P r e t o r i aâ€™ s
b e s t
g u i d e
f o r
pa r e n t s
set up camp!
family camping spots close to home
roads less travelled
braaing with Justin Bonello
roughing it on their own getting ready for their first school camp
the importance of animals in your childâ€™s life
Hunter House P UB L IS H ING
There is something magical about sleeping under the stars.
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I just have to convince my husband. This month’s resource (see page 18) has inspired me to put camping on our family getaway list and to try out as many of the sites as possible, dilapidated two-man tent, Beagles and all. The thought of waking up to the crisp morning air and collecting kindling to build the first fire of the day, fills me with childlike joy. I grew up making fires in our back garden, brewing strong coffee and making hunter’s stew
in my billycan. My dad was a Boy Scout all his life and imparted his fire-making skill and outdoor enthusiasm to me. Any chance of a campfire and I am there. I love building one and tending it until it grows into a pyromaniac’s dream. Thankfully my youngest daughter is also a keen camper, even though she has had to make do with school camps until now, which she loves. Hopefully our enthusiasm will rub off on my husband. I know the Beagles
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are already looking for their spot on the backseat of the car. I may even pack in my dad’s old, beautifully adorned campfire blanket.
Is your child ready for school camp? See pg 12
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contents march 2014
3 a note from lisa
6 upfront with paul we easily fall into
5 over to you readers respond
the trap of thinking that we are the parental experts, says Paul Kerton
8 pregnancy news – the right fit Marina Zietsman looks at how to
choose the correct maternity bra
12 is your child camp ready? Christina Castle looks at how to “let go” when it’s time for your child’s first school camp
14 school matters stick to a few basic rules and getting your child into Grade 1 won’t be such a nightmare, says Marina Zietsman
9 best for baby – prepare for takeoff flying long distance with your baby can be a different experience each time. By Cassandra Shaw
10 dealing with difference – left of centre Lucille Kemp looks at the obstacles “lefties” have to face in a right-handed world
18 resource – happy campers
16 more than just a pet Tamlyn Vincent explains how children can learn a lot about, and from, animals by spending time with them
27 braaing at its best master outdoor cook, Justin Bonello, shares recipes from his latest book, Roads Less Travelled: The Ultimate Braai Master
Simone Jeffery gives you a list of family-friendly camp sites not too far from the Jacaranda City
20 a good read for the whole family 21 what’s on in march 26 finishing touch Cassandra Shaw travelled the world as a child, and she wants her son to have the same experience
health 7 hooked on fish there are many health benefits to eating fish, but we should think wisely about what type of fish we eat, advises Marc de Chazal
classified ads 25 let’s party 26 family marketplace
this month’s cover images are supplied by:
Lisa Jacobs Photography facebook.com/ lisajacobsphotography
dealing with bullies
thanks for a great getaway
The school my children attend recently launched an initiative to help combat any potential drug or bullying related problem. It consists of an anonymous communication platform where parents and learners are able to report any unacceptable behaviour, safely. I find it difficult to put into words just how the general morale has changed for the better. There have been times I would have liked to phone the headmaster, only to be implored by both my children not to do so for fear of victimisation. I wish this had been started years ago. Daniel Alves
Thanks to Child mag and Xama Adventures on the Breede River for the online competition we won. It was stunning. We had no cellphone reception and all we could do was enjoy quality family time. A big thank you. Jemine
“moody” friend I have been reading your magazine for the past two months and I find it very informative. The only problem is that I get it from a friend, so if she is not in a good mood she does not lend it to me. Please tell me where can I get a monthly copy? Lindiwe M Zwane Childmag says You can subscribe to the magazine for R165 (11 issues). Contact Nicolene at firstname.lastname@example.org. Schools and organisations can also email her and ask to be put on the waiting list.
being a class rep I just received the latest copy of the Child magazine on my desk (February 2014) and wish I had read the article “are you up to it?”, on how to be a good class rep this time last year, after having done a terrible job of it for the whole of last year… Thanks for a great resource! Jude It’s an absolutely brilliant and accurate article. As the chairlady of the school PTA, I will be using this as the benchmark communication tool for new class reps. Michelle Bennetts
finishing touch I loved Cassandra Shaw’s “finishing touch” column in February. I recall an interview with Oprah Winfrey
over to you competitive sport in primary schools
Your magazine that arrives in our mailbox, and which we hand out to the learners, has some great articles in it that we share in the homeroom classes. We have done this a couple of times with the Grade 6 group and it helps them to see that this magazine can be useful. The article we will look at sharing this month is “it’s not just a rumour” (February 2014). It is always a good topic to discuss with middle school students and even with the elementary grades. Thought I’d share the idea, as perhaps other teachers might like to try it too. Jan
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ours, where children are starting competitive sport too young, but it would also help the children in the rural and township areas who are missing out on appropriate sport participation. Jane Walker
school uniforms have a place
Thank you for your excellent magazine and thoughtprovoking articles. The article on competitive sport was an excellent read and confirmed my view on competitive sport for primary school children. We live in a part of the country where it’s commonplace to think that the earlier children start to play competitive sport, the better they will become. The contrary has shown to be true and the result is that children are illequipped physically as well as emotionally, and thus give up sooner. I commend Prof Noakes for his contribution to this article and was interested to read that while the South African Department of Sports and Recreation has endorsed the Canadian Model for Long-Term Athlete Development, this model is not being implemented in schools. I feel as South Africans we are being let down by the government as there is no policy for what is appropriate sport participation in schools and as a result schools are taking it into their own hands and are starting children at a very young age. Not only would an across-the-board policy benefit schools such as
I attended school in America and did not have the option of wearing a school uniform. I was pleasantly surprised when I came to South Africa and saw the children wearing school uniforms. For me, school uniforms take some pressure off for two reasons. The first is that there is no question as to what the child should wear to school. In the chaos of young children waking up early for school, organising breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks in the early rush of the morning, having to choose what to wear would just be an added nuisance. With uniforms, the children know exactly what they must wear every day. They don’t have to sulk over that favourite shirt that they wanted to wear that they can’t find or that isn’t clean. The adults in the house also know that those school uniforms have to be ready to wear during the week. Other clothes are not the priority. Secondly, having gone to a school that held the gamut of children from wealthy families to children from less financially flush families, clothing became a sign of status. It tangibly separates the groups of children between those who can afford the newest fashions and
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I really enjoyed the article “active for life” (February 2014). It has opened the eyes of quite a few people that I spoke to. Well done on highlighting a really important matter and helping parents think about sport from a different perspective. Susan
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where she asked a guest what the greatest gift his mother had given him was. His reply: “that her eyes lit up every time she saw me.” I too feel this way when I see my precious daughter now aged five. My partner often says that we both light up in each other’s presence. Our smiles are an extension of that love that flows through our being. I also hope to “embarrass” her for many years to come, and that she will also understand it one day too. Liesl Robbins
brands from those whose families cannot. I don’t believe that is an attribute to inculcate in children if it can be avoided. I believe for that reason alone, school uniforms have their place. South Africa has many challenges that first world countries do not face, such as lack of education, poverty, HIV and extreme violence against women and children. These are all sources of stress that other countries do not experience, at least not to the same degree. If the children and their families have something constant that they can rely on (however small), such as in the form of school uniforms, then I believe that is a positive thing. Michele Engelberg
love to dance I absolutely love the idea of Zumbatomic. I’ve been looking at ways to get my five year old “off” cartoons and on to something we can do together. We both love to dance and I could drop a few kilos while I’m at it. I’m also getting her two best friends and their mothers involved. Suvana Majiare subscribe to our newsletter and win Our wins have moved online. Please subscribe to our newsletter and enter our weekly competitions. To subscribe, visit childmag.co.za
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upfront with paul
other people’s children –
we know best When it comes to parenting, who is the true expert? By PAUL KERTON
icture Nigel, the hapless early caveman struggling with the concept of fire. Now if some alpha male – Brett – hadn’t known best, intervened and said, “give me the damn sticks, I’ll get the fire going” then we would all probably still be wandering around today, covered in duvets trying our best to keep warm. It’s a natural human survival instinct that we each think we know best, especially when it comes to children. This is not altogether true, but what is true is that we each think we know best for our own children, depending on our religion, culture, ethics and family traditions. And the way in which we were individually brought up.
Clearly this is not altogether true either; witness the mother who fed her daughter nothing but chicken nuggets from McDonald’s for 15 years before the daughter fell over and almost died of renal failure. Or the couple that thought it a good idea, while drunk, to film their four year olds having a brutal fistfight and post it on YouTube. There are a million examples of parents who thought they knew best, but who knew the square root of nothing. Luckily, most of us get the child-rearing right or at least muscle through on this side of the line between right and wrong. A wise friend once described child-rearing as “a series of near misses” in that it only takes a lack of concentration for a nanosecond and the child has rolled off the deck, fallen
into the pool, eaten the rat poison, picked up the carving knife... just check out the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. But there is always something about other people’s children that will irritate other parents. The way they eat a meal, the way they dress, what they are allowed to watch on TV, how late they stay up, how they behave in public – every parameter of a child’s life is scrutinised and judged according to that adult’s own level of “knowing best”. You can see other parents looking on in public and sucking air through their teeth thinking, “I’d never let my Mary wear those shorts” or, my personal favourite, “can’t they control that child?” when a toddler is throwing a wobbler. This is a mixture of self-appointed superiority, snobbery and the thinking: “we
know best”. As you know, I write about parenting all the time and am supposed to know better than most, but I am not immune to having the finger pointed: “he doesn’t do this” and “he’s bad at that” and the extremely upsetting, “have you seen his driving?” The thing is, other people’s children are not our children (thank goodness). We each can only do our best whether we know best or not and, for me, if you can get a child from zero to their teens, and more especially their twenties, with all their faculties still working, while instilling ambition, humour, a good personality and a halfway decent moral compass, then you have done your best. Just go easy on the chicken nuggets. Follow Paul on Twitter: @fabdad1
ILLUSTRATION: MARK VINCER
Saskia, Paul and Sabina
eafood is a healthy and popular choice for many of us. Children are encouraged to eat fish at least twice a week, not only because it’s a great source of lean protein, but also because it provides vitamins and minerals essential for growth and development. Fatty fish, such as salmon, has additional health benefits because it’s the best source of omega-3 fatty acids in the ocean. We need these essential fats in our diet for brain development and other critical functions. So, fish is good for us, just as long as we avoid the choking hazard of bones and we’re mindful of the toxins present in some seafood. This is where things get a bit tricky. Fatty fish, which is the main source of omega-3 fatty acids, often has high levels of toxins, such as mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). “These toxins can be particularly harmful to children’s growing bodies and rapidly developing brains,” says Leigh-Ann Silber, a dietician practicing in Joburg who has
Marc de Chazal describes the health benefits of fish for children, what types to eat, and other important factors to consider. a special interest in children’s nutrition. “When we eat seafood loaded with contaminants, we store these pollutants in our bodies, which build up over time. Young children and pregnant women are particularly sensitive to these contaminants, because they can be transferred across the placenta and through breast milk. Mercury and PCBs can negatively affect cognitive development, motor skills, reproductive organs and other critical developmental functions in children,” adds Silber. For safer fish options with the least mercury, it’s advisable to look lower in
the food web and to avoid the larger fish. Good local examples are anchovies and sardines. It’s also a good idea to serve a variety of seafood to reduce the likelihood of regular exposure to contaminated fish. “If your children will go for it, try them on oily fish such as salmon, sardines, pilchards and tuna twice a week, but we need to be careful of the sodium content in tinned fish,” says Silber. “Fresh and frozen fish are both great. To reap the best benefits, I recommend that you bake, grill, poach, steam or stir-fry your fish.”
We have explored less than 5% of our oceans, but we’ve still managed to overfish many species. So in a concerted effort to improve the conservation of seafood and to help us consume fish with a clearer conscience, the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) encourages us to question what we’re eating, where it comes from and how it was caught or farmed. They’ve made it really easy for us by listing seafood according to best choice, such as South African offshore trawled hake; seafood we should think twice about buying, such as prawns; and then fish we should not buy because the species are either unsustainable or illegal to sell here. You can find these lists at wwf.org.za/ sassi or simply text the name of the fish in question to 079 499 8795 and you’ll receive a message telling you to “eat up”, “think twice” or “hit the brakes”. Also look out for the MSC ecolabel endorsing wildcaptured fisheries’ products.
the right fit Your body changes and does all sorts of crazy things before and after the birth of your child. MARINA ZIETSMAN looks at the science of shopping for maternity and breast-feeding bras.
“A good nursing and breast-feeding bra can make all the difference to a nursing mom, by providing support, improving comfort and making breast-feeding easier and more accessible,” says Roland Bouttell of Carriwell SA, a leading international maternity and breast-feeding lingerie company. He adds that a new and expecting mom should keep in mind that she will need a variety of bras for different uses and occasions, depending on what stage of her pregnancy or breast-feeding she is in. There are three important features that go into choosing a good bra: fit, function and fashion.
fit the mould You’ll experience weight gain, an expanding rib cage and, later in pregnancy, mammary glands that are preparing to make milk for your baby. The size of a nursing breast can fluctuate many times during the day, and as much as two cup sizes in between feeds, so it is important to take this into consideration when choosing a bra. The golden rule as to when to get your first maternity bra, is if your current bra becomes too tight. Ideally, a woman will get her first
nursing bras during the final stage of pregnancy – around 38 weeks. “For this stage, the focus is on comfort. She will be looking to purchase at least two non-underwire nursing bras. Supportive fabrics such as microfibre that allow for stretch and easy care are the best choices. Seamless fabric (seamless microfibre) will also be more comfortable as seams can often irritate sore, cracked or sensitive nipples,” says Bouttell.
the expert’s tips for fitting the right bra • A nursing bra cup should always be comfortable and not too tight, providing support while not squashing the breast tissue. • Fabric, especially for a newly nursing mom, should allow for breast change. • Bands should be snug but not tight, and support the breasts from the back rather than pulling down on the shoulders. • Once breast-feeding is established, a woman can use an underwire bra for daytime wear, however a non-underwire bra is highly recommended, especially for sleeping.
function is key Some nursing bras open from snaps or zippers at the centre or below the cup, while others open at the top of the cup. There are soft-cup bras designed to be lifted above the breasts or pushed to the side. Since all openings have their benefits, a drop-cup with a one-handed release clasp/ mechanism is definitely the preferred style. More important is the ease of opening, and the quality and strength of the clip. “The bra will be opened countless times. So, it is very important that the mom is able to unfasten and fasten the bra easily, and preferably one-handed, since she will often be doing so with her hands full,” says Bouttell. Other indicators to take note of include choosing a quality bra that is well stitched, has good quality elastics that will wash well and wide straps to support heavier breasts.
fashion Maternity bras don’t need to be matronly. You can choose from various makes and manufacturers, and still feel like a woman and not a nursemaid, as long as you keep functionality and fit as part of the criteria.
choosing the correct bra
c prepare for
The thought of an upcoming
flight with your baby might be keeping you up at night. But, a little prep work, resourcefulness and patience may help to improve your experience. By CASSANDRA SHAW
ertain that her five-month-old son would be “screeching like a banshee… not sleeping, not eating – just being a general gremlin” and that everyone on board would nominate her and her husband as “prime candidates for Worst Parents of the Year prize”, Irene Walker was not looking forward to flying overseas with her child. But, despite her worries, she found that it was much easier than she’d imagined. “There was plenty of white noise to lull [him] to sleep.” Sarah Williams had a similar experience the first time she flew with her daughter, Lucy, who was one month old at the time. Yet, 10 months later, when they decided to fly again, the experience was a bit trickier. Lucy had difficulty sleeping and the bassinet was too small. Boredom also set in, and Sarah and her husband had to take turns walking Lucy up and down the plane or playing with the tap in the bathroom to keep her entertained. But, in spite of these difficulties, they survived – thanks to the help of other passengers, and by making use of the things they had brought along and found around them. Flying with young children is not always easy, and everyone’s experiences are usually different, but as long as you’re prepared and take things as they come, you will survive your flight. In the hopes of putting your mind at ease and preparing you for any turbulence ahead, both Sarah and Irene have offered some helpful pointers for the trip.
what surprised them most? • How kind, helpful and understanding complete strangers can be. • That their airline did not have purified water or any water that reached boiling point on board. • How well a young baby can sleep. • How much patience they had as mothers.
best for baby
tips for takeoff Check ahead Know what you can bring on board and what the airline will provide in terms of a baby meal, milk, seating, bedding and entertainment. You can bring food and milk for your baby, but you may have to taste it at security. Pack smart and keep organised Make sure to have a well-packed nappy bag that includes incidentals: something for privacy while breastfeeding, a dummy, toys and comfort items. Pack something new to grab their attention and some old favourites that remind them of home. Just don’t go overboard as space is a commodity, and “more” doesn’t always make things easier. Also, know where your stuff is at all times and keep your belongings organised. This helps at security and onboard. Time to shine You don’t have to dress up as a purple dinosaur, but try singing softly to them. Comfort and practicality Keep them in comfortable clothing, and if they’re crawling, make sure it’s something you don’t mind getting dirty. A change of clothes and something for them to sleep in can also help. Be aware of their routine when you book your flight. Give them something to drink or a dummy to suck on for takeoff and landing, to help with air pressure, and give them lots of cuddles. Everyday issues Most airlines are accommodating. If your bottle is dirty, ask the flight attendant to clean it for you. Although it’s cramped, there are usually nappy changing facilities in the bathroom. Don’t stress Relax and take things as they come. Also, don’t stress about grouchy passengers – most airlines supply earplugs anyway.
dealing with difference
left of centre Left-handed children face a world that is wired to be right-handed. LUCILLE KEMP offers
some points to help them develop soundly.
s a left-hander growing up in the late 80s and early 90s, I don’t remember much fuss being made about my “difference”. I do remember some teachers would place me on the left-hand side of a desk pairing so I wouldn’t bump elbows with my right-handed classmates. I also remember it hurt when I tried to use their scissors. I mostly remember how Nicholas Waring, a fellow lefty in my primary school years, used to write like a “weirdo”. Imagine Nicholas, being told to “face the front”, with his wrist curved over and around his words in order to stay a precious few centimetres ahead of the sentence so as not to smudge the ink and to have a clear view of what he was writing. If he was left to his own devices he would sit with the left-hand side of his body over his workbook, which lay on its right-hand side. It sounds involved, but that’s because he was a left-hander trying to develop in a right-hander’s world. I’m not sure why I didn’t do what Nicholas did. I think I might have been all too aware of my difference and forced myself to replicate the right-handers surrounding me who wrote “straight up”, because goodness knows I didn’t want to be different at the age of seven, eight, nine, 10... Worldwide, about 10% to 13% of the total population is left-handed, says Joburgbased occupational therapist Kathryn Nish. But a rather hands-on, right-handed mom to a lefty, Tracy van der Merwe, notes that “Four years ago Denise Pape did a South African classroom study and found that in the five-year-old group there was 25% left-handedness. There is a genetic component to handedness so, the more lefties there are, the more there will be.”
There is a genetic component to handedness so, the more lefties there are, the more there will be. He cannot do the tasks fast enough… his work smudges and doesn’t look great… he feels uncomfortable with some tasks and does not want to do them again… He is different, and children don’t like different. As the majority of the world’s population is right-handed, the challenges that left-handers face are numerous. Right-handed people don’t have to think too hard about picking up a pen and writing as it flows comfortably from left to right. Just so, it is comfortable for the lefty to go from right to left but that’s not going to happen in the western world. The following details the classic features of the left-handed child’s challenges. ergonomic The child may not have the correct equipment and knowledge of the correct positioning at their desk. teaching method Many teachers may not be aware of the correct teaching method for letter formation, and worksheets and activities may not be presented and taught correctly. writing from left to right Lefties have to push when they write causing strain on the hand, wrist and shoulder as they squeeze the pen hard to prevent their fingers from slipping down the pen or pencil. wrist-hooking This occurs in order to see their work as they write and to prevent smudging. Hooking places pressure on the wrist and can cause compression of the nerves, leading to carpal tunnel syndrome. It may cause fatigue and a slow pace of writing. emotional Feeling different and being slow to finish work, possibly causes feelings of failure and unworthiness. Nish has had a left-handed boy in occupational therapy for one and a half years. “He had a low self-esteem, struggled to make friends and was shy and mistrustful of others. He was encouraged to use his right hand over his left, even though he was showing
clear left-hand preferences at about five years of age.” Though this should no longer be happening, Nish still finds children are forced to change their natural preference. “This requires education and compromise to ensure that the best functional outcome for the child is achieved.” Forcing a child to change their natural hand preference does not change their brain dominance and so it will affect concentration, memory, spatial, speech, reading, writing and fine motor (handwriting) skills.
different, not abnormal Clare Winter is a left-handed primary school teacher who models with both her leftand right-hand when teaching handwriting. “However, this is not the norm so more emphasis needs to be placed on this during teacher training.” Nish sees Clare’s method as a wonderful way to both model and normalise left-handedness. “The sooner teachers accommodate left-handed students, the sooner acceptance and awareness will reign.” “A simple adaptation of the teaching methods and presentation of information would make a huge difference to the lefties in the classroom,” says Nish. Through gross motor activities, 3D and 2D perceptual games and finally paper-based activities, the left-handed boy Nish was working with resolved his spatial perceptual difficulties, is far more confident, is able to correctly orientate his letters and now even has a couple of friends on the playground.
do more “Put yourself in the shoes of a lefty in order to understand the struggles they experience every day. Help them with the things you can, and show empathy where you cannot. Attend or facilitate a workshop at your child’s school, where all of these things are discussed,” says Tracy. If your left-handed child is experiencing serious setbacks, seek professional assistance from an occupational therapist, but if you start with some of these points you could already be making a difference to your left-handed learner’s day. • Make sure the appropriate learning tools are being used as this will make fine motor tasks easier: left-handed scissors; a left-handed sharpener, if they are experiencing difficulties sharpening with a right-handed one; thin workbooks, so that they can rest their hands on the page and start close to the margin; a chart showing left-handed letter formation; and an incline board and non-smudge pens or pencils. • Position their work to the right of a table as this will decrease the wrist-hooking that occurs and the problems associated with it. • Demonstrate left-handed letter formation with your left hand so that the child can model you and see the actual flow of writing. • Teach the correct progression in art projects, which is right to left when colouring and painting, so they stay within the lines and don’t smudge their work. • Left-handed children should also learn to progress correctly in cutting, which is in a clockwise direction (right-handers cut anti-clockwise). • Support your left-handed child by advocating for them and teaching them how to advocate for themselves. • Ensure that the basics are in place, namely equipment and positioning. • Use a special grip on the pencil to help the fingers relax and not grip so tightly or slip down the pencil. • When copying a letter, put that letter at the top of a page or on the right-hand side so they don’t have to lift their hand while copying. • Symmetry drawings flipped to the other side of the page means the lefty won’t have to lift their hands while trying to complete the task. • As a right-hander teaching skills such as knitting, fastening shoelaces or using cutlery correctly – place yourself opposite the child and let them copy you. If she copies while facing you she is learning the left-handed way. To purchase left-handed learning tools, visit lefthandlearning.co.za magazine pretoria
your child’s life
is your child
camp ready? CHRISTINA CASTLE pitches the question and discovers that, more often than not, our children are ready to head off to camp long
y parting words to my 16 year old were: “Be sensible. Drink lots of water. Use sunscreen.” He was about to embark on a three-week journey into manhood, deep in the Cederberg mountains. Yes, my lip was quivering and I was desperately fighting back the tears. “Ja, ja, I know. I’ll be fine, Mom,” he reassured me as he slung his backpack over his shoulder, gave me a fat hug and disappeared onto a bus. And I knew he would be. Years of overnight camps with the school, tours of sorts, sleepovers and holidays away with friends had prepared him (and me) for this journey. From the age of nine my children have been exposed to sleepover camps with the school. Camps are an annual event. Each year as the children mature, the independence, the social and physical skills required are challenged just a little bit more. What starts as an overnight stay in a cabin in Grade 4 quickly becomes a fend-for-yourself few days under the watchful eye of the teachers in Grade 7
and eventually a man-making three weeks in the wild in Grade 10. While they are fun and physical, the school is acutely aware of the varying stages of physical, social and emotional readiness across the age groups. Their precamp preparation with the children addresses all aspects of readiness and the skills, responsibilities and anxieties that go with it. However, the reality of sleepover camps is not quite so textbook. Some children quite simply do not sleep out. The separation is just too much. Fears and other anxieties kick in. Or they just don’t operate well out of their comfort zones. While children should never feel pressured to go to camp, schools do expect your child to attend their camps; and they are more than equipped with the experience and expertise to help your child over this hurdle. Despite the wobbles and anxieties, school and commercial camps equip our children with skills they will carry for life. The independence, confidence, social
before we are ready to let them go.
skills and self-discipline it builds are priceless, and strengthens the more your child is exposed to these environments. While experts say the ideal age to kickoff your child’s camp career is between eight and 10 years old, your child will let you know soon enough if he’s ready or not.
let him decide if he wants to go to camp It’s not a case of sign him up and ask him later. Your child first needs to express an interest in going away to camp. While you may plant the seed, allow him to make the decision himself as to whether he goes or not. Even the most camp-hardy child may not want to go to camp. Maybe he just wants to take time out at home after a busy school term. The decision ultimately should be his.
choose a camp that is appropriate While many children love the idea of learning to water ski, how many are really keen to do it intensely for a week? Ok, I’m all for “you never know until you try”, but you and your child need to be realistic about their genuine interests and staying power, if choosing a camp aimed at a specific activity. Not to mention the fact that a full day of waterskiing can be exhausting even for the most experienced water-skier. Many camps offer children a variety of activities – art in the morning, abseiling in the afternoon and singing at sunset. Your child is guaranteed to find his feet and dabble in activities he has never considered before. Varied activities are enriching and provide a great environment to make new friends. What’s more, camps often vary in length. Know what is right for your child. Be sure
that your child is comfortable with being away from home for that amount of time.
manage your child’s expectations It has been found that children who had positive expectations of camp, had good experiences at camp. Take away the mystery of the camp. Go over the itinerary in detail with him. While new and exciting experiences are a given, discuss the dayto-day goings on positively to overcome any anxiety. However, don’t oversell the camp or make it into something that it quite clearly is not.
friends or no friends? It’s always easier to enter a new situation when you have a couple of mates on your side. That said, camp is a breeding ground for new friendships. Existing friendships may restrict the opportunity to get to know others. It’s often too easy to team up with someone you know. If your child is going to camp with a friend, make sure they know to give each other space and are comfortable with each other when they decide to team up with someone new.
be upfront about his fears and anxieties Don’t be afraid to share your child’s camp fears and anxieties with those in charge. They will want to know exactly what to expect. Remember they are experts at this. Don’t think it’s just your child who is feeling uneasy; there are plenty of others in exactly the same situation.
help your child prepare for camp Include your child in the camp preparation process. He will feel more confident about heading off if he’s been involved right from the beginning – from decision-making to packing his own bag. While it’s wise for you to oversee exactly what’s going into the bag, let him follow the kit list and take responsibility for it. At least he’ll know where to find his undies (not that he’s likely to change them for the duration of the camp. The same goes for the toothbrush). Bags are packed and he’s ready to go. No matter what age they are, sending our children off to camp does get the lip quivering – yours more than his. Hang in there; the benefits are worth it. And for the record, my 16 year old returned from his man-making adventure in one piece, a little sunburnt, very much on the nose, hydrated, hungry and hairy. I gave him another fat hug and my eyes began to water. Yes, I did miss him terribly, but he really did stink. Visit childmag.co.za/content/campready-pta for a few ideas on overnight and day camps in your area.
school matters Your child needs to start Grade 1, but all the rules, laws and paperwork involved drive many parents up the wall. MARINA ZIETSMAN puts the basics into context.
The Department of Basic Education has clear guidelines on how to register your child for Grade 1. You should apply at a public school in the year prior to that in which your child needs to start. Find out from the schools in your area when registration opens and applications close. Applicants must be five years old turning six, or older by 30 June the following year. If your child is younger than the required age, and you still wish to enrol them, you can apply to the principal for exemption. Such an application must be accompanied by a school readiness report, which can be supplied by a psychologist, or a progress report from a qualified educator. If your application is unsuccessful, you must be given the reasons in writing. You are also free to appeal this decision with the Member of the Executive Council (the MEC of a province is the cabinet of the provincial government). In the Western Cape it’s known as the Provincial Cabinet. Independent schools can also make provision for under-age learners “if it can be shown that exceptional circumstances exist, which necessitate the admission of an underage learner because admission would be in his or her best interest”. However, most independent schools prefer to admit learners to Grade 1 who are six years old in January, in the start of the school year. Schools start accepting learners at the beginning of the preceding year, and you should get an answer in writing from them. Follow up with the school if you don’t. Diane Fraser, marketer at St Peter’s Boys School, an independent school in Joburg, says to ensure a place in an independent school, parents should “fill in the application forms soon after the child’s birth”. Des Hugo, junior school headmistress at St Mary’s School, an independent school in Waverley, Joburg, agrees with this and adds: “Parents should consider applying for the Grade R year or at the school’s preprimary facility they’re interested in. This becomes more important if the family has no previous links to the school.” You are free to choose whether to register your child at a public school or at an independent school. Public schools are state controlled and independent schools are privately owned. Independent schools must be registered with the Provincial Education Department, and public schools must be established by the MEC for education in the province. You can check
with the Provincial Education Department if a school is registered before you make any payments. You’ll need the following forms to register at a public school: 1) an application from the school, to be collected from the school, 2) an official birth certificate, and 3) an immunisation card. If your child is not a South African citizen, you’ll need: 1) a study permit, and 2) a temporary or permanent residence permit or proof that you have applied for permission to stay in South Africa.
indicate to schools which children should be prioritised for admission. Children outside the feeder zone of a school are allowed to apply, but will be placed on a waiting list if needed. The preference order of admission to schools is: 1) learners whose parents live in the feeder zone, at their own address or at their employer’s address, 2) learners whose parents’ work address is in the feeder zone, and 3) other learners, based on a first-come, first-served basis. “Parents
Contact the school and make sure you know how things work and what you’ll need to provide. in the zone Feeder zones do exist for public schools, and these are established by the Department of Basic Education in consultation with the school governing body (SGB). Feeder zones aren’t necessarily geographically adjacent to each other, so find out from the school you’re interested in if you fall in theirs. The main objective of feeder zones is to
often think that they live in the area and therefore are zoned for the school and need only apply the year prior to the start of school. Zoning only applies to public schools and not to independent schools,” says Fraser.
a foot in the door Parents must be careful not to assume that having an older brother or sister in a
preferred school would mean automatic admission for younger siblings. Junita Hensel, secretary at Sea Point Primary, a public school in Cape Town, says, “siblings do get preference, and children of old boys and old girls are looked at ‘favourably’.” Check with your school of choice that these criteria do exist. Fraser says, “Each child would need his or her own application form to be submitted regardless of whether a sibling has already been applied for. Siblings often do get preference, but only if all the correct paperwork and applications were also timeous.” Also, don’t assume that sister and brother schools have the same admissions policy, and make sure schools are in fact sister/brother schools. A reader of Child magazine wrote about her disappointment when her daughter was not admitted to an all-girls’ school. Her son attended an all-boys’ school, which she believed was the brother school to the all-girls’ school she had applied at. However, further investigation showed that the schools have similar names, as they’re both situated in the same suburb, but they are, in fact, not a brother/sister school. Hugo says, “There is variation in the admission policies of schools. In many cases, siblings do get preference, as do children of staff members and alumni. There is often no formal reciprocal arrangement with brother/sister schools, but schools do try to keep families together, if places are available.”
the bottom line Most schools feel that parents leave their child’s registration too late. In order to avoid any administrative red tape, register your child at the school of your choice well in advance. Contact the school and make sure you know how things work and what you’ll need to provide. Don’t base any decisions on assumptions. Even if your child has the right to an education and has laws protecting him, it’s imperative that parents adhere to the few simple rules regarding school admissions in order to have their child start their school career hassle-free.
resources • education.gov.za • isasa.org • erp.org.za
what the law says
your child’s rights Missing birth certificate Learners must be accepted unconditionally, but a copy must be obtained from the Department of Home Affairs. No immunisation card Learners must be admitted, but thoroughly advised by the school on how to get immunised. Paying school fees It is illegal for schools to require a copy of a utility bill to determine whether the parent or guardian can afford to pay school fees. The law says, “no learner may be refused admission to a public school on the grounds that his/her parent/ caregiver is unable to pay, or has not paid school fees that have been lawfully determined.” Parents who cannot pay school fees are urged to consult with the school about applying for exemption from fees. Schools can, however, take parents to court if they refuse to pay school fees, but only after the exemption criteria have been applied and the parent is still liable to pay such fees. The learner must remain in school while the case is on. Registration fees Certain schools will charge you a fee when you register. Admission tests Public schools are not allowed to administer any tests related to the admission of a learner. Full classes Schools cannot refuse to admit a learner from their feeder zone. If full-class capacity has been reached, it’s the responsibility of the school and the heads of department to ensure all learners find a place at another school. Fee-paying schools have the right to limit the amount of learners per class to the maximum set by the school. According to the Department of Basic Education, “The right not to charge school fees is limited to the schools that have been declared ‘no-fee schools’. The names of these schools are published in the Provincial Gazette and the criteria to determine the ‘no-fee schools’ is based on the economic level of the community around the school.”
Race, religion and language No discrimination will be tolerated regarding these points. The same goes for pregnant learners and those that are HIV positive. Learners are expected to wear the official school uniform, without any additions to the uniform that are not in accordance with the regulations. Ask the school you want to register with for their code of conduct to establish what is permitted and what isn’t. Waiting lists Before the school year starts, the school and the Department of Basic Education must find a place for children on a public school waiting list. Fraser suggests you apply to at least two to three schools. “If parents have not heard anything by midyear, prior to the start, the parents should contact the school for updated information.” Hugo adds: “Apply to as many schools as possible in the area you live, especially if you do not have other children already at a school, or are not a staff member or an alumni.” Hugo says if your child is not on a waiting list, they will never have an opportunity to be considered. She adds that schools are unable to inform parents on how long they will be on a waiting list, as the school only fills places from the list when families relocate or leave the school. “Generally, schools become aware of a family’s intention to leave one term prior to the date of leaving,” she adds. Special education needs Public schools must admit learners with special education needs, where it is reasonably practical, and schools are encouraged to make the necessary arrangements as far as possible to make facilities accessible to such learners. If a school cannot provide this, the principal and the school must refer the case to the Department of Basic Education to have the learner admitted to a suitable public school. Hensel says Sea Point Primary does accommodate children with special needs, but “on condition that the child receives adequate remedial support and has come from a remedial school.”
more than just a pet There is a lot that children can learn about animals. There is also a lot they can learn from
them. Tamlyn Vincent explores the many benefits that spending time with animals can offer.
oey, our mini dachshund is defleaing my son, causing fits of giggles. He buries his hand up his sleeve, driving Zoey crazy and making her nibble even harder. Reggie, our other sausage, tries to nuzzle his way in, but he’s just looking for a scratch. Laughter and enjoyment aren’t the only benefits of having two dogs share our home. My son throws balls for them, but they never relinquish their prize. They’ve never seen the point in giving back the ball. So to reclaim it, we have to play chase. And, of course, the dogs are useful at mealtimes. My son has quickly learnt that they’ll happily eat anything he doesn’t want, including tomatoes.
can also reduce blood pressure and decrease stress. A dog’s ability to help with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has seen trauma dogs being used in crisis situations like school shootings. And because children often respond well to animals, they are used in a variety of therapy treatments. Children can learn about animals from books, or wildlife films. Through animal interactions, children can learn empathy and responsibility, while learning about these animals. While this is apparent with pets, it also becomes clear when children visit animal shelters or wildlife sanctuaries. There is also knowledge to be gained from spending time at certain zoos and aquariums.
Spending time with animals has many benefits for children. As animals don’t judge, children are often likely to talk to pets, improving self-confidence. Dr Marieanna le Roux, chair of Pets as Therapy in Cape Town, says this quality in animals can improve reading skills as children who are struggling with reading can practise with their dog. There are health benefits as well. Walking or running with dogs means more exercise. Interacting with pets
Owning a pet can develop a nurturing instinct in children, says Dr Zee Akoojee, a Cape Town vet. Children develop a caring attitude and self-confidence from looking after pets. Children also need to learn the importance of caring for something without receiving anything in return, says Akoojee. Some of the responsibilities of having a pet include making sure there is always fresh water, cleaning up after the pet, feeding it and taking it for walks. So, before getting a pet, make sure your children are ready.
four-legged friends animal aid
Teach them that a pet is for life, advises Akojee, and can’t be ignored when it’s no longer cute. “The entire family should be on board,” says Akoojee. Work together to find a pet that suits your family’s lifestyle, considering the space you have, the time and energy you can dedicate to the pet and remembering the basic costs and vet’s bills. Children who don’t have their own dog could walk dogs for friends or neighbours, letting them interact with animals and exercise, while teaching them responsibility. Another option for families with pets is to visit retirement villages or hospitals. Families can sign up to organisations like Pets as Therapy, which takes dogs, and a few cats, to visit these places. “When you see the faces of the people you’re visiting, you know you’ve done something good,” says Le Roux. The pets like the attention too. However, Le Roux says that not all dogs like getting patted, and not all people want to be visited, so children should go with an adult and only take their dog if it has the right temperament.
shelters and sanctuaries Children should learn about caring for people, animals and the environment, so they develop a caring, socially minded attitude that will stay with them, says Janet Legemaate, education officer at Durban’s Kloof and Highway SPCA. Visiting animal shelters or wildlife sanctuaries teaches children about the needs of animals. Children also learn about conservation and what it means to give back. Parents should show children what shelters need to care for animals and together think of ways to help, suggests Legemaate. Depending on the shelter, children need to be a certain age to volunteer, but there are other ways to help. “Bring dog biscuits to feed the dogs,” says Legemaate, or buy a bag of food. Look out for educational opportunities at wildlife sanctuaries and shelters or visit them as a family.
aquariums, zoos and game reserves animal books for children Toddlers How Do Dinosaurs Love Their Dogs? by Jane Yolen – T-Rexes model both good and bad petcare behaviours. (Blue Sky Press, 2010) Tails Are Not For Pulling by Elizabeth Verdick – The book is about showing children how to love pets gently. (Free Spirit Publishing, 2005) Peek-a-Boo Pets by Francesca Ferri – Play peek-aboo with pets. (Barron’s Educational Series, 2009) Preschoolers A Home for Dixie by Emma Jackson – A story about an adopted puppy. (Harper Collins, 2008) Mr King’s Incredible Journey by David du Plessis – An introduction to a range of creatures from South Africa’s coast. (Random House Struik, 2011) Early graders Dear Greenpeace by Simon James – Emily writes to Greenpeace for advice on how to care for a whale in her pond. (Walker Books, 2008) My First Book of Southern African Mammals by Peter Apps – An introduction to a cross-section of mammals. (Random House Struik, 2000) Preteens and teens The Underneath by Kathi Appelt – A calico cat, about to have kittens, befriends a hound. (Simon and Schuster, 2008) White Dolphin by Gill Lewis – Kara and Felix have to work together to save a dolphin calf, and the reef in the bay of their home town. (Oxford University Press, 2012)
My son was terrified the first time we went to see dolphins. He thought they might jump out of the water and land on him. When he realised what they were he was enthralled, as are thousands of other children who pass through the education programme at Durban’s Seaworld, which teaches children about marine life and conservation. At the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, children can see reptiles, birds and mammals, and become a junior nature conservator. They can also see animals in environments that simulate their natural habitats, a move encouraged by the environment enrichment programme followed at this facility. Visiting zoos and aquariums gives children the chance to meet animals up close, says Angeliné Schwan, communications officer at the National Zoological Gardens. Many zoos and aquariums treat animals with care and run conservation, rescue and rehabilitation programmes. But these types of facilities can come under criticism for keeping animals in captivity, or mistreating them. As parents, it’s important to be aware of these issues and to consider and question what’s in the animals’ best interests. Schwan recommends that before visiting a facility, check that they are a member of PAAZAB (African Association of Zoos and Aquaria; visit zoosafrica.com), which requires members to comply with certain standards. “Word of mouth is a good way to find out about the best places to visit,” says Schwan. At game reserves, animals are given free rein. No matter how you choose to introduce your children to animals, they will benefit from the interaction. When my son was born, and the dogs still didn’t know what he was, we looked forward to the day they would be friends. I think they are all on their way to being lifelong buddies, especially if they keep eating his vegetables for him.
campers Sleep under the stars at a great family-friendly camping spot not too far from the Jacaranda City.
By SIMONE JEFFERY
amping is a great pastime for young and old. If itâ€™s your first time venturing out with your children, the key to a stress-free trip is to be prepared for everything and to not shy away from getting your children involved.
sondela nature reserve This a private game reserve with self-catering chalets, an upmarket country house, a caravan park and camp site. On arrival you will be greeted with pancakes and a cool drink and offered assistance with setting up your camp. The camp site offers 40 private stands on lush green lawns with plenty of shade, electrical points, braai facilities and private ablutions. There is a jungle gym, swimming pool (cold and heated), putt-putt course, boma and fireplace, a beauty and massage salon, and a 4x4 track (use your own vehicle). There is also a small general store. The Piccininiâ€™s Bistro and Pub provides poolside food and drinks as well as home-cooked meals, which can be ordered and delivered to your caravan or tent. activities The reserve is a wildlife conservation area but also a working farm, and children are entertained by milking the cows and petting farmyard animals. The Adventure Centre offers a quad bike adventure, day and night game drives and archery and target shooting. Mountain bikes can also be hired. Guests can arrange for a tour of the Wildlife Centre. nearby attractions Warmbaths waterpark; fishing at the Bela Bela Dam; and a Gary Player signature designed golf course at the Royal Northland Golf Club friendly factors Itâ€™s a working farm with plenty to do, but no pets are allowed. open to the public All year round best time to visit October to April directions Farm Tweefontein, Bela-Bela, Limpopo; approximately 103km from Pretoria contact 014 736 8900, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit sondela.com
nokeng eco lodge Nokeng Eco Lodge offers self-catering cottages (catering optional) and 10 shaded camp sites with electrical points and braai facilities. The private bush camp on the banks of the Elands River also has four secluded eco-camp sites with no electricity. The communal ablutions are basic with hot water in the morning and evening. There is a large swimming pool with thatched lapas, and a sun deck with toys for the children. Next to the swimming pool is a boma with braai facilities. The restaurant caters for specific dietary requirements with prior notice. Bring your own liquor.
Sondela Nature Reserve
activities Mountain biking, walking trails, fishing, horse riding, bread baking, an obstacle course and river picnics nearby attractions Game drives in the Dinokeng Game Reserve or a sunset cruise on Rust de Winter Dam friendly factors Pets are welcome open to the public All year round, but they might host large groups best time to visit May to July directions Farm Uitvlugt, 6 Uitvlugt Rd, Rust de Winter/Hammanskraal Rd contact Elsje 082 887 3505, email@example.com or visit nokenglodge.co.za
klein paradys caravan park This relaxing lake resort just 38 minutes north of Hartbeespoort in the Bojanala Region has 80 standard stands and 20 exclusive stands with their own ablution facilities. All are equipped with electricity points, water taps and portable braais, and are situated under shady trees or net shading. There is a shop at the resort that sells the bare essentials. activities A super tube, heated and cold swimming pools and a baby splash pool, puttputt, chess, trampolines, tennis courts and canoeing, at no extra cost. You are also able to take hikes in the Garden of Eden, and use the mountain bike trails if you take your own bike. nearby attractions Thirty minutes from Hartbeespoort, there are plenty of activities. friendly factors They are wheelchair friendly; no pets allowed; day visitors are welcome open to the public Open on weekends. Closed in June and July best time of year to visit From September to April directions 15km down Van Deventer St, Brits; approximately 48km from Hartbeespoort Dam, or 72km from Pretoria CBD contact 012 252 1938, 012 252 4625 or visit kleinparadys.com Klein Paradys Caravan Park
nkwe pleasure resort The resort offers 48 stands for caravans, motorhomes and tents. There are also self-catering chalets and log cabins. The camp site is grassed, shaded and separate from the day visitor’s area where a waterfall and natural swimming hole are located. Each stand has an electrical point, is close to a water point and shares the communal ablution block. The ladies’ bathroom is equipped with a table that can be used for baby changing. They also offer a bush camp, that doesn’t have electricity, for 20 or more campers. There is an on-site tuck shop. activities A natural swimming hole, scenic walks and cycling (bring your own bicycle) nearby attractions Lion tours at Rietvlei Nature Reserve; close to Willow Feather Farm friendly factors They aren’t pet friendly, but can make allowances if the site is quiet. open to the public All year round best time to visit In the summer months after the rain. Day visitors are welcome. directions On the banks of the Pienaars River, Tierpoort Valley contact André 012 811 5231, 083 309 6516 or visit nkwepark.co.za
camping tours at nzg The zoo offers families a chance to sleepover. Bring a tent and food. The experience also includes a guided night tour. This takes place on Friday and Saturday evenings. Booking essential. directions 232 Boom St, Pretoria CBD. contact 012 339 2700 or visit nzg.ac.za
Camping tours at NZG
for different tastes These resorts have several camping spots in different parts of the country. • sanparks.co.za – Apply for a Wild Card for added benefits. • foreversa.co.za – They have resorts in Gauteng, Limpopo, Free State, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape. • atkvresorts.co.za – All seven of their resorts have camping sites.
a good read for toddlers Chickens Can’t See in the Dark By Kristyna Litten (Published by Oxford University Press, R196) The pictures in this book will make children laugh, plus there is a message about standing up for your beliefs. Little Pippa is adamant that she wants to see in the dark. It all started when Mr Benedict told his class, “As sure as eggs is eggs, chickens can’t see in the dark.” When asking for their help, Mr Owl and Granny Bumblefoot find the prospect hilarious. But then Little Pippa reads a book at the Book Barn Library and learns that carrots improve your eyesight. She immediately sets off to the farm shop to buy all their stock. Is she going to be successful, or will she be the laughing stock of the village?
for early graders
for preschoolers Sisi Goes to School and Other Stories By Wendy Hartmann and Joan Rankin (Published by Human & Rousseau, R150) Sisi, her family and friends are back in this delightful compilation of stories and rhyme that is filled with warmth, love and friendship. The five stories are: Sisi Goes to School, Sisi’s Special Sounds, Gogo’s Little Dog, Daddy’s Surprise and A Kiss For You. The book has beautiful illustrations by internationally known artist, Joan Rankin, which compliments the sparingly written, but spot on text. It is also available in Afrikaans as Sisi Gaan Skool Toe en Ander Stories.
for preteens and teens
Be Bright By Anita Potgieter
Phapo’s Gift By Marita van Aswegen
Rock Steady By Joanne MacGregor
A Horse called Hero By Sam Angus
(Published by Human & Rousseau, R89) This educational activity book is designed to help children sharpen their maths and language skills, while challenging them to be bright and creative. The fun maths exercises meet the standards of the Grade 1 to 3 curricula, while the language portion promotes language, reading and audio skills. The exercises will encourage young learners to practise the skills they acquire in their first school year in a new, fun way. Simple, clear instructions make the activities easy to complete, while a little star indicates to the learner where to complete their answer. In the back of the book the answers are clearly identified and explained. The author is a former teacher with many years’ experience teaching remedial classes to learners who have problems with maths and reading.
(Published by Knowledge Thirst Media, R70) Ten-year-old Phapo is clever, pretty and happy. But she has a big burden to carry: her father, who she loves very much, is dying from Aids. All around her, her school friends are getting boyfriends and girlfriends, but Phapo wants nothing more than to make mud-cakes under her favourite tree and dream of beautiful dolls. When the boys start looking at her, her grandma tells her a very special secret: Phapo has a precious, perfect fruit inside her. She alone has the power to treasure or to destroy that fruit. Phapo’s Gift is a truly South African story that teaches children about the effects of Aids and the advantages of abstinence. This highly relevant story of our time is full of colourful characters, brought to life with dozens of bright illustrations.
(Published by Protea, R140) Samantha Steadman, and her best friends – smart-mouthed Jessie Delaney and a politician’s daughter Nomusa Gule – are back at boarding school, in Grade 9, and they are up against a whole new set of challenges. Their creepy, new science teacher – the Poison Dwarf – takes delight in tormenting Sam, and she’s started counting and checking everything in a way that has her friends worried about her sanity. Add to that Sam’s determination to uncover and stop the illegal trade in San rock art, a blossoming new romance (or two) and a dangerous survival competition in the mountains, which will endanger the trio’s lives. Sam will need all her wits and courage to stand steady. Together they will have to find the strength to cope.
(Published by Pan Macmillan, R156) London, 1940: Dodo and her little brother Wolfie do not know what has happened to their father. A cavalry officer, war hero and veteran of the Somme, he has gone missing at Dunkirk. The children are evacuated to the West Country, away from everything they know. Alone in a high and wild land, they are taunted and bullied when their father is accused of cowardice and desertion. Wolfie finds an orphaned foal, names him Hero, and raises him. Together they roam the hills, finding freedom and happiness, little suspecting the dark shadow that hangs over them and the test that lies in store for both of them. But while the war took Wolfie’s hope, Hero gives him courage. This is a beautiful story from the author of Soldier Dog, for children from the age of 10.
for us What Lies Within By Tom Vowler (Published by Headline Publishers, R161) This is a tightly spun, atmospheric and powerfully psychological suspense thriller from a brilliant new voice in fiction. Living in a remote Devon farmhouse, Anna and her family have always been close to nature, surrounded by the haunting beauty of the moor. But when a convict escapes from a nearby Dartmoor prison, their isolation suddenly begins to feel more claustrophobic than free. Fearing for her children’s safety, Anna’s behaviour becomes increasingly irrational. Meanwhile, a young, idealistic teacher has just started her first job, but gets brutally attacked by one of her students. As the two narratives converge, the tension builds to a devastating denouement, shattering everything you thought you knew about nature, nurture and the true meaning of family.
parenting book Is that My Child? The Brain Food Plan By Dr Robin Pauc with Carina Norris (Published by Random House, R215) Following the success of Is That My Child?, Dr Pauc demonstrates how nutrition and exercise can help children overcome many conditions – from dyslexia and dyspraxia to ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome. The book includes easy-tofollow advice and information, from the effects nutrition can have on children’s behaviour to how different types of exercise can benefit children in different ways. There are recipe ideas as well as exercise and diet workbooks for parents to chart their child’s progress. Pauc is a specialist in child neurology and runs his own practice. He lectures on behalf of the prestigious Carrick Institute for postgraduate studies at Cape Canaveral and is author of several academic texts. Carina Norris is a registered nutritionist, author, journalist and consultant. magazine pretoria
whatâ€™s on in march
You can also access the calendar online at
Your guide for what to do, where to go and who to see this month. Compiled by SIMONE JEFFERY.
FUN for children
only for parents
bump, baby & tot in tow
how to help
Princess Rosebud and Thorn Prince Join in the excitement as boys and girls take part in activities in the hope of becoming an ambassador for the Queen of Flowers.
FUN FOR CHILDREN
ONLY FOR PARENTS
bump, baby & tot in tow
how to help
Kids Craft Club This is a weekly craft club held in a creative environment where children get to play with mosaics, painting, pottery, decoupage and more.
Your child and the language of acceptance Learn parenting tips and tricks on resolving conflict and listening to your child.
Safari Garden Centre Let your little monkey loose on the large jungle gym and get close to nature.
President Kruger Childrenâ€™s Homes This registered NPO provides essential care to children who have been through traumatic experiences.
SPECIAL EVENTS 1 saturday Alma Festival This market offers various stalls, food and drink. Alma School (for mentally handicapped children) provides entertainment through an arena programme and the Alma Idols competition. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: Alma School, 407 Eloff St, Eloffsdal. Cost: free entry. Contact: 012 335 0252, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit almaschool.co.za
16 sunday Hartklop Fees Bok van Blerk, Riana Nel and Bobby van Jaarsveld perform a benefit concert in aid of President Kruger Children’s Homes. Time: 6pm for 6:30pm. Venue: NG Moreleta Auditorium, 1353 De Villebois Mareuil Ave, Moreleta Park. Cost: R90–R180. Book through iTickets: 0861 000 291 or visit itickets.com
2 sunday Train trip to Cullinan and back Take a two-and-a-half to three-hour train trip to Cullinan. Visit the museums, mine and craft shops, lunch at the many restaurants, and attend a surface or mine tour (mine tours for children 10 years and older). Also 21 March. Time: 8am–5:30pm. Venue: Hermanstad Railway Station, 152 Miechaelson St, Daspoort. Cost: adults R200, pensioners R175, children 13–18 years old R150, children 7–12 years old R125, children 2–6 years old R100. Contact: 012 767 7913, email@example.com or visit friendsoftherail.com
6 thursday ASG Night Series This mountain bike ride and trail run passes through rosemary fields, past dams, across streams and through indigenous vegetation. There are bonfires, children’s activities and entertainment. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult for the children’s race. Space is limited. Time: registration from 4pm; children’s race starts 6pm. Venue: Rosemary Hill, 257 Mooiplaats, N4 East Exit 18. Cost: MTB: adults (21km) R120, children (7km) R40; trail run: adults (8km) R65, children (4km) R30. Contact: 076 621 1807 or visit asgevents.co.za
7 friday Barefoot for a Day The Little Fighters Cancer Trust encourages you to go barefoot for one day. Let this be a reminder what a child with cancer goes through. Donations of new children’s shoes, for little cancer patients, are welcome. Contact: 073 729 6155 or visit littlefighters.org.za
8 saturday Cansa Relay for Life Cancer survivors give hope to cancer sufferers by committing to keep at least one member of your team on the track throughout the night. There is food on sale, live music and a performance by Jay from Eden. Also 9 March. Time: 3pm−6am. Venue: Pretoria Military Sports
15 March – Impi Challenge
Ground, Thaba Tshwane. Cost: R60 per person, R600 per team of 10 or 15. Contact: 012 329 3036, 083 633 5798, asnyders@ cansa.org.za or visit relayforlife.org.za Pelinduna Trail Festival A trail running day for the whole family. Choose from 5km, 10km, 21km or a 70km ultra. The 5km fun run allows children from age 6 to participate. There is live music, an expo area and a picnic zone. Time: 6am–5pm. Venue: Pelinduna Adventures, Pelindaba. Cost: 70km R650 (T-shirt included), 21km R200 (cap included), 10km R120, 5km R70. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit wildtrail.co.za
15 saturday IMPI Challenge Tackle a combination of trail running and adventure-style obstacle course for elite sportspersons, competent and beginner runners, and families. Participants are encouraged to dress up. For children 6 years and older. Also 16 March. Time: 8am–5pm. Venue: Van Gaalen Cheese Farm, Hartbeespoort. Cost: R120–R550. For more info and to register: visit impichallenge.co.za Princess Rosebud and Thorn Prince Children go on a procession, decorate a thorn castle, pot roses and arrange flowers, aiming to become an ambassador for the Queen of Flowers. For children 5–11 years old. Time: 10am. Venue: Ludwig’s Rose Farm, Haakdoornlaagte. Cost: R150. Contact: 012 544 0144 or visit ludwigsroses.co.za
CSME Club running day Pack a picnic and see the miniature trains make their way around the 900m track. Time: 9:30am–3:45pm. Venue: Centurion Society of Model Engineers, Meerpark Station, Kwikkie Crescent, Centurion. Cost: R5 entry, R8 per train ride, children 2 and younger free. Contact: 012 643 0750 or visit centuriontrains.com ERA Real Estate dog walk Walk with or without your dog(s) to raise funds for the Tshwane SPCA. Choose from 2km, 5km and 9km. Time: registration 7am–11am, walk in your own time. Venue: Hedianga Farm, Plot 85, Achilles Rd, Olympus. Cost: R20 per person, R10 per dog. Contact: 082 770 4403 or visit their Facebook page: Era Estate Dog Walk Me-Nuts Like2Bike cycling series Children can choose from a 1km run followed by a 5km cycle, or a 2km run and 10km cycle, or the stand-alone cycle of 2km, 5km or 10km. For children 2–14 years old. Time: 8:30am. Venue: Waterfall Village Estate, Kyalami. Cost: pre-entry R110, late entry R120. Contact: 083 326 6721 or visit like2bike.co.za Rosy cheeks make-up course Makeup artist Karien Henrico teaches you and your child the secrets of facial contours. Bring your own make-up. For children 8 years and older. Time: 10:30am–12pm. Venue: Ludwig’s Rose Farm, N1 Polokwane highway, Wallmannstahl/Pyramid offramp no. 163. Cost: R150. Contact: 012 544 0144 or visit ludwigsroses.co.za
29 saturday Dewey’s League – Reading for Justice One of South Africa’s sporting heroes, TV and movie icons, media personalities, celebrity moms or local authors read children a story from their selection of books. Time: 10am–10:30am. Venue: any Exclusive Books store. Cost: free; bring along stationery to donate to a local charity. Contact: 011 798 0000 or visit exclus1ves.co.za Earth Hour Show your concern for the environment and take action on climate change. Organise a get-together, switch off your lights, and spend 60 minutes in darkness. Time: 8:30pm–9:30pm. For more info: visit earthhour.org
FUN FOR CHILDREN art, culture and science Anton Smit’s Sculpture Park View Smit’s expansive collection of monumental sculptures and installations set up on three hectares of manicured lawns and gardens, on the northern side of the Bronkhorstspruit Dam. You can pop in at Imagine Café coffee shop for refreshments. Time: 10am–4pm Tuesday–Saturday, 11am–5pm Sunday. Venue: follow the directions on the website. Cost: free entry. Contact Mariki: 082 874 6456, 082 653 7659 or visit antonsmit.co.za Kruger House Museum The historical residence of the former president of South Africa, Paul Kruger, has been refurbished to reflect the period when he lived there with his wife, Gezina. Time: 8:30am–4:30pm Monday–Friday, 9am–4:30pm Saturday,
Sunday and public holidays. Venue: 60 WF Nkomo St, Pretoria CBD. Cost: adults R25, children under 18 R10. Contact: 012 000 0010 or visit ditsong.org.za/kruger.htm Scenes of Pretoria An exhibition of artworks created from 1857 to the early 1990s depicts scenes and well-known streets of Pretoria. Guided tours are available. Ends 16 March. Time: 10am–5pm Tuesday– Sunday. Venue: Pretoria Art Museum, cnr Francis Baard St and Wessels St, Arcadia Park, Arcadia. Cost: adults R20, students R10, children R5. Contact: 012 344 1807 or visit pretoriaartmuseum.co.za
classes, talks and workshops Chocolate Workshop Children decorate a chocolate scroll around the theme “Getaways”, produce Rice Krispies cakes to fill their pre-moulded chocolate treasure chest, and decorate a mini pizza with chocolate. Booking essential. 7 and 29 March. For children 8−13 years old. Time: 2pm−4:30pm Friday, 9:30am–12pm Saturday. Venue: Snyman Sjokolateur, Waterkloof Ridge. Cost: R130. Contact: 012 347 8497 or visit snymanchocolates.com Cooking classes for children Children are taught the basic principles of cooking and nutrition while preparing sweet and savoury recipes. For children 2–8 years old. Time: 3pm Monday; 10am Tuesday and Thursday. Venue: Little Cooks Club Pretoria North East, 8 Applewood Village, 90 Kwikkie Dr, Kameeldrift, Roodeplaat. Cost: registration R160, R100 per class. Contact: 082 879 1002 or visit littlecooksclub.co.za Kids Craft Club Children experiment in a free-to-be-creative environment with mosaics, painting, decoupage, pottery and more. For children 4–16 years old. Time: 2pm–4pm every Friday. Venue: Art Angels, Koedoeberg Rd, Faerie Glen, Pretoria East. Cost: R150 per class, R450 for three classes per month (including materials). Contact: 071 675 2030 or visit artangels.co.za Lollipop Moon art classes An art studio where children learn everything about the fine arts in a creative space. For children 3–13 years old. Time: varies. Venue: Greenlyn Village, Shop 7A, cnr 13th St and Mackenzie St, Menlo Park. Cost: monthly fee R180 per class (one hour per week); R220 per individual class. Contact: 012 346 4406 or visit lollipopmoon.co.za
family outings Irene Dairy Farm You can see a fully functioning dairy, buy farm-fresh products and enjoy a meal at the café. Children can play on the tractor and feed the cows. Time: 8am–5pm daily. Venue: 100 Nellmapius Dr, Irene. Cost: free entry. Contact: 012 667 4822 or visit irenefarm.co.za
16 March – Me-Nuts Like2Bike cycling series
Kids craft club
Safari in the city See zebra, a wide variety of buck, giraffe, wildebeest and rhino as they graze on the grassy plains. You can visit the bird hides, use the braai facilities or pop in at the coffee shop, and pre-book an organised lion tour. Time: 8am–5pm Tuesday–Sunday; lions are fed at 11am on Wednesday and Friday. Venue: Rietvlei Nature Reserve, Doornkloof, Irene. Cost: adults R40, pensioners and children 6–16 years old R20, children under 5 R5. Contact: 082 500 4422
holiday programmes The Buzz Zone holiday programme A variety of art and crafts activities keep children busy. Booking essential. For children 6 years and older. 31 March– 7 April. Time: 7:30am–5pm Monday– Friday. Venue: The Buzz Zone Holiday Centre, 916 Saint Bernard Dr, Garsfontein. Cost: R100 per day for the week, R120 per day. Contact: 012 993 0277 or visit thebuzzzone.co.za
markets Art @ Boardwalk Enjoy a stroll along the boardwalk browsing beautiful paintings, sculptures and handmade South African crafts. 9 and 30 March. Time: 10am–3pm. Venue: Boardwalk lake, cnr Solomon Mahlangu Dr and Haymeadow Crescent, Faerie Glen. Cost: free entry. Contact: 074 193 0094, email@example.com or visit boardwalkartmarket.co.za Hazel Food Market A popular food market with a variety of food products will tempt you with trusted family favourites and new, exciting tastes. Try the homemade pasta stuffed with peppadews at Anush, Maria’s stall, Belnori Goat’s Cheese or a dollop of homemade ice cream, sorbet and frozen yoghurt at WhiskAway Ice Cream. There is a jungle gym and jumping castle. Time: 8am–2pm every Saturday. Venue: Greenlyn Village Centre, Thomas Edison St, Menlo Park. Cost: free entry. Contact: 083 554 5636, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit hazelfoodmarket.co.za Irene Village Market This art market offers stalls selling clothing, delicacies, flowers and curios. There is a separate section with antiques and collectables, as well as food stalls. 8 and 29 March. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Irene Village Market, Smuts House Museum, Irene. Contact: 012 667 1659 or visit irenemarket.co.za Klip Klap market Find a selection of antiques, quality art, books, jewellery and more. 16 March. Time: 9am–3pm. Venue: magazine pretoria
78A Leander Ave, Olympus, Pretoria East. Cost: free entry. Contact: 082 755 0586 or visit klipklap.co.za Pretoria Farmers Market Stallholders sell fresh meat, vegetables, fruit, eggs, flowers and plants. You can also sit under the trees and enjoy something to eat. Time: 5am every Saturday. Venue: Keuning St, La Concorde. Cost: free entry. Contact Johan: 082 416 3900, email@example.com or visit pretoriaboeremark.co.za Tierlantynkies market This is a fun event with decor, gifts, music, wine tasting and children’s entertainment. 26–30 March. Time: 9am–6pm Wednesday–Saturday, 10:30am–3pm Sunday. Venue: 56 Saal St, Pretoria East. Cost: adults R30, children free. For more info: visit tierlantynkies.co.za
on stage and screen Bedtime Stories premieres Skeeter, a handyman at the Sunny Vista Motel in LA, is given the responsibility of babysitting two estranged children during the night. He makes up bedtime stories to help them get to sleep, but the children add details to the stories, changing their endings. Soon Skeeter realises that the plots of the stories are coming true and affecting his life. The stellar cast is led by Adam Sandler and includes Guy Pearce and Russell Brand. 14 March. Time: 5pm, on the Disney Channel, channel 303 on DStv. For more info: visit dstv.com Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte Gauteng Opera presents the full production of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, directed by Marcus Desando. Cosi Fan Tutte (popularly translated as Women Are Like That) pokes fun at how fickle love is, by playing two young men against themselves as they place a bet to test their lovers’ love. 2, 4, 7 and 9 March. Time: 7:30pm Friday, 3pm Sunday; scholars-only performance (16 years and older) 3pm, 4 March. Venue: South African State Theatre, 320 Pretorius St, Pretoria. Cost: R180– R400. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit gautengopera.org Series premiere of Liv and Maddie This series tells the story of twin teenage sisters getting to know each other again after being separated for four years. One is a popular television star with a hit show that has just finished its run, and the other is an outstanding student and school basketball phenomenon. Featuring young actress Dove Cameron as the twin sisters. 8 March. Time: 10:15am every Saturday on the Disney Channel, channel 303 on DStv. For more info: visit dstv.com March 2014
calendar and music created with Himalayan and quartz crystal singing bowls, vocal overtones, drums, tingsha bells, tuned chimes, harmony balls, rainsticks and more. Booking essential. 2 March. Time: 9:30am–11:30am. Venue: Meerhof Lodge, 1 Dr Kolbe Lane, Hartbeespoort Dam. Cost: R150. Contact: 071 682 2548 or visit soundtherapy.co.za
1 March – Mosaic workshop
SpongeBob SquarePants Classic but never-seen-before episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants air on Nickelodeon throughout March. SpongeBob has trouble saying goodbye to the most perfect Krabby Patty he has ever cooked up; one morning he wakes up to find that everyone in Bikini Bottom is gone – even Gary; and he also celebrates Best Friends Day with Patrick. Time: 6:20pm Monday–Friday on Nickelodeon, channel 305 on DStv. For more info: visit dstv.com Swindle This is an afternoon movie for your tweens. When Ben and Griffin discover an old Honus Wagner baseball card, they think they may have found the financial solution that will save Ben from having to move but they are soon swindled by the owner of a collectibles shop. 7 March. Time: 4:35pm, on Nickelodeon, channel 305 on DStv. For more info: visit dstv.com
sport and physical activities Ecofriendly ice rink An exciting addition to the Grove Mall’s offerings, children and adults are now able to ice skate, figure skate, speed skate or play ice hockey on the ecofriendly ice. The ice is cooled using a revolutionary method that reduces the energy needed to cool the ice. The rink also uses a heat-reclaim system that harvests waste heat to provide all the hot water requirements, underfloor heating and dehumidification for the rink. Time: 10am–5pm and 7:30pm–10:30pm daily. Venue: The Grove Mall, cnr Lynnwood and Simon Vermooten Rd, Pretoria East. Cost: entrance fee R55, skate hire R20. Contact: 011 807 3060 or visit thegrovemall.co.za Little Kickers Introduces soccer skills to boys and girls. Booking essential as space is limited. For children 18 months–8 years old. Time: 9am–11am, every Saturday. Venue: Club Sport Maritimo, cnr Richard and Park St, Hatfield; Sport Park, cnr Kruger and Sport Rd, Lyttleton. Cost: free. Contact: 072 222 4147 or visit littlekickers.co.za
only for parents classes, talks and workshops Communication workshop for couples Booking essential. 15 March. Time: 9am– 11:30am. Venue: Vita Nova Counselling Centre, 615 Vampire Rd, Elarduspark. Cost: R550 per couple. Contact: 082 541 4357, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit vitanova.co.za
Mosaic workshop Create your own mosaic artwork. You can choose to mosaic a table top or a bird bath for your garden. No experience required. For adults and children 10 years and older. 1 March. Time: 10am–2pm. Venue: Art Angels, Koedoeberg Rd, Faerie Glen, Pretoria East. Cost: birdbath R1 200, table top R1 800. Contact: 071 675 2030, info@artangels. co.za or visit artangels.co.za Your child and the language of acceptance Learn how to listen to your children so that they will talk to you, how to talk to your children so that they will listen and how to resolve conflict. 15 March. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: 63 Nicolson St, Brooklyn. Cost: R300. Contact: 082 904 8127 or visit parents.co.za
on stage and screen Alien Sky Karin Hougaard is performing hits from her multilingual album, Alien Sky, with songs in English, Afrikaans, Dutch and Italian. The album touches on her experiences with love, loss, alienation and belonging. 2 March. Time: 4pm. Venue: Atterbury Theatre, 4 Daventry St, cnr Lynnwood Rd and Daventry St, Lynnwood. Cost: R130– R150. Contact: 012 471 1700 or visit atterburytheatre.co.za Celli Family A group of 12 international cellists who are based in southern Germany presents a repertoire covering musical history from the renaissance to present. 28 March. Time: 8pm. Venue: Brooklyn Theatre, Greenlyn Village Centre, cnr Thomas Edison St and 13th St, Menlo Park. Cost: R110–R130. Contact: 012 460 6033 or visit brooklyntheatre.co.za Woman in Dance This tribute to Vicki Karras showcases new and existing works by female dancers and choreographers. The collaborators include Adele Blank, Robyn Orlin, Debbie Rakusin, Debbie Turner and more. Vicki is a former member of the Royal Ballet, head of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) dance and musical theatre department for 20 years, and a founder of Tshwane Dance Theatre. 13 and 15 March. Time: 8pm Thursday; 3pm Saturday. Venue: South African State Theatre, 320 Pretorius St, Pretoria. Cost: R50. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit statetheatre.co.za
out and about Sonic meditation Experience a calming meditation enriched with live sounds
Muscular Dystrophy Support System Emotional support and advice for parents of children affected by muscular dystrophy. Contact: 012 998 0251 or visit mdsa.org.za Overeaters Anonymous (OA) A fellowship of people who share a solution to compulsive overeating. Members seek recovery on a physical, emotional and spiritual level by following a 12-step programme, patterned after that of Alcoholics Anonymous. Time: 7pm–8pm every Tuesday. Venue: NG Church, 547 Frelon St, Elardus Park. Contact: 011 640 2901 or visit oa.org.za Sadag The South African Depression and Anxiety Group’s national hotline: 0800 567 567.
bump, baby & Tot in tow
classes, talks and workshops Antenatal classes A condensed antenatal class for expectant couples. Learn all you need to know about pregnancy, delivery, breast-feeding, bathing and caring for your baby. 8 March. Time: 8am–4pm. Venue: lecture room, Kloof Mediclinic, 511 Jochemus St, Erasmuskloof. Cost: R700 per couple. Contact: 012 367 4060 Clamber Club Babies Baby stimulation classes, where your child learns how to move, learn and grow. For babies from 2 months–1 year old. Moms, dads and nannies welcome. Time: varies. Venue:
Clamber Club Babies
Midstream Estate, Centurion. Cost: varies. Contact: 082 853 5278 or visit clamberclub.com
playtime and story time Safari Garden Centre Let your little monkey loose on the large jungle gym and see the 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 Lynwood Rd; drive for 2,9km. Cost: free entry. Contact: 012 807 0009 or visit safarigardencentre.com
support groups Adoption is an Option For information and guidance on adoption. Contact: 0800 864 658 or visit adoption.org.za Aware Bears This is a support group for children with cerebral palsy. Parents can request a one-week visit from Helen, a lovable teddy bear who also has cerebral palsy and offers encouragement and support. Contact: email@example.com Cleft Friends For moms and dads of children with cleft lips or palates; Cleft Friends has the necessary experience to offer guidance. Contact: 0861 276 453 or visit cleftfriends.co.za
how to help Food from Heaven The Potato Foundation provides a cooked meal to 250 learners, four days a week at Booysens Primary. They request assistance with donations of perishable and non-perishable food so that they can continue to provide the learners with a healthy, nutritious meal. Contact: 082 967 6258, info@thepotatofoundation. co.za or visit thepotatofoundation.co.za President Kruger Children’s Homes A registered NPO that provides essential care to children (2–18 years old) who have been through traumatic experiences, providing them with a home in a stable environment in which they can grow to their full potential. They welcome monetary donations and volunteers to assist in the garden, help with homework or read to the children. Call ahead and find out what needs you can assist with. Venue: 31st Ave, Villieria. Contact Annatjie: 012 332 1366, pkkhuis@telkomsa. net or visit krugerkinderhuis.co.za Tshwane Place of Safety Association This association focuses on the needs of newborn babies and children up to the age of 6 years. They consist of a network of volunteer families who care for the little ones until their future is determined by the state and they are able to move on to their new home. They welcome financial donations and have an extensive needs list. Contact: 082 921 5365, almie@ placeofsafety.org.za or visit placeofsafety. yolasite.com
don’t miss out! For a free listing, email your event to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it to 011 234 4971. Information must be received by 28 February for the April issue, and must include all relevant details. No guarantee can be given that it will be published. To post an event online, visit childmag.co.za
itâ€™s party time For more help planning your childâ€™s party visit
branching out CASSANDRA SHAW recalls how travelling at a young age impacted her life and ultimately that of her son’s.
t’s amazing how much of an impact exposing your child to new and unusual things can have on them. Encouraging them to experience unfamiliar things or to visit different places can really ignite their curiosity and imagination. Taking them out of their everyday world creates the opportunity for you to open up their minds and to see what’s out there beyond their comfort zones. I remember when my parents took me to Hong Kong when I was five. My mom, being a chef, thought it important to expose me to different foods while we were there, and whenever we tried out a new restaurant, the waiters and waitresses would encourage me to eat something interesting like chicken’s
feet, tripe or snake soup – the latter I remember, to this day, not being overly keen on. It’s amazing though, that at such a young age, I was able to maintain so many memories from this trip. Sure, a lot of them were childlike, such as driving on a doubledecker bus, or visiting a massive toy store, but the overall experience really shaped my life. I instantly caught the travel bug; I have an appreciation for Chinese culture and I absolutely love dim sum. I see the same light appear in my son whenever we teach him something new, travel somewhere or take him someplace different. Like most children, he soaks up new experiences, whether it’s playing puttputt for the first time, travelling overseas
or spending time outdoors. He recently went on a camping trip with my husband and his family and when they got back he was talking a mile a minute about what he had done, seen and how much fun he’d had. He played outside with his cousins, explored the area and slept in a tent – the idea of which absolutely thrilled him. When it came time to sleep, he didn’t make a fuss and he didn’t try to put it off, he actually looked at my husband and said, “Dad, I’m tired, I think it’s time I went to sleep in the tent now, ok?” So, he did. He got up, went to the tent on his own and fell asleep. I can only imagine what was going through his mind at that moment: being in the dark, lying on the ground, and listening to the
sounds of the wild – all this just outside his temporary, A-frame, fabric home. But that’s the beauty of a family holiday; the experiences and memories that a child will have of them for the rest of their life. These things will shape them into who they want to be and inevitably play a part in what they teach or get their children to experience one day too. I don’t think I’ll get my son to try snake soup anytime soon, but I’ll certainly encourage him to travel or join me for some dim sum, whenever we get the chance. Having missed out on his first real camping trip, Cassandra’s keen on introducing her son to things she remembers about camping, like roasting marshmallows and eating s’mores.
PHOTOGRAPH: MENKE BONNEMA
Cassandra and her son
braaing at its best Master how to cook outdoors with JUSTIN BONELLO’s Roads Less Travelled: The Ultimate Braai Master Second Series.
By Bertus Basson Way back, when I first started filming my show Cooked, I made a dustbin pizza for my crew before we hit Splashy Fen music festival in the southern Drakensberg. That was my attempt at a braaied pizza. In a 45-gallon metal drum on top of two unglazed terracotta tiles, I had a makeshift pizza oven that baked delicious pizza in less than 15 minutes. This time round, Bertus (a pro at simple and delicious food) made pizza straight on the braai grid. I had my doubts, especially after all the effort I went to making a pizza oven using a dustbin, but admittedly have to swallow my words. So try this if you don’t have a dustbin lying around in your backyard. It’s way simpler. I love learning new tricks like this. Bertus uses the same basic bread dough recipe that I’ve used for years, so I guess in the world of outdoor pizza we’re even. Until next year…
By Andrew and Thando When you get to walk the Wild Coast foraging for food, one ingredient you’re bound to find are mussels. Can you imagine picking mussels and then preparing them right there on the beach while the sun is setting in the background? Life really doesn’t get any better than that. It’s simply perfect. Get out there and do it… but make sure you’ve got a permit before you do – available from the post office.
PHOTOGRAPHS: Louis Hiemstra & Dominique Little: Cooked in Africa Films
for the best pizza dough, you’ll need: • 500g white bread flour • a big pinch of salt • 10g yeast • 325ml warm water Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Activate and dissolve the yeast by placing it in another bowl and adding the warm water. Give it a stir, and sprinkle a handful of flour over the mixture to prevent the yeast from forming a crust. Leave the yeast mixture in a warm spot for about 10 minutes or until it begins to froth and gradually add it to the flour, mixing it well until it forms a dough. The only way to do this is with your hands. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour; if it’s too dry, add a splash more water, and so on. Knead for 10 minutes until the dough has a smooth, elastic consistency. Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface, place the dough on the flour and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave the dough to rise for about 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size. Sprinkle some flour on a clean working surface and tear off a fistsized piece of dough. Using your fingers or a rolling pin (or a bottle of wine) roll the dough out into your preferred size and shape – keeping in mind it can’t be bigger than your braai grid. The border can be slightly thicker if you like a thick crust pizza. Bertus didn’t do a tomato base, but used olive oil and sliced garlic instead. This is Bertus’s favourite topping, but the possibilities are endless, so go wild.
you’ll need: • olive oil, mixed with about 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced • mozzarella, sliced • red onion, thinly sliced • cherry tomatoes, halved • slices of Parma ham • fresh basil • rocket • Parmesan shavings • salt and cracked black pepper Take the pizza base and put it on a grid over moderate coals. Braai the base for a couple of minutes, or until the bottom is crispy and golden and the top starts bubbling. Flip the base over and brush the top with the garlicky olive oil. Take out a couple of the garlic slices and arrange them on top of the pizza. Next, scatter sliced mozzarella on the base – as much as you like. Reduce the heat of your coals slightly by scraping some to the side – the slow heat will give the mozzarella time to melt without burning the bottom of the pizza. Go ahead and drizzle some more garlicky olive oil onto the pizza, then once the cheese has melted, remove the pizza from the heat. Top with red onion, tomatoes, Parma ham, basil, rocket, Parmesan shavings and season with salt and black pepper. Cut into odd-sized slices and let your friends dig in (once you’ve had your slice). Then let them each make their own pizza.
you’ll need: • 1,5kg mussels, scrubbed clean, beards removed and soaked in salted water (or sea water) • a glug of olive oil • 1 onion, finely chopped • 2 garlic cloves, crushed • 3 red chillies, seeds removed and chopped • a chunk of ginger, grated • 2 teaspoons of green curry paste • 2 tablespoons of curry powder
• 2 tablespoons of garam masala • 1 tin of whole peeled tomatoes • 1 tin of coconut milk First up, steam the clean, beardless mussels until they open up. Toss the ones that didn’t open back into the ocean and set the open ones aside. Now, heat a potjie over moderate to hot coals, add a glug of olive oil and fry the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger until the onions are soft, then stir in the green curry paste. Next, chuck in all the spices, mix everything around and cook for another minute or two. Add the whole peeled tomatoes and once all the liquid has evaporated, pour in the coconut milk. Once the sauce starts to simmer, add the mussels and cook for about five minutes more. Take it off the heat and serve with freshly baked bread (great to mop up the sauce) or rice, good wine, great friends and a spectacular view of the ocean.
about the book This is the ultimate book for braai lovers. Authored by Justin Bonello, Bertus Basson, Marthinus Ferreira and written by Helena Lombard, Roads Less Travelled: The Ultimate Braai Master Second Series is filled with mouthwatering recipes like White Bean and Smoked Feta Soup, Carpetbagger and Fire-Baked Lemon Tart. It’s published by Penguin Books and can be found at all good bookstores for R230.