Posted in babies, Life with my bears, preschool, preschoolers, recipes, Toddlers

How to make Pirate bananas

Each year on the 19 September we celebrate International talk like a pirate day.

To celebrate this year Hamish dressed up in his pirate mask and ran around shouting “Arrrr! Me matey!” as he pretended to be Jake from the Neverland Pirates before we settled down to a breakfast of Pirate bananas.

Pirate bananas

I hear you asking what a pirate banana is….

It is simply a banana with pirate face drawn onto it. I saw one online somewhere and it has stuck with me.

Hamish loves them.

To make your own

To make your own you will need :

Bananas

A piece of cloth or serviette as a bandana ( I used Johnson & Johnson baby wipes)

A black permanent marker

To make up

Draw your pirates face onto the top half of the banana.

Fold your material to form a triangle and tie on.

These make a really cute lunch box suprise or party favour.

Hamish, being just short of 3 years old decided of course, that I wasn’t allowed to break the face when opening the banana.

Have to love a preschooler 🤦‍♀️

Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do, Family Life, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers

50 budget friendly fun holiday activities to keep the kids busy.

It’s the holidays and you have 2 weeks to keep the kids busy.

Whilst there are many amazing and wonderful programs, workshops and activities for the kids, often there are also parents who just can not afford to use these options as they exceed the budget.

Here’s my list of 50 budget friendly things you can do with the kids these holidays.

  1. Perform a puppet show
  2. Make magazine collages
  3. Play board games
  4. Have a bubble bath or fill a small plastic pool with bubbles
  5. Have a dance party
  6. Listen to an audio book or make your own by recording a book you read
  7. Make paper chains
  8. Build a blanket fort
  9. Make box cars, boats or houses
  10. Bake together
  11. Play dress up
  12. Go to the library
  13. Play a card game
  14. Build puzzles
  15. Blow bubbles
  16. Have an indoor picnic
  17. Go on a scavenger hunt
  18. Be superheroes with homemade capes made from towels
  19. Draw or paint a picture
  20. Start a scrapbook
  21. Make a video of your child singing or saying a poem
  22. Make paper aeroplanes
  23. Make and play with playdough
  24. Make friendship braclets
  25. Play with balloons
  26. Make your own musical instruments
  27. Paint each others faces
  28. Watch a movie
  29. Play hopscotch
  30. Have a tea party
  31. Make a car wash for toy cars
  32. Have a foam fight outside
  33. Make mud pies
  34. Finger paint
  35. Play in puddles
  36. Play hide and seek
  37. Go on a nature walk
  38. Plant flowers and start a garden
  39. Make shadow puppets
  40. Build a shoe box city
  41. Paint rocks
  42. Play charades
  43. Write letters to friends and family
  44. Write it tell a story
  45. Learn new songs or rhymes
  46. Read a book
  47. Build Lego towers
  48. Make a toy hospital and let your child be the doctor
  49. Run races or have an indoor obstaclean course
  50. Cuddle up and say I love you

How ever you choose to spend the holidays may then be full of love and memories.

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

School Holiday challenge … Day 3

Sunday’s are family days. A time to connect and spend time together.

One of the easiest ways to do that is to get outdoors. Put on those Takkies and take the family for a walk. This is both healthy and fun.

A fun way to make this more exciting is to challenge the kids to a nature hunt.

A nature hunt is a list of items they need to find in your back garden, the park, or on your stroll through your neighbourhood.

Try to make your list relevant to your childs age and abilities. For example a little child may just look for a flower, whereas an older child can be asked to find a specific flower like a rose, sunflower or lily.

Here are some examples of a few fun nature hunts.

( photo credit unknown or on image .)

Make your own

Take a piece of paper or card. Draw or list a few items you want your child to collect.

Give your child the list and a marker to pick off each item found.

Just for fun

You could also divide into groups and see who finds the items fastest.

Happy hunting mammas.

Posted in babies, Crafts, Family Life, Fine motor activities, preschool, preschoolers, recipes, Toddlers

School Holiday challenge Day 2 – Homemade bath paint recipes

Most children love messy play as it stimulates their senses and allows them the freedom to explore and play.

Today’s challenge is fabulous for bath time but you can also use any of the recipes to let your child paint on glass doors, windows, tiles or a large plastic tray.

It washes off easily with hot soapy water.

I’ve included 3 recipes to make bath paints. I use the first one as I find it has a better consistency and can be made a few hours before and stored in the fridge.

RECIPES

1.Shaving cream bath paint

To make the shaving cream bath paints you will need:

🎨 A container to mix paints into ( cake baking tins work best, but you can use anything non breakable)

🎨 Shaving cream

🎨 food colouring

🎨 paint brush

To mix your paints together spray a generous amount of shaving cream into each container, add one or two drops of food colouring and mix well.

Note: The food colouring does not stain your child or the bath because it’s used in such small drops.

2. Yoghurt bath paint

This is a great paint to use with little children whom you think may try eat the paint.

The consistancy is a lot more runny, you could add some corn flour to thicken it if you feel it is too runny.

To make the yoghurt bath paints you will need:

🎨 A container to mix paints in. (I like to use a 6 pack yoghurt and use the little pots themselves as my paint pots.)

🎨 Yoghurt

🎨 food colouring

🎨 paint brush

To mix your paint, divide your yoghurt into little containers and add one or two drops of food colouring to your yoghurt.

The colours will be more pastel looking.

3. Bath tub finger paint.

This is a nice alternative to the shaving cream paint but also more runny and better for sensitive skin, as you can use your favourite baby wash or shampoo.

To make the bath finger paint you will need:

🎨 a container to mix your paint

🎨 About 4 to 6 tablespoons of your favourite baby wash or shampoo for each colour.

🎨 food colouring

🎨 1 teaspoon of corn flour per colour

🎨 paintbrush

To make your paint into each container add 4 to 6 tablespoons of your baby wash or shampoo.

Add a drop of food colouring per container.

Mix into each colour, a teaspoon of corn flour.

Mixing colours

Here’s a handy chart to mix your colours.

Happy bubbles mammas ❤

Posted in Education, Fine motor activities, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers

Fine motor activities- Save the dinosaur

Developing the strength in the little muscles in the hands and fingers is important for your child to learn to write, feed themselves and get dressed by buttoning, doing up zips, ect.

There are many fun activities to develop these skills. Save the dinosaur is one of them.  This game takes 5 minutes to set up and is fantastic for quiet time or traveling.




YOU WILL NEED :


🦕Toy dinosaur ( or other favourite animal)
🦕Elastic bands


How to play


Wrap the elastic bands around the toy and ask your child to remove them.

You can adjust the difficulty by adding more elastics or twisting them to make it harder to remove.


Note
Always supervise play with elastic bands.

Posted in Family Life, Health & Wellness, Parenting

LESS LIGHT MORE SLEEP …Innovative specs help with ADHD

ADHD – a modern menace

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has become a modern menace for millions of children and adults alike. 

It is characterised by problems with concentration, impulse control, organisation and memory and makes life difficult for the child affected by the condition as well as parents, teachers and other care-givers; but, most significantly it often leads to a life-time dependency on drugs.

Sleep difficulties and ADHD

 
Sleep difficulties are also often associated with ADHD affected children and now the question is being asked: what comes first – the ADHD diagnosis or the sleep difficulty?  And is one being treated rather than the other?
 
According to commentary by Dr Vatsal Thakkar, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center, one needs to consider sleep problems as a possible cause when evaluating patients for ADHD
 
He notes that many of the symptoms of ADHD are similar to insufficient or poor sleep, for example lack of focus, problems listening, forgetfulness and disorganisation, as well as a tendency to be agitated, excitable and disruptive.
 
These behaviours interfere with a child’s social and intellectual development, causing problems with relationships with peers and adults, at school and at home.
 
There is also particularly strong evidence that children with sleep disordered breathing display many of the same symptoms & behavioural problems as children with ADHD

The problem, however, is that sleep disorder screening is not often done and so problems go undiagnosed.

Does technology play a part?

 
 
Dr Thakkar makes the interesting observation that …

“the escalation of ADHD cases in the 1990’s and 2000’s coincided with the rise of the digital age, and the widespread use of personal technology that now pervades our daily lives.

These devices – our laptops, tablets and cell phones – that enable so much convenience and connection, also threaten the quality and quantity of sleep.

The night-time exposure to the light they emit interferes with the body’s release of melatonin, disrupting sleep cycles and diminishing time spent in the deepest, most restorative phases of sleep. 

More than ever before in history, we must work to create the darkness that is so essential to sleep.

Keeping our bedrooms, and our children’s bedrooms, gadget-free sanctuaries for sleep is one important way to guard against chronic sleep deprivation.”

 
This may be easier said than done, however, as watching television or playing a game on their tablet also helps children destress after a busy day at school. 
 
 
SleepSpec is a non-invasive, non-medicated solution to sleep difficulties. 

These glasses contain scientifically engineered amber lenses, which filter out the blue light which suppresses the production of melatonin.

 
Worn for two hours before bedtime, SleepSpec allows the body to produce melatonin and prepare for sleep, while continuing with watching television or using other electronic devices.  

“The glasses, however, need to be taken off in complete darkness, as even the smallest amount of light can signal the brain to stop producing melatonin and to wake up,” says Daniel.

 
He adds that it is also important to keep bedrooms as dark as possible and use an amber coloured flash light on waking at night so as not to interrupt melatonin production.
 
“Many children suffer from night terrors or are scared of the dark.  If any light is needed, make sure that it is one with an orange or red colour as this contains little or no blue light and so will not disturb sleep,” he says.
 
The effectiveness of SleepSpec is also cumulative so the more they are used the more noticeable the difference.
 
SleepSpec come in various styles including one specifically designed for children. 
 

For more information http://www.sleepspec.com

(Photo credit: Sleepspec)
(Article supplied)

Posted in Brands we love, Parenting, pregnancy

Bed king answer your pregnancy sleep questions

THE PREGNANCY, SLEEP, MATTRESS TRILOGY

Between midnight bathroom runs, a racing mind, cramping legs, heartburn and a metabolism that’s turning up your internal thermostat, sleep can be challenging during pregnancy.

Consider it preparation for the sleepless nights that lie ahead.

However, getting enough sleep is more important than ever now that you’re snoozing for two.

The necessity of sleep

Sleep is the time when your body resets and repairs itself including your blood vessels, which is vital now that they’re under increased pressure from the extra blood flow required to support your baby.

Sleep also keeps your immune system, which is suppressed to support your pregnancy, healthy. Plus it controls how your body reacts to insulin.

Not getting enough results in a higher blood sugar level, upping your risk of gestational diabetes.

Is left best?

The best sleep position when you’re expecting is on your left side.

This position is ideal for your circulation, optimising the oxygen and nutrients that get to your baby, as well as supporting kidney function, taking pressure off your liver and reducing swelling.
You should also avoid lying flat on your back all night long. The weight of your growing uterus presses on your vena cava, the artery running blood from your lower body back to your heart, disturbing circulation and possibly making you dizzy. Your womb also weighs on your intestines and back, making common pregnancy symptoms like backaches and haemorrhoids worse.

But don’t fret if you’re not a left side sleeper. As long as you practice the ‘SOS’ position (sleep on side) you’ll be fine.

Most woman find it uncomfortable to sleep on their back after their 4th month and you might find that you roll onto your side regardless.

Does your mattress play a role?

Besides using pillows under your belly, between your thighs and behind your back to alleviate pressure, you could consider investing in a mattress that offers the optimum support far beyond your due date.

The ideal mattress will hug the body closely to help align the your spine and alleviate aches and pains.

Temperature neutrality is also key, since many pregnant women sleep hotter than normal, a bed that absorbs minimal body heat and sleeps fairly cool will be a benefit now and during summer.

Additionally, mattresses that isolate motion well and produce minimal noise can be beneficial for couples, since pregnancy often leads to frequent nighttime bathroom trips and restless sleep.
Mervyn Ewertse, sleep expert and owner of the Bed King, says:

“Especially during pregnancy one is attuned to ones body and if you’re waking up with more aches than usual, it’s a sure sign that it’s time for a new mattress. You’re going to be spending a lot of time in bed in the next few years with nursing and sleep routines, so you may as well look into the right mattress now.”

All Bed King stores nationwide have the Comfort Solutions Lab, a state of the art system that uses the latest heat and pressure mapping technology to determine the correct firmness and support your body needs in a bed, all within 5 min of lying down.

To find out more on the Comfort Solutions range, visit http://www.bedking.co.za

(Article supplied )

Posted in Family Life, Parenting

Just 5 more minutes

While at the park one day, a woman sat down next to a man on a bench near a playground.

“That’s my son over there,” she said, pointing to a little boy in a red sweater who was gliding down the slide.

“He’s a fine looking boy” the man said. “That’s my daughter on the bike in the white dress.”

Then, looking at his watch, he called to his daughter. “What do you say we go, Melissa?”

Melissa pleaded, “Just five more minutes, Dad. Please? Just five more minutes.”

The man nodded and Melissa continued to ride her bike to her heart’s content. Minutes passed and the father stood and called again to his daughter. “Time to go now?”

Again Melissa pleaded, “Five more minutes, Dad. Just five more minutes.”

The man smiled and said, “OK.”

“My, you certainly are a patient father,” the woman responded.

The man smiled and then said, “Her older brother Tommy was killed by a drunk driver last year while he was riding his bike near here. I never spent much time with Tommy and now I’d give anything for just five more minutes with him. I’ve vowed not to make the same mistake with Melissa.

She thinks she has five more minutes to ride her bike. The truth is, I get Five more minutes to watch her play.”

~ Author Unknown

Give someone you love 5 more minutes of your time today!

Posted in Family Life, Family Time, Parenting

Wise words for parents

Raising children can both be stressful and difficult at the best of times.

As a parent you will find yourself questioning and second guessing so many of your choices wondering if you have done the right thing, made the best choices or handled a situation ccorrectly.

Here are some wise words to help along your parenting journey.

Wise words for parents

1 Apologize to your children when you are wrong.

2. Say thank you to your children when they do something for you or give praise when they help others.

3. Admit when you’ve made a mistake.

4. Listen to your children.

5. Set boundaries for acceptable behaviour.

6. Lead by example.

7.Teach and practice compassion, kindness and love.

8. Explain to them that actions have consequences, good or bad.

9.Enjoy watching and nurturing them.

10. Lastly, enjoy the privilege and responsibility of being able to guide and shape your children into becoming responsible well adjusted adults.

Posted in Family Life, Family Time, Parenting

The greatest gifts you can give ….

The greatest gifts you can give someone are your time, your attention, your love, and your concern. …

These words have so often graced the posts on Fun mamma SA , and we read , nod our head in affirmation and go on thinking how we can afford our next holiday ,new car, ect.

This month let’s stop and take notice of the relationships around us -partner- children-friends-work colleagues- and truthfully, from our hearts put these into practice.

Time and attention

In our busy world finding time for our families and friends can be difficult, especially with the demands and stress of life .

But how nice for us to wake to a friend or family members email, or social network message .

If you have older children or are separated from your children, a good morning message and good night hugs mean more than a lengthy email. Share short messages , jokes or photos during the day , all of these say “I’m thinking of you”.

Put aside 20 minutes a day for individual time with each child – if you can pencil in gym, shopping,tennis , you have time. Don’t make this homework time. Some of my favorites are a cuddle and story .

As a large family , this was often difficult when the kids were small -so my solution was to give each child a day , and we would walk alone to the shop to buy bread (and a small treat) and chat there and back.

Giving the children different age appropriate bed times also allowed for a small quick cuddle time just before bed.

Spend alone time with your spouse/partner daily , even if it just a special good night or a quiet chat in the car to the shops . Make the effort to spend at least an hour or two alone each weekend. Staying connected is vital to any partnership.

When we give someone our time , we also give them our attention. This says I think your worthy and I want to spend time with you.
Our children, especially , need this validation to build a healthy EQ.

I don’t believe attention can be divided as you multitask . If you are speaking to someone who’s mind is everywhere else and they are so busy with something -are they truthfully giving you their attention?

Stop what you doing …….attention is a gift to give and its gift wrapped in time .

Love and concern

Love your children and the special people in your life. This sounds so easy but can you love unconditionally?

Can you accept those around you, even with their faults? Do you forgive the small hurts and try to see the other persons side before answering In anger ? Can you unselfishly give of yourself to serve them?

We all need unconditional love and praise. We all need someone to believe in us and support us.

Our children learn from us , what are you teaching them about love ?

Having never heard my parents tell me they loved me , I determined that there would never be a day go by that my children would not hear the words ‘I love you ‘. So much so that as I call their names , they often turn and say “yes , I know -you love me! ”

This may sound overdone but when you feel loved , you have a healthy self confidence and your self esteem soars . I want my children to be the best they can be , for that they need to know they were always wanted and loved .

This is the same for couples -if you ask a majority of divorced couples what the contributing factor of their divorce -one will inevitably say that the other didn’t love them.

So how do we show love ? By giving of our time and attention . Seems so simple and yet we have so many lonely broken people.

Concern is our love and empathy for our friends . Treating them as we want to be treated . Making time for them and being their to support. Not because you always know or truthfully understand but because that person is important in your life and you care.

So this month , truly and truthfully give of your love , concern, attention and time .