Posted in Covid-19/ Coronavirus, Education, Giving back, Parenting, Press releases, Tweens & Teens

Hope for South African matric learners as radio lessons are launched

The premature closure of schools due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in South Africa has resulted in both challenges and opportunities, with many learners missing out on large pieces of work especially in term two. In an effort to support rural learners without access to television classes, computers or data, Kagiso Trust has partnered with the Limpopo Department of Education to provide radio lessons to our grade 12 learners. The scheduled lessons will commence via Capricorn FM radio from Monday 11 May 2020.

“Kagiso Trust has long believed that education is the key to overcoming poverty,” says the organisation’s CEO, Mankodi Moitse, “ Over the past 16 years we have created education programmes structured to have the highest impact and greatest sustainability. Our work in the Free State is testament to that.”

Radio lessons will be hosted on Capricorn FM, Sekhukhune FM and Tubatse FM from Monday to Sunday hourly.

The Limpopo MEC for Education Ms Polly Boshielo said, “Crafted lessons will be offered by expert appointed subject teachers with an excellent track record in the subject that they offer. These are the teachers who recorded 80% and more pass rate in the subjects that they have been teaching since 2017. We believe that their expert content knowledge will benefit more than 80% of the current grade 12 learners in Limpopo.”

COO of Kagsio Trust, Themba Mola said, “Grade 12 learners have already lost more than 30 days since the lockdown coupled with the possibility of losing another month if the phase-in model announced by Minister becomes a 1st of June return. This model of mediating learning will strengthen teaching and learning in the absence of face to face conventional classes.”

Capricorn FM will focus on MST subjects (Mathematics, Sciences and Technologies), including Mathematics, Mathematical Literacy, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences and Agricultural Sciences. “These are the subjects that are highly enrolled and determine the standard and quality of education offered in Limpopo province.

Currently, the main subject of the five, that still poses a serious challenge in the province is Mathematics, whose performance is still below the threshold,” said Mola.
“These are the subjects that are highly enrolled and determine the standard and quality of education offered in Limpopo province.

The other 7 non-MST subjects will be broadcast by the community radio stations in the both Sekhukhune East and South education districts. They include English FAL, Sepedi HL, Accounting, Business Studies, Economics, History and Geography.

Each live broadcast lesson will last for an hour per day during and after the lockdown period. The first 30 minutes is allocated to the teacher to mediate learning and the other 30 minutes will be reserved to the learners to interact with the teacher through questions or comments.

Content will largely cover term 1 and 2 scope and will be supplemented by face to face contact sessions after learners shall have returned back to school.

“In a province as large as Limpopo, radio is the perfect platform to reach most learners,” says Moitse. “ This is about inclusivity. It is about access to information. It is about gathering together around a radio like we once all did. This is the new normal. We call upon everyone to support the radio lessons and #KagisoRadioTeachers – local teachers, broadcasting across Limpopo, straight into the homes of learners.”

Detail:

  • Capricorn FM willbroadcast lessons 5-6pm Monday to Friday on the Just Drive show.

  • And every Saturday and Sunday 9-10am on The Saturday Breakfast and The Sunday Restoration respectively.

  • Podcasts will be available on the station’s website and learners from other provinces can listen via livestreaming

For more information please visit the following stakeholder websites for schedule information on classes:

Posted in babies, Brands we love, Education, Family Life, Family Time, Parenting, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers, Tweens & Teens

Bring Home The Fun With Hasbro – why we use this site

Hasbro has launched Bring Home The Fun, an inspiring, purpose-driven website designed to support families around the world as they spend extended time at home and indoors.

Visit BringHometheFun.com to explore family-focused resources, including tips for family playtime, activity challenges to keep kids occupied, and ideas for using games and toys to stimulate kids’ brains.

The site also features resources to help children and families cope with stress that might be heightened among kids at this time.

Featured content includes:

  • mindfulness videos
  • service projects
  • activity guides
  • other resources developed through our philanthropic partners to help develop empathy and kindness in children.

Fun to watch videos include:

  • Play doh
  • Peppa pig
  • Nerf
  • Pj masks
  • My little pony
  • Transformers
  • Power Rangers
  • Ricky zoom

Fun to do activities from your childs favourite toys like:

  • Play doh
  • Baby Alive
  • Power Rangers
  • My Little Pony
  • Beyblade
  • Transformers
  • Fur real
  • Pj Masks
  • Ricky zoom
  • Peppa pig

Tried and tested

Hamish has been kept busy during lockdown with many of the play doh activities.

Some of the ideas we tried were:

This fun rainbow caterpillar to match our rainbow of hope. Rolling doh balls is a good fine motor activity.

A fire man truck to support our essential services.

A lion.

An elephant

And a lady bird.

There are so many more activities to do, each one designed to keep the kids engaged and entertained.

This has become my go to site for inspiration to keep Hamish happy throughout the lockdown.

Not just for the play doh activities but also to :

  • Make PJ mask character masks for imaginary play
  • Colour in his favourite Transformer characters
  • Make musical shakers with Peppa pig
  • Make a set of Peppa pig puppets
  • Make power ranger posters from the colouring sheets
  • Go on a scavanger hunt with my little pony
  • Complete the fur real Cubby activity book
  • And do some dot to dot activities with Ricky Zoom

As a parent I especially like the parenting resources in the parent solutions.

These activities have been chosen to help parents and children become more mindful and take part in a variety of activities and projects that help to focus on placing emphasis on putting empathy into action.

Some of these activities and projects include:

  • Decorating lunch bags
  • Interviewing a senior
  • Family good scavanger hunt
  • Be a bee helper
  • Making homeless care kits
  • Being water smart
  • Creating a recycled bag
  • Upcycling plastic bottles
  • Bookworm bookmarks
  • ABC flash cards
  • Gratitude journal
  • Gratitude letter
  • Encouraging kindness in kids

With so many resources avaliable to parents, it’s nice to find a platform that encourages character building, emphasizes empathy and kindness, educates parents and offers entertainment and family bonding activities through our childrens favourite characters. Helping them to identify and connect the lessons through play.

Posted in Parenting, Tweens & Teens

13 activities to keep your teens busy when bordom strikes

As parents of teens we are currently negotiating online school lessons, hours of our kids staring at their phones, playstation or xbox games and the occasional social chat where we try work chores and routine into their new normal.

But, just like younger children, our teens are also facing a new level of bordom, loss of freedom and perhaps silent anxiety as they hear the negativity of the Covid-19 updates.

Here are some ideas to present to your teens when they grumble an unhappy I am bored.

  1. Lip sync battle – set up a private Facebook group where they can share videos or do virtual lip sync battles with their friends.
  2. Start a lockdown diary to record their thoughts and feelings.
  3. Draw the view from their bedroom window. Add these to their diary or time capsule.
  4. Picnic in the garden – if you are lucky enough to have a garden grab a blanket, some food and enjoy the sunshine.
  5. Movie marathon – pop some popcorn and let the teens binge on their favourite movies.
  6. Video games – if your teen is into gaming they can invite family and friends to play with them.
  7. Watch a TED talk
  8. Host a family games evening – let each family member take a turn to choose which games to play.
  9. Join an online fitness challenge
  10. Learn to cook.
  11. Bake a cake.
  12. Start a journal– use any notebook and let your teen express themselves freely in the notebook.
  13. Make a vision board

Most importantly, our teens are just as concerned as we are and tuning into their mental health right now is important so allow them time to :

  • Read without disruption
  • Spend time connecting on their phones with their friends. These social interactions are important
  • Nap. The uncertainty of lockdown may be more successful to your teen than you realise, let them rest.
  • Watch a little extra tv or “chill” with some screen time.

As long as their activities are not harmful, damaging, controlling their day or interfering with school and chores, now more than ever it is important to relax with your teen, connect over shared activities and pick your battles.

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 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 Crafts, Education, Family Life, Family Time, Life with my bears, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers, Tweens & Teens

Our Covid-19 lockdown time capsule

This weekend we started our Covid-19 lockdown time capsules.

Why a time capsule ?

“A time capsule is a historic cache of goods or information, usually intended as direct methods of communication with future people ” according to Wikipedia

We are currently living through a period of history that our children will learn about in years to come.

I wanted to preserve a box of mementoes for Hamish to remember this time.

How to make a time capsule

To make a time capsule you will need a container that will preserve over time and a selection of items that would tell future people about you, your family and the year you make your time capsule.

Containers like:

  • Metal boxes
  • Coffee tons
  • Glass bottles ( although these can break if buried)
  • Little wooden suitcases
  • Wooden boxes
  • Cardboard boxes ( although these wont last as long as others if buried)
  • Old ice cream tubs

What am I putting in our capsules?

  • A letter to myself. This will include a few random facts about myself like like age, family, where we live, my occupation and how I’m feeling.
  • Family photos
  • A group photo of the family we are in lockdown and one of each of the other kids where they are in lockdown.
  • A drawing by the kids of our family
  • Newspaper headlines or printed social media updates that are relevant to preserve about the Coronavirus.
  • An object to remember – for me this is a braclet with each of my childrens photos.
  • A painted rainbow rock

For Hamish

  • A copy of the Covid-19 time capsule printables by long creations
  • Information about the Coronavirus
  • A heart from his window
  • A photo of his chalk my walk
  • A photo of his teddy in the window
  • A few of his artworks
  • Some photos
  • Two of his dinosaurs as those are his favourite toys

Other items to include

Our time capsule will only be completed after the lockdown as I want to add a small item from each of his siblings into the container.

Other items you could include are :

  • Calendar
  • USB with movies or music
  • Items from nature
  • Toys as these change with time
  • Food items or sweets you enjoy ( but package these well in plastic)
  • Jewellery
  • Handmade keepsakes
  • Sports items
  • Or something that represents a hobby.

Building a family time capsule is both fun and a lovely way to spend time as a family.

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 Family Life, preschoolers, Tweens & Teens

How to start a Pandemic journal with your children

We are currently living through not only a worldwide pandemic, the Covid-19 virus, but a time in history that will be recorded and learnt about in the future.

Many people are recording these moments in photos, online videos, social media posts and memes.

But how are your children recording this time in history?

The Diary of Anne Frank

As we sit through a 21 day lockdown in South Africa, there has been a meme about Anne Frank spending 761 days hidden in a small attic and most of us unable to withstand the luxury of being confined to our homes, with our families, Wifi, food and all our comforts.

Image source : travel tales and tips

Whilst there is a vast difference between a young girl during a world war, trying to survive daily and our current pandemic, it is still a time of fear, sadness and uncertainty as the world fights this virus.

Because of that courageous young, frightened girl, who took solice in her diary, we have an accurate account of the world through her eyes.

A diary that has captured the hearts of all who have read it and taught us so much in so few pages.

Journal

How many of us today, still write an old school diary or journal ?

How many of us record our thoughts free of social media?

A journal is a great way for children to write or draw their emotions, record their experience and express themselves without judgement.

These books of raw, uncensored experiences will be invaluable to them 10 years from now as they open their history books to answer the question ….. What were you doing during the 2020 pandemic?

Tips to journal with your children

  • Make it a family activity – provide each family member with a book to decorate and use.
  • Make it a habit– especially with small children you could dedicate a specific time to journal as a family. With older children you can write this into their schedules until they are able to write unprompted.
  • Let them express themselves- this is their space. Let them express themselves as they are comfortable. There is no right or wrong way to journal.
  • Journal box – collect a box of stationary, stickers, washi tapes,ect that your child can use to decorate their journal with.
  • News – for older children, encourage them to print pieces of news that are noteworthy and record their feelings about it. Watching to see that this does not affect their mental health and cause them anxiety.
  • Add photos – if you can, add photos of your child and the activities that keep them busy.
  • Offer prompts -see The journal jar
  • Have fun – don’t let the journal become a chore.

Conclusion

There is no right or wrong way to journal. Each of us express ourselves differently and you may find your one child writes long essays, whilst another draws comics.

Encourage and support your child’s individual style of expression as well as their privacy when introducing your journals.

Happy journaling