on posted items. Contact: 011 466 0261, or visit

A gift with a difference In lieu of Christmas parties, Down Syndrome South Africa is issuing donation gift cards to people in poverty stricken areas, to give them the joyful experience of receiving something from Santa. You can donate to this cause before 25 December. Rural areas included are in Kimberley, Tzaneen, Potchefstroom, Witbank, Mafikeng and Polokwane. Cost: any amount. Contact: 011 615 2990, or visit AIDS Day Dinner of Hope Host a dinner party or picnic at your premises or at a beautiful location in your city, and encourage your guests to make a contribution to the Starfish Greathearts Foundation instead of towards the meal. Starfish brings life, hope and opportunity to children who have been orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/Aids. 1 December. Contact: 011 807 0003, ledgar@ or visit The Teddy Bear Clinic A non-profit organisation dedicated to ensuring abused children are protected and rehabilitated. You can help by donating money to their Journey to Healing programme (covering medical examinations, forensic assessments and trauma counselling), donating office stationery towards the running of the clinic, or volunteering your time to decorate bears for their fundraising events. Venue: 13 Joubert St Ext, cnr Empire Rd, Parktown. Contact: 011 484 4554/4539, 083 469 9196 (Dalene Bishop) or visit The Grace Factory A non-profit organisation that collects your unwanted baby products and redistributes them to charities in need. They accept clothes, blankets, bottles, dummies, toys, formula, medication and cash donations. Collection points across Joburg. Contact: 074 637 8603, or visit

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

A gift with a difference

don’t miss out! For a free listing, email your event to or fax it to 011 234 4971. Information must be received by 7 January for the February 2014 issue, and must include all relevant details. No guarantee can be given that it will be published. To post an event online, visit

magazine joburg

December 2013 / January 2014


it’s party time



December 2013 / January 2014

magazine joburg

magazine joburg

December 2013 / January 2014


finishing touch

holiday wish lists Christmas comes early and ANÉL LEWIS is left to decide what

Erin, Anél and Conor


know that when those first Santashaped marshmallows start to appear between the dried fruit sticks in my local store – about three days after Valentine’s Day – it’s time to start thinking about Christmas gifts. For us, it’s a double whammy, as Erin also celebrates her birthday on the 25th of December. I make a big effort to keep her birthday gifts separate from the ones wrapped in green, red and gold, so that she gets to celebrate both occasions.


December 2013 / January 2014

Conor was too young to really get into the whole present thing last year. He enjoyed sitting on a few of the brightly wrapped packages, but that was about it. So I have really been looking forward to giving him gifts this year, as at the age of almost two he now has a clear sense of what is his, and what he enjoys. But a few days ago, I woke up at 5am to the sound of heavy machinery being dragged across the floor. I almost hit the panic button, but then I spied a nozzle peeping around the corner of our bedroom door. And a few seconds later, a red-faced and breathless Conor also appeared, pulling our vacuum cleaner. So much for the 145-piece construction block set I was thinking of getting him for Christmas, or the remote-controlled car my mom has her eyes on. I tried to pry his chubby little fingers off the machine, but there was no way that he was letting go. And now most mornings,

as soon as his eyes open, Conor heads for the kitchen to fetch his vacuum cleaner. I don’t know if it’s because he has watched the movie Robots too much, or if he thinks it’s a massive pink car, but Conor is happiest when he can lug the thing around the house. So it seems that to make my boy’s Christmas wishes come true, all I need to do is stick a bow on a piece of electrical cleaning equipment. Erin may be a bit harder to please. She’s decided that she wants to be a “goctor” when she grows up, so a medical kit will be high on her list. In the meantime, she hones her skills by sticking pens up our noses to take our temperatures, and rubbing Craig’s shaving gel on our cheeks “to make it all better”. Christmas can’t come quickly enough. And then I came across a blog that talked about how parents are often so distracted by their cellphones or other electronic

devices, that they completely miss out on their children’s lives. It made me think about how Erin often says when I fetch her from school: “You’re not going to work on your laptop now are you?” or how Conor will bring me my cellphone, as if the device and I are inseparable. I considered the many times that I have scrolled through my Facebook messages while pushing Erin on the swing or while playing cars with Conor on the floor. And I realised that the best gift of all, especially during the festive season, would be to spend quality time with my children, without the distraction of a beeping smartphone. I just wonder whether I will be able to convince Conor to give up his beloved vacuum cleaner as well. Anél Lewis is coming to terms with the fact that she may have to fill her children’s Christmas stockings with small household appliances, instead of sweets or toys.

magazine joburg


gifts would make her children the happiest this December.

Child magazine | JHB Dec 2013 / Jan 2014  

Joburg's best guide for parents

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