Posted in Events

We sent our names to the moon on the Artemis 1 mission

As a young girl, growing up in the 80’s, I was in awe of astronauts and the mere thought that someone had once stepped on the moon.

It’s 2022 and space discovery and travel have advanced astronomically. Over the last decades, we have seen the world of space travel open up and become more of a norm than a one-off phenomenon.
So much so, that we recently sent our names to the moon on the Artemis 1 mission

About the Artemis

The Artemis 1 is the first flight test of the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion spacecraft that will be completely unmanned.
This flight will ultimately pave the way to land the first woman and person of colour on the moon. It is also the first in a series of missions that demonstrate NASA’s commitment to extend human existence in space, and which will bring back astronauts to the lunar surface, whilst building a long-term human presence on the moon.

How will your name travel

I wondered how my name would fly, as we’ve joined a few other missions through NASA and sent our photos, drawings, and names before.
I learned that all names collected by yesterday, 14 June 2022, would be stored on a flash drive and sent inside the rocket.

When and where

The Artemis 1 will launch later this year, from launch complex 39B when Orion and the Space Launch System lift off from the modernized NASA Space center in Kenedy, Florida.
To learn more follow the NASA Artemis missions here
Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do

Cape Nature launches Kids Cub Club for Nature loving Children

Cape Nature have launched the best kids Cubs club for children under 12.

When signing up your child receives:-
🦒 A fantastic welcome gift
🦒Holiday voucher on their birthday
🦒 A newsletter every 3 months
🦒Environmental challenges they can join to earn points for their green deed.
But mostly it will encourage your child to be part of important work by :-
🌻 Expanding their knowledge & eco- consciousness about the environment
🌻 Perform actions to help improve the environment
🌻 Educate others about the environment
🌻Learn about green issues
🌻Create and build a vision of a sustainable future
The club is free to join on the Cape Nature website
Posted in Blog posts, Crafts

Toilet roll seed starters

This year especially we have been very focused on our impact on the environment and how we as one small household can do lots of small things to do our part towards sustainability and to lessen our own carbon footprints. After a discussion about recycling and decomposable materials, we made a few seed starters to transplant some cacti that I want to plant into bigger pots.
We used an idea found on Facebook and it was easy enough for Hamish to follow.
I cut the toilet roll in half but ideally, you can use a full roll per plant.
You will need:
1 toilet roll tube per plant or seed
Potting soil ( we used garden soil that already has plants growing in it)
Scissors
Plants in seeds
Water
To make
Cut the base as shown in the last image.
Fold in to form a pot.
Fill the pot with sand
Add plant or seed
Water and place in a sunlit area.
Posted in online events

Win a ticket to the Childhood Anxiety Workshop hosted by The Institute of Childhood Psychology & Discount code

SOUTH AFRICA ! We’re coming to you in YOUR time zone July 23-24 from 4:00pm-9:00pm (live streamed & recorded) & we’re offering 30% off to help those with children who are struggling during these difficult times.

Does your child struggle with anxiety: racing thoughts, tummy or headaches, sleep issues, separation anxiety, avoidance, inattention, or overwhelm with seemingly everything?

Join Tania Johnson, Registered Psychologist, Registered Play Therapist, and Co-Founder of the Institute of Child Psychology, as you explore the research and theory in the field of mental health, education, attachment, naturopathic medicine, and interpersonal neurobiology.

Attendees will be given RESOURCES and DIRECT, CONCRETE TOOLS to help their child, or the children they work with, overcome this emotional obstacle.

🌱 The latest research on the neurobiology of anxiety
🌱 Concrete strategies to help manage anxiety in youth
🌱 Free gift: “Managing Parental Stress” 3 Hour E-course
🌱 Workbook & Certificate of Completion
🌱 Recorded with 30 days access post-event

You can register below , using UNIQUE COUPON CODE: FUNMAMMAS30OFF
To get 30% off

REGISTRATION LINK:
https://instituteofchildpsychology.com/product/childhood-anxiety-helping-children-heal-uk-south-africa-kenya/

Comment on the original post on Facebook or Instagram  with your name if you would like to Win a ticket

Posted in Blog posts, recipes

Pulled pork picnic rolls

There’s nothing I like more than a good picnic but as a mom I often find that the delicate quiche and fruit snacks I pack in don’t often sustain my husband and the boys, who often want something a bit more substantial.

So, when Eskort foods sent over their new Beech Wood Smoked Pulled pork I knew it would be perfect for our pulled pork picnic rolls. ( These also make a delicious lunch)

 To make your own you will need:

  • 500g Eskort Beech Wood pulled pork
  • 12 rolls-margarine-sauces

 

Method

Don’t be deceived by the quantity of this pulled pork. The 500g went a long way and I was incredibly generous with my servings. Start by cutting each roll and buttering both sides. If your family like salads you could add some lettuce and tomatoes but my guys preferred the pulled beef on its own. Stuff the rolls with the pulled pork and pour over a slice of choice if you like.

Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do

Peter Pan Wings His Way to Canal Walk Theatre this Winter

 Peter Pan flies again! A special treat is in store for Capetonians, as the much-loved story of Peter Pan will be recreated on stage at the Canal Walk Winter Theatre taking place between 25 June and 17 July 2022.  This marks a welcome return of the centre’s annual children’s theatre run, interrupted for the past two years due to a succession of pandemic-related lockdowns and stringent social distancing measures.

In this 2022 magical musical adaption of JM Barrie’s adored classic tale, Peter, Tinkerbell, and Wendy Darling, along with the incorrigible Captain Hook and his faithful side kick, Smee, will ferry audiences to Never Land to be amazed by all its wonders, allowing imaginations to soar unfettered into the realms of storytelling and enchantment, as the battle between Peter and Captain Hook unfolds all around them.

Audiences are also encouraged to dress up as part of the festivities.  This is a great opportunity for budding pirates, fairies etc to get in on the act.

Produced by Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyer, expect appearances from a series of Never Land characters that include, mysterious mermaids from Mermaid Lagoon; the beautiful Princess Tiger Lilly and her brave, Panther; the high-spirited Lost Boys and Hook’s band of pirates aboard the Jolly Roger and of course, the crocodile, whose taste for time pieces (clocks and watches) is now legendary. Also joining the cast will be a gathering of life-sized puppets who add yet another fun dimension to this spectacular performance.

Amanda McCarthy, Canal Walk Shopping Centre’s Event Manager says the centre is very excited to be staging theatre again: “We’ve always known that this was a popular and well-attended attraction, proven by the many comments and regrets we received over the past two years when we were unable to entertain the young and the young at heart.  So, we are triply delighted to be able to bring this production back and help audiences visit Never Land and engage with their inner child.

“Children’s theatre plays an important part in developing young minds and in our lives here at Canal Walk, so we’d also like to give a big shout out to the performers, as the entertainment industry was severely hit by these past economic lockdowns, and we know they too, missed the opportunity to bring smiles to audiences big and small.”

A talented, star-studded cast, together with breath-taking sets, magnificent costumes, and several dashing musical numbers, will bring Peter Pan to life – cast will be announced shortly.

In keeping with the tradition of both the author of the novel, who regularly donated profits to worthy causes, and Canal Walk’s own track record for contributing to charitable endeavours, the retail giant will be supporting CHOC (Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa), during this 2022 production of the stage show with R5 of every ticket sold being donated to this amazing institution.

Make a date to escape to Never Land by booking tickets through Webtickets or at the ticket box office at the venue.

Dates:                                                                   Saturday 25 June – Sunday 17 July

Show times:                                                       Tuesday to Sunday at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm

Venue:                                                                 Canal Walk Theatre – Central Court

Ticket price:                                                       Early Bird tickets 13 – 31 May R90 per person

                                                                                31 May – 17 July R100 per person

                                                                                Family package (4+ tickets) R95 per person

Book at Webtickets

Based on the classic play by:                      J. M Barrie

Music and lyrics by:                                     Marcel Meyer

Directed by:                                                Fred Abrahamse

 

Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do

SANCCOB Rehabilitation Centre- a review

To celebrate World penguin day and we booked a tour with SANCCOB Rehabilitation centre in Tableview, Cape Town.

About SANCCOB

SANCCOB is a non-profit organization conserving sea birds like the endangered African penguin with the primary objective to reverse the decline of the sea bird population through Rehabilitation,  release, care and education.
They offer school and private tours as well as the opportunity to support the hard work they do through egg and penguin adoptions and through the sale of ocean related merchandise.

About our visit

I pre-booked our tour that morning and we headed off to the centre, which is down the road from us.
We arrived 5 minutes before hand, as requested, but unfortunately, there was a school visiting and so our tour started 10 minutes later than expected. We also waited quite a while for assistance as they were busy and then it took some time to fill in the forms. I must admit trying to keep an excited Hamish busy through this waiting period was not at all easy, especially as he saw all the other kids.
I do wish we’d been informed of the school visit, as I would have booked a tour later to avoid overcrowding.
We did not get off to a good start at all as the one guide told us we were in time for the feedings with the other guide informing us that we could infact not watch the feedings as with the school children we were too big a crowd.
Hamish, who was sure he was going to see penguins eat was most disappointed, as was I.
However,  our guide Sim was amazing with Hamish and incredibly knowledgeable as he walked us through the centre.
We were able to see the nursery, learn how long it takes penguins to hatch. See the behind the scenes of how much value volunteers are to this amazing organisation.
The centre has a dedicated washing room, kitchen and vet on site. All to ensure the birds are well cared for and healthy.
Hamish got to see the fish used to feed the birds and preserved a penguin tounge and heart- which we found really interesting.
Lastly we saw the penguin area where the birds are rehabilitated and taught to swim in a colour coded manner to assess when they are ready for release.
All the birds are tagged and in the event of an oil drill the centre has a dedicated space to clean the birds.

My thoughts

It was wonderful to learn more about how this wonderful NGO operates and to see the dedication of the staff and volunteers.
Hamish walked away with so much more knowledge about African penguins.
I must admit I wouldn’t recommend this for young children as it’s definitely a more an educational than an entertaining outing. My recommendation would be for children 8 and older. As there were many moments where the tour was too long and not hands on enough for our busy 5 year old.

How you can help SANCCOB

There are many ways that you can assist SANCCOB
  • Financial donation
  • Adopt an egg, chicken or penguin
  • Shop from their online or on premises store
  • Volunteer your time
  • Donate goods like towels, wet suits, teddy bears for the baby chick’s to snuggle with

Notes

To learn more visit www.sanccob.co.za
Please remembered you need to pre-book your tour.
Prices R60 adult
            R50 child
Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do

Spur Seaside Village Review

Two weeks ago we had a playdate planned, the weather however, was not in our favour and we decided to look for a space to go where the moms could chat over coffee whilst the kids played.

As moms know when it rains and you have two busy boys to entertain Spur steak ranches does not disappoint.

We decided to visit Spur at Seaside villiage in West Beach, Tableview.

Why?

This Spur is my first choice in the Tableview/ Blouberg/Parklands area mostly because it always looks clean, has the best service with great presentation food and as all Spur franchises should be, it is incredibly child friendly.

Food

Our waitress pointed out the new menus. Which are a fantastic upgrade from the old ones that looked a little bit like those I chose from as a kid in the 80s. The new menu is cleaner, easier to read and still contains the old favourites that we love.

I naturally ordered the brownie to go with my coffee because it’s Friday ….and who doesn’t love warm brownies with ice cream?

The presentation was great and the food was delicious.

I ordered Hamish’s milkshake in the takeaway cup already knowing that he would only eat his pizza at home. ( Honestly, It should just be standard practice to serve kids food in a takeaway box )

My only complaint would be that I was offered a rectangle food box to take home a full round kids pizza making me have to stack the pieces on top of each other and my poor OCD mind really struggled with that but also a child with sensory issues would hate to open a square box of food stacked on top of each other.

Service

I never complain of the service here. In the years that we have visited this has to be the friendliest Spur franchise.

The waiters, management, front of house staff and child minder are always pleasant.

Child friendly

I would give this branch a 20 out of 10 for being child friendly. As a young girl I loved Spur, as an adult I still look for the same features that I loved as an 8 year old.

Things like your parents not having to ask for a colouring sheet and crayons, a special child’s menu, the waitress treating you like a ” big person” and patiently letting you order, fun food options that are presented well and a great play space.

This Spur ticks all those boxes.

Play area

A huge, clean play area with only one entering and tons of natural light from the windows awaits your child.

The friendly child minders engage and play with the kids and are hands on to watch that no one gets hurt .

Just a reminder that if you do use the facility, whilst it’s never required, leave a gratuity tip for your child minder.

Safety

The first thing you notice as you walk through the don’t is that they have a tag system to ensure the kids can’t leave the shop without someone being alerted.

A tag, similar to those found on clothing, is attached to your child’s outer clothing and you can rest assured that they are safe whilst playing.

Should they try leave the store, an alarm at the door will be activated. This offers parents peace of mind whilst dining.

Overall, many of us use a Spur as our go to meet up place or kids restaurant. Sometimes that means Spur know that parents will support them regardless of the type of service or level of food quality, so its great to find a Spur franchise that pride themselves on delivering the best parent and child experience from the moment you enter the door.

Posted in Blog posts

Compulsory Early education and what you need to know

As of 2023 the transition of ECD ( early childhood development) which was moved from the department of social development to the department of education, will be in effect in South Africa.

But
What does this mean to you the parent?

Grade 00 is now compulsory

The biggest change aside from how academic development in young children is approached, is the compulsory attendance of children from Grade 00.
Currently compulsory school attendance for young children only starts at grade 1, when your child is turning 7. So, you will now be required to ensure your young child is attending an educational facility from the year they turn 4.

Parents need to do their homework

With a huge push for compulsory education it’s important that parents look for ECD centres which are still play based and child-led. Focusing on teaching children skills through the use of educational material too old for their development and ignoring the need for children this young to rather learn through play, would be counter productive to their development.
Things parents need to consider
When you are looking for the right early childhood centre for your child for next year, here are some things to look out for to help you make the right choice.
  • -Qualified teachers who are trained to teach in an ECD environment.
  • A school that is accredited and registered with the education department.
  • Look for a school that values play based learning and child-led philosophy. Montessori, Reggio Emillia and Waldorf based schools hold these traits.
  • Does the school value the students well being as being the most important factorover and above academic results?
  •  Look to see if the teachers are kind, gentle in approach and caring with positive dispositions. Your child’s teacher will spend the most time moulding them in their still formative years, that experience needs to be a positive, loving one.
  •  Does the school have and instill a strong sense of community?
  •  Is the teaching within the classroom fun, engaging, relevant , interactive and based on play?
  • What discipline policy is in place. Is the child guided and supported as they grow and develop their social and self- regularly skills?
And if I can leave you with one last reminder that children learn best through play. They need time to explore, discover, experience and experiment to understand the world around them.
If you are finding it overwealming to choose an ECD centre, look beyond the pleasing athletics, the brightly coloured playground equipment and the fancy toys or learning aids within the classroom. Look to see if the teachers in your chosen school will facilitate your child’s learning journey with careful observation and offer stimulating, meaningful and engaging learning materials, whilst still having the ability to hug them often, talk gently and guide them as they develop.
Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do

Brent’s been on leave and other tales

Brent’s been on leave for most of April and the beginning of May. We’ve loved having him at home and it’s been a fun mix of chaos and busy !

He heads back to work today and we will slowly find our routine again after weeks of sleeping in a little later and adjusted schedules to fit in weekday outings.
We have enjoyed some really great staycation memories during his leave, as we explored Cape Town, because let’s be honest, there is always something to do in Cape Town.

Holiday moments

We tried to put in as many special trips with Hamish as possible and managed to visit the following places while Brent was on leave :
  • Ysterplaat Airforce Base museum– This museum is free and divided into 2 parts. The first is the museum, which has a ton of memorabilia of the SAAF. The second is at hangar 4 where you get to get up close to the aircrafts and climb into some.
  •  Ten pin bowling at Grand west – This was a really fun outing for all of us and Hamish has asked to go again. At R60 an adult it was also super affordable as far as activities go.
  •  Canal walk kids world imagination station – Here Hamish got to create his own masterpiece for only R50
  • Games arcades – There were a few visits to the arcades at both Canal walk and Grand west. I’m not a fan of arcades but Hamish loves them.
  • Ratanga park– Also several visits here to ride bikes. I really love this park .

 

  •  The museum of Childhood- Another free museum. The museum of childhood is a wonderful space for children to learn, play and express themselves.
  •  The beach – Is it even a holiday without beach visits? We have found a local spot with rockpools that has become our favourite
  •  Spur and other fast food restaurants– Because who cooks when on holiday right?
  • SANCCOB– This was a great visit to learn more about the workings behind the scene at SANCCOB penguin Rehabilitation center. If you are going please book in advance.
  •  Cool runnings – A fun family taboggan track with 1.2km of track to wind down . The guys loved this. You can see how much the guys enjoyed this here
  •  Majik forest – Another space we love. An open forest to picnic at or wander around. You can also feed the ducks on the water.
  •  Melkbossie animal farm – This farm yards Sanctuary is free to enter and animal food is R10 a bag . We love going here, grabbing some coffee and playing putt putt. Hamish enjoys feeding the animals and riding the horses.
  • The Labia– I had a few invites to some screenings while Brent was on leave and we took Ronan on his birthday with Shaun to watch the lost city.  The Labia has some great date night specials if you are looking.
  •  Intaka Island– We spent Easter Sunday doing a fun Easter egg hunt at Intaka Island. This little wetland is under R30 for an adult to enter and aside from watching birds, taking a hike you can also book a boat ride on the canals.
  • Tablebay mall Easter veggie garden – Hamish got to join the fun at Tablevay mall over Easter and plant his own strawberries.
  •  Ostrich farm – We headed to the ostrich farm and Hamish loved the museum, learning about ostriches. He also stood on ostrich eggs, fed ostriches, sat on an ostrich and went to the scratch patch on site.
  • McClaren circus – I don’t support animals in a circus so this was a difficult choice for me because I wanted Hamish to experience the joy, just once of going to the circus.
And in-between outings, keeping Hamish entertained and the copious amounts of coffee I’ve made we managed to find some down time, some rainy days and a few lazy pj days.
Honestly though, I’m quite greatful to get back to our routine although adjusting to him being back at work full time again is going to be hard.