We went on an arts and crafts spree last week when the boys were battling with fevers. Id seen a mesmerising video on instagram doing the rounds of the watercolours spreading through a “snowflake” and had been itching to give it a try. Continue reading “Craft fun – Raised Salt Painting”
Here its is, the easiest, super long-lasting playdough recipe that I have ever come across.
I know I have been promising this one for a while, so sorry for the delay, but I had to make it again, because I didn’t take photos for the blog the first time I did it 🙂 Continue reading “Super stretchy, long lasting Playdough recipe”
Foam is one of those things I do for my kids at least once a month, and to be honest, I think it’s more for me than for them, it keeps them busy and out of my hair for at least 20 minutes! My kids are going through a super “whiney” phase which is driving me nuts, so I’m looking to all the distractions I can get 🙂 Continue reading “Soap Foam Recipe”
So I’ll admit it, I’m a bit of a “Pinterest” mum…. with such great ideas out there, who has time to come up with their own original ideas right ? With it being “holiday season” with various mid year breaks coming up its perfect timing to get some new ideas on how to spend time with your kids. Continue reading “5 toddler friendly Science experiments to expand young minds”
It’s been a while since we did this one, in fact shockingly, I don’t think I’ve ever made it for my youngest ! (Hides behind hands).
Moon Sand or Cloud dough as its sometimes referred to in the USA promises at least 40 minutes to an hour of exploration for my little ones. With a consistency similar to beach sand (obviously alot softer), the possibilities are endless. You can make cakes, or castles, pies or if you’re a mum of boys like me, everything turns into a quarry and the sand will end up being transported in dump trucks!
Its easy to whip up when your kids need some stimulation in the day, and we often use it to create a sensory tray and hide treasures at the bottom, little ones can then dig through the sand to find the treasures.
It takes less then five minutes to create and is made with ingredients found in your cupboard.
8 cups flour to approximately 1 cup of oil. You can either use a vegetable oil or baby oil. I’ve used both and obviously vegetable oil is safer with smaller kids. Just mix it together in a big bowl until its the right consistency, akin to slightly damp beach sand.
Have fun 🙂
Ps. Excuse the pyjamas I always like to do messy play in the mornings before we get dressed for the day 🙂
While its still fresh in my mind I thought I had to write a review on Vredenhof Organic Estate. What an awesome experience! Just off the R44 in Firgrove, Somerset West, this gem of a farm is a must see! We had our mummies meet up there this week, if only I knew this place was 5 minutes from my house earlier! Wow in every way!
The first thing that struck me walking around was the attention to detail, it was impeccable! Service was fantastic, the Owner came out and chatted to us, the staff were friendly, welcoming and extremely helpful. The menu at the Café was outstanding! A rainbow selection of exotic juices and smoothies and superior organic, wholesome dishes on the menu. For once the food actually met up to the standard described on the menu, if not more and the presentation was incredible, again attention to detail was second to none.
The kiddies play area is like something from an enchanted fairy tale, there is a big wooden “pirate ship” 2 decks high, a Rapunzel Tower and Snow White’s Castle with a slide. A wooden carriage, a sandpit, see-saw and a multitude of ropes and ladders to climb. The sand was freshly raked and clean. My son had a blast talking to the “Captain Hook” painted on the mural on the wall. The ONLY fault I could find with the entire place would be that the Ship and the Castle aren’t the Most “Toddler” friendly, the steps and ladders are a little steep to climb on their own. That being said there are other activities to keep them busy in the play area and it certainly didn’t stop our brood.
Once the kiddies finished playing there they could explore the “secret garden”, each area having a slightly different theme. The Gardens have a wishing well, a Koi Pond and the most unique “Harp” water feature I’ve ever seen! Look a little closer and you will see lawn mowed into the shape of a heart and a hidden putt putt area. In the far corner is a giant chess board, and opposite that all the kiddies favourite – Animals! Goats, Chickens, and possibly the biggest pig I have EVER seen in my life!
Swiss Perfection in EVERY sense and I would certainly recommend it to any family with young children, anyone looking for incredible food as well as people wanting to buy organic fare from their shop. 5 stars all the way, thank you Vredenhof for an awesome last play date!
Opening times – Tuesday – Saturday, 8am – 4pm Contact 021 855 0363, firstname.lastname@example.org
So yet another hiatus taken after yet another baby, I became a proud member of the two under two club (2 boys now) but I’m determined to get my blog back on track. There’s so much I want to say and share and so much that has happened.
In addition to adding another little boisterous boy to our family we also relocated to the beautiful Western Cape, and what a year it’s been! I actually can’t even fathom why anyone with children would want to live anywhere else in the world. This place literally has it all!
I thought I’d summarize the top places to take kids too, and bear with me as this list is quite long. Jozi you have A LOT to learn when it comes to making things kid friendly. There is an abundance of places to take the kids and almost every farm is child friendly. After living in Johannesburg for so long I really am left in awe.
Here’s my top 16 list (in no specific order).
- World of Birds – Constantia – This is the largest bird park in Africa and its home to something like 3000 birds and quite a number of reptiles! All of the owls and predator birds are adopted and none of them have been bred in captivity. My toddler was in awe of all the colours and the monkey interaction is entertaining for everyone!
- Butterfly World – Stellenbosch – Best to go on a sunny day when all the glorious butterfly’s fly about in their element! There are also a number of other animals on display including reptiles (some colourful iguanas), tarantula’s, birds, small monkeys and LOTS of guinea pigs. BEST part is kids under 3 are free!
- Monkey Town – Somerset West – This place kinda has it all! Yes the park is a little “run down” BUT these places do rely on visitors for funding so go and visit! Not only do they have like 200 different primates, they also have Chimpanzees ! (Don’t worry they have been rehabilitated after various horrible stories). Monkey Town also has a small Petting animal section a huge garden with numerous Jungle Gyms AND you can picnic and braai there.
- The Giraffe House – Stellenbosch – Despite its name the Giraffe house is home to Zebra, Ostrich, crocodile, Jackals and a number of other animals too. We made the mistake of going on a “slight breezy” winters day with a 6 week old baby. Safe to say, dad did the tour with the toddler who was in his element and mum sat in the car for most of the time because the wind was reminiscent of Arctic Gail force winds !
- Vergelegen Wine Farm (They have the most amazing playground) – Have a lunch at Stables restaurant while your kids play in the most artistic Play area. A little stream for them to splash in , a giants bird nest, and a maze – what more do you need? Oh and they offer picnics in the forest as well.
- Vergenoegd Wine Farm (Famous for its Runner ducks and kids activities). Vergenoegd keeps about 1100 Indian “Runner Ducks”. These ducks head out each day into the vineyards and they eat all the snails and harmful pests that destroy the grapes, on their journey the give a little “Parade” which the kids adore! Vergenoegd also has dedicated child minders so you can enjoy your picnic in the most beautiful surroundings while your kids play a number of games and activities.
- Visit the penguins – dependent on which side of Cape Town you are there is the Stony Point Colony at Betty’s Bay and of course the famous Boulders Beach in Simons Town. It’s not often that you get to swim with Penguins, I’ve taken my toddler back 3 times 🙂 Did you know that there are only 3 land based breeding grounds for African penguins? Well here are two of them! I find Betty’s Bay a little more quiet as opposed to the ever popular Boulders Beach.
- Two Oceans Aquarium – Aquarium – enough said! Sharks, Penguins, Turtles and Sting rays, what more does a kid want? Right in the heart of the V+A Waterfront its pays tribute to both the Atlantic and the Indian oceans. Visit at about 3pm daily and the kids will get a chance to see the raggies being fed !
- Cheetah Outreach Program – 2 minutes from my doorstep, and you can take your toddlers in to stroke the Cheetahs ! I was super apprehensive, you can even tell from my picture 🙂 The Cheetah Outreach is an organization that is working to preserve Cheetah in the wild. Many farmers use traps, poison and hunting techniques to keep the cheetahs away from their farm and livestock, as a result, the cheetah population is dwindling. Here you learn about Cheetah conservation and the Famous Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, These are very, VERY large dogs that are used as Shepard dogs and protect livestock.By doing so you can save Cheetahs !
- Spier Wine farm and the Eagle encounters – Another famously child friendly wine farm. Spier wine farm offers literally the FULL experience. For non wine drinkers like us they offer grape juice tasting, 2 awesome restaurants and a range of activities for the kids. Best part is the Eagle encounters where you can learn more about these glorious predators and get to see them up close.
- Green Point Park –Seriously, This is where Joburg Parks needs to catch a wake up! Green Points playground is insane ! You can visit green pint for a picnic, walk or run, there’s an outdoor gym, a play park and an adventure park for the kids (with about 7 different slides). Evening and Morning Yoga and a whole zen garden section. Did I mention its free?
- The Blue Train and Mouille point park – Probably one of Mouille Point’s oldest attractions, a ticket on the blue train costs just R15 and takes you on two trips around the park. The Blue Train Park borders The Mouille Point park which has a lovely jungle gym and play area for the kids. The blue train park offers yet more play areas as well as a mini ice rink! My toddler loved the choo choo with the sea-side views! Afterwards you can ride your bikes and have an ice cream and walk along the famous Green Point Promenade !
- Table Mountain Cable Way – It’s not Cape Town without Table Mountain. My husband was the most apprehensive about going up Table Mountain with 2 small kids. We pre booked out tickets online (MUST DO) so the line wasn’t that tedious (I think about 45 minutes?) By the time we got to the front my 2-year-old was so impatient to go on the “Plane” (the cable car) that the kind lady in front scanned us through to the next leaving cart. (If you read this THANK YOU!). Much to my husbands delight there were no sheer drops for the pram to roll off at the top 🙂 There was entertainment in the form of a live bank which the toddler loved and we even got to appreciate the views! Once again I am forever grateful as we managed to get a concierge service off the cable car on the way down to the lift and skipped the exit line 🙂
- Root 44 Market – Great Food, Live bands, artesian food and craft and to a huge world of adventure for kids! No less than 5 play areas for kids, a massive indoor soft play area, water activities and putt putt. SERIOUSLY – Root 44 offers a BUSY day! OPEN EVERY SATURDAY AND SUNDAY FROM 10:00 – 16:00 Tel: 021 881 3052 Email: email@example.com Audacia Wines, Corner of R44 & Annandale Road, Stellenbosch, 7600
- The Beaches! All of them! There is no explanation needed! Water + Sand is a great combination for any child and it offers free entertainment for hours! The Western Cape offers some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
- Polkadraai Strawberry Farm – The greatest blessing, being a mere 5 minutes from us. Polkadraai offers everything from Strawberry picking from just R40, Tractor Rides, Mini Golf and Pony Rides its a childs haven and fun for the entire family.
I must also make honorary mentions to the following places: Tokara Estate (unique little playground and they have heaps of toys around the restaurant for kids to play with), Helderberg plaas (one of the oldest farms in the region and it has a cute petting farm for the kids to feed the animals).
Western Cape – I am not finished with my explorations and I cannot wait to uncover all that you have to offer (though I don’t think ill ever get through it all!) Are there any places you would mention?