Posted in Brands we love, Family Life, Fun Mamma SA Toy of the Week, Parenting

What you need to know about Nerf blasters for younger children

As parents we took a stand to not let Hamish play with guns.

As he has gotten older and his comprehension has grown we have relaxed that rule to not letting him play with guns that look realistic and to include educating him in the very real dangers a gun can possess.

Boy toys

As much as we, as a society of parents,have started to move to a more open minded parenting culture many of our children’s toy manufacturers still have a vast amount of violent and traditional toys aimed at boys.

Shops are still divided into boy and girl sides with the boy shelves full of guns, army men and play sets that involve harming others.

It is also natural that many family members and friends still gravitate towards these gifts when buying for boys.

Nerf guns

This led me to openly look at what type of toy guns we could allow.

Bright blue, green and yellow water guns seemed safe and then I saw his eyes dart towards the nerf blasters.

These certainly don’t look like real guns but are they safe for small kids ?

What is a nerf gun?

A nerf blaster is a colourful toy blaster made by Hasbro that uses soft foam darts to shoot.

What does Nerf stand for?

I was confused as to why it was called a Nerf blaster but it seems the term describes the foam darts. Nerf stands for Non- expanding recreational foam.

At what age can a child play with a nerf gun?

The core Nerf range is suited for children aged 7+Although, Nerf have developed a range designed for an older market of 14+ (Nerf Rival)

I was interested to discover that they also have elements for a younger audiences including Nerf Nitro and the Nerf Microshot series.

Each Nerf product has a suggested age suitability on the packaging to guide you, the parent, in making an educated choice as to which blasters are recommended to suit your child’s age.

Which Nerf product would be best for a 4 or 5 year old?

For younger kids the smaller more compact models would be better suited as they are easier and more comfortable for them to manage and handle.

The Nerf Nitro has a recommended age from 5 years and comes with cars to act as targets for your child to shoot at. This is definitely the Nerf blaster we would look at for Hamish.

What safety precautions do we need to take with a Nerf blaster?

Nerf blasters are relatively safe. They have few movable components, limited power and shoot foam darts.

But as with any toy that could hurt someone, however slightly, it might be best to teach younger children:

  • Not to look down the barrel of the blaster
  • Keep the blaster pointed down and your finger off the trigger if not shooting
  • Don’t leave the blaster lying about loaded
  • Never shoot someone in the face
  • Never shoot at animals
  • Wear safety glasses

Final thoughts

I mostly like that this toy “gun” is known as a blaster allowing children to identify with it being a toy straight away.

I also like that the manufacturers have ensured that there are age restrictions to the blasters and that most sites I visited spoke of the Nerf blaster as a safe toy.

I like that the blasters are brightly coloured and even discovered a pink one on Amazon.

Overall, i can see that Nerf blasters encourage children to play with each other, providing action-packed and safe fun, indoors and outdoors.

Would I let Hamish get one?

Yes.

Being little though I would only encourage to him aim at inanimate targets and naturally teach him set of rules for play.

I think Nerf wars seem like good fun as he gets older. ( with the correct safety eye wear) and I can actually see my older boys joining in with this.

For more information visit here

Note:

For younger children especially adult supervision is recommended.

Posted in Blog posts

My 4 year old’s bathroom essentials list

I shared this morning how Hamish is turning 4 years old in 4 days time.

As his mom I couldn’t be prouder of the little boy he is growing into but at the same time I wish I had a magic wand to keep him little forever.

With him growing comes a new found confidence and the development of his personality. He no longer only likes what we like for him but has interests and likes/ dislikes of his own.

Fostering independence

Knowing this we often give him choices as to what we buy for him, what he eats and what products he uses.

When we go shopping he has a large input into the type of products he wants to use. ( Granted many are influenced by a certain favourite tv show)

Fostering a sense of independance, value and respect is important as is teaching a child to make decisions and consider options .

Bathroom essentials ….

Here is his list of must have items :

🧼 Paw patrol towel from The character group
🧼 The crazy store bath fuzzy sponge
🧼 Aquafresh kids toothpaste
🧼 Dischem_pharmacies dinosaur toothbrush with cover
🧼 Sanex kids body wash
🧼 Organics kids shampoo
🧼 Paw patrol bubblebath from Clicks

What are your kids must have bathroom essentials ?

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored

Posted in Press releases

KZN MANUFACTURER PIONEERS RESPONSIBLE FASHION IN SOUTH AFRICA

Durban based, Equator – the Belt FactoryTM has become the first member of the local fashion supply industry to achieve a Five Star Green Star Certification for Existing Building Performance from the Green Building Council of South Africa.

The company, which has completely transformed a former textile mill located in New Germany, one of Durban’s oldest industrial areas, is also only the fourth company to obtain a rating for an existing industrial building in South Africa. Africa. Other notable South African achievers are Belgotex and Darling Brew.

The rating, which is comparable to other respected international certifications, focuses on energy use and water efficiencies, waste management and peoples’ working environments – all factors that were not priorities, in a different era, when the factory was initially built by the then Frame Textiles in 1967.

Equator – the Belt Factory TM, an entrepreneurial success story in its own right, purchased the former textile mill in 2017 and has invested significantly in implementing a number of sustainability interventions and initiatives.

These include rainwater harvesting and water saving fittings, energy efficient fittings and systems, waste management systems (including reduction, recycling and composting), improved indoor environmental quality through the use of double-glazing, non-toxic paints and finishes, the use of second hand and upcycled furniture, employee training and operational initiatives to improve efficiency, material offcut donations, and small business and employee development.

Managing director Leon Buhr says that it now requires less energy to make a belt from start to finish than it takes to make a cup of tea. *

Leon Buhr, Managing Director of Equator – the Belt FactoryTM Leon Buhr

He says that, while this significant Five Star Green Star Certification marks a notable milestone for South Africa’s largest belt manufacturer, this is just part of a long-term journey.

For Equator – the Belt Factory TM, the sustainability journey and intent to pioneer responsible manufacturing processes in South Africa goes far beyond a green building certification and box ticking exercise.

“For us, sustainability is a company-wide, all-encompassing effort that is becoming deeply ingrained in the company culture. The Green Star certification is an important and credible marker of our progress and has taken a great deal of effort, says Buhr. “It is said there is no destination for a sustainability journey – just daily improvement. But if one could define sustainability goals, it would be a circular economy and carbon neutrality. So we use those as our guiding lights in terms of decisions and choices we make and innovations we implement.”

The company, which makes belts for retail and brand partners like Polo, Woolworths, Markham, Levi’s®, Mr Price, Old Khaki, Jonsson and Foschini as well as for export and sale via its own online shop www.thebeltshop.co.za, has positioned itself as “a place of craft and a place of science” and seeks to set new standards in a fashion sector where consumers are becoming increasingly aware of a company’s purpose, sustainability and environmental issues.

Informal trader, Musa Mkhize (left) with Lungani Manqele (right), one of the enterprise development partners atEquator – the Belt FactoryTM..

“The fashion retail supply chain starts with having the right product and value for the shopper, but it is much more than that. Increasingly it is transparency, responsible and ethical sourcing of raw materials, environment, good working conditions, compliance and more. We can no longer be just a belt factory. Our sustainability journey must make sense to the industry, our retail and brand partners and the consumer. We have to be product, raw material and consumer trend specialists,” he notes.

Buhr adds that, Equator – the Belt FactoryTM is also committed to ensuring that sustainability claims are backed by science. As such the company worked with sustainability and green building advisors Ecolution Consulting, in order to certify the building and ensure a credible and comprehensive sustainability journey.

Having achieved a certification for the factory, the focus will now shift to more responsible raw material sourcing, packaging and lower impact logistics. “Companies can easily fall into the trap of making bold and misleading sustainability claims. But we want to be clear that we do have an impact and that we still have far to go. We are, however, set on making every decision with sustainability in mind and communicating that transparently. We are excited to announce our progress with regards to our green building certification,” he concludes.

*Based on 2019 production average
Posted in Brands we love

Cooking with Little chef box

We got a special delivery from Little chef box today and Hamish was over the moon excited to make his own supper.

Little chef box supply boxes of yumminess for kids to make at affordable prices. ( This box with all ingredients, recipe and chef hat retails at R200)

The box is beautifully presented and each item individually labeled for easy use.

I was impressed at how generous the portions were.

The recipe was easy to follow and overall increadibly easy for Hamish to be able to do almost unaided.( although you should always supervise small children in the kitchen or when cooking)

First he cut his bacon.

And grated the cheese whilst the macaroni cooked.

Next he drained the macaroni and placed it in a large bowl. ( this portion fed all 3 of us)

He mixed up the easy white sauce adding in the magic sauce.

The yummy secret sauce contains vegetables and is a brilliant way to disguise a healthy meal for children who don’t like vegetables or may be fussy eaters.

Finally he mixed the sauce into his macaroni and added bacon.

It not only smelt devine but looked amazing.

We had the most fun cooking together.

Hamish loves pasta and now believes no one can cook like he can because that was the bestest.

To order your own box contact

Posted in Blog posts, Brands we love

Meet the brand – la Donne Spa

Two years ago I was privileged to virtually meet Donna through a business networking opportunity.

Two things stood out …. her passion and her kindness.

Today on the meet your brand series meet Donna from LA_DONNE_SPA

Tell us a bit about your brand

My Story
After developing an interest in beauty at a young age I studied Beauty Therapy at Thalia Shaer International, I have been part of the industry since 2000 when I obtained my SAAHSP (national diploma) and CIDESCO (international diploma)
Having had my 1st beauty salon at 21yrs old, to then doing treatments/ massaging in my spare time while branching into the corporate world (which is not for me lol )……
La Donne opened 3 May 2014 and has just kept growing and growing from strength to strength…introducing amazing products and treatments. Making special bond’s with peoe I meet. In this career, you never stop learning new things so you need to be ambitious in your learning.”

What was your inspiration to start your business.

At first when I was younger lol it was the ‘Beauty’ behind it all. Getting to do nails, massaging, make up, skin care.. How fun right? :).. But as time went on yes those things I still loved but it was the interaction with people.

Their need to be heard, Their stories, Their heartache, Their dreams, Their up and downs. I connect with people on another level making them feel comfortable to trust me.

Making a Safe Space for them to let go. Beauty “THERAPY” in a whole new light. I have a passion to help people.

What is your vision/ mission with your brand

MY vision in starting LA DONNE SPA was to offer a service to my clients that not only exceeded excellence in the treatments they receive and the ambiance; But in a way that everyone can be pampered.
Creating a Safe Haven for all, uplifting others, helping them to see their worth and gifts.
There is a another whole new concept/ VISION that I have that is in motion but can’t talk about it just yet. It’s a secret for now but trust me it is going to be AMAZING. World changing.

What is your favourite product in your range and why?

Definitely massage..
From Indian Head Masaage, Reflexology, Full Body Massage to concentrating on problematic areas.
It’s in the touch, I feel what energies the person is giving off, and what ‘state’ the muscles are in and from this I know how and where to heal.

Tell us a bit about yourself- the person behind the brand.

I am a divorced single Mom to my wonderful son Tristan who will be 12 on the 30 June 2020. He is my life, my world and one of my reasons for pushing through daily on making my dreams/goals come true.
He is an empath like me. We have such a deep love for ALL ANIMALS and such empathy for humans/souls.

I like to try make at least 1 person smile a day 😁. I love Italian food, I love social gatherings with family and friends (thanks to Covid-19 not happening right now lol)
Me time: day spent in pj’s reading a good book or watching movies. Off social media.
I enjoy taking my husky on her walks or should I say she enjoys walking me.
I have just done an online course and have been Certified in Pedeology and Skin Science.
Busy with another online course for helping me grow.

What is your favourite quote

“When love, skill and passion work together expect a Divine experience” ..DJ

What message would you give a brand just starting out.

I would say follow your passion; dream it, live it, become it.. The more you focus on the ‘good’ the ‘positive’ the more it will just flow and fall into place. Trust the process.
You will have days where you feel like you have failed, it’s okay. Feel it deal with that emotion.
The next day get back up, dust yourself off and ‘Slay the Day’. You have got this.

Posted in Brands we love

Meet the brand – Momma Owl

In continuation of the Meet the brand series I want to introduce you to the increadibly creative Momma Owl.

Meet the brand

About your brand:

I aim for fun, easy to wear, comfortable, colourful, cheerful clothing and accessories for kids. I create parties with everything from the decor to the clothes, and sometimes even the snacks.

What was your inspiration to start your business ?

My Daughter was born in January 2015. by the time she was 5 months old I wanted to dress her in the cutest hand made clothes. but these hand made clothes were name brands, and way over my budget as a stay at home mom. I looked at the clothes, pulled out my sewing machine, watched some youtube videos and set off on a journey. One I never expected to grow to what it is today.

What is your vision/ mission with your brand.

I want Momma Owl to be the recommendation to every ‘Where can I get this birthday outfit for my child?” question.

What is your favourite product in your range and why?

Oh it has to be the tutus!!! I just love a tutu. Even when you are 30, a tutu can make everything better. But now, with the virus taking everything over, I love the pink bling masks almost just as much.

Tell us a bit about yourself- the person behind the brand.

My name is Angela Howell. Mom of two. Wife to an awesome husband. I am a good mix between a hippie and a gypsy. Art and the freedom to create pretty things is my passion. Luckily my daughter is just like me. She loves helping me when I am making and crafting. she also believes in fairies… Guess where that comes from?

What is your favourite quote.

If a thing is worth doing it is worth doing well.

What message would you give a brand just starting out.

Sharpen your business knowledge. For some it is common sense, for others, it means success or failure. Learn about the platform you are using to advertise. If it is Facebook, look into their advert options, share share share, use the right words, take good photos of your products. Run a competition every now and again. Same goes for Instagram. It takes a long time for your business to become known. Word of Mouth is very important.

Posted in craft reciepe, Crafts

Make your own coconut sugar scrub

I’m addicted to sugar scrubs. Not only are they easy to make but they leave your skin feeling amazingly fresh and rejuvenated.

The coconut in this scrub also moisturizes your skin as it exfoliates.

A winning combination.

Note:I usually make my scrubs in small quantities.

To make your own you will need:

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

Optional:

  • a few drops essential oils
  • A few drops of vanilla essence

Method

To make your scrub, simply spoon out your coconut oil into a bowl.

Add in your sugar and essential oils or vanilla essence (if you’re using them) and mix together.

Spoon the mixture into a small containers and attached a label.

Posted in Crafts, Education, Fun mamma Rainbiw kids club, preschool, preschool curriculum, preschoolers, Toddlers

How to make a set of nature inspired number flash cards and counting poster for your homeschool classroom

Every springtime the Western Cape show cases the most gorgeous blanket of little wild flowers.

Every open field has huge spreads of whites or yellows or orange daisy and we are blessed to live very close to one of these areas.

Nature appreciation

Not only are these flowers beautiful they also hold an abundance of life in their little ecosystems.

Little ants that scurry about, earthworms underground, bees, dragonfly, bumblebee and beetles all gathering nectar….these can often be missed as we focus on the flowers.

But, I’ve always tried to teach my children the importance of nature, show her beauty and have them understand our role to protect and look after the world around us from ant to whale.

And so before we even started our activity, Hamish and I, first admired the flowers and sat along the side of the path watching the insect and bird life that danced amidst them.

Using nature to learn

Knowing how important it is for me that my children appreciate the natural world around them, I incorporate nature studies and the use of natural materials in our home classroom.

We count out sticks, print with leaves, have sensory play with mud and build with stones.

If we learnt flower parts we did so outside with real flowers. Shapes and patterns were identified in the garden and what better way to learn about the ocean than to be there?

A Pinterest idea comes to life

Somewhere along my late night Pinterest scrolling sessions, I saw a number freeze made by forming numbers with stones and leaves.

I knew I wanted to make this.

But, the stones and leaves looked dull against the grass background …what if we used flowers?

And so Hamish and I took a walk down the road and gathered several little white flowers to start our new project.

Counting flowers

As soon as we got home, I let Hamish cut the stems off the flowers and we started arranging flowers on the grass in the shape of numbers to photograph.

These number photographs have become the posters and flashcards we use in our classroom.

How to make a set of nature inspired flash cards and counting poster

To make your own you will need:

  • Wild flowers ( but you could do this with any natural item- shells, stones, sticks, leaves)
  • Scissors to cut the flowers
  • A container to gather the flowers in
  • A camera ( your cell phone camera will work just fine)
  • A grass background ( although you may want to use a wooden background, sandy beach, mud, ect)
  • Printer or printing facility
  • Laminator or laminating facility

To make:

  • First gather all your flowers. We used about 20 flowers and made two numbers at a time. Reusing the flowers for the other numbers so that we didnt have to cut that many flowers.
  • Next arrange the flowers into the number shapes.
  • Photograph each number.
  • Edit your photographs until you are happy.
  • Have each photo printed. I printed A4 to make the number freeze and printed 2 images on an A4 piece of card to cut into A5 sized flash cards.
  • Have your posters laminated and display.
  • Cut your flash cards in half and store neatly.

Posted in recipes

Make your own … Honey butter

I had never heard of honey butter but as I love honey I was eager to try.

We made some and I must admit, not only was it increadibly simple to make, it almost melted with sweetness in my mouth.

I’m totally obsessed.

This smooth, fluffy sweet treat is delicious on buns, biscuits and breads.

To make your own you will need:

Ingredients

  • Half a cup of honey
  • A quarter cup of softened butter.
  • 4 tsp of whipped cream

Method:

In a bowl mix all the ingredients and beat until soft and fluffy.

Store in an airtight jar in the fridge.

Posted in Blog posts, Press releases

Breathe new life into your home theatre with Denon AVR-X3600H – available through Homemation

We are spending more time at home than ever before and home theatres have taken centre stage.

A home theatre system isn’t complete without an AVR (AV Receiver). The AVR is the hub of your system as it controls and drives your home theatre experience. Your AVR seamlessly runs a host of tasks enhancing the experience for you.

Denon, available exclusively through the Homemation network, has over 100 years of research and development behind them and many more ahead!

This premium brand is constantly innovating and comes highly recommended. If looking for a high-power theatre immersion, the new Denon AVR-X3600H is the solution.

Reasons to upgrade to a new Denon AVR-X3600H:

  • Upgrade to blockbusting 3D sound. Sound moves over you in three dimensions: placing you at the centre of the action.
  • Immerse yourself in multi-dimensional audio with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, DTS Virtual: X and IMAX Enhanced.
  • Stream your favourite music from anywhere and everywhere around your home with HEOS Built-in technology, for music in every room.
  • Upgrade your picture. With up to 8 HDMI inputs, the Denon AVR can handle all your digital video sources, from satellite and cable receivers to computers and game systems. It is geared up for 4K Ultra HD, giving you more detail, better colour rendering and improved contrast. The newest TV standards are handled by the advanced video processing to bring you even more of the picture, for a much more involving experience.
  • Upgrade your experience as it is easy to setup and use. You will be in complete control: the Denon AVR-X3600H works with the latest voice assistants like the lovely Alexa.

The Denon AVR’s also offer Audyssey Room correction to help you get the best setup and calibration of your system.

AVRs perform a host of essential functions, including decoding your DVD’s surround sound formats, driving your loudspeakers, and switching between audio and video components.

If you want high-quality surround sound, you need a Denon AVR.

Retails for : R 29 990

Homemation is a specialist supplier of premium branded audiovisual, home automation and home theatre products. The brands in their stable offer some of the most advanced and sought-after home automation, AV and sound technology in the world. Homemation has the exclusive distribution, in Africa, of global leading brands such as Control4, Definitive Technology, Denon, Heos, Klipsch, Monitor Audio, Polk Audio, Steinway Lyngdorf, Stewart Filmscreen, SVS, Lutron, Roksan and Michi.

Call Homemation on 011-781 8887 for your nearest reseller, or visit www.homemation.co.za or www.control4.co.za