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I am a wife, mother, artist, blogger and now also a toy-maker from the Garden Route. Recently out of desperation I decided to create these Eco-conscious toys.

making a whole range of inner tube soft toys. Soon an elephant followed, after that a whale and now I made a rhino.

I named this project: Lobotoy-me.

I made some as gifts for friends and their kids, and after seeing the little ones appreciate them I started selling them at flea markets. I decided that with every sale/ order of the rhino (named Khutsi , after the orphaned calf of Suzi the First Rhino poached in Pilansberg.) , I will donate R10 per” Khutsi the rhino toy”, to the Pilansberg Wildlife Trust for their anti-Rhino poaching fund.

I consider myself a slightly mad scientist-artist and mother of two small boys who generate ideas from the frontal cortex. These days it requires brain surgery to put bread and butter on the table. Inspired by the artist Nicholas Hlobo, I also use inner tubing but unlike him I use different stitches and wool, thread, etc. instead of ribbon.

Kind regards, Hannalie Taute

My son turned 1 on the 8th of September and due to the economic situation these days, I did not know what to give him as a birthday present. I decided to make him a little toy... I got some inner tubes and cut it into a shape and stuffed it with some of his old clothes;“oh dear” aka “binneband-bambi” was born. I fell in love with the medium - since it is eco-conscious , non-toxic, durable and feels good. I decided to start Editor: What an inspiring story Hannalie – we wish you the best of luck! Readers, you’ll find info on how to order your LOBOTOY – ME TOYS in our FEEL GOOD GIFTS FOR KIDS spread in this edition!

We love your letters! Let us hear from you and you could win a YEAR’S SUBSCRIPTION to Survival Guide for Families Write to with the subject ‘Letter to the Editor” PAGE 5



Green Baby Tips - Part 3 By Joanne Austin of Mother Nature Products

Use Eco-Friendly Wet-Wipes, Nappy Bags, Change Mats and Nappy Liners

• Washable and reusable: Invest in cloth change mats and nappy bags. These can be washed in the machine.

The most common ingredients found in wipes, disposable change mats, nappy bags and some nappy liners are propylene glycol (a binder found in anti-freeze), synthetic fragrances (which have been linked to reproductive changes) and propyl parabens (linked to cancerous tumours).

Feed Baby Organic Food

While we can’t always avoid exposing our babies to these chemicals it’s a good idea to at least be aware of what products contain and try to reduce the amount of contact our babies have to these toxins. Apart from the chemical concoction, many disposable baby products are harmful to the environment because they result in excess waste and do not biodegrade. Here are a few eco- friendly alternatives: • Use washable and reusable cloth wet wipes and nappy liners. • Make your own natural wipes solution: 2 drops tea tree oil, 2 cups warm water. Another option: 1 cup chamomile strong tea, 2 teaspoons almond oil. Use a spray bottle to spray onto bottoms or the cloth wipe. • Use bio-degradable wet wipes and nappy liners. These still contain a binder but are at least 98% bio degradable. There are disposable wet wipes on the market which contain a blend of only natural ingredients.


The health of the planet and food are intricately linked. Simply put, “junk food” equals “junk” planet. This is in relation to how food is farmed, manufactured, packaged, delivered and discarded. When food is so cheaply made, you have got to ask, what’s in it? Organic baby-food avoids all the pesticides, colorants, preservatives and other additives that accumulate in your baby’s body. This makes organic food the most reassuring option. Organic farming protects animals and crops, encourages biodiversity and avoids adding fertilisers and pesticides into ecosystems - meaning food is grown in harmony with nature. • Avoid packaged and transported food by making your own. Making batches of baby’s first foods to freeze will reduce energy consumption. There are many recipes available. • Retain all the nutrition in your meals and reduce en ergy by cooking in a hotbox. While your food cooks you have time to spend with your baby rather than standing over a hot stove. • Back to basics: Grow some of your own vegetables and buy only seasonal, local, organic produce. • Avoid buying over-packaged food. • Add a filter to your kitchen tap for baby’s drinking water rather than bottled alternatives. • Recycle your food waste in a kitchen composter.

Offer Nature Friendly Toys and Play-time • We recommend buying natural knitted, material or wooden toys instead of plastic ones. • Wooden toys should be painted with lead free paint. • Power down: Avoid battery operated toys and use rechargeable batteries. Try solar toys! • Re-use: get second hand toys or books; use a library or borrow from friends. Use your recycling bits in your child’s art. Pots, pans, wooden spoons and brooms are baby’s best toys. Have a dress-up box with old clothes. Socks make great puppets. • Introducing your baby to nature leads to a more bal anced approach to life, calmer mood and stimulation of senses. A family walk outdoors (adhering to health and safety precautions of course) can also help a new mom relax and exercise. • Find toys in nature: safe stones, leaves, an interesting insect to study, flowers, water, drift wood etc. • Create a vegetable garden with your children. • Encourage eco- friendly behaviour and involve chil dren in chores such as participating in recycling from an early age.














The Safe and Comfortable way for all Babies and Toddlers to Sleep.



Baby Kaboosh sleeping bags completely replace traditional blankets and duvets. Our aim is simple: to provide top quality, ultra-safe products at affordable Travel Bag prices. All our Baby Kaboosh sleeping bags are of exceptional quality and are exclusively designed for Baby Kaboosh Slumbersac by Slumbersac UK. Lined with 100% pure cotton, they are all rigorously tested and can be both machine-washed and tumble-dried. All Baby Kaboosh sleeping bags come 100% Cotton with a FREE nursery thermometer to help you monitor room temperature. Baby Kaboosh sleeping bags come to you in three sizes to fit babies from Temperature birth up to and around 3 years. Thermometer Baby Kaboosh also offer a Travel sleeping bag - the back vent and double zip system in the front, allows easy and safe fitting of the buggy and car seat No More harness.


Tel No 044-3431493 PAGE 18




Resilience: re’sil’ience by Jeanne Fourie-Hattingh

1. Speedy recovery from problems. The ability to recover quickly from setbacks. 2. pliability, flexibility, elasticity The ability of matter to spring back quickly into shape after being bent, stretched or deformed. Jingle bells and Christmas lights … An exciting and festive season, but also a time of hurt, sadness or pure nostalgia. When the old year is casting its skin, preparing itself for new challenges, we usually take stock of the past twelve months. We laugh about some things we were once crying about and we bathe ourselves in happy memories. We also remember real pain, everyday stress, adjustments and small or big traumas. These are all part of everyone’s lives. How do I protect my family against it …? A father once wished upon his young son a life without pain and disappointment. The young boy’s response: “But don’t you wish me a full life?” The truth then is, we cannot protect our family from life happening, but we can guide them to be courageous and equipped to face it – resilient. Levine and Klein (Trauma-proofing your kids, 2008), compare the parent’s role in the child’s innate capacity to heal to a band aid: The band aid doesn’t heal the wound, but it protects and supports the body as it restores itself. The first step in guiding your family towards resilience is to become a resilient individual yourself. First check, modulate and work with your response to stress. Your family looks up at you to see if the world is still safe for them. So you will work just as hard as your kids. The following are games and exercises you can do with your family to tap into the body’s innate ability to promote psychological resilience, by deepening internal awareness . . . PAGE 22

• Identify and list various sensations with your child: fuzzy, calm, trembly, still etc. Label sensations as pleasurable, neutral, uncomfortable. Make your own sensations dictionary. • Explore different textures and weights on an object tray with closed eyes. Ask your child to notice how smooth / prickly feels on his skin or how his mus cles feel with different weights. Ask him to point to the place in his body where he notices the difference. List the different sensations. • Do the above with a tasting tray – explore textures, smells and tastes with closed eyes. • Explore bodily sensations in different situations – when excited, scared, angry, after the initial sensation wears off, ask where in his body he feels it, does it have a shape, size or colour, does it change or stay the same? • Use situations to teach your child that pain eventually changes into something else and it does not have to hurt forever. • Validate physical responses – when your child had a fright and is trembling, tell him it’s fine to be trembling so he can shake the fright right out of him. Be aware not to interrupt his process by asking him to quit crying. Trauma happens when a process is not completed.

• Talk about life experiences – ask your child the following day to tell you about a significant experience e.g. an intense tantrum, conflict with a friend, important exam. Ask him to tell you what happened and what feelings he experienced. Validate and tell him it’s fine to feel that and there are other people also feeling that way. Strong emotions can be released by storytelling, drawing, painting or clay. • Withstand uncomfortable emotions instead of distracting your child. Stay with your child and tell him it’s OK to cry, tremble, feel hurt, rejected. • Use puppets, miniature toys, dramatic play and dressup games to create psychological distance from problems and let your child express feelings and thoughts without inhibition. • Older children can make a collage or write a story, play or poem about it. • Clay, painting and drawing are also safe ways to explore feelings. • Visualize and explore a safe place – write it down or draw it. • Praise any positive actions in a stressful situation – I am so proud of you for doing that despite your fear. • When your child tends to freeze up, strike a blank – use any movement activity to get them out of that state. Play freeze – move with him.

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. Lance Armstrong


lida o h y Happ less. b God

Jeanne Fourie-Hattingh is a psychologist and workshop facilitator in private practice in George. She has obtained masters degrees in Early Childhood Intervention, as well as Psychology and has a special interest in adolescent and women psychology. Most of all, she is a proud mother. Contact details 044 874 1241 or PAGE 23



Revealing an exciting activity range from Toby Tower! Sharpening your child’s imagination with educational toys at young age has been proven by researchers to unleash their creative and intellectual potential. Creative thinking has become one of the highly regarded forms of intellect as it demonstrates the ability to solve problems and to create products that do not exist yet as well as new solutions to old problems. Toby Tower has just launched a new range of activity sets that are are exible enough to allow children to explore their creativity and also involve a set of instructions that must be followed in order to produce the ďŹ nal product. This subtly teaches kids how to follow instructions ensuring that your child learns that following instructions can be both fun and rewarding. These sets are a perfect way to keep your children creatively occupied during the upcoming holidays and make fantastic Christmas gifts too!

These great products are available at a

near you!


3D Mosaic

contents: 4 animal bodies 4 sets of animal accessories sticky colour mosaic tiles Step 1: peel

Step 2: stick


Fast Wheels

Colour your own


Step 3: assemble

Step 1: colour in

Step 2: clip in

Step 3: drive

contents: 12 colour markers 6 car models 12 wheels 12 wheel connectors

3D Mosaic

3D Wooden Scene

Fast Wheels


Garden Fairy

Colour Your Own

Foil Art


3D Wooden Scene

3D Princess Castle


Foil Art




contents: wooden construction pieces 6 acrylic paints paint brush

contents: adhesive cardboard castle 35 sheets of foil Step 1: peel

Step 2: rub

Step 3: lift

Step 4: assemble

Step 1: paint

Step 2: build

Step 3: play

Step 1: peel

Step 2: rub

Step 3: lift

Foil Art

3D Wooden Scene

Foil Art

3D Princess Castle



Sparkling Mosaic



Step 1: peel

Step 2: stick

Step 3: thread

contents: 4 fun shaped whiteboards 2 dry erase markers 960 sparkling mosaic tiles 96 mosaic gem stones colour ribbons

Sparkling Mosaic Whiteboard

Foam Art

Foam Art

Pirate Ship

Pony Ranch

  PAGE 26


contents: 6 posters 2 photo frames 2 door hangers 50 foil sheets



When does school readiness start? By Melodie de Jager

What is school readiness? It means that a child (between the age of 5 and 7) has developed a level of independence and a series of skills in readiness for formal schooling. Formal schooling means less play and more sitting still and doing work that requires a lot of abstract thinking. Abstract thinking? This means to be able to know stuff and learn new stuff that is not real. What is ‘stuff’? This means that somewhere between the age of 5 and 7 a child can tell left from right without hesitation; can move objects in space (next to, behind, under, in between etc), can recognise shapes and colours without missing a beat and can do play with numbers up to 6 without needing to touch count to know the answer. Abstract stuff also refers to knowing concepts like rough and smooth, big and small, more and less etc. It also means understanding time and using words like yesterday and tomorrow in context instead of saying: ‘I am going to visit granny yesterday.’

Is school readiness important? Oh yes it is, because a child who is entering grade 1 without the needed skills is set up to fail, because the wonderful world of letters and numbers, of literacy and numeracy of writing and reading his/her own writing is a world that is only accessible to those children with a whole series of pre-reading and writing skills. Ready children dig into letters and numbers and writing as if it is a huge adventure, but those who are not ready are scared, get sore tummies, get clingy and tearful and start doubting themselves.

When does school readiness start? School readiness starts at the moment of conception, followed by a smooth birth and baby reaching each milestone in sequence within the suggested time frame. What does pregnancy, birth and milestones have to do with schoolreadiness? Pregnancy, birth and milestones have the same correlation with school readiness as school readiness with grade 12 results – the one impacts on the other.

School readiness is brought about by many factors, such as: • Health • Age appropriate playful stimulation • Good language role models • Physical, emotional, social and cognitive development.

A baby’s early development and milestones are important indicators for letting us know if baby’s brain and body is unfolding the way nature intended it to unfold. The unfolding process is orderly and structured and driven by a set of primitive reflexes. Each of these reflexes is responsible for building a part of the brain and sensory-motor system – this helps information to travel from the senses to the brain and then on to the muscles so baby can respond by suckling, rolling, sitting, crawling, walking, waving, clapping hands and blowing out his only candle on his first birthday. If these reflexes do not complete their pathways, a developmental crack appears, which delays baby’s development. If it goes unchecked, a parent might just see it as : ‘this is just Sam, he does things his own way’. But Sam will not grow out of it, Sam needs to complete the basic wiring before Sam can sit still, can develop emotionally, socially and intellectually.

A child that is not ready enters an arena where every day is a battle, where he/she feels he doesn’t belong, where he cries, throws a tantrum or tries to clown or talk his way out of every situation. Such a child is sentenced to 12 years of hard labour and many extra lessons when other children are playing or having fun with their friends.

These factors help a child to become ready, while a child who cannot see or hear well, who is over-active, sick or who has not developed fully yet, may not be ready at the expected time and may need help to get ready for school. How would I know if my child is ready? It is best to talk to the teacher and ask for feedback but also to have your child assessed by a person who is qualified to assess school readiness if you want to be sure. Here are a few quick pointers to screen a child’s level of readiness: A child needs to be ready on 4 levels: physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually. PHYSICAL READINESS The child who is physically ready can skip and gallop, skip using a skipping rope (boys and girls), tie his or her own shoe laces, comfortably use a pencil or scissors to stay on or between the lines, and can sit still and upright for at least 10 minutes, while paying attention. A physically mature child is able to listen the first time PAGE 29

The child who is not ready physically still has a great need to play. He may seems clumsy, have low muscle tone, poor co-ordination, can’t sit still and concentrate for at least 10 minutes, dislikes physical games and sport, has problems with balance, crossing the midline, ball skills, pencil grip, cutting, drawing, task completion and often complains of a sore tummy before school.

The child who is not ready socially finds it difficult to share, to take turns and to play a game with rules or a dice. He may also battle to make friends his own age and would rather play with younger children or children a few years older than him. In an attempt to cover his discomfort when with other children he may behave like a bully, a ‘poor me’ or a clown and when he doesn’t get his own way throw tantrums. When a child’s feelings are overwhelming, this thinking is clouded. When a child’s thinking is clouded, learning to read and write can be a huge battle.



Emotional and social readiness develop simultaneously. As soon as the child can function independently, he starts developing a positive self-image, selfconfidence and the ability to assert himself. These skills create a feeling of security, which fosters healthy risk taking, as well as an eagerness to learn and make friends.

Intellectual readiness implies that the child has developed an adequate vocabulary to communicate his feelings and thoughts clearly to other people. A child who is school ready can distinguish between left and right, understands spatial concepts such as above/below/in front of/behind/in between, as well as mathematical concepts such as more/less/bigger/smaller and numbers. This child can make sense of what he sees and hears, can think about it, can make a plan and can react in a meaningful and appropriate manner. He or she can answer WHY questions, e.g. Why are wheels not made from glass? Why can’t we touch the sun?

and follow instructions. He can look after his own belongings, can dress himself, use the toilet without any help and make his own sandwich.

The child who is not ready emotionally tends to be overly emotional, clingy, is still sucking (thumb, dummy, bottle) beyond 3 years, bites nails, chews clothes or hair, wets the bed when older than 5, constantly needs reassurance and instructions to be repeated before he can act, has poor impulse control (cannot wait), wants to play not work and does not accept NO without a fuss. A child that is not emotionally ready, finds making friends difficult and working in a group close to impossible.

A child that is not ready intellectually is not a ‘dumb child’ or necessarily lacking in intelligence, he may just not have enough vocabulary to understand an instruction or have the vocabulary to ask questions or may just have been lacking opportunities to develop his or her thinking skills. If the six-year-old child does not have fundamental control over both general and discriminative movements, he will find it difficult, if not impossible, to move his eyes across the page, look up and down from the chalkboard to his paper, hold a pencil, or compete in play with his peers....If bodily movement is well under control, children can expend minimum energy on the physical movements of the task and maximum energy on the thinking related solution. Hans Furth & Harry Wachs. Developmental cracks can be prevented. Developmental cracks can be fixed later too, but prevention is always better and much cheaper than cure.

De Jager,M. 2011. Brain development MILESTONES & learning – BabyGym & Mind Moves brain boosters. Johannesburg: BabyGym Institute.



Stings, Bites, Poisons and Spikes PART 2:

Dealing with Blue Bottles and Jelly Fish By Tom Van der Zee

With summer now in full swing, many of us have planned a family beach holiday. Blue-bottles and jellyfish are two sea creatures that could put a damper on your kids’ holiday. Knowing how to recognise, avoid and treat their stings will go a long way to avoiding tears! Tom van der Zee, author of Stings, Bites, Poisons and Spikes, gives a little advice from his book. Blue-bottles are easy to see once they have washed up onto the beach. They look a bit like a miniature blue sailing ship complete with a sail, hence their nickname ‘Portuguese Man o’ War’. The characteristic ‘bag’ enables the blue-bottle to sail and it can deflate so that the blue-bottle can sink to avoid predators. In the water they are very difficult to spot and kids often don’t know what has stung them even once it has happened. Blue-bottles are carried by the wind as it fills the sail. Ask locals at your beach which wind brings the bluebottles and avoid swimming when the wind blows from that direction.

The tentacles are a separate organism and these are the danger area for humans. They are lined with nematocysts which inject venom if we come into contact with them. Typically the tentacles grow to about 1-2m in length, but sometimes much longer. A sting from a blue-bottle will bring up a whip-lash shaped welt that is very painful. Without treatment the pain will usually subside after about an hour. Remember that detached stings from blue-bottles can still sting for a few hours after they are detached – this is because they are separate organisms that can live on their own for a short while. To treat blue-bottle stings, first remove the tentacles – not with fingers as this will only cause the nematocysts to inject their remaining poison – with a knife slid between the skin and the tentacle. It is important not to use vinegar as one might for a jellyfish sting – this would only worsen the sting. Rather bathe the skin in sea water and then in warm or hot water to treat the pain. You can also apply a topical analgesic cream for fast relief. Jellyfish are also relatively common off South African beaches. Walk along the high tide mark after a storm and you are likely to see lumps of a more or less transparent jelly-like substance. These are pieces of washed up jellyfish that were destroyed by the action of the waves. While swimming, look out for live jellyfish floating in the breakers ahead of you. They will often look like plastic bags, but if you look closely you may be able to make out the typical bell shape. Don’t go close to a jellyfish to investigate. Their stinging tentacles are not easy to spot in the water, and they can trail for meters around the body of the jellyfish. Like blue-bottles, jellyfish are largely at the mercy of the currents and the winds so be careful if the wind is blowing from the wrong direction.


Jellyfish stings look a lot like those of blue-bottles and if left untreated the welt will be painful for anything between 1 and 12 hours, and will disappear within 1-2 weeks. In extreme cases there may be some scarring. As with blue-bottles, use a knife to remove any stings left clinging to your child’s skin. Then rinse the area with sea water (fresh water may cause the tentacles to inject more venom), and finally immerse the wound in hot water. Hot water should be as hot as the victim can bear without scalding them. Vinegar is a controversial remedy for jellyfish stings so try it if you like. At worst it won’t work. (Never use vinegar on a blue-bottle sting as this will make it worse). You can also apply a topical analgesic cream for fast relief. Multiple blue-bottle or jellyfish stings may require hospitalisation, and some people are particularly sensitive even to a single sting. They may experience fever, heart and lung failure, and even death – although this type of reaction is extremely rare. Watch out for a red streak appearing moving from the sting to the lymph nodes. This is one sign that the reaction is worse than normal. Two other sea creatures featured in Stings, Bites, Poisons and Spikes are stonefish and sea urchins. Stonefish are very poisonous and excruciatingly painful if stepped on, and sea urchins can cause pain and infection.

Order a copy of the book Stings, Bites, Poisons and Spikes for only R60 excl postage (normal retail price R70) by emailing tomvanderzee@ You are welcome to email Tom for more info these and also land creatures like snakes, spiders and scorpions. PAGE 33



Available at Green Cross stores, selected pharmacies and specialist stores. PAGE 35


Bath your kids to better Behaviour by eradicating the ADD / ADHD Epidemic Written by Theri Rossouw - Owner and Creator of Therific Naturals - Over the past few years, more and more children are being labeled ADD / ADHD. More adults are suffering from or being diagnosed with modern day illnesses such as kidney stones, stress, migraines and insomnia. Studies carried out over the past few years have shown that people who suffer from so many of the modern day illnesses are actually found to be deficient in Magnesium and / or Sulphate. How does the deficiency affect us negatively? Simple, most modern day foods are intoxicated with preservatives, flavourants and colourants – things that are bodies do not need. This toxic build up along with insufficient Magnesium and Sulphate levels is what causes most of the modern day illnesses including hyperactivity. Research carried out by Dr. Rosmary Waring in the UK found that by simply bathing with a cup or two of Magnesium Sulphate added to your bath could almost instantly increase the deficient levels and at the same time start to rectify the symptoms experienced from the deficiency. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory. It is a crucial element for brain development and growth and it assists in the absorption of Calcium. Magnesium also helps prevent blood clots and hardening of the arteries. Sulphate assists with the flushing out of toxins from our bodies that are ingested from modern foods and also assists with nutrient absorption. In its natural state, Magnesium Sulphate added to bath water can dry your skin out. It has been suggested that one add a drop or two of baby oil however its prevents you from washing hair, leaves a ring around the bath and is not safe for kids as they can slip and fall. Therific Naturals has created an exquisite range of FOAMING and FRAGRANCED Magnesium Sulphate bath salts that are fun to use, create an abundance of bubbles, don’t dry the skin or leave rings around the bath and most importantly can be used safely in pregnancy, new born’s, children, adults and even people with eczema or sensitive skin. The Magnesium Sulphate Bath Salts are available in both kids and adult fragrances.





Visit our website for more Cooking Kits

For more information contact: Lizelle 082 826 1786 PAGE 40

STRESS AND CHILDREN We live in a society where caring parents will go to extraordinary lengths to develop their children’s intellectual abilities and spend a small fortune on all kinds of extra-curricular activities, ranging from art to sports. But how do you prepare your child for coping with life itself? Childhood should not be stressful but in today’s culture, stress in children is becoming more and more frequent. With the pressures of school, sports, and all that the media throws at our children, it’s pretty clear how a child can quickly feel overwhelmed! As parents, we need to be aware of what our children are feeling. We need to be connected and spend enough time with our child in order to see the signs of stress in our kids. If you believe your child could be experiencing stress, consider the following: What are some sources of stress in children? Changes and situations in family dynamics, school, friends, an overabundance of activities, not enough down-time or creative outlets, too much TV, social pressures, low self-esteem, separation from parents, or other sources unique to your child. What are some symptoms of stress in children? While it may be difficult to recognize symptoms of stress in children, below are some symptoms that may alert you to stress:

By Michelle Schoon

mately become as individuals, are all products of their thinking. We can help our children overcome their doubts and fears by using the power of words. The key is to show them how they can change the negative words inside their heads into positive verbal suggestions. On the Stress Free Kids course, we empower today’s children to be active participants in creating their own healthy, calm, peaceful lives. Repetition and practice insure that the empowering techniques of affirmations, visualisations and breathing are integrated into their lives. Children need to have some quiet time to discover themselves and choose how they would like to manage themselves and their emotions. Emotional intelligence is becoming increasingly one of the most valuable tools any human can have. It has been said that we spend the first 20 - 30 years burying our feelings and the next 2030 years trying to deal with them. Why not encourage our children to change these patterns? For more information on Stress Free Kids A Course For Children For Life, please visit

Mood swings, sleep pattern changes, acting out, bed wetting, frequent stomach aches and headaches, trouble concentrating, incomplete schoolwork, a change in academic performance, and/or withdrawing or isolating oneself. Some children may start lying, defying authority, or bullying other children while others may suffer from nightmares, clinging to their parents, or overreacting to what are simply small problems. Very young children may begin new habits such as hair twirling, picking their nose, sucking their thumb, or other regressive behaviours. Stress is one of the greatest threats to all life on earth. We may not be able to change the stressful situations in life but we can change how we cope with them. We can change our thoughts. Thoughts are the most powerful forces in a child’s universe. The thoughts children think each day influence every aspect of their lives. Their attitudes, choices, personality, and who they ultiPAGE 41

Party Venues About Country Parties, Muldersdrift: outdoor farm type venue in the country with loads of space and great facilities for the children to be entertained. Adventure Ranch, Pretoria: fun filled activities to suit all party options Annelize’s Kinderland Party Venue, Pretoria: indoor & outdoor party place offering a full one stop party service. Aquila Corner, Pretoria: a party venue and coffee shop available in a secure garden setting. Boot Camp SA™, JHB/PTA: the ultimate in kid’s parties - guaranteed to be “The best birthday party you and your child will ever have”! Clamber Club, JHB/PTA: parties are filled with wholesome, healthy, happy fun filled activities to keep active children entertained. Crackerjack, Rivonia: an exciting upmarket & personalised ONE STOP SHOP party experience venue. Croc City, Fourways: a chance to interact with some of nature’s most wonderful reptiles as well as opportunity to relax while kids enjoy themselves at the play area. Dive Centre - Urban Kids Scuba Parties, Northcliff: an awesome way to wow your friends, we provide a fully catered Scuba parPAGE 42

Your ultimate party guide for venues and party related businesses such as jumping castles, cakes & catering, party packs, photographers & more. Also featuring a Things to Do section and coming soon a list of Kid-friendly Restaurants.... ty at our Island style Dive Centre. Elfs Hill, Chartwell: a secure Party Venue with all the playground equipment needed to keep kids entertained & parents relaxed on patio overlooking the spacious party yard. The Enchanted Castle, Muldersdrift: Themed parties & Party Venue Turning your child’s fantasy into a reality! Esperanza Riding Club & Party Venue, Pretoria provides a fantastic party venue with a farm atmosphere. This venue also has an adventure area.

clusive party venue offering a peaceful setting for the adults and an entertainment haven for children. Friendly Pets Farmyard, Randburg a real fun party farm experience as the children get to feel, hold and feed some of the animals Great playground also available. Frogs n Freckles, Roodepoort: Offers a party venue that combines a multitude of exciting facilities with a spectacular outdoor environment.

Faerie Folk, Pretoria - Our garden, beautiful and tranquil, is the perfect setting for a fantasy party.

Gecko Party Venue, Midrand: Discover the magical world of gemstones! A fun filled venue with a great open air coffee shop overlooking the gem scratch patch & play area.

Fantasy Mini Town, Pretoria A simulation of real town streets with road signs, actual working traffic robots, street lights, fantasy houses to play in.

Hobos Hide Partyland, Muldersdrift: Come enjoy the view from our wooden deck and thatched lapa while watching your kids be entertained .

Fantasy Park, Fourways: A huge secure party venue with loads of space and enter-tainment options with a real plane on the premises that children can play in.

Imagine The Venue, Fourways: is set on a spacious 1500m2 Garden and boasts a secret forest with a Wendy house and an adventure jungle gym and much much more.

Farmyard Frendz, Northriding: Children can pet a variety of different farm animals, ride on a tractor train as well as enjoy a great play area.

Kid-e-up Party Yard, Kyalami: offers you and your kid’s amazing facilities for an awesome party. Safe & Secure. Special features include a Pizza “hut”.

Feathers & Fur Party Farmyard, Kempton Park: is a secure and ex-

Kiddy Up, Linbro Park: A fantastic farm environment. It has a fantas-

tic and secure play area together with convenient catering facilities make this an ideal party venue. Kinglets & Queenies, Krugersdorp: is a magical kingdom with 4 different party sections to choose from, each with its own unique features. Laser paintball Parties, Pretoria: is a fun, safe and exciting game. It is a concept of paintball without the pain. Lilliput, Kyalami: magical party venue with two great jungle gyms, a Gnome and fairy fantasy garden where the children are free to use their imagination. Little Feet Party Venue, Benoni: is an ideal indoor party place for your child’s dream party. Kids can play, climb, slide and just have loads of fun. Loving Moments Party Venue, Benoni: offers various activities i.e. two jumping castles to choose from, space for children to play as well as a creative corner. Maddy Magoo, West Rand: Situated right next door to Papachino’s, you can happily enjoy a long lunch, rest assured that your birthday girl and her friends are being treated like royalty! Marmalade Party Venue, Fourways: A beautiful venue specialising in themed children’s parties but pride ourselves on creating an unforgettable experience for

moms and tots alike. Old McDonald’s Party Farm, Lanseria is tons of fun, tons of space & loads of animals!! Oopsy Daisy Kiddies Craft & Party Venue, Benoni: Fully equipped craft class, a beautiful & lush garden for kids to play in with Playgym, jumping castle, trampoline & more. Planet Party, Linbro Park: A secure and fun filled party venue offeing the kids full entertainment with a variety of playground equipment to keep them amused. Polka Dot Art Studio, Parkhurst: art & crafts are not only fun, but educational as well. Pop Idols Party @ Wired Sound Studios, Parktown North offers a 2 hour party which takes place at a sound studio. Rhino Lion Park, Krugersdorp Has a secure and safe play area offering 5 colourful jumping castles, foofy slide, maizes and an obstacle course. The Ski Deck, Ferndale offers all the fun of bum-boarding, slope surfing and sliding down the 20m long slope. It also boasts a lovely garden setting for your child’s birthday party or company function with jungle gym and trampoline.

Swartkrans Go-Kart, West Rand has A 700-meter track, longest and most exciting track. The Mighty Jungle Party Place, Bedfordview is an outdoor playground with a wide variety of play equipment i.e. seated foefie slide, bike track, merry-go-round & more. The Party Shed, Benoni: We offer a wide range of activities and custom party packages for children aged 1-8 years. The Party Yard, Centurion: is a secure and safe party venue, guarenteed to keep your children entertained with FREE train rides on Thomas the Train, biking fun and lots more. Traffic Land Parties @ Mugg n Bean, Fourways offers a unique experience for both boys and girls to drive their own battery operated vehicles around a laid out track complete with traffic lights, road signs and a traffic officer. Triba Family Wellness, Craighall: Our sensory garden has become the most sought after venue for catered baby showers and private lunches, whilst children’s birthday parties are a dream! Tweedles Party Venue, Northriding: is a secure venue with a range of activities to keep the children having fun. The venue also boasts a pool with Zorb Balls and has an indoor option for those rainy days. PAGE 43

Happy Holiday Eating! by Maryke van Zyl Having children at home during the festive season means snacking and often increased intake of treats. Unfortunately, most holiday snacks are far from healthy. Rather than overindulging in chocolate, cookies or sweets, help your children focus on healthier options. Luckily the lovely summer weather in South Africa means that healthy snacking is easy! And it’s a great time to talk about and teach kids about food.

add whole oats or oat bran, and replace half of the oil or butter required in a recipe with applesauce or juice. Use low-fat milk or yoghurt, if required. Use festive cookie cutters to cut these into exciting shapes. Decorate with a combination of low fat cottage cheese and icing sugar, or fruit and nut butters!

Instead of the notoriously fat and kilojoule laden Christmas treats and desserts, try the following fresh ideas to keep your kids happy and healthy!

Dried fruits are traditional holiday foods. Christmas mince pies, Christmas pudding and fruit cake are part of traditional Christmas fair. The following easily-prepared treat is a classic, and one that even the youngest child can help to make.

Vegetables and Fruits in Festive Shapes

Stuffed dates

It’s easy to get your 5-a-day in during the summer season. Fruit is also probably the simplest and healthiest sweet snack kids can have. To make it festive, choose fruits in colours that match the holiday season: reds, yellows and greens. Use cookie cutters in the shape of Christmas trees, stars or stockings, to cut hard fruits like apples. Present them on a tray and give your children peanut butter or fruit puree to “paint” on the fruits. Add cherries, chopped nuts and seeds, or other colourful fresh or dried fruits to the tray.

What you need: Whole dates (pits removed) & walnut halves or any chopped nut Simple directions: Slide walnut halves into the slits on each date. Squeeze the date flesh around the nut. Arrange the stuffed dates on a serving plate.

Also try ‘Reindeer food’ – vegetables (cucumber, carrot, rosa tomato) crudités and serve this with yummy dips like red pepper hummus, yoghurt based tzatziki or cottage cheese mixed with herbs and spices!

- Fruit kebabs dipped in berry sauce - Frozen low fat fruit yogurt on a stick - Home made, air popped popcorn - Oven baked sweet potato wedges dipped in a home made tomato sauce* - Banana ice cream (freeze ripe bananas and blend with a dash of low fat milk in a blender! Voila! Banana ice cream). Serve with melted carob - Snoek, salmon or hummus pate on mini rice cakes

Healthy Homemade Cookies

Serve with plain yoghurt topped with a sprinkling of brown sugar as a dip.

More snack and treat ideas:

Homemade tomato sauce:

Making your own home made cookies can be fun! And by substituting conventional ingredients with healthier options, you can turn a sugar and fat laden treat into a ‘not – too - bad’ holiday treat. Use a combination of whole-wheat flour and Pronutro instead of white flour, PAGE 44

- Fry one chopped onion in 1tsp canola oil until transparent - Place one can of whole pealed tomatoes in a pot with ½ tsp of sugar and dried basil. Bring to a boil and simmer until the fluid has reduced to half. Serve with sweet potato or potato wedges.

Reference list: Steenkamp, G Merlin, T and Wellman J. Sustained Energy for Kids. Tafelberg publishers 2006 Maryke van Zyl is a registered dietician with a BSc Dietetics and Masters in Nutrition degree from Stellenbosch University. She is an active member of the Association for Dietetics in South Africa and registered with the South African Health Professions Council. She has eight years combined experience in disease specific nutrition, research and practice management. Maryke is a passionate foodie, especially related to customer health and wellbeing

If you have any concerns or questions about feeding your child, give your dietitian a call to get some ideas and practical advice on meeting your child’s nutritional needs or visit



Eating plans created by Specialist Dieticians: • • • • • •

Pregnancy Breastfeeding Introduction of solids 6 months to 4 year olds Lunch box ideas Healthy snacks and treats

Downloadable menus • 012 995 4400 PAGE 45 +27110228680 PAGE 46

Reel Gardening is a simple, cost-effective and convenient means for everyone to grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers from seed. Reel Gardening is a biodegradable paper strip that encases seeds with fertiliser at the correct depth and distance apart. Now you can buy your seeds per the meter.All you need is a little water!



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Converting Different Video and Audio Mediums to CD or DVD


Secret Role Models Parents intending to send their kids to camp sometimes have difficulty accepting the idea that a teenager can fulfil the role of leader, teacher or surrogate parent. This is understandable as many parents did not have an opportunity to attend camp themselves when they were kids. I can recall an incident involving a new 8 year old camper of mine. The family had never been to camp and everything was new and daunting. The mom looked quite worried and flustered and was convinced this was not the place for her child. I spent some time explaining how the program works, encouraged her to speak to some of the past camper parents that were hanging around and assured her that many of the counselors were past campers themselves. Her daughter did not share her mother’s concerns. She had already found a group of girls chatting and was eagerly discussing fun camp stuff with her new found friends. After a lengthy conversation in the office, we managed to pinpoint the mom’s concerns. This was her daughter’s first time away from home and she felt that the counselors should older and more experienced.

vorced are normal challenges in a camp counselor’s day. In a short time, an experienced counselor creates a happy, co-operative, caring group of friends from a bunch of strangers. Counselors assist timid, homesick campers to become more independent and confident. They teach skills that children can continue to implement in years to come. So, while it may not be easy to pack your child’s suitcase, hug them tightly, and load them on a bus to send them off to camp for a week or more without you, many feel the camp experience is important because,“Children need to learn to trust adults outside of their family and to feel safe outside home. They need good strong role models, who are willing to give of their time, all the time - especially in today’s media driven society.”

Research shows that many kids find the opportunity to make friends at school limited because all your classmates are of the same age. However, at camp it is possible to interact and develop friendships with kids of all ages and young adults as well. Youthful camp staff are often brilliant role models for kids. Outsiders may think that working at camp means playing games all day. Although a counselor’s job is usually fun, at times it can be difficult and demanding. It requires specialised qualifications and talents. Camp counselors are skilled, fun-loving, caring young people who enthusiastically accept responsibility for a group of children twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Coping with a young camper who has wet his bed, monitoring the diet of a child with a peanut allergy or supporting a teen whose parents have just diPAGE 49

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Discover Permaculture

and reap the benefits for a lifetime! By Helen Buchanan of Plan4Green

So what is Permaculture? Perhaps it would be a little easier to understand if it were called ‘Natural Agriculture’. To me it is about observing natural ecosystems at work and doing your best to learn from nature. Nature is the ultimate recycler; there is no waste, everything has a purpose. Observe the patterns and design in nature, and then mimic her design in your garden. Design is the keyword. A good design won’t take much effort, is sustainable, mostly looks after itself, is beautiful and attracts wildlife. What a privilege it was to take part in the very first permaculture workshop given by Permaculture South Africa’s new home, the Outeniqua Trout Lodge, which is tucked away in the tranquil beauty of the Outeniqua Mountains. The workshop is run by Hazel and Andrew Mugford, who are delightful, easy going earth people who were well informed and eager to share their extensive knowledge, as well as being fun to be with. We were introduced to the Mandala and Labyrinth garden which we learned was only 6 weeks in the making. It was amazing to see what could be achieved in so little time. Easy when you know how! We dug the soil, built compost heaps, made an Aframe , built a swale, built vegetable beds, made potting soil, planted seed and plants, took cuttings and learned about earthworms and their Vermi‘Gold’.

Then Hazel’s favourite... The Mandala Dome planting system which allows her beloved Chickens to do all the hard work of preparing the soil for planting. Yes, you hardly do anything to prepare the soil for planting, it is simply fabulous! Then probably the most important of all is to plan your garden “going from plan to detail… the details follow effortlessly”. How wonderful it was to be even a very tiny part of this fabulous pioneering team who were sharing so generously. To spend time with nature, witnessing and learning from her wisdom! And slowly but surely, with careful observation it is plain to see that we all have our role to play in order to be in line with what nature intended. Yes, even the weeds are doing a most amazing job of balancing, replenishing and protecting! Now I can’t wait to show my grand-children how to make seed trays out of newspaper... And plan my own food forest...

Hazel & Andrew Mugford will provide the inspiration and information needed to create a productive food system, catered to your family needs. To view their exciting courses visit and or further information contact them at





Green Gifts for Family Survival! by Michelle Garforth-Venter

If you’re into re-thinking how we make merry, and not throwing the green rules out the window when it’s party time, here are a couple of thoughts on excellent eco-etiquette this coming festive season. I’m into buying local wines bottled in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) making the empties fully recyclable. South Africa’s 1st carbon-neutral wine estate, Backsberg have a quality range named ’Treading Lightly’ that are delicious, and weighing in at 50 grams and not the usual 400 grams per 750 ml capacity like the glass bottles, they come with a lower carbon footprint. Body-care products are always a winner, and locally produced ESSE Products are one of my favourites committed to using as many indigenous plants as possible, with all factory by-products recycled & 5% of their net profit ploughed back into biodiversity preservation, they are a company who ‘get’ the big, green picture.

In keeping with eating seasonal produce, a new discovery of mine which is fast becoming all the green-rage, are the organic Food-Box Schemes. Small-scale farmers deliver to your door-step a weekly box of fresh veg and herbs – I’m sure buying a friend a few months’ worth of Mother Nature’s healthy wares couldn’t go amiss for many families! And if you have friends who are still buying plastic shopping bags, then a re-usable carrier bag is a long lasting gift – go for sturdy materials like jute or hemp to keep it all really sustainable! And while we on the subject of food, you could create a package of goodies that include some of the following: Good-for-the-Ground Biodegradable Compostable film bag. Locally made, & when the storage bag has lived its life storing bread, freezer items and wrapping sandwiches, you simply toss them on your compost heap. And a firm-favourite are the Reel Gardening Seeds available at most big nursery chains nationwide. If you want to start a vegetable patch then these biodegradable paper strips that encase seeds with fertilizer and are placed at the correct depth & distance apart are perfect for an easy, no-fuss start up. Biopots are also available at most nursery’s and are clay planters mixed with recycled wood shavings & cardboard that offer a higher water retention for the roots. And the best part is that your potted-plants can be transferred to bigger soil-beds, pot & all, placing directly into the ground avoiding any disturbance to the roots. For my darling husband who makes the BEST Ice-Tea in the world, a selection of herbs that will inspire recipes to make even more yummy ice-teas & infusions for hot summer days is definitely on my list when doing the nursery shop. PAGE 59

How awesome would a beautiful family moment be to plant a future BIG Tree that becomes the boughs that hold a tree-house for your grand-children still to come? Now that’s thinking ahead! Cement the occasion with a group photo next to the newly planted little tree, and after years of growth, the archived photo will be a wonderful memory documenting your family-tree or family-history. Adopting a penguin from the SANCCOB website is always a good idea, although you are unlikely to ever meet face to beak, you can name your penguin (Patricia de Lille named her penguin ‘Zuma’!) and your contribution will pay for the lucky birds rehabilitation and release back into the wild at a suitable colony along the South African coastline. SANCCOB send you a certificate of adoption, along with a photo of your feathered friend - and with the African Penguin’s extinction date projected as 2025, this is a gift worth thinking about. Because of the large quantities of ink used in printing wrapping paper, not to mention the production of the paper itself is a tad energy intensive, be creative when wrapping and perhaps use newspaper with bright coloured ribbon (saved from a prior gift) or use raffia ribbon instead of synthetic. There are also loads of recycling companies offering up their creativity, such as re-working elephant poop into paper! Or forget the paper and cut up old T-Shirts or any material items to use as wrapping - material serviette tied up string are great. Or how about using that material shopping-bag that the lucky recipient can then reuse for grocery purchases – and hopefully NOT returning the gift?

Happy Green Holidays to you and

your family!

When she is not in the bush, on assignment or strategising television productions that make the public sit up and think, Michelle and her husband, Riaan Garforth-Venter are educating and campaigning for conservation education, both with animals and eco - environmental issues.

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P h o n e 07 3 251 7 1 4 7

Gauteng Summer 2011 Family Survival Guide  

For the good of our children and our world

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