Posted in Brands we love, Covid-19/ Coronavirus, Education, Family Life, Family Time, Parenting, preschool curriculum

Superbook – wholesome content to build character.

In November last year Hamish recieved a wonder gift from Superbook and the beginning of a lifelong love for Jesus.

The DVD’s told the story of Jesus’s birth and explained the true meaning of Christmas in a way that touched his little heart.

You can read my review here

But more than that he began to identify with the characters and we soon found ourselves downloading the Superbook App onto my phone.

This opened up a world of Bible stories and learning and we currently use the App in our morning Bible lessons.

But with so many resources out there why Superbook?

There are many reasons we use Superbook,

  • because Hamish identified with the relatable characters
  • The stories are engaging and interesting
  • They are told in a child centered way
  • I know that I’m contributing to his character training and faith presenting him with quality content suitable for children

As more and more parents find themselves homeschooling and unable to take their little ones to church or Sunday school, they are looking for activities and wholesome content for their children during this time.

At Superbook their heart is to see parents become intentional about their children’s spiritual formation.

Forming characters that emulate after the life of Jesus.

Superbook are passionate about offering parents content that forms a base for their children’s spiritual development. Knowing this, it is easy to place your trust in the wonderful resources this App and website offers.

Parents are encouraged to utilise the various Superbook resources and make them part of your child’s daily activity schedule during the coronavirus downtime.

Superbook has great curated content that help shape and form children spiritual development and character. This for me is especially important when bringing up little ones who are experiencing such a challenging time right now.

The best way to use the App

Parents, when using the app and website, are encouraged to not just view it as content that entertains children and keeps them busy but rather a time to explore the bible together with their children.

This is the perfect time to rekindle the wonder, joy and pleasure of knowing God together as a family.

Superbook encourage parents to:

• Explore the characters of the bible with Joy, Chris and Gizmo through the app and website
• Go through the downloadable discussion guides with children after every Superbook video
• Encourage children to play video games that help reinforce biblical messages and lessons.
•Go on a historical journey after every episode with the historical background video’s on the app.


Let the Bible come to life with Gizmo and his friends.

You can find more information at :

www.superbook.cbn.com

Posted in Covid-19/ Coronavirus, Family Life, Family Time, Life with my bears, Mamma bears, Parenting

One day

As I scrolled through my Facebook feed, I came across this beautiful reminder of where we are right now, as people, a country, the world.

I wanted to preserve these beautifully written words to one day look back one and remember to always be greatful for what we have.

One day

Author: unknown

A year the world will never forget.

A part of history our grandchildren and those that follow them will learn about in the years to come.

2020

– Lockdown started March 26, 2020, 00:00. – – – -We’re stuck in SA as all borders are closed, no flights in or out, except repatriation of visitors to their home countries

– Part 2 of SA “Lockdown” has also been announced and extended with another 2 weeks… Until April 30, 2020. However, this is only from level 5 to level 4.. still a long way to go.

– Cannot leave your house for any reason except for essential shopping or medical reasons.

– The petrol price is R13.76, the cheapest in a long time.

– School closed, some learners doing online classes.

– Self-isolation measures in place.

– Adhesive tape on the floors at grocery stores to keep shoppers 1m distance from each other.

– A limited number of people allowed inside stores, so queues are outside the store doors and inside too.

– Non-essential shops and businesses are closed. No alcohol or cigarettes for sale.

– All sports cancelled… Olympic games postponed to 2021.

– Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events cancelled. Some celebrities have done online performances.

– Weddings, family celebrations, holiday gatherings cancelled.

– Churches are closed.

– Beaches are closed.

– No visits with anyone outside your house.

– Children’s outdoor play parks are closed. May not go for a walk with your dog, run or cycle.

– Lack of masks and gloves in the country.

– Government closes the border for all non-essential trips.

– All flights based, locally and internationally on hold until Sept?

– People wear masks and gloves outside.

– Permits needed to be able to go to work (only workers who qualify level 4)

– Army and police in the streets to make sure no one is outside.

– Everyone gets sanitised when entering a shop. Home deliveries dropped at your gate, no personal contact in any form.

– Rand has weakened to R19,15 against the US dollar. R20,60 to the Euro. R12 to the Aussie Dollar. R23,16 against the GBP

– Repo rate the lowest in decades

This is the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,

Why, am I writing this?

One a day, this will appear in my ” Facebook Memory,” and it will be an annual reminder that life is precious and that we should not take the things we love for granted. We have so much to be thankful for.

Be friendly, love each other and support where you can. ❤

Posted in Family Life, Health & Wellness

15 uses for hydrogen peroxide

The first time I ever heard about peroxide was when at 15, I wanted to dye my hair and a friend suggested we use peroxide.

So began many hours of me using peroxide to lighten the mousy brown that was once my natural colour.

I was fascinated to read of the many other benefits of peroxide and thought I would share them now, especially during the Covid-19 lockdown, as some of the uses are great for household sanitation.

Did you know?

Peroxide was first invented during WWI.

It was used to help cleanse the needs of troops and hospitals.

Other uses for peroxide

( Disclaimer: These helpful hints were all found on the Internet, use of any of these tips is at your own risk.

Do not ingest hydrogen peroxide!

Do not supplement this information for medical advice. Always consult a medical practitioner.)

1. Mouth wash -Take one capful of hydrogen peroxide and hold in your mouth for 10 minutes daily, then spit it out. No more canker sores. Use it instead of mouthwash.

2. Whiten teeth – as for mouth wash, take one cap of hydrogen peroxide and hold it in your mouth for 10 minutes daily, spit out.

3. Clean toothbrushes – Let your toothbrushes soak in cup of peroxide to keep them free of germs.

4. Kitchen cleaner – Clean your counters and table tops with peroxide to kill germs. Put a little on your cleaning cloth when you wipe, or spray it mixed 50/50 with water on the counters.

5. Kill salmonella -After rinsing off your wooden cutting boards, pour a little peroxide on them to kill salmonella and other bacteria.

6. Foot fungus – Treat foot fungus by spraying a 50/50 mixture of peroxide and water on them every night and let dry.

7. First aid -Soak any infections or cuts in 3% peroxide for five to 10 minutes several times a day.

8.Bathroom cleaner – Fill a spray bottle with a 50/50 mixture of peroxide and water and keep it in every bathroom to disinfect without harming your septic system.

9. For sinus– Tilt your head back and spray into your nostrils with a 50/50 peroxide and water mixture if you have a cold or plugged sinus. The peroxide will bubble and help to kill any bacteria. Hold for a few minutes, and then blow your nose into a tissue.

10. Toothache -If you have a toothache and cannot get to a dentist right away, put a capful of 3% peroxide into your mouth and hold it for 10 minutes several times a day. The pain will lessen greatly.

11. Hair dye – If you like a natural look to your hair, spray a 50/50 solution of peroxide and water onto your wet hair after a shower and comb it through. You will have a more natural highlights if your hair is a light brown, reddish, or dirty blonde. It also lightens gradually, so it’s not a drastic change.

12.Skin infection – Put half a bottle of peroxide in your bath to help get rid of boils, fungus, or other skin infections.

13. Laundry -You can add a cup of peroxide instead of bleach to a load of whites in your laundry to whiten them. If there is blood on clothing, pour it directly on the spot. Let it sit for a minute, then rub it and rinse with cold water. Repeat if necessary.

14.Mirrors – Uou can use peroxide to clean mirrors. There is no smearing.

15. Remove urine smell– If someone has peed on the floor around the toilet, and it’s begun to smell of urine, just put some peroxide in a spray bottle with water and spray. Wipe with a rag and your smell will ne gone.

This is one little brown bottle no home should be without!

I’d love to hear in the comments if you have any other uses for peroxide.

Posted in Education, Family Life, Family Time, Health & Wellness, Parenting, preschool, preschoolers, Press releases, Toddlers, Tweens & Teens

Takalani Sesame – caring for each other : Resources to help parents during these uncertain times

For over 50 years, Sesame Workshop have addressed important and difficult situations and provided support to families and children as they encounter these challenges in their lives.

Many of these challenges are surrounded in uncertainty and whilst we as parents, may not know what to expect, we know that we can rely on our Takalani friends to provide the strategies and messages to help us guide our children through these times.

Resources

As a direct response to the Coronavirus pandemic facing the world, Sesame Workshop’s Caring for each other inciative has launched new resources to assist parents and children.

These resources form part of an ongoing commitment by Sesame Workshop to help caregivers and children to navigate their ” for now normal” during this crisis and beyond.

What you can expect

The resources will also allow families and children to stay connected with the lovable Takalani Sesame characters on a regular basis.

The new resources will include:

  • Videos featuring our furry friends.
  • Printable activity sheets that focus on healthy habits
  • And playful learning activities.

Fun new resources

Sesame workshop continues to deliver on this commitment with the release of new content including:

  • Washy Wash with Elmo: Families can sing along with Elmo as he washes his hands for 20 seconds—washing the germs away and helping everyone stay healthy.
  • Learning how to sneeze and cough safely with Grover: Grover helps children remember that when they feel a tickle in their noses or throats, they should remember to sneeze or cough into their upper sleeve or elbow—that helps keep the germs off their hands and away from other people. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!
  • Time to Wash Your Hands! Our Muppets demonstrate different situations where children and families should wash hands—after coughs and sneezes, before eating, after playing, after using the bathroom, and more.
  • Caring for Myself, Caring for Others: Our Muppets help children understand that when you take good care of yourself, you’re taking good care of others, too.

Takalani Sesame has long been a source of comfort for children and families during difficult times, and now more than ever, it is important to have healthy habits,be active and support our family and friends. What better way, than to learn with our favourite Takalani Sesame friends.

Together, we can help families get through these uncertain times and build hope for the future.

For more information visit Takalani Sesame

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 Family Life

5 unique ways to celebrate your birthday during lockdown

During April we celebrated two of my children’s birthdays.

My eldest daughter turned 28

and one of my sons turned 19.

Whilst our celebrations were most certainly a lot quieter and missing most of our family, as we are scattered during lockdown, there were still really special ways to celebrate.

Although technology has made it easy for us all to Skype, Zoom, whatsapp or facetime and we can send virtual hugs, messages, e-cards and gift voucher gifts, I was looking for a unique way for them to celebrate.

Here are 5 unique ways that you can make your loved ones birthdays extra special during the pandemic.

Birthday videos

1.Get a free birthday video wish from the zoo crew

This custom video is avaluable in English and French and contains your child’s favourite animals.

2. Zoom zoum superheroes, princesses, clowns and magicians have generously made special birthday wishes videos to make sure your child feels special on the day of their birthday.

Free printables

Quarantine lockdown banner from Dandelion Designs

Fun stuff

See what Hubble recorded in the universe on your birthday from NASA

After lockdown

Table mountain cableway are offering you a ticket if you Missed your free Cableway Birthday Special ticket during the Lockdown. You’ll be able to collect your ticket within the two weeks after they reopen.

So, if you or your child are celebrating a birthday, enjoy one of these unique ways to celebrate.

Posted in Book Reviews, Family Life, Family Time, online events, Parenting, Tweens & Teens

Marvel are offering free access to Iconic comic book stories

As the mother of 5 sons, Marvel are part of our daily lives , so I was excited to see that Marvel have come to the rescue and offered free access to many of their comic books during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This will certainly help to lift the mood during lockdown.

Social distancing fans will be able to escape to the Marvel digital subscription universe from 2 April to 4 May with a specially curated list of old favorites from :

  • Avengers
  • Spiderman
  • Black widow
  • Captain America
  • Captain Marvel

How to access the comics

To access the Marvel Unlimited’s free comics you will need to download the Marvel Unlimited App for iOS or Android.

Click “free comics” on the landing screen. ( No payment or trial subscription will be required)

What comics are on offer?

Comics on offer this month will include instant Marvel comic classics and some can’t miss events like :

Each of these epic stories owe their origin to some of Marvel’s greatest comic books. In celebration of this, Marvel have included an information page to each story.

Happy reading Marvel fans.

Posted in Family Life, Family Time, Parenting, Tweens & Teens

21 Free Digital Escape rooms to enjoy

Are your kids tired of online stories and colouring? Do you have tweens and teens looking for something new and exciting to keep them entertained during lock down?

Have you tried a Digital escape room?

What is an escape room ?

An escape room is traditionally a locked room, in which you are tasked to find clues to help you escape.

You need to solve each clue of problem in order to move to the next clue, until you’ve found the final answer and can escape.

A digital escape room is the same concept in a digital space.

The digital escape rooms give you a short story in reference to your theme. You will be given prompts leading to clues that need to be solved. Just as in live escape rooms, all clues need to be answered in order for you to escape.

Escape rooms help to build problem solving skills and so are great educational tools.

Physical escape rooms

We visited the Hint Hunt escape rooms in Woodstock last year and it was a huge amount of fun as we dashed about trying to solve our clues before time ran out.

They also have a branch at V and A waterfront

Country wide you can find physical escape rooms at this escape room directory

Online escape rooms

Alice in Wonderland – Kids aged 10 + will enjoy this adventure in Wondrtland as they fall down the rabbit hole with Alice.

Animal adventure – This game is designed for children from gr 3 up. Help the zoo keeper round up the animals that have escaped in the zoo.

Asteroid collision – You have 45 minutes to find the lost codes to your space station before an asteroid crashes into you.

Cinderella’s escape – A game for the tweens. Help Cinderella escape her evil step mother and maybe meet her prince.

Dr Seuss – Oh the places you will go as you work your way through the 5 Dr Seuss challenges. A fun game for kids 8+

Escape from Star Killer base ( Star wars) – This Star wars inspired Tom has multiple roles to choose from. Designed for group play, you can play alone as you escape the Stormtroopers.

Escape the fairy tale – Although designed for children 10+ , a younger child would manage trying to escape the 3 bears, like Goldilocks did, with adult help for the more difficult clues.

Escape the lions den – on a field trip you get left behind in the lion dens. You need to escape before the lions get back from the vet. Aimed at children from grade 2

Famous Americans – Can you save these 10 famous American figures? A game for kids age 9 +

Fortnite – reading comprehension – Battle Royale – A game your Firtnite fanatics will enjoy. This game tests your reading comprehension as well as your knowledge of maneuvering around Fortnite. An engaging game for struggling readers.

Halloween haunt – perfect for grades 3 to 7 this haunting game needs to be solved before the clock strikes midnight.

Harry Potter – escape from Hogwarts – This Harry Potter inspired escape room is a great escape into the magical world for any young witch or wizard as they transform into a first year student at Hogwarts.

Hunger games – Compete in a game of life or death as you dodge the curve balls. This popular escape room incorporates literary elements and figurative language in the clues.

Looney Tunes escapes – designed for all ages , this fun game brings the Looney tune world to life as you solve each puzzle to escape.

Marvel Adventures – Escape from Hydra base – This game is for all ages but ig is suggested an adult or older sibling help younger kids. Your mission is to encode the location of a doomsday device before undercover hydra agents steal it to do evil.

Pikachu’s rescue – A great challenge for children age 6 +

Pikachu has dissapeared and you need to solve the clues to find him.

Rescue the revolution – This is one for the History fans. The Colonists race to find the key to win the American revolutionary war. Can you save the country?

Sherlock Holmes – You will need a pen and paper for this game as your detective skills are put to the test. A detective of any age can solve these puzzles.

Smurfs escape – Help save the Smurfs from Gargamels trap by solving all the puzzles before he returns. A good game for kids from Grade 2.

Spy apprentice adventure – Travel the world as a spy apprentice solving clues and mysteries. A great game for teens and adults.

States of matter – A great game aged at kids grade 3 to 5 and focuses on the science of matter. Solve the clues and uncover the states of matter.

Each of these escape rooms offer between 10 and 30 minutes of challenging fun.

Grab the kids, hubby or a friend online and get problem solving.

Posted in Family Life, Family Time, Giving back, Parenting

Prayer for a pandemic

As we end our third week of lockdown, I wanted to share this beautiful poem I came across.

Prayer for a pandemic

– Camren Wiggins Bellim

May we who are mearly inconvenienced

Remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors

Remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home

Remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close

Remember those who have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips

Remember those who have no place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult if the economic market

Remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for quarantine at home

Remember those who have no home.

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,

Let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours.

Amen

Posted in Family Life

Dreaming of a new bathroom

Having everyone at home over lockdown has made me realise that we simply do not have an adequate bathroom at all, in fact we could very much do with a bathroom remodel.

I’m contemplating my dream bathroom makeover right now as I sit staring at the rain clouds about to burst forth and wondering how my landlord will react to me upgrading his bathroom to family version 2.1 with my vision of home improvements for his flat.

Our bathroom

We have a bathroom and a guest toilet that I personally think were most likely designed somewhere in the 80’s and although functional do not really meet the needs of a modern day family.

The style and tiles are outdated and you can see it is a rental as several tiles are showing a slight crack due to everyday wear and tear.

Tiles

My first reaction would be to change the tiles. A crisp white would give the small room a simple yet clean look. It would also not “date” the bathroom to a specific era.

Tiles are easy to clean and simple to wipe down with bathroom cleaner, or in the event of mould ( which often happens in our flat due to the house design) -a mould cleaner.

Knowing this I would tile the entire room, not just as currently above the bath and in the shower.

Vinyl

I love vinyl and think a cute vinyl saying or quote above the bath would add a touch of fun to the room.

You can also decorate so well with vinyl. Simply peel off and reapply a new design as you upgrade your room.

For those who rent this is also a great option to making your rental space feel like your own.

Decor

I wouldn’t add much in line of decor as the room to me is more about functionality and with a hoard of boys in and out, I’d spend far too many hours trying to neaten up.

But I would replace our horrid medicine cabinet ( with it’s aged yellow hue) to a decorative mirror and add a small wooden shelf above the basin to hold toothbrushes.

A matching shelf above the toilet and bath would allow for storage and a pretty (plastic) pot plant.

Shower

The shower is my least favourite, with it’s wobbly doors and outdated shower head.

I honestly do not enjoy having to wash in our current box like shower, and would love a shower that adds a little elegance and luxury to my bathroom.

I’ve recently been drooling over at Kohler Luxstone as inspiration.

A luxurious new shower that not only looks amazing but also has functional accessories and shelving that doesn’t rust or warp would be a welcome addition to my current dorm like bathroom.

Final touch

And while I’m dreaming, the final touches to my dream bathroom would be some thick, fluffy, soft beige towels ( because can any home with boys really own white towels? ) and a deep bath math to soak up all the splush splashes from my threenager and soap suds from the teens.

For now I’ll just keep dreaming as I grab the bathroom cleaner and head up to clean the toilet ….again!