Posted in Blog posts, Family Life

30 Fun things to do with your children

As the mom of many I was always looking for new ways to keep my home schooled brood entertained.

While looking for a specific post on my Fun Mamma S.A. Facebook page I came across this list I first shared in 2012 of 30 Fun things to do with your children.

We as a family have personally done each activity at least once, some a few more times. I thought I’d share it with you.

1.Make fresh lemonade

You will need:

2 lemons that are cut in half

a juicer

spoon

jug

1 cup of sugar

and 1 litre of water.

To make the lemonade, squeeze the lemons,add the juice and the sugar to the water and stir.

2. Splatter painting

Each child needs a large piece of paper some paint and a toothbrush . Have the child put paint on the brush and rubbing your finger on the toothbrush splatter the paint onto the paper.You could also place objects down first and then remove them after splattering the paint to reveal the shape.

3. Apple star prints

Cut an apple in half width ways. You will notice the star design where the seeds are. Dip your apple in ink or paint and print.

4.Listening walk

Each child takes a walk and writes down or describes the sounds that they hear.

5.A bubble fight.

Mix a bubble solution in a bucket
A quarter cup of dish washing liquid to 1 litre of water. Add a few drops of food colouring for different teams.Make a wire blower for each child.
The object of the game is to see which team pops the most of the other teams bubbles.

6.Say it in letters

This is a letter writing activity so those of us who remember snail mail can reminisce. Relatives beware you have been warned many letters are coming your way……

Let your child write or draw letters to your family. Put these in envelopes and take them to the Post office to see how a letter is sent off.

7.Opposite day

Declare it opposite day and do everything opposite, say everything opposite.

8.Music looks like this

Play a piece or several pieces of music and have the child paint what they think the music looks like. Use a variety of music styles.

9.Pin the tail on the donkey

I loved this game and honestly do not think that many children today have played the traditional version. We would make our own game and pin the tail on.

10.Foil rubbings

This is an activity that my gran told me about many years ago . It bought back such fond memories of my crafting days with her. On a piece of A4 card place several items..a key, coin,string,ect. Place foil on top, covering the entire picture. Gentle rub over it with your fingers . Your picture is now complete.

11.Me Box

Help your child to decorate an old shoe box and start filling it with items that reflect your child. So , if your child likes to draw you could put in a favourite picture, or if they like sport a small ball, ect

12Gardening in a tire

This will lead us to hunt down an unused old tire or two this week. I think a nice bunch of Sunflowers growing in each should look amazing. You could also allocate each child their own tire and let them grow vegetables.

13.Sun prints

For this you will need dark construction paper , rocks to hold the paper down, a few small objects like a spoon/coin/key/ect and obviously the sun.
On a very sunny day place the construction outside, weighed down with the rocks ,and place your small objects randomly on the paper.
After several hours the sun will cause the paper to fade and when you lift up your objects the paper will appear darker to highlight the object.

14.Rock person

This is an old one and I am sure many moms will remember making rock pets and people.
Use yarn for hair (super glue works best to glue the yarn on). Paint your features with poster, pva or acrylic paints.

15.chocolate leaves

For this you need to melt chocolate and dip a non poisionous leaf in.I have mint growing outside my kitchen in a pot and so we will often use those leaves. Leave the dipped leaf on wax paper to set. Gently peel off the leaf from the hard chocolate when set.

16.Obstacle course

“For this we will have the older Sunflower brood set up an obstacle course in our back yard that the younger children can run through. I see several puppies following.” These were often made from climbing over or under the garden furniture.

For Hamish I set up inside obstacle courses using pillows, his tent and the couches.

17.BEAN BAG TOSS

On a large sheet of card write the 26 letters of the alphabet. Use bean bags to toss at the letter.

Little ones can identify the letter.Older children could hit the alphabet in sequence from A-Z or Z- A, they could only hit vowels or only hit consonants.
Allow them to hit the letters of their name or use for spelling…hit the letters of a word.Try to call out a letter and have the child hit that letter,

18.Bug feast

Set out in your garden some salt, sugar, oats, syrup, seeds, crumbs and potato peel.
Sit quietly and watch which bugs eat what.

19.Cloud pictures

This is one of my favourite activities. As a young girl many of my happiest hours were spend lying on soft cool grass or sun warmed beach sand watching the clouds and imagining the mystical creatures, waiting for a glimps of my unicorn in the bright blue sky above.

Enjoy lying on the grass with your child and prehaps bring back a little of your own childhood magic.

20.Saving ideas

Use this as an ongoing saving idea to teach your children how to save their money .

Lable coffee cans, that have a slit cut in the lid, with:
5c
10c
20c
50c
R1
R2
R5

Have the child place the coins in the correct can.Exstend this to counting activities by counting the totals of the can, ect,

Also good for estimation, adding, subtraction, and working with change.Use the contents of the full cans to treat your child to a day out or an for an ice-cream treat.

21.Learn to hula hoop

Did you know the first hula hoop came out in 1962? Why not grab one for you and the kids and teach them to hula?

22.Build a block tower .

How high can you go? Be as creative as possible. You can use a variety of different blocks. Hamish loves to make towers with his soft blocks but you could also use wooden blocks or plastic construction blocks.

23.Have a family picnic

These were always a favourite in our home. Just lay down a blanket and fill it with snacks. Our favourite time to picnic was when it rained and the children would have a large indoor picnic.

24. Paint or draw

Drawing and painting kept my children busy for hours. We had a special drawing box full of different crayons, pens, markets, stamps and stencils. They were able to go to the art box whenever they felt inspired.

25.Make a family scrapbook

This is really easy. Take a large exercise or scrapbook and paste in photos of your family, drawings, momentous from an outing or special event. Place them low enough for the children to page through.

26.Play a game from your childhood

I love introducing my children to games I played as a child. Often it’s new to them and they are usually captivated by them.

Try:

Rock, paper , scissors

Tic, tac, toe

Eye spy

Clapping games

Jump rope with elastic

Egg and spoon races

Potato sack races

Bopping for Apple’s

Charades

27. Have a board game evening

What are your children’s favourite board games? Give each child a turn to pick which game to play.

28.Make potato prints

Cut a potato in half , carve out your shape . Dip in paint and print.

29. Go on a family nature walk

You don’t need to be in a park or a game farm to do tjis. You could just walk around your neighbourhood. Take notice of the leaves, trees, bugs and animals around you.

30.Make a popcorn string

Pop a pot of popcorn and thread onto a long string of thread .

Most importantly, which ever activity you do … Have fun !

Posted in Family Life

Organise Baby’s cupboard with TatiTots clothing dividers

From the moment you realise you are expecting the first items you look to buy are baby clothing.

From soft rompers to little bibs you need it all. Your baby shower will see older moms gift you larger sizes clothes, knowing just how fast that little baby is going to grow and if you have other children you may have hauled out the boxes and started unpacking many of the items you’ve used before.

Piles of clothing that you can hang or fold to store neatly but how do you make sure you grab the right size without upsetting an entire pile or sifting through all the hangers when dressing baby ?

Getting organised

TatiTots have developed a beautiful range of acrlic clothing dividers available in either English or Afrikaans.

These hang in your wardrobe before the clothing on hangers to divide baby’s outfits into ages for simple, easy storage and access. Keeping your wardrobes neat and organized.

The colours are soft and the variety of designs are appealing. There is a style to compliment every nursery.

I wish I’d had these for Hamish as a baby as I just love how organised these are.

I was gifted a set of the grey bunnies at the Instamamameet on Saturday that I will be gifting to a friend for her son’s baby shower. To me they are a beautiful practical gift to give a new mommy.

Coupon code

TatiTots have offered all my readers a wonderful discount of 10% off of any of their products until the end of May.

Why not take a peak at their gorgeous range here and use the coupon code FUNMAMMASA to dress up baby’s nursery.

Disclaimer

The products was gifted to Fun mamma S.A.. This blog is not sponsored.

Posted in Family Life

Mothers day with Starke Ayers

Dearest Mammas

A very Happy Mothers day to you all.

I hope that you’ve been spoilt with hugs and smoochy kisses and blessed with all the handmade crafts so loving made by tiny hands.

Hamish made me a lovely handprint flower pot card at school. He spent quite some time telling me just how they made it and he painted it.

Yesterday he went with me to Starke Ayers and we planted our own little pots of flowers.

Starke Ayers have a promotion that for every weekend in May you can go plant flowers free. This was really the heart of my mother’s day gift, getting to share this experience with my little gardener.

First he needed to choose a pot colour, which when dealing with toddlers is much more difficult than it sounds.

Hamish settled for a white pot which he filled with potting soil.

Next we chose a flower and pushed it into the sand. Hamish loved this part because he got to moosh his hands in the soil.

Lastly we watered our flowers and here Hamish truly took the lead. First finding someone to fill the watering can and then proceeding to water every flower, stone and path.

What a wonderful Mothers day initiative. This is such a wonderful way to introduce children to gardening.

Posted in Brands we love, Family Life

Mother’s day gifts for the sentimental mom

Mothers day ….

A day to celebrate and honour the woman who loves you unconditionally. This year I have found some unique products to gift the sentimental mom.

Beautiful keepsakes and meaningful gifts that she can treasure for years.

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Gift guide

1. PAINT YOUR OWN TEA TOWEL

DISHY DESIGNS

These high quality tea towels sell as a kit which includes 1x tea towel, paint brush, fabric paint and paint palette.

A blank canvas for you to create a masterpiece for mom, write a special message or let her create her own memories by painting this with you.

The options are endless.

Lovely to create a gift for a mom or grandma who may live far away.

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2. COLOUR YOUR OWN MANDALA CALENDAR

HEART OF GIFTING

A 12 page A1 size calendar which can be used on your desk to doodle or hung in a family area to note everyone’s activities.

Each page is beautifully designed with a loving scripture verse and an assortment of mandalas to colour.

If your mom is a creative she will love the concept of colouring her month with her hearts colours.

The calendar blocks are large allowing you the freedom to reside how to use this calendar.

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3. LULU SHOPPING BAG

LULU BAGS

Lulu bags are bright and stylish shopping bags that folds up into an attached pouch, allowing you to keep it in your handbag and never need to purchase a plastic bag or ugly retail shop tote again.

These bags have a large capacity and mom could also use it when going off to the beach, visiting the library or to store her crafts.

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4. BOTANICAL RANGE JEWELLERY

MUGA MUGA

Muga Muga are a range of affordable,unique handmade jewellery.

Their botanical range is made from delicate little flowers cast in resin and encased in a wooden casing.

The range consists of necklaces, wrap around bracelets, earrings and rings.

These brought back the fondest memories of my young children picking field flowers for me and will be a hit with any nature loving mom.

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5. PLANT A POT OF FLOWERS

STARKE AYERS

Mothers day doesn’t need to be costly and often the smallest gifts take up the most room in our motherly hearts.

Why not take mom down to Starke Ayers and plant a pot of pansies with her? This is a memory she will cherish and a gift that will survive long past Mothers day.

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6. GIFT BAG

HEART OF GIFTING

Each gift needs a beautiful wrapping and Heart of Gifting have designed these gorgeous gift bags just for mom.

Handmade and printed with your choice of verse or quote at the back. You could also add a special heartfelt message to mom if you preferred.

The front is able to be personalised with mom’s name because nothing says I thought of you more than personalizing a gift.

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Spoil mom this year with a gift wrapped in memories to remind her all year just how much she means to you.

Happy Mothers day 💖

Posted in Blog posts, Family Life

Celebrating the older mom – Judy from Fun Mamma SA

Lastly as an older mom I thought I’d add myself to the CELEBRATING THE OLDER MOM series. I really wanted to highlight the older mom. As the mom of 7 of my own children I know that raising my older 6 was completely different to how I raise my toddler, Hamish, now in my 40’s.

A little bit about me …..

How many children you have.

I’m Judy and I’m the mom of 7 amazing children. My eldest daughter is 26. My boys are 24, 23, 21 and 18. My youngest daughter is 15 and Hamish is 2 and a half.Having a big family people always ask if any of the kids are multiples …. No, each child was an individual natural birth pregnancy.Secondly they ask if all my children are from the same father ( why this matters will always remain a mystery to me) … No! My first 6 children are from my first marriage and Hamish is from my second marriage.

Why you chose to have a baby after 40.

We went on the most amazing December holiday and were living a pretty busy social life when I discovered I was pregnant with Hamish.I was more than a little shocked.The first question. I asked myself was do I want to do this again? Next could I parent alone if this wasn’t what Brent wanted… when I didn’t hesitate to answer Yes on both those questions I realised this was the next part of our journey. My age just happened to be a number.

How this affected your health, if it did.

My pregnancy was certainly a lot harder than when I was younger. I was still able to have him naturally but I was put on bed rest at 32 weeks and was much more anxious than I remember being with my other children.

How you feel being an older mom has it’s benefits.

I’m much more patient. I’ve ironed out all my ideas and theories on my older children so I’m much more confident in the choices I make. I don’t sweat the small stuff. Also because I’m aware of how fast the kids grow I tend to be more in the moment with Hamish and enjoy our time together much more than I did the busy days of my youth rushing after 6 small children.

Have you come across any negativity being an older mom?

Not much that I’ve noticed. I think making mom friends is harder as we are in a different space to our friends and as I often only have Hamish with me people assume I’m a first time mom so I get mountains of advice I’ll never take.

Something you would change this time round ( if you have other children)

I think having more patience through the harder moments is making me a calmer parent than I may have been with my older children.

Words of wisdom to younger mom’s.

Make memories. Take time to slow down. Enjoy the small things.Thank you for reading. I’d love to hear more about your experience as an older mom.

Posted in Blog posts, Family Life

Celebrating the older mom – Karen from Mom Again @ 40

First up in our CELEBRATING THE OLDER MOM series is Karen du Toit.

Karen is the amazing mom of 2 beautiful daughters and blogs over at Mom again @ 40.

Read more about Karen.

Please tell me about yourself.

My name is Karen du Toit. I am a full-time archivist and in my spare time I have been blogging for nearly 10 years now. I love my job, and could not have chosen it better. I studied Library and Information Science, and spent most of my professional life in archiving. I got divorced when my eldest was 6 after we escaped a domestic volatile relationship. I met a great husband a few years later, and our Miss Fine came into our lives, 15 years after the eldest.

How many children you have?

Two daughters, aged 26 and 10. The eldest is our proof of successful parenting. She is a bright, vibrant working girl, married already with three dogs. We are so proud of her. Our youngest is the love of our lives, and she is the focus of our lives at this point in time! Grade 5 with all it’s extra-murals are keeping us very busy.

Why did you chose to have a baby after 40?

I got married again. My husband did not have kids, and we wanted another baby.

How this affected your health, if it did.

I think my health has been improved because of the late pregnancy. I have no health problems or issues. I also breastfed for five years which I think was also good for my body. The extra weight is my own fault. 10 years later I am still planning to lose the “baby weight”. 🙂

How you feel being an older mom has it’s benefits.

I am more relaxed in my parenting. I know that each phase has a good and a bad side, and I try to enjoy this precious person as much as possible. I KNOW it passes so very quickly, before they are off to do their own things.

Have you come across any negativity being an older mom?

No, not at all! It’s sometimes depressing funny when children think I am the grandmother, but only until they know us.

Something you would change this time round ( if you have other children)

Be even more relaxed, and be present. We now struggle with screen time (our own, and those of our children), which we did not have in the 90’s.

Words of wisdom to younger mom’s.

Enjoy each personality, and do not compare. We get to spent time helping to shape precious beings. We should acknowledge them for who they are, and help them to be the best they can be. How precious to know these new souls. In the daily rat-race of working and school and projects we tend to forget how blessed we are to have them in our lives.

To follow Karen on her amazing journey you can find her here:

Blog: MomAgain@40

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/MomAgain40/

Twitter:https://twitter.com/karentoittoit

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/karentoittoit

Pinterest:https://za.pinterest.com/karentoittoit/

Posted in Blog posts, Family Life

10 fun activities to keep your Toddler busy

Our children learn best through play below are a few fun and easy activities to keep your Toddlers busy this week.

1. Building sets.

You can make your own building sets by taping up empty cardboard boxes with masking tape to create lightweight, reusable blocks.

Oatmeal boxes make great silos and large boxes can become child-sized rooms or vehicles with just a few cuts.

You can also create design elements with paint or markers.

2. Create collages

Collect a box full of images cut from old greeting cards, magazines and even advertising combine with wrapping paper, packing materials, buttons,silk flowers, feathers and just about anything else to produce collages and other works of art.

3. Explore science

Purchase an inexpensive magnifying glass and teach the kids to examine the details of everything.

Use egg boxes to sort collections of rocks, flowers, seeds or feathers to study later.

You could also punch holes in a plastic container with a transparent top to hold insects briefly for observation. I like to use the see through plastic fruit holders from Spar as they already have air holes.

4. Pillow mountains

Pile pillows and cushions on the floor in a heap of a mountain to encourage the crawling, climbing and running movement young children need to develop motor co-ordination.

5. Balloon bopping

Your kids can blow up a bag of balloons for throwing, hitting and catching on a gloomy day.

Hamish especially loves this activity and as a baby I would tie a balloon to each hand so he could watch it move wirh his arms.

6. Master a skill.

Kids love to work along side us. They want to help with ordinary things like dishes, cooking or cleaning. Let them help and turn it into a game.

7. Play dress up

Dress up is vital for learning social and emotional skills. You don’t need a massive dress up box , adult clothing and accessories provide great props for exploring self-image and learning about the world .

8. Personalized reading.

For a child learning to read, have them dictate a story about themselves. Transcribe it to sheets of paper and fasten them together, then let them illustrate each page.

Your child can practice reading their own words in a personalized picture book.

For smaller children you can video tape or voice record them telling you a story and play it back to them.

9. Do the math.

Buttons, beans, containers lids, and even dried pasta are ready-made tools for counting and arithmetic activities.

Actual coins work well to demonstrate financial transactions. You could put out a few groceries and play shop by letting your child take turns to be the person shopping and the teller.

Measuring cups and spoons teach measurement.

Find ways to introduce mathematical concepts around the house to your kids. Count the bread rolls, measure the milk, divide the cake, fill each cup equally, ECT.

10. Thinking and speaking.

Encourage your children to express their thoughts as you share everyday tasks and family activities. Get them to think and talk about all kinds of things, then, listen to them and give responses that invite even more conversation.

Each evening ask your toddler what the best part of their day was.
We would love to share in your adventures. If you use any of our ideas please tag #funmammasa in your photos so we can see.

Posted in Family Life

Why I’ll be supporting the Checkers little shop campaign

By now you would have seen that Checkers are launching their amazing learn through play little shop collectables today.

With 35 different mini sets to collect you will build your own building block shop.

I’m in love already.

For every R200 you spend you will receive one set to start your collection. (This is a bit more expensive than both the previous mini shop and mini garden but I feel totally worth it.)

Each set contains :

  • Building blocks
  • Instructions
  • Stickers

You will need to purchase a starter kit, for which I was unable to find a price.

This kit contains :-

  • Building plans and floor layout blueprints
  • Mini figurine
  • Base plate
  • Walls
  • Shelves
  • Stickers

On the Checkers website you can watch the tutorials of how to build your shop, counters, freezer, shelves and even the groceries. Perfect for mom’s like me who really need to follow the instructions when building with blocks.

Of course every store needs a delivery truck and Checkers have a special truck set ready for purchase at R69.99

It looks really cute and I already know that this is the first thing I’ll be buying to add to our shop.

This year Checkers have outdone themselves with a kit that is both appealing to girls and boys. This is a collectable that is not just going to be thrown at the bottom of a toy box or hidden in a box up in the cupboard.

These building blocks can be used for hours of play, are educational and along with the wonderful learn through play downloadable ideas on their site can encourage family bonding. To learn more you can watch here

Happy collecting

Posted in Family Life, Parenting

A letter to you …MOM

“To the mom who’s breastfeeding: Way to go! It really is an amazing gift to give your baby, for any amount of time that you can manage! You’re a good mom.

To the mom who’s formula feeding: Isn’t science amazing? To think there was a time when a baby with a mother who couldn’t produce enough would suffer, but now? Better living through chemistry! You’re a good mom.

To the cloth diapering mom: Fluffy bums are the cutest, and so friendly on the bank account. You’re a good mom.

To the disposable diapering mom: Wow those things hold a lot, and it’s excellent to not worry about leakage and laundry! You’re a good mom.

To the mom who stays home: I can imagine it isn’t easy doing what you do, but to spend those precious years with your babies must be amazing. You’re a good mom.

To the mom who works: It’s wonderful that you’re sticking to your career, you’re a positive role model for your children in so many ways, it’s fantastic. You’re a good mom.

To the mom who had to feed her kids from the drive thru all week because you’re too worn out to cook or go grocery shopping: You’re feeding your kids, and hey, I bet they aren’t complaining! Sometimes sanity can indeed be found in a white bag with a big red chick on it. You’re a good mom.

To the mom who gave her kids a homecooked breakfast lunch and dinner for the past week: Excellent! Good nutrition is important, and they’re learning to enjoy healthy foods at an early age, a boon for the rest of their lives. You’re a good mom.

To the mom with the kids who are sitting quietly and using their manners in the fancy restaurant: Kudos, it takes a lot to maintain order with children in a place where they can’t run around. You’re a good mom.

To the mom with the toddler having a meltdown in the cereal aisle: they always seem to pick the most embarrassing places to lose their minds don’t they? We’ve all been through it. You’re a good mom.

To the moms who judge other moms for ANY of the above?
Glass houses, friend. Glass houses.”

Credit: Ashle Potter

Posted in Family Life

Easy lemon cheese cake desert

Everyone has that “go to” recipe that they can whip up in little to know time, the one they can count on it not to flop.

My “go to” desert recipe is this easy lemon cheese cakey type of desert.

Many years ago when I lived in the small town of Aberdeen in the Eastern Cape, one of my friends taught me to make this.

It really is very easy and uses just for ingredients.

You will need:-

  • 1 packet of tennis biscuits
  • 2 tins of condense milk
  • Lemon juice
  • Margarine
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large glass casserole bowl

How to make your desert

Place your tennis biscuits in a mixing bowl and finely crush them using a potato masher. You can also place them in a ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush them but I find the potato masher works faster and gives me a more even sized crumb.

Place about 4 heaped tablespoons of margarine in the microwave to melt.

Pour the melted margarine into the biscuit crumbs and mix thoroughly to form a base. If this is too dry add more margarine until you get the right consistency and if your mixture is to soft and wet add more crushed biscuits.

Next, squeeze generously about 15ml of lemon juice per tin of condense milk. The more lemon juice you add the tartier the taste.

Mix until you notice the condense milk becoming thicker as it reacts to the lemon juice.

Line your casserole dish base with biscuit and pie mix on top.

Place in fridge until chilled.

You can decorate the top with cherries, cream, lemon rind or mint leaves.

Enjoy.