P r e t o r i aâ€™ s
b e s t
g u i d e
giving children creative space
how to raise a young entrepreneur
pa r e n t s
protecting your baby from BPA
f o r
how good is your childâ€™s general knowledge?
In this issue we focus on education; on giving our children the freedom to acquire knowledge and experience in diverse and creative ways. With this freedom comes the responsibility to make the most of the opportunities that come our way. How good is your general knowledge? More importantly, how good is your child’s? Mine isn’t great. And my children have experienced a few embarrassing moments playing Trivial Pursuit. One of them (no names mentioned) described Tokyo Sexwale as “a large mammal, hailing from Japan”. She had no idea that he is a prominent political and business figure. In an attempt to improve their general knowledge, I’ve managed to get both my daughters to read at least one article from the newspaper every day. We may not be ready to enter the next Trivial Pursuit World Series, but our collective general knowledge is steadily improving. We work quite well as a team now. Robyn, having read the entire Percy Jackson series, can answer any question related to Greek mythology; Julian handles the
entertainment side; my husband is a wizz on sport and history; and that leaves me with philosophy and all things literary. I asked Marc, our dad blogger and online guy, to suggest ways to improve children’s general knowledge. In “it’s what you know” (page 20) he gives six fun ways to do this, all of which I plan to explore, as his research confirms that “new information can only be retained when it attaches itself to existing knowledge”. It’s all about making learning fun.
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contents august 2013
3 a note from lisa
8 upfront with paul sometimes we embarrass our children, says Paul Kerton
6 over to you readers respond
9 pregnancy news – swimming in front Marc de Chazal looks at male infertility
16 set them free children learn more while engaging in creative play. By Bianca Wright
18 discipline wars conflict over parenting styles can leave parents feeling frustrated and isolated, says Françoise Gallet
20 it’s what you know improving your child’s general knowledge will benefit them in all walks of life. Marc de Chazal explains why and how
31 scrum-diddily-umptious Kim McCosker’s new book is filled with fun, imaginative and healthy recipes
10 best for baby – the latest buzz on BPA Hayley Komen says it’s best to keep your baby away from products containing BPA
14 dealing with difference Lucille Kemp gives you fun excercises to improve your child’s fine motor skills
22 resource – a business plan Child magazine explores ideas on how to raise a budding entrepreneur
23 good reads for the whole family 24 what’s on in august 30 finishing touch Anél Lewis shares lessons learnt from the time-out corner
12 hormones and your child’s health Vanessa Papas looks at the
29 let’s party 30 family marketplace
possible health risks
this month’s cover images are supplied by:
St Mary’s School, Waverley grahamdelacy.com
Jean Bourget Photo: Olivier Ribardière Jelli Children’s Boutique
Posh Little Ones poshlittleones.co.za
Jean Bourget Photo: Olivier Ribardière Jelli Children’s Boutique
hold the sugar… I find Child magazine generally very interesting and informative and have found the publication to be socially responsible. However, I was surprised that a full page advertisement by the South African Sugar Association (SASA) was permitted to be published in the May 2013 issue. The advertisement is a very mediocre presentation quoting vague studies and giving the reader the idea that the consumption of sugar is not harmful to our health. Any expert on nutrition will agree that sugar consumption, especially refined sugar is harmful to our health. I hope that the readers will be discerning when reading this material. Who would you rather believe? The nutrition experts who have no financial interest in the sugar trade and who have health promotion as their motivation? Or SASA and its members who care nothing for our health, especially our children’s health it appears, and are motivated by their bottom line profit? Joann Lugt Childmag says Thanks for your letter. Sugar and our intake of it is an important topic that definitely warrants discussion. Especially since recent research has revealed that a certain amount of sugar is needed for optimal brain functioning. As a result, we need to look at how much sugar we, and more importantly our children require and in what form. Please take a look at our article on page 34 which offers an objective take on this subject.
a mother’s love I read the pub’s note (July 2013) with a sense of familiarity as Lisa shares the challenges of parenting. I too have my youngest of four boys in Matric this year. He is so tuned to making me feel like I am the only mother in the world who is not paving his final school year experience in “gold”. However, having raised three other magnificent young men and being a working mom, I have life experience that proves that a bit of healthy inability to jump to every demand is not only acceptable, it is character building and
over to you a response to “circumcision – cut to the chase” (online) Can we please stop with the “cute” catchphrases like snip, cut and Cat Stevens references? They are deeply insulting to men who resent their circumcision as infants. It is not up to the parents. The parents are not going to be using the organ in question. Trying to imply that it is legal if the doctor suggests it to parents is a violation of the child’s rights and medical fraud. Boys deserve the same treatment as girls for hygiene, health, protection against and treatment of disease. Anonymous
a response to “naming rights” (July 2013) I had a good giggle after reading Paul Kerton’s column. I am a teacher and Paul commented about names that are “trendy.” I go back a few years now and share with you my absurd class list at the time. I had a Mikhale, a Michael, a Michaela, a MacKayla, a Kayla, a Talya and a Taylor. Thank goodness I was younger then so I was able to (most of the time) remember who was who and call them by the correct name. Teacher
thanks Child magazine Glynis Horning did a brilliant, sensitive job with her article, “coping with childhood cancer” (July 2013). We sincerely appreciate the exposure this article has given children with cancer and inadvertently Choc. Agie Govender, Choc KZN
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teaches resilience and self-sufficiency. I have shared with other parents that “guilt” is a really destructive emotion and that as parents we all love our children unconditionally. How we choose to raise them is with our best intentions at the centre of our efforts. We should never judge our efforts, other than constantly reflect each day on how best we can fulfil the role of “mother” with the tools we have within our social context. Communicating this message to our children in a loving way makes for honest, open and appropriate relationships. Jos Horwitz
a response to “beyond the mainstream” (May 2013) There is another alternative to the South African school curriculum which your magazine failed to mention. Thousands of bright, ambitious children from international and local families are studying the Cambridge International Curriculum here in our beautiful country. Based on the British National curriculum but of a higher standard, the Cambridge curriculum is available in South Africa at a variety of international schools at both primary and secondary level as well as via home schooling or distance learning. There are even one or two South African schools who use aspects of it to enhance their teaching. With a focus on English language skills, maths and science, the curriculum leads to high quality qualifications (Checkpoint, IGCSE, AS and A Levels), which are accepted for further study in every country in the world including South Africa. Students with these qualifications excel at university in their professions and in business worldwide, because the curriculum develops students who are skilled, confident and responsible. Teachers working in this curriculum find it stimulating and rewarding and are amazed at the level expected of children studying via the Cambridge curriculum, and at how well they meet these high standards. CM Oshry, Dean of Colleges, British International Colleges
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where can I get a copy? I am 80-years-old, but I love your magazine. Where can I find a regular copy? I want to pass it on to my granddaughter. Thanks for this information. Yvette Antelme Childmag says Wonderful! We love that you enjoy reading our magazine. Child magazine is free, but if you would like to get your own copy sent straight to your door step, for R165 per annum, just send us your details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
a response to “positively single” (online) Reading this is like a light bulb going on in my head. Thank you so much for posting this. Now I can see where I am going wrong in my day-to-day decisions. It’s tough having to be a single parent and what makes it worse is that there are a lot of judgmental people out there, a fact which just drains you even further. They should be sympathetic towards those of us who have decided to make it on our own. Positive outlook from now on! Anonymous
new donors Thank you Child magazine for the opportunity to increase our donor database by 57 new donors via exposure in your magazine and on your website. Carmen Douglas-Kilfoil, Society for Animals in Distress
cake-making fun I put the cake inspiration in your May issue to use for my boy’s first birthday. Thank you for sharing. I was
looking for an easy cake to make, and this Lamington train worked like a charm! Tammi
your response on facebook and twitter to our “what’s on” section My goodness, I love it! It’s so easy to see what’s on when. Shaista B Nabee via facebook to the magazine in general I’m a very impressed country-living gran and this is the best information for parents, grandmas and grandads on how to educate children, keep them busy and to shop for great products. Claudette Barnes via Facebook to getting a great response I have had very positive feedback from my advertisement in the past few issues of Child magazine. Thanks to the team. They are always friendly and ever helpful. The Ballet Box via Facebook to the letter “chocolate and vanilla” (July 2013) Read your letter in @ChildMag. Loved it! Spirit Dee via twitter subscribe to our newsletter and win Our wins have moved online. Please subscribe to our newsletter and enter our weekly competition. To subscribe, visit childmag.co.za
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upfront with paul
too embarrassing If your children refuse to be seen with you, then maybe you
e honest. Are you an embarrassing parent? Maybe you don’t even know it, having never had the time to scrutinise the handbook of cool parenting, if indeed there is one. Clue: do your children ask to be dropped off in Pretoria when the school is in Joburg? Do they walk behind you – about six kilometres behind – while you’re trying to talk to them? Do they say things like “There’s no way you’re taking me to Suzy’s party dressed like THAT!” And do they cringe and jump out of the car when you sing along to an Elvis Presley song on the radio? They do? Sorry, but we need to talk. Some “experts” think that parents only become embarrassing when children become teenagers. Wrong! Children know as early as three years old whether or not you are a) fun to be around with, b) a stickler for out-dated rules, c) a major fail in the kudos department, or worst of all d) a can’t-stand-to-see-anyone-having-fun killjoy, because the world (well your world) is “oh so serious”. Lighten up, won’t you.
Saskia, Paul and Sabina
Yes, bringing up children is a serious business, fraught with all sorts of potential disaster and domestic danger and yes, there are so many things that can go wrong. Children can get ill and fall over and not do well at school and, and, and… the list is “and-less”. And here comes the big but; relax, because you can cook and wash, ply them with gadgets and drive them all over the place, but a stressed out, miserable, bitter-and-twisted parent is an ineffective parent. Above all, they’re embarrassing.
A recent survey found that dads are the most embarrassing offenders with 80 percent of 13 to 21 year olds claiming their dad embarrassed them all the time by wearing out-of-date and dishevelled clothes, singing loudly to the radio and acting childish in public. Me? I used to be a cool dad until hair started growing out of my ears and nose faster than it was on my head. Thing is, you have to be aware of developments like this that affect your cool cred and find a solution –
I bought a trimmer. That’s nose trimmer not garden Strimmer… The most embarrassing thing about South African dads, I’ve noticed, is their footwear. They rarely get the right shoes to fit the occasion or match their clothes, like clumpy hiking boots with a smart business suit. Or pointy toes that, after a couple of weeks, curl up like Persian slippers. I could write a book. Luckily daughters keep their mothers well in check to avoid wardrobe malfunctions and fashion fails. Don’t wear too bright a shade of lipstick, especially post-box red or too much perfume, strictly no side-boob and don’t do anything considered “whacky” with your hair like putting six chopsticks through a bun. If you’ve already committed sartorial suicide and fallen into the trap of dressing in the same onesie/slop-pants/tracksuit everyday, because you’re “only popping down the road” to pick up the children, and don’t care anymore; think of them. They care very much. Follow Paul on Twitter: @fabdad1
PHOTOGRAPH: MARIETTE BARKHUIZEN
should take a long, hard look in the mirror, says Paul Kerton.
swimming in front Most men suffering from infertility will be able to have children with treatment. By MARC DE CHAZAL
f you’re struggling to conceive, there’s an equal chance that the problem lies with either one of you. It’s a misconception that infertility affects mainly women. Dr Merwyn Jacobson, a specialist in reproductive medicine at Vitalab infertility clinic in Sandton, says male infertility accounts for nearly one half of all infertility cases in South Africa, which has the lowest fertility rate in subSaharan Africa. There are two categories an infertile couple can fall into. Primary infertility is when a couple is unable to conceive after at least one year of frequent, unprotected sex – or for at least six months if the woman is 35 or older. Secondary infertility, on the other hand, is when a couple cannot conceive a second child after 12 months of unprotected sex. Infertility problems can occur at any stage of conception, which includes the release of an egg from a woman’s ovaries, the egg moving through the fallopian tube, a man’s sperm joining with the egg along the way and the fertilised egg attaching itself to the inside of the uterus. A lot needs to happen for conception to be successful, but a low sperm count, or none at all, is still one of the main reasons a couple will fail to fall pregnant.
“Sperm-related problems result from either too much or too little of the hormones required to produce sperm,” explains Dr Herman Netshidzivhani, a fertility specialist who runs the Netcare Park Lane Fertility Centre in Joburg. “Low sperm count can also be triggered by heat exposure, such as hot baths, or by wearing tight underwear and sitting for long periods. Obese men can become sterile because sagging fat layers can overheat the testicles,” he adds. Research also shows that smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day reduces both the sperm count and sperm mobility. Alcohol consumption may inhibit the production of sperm, as will exposure to toxic chemicals and the use of anabolic steroids. Also keep in mind that fertility does gradually decrease in men who are older than 40.
improve your chances “One in four South African couples diagnosed with infertility is eventually able to conceive with treatment,” says Netshidzivhani. In the case of male infertility, a semen analysis will determine the number, activity and shape of the sperm. Your doctor will advise you of the best options to improve your chances of conceiving, which may include
a course of antibiotics to heal infection, fertility drugs to improve sperm production, or surgery in the case of a reverse vasectomy, removing a varicocele or repairing a duct obstruction. More complicated male infertility problems such as reduced sperm mobility can be treated by Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), a procedure which places washed sperm directly into the uterus via a small catheter. “Today, in even the most difficult of male infertility cases, the direct injection of sperm into eggs in a procedure called Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) can now significantly improve the likelihood of pregnancy,” explains Jacobson. Other treatments include electro-ejaculation for patients with spinal cord injuries, epididymal sperm aspiration for men with absent or blocked ducts, and hormone replacement for individuals with pituitary deficiencies.
best for baby
the latest buzz on BPA Plastic food packaging is said to be 100 percent BPA-free in South Africa, but when it comes
wo years ago South Africa placed a ban on the import, export, sale and manufacture of BPA in all baby-feeding containers. Yet, despite the ban, some retailers were exposed for selling baby bottles containing BPA towards the end of 2012. So how can consumers be sure they’re buying BPA-free products, and does it really matter? BPA, or Bisphenol A, is a chemical used to make polycarbonate plastics and epoxy. Once commonly used in food packaging, it has since been found to be toxic, especially to babies. When a BPA baby bottle is steam sterilised or when baby formula is mixed with hot water, the release of BPA could be increased by 50 percent inside the bottle. While it’s clear that BPA is toxic, experts disagree about whether the amount we’re exposed to in our everyday lives is dangerous. The controversy stems from
BPA’s delinquent behaviour. Most toxins have clear effects such as asbestos, which causes lung cancer. But BPA is an endocrine disruptor, which means it changes how our hormones function, specifically oestrogen, and as such the effects are not clear.
We could be setting up breast cancer in a baby before it’s born, then exacerbating the problem by giving milk containing BPA after birth. Dr Carl Albrecht, executive manager of research at Cansa, says new research, predominantly in the field of endocrinology, is using more advanced technology to study extremely low concentrations of BPA. Results show
that the level of BPA that is dangerous could be up to 100 times lower than previously thought. “We could be setting up breast cancer in a baby before it’s born, then exacerbating the problem by giving milk containing BPA after birth,” he says. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a high profile USA environmental health research and advocacy organisation, BPA can alter the behaviour of more than 200 genes. It’s been linked to abnormal foetal development, prostate and breast cancer, miscarriage, immune system dysfunction, diabetes, weight problems, heart disease, anxiety and testicular abnormalities in boys and puberty in girls younger than eight. A February 2013 report from the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health in the USA furthermore showed a link between early childhood exposure to BPA and a higher risk of asthma in young children.
to the health of your baby, it’s still better to take precautions, says HAYLEY KOMEN.
The effects are especially dangerous to babies. Albrecht says children younger than one year do not yet have the enzymes needed to process BPA. What’s more, babies consume about 10 times more food in relation to their body weight than adults do and, unlike adults, their diet is not varied. As such, if there’s BPA in their milk, babies consume lots of it, all day long. This is why the ban, both locally and in other parts of the world, first focused on baby feeding products. However, many people don’t realise that BPA is also found in other everyday products. Monya Vermaak, marketing and communications executive for Plastics SA, says BPA contributes to consumer comfort and has become indispensable. “It is used in safety glasses, visors and lenses, CDs and DVDs, computers, kitchen appliances, power tools and sport equipment, because no other material has the same safety components,” she says. Of particular concern is that it can also be found in thermal invoicing paper (till and ATM slips) and in the epoxy resin linings found inside canned foods, including most baby formula tins. Yet Albrecht believes the “war” on BPA has been won and that now the question is how to deal with its presence in our environment. “Research is already under way in South Africa to find an alternative to BPA for lining canned foods. But it takes about five years to conclude the tests, because they need to see if the alternative formulation will seal the cans effectively over time,” he says. As such, banning BPA across the board can’t be done overnight.
Cansa’s concern about thermal invoicing paper is mostly for pregnant women working at tills and who are exposed to more BPA than the average person. The organisation is planning research to determine the amount of BPA in till workers’ bodies compared to other staff. If the levels turn out to be of concern, they will explore effective hygiene measures with supermarket managers. This could include till workers washing their hands more frequently or even wearing gloves.
recognising BPA products In 1988 the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) developed an international coding system for the identification of different types of plastic polymers. The main purpose was to support recycling initiatives, but it’s also a useful pointer for consumers who are trying to avoid BPA. Plastic products should feature a triangular symbol with a number between 1 and 7, together with letters identifying the type of polymer. It’s the number 7 combined with the letters “PC” in particular that indicate the presence of BPA, since PC refers to polycarbonate. If there’s no symbol one should assume that the plastic contains BPA or other risky chemicals.
avoiding BPA in baby products Vermaak says that while the National Regulator screens certain products for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) or South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that baby products do not contain BPA lies with the retailer.
make sure While Monya Vermaak, marketing and communications executive for Plastics SA assures consumers that plastic food packaging in South Africa, including baby bottles, is 100 percent BPA free, parents can further ensure their baby’s exposure is limited by following a few guidelines: • Breast-feed your baby for as long as possible, if possible. • Avoid canned foods when feeding your older baby. • Use glass feeding and storage bottles or polypropylene bottles that are labelled “5” and contain the letters “PP”. • If a baby product contains a triangle with the number “7” and letters “PC”, avoid it. • Even if the label says “BPA free”, check the product itself to make sure it does not contain polycarbonate. Baby bottles that are crystal clear and hard are likely to contain BPA. Rather choose a more pliable, slightly opaque bottle. • If there is no triangular symbol on the product, again check that it is slightly pliable and opaque, otherwise rather avoid it. • Don’t microwave foods in plastic containers except for those specifically made for microwave use. These should again contain the triangular symbol with “5” and “PP”.
hormones and your child’s health
hen one hears the words “growth hormones in food”, it’s easy to visualise giant cows, towering corn and rivers of milk. While hormones occur naturally in plants, animals and humans, it’s concerning when synthetic hormones are added to the foods our children eat. According to Cape Town nutritional therapist, Megan Bosman, studies have shown growth hormones added to certain foods can affect your child’s development and wellbeing. “One of the biggest concerns is that synthetic hormones can bring on early puberty in children. This is especially evident in girls as they are starting to menstruate at a much younger age,” says Bosman. “Other studies have shown certain growth hormones can also cause breast enlargement in boys. Synthetic
hormones are the centre of concern when it comes to illnesses linked to high oestrogen levels, like breast cancer, fibroids, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. Oestrogen in excess can also cause weight gain, as growth in oestrogen-sensitive tissue leads to increased fat tissue. What some parents may not realise is that in addition to synthetic hormones added to meat and milk, soya contains high amounts of oestrogen, and there are also chemicals that mimic oestrogen in food called xenoestrogens, which are found in plastics, chemical sprays and fertilisers.” The majority of meat consumed in South Africa has added hormones, which are given to animals to make them gain weight faster, thus producing meat products for consumers at a faster rate.
“For decades in South Africa, almost all abattoir meat has been produced with the aid of hormones, and it is known to be a completely safe practice,” says the Food Advisory Consumer Service (FACS), a resource that provides consumers with scientifically correct information on food and nutrition issues. FACS is administered by the South African Association for Food Science and Technology – a non-profit organisation for food scientists and other technical food professionals. FACS explains that there are four anabolic steroids (hormones) commonly used in promoting the growth of animals – two naturally occurring and two synthetic hormones. When used as recommended, these hormones are safe for both the animal and the final consumer. “In the meat industry, hormones are used only for a short period
Synthetic hormones added to the foods we eat have always been a sensitive topic. Vanessa Papas explores the possible health risks and ways to minimise your child’s exposure to them.
while the animal is being fattened on a feedlot. In feedlots, for example, a 10-month-old steer or heifer of 200kg receives an ear implant that contains hormones. After about 100 days of feeding, the animal has grown to 400kg, when it is ready for slaughter. The implants promote improved conversion of feed into muscle by up to 20 percent and also ensure that our abattoir meat has a low fat content. Without the use of hormones, bovines require about three years to achieve slaughter weight, whereas here the aim is to slaughter animals at 18 to 24 months old for improved farming efficiency. In most cases, our legislation has set the allowed limits lower than those required internationally. The use of hormones in red meat production is permitted and controlled by the Department of Agriculture, which means that products and usage levels are known and residues can be monitored.” Nathalie Mat, associate dietician at MME Dietitians in Bryanston, Gauteng, says one of the most frequently asked questions is whether eating meat from hormone-treated animals increases the risk of girls developing breast cancer as adults. “While some studies have found certain synthetic hormones in meat may exert some effects on health issues like breast cancer, testicular cancer, obesity, diabetes, glucose intolerance and high cholesterol, one should be wary of attributing blame to the chemicals in the food chain. Considering two thirds of South Africans are overweight or obese, and this is one of the main contributing factors to the above-listed conditions, one should first address the likely calorie imbalance that leads to weight gain before pointing fingers at the miniscule input that any contaminants are likely to have.”
In addition to meat production, hormones are also used to increase milk production in animals. As milk is an important part of your child’s diet, providing them with calcium and muscle-building proteins, should parents worry about the added hormones in milk and milk products? Cows naturally produce a hormone called Bovine Somatotropin (BST) that helps them produce milk. In order to increase milk production, some farmers inject their dairy cows with a genetically engineered drug called Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin (rBST). Although legal in South Africa, rBST is banned in Japan, Canada, Australia and the European Union, and has been linked to increased rates in colon, breast and prostate cancer. “We believe that raw milk should not contain any added hormones,” says Anneke Smalman, senior liaison officer at Clover, a company that produces milk that is free of any hormones or traces of antibiotics. “We do more than 60 tests on our fresh milk before it reaches the consumer to ensure that it’s safe for human consumption. Clean raw milk from organic grass-fed cows contains only the precisely balanced trace amounts that are naturally occurring, providing your child with the best source of nutrients nature has to offer.”
did you know? Hormone compounds are not just found in food, but are also present in water, soil, cosmetics, cleaning products and food packaging.
guide for parents By avoiding hormone-treated meat and dairy products, you can limit your child’s exposure to synthetic hormone chemicals. • S tart your own vegetable garden using organic seeds. • Choose lean meat cuts and remove any visible fat before cooking. • Choose wholegrain foods. • C hoose products labelled “no hormones administered”. • C ook meats well, without burning or charring them. • Choose free range/organic meats that have not been treated with hormones. • Avoid processed foods as they often contain synthetic hormones. • Avoid the use of plastics, especially when heating and freezing food as these contain xenoestrogens. • Wash fruit and vegetables before eating them as some chemical sprays and fertilisers contain xenoestrogens. • Larger containers reduce the surface-to-volume ratio, which means less food comes into contact with the container. This also reduces the migration of chemicals in packaging to food. * Above tips provided by Gauteng dietician Careen Geldenhuys
dealing with difference
the primary work of a child is play
you have them doing exercises that encourage these skills before they start schooling. By LUCILLE KEMP
tereotypically, occupational therapist (OT) Ingrid C King has found, children’s fine motor skills – small coordinated movements, of the hands and fingers, which control tools and materials – develop consistently from birth through to mid-primary school. King realised, however, that many Grade R children can’t perform the most basic of fine motor functions such as cutting with scissors or opening a clothes peg. So what is hindering this otherwise typical development? As we by now know, in the space of six decades, technology overall has allowed a child’s lifestyle to become rather sedentary – playing on smartphones and gaming has replaced tree climbing and ball-playing, and lift clubs have replaced bicycle riding and walking to friends’ houses. As a result of these lifestyle changes, many more children today
do not have sufficient opportunities to optimally develop their motor skills before they begin formal schooling. “I am sure you would see a different picture if you visited the townships and rural areas, where children are very active and have greater freedom to run, climb and play outdoors,” says Sheva Messias, principal of King David Pre-Primary School in Linksfield, Joburg.
effects on learning “Studies have shown that fine motor abilities are forecasters for later academic achievement and one particular study in 2013 found that four year olds who demonstrated good scores on fine motor writing tasks are more likely to excel academically in primary school,” says King. This affirms that the importance of having children with well-honed fine
motor skills goes beyond being able to proficiently perform everyday tasks such as fastening buttons, tying shoelaces and using cutlery. A little girl in Grade 1 named Julia* paid weekly OT visits over three terms as she wasn’t keeping up with the rest of her class in handwriting, cutting and colouring. Presumably due to the anxiety brought on by falling behind and not coping, Julia also complained often of a sore stomach and didn’t want to go to school. “We worked together on strengthening the muscles in her hand, fingers and wrist as well as improving the coordination of her writing fingers and her letter formation. Julia’s confidence was eventually restored; she was keeping up with her peers and enjoying going to school with no more tummy troubles,” says King.
PHOTOGRAPHS: ST JOHN’S COLLEGE / Ingrid C King / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
In a world where efficient fine motor functions are no longer incidental in a child’s development, ensure
From as early on as infancy, a child’s fine motor skills help their interactions with the world and, as they get older, provide building blocks to developing early literacy, numeracy and self-help skills such as independent dressing and going to the toilet – especially important by the time they’re attending “big school”. In their early primary school years, children continue to use their fine motor skills to assist in developing literacy and numeracy as well as to help perform more complex functions such as art, craft and construction activities using computers, playing musical instruments, drawing, writing and typing. Referring to research King notes, “Children in Grades 2, 4 and 6 are required to spend up to 60 percent of their school day performing fine motor tasks, and 85 percent of these tasks involve paper-and-penciltype fine motor functions.” Fine motor skills proficiency greatly affects a child’s everyday experience in the classroom with one such area being handwriting. And before you jump up and yell “Relevance in the age of the iPad?”, King points out that there is still value in having handwriting skills. Research has revealed that four year olds who spent time copying letters using a writing utensil made significant gains on a letter recognition assessment compared to four year olds who used a touchscreen or keyboard to type the letters. James*, a boy in Grade 2, found handwriting so difficult that he would often tune out and stare into space and seldom wrote more than a sentence on his own. He also lacked good postural control, due to low muscle tone, and often supported the side of his head with his hand. He worked on prescribed activities at home and after four months of OT, his mom and teacher are happy with the progress. He holds his pencil in a more functional grip and is writing more on his own; he even spontaneously wrote
neatly in a Mother’s Day card. The results from the sessions also mean James won’t need to repeat Grade 2.
the best intervention is prevention King notes, “According to theories of motor learning, to acquire a new skill, daily practise is needed and to refine a skill, practise three times a week is ideal.” Parents with preschool children should aim to spend 15 minutes a day doing fun fine motor tasks with their child, which includes drawing, colouring and cutting using scissors. King concludes, “Your child needs you to go outside and fly a kite with you. They want you to sing and play games with them and they want your eye contact and attention. Your child needs your help to develop their minds and bodies.” Here are a few ways to start:
fun that develops Get them to hold a spray bottle in their first three fingers and get them to spray off shaving foam patterns, which have been drawn onto the shower walls; children also like cleaning windows and popping bubbles. Collect a variety of squeeze toys such as soft balls, koosh balls and animal toys with tongues that “pop out when you squeeze them”. Don’t forget the good oldfashioned, jointed wooden animals, whose body parts move when children depress the base with their thumbs. They also love good-quality balloons filled with play dough with funny faces drawn on. Encourage your child to squeeze and manipulate them until their hands are tired. Use them in the car to make travel times more productive and fun. Use clothes pegs (the kind with a spring) and teach your child to hold the peg between the pads of their thumb and index fingers (add in the middle finger if it will fit) and tuck the other fingers into their palm. Once they
have got this grip, they can play “singing peg” (opening and closing the peg while they sing along to a song. They can also sing the ABC. Use the pegs to pick up plastic items that float and sink in the bath, for example bottle lids. You can also draw letters or numbers inside with a permanent marker to add to the educational value of the activity. Cut strips of different coloured crepe paper into pieces (7cm by 3cm). Hold both ends of a strip between the thumb, index and middle fingers, then scrunch the strip as small as possible (you can also get them to roll it further using the first three fingers of the dominant hand). *Names have been changed Information courtesy of Ingrid C King
resource OTs in your area visit childmag.co.za/resources/healthcarepractitioners online assistance • love2learnandgrow.com • ot-mom-learning-activities.com • loveplayandlearn.com recommended reading • Play Learn Know by Dr Melodie de Jager and Liz Victor (Metz Press) • Sensible Stimulation by Marga Grey (Metz Press) • Time2Play by Leana Weideman Matodes (Crink Publishing Consultant) • Am I Ready for School? Smartkids (Pearson)
your child’s life
oo often the screen or other structured activities replace the free play that is the potting soil of creativity in young children. Instead of taking time to play with our children, we direct them to the TV or computer to keep them busy. Made-up games, hours spent building vehicles and structures, fantasy stories acted out with dolls and action figures – all of these are the building blocks for a child’s imagination. Yet, while for most of us creativity and childhood go hand in hand, alarming evidence has shown that children are less creative today than they were a generation ago.
free Don’t stifle your children’s creative play, as this is when they are doing most of their learning. By BIANCA WRIGHT
An American study by Kyung-Hee Kim, a professor of education at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, noted a continuous decline in creativity among schoolchildren over the last two or three decades. Kim compared scores on a creative-thinking test collected from normative samples of kindergarten children up to twelfth grade over several decades. Her analyses show that the scores on these tests at all grade levels began to decline somewhere between 1984 and 1990 and have continued to decline ever since. While South African studies are lacking, similar results have been found in studies in other parts of the globe. The main culprit seems to be technology. A study commissioned by Hobbycraft in 2012 found that a third of parents in the United Kingdom who were surveyed regret giving their children game consoles, cellphones and computers, yet 43 percent admit they often give in and let them play or watch what they want for the sake of peace. In an article in the Daily Mail, Emma Kenny, a media psychologist, warns of the impact of these techno-babysitters. “It is important to consider the longer-term effects a lack of creative activities in childhood can have, with lack of concentration, and patience becoming increasingly evident as well as a lack of problem-solving skills which creative activity helps develop.” In a review of 17 studies about the link between watching television and creative thought in children, researchers concluded that watching TV reduced creative imagination among children of a wide range of ages, most of whom were older than age six.
a downward trend
creative play Children are creative because they are not bound by the constraints of reality and logic. Psychologist Alison Kuit, now based in the UK, says, “This allows the lounge carpet to become a flying carpet that takes them to magical places, or a tea towel to become a bright and beautiful butterfly coming to rest on a lovely flower. Play and creativity are not just ways to pass the time; they are how children learn, make sense of their world, learn to solve problems and even to find (their) identity.” She emphasises the importance of nurturing creativity within children and allowing them to explore the possibilities around them. It’s not that television or computer use is all bad; rather it’s a matter of moderation and ensuring that children have the freedom and the desire to use their imaginations and be creative. Creativity comes in many forms, from creative approaches to baking and art to free play that encourages the development of problem-solving skills. Parents play a vital role in shaping a child’s experience of the world and by consequence of the way they play. Too much monitoring, evaluation and direction from a parent can stifle creativity. The point of creative play is that there is no right way to do it.
pressure points The intense pressure that parents feel to ensure that their child is developing at appropriate levels can actually negatively impact on a child’s creative intuition. “Our society and culture has become obsessed with education,” Kuit warns. “We measure success by how quickly our children move through developmental stages. Parents compare how early their child walked, talked and could name colours and shapes.” The result, she says, is that play has to be “educational”, with parents and caregivers governing the play to meet the educational outcomes. “This means that from early on, children learn that there is a right and a wrong way to do something, to see something, to play with something. We correct our children when they ‘incorrectly’ name a lemon a ball. We have them watch DVDs that promise to lay down the early foundations for reading and writing at the age of six months. Encouraging creativity is encouraging self-exploration.” Port Elizabeth-based psychologist, Kerry Phillips White, adds that there really is a need for creativity to come from a place of stillness. “Our children have to be encouraged to find their own creativity in a place of quiet without TV, music, computer games and cellphones. Children need to learn to discern their own creative voice amid the constant bombardment of ideas.” The key is balance. Education is important, but so is freedom, flexibility and creative thought. Providing children with different kinds of stimuli to encourage all aspects of the child’s development, including creativity, is one way that parents can ensure that they nourish the whole child. As Kuit says, “Turn off the TV, silence the adult logic, get down on the floor or into the sandpit and play.”
creating creativity UK teacher, Sarah Boone, offers these tips for nurturing creativity in your child: • Play “what if”. Children of all ages love to imagine possibilities. The questions can be as silly as “What if the moon really was made of green cheese?” or as serious as “What if apartheid did not come to an end in 1994?”. There are no wrong answers, and the responses often lead to further “what ifs”. • Learn to look. Go beyond the adjectives commonly used to describe people, places and things. Ask your children what they associate with such things. • Introduce new experiences. Breaking down stereotypes involves comparing preconceived notions with actual experiences. Have your children describe what they think a certain culture’s religion or food might be like, then allow them to experience it in some way, comparing their expectations with their discoveries. New experiences suggest different questions and lead to more possibilities. • Experiment. Be willing to tolerate a little messiness while family members experiment with new flavours and original recipes, create new designs from old favourite clothes, personalise letterheads and stationery, or try out various paint or colour schemes. • Find creative art opportunities that do not come with any academic or performance pressure. Be guided by your child’s choices and not what you want them to learn. The emphasis is on the creative process, not the final product. • Insist on some quiet time. Creativity requires reflection away from distractions. Activities such as keeping a journal, hiking, cycling, walking the dog, and doing chores lend themselves to introspection, even when they are done as a family. • Remain nonjudgmental. Ideas and creations can be flawed. To be creative, your children need the freedom to experiment and to make mistakes so that they can try again.
Conflicting parenting styles can play havoc on your relationship with your partner and confuse your children. By Françoise Gallet
race Shaw*, 43, mother to three boys of eight, 11 and 15, loved what she saw of her husband with other people’s children. But when their first son was born, she saw another side to him, which left her hurt, disappointed and angry. “When I first met Gary he was very playful with his friend’s children, so I imagined he would be playful and involved with our own children. This illusion was shattered when, two weeks after our firstborn arrived, Gary left us to go away on a boys’ weekend in Joburg.” Coming face-to-face with your partner’s take on parenting while in the throes of actual parenting can be stressful. Most of this stress stems from unconscious and conscious expectations parents have of themselves and their partners, explains Carol-Ann Dixon, a counselling psychologist and relationship therapist in Durban. Amanda Joseph, 32, and Bradley Whittington, 31, parents to three children also struggled with similar disillusionment. Amanda’s idea of who Bradley would be as a parent differed substantially from who he really is. “I realised only in hindsight that my unconscious expectation was based on how my father had parented me,” she says. Cristine Scolari, a Joburg clinical psychologist, says few individuals enter parenthood with a clear sense of what they consider to be their role, responsibilities and parental values. Our ideas about how our children should be raised are shaped “by a variety of factors, such as how we were parented, the individual’s own temperament and personality, personal values, experiences from childhood, emotional factors and trial and error,” explains Scolari.
• O ther styles of parenting include helicopter parenting, where parents constantly control and interfere in their children’s lives. • Attachment parenting is where parents believe that creating a strong bond with their child is paramount. • Dixon describes another style of parenting, coined “conscious parenting”, which is “about seeing the child as a separate and unique being that needs to be nurtured, guided and coached into adulthood. It is very skills-based with specific tools being taught and the parent-child relationship at the core of the method.”
to some of the rituals at a traditional Zulu wedding, such as the slaughtering of animals; whereas her husband wanted his son to be taught about the meanings behind these practices. He did not see anything wrong with his son sleeping in the same room when they made love; she was aghast!” Conflict over parenting styles can leave parents feeling frustrated, annoyed, misunderstood, isolated and angry. Other common emotions include mistrust and insecurity. Conflicting parenting styles may also impact children. “To avoid conflict, one partner may abdicate parenting to the other,” points out Dixon. “One parent may also over-compensate and so overdiscipline or over-protect the child. Arguing continually about who is right and who is the better parent is common.” When “ganging up with the children” against the other parent becomes pathological, it is known as Parent Alienation Syndrome. “Deliberate attempts to alienate a parent from the children have a very adverse effect on them and creates deep hurt,” says Dixon.
There is a saying: ‘You can either be right or you can be in a relationship’. Parents may have to learn how to integrate their differences – sometimes through compromise or through expanding boundaries to be more inclusive.
Although each parent is uniquely influenced by a number of factors, mainline research has identified three distinct parenting styles: authoritarian, laissez faire or permissive and more recently a style known as authoritative. • “Authoritarian parenting is a regimental parenting style with many rules and strict boundaries. Children are not expected to have an opinion or have any input,” Scolari explains. • Parents with a permissive style “allow their children to do whatever they like with not much structure or boundaries,” continues Scolari. • In authoritative parenting, parents set rules and have boundaries, but they are more flexible and listen to their children’s input.
The conscious and attachment parenting styles have informed the way Amanda raises her children. While she and Bradley generally share these ideals, Amanda admits that differences are most pronounced when it comes to discipline and boundaries. “Where he sees me being inconsistent, I see me choosing my battles,” explains Amanda. “When I feel he’s being too harsh, he feels he is keeping the children accountable to their agreements.” Anne Cawood, a Cape Town social worker in private practice and author of five parenting books, agrees that the most common area of disagreement between parents is that of discipline. Grace, who describes her early parenting style as permissive, is a good example. “Gary brought an authoritarian approach into his parenting, and, boy, did we clash,” she says. “I would ask him for help and his only solution was corporal punishment. I would then interfere in my attempt to shield or protect the boys, and he would feel undermined and the boys learnt to play us off against each other. I considered my parenting approach ‘far better’ than his and vice versa. The result was further alienation from each other and children who were confused.” Differences in parenting styles may be exacerbated by religious and cultural beliefs. Dixon describes some of the issues faced by an American married to a Zulu South African: “She did not want her son to be exposed
respecting the other “Some people find it difficult to separate being able to love their partner as an individual and integrate their parenting style, so they begin to disrespect and experience contempt for their partner,” says Dixon. “There is a saying: ‘You can either be right or you can be in a relationship’. Parents may have to learn how to integrate their differences – sometimes through compromise or through expanding boundaries to be more inclusive.” Dixon had a client where the Hindu mother wanted her children to learn the Bhagavad Gita, and her Christian husband wanted them to learn the Bible. The couple decided to expose themselves first to the different beliefs before deciding. “The result was healthy, rigorous debate, a decision to respect all paths and to offer the children a choice when they grew older,” she says. For Cawood, successfully managing differences in parenting styles comes down to the couple’s communication skills. “It is all a matter of how the couple learns to communicate. No two parents will view parenting in exactly the same way. The issue is to find effective skills to communicate about the differences.” Kobus van der Merwe, a Pretoria-based clinical relationship therapist, also highlights the importance of constructive dialogue between couples. For Van der Merwe, who has been running relationship workshops magazine pretoria
useful reading • • • •
Boundaries With Kids by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend (Zondervan Publishing Company) The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary D Chapman (Moody Publishers) Parenting from the inside out by Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell (Jeremy P Tarcher) Toddlers Need Boundaries and Children Need Boundaries by Anne Cawood (Metz Press)
for 17 years, when couples are able to dialogue skilfully, different parenting styles can be richly valuable. He gives an example from his own marriage: “My perspective is discipline; my wife comes from a playful space. I need to be aware of this and keep it in mind. She needs to be open to when I can see that a pattern in the children’s behaviour needs to change.” Difference can be advantageous to the emotional wellbeing of the family when parents are able to confront their own belief and value systems and discuss them with mutual respect. “Children can manage quite a high degree of conflict, especially when they witness resolution of that conflict,” says Dixon. Cawood agrees. “Children will not be adversely affected by parents who have divergent styles – but they will be negatively affected if their parents allow these differences to impact the emotional atmosphere of the home. With open, positive communication, being a parent can become an amazing, challenging and exciting experience with opportunities for ongoing personal growth.” *Names have been changed
Anne Cawood shares some of the skills and strategies of effective communication: • Be empathetic and put yourself in the shoes of your partner. • See the perspective of the other parent by being an active listener. • Be assertive and express your opinions non-judgmentally. • Avoid criticising each other’s extended families. • Don’t bottle up as this leads to explosions later. • Learn to compromise. • See your partner as the other part of your child’s life.
tips from The Family Life Centre Educational psychologist, Claudia Abelheim, gives tips for navigating this territory: • Your golden rule: make your children’s best interests your priority. • Develop a joint parenting plan that puts boundaries and systems in place. • Attend a parent education course – it can help parents find a more cohesive style that suits both parties’ needs.
it’s what you know Being up to date on general knowledge can be of great advantage to your child’s academic and social life. MARC DE CHAZAL offers fun ideas to boost the brain power.
ou can Google almost anything on a smartphone, but we are not necessarily smarter when it comes to general knowledge. A 2008 poll showed that 37 percent of Americans were unable to locate their home country on a world map. There’s a good chance our collective general knowledge is also a bit shoddy. According to the World Economic Forum, the South African education system is ranked near the very bottom in a survey of 144 countries. Research has shown that new information can only be retained when it attaches itself to existing knowledge, so expanding your child’s core knowledge can only benefit him. The key is to make it fun. This will not only make them more interested in the world, but will also give them practical information that may be really useful in life. Here are some things you can do with your child to improve their general knowledge.
read everything One of my favourite authors, the genial and humorous Bill Bryson, is a fountain of knowledge. If you read his hilarious memoir, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, you’ll understand why. Bryson’s parents owned a broad collection of books, and young Bill was given free rein to read whatever he wanted to, which he did. He grew up to become a celebrated travel writer, and wrote the award-winning general science book, A Short History of Nearly Everything. Incidentally, he also wrote the child-friendly A Really Short History of Nearly Everything. To get your child into the habit of reading widely, you can start by taking her to the local library from a young age. Also include books as birthday and Christmas presents that will especially build their general knowledge, such as Big Questions from Little People Answered by Some Very Big People, compiled by Gemma Elwin Harris. In it, Bear Grylls explains if it’s OK to eat a worm, Dr Richard Fortey tells children why dinosaurs became extinct and other animals didn’t, and many others weigh-in on questions even adults would like answered. Expose your child to other media as well. Think National Geographic Kids, which has an interactive website that offers numerous activities that will expand their knowledge in a fun way (visit kids.nationalgeographic.com). Newspapers are another powerful teaching tool, as there is something new to read, look at, think about and discuss every day.
“Children love to play – and general knowledge is best developed by engaging your child in games and quizzes,” says Jamie Miller, author of How to Become a Quizzing Genius. There are myriad board games and online quizzes you can choose from. Trivial Pursuit, 30 Seconds and Cranium are perennial favourites. I remember playing a simple game as a child that tests and improves general knowledge – the board game equivalent is Scattergories. The objective of the game is to score points by uniquely naming objects within a set of categories, given an initial letter, within a time limit. So your chosen categories could be cities, sports, music and movies. If the letter is C, players write down a city, sport, song and movie beginning with the letter.
All you need is paper, something to write with and your brain. A dictionary may be useful as well. I recall an adult family friend giving 12-year-old me a hard time when I insisted my spelling of “Yugoslavia” with a Y was correct. I was finally awarded the point, so I guess the game also taught me the value of perseverance. If you want to improve your geography knowledge, a fun online game takes you on a journey around the world and challenges your ability to recognise your surroundings. You can spend hours guessing the locations of mysterious landscapes on geoguessr.com.
google it Thanks to search engines and the speed of computerised devices, facts are literally at our finger tips. Your child will be encouraged by his teachers to safely use the internet for research, but you can help on the general knowledge front too. You’ll find many quiz ideas for children online. You can also set up your own quiz that involves using the internet to find the answers. Ensure that the search settings on your home computer are child friendly.
write it down There is a proven neurological connection between long-term memory and mental manipulation. One way to improve a child’s memory is to ask them to write summaries of new information in their own words, says Dr Judy Willis, a US-based neurologist and former school teacher. If you’ve just come back from a family holiday, get your children to write about their experiences. “To make these even more personally meaningful the summaries can be in forms that suit their learning style preferences, including sketches, skits, songs, dances, comic strips or drawings,” says Willis.
leave home Your child will never be truly exposed to the world by staying at home and watching TV. Visiting interesting places, such as museums and aquariums, will do wonders for his general knowledge. Also visit more unusual places to discover how things are made, such as a chocolate factory or goat farm. If you have the means, take your child abroad to see and experience, first hand, the rich diversity of life on our fascinating planet. Don’t underestimate the humble road trip that takes in the quieter corners of our country. You can garner the above practical suggestions over a weekend road trip. Read up about your destination in advance, set up fun quizzes to do en route and when you’re back home, and get your child to summarise his memories of the trip.
make the circle bigger The grown-up friends and extended family of my parents also taught me a thing or two about “life, the universe and everything”. Around the dinner table, I heard about the interesting countries they had visited, the professions they were in and their opinions about current affairs. Of course, you may need to censor the stream of adult conversations your child is exposed to, especially when alcohol is also flowing. magazine pretoria
a business plan Create a young entrepreneur by encouraging your children to use their basic skills and turn their creativity into a business. CHILD MAGAZINE gives you some ideas. projects to do at home fruit and veg
home and garden help
• Watching it grow Show your child how to grow herbs and veggies in pots or in the garden. Choose herbs that grow well and quickly, and that will keep producing for most of the year. • Seed packs Research easy-togrow veggies and herbs, and then make seed packs. They can also include instructions and put companion plants together. • Sell it If you have a lemon tree, avo tree, chilli bush or other food-producing plant in your garden, children can sell extra produce in season. • Pack it Source wooden boxes to grow vegetables in and sell these with instructions and refill packs.
• Pet services Children who are good with animals can offer a dog walking service, if it is in a safe neighbourhood. • Garden services Mow the grass, do weeding and water the plants for neighbours you know well and trust. • DIY Painting, fixing things around the house, hanging pictures and doing odd jobs is a good way for children to earn some income. • Beauty Girls may like to offer nail or other beauty treatments to local moms on Saturday mornings. • Functions Get your child to offer to help out at school fundraisers and birthday parties, entertaining children with games, face painting and painting tattoos.
computers • Designing Tech-savvy children can set up websites, design business cards, flyers, invitations, posters and photo calendars. • Keeping in touch Children can offer to write emails for people in old age homes, or set up Skype sessions for them. • Hardware Children with a head for hardware can fix computers or put them together for people.
projects to do at school sports day • Tournaments Children can organise different sports tournaments so as to include everyone, such as hockey, soccer or athletics. On the day, scorekeepers will have to keep track of which teams move through to the final rounds. • Oddball Olympics These sports days can include fun games for children, especially if they are little, with activities like three-legged races, sack races, wheelbarrow races, Frisbee golf, egg-and-spoon races or tug of war. • Behind the scenes Children not taking part in the sports events can sell tickets, or set up food stalls and sell refreshments.
market day • Recycled and upcycled Children can find old things around the house and turn them into toys, decor, storage containers and anything else inspirational. • Fun and games Children can offer activities for others to buy, such as wooden puzzles, DIY kits (for example, a make-your-own-kite kit), or have a stall where children can play games. • Food Baked goods, such as cakes, biscuits, cupcakes, toffee apples, chocolate clusters or homemade muesli can be sold. • Smellies Children can make soaps, bath salts, scented candles, linen sachets, or lavender garlands for the clothes’ cupboard.
art and crafts • T hrift Make photo frames out of driftwood, or old wire and wine corks. • B eing creative Make trendy wooden and sell them at a local craft market or to a decor shop. • Interior design Small blocks of mounted canvas can be painted as decorations to match room themes. • Fashion and design If children can knit, scarves, hats and soft toys are a good option. Crocheted items, beaded jewellery, hair accessories and handbags are all items that children with a creative streak can make.
science fair • Science experiments Children can set up a science fair, where parents and other children pay a small entry fee to view the experiments. • Ecofriendly projects Classes can come up with ideas that can be used to help others, either at home or in disadvantaged communities such as how to grow grass to stop soil erosion • How it’s made Children can demonstrate how things are constructed, either by using models or by building their own. • Biology Classes can put together demonstrations that show how things in nature work, such as worm farms.
• Handmade items These can include clothes, decor, blankets, knitted or crocheted items, and handbags. • Festive season If your market is held towards the end of the year, Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, cards, tree ornaments and other festive goodies will go down well. • Services Face painting, hair spraying, nail art, and temporary or henna tattoos can be offered as well. • Entertainment Children with a flair for performing can run a karaoke contest or dance-offs. Other children can try busking, blowing balloon animals or stilt walking.
• Baking Biscuits, cakes, rusks, cupcakes and other baked goodies can be made to order or sell at markets. • Preserves Homemade chilli sauce, pickled onions, tomato relish, mayonnaise, pesto and other sauces can be made in big batches and sold at school or to friends and family. • Pies Quiches, tarts and pies can be made to order. • Cooking Ready-made meals are a big plus for busy moms. • Pre-made items Homemade muesli, premade biscuit or bread dough, and ready-to-use bread crumbs are easy to make.
a good read for toddlers Knock! Knock! Open the Door By Michaela Morgan and David Walker
for preschoolers a surp r on ev ise ery page
(Published by MacMillan Children’s Books, R120) Where is that special person Mom and Dad promised to bring home? There are lots of knocks at the door as new animal friends come calling, but none of them are quite sure who this little toddler is expecting. She’s waiting for someone cuddly like the polar bear, funny like the spotty cat, cute like the penguin, bouncy like the kangaroo, smelly like the skunk and noisy like the dinosaur. This is a lovely introduction for toddlers to a new brother or sister arriving home.
What is in the Yellow Envelope? By Leoni Webster and Annelie Sdralis (Published by Money is Childsplay CC, R80, postage excluded) Today is Simon’s birthday and Grandpa gives him a yellow envelope with money. In this book, Grandpa explains to Simon how he can earn money, where it comes from and how to look after it. The authors, a financial manager and teacher, developed this series specifically for children and adults to explain money matters. It contains loads of fun – with brainteasers, games and money-related field trip ideas. Visit money4kids.co.za to order.
for early graders
for preteens and teens
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race against Time By Frank Cottrell Boyce
The Child’s Elephant By Rachel Campbell-Johnston
(Published by Candlewick Press, R183) When the Tootings return to Zobrowski Terrace at the end of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, they find that home is looking a lot like Jurassic Park. But this is no theme park – a very real T. Rex is charging them. Thanks to Dad’s inadvertent yanking of Chitty’s “Chronojuster” lever, the car has ushered them back to prehistoric times. But Chitty has a mind of her own, and the Tootings will get an unexpected tour of exciting times and places from Prohibition-era New York, where Chitty wants to compete in the Prix d’Esmerelda’s Birthday Cake race, to the lost city of El Dorado.
I Wonder Why the Dodo is Dead & I Wonder Why Soap Makes Bubbles By Andrew Charman and Barbara Taylor
(Published by Random House, R174) When a baby elephant is left orphaned on the African savannah, Bat, a young herd boy, takes her home and cares for her. But Bat’s grandmother knows that Meya cannot stay with them forever; the call of the wild will always be sounding in her soul. And there are rumours borne on the wind; frightening stories of war. Bat and his closest friend, Muka, are catapulted into a new life of unimaginable terror. Now memories of their village world feel so far away. Will the bond between elephant and child remain strong enough to save them? This is a thrilling new novel, which tells a heartbreaking, lifelike tale.
Doll Bones By Holly Black
(Published by Kingfisher, R104 each) Colourful, surprising and full of information, the I Wonder Why books have set thousands of young minds buzzing. I Wonder Why the Dodo is Dead is the perfect introduction to extinct and endangered animals, featuring polar bears in peril, right whales at risk, rhinos and much more. I Wonder Why Soap Makes Bubbles introduces children to science, featuring rainbows, fizzy drinks, musical instruments and more. Clear, lively text answers all those tricky questions about how the world works, while friendly, funny cartoons add interest. With more than 35 titles across a mind-expanding range of subjects, this series will amaze and amuse young children.
(Published by Random House, R194) Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her. But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up makebelieve, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the queen, and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave. Zach, Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the queen’s ghost to rest, but nothing goes according to plan.
parenting book a wake-up call
A Bantu in my Bathroom By Eusebius McKaiser (Published by Bookstorm, R181) Why are South Africans so uncomfortable with deep disagreement? Why do we lash out at people with opposing views without taking the time to engage logically with their arguments? Eusebius McKaiser is on a mission to raise the level of debate in South Africa. He provokes us from our comfort zones and lures us into the debates that shape our opinions and our society. With surprising candour and intensely personal examples, McKaiser examines our deepest-felt prejudices and ingrained assumptions. Don’t expect to read this book and escape with your defences intact. Immensely readable and completely engaging, McKaiser tackles deeply South African questions of race, sexuality and culture. The foreword of the book is written by the rector and vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State, Jonathan Jansen.
a valuable lesson
Toddler Sense By Ann Richardson (Published by Metz Press, R160) Now fully updated and expanded to include the latest relevant research, this ever popular book tells you how to recognise and understand your toddler’s unique sensory profile. Learn how to manage stimulation to avoid overload and solve bedtime battles with age-appropriate sleep-training. It shows you how to discipline with love and a sense of humour and gives a sensible approach to toilet training and more. The term “picky eating” has recently been re-classified as an “eating disorder of early childhood”. The book has been updated to include a dedicated chapter on managing the picky eater. August 2013
You can also access the calendar online at
what’s on in august
Find out what’s happening in and around your city. Compiled by SIMONE JEFFERY.
FUN for children
only for parents
bump, baby & tot in tow
how to help
FUN FOR CHILDREN
ONLY FOR PARENTS
bump, baby & tot in tow
how to help
Children’s craft club Children can express their creativity while trying everything from painting and pottery to Japanese origami and stamping.
Nell’s Boulevard Nell performs a contemporary jazz set, with the backing of a jazz band, to promote the launch of her latest CD.
Safari Garden Centre Let your little one loose on the large jungle gym and say hello to the monkeys and pigs.
The Storehouse Your donations of clothing, children’s books, nonperishable food, household goods and toys provide 52 NPOs with welcome relief and hope.
Robertson Wine Valley Festival Meet the Robertson Wine Valley’s winemakers who have come up to Gauteng for a funfilled outing at the tranquil Kievits Kroon Country Estate.
SPECIAL EVENTS 2 friday Spin & Sport Moonlight Festival An indoor cycling challenge for the young and old, fit and not so fit, in aid of the disabled learners of Alma School. Snacks and drinks are on sale. Time: 5:30pm–9pm. Venue: Alma School, 407 Eloff St, Eloffsdal. Cost: R1 000 per team (minimum of two and maximum of 10). Contact: 012 335 0252, email@example.com or visit almaschool.co.za
Reach for your Slippers Purchase your R10 sticker and wear your fluffy slippers with pride as you go to school, work or down to the shops. Proceeds benefit children faced with lifethreatening illnesses. Contact: 011 781 0133, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit reachforadream.org.za
3 saturday Robertson Wine Valley Festival Meet the Robertson Wine Valley’s winemakers who have come up to this Gauteng country estate, with its beautiful rose beds and landscaped gardens. Entertainment is offered for the whole family. Also 4 August. Time: 10am–5pm. Venue: Kievits Kroon Country Estate, plot 41, Reier Rd, Kameeldrift-East. Cost: R180 per person per day, R320 for a weekend pass, children under 18 free. Book through Webtickets or buy tickets at the gate. For more info: 0861 225 598 or visit webtickets.co.za
4 sunday Cars in the Park The Pretoria Old Motor Club celebrates its 34th year with an exhibition of classic, vintage and interesting cars. There is live entertainment, jumping castles and mini tractor rides for the children, as well as beer tents and food stalls. Time: 7:30am–3pm. Venue: Zwartkops Raceway, on the R55, Pretoria West. Cost: adults R60, children free. Contact Frik: 083 627 4532 or visit zwartkops.co.za
9 friday Omaramba Ry en Roer Fees A weekend of entertainment for the whole family, from vintage car displays, a potjiekos cook-off, a song festival, craft market and loads more. Ends 11 August. Time: 10am. Venue: Omaramba Holiday Resort & Conference Centre, off the D344, opposite Buffelspoort Dam, Marikana. Cost: varies. Contact: 072 626 4042 or email@example.com African Queens Women are given preferential treatment during today’s outride through the nature reserve that
surrounds the monument. The gentle ride is suitable for beginners and children over 7 years old. Book in advance. Time: 9am, 11am, 2pm and 4pm. Venue: Voortrekker Monument and Nature Reserve, Eeufees Rd, Groenkloof. Cost: R110 per person, special rates for women. Contact Marlene: 082 828 6323, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit caperiding.co.za Puppets and paint Children are engaged in the interactive puppet show presented by drama guru, Deborah Nel, and take part in face painting. The tea garden also offers jungle gyms, battery operated quad bikes and tasty treats. Suitable for children 4–9 years old. Time: 11am. Venue: Jingle Jangle Tea Garden and Nursery, Wekker St, plot 54, Kimiad Estate, Moreleta Park. Cost: R20 per ticket; food costs vary. Contact: 012 997 0134, email@example.com or visit jinglejangle.co.za Women in the Park Pay tribute to the women in your life with a delightful picnic in the park and live entertainment for the children by Sonja Herholdt and Tjokker. Time: 8am–5pm; music starts at 12pm. Venue: Cedar Junction Theme Park, plot 404, Graham Rd, Zwavelpoort. Cost: R20 entry per person, picnic baskets vary. Contact Lizelle: 012 811 1183, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit cedarjunction.co.za
10 saturday Gone Fishing A fishing competition for the young and old. Catch the biggest carp and stand a chance to win a fantastic prize. Funds raised go towards the Centurion Hospice’s Palliative Care Programme. Space is limited. All ages. Time: 4am–6pm. Venue: De Rust Outdoor, portion 10 of the Farm de Rust; entrance is opposite Pecanwood Golf Estate, Hartbeespoort. Cost: R200 per angler. Contact: 079 891 4403 or visit centurionhospice.com Muldersdrift Sheepdog Trial Bring chairs, blankets, umbrellas and refreshments for a relaxing day in the countryside watching the SASDA sheepdog trials. Also
11 August. Time: 7am–4:30pm. Venue: 25 Driefontein/Kromdraai Rd, Muldersdrift. Cost: adults R30, pensioners and children R15, children under 5 free. Contact: 072 288 1558 or visit sasda.za.net/Trials.aspx
17 saturday Open day at Irene Pre-Primary School Parents interested in enrolling their child in the 2014 academic year can visit the school to have all their questions answered and to view the facilities. Time: 9am. Venue: Irene Pre-Primary School, 39 Crawford Rd, Irene Village. Cost: free. Contact: 012 667 1813 or email@example.com Open day at Little Gumboots Find out more about the school’s approach to education and their stimulating outdoor activities. For parents of children 3 months– 6 years old. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: Little Gumboots Nursery School, Blue Swallow Estate, Achilles Way, Zwavelpoort, Pretoria East. Cost: free. Contact: 074 185 2224, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit littlegumboots.co.za
18 sunday Old Mutual Music in the Gardens Popular South African band Prime Circle, supported by Shortstraw and Feed the Wolf, perform. Tickets are available at the gate. Time: 12:45pm–4pm. Venue: Pretoria National Botanical Garden, 2 Cussonia Ave, Brummeria. Cost: adults R100, children under 13 free. Contact: 012 326 0560 or visit ticketbreak.co.za
28 wednesday The Spring Show An agricultural showcase with stock breed displays, agricultural workshops, and small stock, equestrian and cattle auctions. Ends 1 September. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: Tshwane Events Centre, Soutter St, Pretoria. Cost: adults R60, pensioners free, children R25. For more info: visit thespringshow.co.za
10 and 11 August – Muldersdrift Sheepdog Trial
The Grove Mall’s cake-off Decadent cakes and party displays are on show throughout Thursday and Friday, leading up to the main cake-off on Saturday when you can buy slices of cake and rub shoulders with celebrities. All the proceeds from the cake-off are donated to the Hanna
calendar Charity and Empowerment Foundation. Ends 31 August. Time: 9am–7pm, Thursday and Friday; 9am–3pm, Saturday. Venue: The Grove Mall, cnr Lynnwood Rd and Simon Vermooten Rd, Equestria, Pretoria East. Cost: free to attend. Contact: 012 807 0963, email@example.com or visit thegrovemall.co.za
FUN FOR CHILDREN art, culture and science Art in the Park Meet the artists who have toiled to produce pieces of art and sculptures in various mediums. 3, 4, 24 and 25 August. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: Greenlyn Village Shopping Centre (3 and 24 August); Pretoria National Botanical Garden (4 August); Magnolia Dell (25 August). Cost: 4 August: adults R25, students R15, children R10, under 6 years free; other dates: free entry. Contact: 071 676 3600, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit art-in-the-park.co.za Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Take a tour of this working observatory and learn more about radio astronomy and the Space Geodesy Research currently being conducted there. You need to bring your own refreshments. Space is limited. 10 August. Time: 4pm–8pm. Venue: HartRAO, farm 502, Broederstroom Rd, Krugersdorp. Cost: adults R45, students and pensioners R35, preschool children free. Contact: 012 301 3100, email@example.com or visit hartrao.ac.za
various other craft projects. Projects differ by age group. For children 6–16 years old. Time: 2pm–4pm, every Friday. Venue: Art Angels, Koedoeberg Rd, Faerie Glen, Pretoria-East. Cost: R200 per class, R450 for three classes (includes all materials). Contact: 071 675 2030, info@artangels. co.za or visit artangels.co.za
family outings Explore the Milky Way A dark, clear, moonless winter evening is the best time to explore the stars of the Milky Way. After dinner, you’re invited to participate in a laser-guided binocular tour. Bring your own binoculars. 3 August. Time: 6pm. Venue: Tumulus Restaurant, Maropeng, Cradle of Humankind. Cost: adults R230, children R145 (includes a buffet dinner). Contact: 014 577 9000 or visit maropeng.co.za Margaret Roberts open day Wander among the sleeping fairies in the Fairy Village, destress as you walk the sacred mile around the labyrinth or tend to the sand garden, and refuel with a light lunch at The Country Kitchen. 3 August. Time: 8:30am–4pm; lecture on growing and eating to increase your vitality 12pm. Venue: Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre, on the R513 near Zilkaatsnek, Rd 16, Hartbeespoort Dam. Cost: R20 entry per car, R50 entry per mini bus; lecture R100. Contact: 012 504 2121, 071 161 6441, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit margaretroberts.co.za
classes, talks and workshops Children’s craft club Children express their creativity with painting, pottery and Japanese origami, stamping, mosaic and
Playgroup for dogs Bring your puppy to learn good canine social manners, expend some energy and interact with other dogs. Only children over 6 are allowed to join. Booking essential. Venue: The Pretoria Municipal Recreation Club, 351 Union St, Riviera. Time: 6pm–7pm, every Wednesday. Cost: varies. Contact: 082 933 9992, info@ dogonthecouch.co.za or visit dogonthecouch.co.za
Pretville’s film set Visitors can walk around the original film set of the musical, of the same name, set in the late 50s. Dress up in the studio and have your photos taken, pop into the diner for a hotdog, and watch the movie. Time: 8am–5pm, Saturday and Sunday; movie screening, 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm. Venue: Pretville in Hartiwood, off the R511, passed Xanadu Shopping Centre, Hartbeespoort Dam. Cost: adults R40, pensioners and children R20, pensioners over 75 and children under 2 free; movie ticket R40. Contact: 083 266 8567 or visit pretville.co.za
finding nature and outdoor play Birdwatcher’s paradise With the temperatures rising and the flocks of indigenous birds returning home, it’s a
26 August – Violetta
great time for you to grab your checklist and binoculars and take the children birdspotting. Venue: Roodeplaat Dam Nature Reserve, off the R573, Roodeplaat. Cost: free. Contact City Parks: 011 712 6600/14
holiday programmes Kinderland holiday programme Children enjoy a full programme of activities that includes craft projects and free play. For children 3–10 years old. 9 August– 3 September. Time: 7am–5pm, Monday– Friday. Venue: Kinderland Party Venue, 214 Meerlust St, Willow Glen. Cost: R150 per day (includes breakfast, lunch and snacks). Contact: 082 680 1368, annalizelouw@ hotmail.com or visit kinderlandpv.co.za Snyman’s Mini Chocolatiers They teach children the skill of chocolate moulding, pancake decoration with hazelnut praline, and writing with chocolate on a chocolate scroll. Booking essential. For children 8–13 years old. 16 and 30 August. Time: 1:30pm–4pm. Venue: Snyman Sjokolateur, Castle Walk Shopping Centre, cnr Nossob St and Lois Ave, Erasmuskloof. Cost R135 per child (bring your own drinks and salty treats). Contact: 012 347 8497, 074 140 1087 or visit snymanchocolates.com The Buzz Zone Holiday Centre Structured art and crafts activities take place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, keeping children engaged in creating magnetic photo frames, glitter globes and baking cupcakes. Tuesdays and Thursdays allow for free play. For children 6 years and older. 12–30 August. Time: 7:20am–5:30pm, Monday–Friday. Venue: The Buzz Zone Holiday Centre, 916 Saint Bernard Dr, Garsfontein. Cost: R100 half-day; R120 full day; R500 for the week. Contact: 012 993 0277, email@example.com or visit thebuzzzone.co.za
Boardwalk Art Market Enjoy fine art, paintings, sculptures and quality local crafts (leather craft, pewter, mosaics and more). There are restaurants nearby, a children’s activity area and a lake with resident ducks. Time: 10am–2pm, every Sunday. Venue: Boardwalk Office Park, cnr Solomon Mahlangu Dr and Haymeadow Crescent, Faerie Glen. Cost: free entry. Contact: 074 193 0094, info@earthheart. co.za or visit boardwalkartmarket.co.za Hazel Food Market A convenient and authentic food market with LêKa Bêk Cheese Spreads, Minkie’s cupcakes, pomegranate dressing from the Elbows Up Deli and a selection of freshly baked muffins from the Baker Boys. There is a children’s play area with activities such as sand art, face painting, decorating bags and colouring pictures. Time: 8am–2pm, every Saturday. Venue: Greenlyn Village Centre, cnr Mackenzie St and 13th St, Menlo Park. Cost: free entry. Contact: 083 554 5636, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit hazelfoodmarket.co.za
on stage and screen España A feast of modern and traditional Spanish dance brought to you by Helena and Maria Lorca Montoya, joined by their
markets Antique and Collectables Fair Search and shop for collectables. 9 August. Time: 9am–3pm. Venue: Voortrekker Monument, on the roof of the Amphitheatre, Eeufees Rd, Groenkloof. Cost: picnic R25, heritage levy R10 per person. Contact: 012 326 6770 or visit voortrekkermon.org.za
21–25 August – España
1 August – ASG Night Rider MTB Series
pupils and other professional dancers. The programme showcases a range of Spanish dance styles. 21–25 August. Time: 8pm, Wednesday–Saturday; 3pm, Saturday and Sunday. Venue: Atterbury Theatre, 4 Daventry St, cnr Lynnwood Rd and Daventry St, Lynnwood. Cost: R150–R180. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com Pick-A-Toon Children can vote for their favourite cartoon, out of the three contenders, during the week, and if their “toon” wins they can enjoy a super marathon of their show on one Saturday morning in August. Time: super marathon 10am, every Saturday on Cartoon Network, channel 301 on DStv. For children to pick their favourite cartoon, visit cartoonnetworkafrica.com/pick
Robin Hood and his Merry Adventures This hilarious new take on the old classic is suitable for the whole family. You are able to order pizzas from the in-theatre deli or bring your own food and snacks. 17 August. Time: doors open at 9:30am; performance starts 11am. Venue: Barnyard Theatre Parkview, Parkview Shopping Centre, cnr Garsfontein Rd and Netcare St, Moreleta Park. Cost: R60. Contact: 012 368 1555 or visit barnyardtheatres.co.za Violetta This tells the story of a teenager who returns to Argentina after a few years living in Europe. There she discovers her passion for music as she navigates the trials and tribulations of growing up. Dubbed from Spanish. 26 August. Time: 4:10pm on the Disney Channel, channel 303 on DStv. For more info: visit dstv.com
playtime and story time 19 Hole Putt Putt This venue offers a 19-hole putt-putt course, a mini town with a hospital, boutique, church, fire station and garage; as well as jungle gyms and a Waffle House. Time: 9am–5pm, Tuesday– Thursday; 9am–6pm, Friday and Sunday. Venue: cnr General Louis Botha St and Serene St, Menlyn. Cost: varies. Contact: 082 463 2029, email@example.com or visit onestopentertainment.co.za th
sport and physical activities ASG Night Rider MTB Series Children can compete in the 5km race, while the
Beading for moms In the peaceful surrounds of a tea garden, Makkie will instruct you on various beading techniques. Booking essential. Time: 9am–12pm, every Wednesday. Venue: Willow Feather Farm Tea Garden, portion 37, Doornkloof, Rietvleidam, Irene. Cost: R90 if you bring your own beads, R240 for beginner’s package (includes a cappuccino). Contact Makkie: 083 979 6668 or firstname.lastname@example.org
adult’s race is 21km. There is a sandpit, jungle gym and trampoline for the children, as well as a bonfire around which you can enjoy food and drinks. Space is limited. For children 5 years and older. 1 August. Time: 6pm; main race 8pm. Venue: Rosemary Hill, N4 East, exit 18, plot 257 Mooiplaats, Boschkop. Cost: adults R120, children R30. Contact Karla: email@example.com or visit asgevents.co.za Zoo fun walk An early 5km walk around a few of the animal enclosures inside the zoo. Babies in prams are welcome. All ages. 17 August. Time: 6am; the walk starts at 6:30am and you must be at the finish line
before 9am. Venue: National Zoological Gardens, 232 Boom St, Pretoria. Cost: adults R40, children R25. Contact: 012 323 0294, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit nzg.ac.za
only for parents classes, talks and workshops Modern gilding Learn to apply gold leaf to glass or ceramic bases while decorating a plain vase or bottle. 3 August. Time: 3pm–5pm. Venue: Art Angels, Koedoeberg Rd, Faerie Glen, Pretoria East. Cost:
6 August – “Stem cells – the hype and hope”
R100 deposit, R180 payable at workshop. Contact Janine: 071 675 2030, info@ artangels.co.za or visit artangels.co.za Parent effectiveness training An expert panel and group discussion in which you’ll find out about your toddler’s emotional development stages. 17 August. Time: 2:30pm–4:30pm. Venue: 63 Nicolson St, Brooklyn. Cost: free. Contact: 082 904 8127 or visit parents.co.za Passionate rose talk A talk on rose gardens and landscape inspirations. Children can use the playground while the talk is on. 9 August. Also a spring rose-care talk on 31 August. Time: 10:30am. Venue: Ludwig’s Rose Farm, N1 Polokwane highway going north, Wallmannstahl/Pyramid off-ramp, No 163. Cost: free. Contact: 012 544 0144, email@example.com or visit ludwigsroses.co.za “Stem cells – the hype and hope” Prof Michael Pepper, co-principal investigator for the Southern African Human Genome Programme, discusses the early stages of human development with a view to defining the origin and nature of stem cells. 6 August. Time: 7pm. Venue: Atterbury Theatre, 4 Daventry St, cnr Lynnwood Rd and Daventry St, Lynnwood. Cost: R100. Contact: 012 471 1700 or visit atterburytheatre.co.za Taking the Montessori option A talk covering the benefits of a Montessori preschool education. 28 August. Time: 7pm. Venue: Morning Star Montessori, 357 Manitoba Dr, Faerie Glen. Cost: free. Contact: 082 602 4427 or jenny@ morningstarmontessori.co.za
on stage and screen Die Skepping (The Creation) This contemporary Afrikaans oratory is backed
Antenatal and postnatal classes
by a full orchestra, The Johannesburg Music Initiative, and incorporates images created by visual artist Wessel Albertse. Die Skepping is presented in seven unique shows: genesis, earth, life, man, humanity, faith and ascension. 17 and 18 August. Time: 3pm, Saturday; 2pm, Sunday. Venue: State Theatre, 320 Pretorius St, Pretoria CBD. Cost: R345. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com Italian Summer This is a revival of the very first concert ever presented by Salon Music in 1994, with a new set of young artists to win the hearts of the audience members. 28–30 August. Time: 8pm. Venue: Brooklyn Theatre, Greenlyn Village Centre, cnr Thomas Edison St and 13th St, Menlo Park. Cost: R75–R130. Contact: 012 460 6033 or visit brooklyntheatre.co.za Nataniël “Honeybee” Enjoy this musical storytelling by Nataniël, with Charl du Plessis on keyboard and Juan Oosthuizen on guitar. The performance is in Afrikaans and English. No under 15s. 13–22 August. Time: 8pm. Venue: Centurion Theatre, 123 Amcor Rd, Lyttelton Manor. Cost: tbc. Contact: 012 664 7859 or visit centurionteater.co.za Nell’s Boulevard Nell performs a contemporary jazz set, with the backing of a jazz band, to promote the launch of her latest CD, Boulevard. 3 August. Time: 8pm. Venue: Centurion Theatre, 123 Amcor Rd, Lyttelton Manor. Cost: tbc. Contact: 012 664 7859 or visit centurionteater.co.za
out and about Dinner with a bone detective After dinner, guests gather in the lounge to enjoy a robust discussion with young scientist Brendon Billings. Booking essential. 24 August. Time: 6pm. Venue: Maropeng Boutique Hotel, Cradle of Humankind. Cost: R375 per person (includes welcome drinks, a three-course set menu and the presentation). Contact: 014 577 9000 or visit maropeng.co.za The Potter´s House spring celebration A motivational conference hosted this NGO that supports victims of domestic violence and abusive relationships. The aim of the conference is to create self-reliant women, who can seize opportunities. 10 August. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Southern Sun Hotel, cnr Pretorius St and Beatrix St, Pretoria. Cost: R100. Contact: 078 313 7117 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Association for Autism support group meeting A round-table, openmic, support group meeting for parents, children, care workers, people with autism and all interested individuals. Share your experiences and hear from others to find solutions that work for you in the management of autism in your family. 17 August. Time: 9am–11am. Venue: Offices of The Association for Autism, Room 201, 546 Douglas Scholtz St, Constantia Park. Cost: free. Contact Winnie: 012 993 4628, email@example.com or visit afa.org.za Single Parents support group A social club for single parents and their children that meets up and takes part in various activities once a month. 31 August. Time: 1pm. Venue: varies. Cost: free membership. Contact Jean-Marie: 076 054 5510 or visit soloparenting.weebly.com The Super B Foundation Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a connective tissue disorder, caused by a defect in the synthesis of collagen. This support group gives hope and support to EDS warriors and gives you a space to express your concerns and joys, and to learn from fellow parents. For more info: visit superbfoundation.com
bump, baby & Tot in tow
classes, talks and workshops Antenatal and postnatal classes Comprehensive classes will prepare you for the birth of your child and guide you through the first few months thereafter. Time: postnatal: 10am–12pm, antenatal: 6pm–8pm, every Monday (closed on 5 August), Saturday antenatal class: 8am–4pm. Venue: Mother and Baby Wellness Centre, Kloof Mediclinc, 511 Jochemus St, Erasmus Kloof. Cost: postnatal: R100 per session; antenatal: R700 for five weeks. Contact Sister Bam: 012 367 4060, lucille.bam@mediclinic. co.za or visit mediclinic.co.za
31 August – Single Parents support group
The Compassionate Friends For bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings due to the loss of a child. 15 August. Time: 7pm. Venue: Botshelo House, 209 Murray St, Brooklyn. Cost: free. Contact Retha: 084 855 5303, tcfpretoria@ gmail.com or visit tcfp.co.za
how to help Hero Burn Foundation This non-profit organisation supports burn survivors and their families, and creates awareness at schools and underprivileged communities. Contact Annerie: 082 902 1133, annerie@ heroburn.org or visit heroburn.org Save a Child The main focus of the Christian Social Council North (CSC North) is to protect and care for children that have been abused, neglected or sexually abused. They provide a family preservation programme, poverty alleviation activities and child protection. Contact: 012 344 1291, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit cmrn.co.za The Storehouse Donations provide 52 non-profit organisations around Southern Africa with welcome relief and hope. They are in need of clothing for boys of all ages. Donations can be dropped off at Hatfield Christian Church or The Storehouse Office in Lyttelton. Contact Isabell: 012 644 0111, 082 891 4934, email@example.com or visit thestorehouse.org.za
playtime and story time Safari Garden Centre Watch your child play on the large jungle gym and get close to marmoset monkeys, potbellied pigs, dwarf mountain goats, rabbits and other animals. Time: 9am–4pm, daily. Venue: from the N1 take the Lynnwood Rd off-ramp, turn right into Lynnwood Rd, drive for 2,9km. Cost: free entry, food costs vary. Contact: 012 807 0009 or visit safarigardencentre.com
support groups Little Miracle Products and Services They offer specialised premature baby products as well as an emotional support service to the parents of premature babies. Venue: 1242 Haarhoff St East, Moregloed. Contact: 0861 548 853 or firstname.lastname@example.org National Adoption Coalition For couples faced with unplanned pregnancies or considering adoption as an option. The coalition answers all your questions, objectively looking at the pros and cons to help you make the right decisions. Contact: 0800 864 658 or visit adoption.org.za
National Adoption Coalition
don’t miss out! For a free listing, email your event to pretoria@childmag. co.za or fax it to 011 234 4971. Information must be received by 2 August for the September issue, and must include all relevant details. No guarantee can be given that it will be published. To post an event online, visit childmag.co.za
itâ€™s party time For more help planning your childâ€™s party visit
it’s time-out AnÉl Lewis had plenty of time to think about her behaviour in the punishment corner, and now agrees that children learn by
Erin, Anél and Conor
rin is at that wonderful age where she understands the difference between right and wrong, but still blithely ignores it to do her own thing. To avoid complete anarchy, we have had to quickly firm up our approach to discipline. First off, we decided that as the parents, we must show a united front. This sounds simple enough, but trust me, the lines of responsibility can get a bit murky. You see, I think its perfectly fine to let Erin “bake” with a bag of flour and a cup
of water, just so that I can have 15 minutes of quiet time to boil some pasta for supper. But Craig struggles to see the value in this, and the puddle of gloop that is usually left on the floor after her baking session, means we both get shouted at for making a mess in the kitchen. Conor’s new obsession is switching on lights. Unfortunately, switching them off again doesn’t have the same appeal. This means that Craig will come home to find the house lit up like the Palace of Versailles during Bastille celebrations. This is not quite in line with Eskom’s energy-saving message, but as Conor is too young to really know right from wrong, or his “on” from his “off”, it’s the adults that look after him during the day, who get the blame. But with Erin we can mete out some form of punishment if she misbehaves,
so we have also had to decide on how to discipline her. I used to think that I could reason with her. But you try explaining to a bleary-eyed two year old, at 7am on a Monday morning, why she cannot wear her Spider-Man slippers to school. During one particularly trying engagement about acceptable school attire, I lost my temper and stormed out of her room leaving her in just her vest and with only one leg of her trousers on. I carried on with my morning business and after a few minutes, she came to me and said, “Sorry, Mommy, let’s try these socks instead?” My heart broke, but I was pleased that she had apologised and accepted that she had pushed me too far. But the funny and rather unfortunate thing about teaching children discipline, is that they don’t have double standards. If you break the rules, you must be chastised
too, as I found out recently when I threw something onto the table. I can’t even remember why I was irritated, but my fit of pique did not escape Erin’s beady eyes. “Mommy,” she said sternly, “don’t you do that. You must go to time-out.” And there was our third lesson about discipline – children learn by observing what you do, not by what you say. So I had no choice but to go and sit in “time-out” in her bedroom as punishment. At least I didn’t have to suffer in darkness – Conor had been there before me and all the lights were on. Anél Lewis is the mother of two active toddlers. She’s working on her anger management, and stockpiling glossy magazines under Erin’s bed, just in case she has to serve more time in her daughter’s bedroom for poor behaviour.
PHOTOGRAPH: STEPHANIE VELDMAN
watching what we do, and not what we say.
scrum-diddily-umptious With ideas and tips from “foodie-families” all over the world, KIM McCOSKER compiled 4 Ingredients Kids, a cookbook with fun, imaginative and healthy recipes.
volcanic eggs makes 4 • 4 eggs, separated • 4 slices wholemeal bread, crusts removed • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a bowl, with an electric beater, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Line a
baking tray with baking paper. Place the bread on the baking tray. Spoon a mound of egg white onto each slice, then make a little crevice on the very top and gently place the egg yolk in it. Sprinkle with Parmesan and a grind of black pepper (the volcanic ash). Bake until the egg white is firm, the cheese melted, and the egg yolk runny when you cut into it (molten lava); 8 to 12 minutes.
edible veggie bowl and dip serves 4 • 1 red capsicum (pepper) • 450g butternut pumpkin, peeled • ½ cup (80g) cashews • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
4-minute strawberry soft serve
PHOTOGRAPHS: STUART QUINN PHOTOGRAPHY
serves 4 • 275g frozen strawberries • ¼ cup (50g) caster sugar • 2/3 cup (160ml) cream • ¼ teaspoon vanilla Combine the frozen strawberries and sugar in a food processor or blender. Process until the fruit is roughly
chopped. Add the cream and vanilla and blend until combined. Serve immediately as a delectable soft serve, or freeze for at least 4 hours for a nice firm ice-cream. Optional: The flavours for this are endless; raspberry, mango, blueberries and for a lighter version, substitute cream for your child’s favourite yoghurt.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the pumpkin into 4cm cubes, place onto a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes or until golden in colour and soft in texture. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then place the roasted pumpkin, cashew nuts and Parmesan cheese into a food processor and
blend until combined. Season to taste. While chilling in the fridge, halve the capsicum and remove its seeds and membrane. Keeping one half as your “edible bowl” cut the other half into dipping sticks. Spoon the dip into the bowls, and then add the dippers to decorate. I chose to use them to create a thick sweep of eyelashes (I used some carrot and celery too). My little boys were mighty impressed! Tip: Keep nutrition fun so children will enjoy being healthy. Try to be creative, for example, a slice of carrot may be met with more enthusiasm when called a “carrot chip”.
about the book 4 Ingredients Kids is published by Simon & Schuster Australia and locally distributed by Jonathan Ball Publishers. 4 Ingredients is an Australian recipe book series, television programme and social media platform, run by Kim McCosker. This book came about after Kim realised that children learn visually through images, pictures, colours, light and shade. She decided on a cookbook not with hundreds of recipes, but the best recipes with images to inspire. She turned to social media and asked parents what their children love to eat, which recipes are part of their regular repertoire, and what their children made themselves. Eighty of the most popular recipes were chosen, which will introduce children to lots of different ingredients and help your child develop a love of food. For more recipes and handy tips, visit 4ingredients.com.au