Posted in Family Life, Family Time, Health & Wellness, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers, Tweens & Teens

How to keep the kids moving during lockdown

With the current COVID-19 crisis and the enforced lock down in South Africa, the pressure is really on us parents to keep our kids fit and active at home.

But with so many other things to consider right now,fitting in physical activities can be quite overwhelming.

This being said, now more than ever, it is important to see our children happy and healthy. A large part of keeping your children both happy and healthy is to keep them enjoying physical activities.

Why is physical activity important?

Physical activity is vital to the healthy growth and development of children.

Physical activity ….

  • Strengthens bones, muscles and joints
  • Develops good posture
  • Assists with balance
  • Allows for optimal heart function
  • Assists with mental health
  • Acts as a stress reliever
  • And allows for better focus

How do you exercise whilst in lockdown?

Worldwide many countries are only social distancing which still allows you the freedom to :

  • Walk with your children
  • Hike a trail
  • Jog or run
  • Go for evening bike rides
  • Go swimming at the beach
  • Go to the park
  • Skateboard

Here in Cape Town, with a full lock down and people only allowed as far as their own yards,these exercises are not options but you can still :

  • Run races in the yard
  • Climb trees
  • Use a trampoline
  • Swim
  • Ride bikes
  • Play games like tag or stuck in the mud
  • Go on a scavanger hunt
  • Play sport games like cricket, soccer, rugby,netball or volleyball

For others even an outside game is impossible as their children are under lockdown in small flats.

How does a family continue to enjoy physical activity indoors?

Here are some ideas of indoor physical activities:

  • Build an obstacle course using your dining room tables and couch cushions
  • Play ball – bounce, roll or learn to catch a beach ball
  • Use a skipping rope and jump rope
  • Use tape to mark out a hopscotch on your kitchen tiles
  • Hula hoop
  • Host a dance party in the lounge
  • Balloon juggling – blow up some balloons and have your child continue to knock the balloon to keep it up in the air
  • Jog on the spot
  • Try online fitness classes
  • Do yoga for kids
  • Complete an indoor scavanger hunt
  • Play games like hide and go seek or farmer in the Dell
  • Give your child a small step ladder to climb up and down
  • Climb up and down stairs
  • Play musical chairs
  • Set up some indoor objects to go bowling
  • Play Simon says
  • Let them leopard crawl from room to room

Most importantly have fun and keep moving.

Posted in Education, Family Life, Health & Wellness, Parenting, preschool, preschool curriculum, preschoolers, Toddlers, Tweens & Teens

28 free resources to help your children understand Coronavirus

With the Covid-19 pandemic interrupting our children’s school year, normal life routine and ability to play with their friends they obviously have many questions.

So many of our children may have heard us talk about this deadly virus that is keeping us home and making us sanitise everything , and whilst we may have explained to them, they may still be anxious, worried, fearful or not fully understanding of the virus.

In light of this I compiled a list of 28 free resources to help your children understand Coronavirus and how to stay healthy during these times.

Education

  1. Hand washing printable from Parent24
  2. What is Coronavirusby National Geographic kids
  3. A wide range of resources on germs from Scholastic
  4. Printable posters in several African languages by SA organisation from The Good news guy

Books, stories and comics

  1. Free Covid-19 comic by Elise Gravel
  2. Coronavirus – a social story from Fragilex.org
  3. Kids reading and pdf colouring book about Coronavirusby Malia jones
  4. Hello ! I’m s virusby Manuela Cruz from Parent24
  5. Colouring in bookfrom St Jude together website
  6. Q is for quarantine- the ABC’s of Coronavirus a colouring in book by Brian & Gordon
  7. H is for handwashing by Sesame Street
  8. What is Coronavirus and how you can play your part to help the community activity book by Moments a day
  9. Shubert and Sophie stay home story by Concious Discipline
  10. Why I cant go to school story by Concious Discipline

Other

  1. Daily schedule from Just a mamma
  2. Toddler schedule from Busy toddler
  3. Positive posters by Squidoodle
  4. Colouring page from playing and learning
  5. Wordsearch
  6. Journal pages to remember this time by letgrow
  7. How to wash your hands videowith Beebee
  8. My healthy week printable to help your children chart their good habits by Sesame street
  9. Free Afrikaans Coronavirus colouring poster by Hero in my hood
  10. Free English Coronavirus colouring poster by Hero in my hood
  11. How to make a Tippy tap by Hero in my hood
  12. Covid-19 time capsule printablesby Long Creations
  13. How to teach young children about germs resource pack by Mother Goose Time

Do you have any other resources we could add to this list ? Let me know in the comments below.

Posted in Health & Wellness, online events

Complimentary live streaming of yoga/ nia classes from Life retreat studios to keep you healthy

Remember those yoga classes you always said you would try?

Well now you can try them from the comfort of your own home.

Live streaming of yoga/ nia classes

In a united effort to both keep South Africa healthy and continue to service their clients during the 21 day Covid-19 lock down, Life retreat studios are hosting complimentary Yoga/ Nia classes daily.

You can join the live classes on this link and can access a full live streaming class schedule here.

To compensate these wonderful teachers, who have no current income, a donation of as little as R10 a month has been requested if you can.

What you will need to join the class

  • A yoga mat or towel
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Internet

What if I miss a class ?

If for any reason the time doesn’t suit you,you miss a class or want to repeatedly a class you can join the Life Retreat Facebook page , scroll down and watch the class later.

Who would benefit from these classes

Movement is important to stay both fit and healthy.

“During physical activity, muscles secrete hormones into your bloodstream that make your brain more resilient to stress. Scientists call them “hope molecules.” – Amy Rojas, Nia sound

This is a great low impact activity that you can enjoy with the kids together in your lounge.

So, what are you waiting for, join a class today.

For more information contact :

Studio@liferetreat.co.za

Image credit : life retreat studios

Posted in Family Life, Health & Wellness, Parenting

How to fill your child’s emotional cup

Just like adults, our children need to recharge.

Boy drinking from mug
When they are thirsty, they drink water.

When they are thirsty, they need water.

When they are hungry, they need food.

When they are tired, they need sleep.

And when they are emotionally upset, they need to reconnect with us and feel love.

They recharge to fill their bodies with the items needed to help them grow, and so they also need to fill the invisible emotional cup that assists them to express and process emotions throughout the day.

What is an emotional cup?

I love the metaphor used by Upbility- publishers of therapy resources, in the poster below, which clearly outlines what an emotional cup is and how parents can help to fill that emotional cup.

They ask you to imagine that your child has an imaginary cup needing to be filled with affection, attention, love and security.

Most children will have a full cup most of the time.

Those children who do not have full cups, have understood how they can refill these cups and then refill them as needed.

But, some children are near empty and become nervous or anxious, not knowing how to refill their cup.

An empty cup

Often times those children, whose cups are near empty, use behaviour patterns that are not favourable to try, in an anxious attempt, to fill their emotional cups.

These can be exhibited as:

  • Stealing from other people’s cups – choosing negative behaviour that will directly upset, hurt or impact someone else.
  • Misbehaving to get attention.
  • Are needy, clingy or require constant attention.
  • Are overly active, resulting in them not being still enough to recieve the required refill.
  • Push away any attempts of affection, attention, love or security.
  • Become more misbehaved, throw tantrums, shout, scream or ‘plays up’ as their emotional cup nears empty.
  • Are always competitive.
  • Are argumentative, violent or aggressive.
EQ poster
Image source: Upbility

What empties a child’s emotional cup ?

To understand how to refill your child’s emotional cup, it is important to understand what empties or drains it.

Some of the things that may trigger an empty cup are:

  • Stress or strain
  • Being rejected or thought of as too different from their peers
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Harsh punishments
  • Yelling
  • Parents fighting
  • School stress with regards to failing, not understanding the school work or exams
  • Fatigue
  • Unstable home environments
  • Non affectionate parents
  • Negativity
  • Being forced to do things they hate – playing a sport because mom paid, ect

What fills a child’s emotional cup?

Just like the negativity around a child can deplete their emotional cups, so positive experiences and displays of attention or affection can fill them.

Security is also an important factor, as children thrive on routine and feeling safe.

Other ways you can fill your child’s emotional cup is through :

  • Play
  • Friendship
  • One on one time
  • Love and displays of affection
  • Positive attention , for example listening to the childs concerns, opinions,ect
  • Succeeding
  • Parents who are visibly proud of their children
  • Doing activities and hobbies they enjoy
  • Positivity

In conclusion

There’s a saying that goes ….

Often the child who needs the most love most, will always ask for it in the most unloving ways – unknown

Before we pass judgement on our child’s emotional outburst or inappropriate behaviour, perhaps we should look at their emotional cups and see how we can help them fill those cups.

Posted in Family Life, Health & Wellness

Park runs and your children

Parkrun South Africa organise free 5km timed runs in various locations around South Africa each week.

These runs are open to everyone, there’s no need to be a serious runner. You can also walk the races.

They are safe with several marshals along the park land routes.

Blouberg
Blouberg park run 2016

How to join

It’s really easy to join. You register online and print a barcode ID.

This ID goes with you each week and helps you to keep track of your own times, amount of runs, ect

Locations and times

There are currently 223 locations nation wide hosting weekly park runs and most start at 8am.

You can find all the information on your closest park run on the parkrun south africa website.

Warming up
Century city park run

Running with kids

Yes, you can run with your children and I have done quite a few park runs with Hamish.

As a baby he would sit in his jogger pram and I would push him. Now that he is older he walk/ runs along side us.

In September, when he turns 4 years old, we can register him and he will recieve his very own bar code to record his runs. He is really excited about this.

Children under the age of 11 years old are required to have an adult run beside them at all times during the park run to ensure the safety of the child.

Things to note

The course does not supply water, so it’s a good idea to carry water along route for your child.

Your child should wear comfortable clothing and good running shoes.

Keep it fun.

Young kids may not make the full 5km and will need to jump in a stroller or be carried.

The routes are uneven so a jogger pram is the best option when choosing a stroller.

Running with dad
Warming up with dad

Benefits of running with your child

Not only is running with your children a good way to set a healthy lifestyle for your family but it also offers a great way to bond with your child.

So, what are you waiting for …. join a park run today.

Posted in Family Life, Family Time, Health & Wellness, Parenting

How much water should your child drink?

Water is best
Water is the best drink to quench a thirst

Water is the best drink to quench a thirst, especially for busy little preschoolers and toddlers.

Water is healthy

Not only is it refreshing, it is also good for your child as it contains no sugars and so doesn’t damage their teeth.

The flouride in tap water, helps to develop strong teeth and bones.

Whilst fruit juices are often seen as a healthier choice because they contain vitamin C, there is a large amount of sugar and kilojoules in fruit juice. A 250ml cup of frunit juice can contain up to 6 teaspoons of sugar.

According to HealthyKids.nsw.gov.au ….

Researchers found that children aged between 4 and 12 years who drank 500ml or more of fruit juice or cordial per day were twice as likely to be overweight or obese as children who consumed none.

How much water should your child drink?

So, how much water should your child be drinking?

The recommended daily amount of water to drink is :

  • Baby – babies can actually consume too much water and this can be life threatening so it’s always best to consult your paediatrician as to how much water is best for your baby. From about a year they can have up to 1 cup of water a day.
  • Toddler – 2 to 4 glasses
  • Preschooler – 4 glasses
  • Child age 5 to 8 years – 5 glasses
  • Child age 9 to 12 years – 7 glasses
  • Teenagers 13+ years – 8 to 10 glasses

We don’t always feel thirsty when our bodies need fluid, so it’s recommended to drink water regularly throughout the day.

You should also offer your child more water if they are exercising or on a hot day.

How to get your child to drink more water

We are lucky that Hamish loves water and chooses it over most drinks as a first option but my other children were not as easy to give water to.

For me the first way is to lead by example. If your child sees you drinking more water or choosing water as a first option to quench your thirst, they are likely to do the same.

Pack a water bottle for each outing and offer that first. In summer it’s nice to freeze your water bottle at night if you are taking it with the next day, that way it thaws and stays nice and cold throughout the day.

Keep cold water in the fridge and accessible to your child, like in a fun water dispenser in the kitchen.

Use smaller glasses when offering fruit juices or cordials or water down any juice.

Do your children like water or do you struggle to get them to drink any? Can you share some great ways to get kids to drink more water in the comments below?
Posted in babies, Brands we love, Fun Mamma SA Products we love, Health & Wellness, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers

The Baby wombworld night light and sleep training clock

Hamish has recently transitioned into his own bed and we were faced with two problems …

1. To find a small light that he could operate if he needed to get up at night

2. To find a way to regulate his sleeping pattern and keep him in bed a little longer

The Baby WombWorld night light and sleep training clock

I was immediately drawn to the compact and stylish Baby WombWorld night light and sleep training clock.

This ingenious clock is inspired by nature to simulate natural sunrises and sunsets, allowing your child to wake up naturally, gently and more rested.

Using 6 soft hues of green, red, blue, pink, orange and indigo and a white light that vary in brightness on one of 10 levels.

How does it work

To simulate a sunrise the lights will start on level 1 brightness and gradually brighten to a level 10.

For the sunset, 30 minutes before sunset, the light automatically starts to dim from level 10 brightness down to level 1.

Our experience

We’ve been using the nightlight/ clock for a little over a week and I was eager to see if we could set a routine for Hamish with it.

He would wake anywhere from 5am to 7am depending on if he had slept during the day or if he had gone to bed at 8pm or just after.

Because we still wake him at night to go to the loo, he was also sometimes only half awake when he woke up in the morning and obviously then niggly and not as rested.

The first two days I wasn’t sure we were actually going to make much difference and Hamish continued to wake and come to me.

A week later, he now wakes with the alarm, preferring the natural sounds to the radio and his body has found a natural rhythm of waking at 6.30am each morning.

This gives me some time to wake before him.

He’s also more rested during the day and less inclined to be moody, and I’m still waking him once at night to go to the toilet.

Best of all I find by 7.30pm he’s well and truly done for the day and ready for bath, story and bedtime.

Extra features

The Baby WombWorld night light and sleep training clock is an alarm clock and light that will grow with Hamish.

The design is stylish and will compliment any room.

It has a digital time display, alarm function and snooze button.

Your child can choose to wake to the FM radio, which is great as they get older or any one of the 6 natural sounds.

The light plugs into any plug point, uses a DC 5v battery or USB and if there is a power outage you can use 2x AAA batteries to keep to your childs sleep routine.

Watch our review

https://www.facebook.com/491178387563206/posts/3162847120396306/

Where to buy your own Baby Wombworld night light and sleep training clock

The Baby Wombworld night light and sleep training clock is avaliable from http://www.babywombworld.co.za

Posted in Family Life, Health & Wellness, Parenting

What is an allergy?

In October Hamish landed up in hospital because he could not breathe, was wheezing and had what looked like a bad chest infection which honestly had developed within a few short hours.

We had been happily picking strawberries one moment and by the time we got home I had a child crying that he could not breathe.

I wrote about our hospital trip at the time.

What resulted was us discovering, through a weekend hospital stay and some allergy tests, that Hamish had quite a severe dust mite allergy.

His allergy won’t be cured, but with proper care we can control them.

As a mom with a newly diagnosed child I read as much as I could about allergies and allergens and found many of my questions regarding the myths of allergies answered at Premier Allergy

What is an allergy?

Allergies are caused by the body’s reaction to substances called allergens. These allergens trigger the immune system to react to harmless substances they believe are harming the body.

When to suspect an allergy?

According to Healthy children the symptoms of an allergy can present themselves as one or several of the following :

  • Repeated or chronic cold like symptoms that last longer than 2 weeks
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Sneezing
  • Throat clearing
  • Nose rubbing
  • Eye rubbing
  • Sniffling
  • Snorting
  • Itchy eyes
  • Running eyes
  • Itching or tingling sensations in the mouth or throat
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty in breathing and other respitory symptoms
  • Recurrent red, itchy, dry or flaky rashes in the creases of the skin. In particular the wrists and ankles.

Common Allergens in the home

Some of the more common allergens that can affect an allergy can be found in your home.

They include:

  1. Dust – Dust contains dust mites and fine particles from other allergens.
  2. Fungi – These include mould that is too small to be seen with the naked eye.
  3. Fury animals – most animals with long hair set off allergies. Pets like dogs, cats, rabbits, Guinea pigs, ect
  4. Clothing – Clothing made with animal hair, like sheep or alpaca wool, can irritate allergies.
  5. Toys – The same applies to toys. Knitted toys and plush toys store dust and these can agrivate an allergy.
  6. Latex – several people can have a reaction to latex in household products like gloves, erasers, balloons, toys and the elastic in socks and underwear.
  7. Bacterial enzymes – These are often used to make household cleaning products.
  8. Foods – Certain foods can trigger Allergies, with one of the most common being nuts.

How to control allergy symptoms

One of the first things our paediatrician outlined was how we could control our environment to make it safer for Hamish.

Dust mites congregate in areas where they can find the most food for themselves. As they live off flakes of human skin, they are commonly found in beds, couches, carpets, ect

For us this meant investing in waterproof matress protectors and pillow case protectors .

I vaccume his bed matress and planks every second day and as we have carpets I vacuume our home daily.

We threw out the soft toys, only keeping 2 or 3 favourites. We also wash his toys weekly and vacume things like teepees and tents.

If he plays outside I’m sure to wash his hands often and we always have allergex in the fridge.

We use a humidifier to keep the air clean but airconditioners are best as they reduce your exposure to pollen.

Mostly we listened to the advice of our paediatrician, and 3 months down the line i’m happy to say we seem to be able to keep his allergies under control.

For further information Premier Allergy and the Allergy foundation of South Africa have wonderful resources and articles on allergens and allergies.

Posted in Brands we love, Family Life, Family Time, Health & Wellness, Parenting

Practical presents for kids who love gardening

Hamish and I love to spend our time ouside and starting a little garden with him has been a goal since I bough him home from hospital.

And whilst we’ve done a few little gardening projects, I really wanted him to be able to enjoy his new hobby with kiddy sized garden tools.

So, when I saw the stunning little garden kit from Practical presents, I knew I’d found the perfect way to start his hobby.

Who is practical presents ?

Practical presents is owned by a mom who understands the practicality of including quality essentials without breaking the budget but who is also mindful of the excitement of the little ones opening their gift.

With a range of gifts that suit most price ranges you can find practical gift hampers for a mom to be , toddlers and even for the young adult moving on their own for the first time.

I love that not only is the pricing affordable but these gift boxes can be ordered online and delivered to the child as a fun way for a distant relative, like a grandparent or aunt, to send a memory making activity.

The garden kit

Hamish’s kit contains everything you need to get your spring garden growing.

🌸watering can
🌸garden tool set
🌸decorative flower pot
🌸Starke Ayres kids flower seeds

Why you should Garden with kids

Gardening with children promotes responsibility, a love of nature and helps to strengthen the child/parent bond.

A child also learns early biology by understanding the plant life cycle and learning how to care for plants.

Our gardening experience

Hamish was very excited when we planted our little pot and there was so much giggling as he slowly dropped little stones into the pot.

Next he filled the pot with some soil, added some seeds and watered everything ,while I explained how the flower was going to grow from a seed to a plant but it needed sunlight and water.

The watering can is his absolute favourite part of this little garden kit.

When we had finished he carried the pot inside and asked about eight times if the flower had grown yet.

Wish me luck as we wait for the first seed to sprout.

* garden update …..Unfortunately Hamish overly loved his plant and gave it far to much water, so we are currently trying a second time to grow some seeds.

To order your own kits visit http://www.practicalpresents.co.za

Posted in Brands we love, Health & Wellness, recipes

Do Good and Save Food This World food day

World Food Day 2019
Do good, save food with GLAD

Every year people from around the world come together to declare their commitment to tackle global hunger on 16 October, World Food Day.

World Food day provides an opportunity to shine a light on food waste, our environmental footprint and most importantly the 870 million undernourished people across the planet – and to reaffirm one’s commitment to ‘save good food, from going bad’ exactly like the GLAD slogan.

It is estimated that as much as a third of all food produced goes to waste, in South Africa this is equivalent to a staggering 201kg per person annually!

A portion of this happens during the production cycle and is why ‘odd-shaped’ fruit and veggies are being reintroduced by some grocery stores.

With these figures alone, it is clear, that we need to act in our daily lives to make a difference in any way we can to reduce this number.

Let GLAD help you be the hero to stop good food from going bad:

  • Begin by planning your meals ahead of time and shop accordingly. If you buy in bulk, portion and then store in GLAD Zip Seal Bags or wrap using GLAD Wrap or Press ‘n Seal and freeze, defrost as needed. For example, if three meals require broccoli, separate the large pack into three portions to store. Do the same with your fresh herbs, nuts, meat, chicken, fish and other perishables.
  • Organise your fridge, keeping items with the earlier expiration date in the front and the longest behind. Naturally use in this order too.
  • Love your leftovers! Instead of scraping leftovers into the bin, keep them for another meal, by storing in a GLAD Zip Seal Bag in the freezer. They are transparent, allowing you to see immediately what’s inside and they have a printed white strip already on them, to write the contents and date stored.
  • If you don’t eat your leftovers, share them!
  • Understand the dates on your food. After the “use-by” date food is not safe to eat, and you need to dispose of it. Add fruit and veggies to your compost heap. “Best Before” dates only indicate when the item is at its best, if it has been properly stored it can still be consumed after this date.
For GLAD, every gram counts, and we’d like to invite you to join us in being more aware this World Food Day (and beyond), to save good food from going bad. As all GLAD products are made for your convenience with the purpose of keeping your food fresh for longer.

Please visit www.glad.co.za for more information and follow ‘GLAD SOUTH AFRICA’ on Facebook; All products are available in the GLAD aisle of most supermarkets

( Content Supplied)