Posted in Blog posts, Cape Town - Things to see & do

5 best putt putt courses to play at.

Two years ago we took a 3-year-old Hamish to play putt putt for the first time.

Putt putt in Sea point
It was Brent’s birthday and we had won a voucher to play putt putt at Putt-putt SA in Muizenberg.
It was so much fun. We all enjoyed the morning and Hamish ran around inventing his own game which was very much a sad combination of hockey and golf.
But, thus began a birthday tradition and for both Brent and Hamish’s birthday each year we head off to play putt putt.
This year however Hamish has found every reason to throw in several games in-between as putt putt is a firm favourite.
Brent & Hamish starting their Putt Putt birthday tradition

Here are our 5 best putt putt courses to play at.

1.Melkbossie Farm Animal Sanctuary

This cute putt putt course on the grounds of the Melkbossie Farm Animal Sanctuary is top of our list.
It’s clean and out in the fresh air with ample space for parents to sit and wait on kids playing.
The course is relatively easy and fun for parents and adults alike.
Price : free
Melkbossie Farm Animal Sanctuary is free but donations are appreciated. The putt putt course is free to play at.

2. Cave golf – Scratch patch V & A Waterfront

I very much enjoy this course though it can get very confusing to follow. The course itself varies in degrees of difficulty and certainly offers a few challenging spots.
Because it’s in a cave, it tends to get incredibly hot and over weekends and holidays, the cave golf is extremely busy.
Price : R35

3. Cave golf – Scratch patch Simon’s Town

Whilst I haven’t played this course personally, I know others who have and have thoroughly enjoyed it. This is on our bucket list of courses to play at and is on this list as the Cave golf at V and A is a great course.
Price : R35

4. SA putt putt – Sea point

I love the fresh sea air and breathtaking views as you play one of two courses here.
Again this is a very popular spot during weekends and holidays so it’s advisable to go early.
The course is outside and offers a few seats but mostly you will need your sunblock when visiting.
The course was well looked after when we last visited.
Price: R35

5. Sa putt putt – Muizenberg

This charming course is slowly outside and offers a variety of difficulty.
Being outside you will need your sunblock but just like the SA putt putt in sea point on our last visit, the course was well taken care of.
Price : R35 
cave golf
Posted in Crafts

Nature crafts- Leaf imprints

We try to spend 1000 hours outside each year (if not more) and many of our learning and craft activities are centered around nature as our inspiration.
A fun activity that we often do several times a year is leaf imprints, here is how to make your own Leaf Imprints
Materials
  • Paper
  • Crayons
  • Leaves
Method
Step One
Start your activity by going on a leaf-collecting exploration. See if your child can identify the different shapes and sizes of the leaves you find.  When you are home, lay all of your leaves out.
Step Two
Place the leaves on a flat surface with the paper over them. Any crayon or pencil will do to create the imprint. If you hold the crayon or pencil on its side it gives a darker and more prominent print.
These make wonderful wrapping paper, cards and framed print gifts
Posted in craft reciepe

Yoghurt paint

When Hamish was a baby one of the things he loved was to finger paint. That sensory mush of paint between his fingers was simply the best.

However, as we know babies put everything in their mouths and I was super concerned about him eating paint…even if it said it was non-toxic, I really did not want him eating a glob of Dala crimson red paint.

I discovered a taste safe recipe online for yogurt paint and we used this often.

 

Making baby safe paint is super easy and you only need two ingredients, yogurt and food coloring. The colours always come out beautiful and vibrant and you have the peace of mind that even if your baby or toddler puts a handful in their mouths, it is safe to eat.

Ingredients 
  • plain, vanilla or greek yoghurt
  • food colouring
Method
You will need to have ready, a tub of plain,vanilla or greek yogurt, a spoon or two, some food colouring and some containers to mix your paint into.
Scoop out some yogurt into all the little containers you have set up.  A few spoonful into each will do.
Then squeeze a few drops of food coloring into each container.  If you add a lot, the colors will be really vibrant but they will likely leave a temporary stain on everything so just use a few drops before you mix it up with the spoon.
these paints are great on paper, used in a bathtub, onto the kitchen tiles or a sliding door for sensory play or with a paintbrush on a whiteboard.
Posted in Crafts

Inspired by the daffodil fairies We make Flower fairy pictures

Today’s craft use up the last petals of the now dying roses I was given. I couldn’t throw them away as they were so pretty so Hamish made flower fairies.

I drew the outline of a boy and a girl fairy and he decorated them using the parts of the flowers.
This also gave us the perfect opportunity to break open the flower and discuss the parts that make up flowers and the function of each.
They came out so much prettier than I had first imagined. We then pressed them along with our dried flowers to preserve.
To make your own you will need: 
  • Paper
  • Glue
  • Marker
  • Flower petals
Method : 
Start by drawing your fairy outline. I drew a boy and a girl.
Next let your child break apart the petals and place them on a plate, ready to glue onto the picture
Using strong glue, glue the flower petals on as clothing.
Leave to dry
Posted in Crafts

22 Rainy day activities to keep the kids busy

It’s been a wet Monday and Hamish and I spent some time playing in the rain this morning. First, we took the pot plants out to get watered then we made a rain gauge to measure the rainfall and Hamish took the opportunity to dance in the rain and catch raindrops on his tongue. Later dressed in some rain gear, he went outside to sail a paper boat and play in a small puddle that had formed downstairs.

All in all, it was a great Monday

but

The rain is due to be here for a few days and if you are like me stuck in a small space needing to keep a little one busy, then I know you will love the round-up of rainy day activities I have listed below.

22 rainy day activities to keep the kids busy

1.Get creative

Bring out the paints scissors glue and clay and let the kids get their creative juices flowing by painting drawing molding characters or creating some fun arts and crafts.

Some of our favorites are :

PAINTING ON PIZZA BOXES

PAINTING ROCKS AND SHELLS TO HIDE

2. Boardgame boredom busters

Kids love board games and they are a great way to enjoy some screen-free fun family time. Small children also learn so many life lessons from playing board games. things like taking turns to being a good sport.

A few of the board games that are popular in our home right now are:

  • Monopoly
  • Uno
  • Twister
  • Cluedo
  • Snakes and ladders
  • Chess
  • Ludo

3. Bake 

Rainy days are the best times to put on those aprons, head to the kitchen, and bake.  Kids love to help make their own cookies or decorate some cupcakes.

4. Dance party

Wiggle out those jiggles. Being stuck indoors is never fun, especially not for a little one who needs to run off some energy. The fastest way to cure this is to put on some music and turn your lounge into a dance party.  Who knows the kids may just teach you a lesson or two. I know Hamish has his own set of moves like Jagger.

5. Camp out

Pitch a tent, build a fort or create a den .. bring the outdoors inside by letting your children camp out inside their rooms. You could give them some snacks and a movie to watch in their tents or roast marshmallows with them over a candle.

6. Puzzle time

I love puzzles and often on a rainy day I will leave a puzzle on the dining room table and everyone stops to build a little throughout the day. Hamish likes to sit and do his puzzles with a cd playing and we both find puzzle time really relaxing.

7. Scientific evidence 

Young kids love magic and nothing is more magical than science experiments. if you have ever visited the science center you will know how a science experiment can keep your child engrossed …and it doubles as a learning experience too.

For some great websites to find science experiments visit :

  • WWW.SCIENCEFUN.ORG
  • WWW.BILLNYE.COM
  • WWW.WOWSCIENCE.CO.UK

8. Scavenger hunt

A scavenger hunt is always fun and you can adjust these to your child’s abilities,age, and interests.

A few fun hunts are:

  • Colour hunt
  • Shape hunt
  • Letter hunt
  • Number hunt
  • Gratitude hunt
  • Toy hunt
  • Photo hunt

9. Makeover moments

Take the time to give each other a makeover. You could make homemade face masks copy a hairstyle paint each other’s nails do make up or choose clothing for each other to wear. Don’t forget to follow your makeover with lots of Insta-worthy photos fancy glasses of sparkling juice and chocolates.

10. Read

A child is never too old to be read to. Grab a favorite book and snuggle up for some story time. If your child is reading you could have them read some of the stories to you.

11. Listen up

I work from home so there are times when I need to keep Hamish busy for a bit so that I can get my work done. Using stories read aloud online on cd are great for this purpose. You could also pre-record yourself reading or telling stories for your kids to listen to.

12. The storyteller

Many nights before bed Hamish and I play a game where we tell a story. One of us will start the story and the other will add on to it . We continue until the story is completed. This is fun engaging and allows him to expand his creativity and imagination.

13.Write a letter

Take the time to teach older children how to write an old-fashioned letter. They could write to grandparents or friends. Younger children could draw pictures. They could also design their own postcards and envelopes.

14. Put on a play

Give the kids a bag of props and dress-up items and let them put on a show for you. They could host a talent show a fashion show or put on a play. As a child, I have many happy memories of putting on concerts for my family.

15. Make your own pizza

Every Friday night while my children were little I would make a flour dough and I remember all 6 of them assembled in our kitchen, rolling out their dough to make their own pizza. We always made what I called a cheat version.  We would first smear tomato paste onto the base then add cold meat and cheese before baking it.

16. Travel games

Some of our calmest moments are spent playing what I call travel games. The kind of game that you use in a car to keep kids occupied.

Games like:

  • Eye spy
  • Rock paper scissors
  • Clapping games
  • Action songs
  • Charades
  • Mad Libs

17. Fashionista

Give the kids some plain T-shirts and let them decorate them with markers fabric paint fabric crayons, paint felt material, or glitter glue. Then judge the best one. Don’t forget to have a fashion shoot and record the kid’s masterpieces.

18. Sensory bins

Even if you are relatively new to our blog, you will know how much I love sensory bins. They are easy to make and kids love to scoop through them and discover the “treasures” inside.

You could add a theme to your sensory bin for example -insects and add some sand rocks, leaves, twigs, and plastic insects to a large tray for your child to play with or you could just add some rice and a few spoons, scoops, and cups in a basin. The more creative the longer your child will engage.

Materials you can add to a sensory bin include:

  • Sand
  • Water
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Cooked noodles
  • Water beads
  • Dried leaves
  • Rocks
  • Beach sand
  • Playdoh
  • Slime

18. Movie marathon

While we always try to do as little screen time as possible, nothing is nicer when it is cold and raining than to put on a good movie and snuggle up with some hot chocolate and popcorn.

Movies we are currently loving :

  • Fireheart
  • Big red
  • Sonic

19. Lego

In our home, Lego is an everyday activity and so it is natural to bring the Lego box out when it rains. Hamish spends a lot of time creating his own Lego creatures and inventions or building the instructions of an old Lego build. You could also buy up the Single Lego builds and stash them away for a rainy day. I recently bought out a Lego police car I had bought for Hamish and put it away. He couldn’t wait to build it.

20. Playdoh

Playdoh is another of our go-to activities and you can make your own dough or use a bought version. The kids will spend quite some time rolling, creating, and designing new things to play with from the dough.

21. Paper boats and planes

Do you remember folding paper boats and planes as a kid? Teach your kids to fold them too then try to sail your boats in the bathtub or a puddle outside. You can use paper planes to have races. See who can throw their plane the highest or the furthest.

22. Be bored

If you’ve spent days entertaining your child and they are still bored, let them be. Never underestimate the amazing resilience, imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills that come from being bored. While it’s wonderful for us to play with our children and to provide them with an array of things to keep them from being bored they need times to be bored and figure out how to keep themselves busy.

 

So, enjoy the next few days of rain and let us know how you kept the kids entertained.

 

Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do

Spur Seaside Village Review

Two weeks ago we had a playdate planned, the weather however, was not in our favour and we decided to look for a space to go where the moms could chat over coffee whilst the kids played.

As moms know when it rains and you have two busy boys to entertain Spur steak ranches does not disappoint.

We decided to visit Spur at Seaside villiage in West Beach, Tableview.

Why?

This Spur is my first choice in the Tableview/ Blouberg/Parklands area mostly because it always looks clean, has the best service with great presentation food and as all Spur franchises should be, it is incredibly child friendly.

Food

Our waitress pointed out the new menus. Which are a fantastic upgrade from the old ones that looked a little bit like those I chose from as a kid in the 80s. The new menu is cleaner, easier to read and still contains the old favourites that we love.

I naturally ordered the brownie to go with my coffee because it’s Friday ….and who doesn’t love warm brownies with ice cream?

The presentation was great and the food was delicious.

I ordered Hamish’s milkshake in the takeaway cup already knowing that he would only eat his pizza at home. ( Honestly, It should just be standard practice to serve kids food in a takeaway box )

My only complaint would be that I was offered a rectangle food box to take home a full round kids pizza making me have to stack the pieces on top of each other and my poor OCD mind really struggled with that but also a child with sensory issues would hate to open a square box of food stacked on top of each other.

Service

I never complain of the service here. In the years that we have visited this has to be the friendliest Spur franchise.

The waiters, management, front of house staff and child minder are always pleasant.

Child friendly

I would give this branch a 20 out of 10 for being child friendly. As a young girl I loved Spur, as an adult I still look for the same features that I loved as an 8 year old.

Things like your parents not having to ask for a colouring sheet and crayons, a special child’s menu, the waitress treating you like a ” big person” and patiently letting you order, fun food options that are presented well and a great play space.

This Spur ticks all those boxes.

Play area

A huge, clean play area with only one entering and tons of natural light from the windows awaits your child.

The friendly child minders engage and play with the kids and are hands on to watch that no one gets hurt .

Just a reminder that if you do use the facility, whilst it’s never required, leave a gratuity tip for your child minder.

Safety

The first thing you notice as you walk through the don’t is that they have a tag system to ensure the kids can’t leave the shop without someone being alerted.

A tag, similar to those found on clothing, is attached to your child’s outer clothing and you can rest assured that they are safe whilst playing.

Should they try leave the store, an alarm at the door will be activated. This offers parents peace of mind whilst dining.

Overall, many of us use a Spur as our go to meet up place or kids restaurant. Sometimes that means Spur know that parents will support them regardless of the type of service or level of food quality, so its great to find a Spur franchise that pride themselves on delivering the best parent and child experience from the moment you enter the door.