On Friday evening I managed to be an awesome dad to our son as we attended the opening night of “Cinderella Kids”, the play, at the People’s Theatre in Braamfontein. It’s been a minute since I’d been to that part of Joburg, and the first time I’d taken our son to the theatre. It was time that we added a bit of culture to his educational programme.
Over the last two years, since becoming more active on the road either cycling, running or swimming, hubby and I have tried to turn our trips to “out-of-town” races into the family breakaway. This year we’ve managed a break per quarter of 2017, taking our current life position, I’m thrilled we’ve managed Continue reading “Our Two Oceans Break…”→
I’m not sure if I’m thrilled or terrified that school break is once more upon us!
Three weeks of doing our best to keep our young man from being “bored”. Hubby working from home is God sent, something I don’t acknowledge often enough to him. He has more flexibility with Continue reading “School is out … what now?”→
I can’t believe we’re almost at the end of yet another term. No more shipping the child to school so that they’re entertained by their teacher for half the day, the next few weeks will be my responsibility to keep our young man from bored!
We had our first Parent meet the Teacher meeting this week. I recall my parents going to them when I was in Primary school, and always waiting to hear the feedback from these sessions. Yes, I was always excelling, so expect the same from our son .. #thepressure .. I know!
Overall, our young man is making me extremely proud at school. Respectful, Obliging, Social, Interactive are just some of the words his teacher used when she spoke of him. Can you see how big our heads are now 🙂
Of course, there has to be a balance, so there are areas for development. Nothing serious, but we want to make sure that we address these now. You know, the “why leave it for later when you can do it now thingie” ….So I’m busy plotting a plan for the holidays and after school activities for our super Home Engineer , that I hope will assist our young man embrace his challenges and excel in term 3.
Now to find ways to keep him entertained … hmmm.. without the iPad that is ….
What a weekend full of activity we had! I really didn’t think we would do all that .. furthermore that our young man would be enthralled by it all.
School is on mid-term break so the question was .. is what do we do with him so he doesn’t get bored? So last week I shared some of the activities taking place in our city that could keep your toddler entertained over the next week.
Saturday morning, we let our young man know what we were going to the #IceAgeExhibition. I’ve not seem him so happy in like …well ..ever! He kept asking all the way to the Sandton Convention if we were really going.
We arrived and he was loving the experience. Taking in his surroundings like only a child can.
He was taking in all the “creatures” around him and calling them out by similar names to what he knows in his world.He was initially taken by surprise when the one of the speakers blasted out the sounds the animal would make. He held onto my hand so tight .. it was too special a moment.
He wasn’t keen on the blizzard though, and screamed and kicked that we get him out of that tunnel. Maybe next time he will be fine… but I still don’t understand why though ….his reaction to water.
Done experiencing our past and the educational phase of our outing it was time for some some. Hubby went and purchased some tickets for a few activities we thought he would appreciate. While we waited we decided to spend some time in the sand pit.
Just look at that grin .. he was having a ball of a time! We waited in the queue to have his face painted as a tiger, but once we got to the front he wasn’t keen on the idea anymore. 😦 Fortunately, the kind lady doing all the magnificent work of face painting all the kids informed me that I could either come back later when he was ready or just go back to the paying booth and request a refund… What you say gurl? Was my first reaction. You for real? Yep she was. My hat off to the #IceAgeSA organisers! You totally understand this age group and that they will change their minds! I know it’s about making some profit, but just think about it .. I won’t spend R20 bucks on face painting .. but I may .. and did .. spend a whole R250 bucks on a sweater I may just not have done otherwise … you get my drift? Really hope of these events targeting children follow suit.
When we got to the slides, our young man could not contain the excitement. He didn’t want to wait for his turn .. he wanted to get on that rubber dingy and slide down. It was eventually our turn. We got in, I made sure he was snug and safe and we were off. I’m not really afraid of heights .. but these adrenaline slides aren’t activities I enthusiastically seek out either. Needlesstosay, if you were at the bottom of the ride watching my face .. I may have had the fear of hell look vs. one of “YAY .. I’m having fun” !
We got off and first thing little Mr. says to me is .. “AGAIN” … WHAT! Are you insane child!? was my first thought. I very promptly past the buck over to hubby .. and guess what .. he too had a very similar look on his face to me sliding down, while our young man had the biggest grin his face could muster out! Watching a few parent’s faces while I waited .. they all had the same look … while those smiling were on there for the second time and knew how much fun it was! Surprisingly, although many dads around .. it was mainly the mothers sliding down with the tods …hmmmm #justsaying
Our young man was having all his senses tested this weekend! I think he enjoys that he is able to roam around and explore all these different elements making up his world.
The event itself was surprisingly well attended. Many of the guests, I would bet were locals – read that as living in the area. They had a beer garden – no outdoor event is complete without one – and a quaint tea garden as well, for those who felt they would rather have something warm.
There were stalls scattered around the winter yard, all selling beautiful handmade wares. Stalls with goodies for your four legged mates, a stall with fresh biltong(aka jerky), fresh brewed coffee and our son’s favourite, a stand selling freshly popped popcorn! For those young ones not bothered by food, the #SAGuideDogsAssociation had setup a littler area with a jumping castle and merry-go-round /carousel for them.
Besides all the stalls selling their wonderful goodies, the SA Guide Dogs Association for the blind had another surprise for us too. They had a few performing dogs come out onto the arena and show us wonderful tricks with their mistresses .. I don’t know if we still call lady masters .. masters?
Then it was the turn of the Guide Dog trainers to come out and educate the public a little bit more about their wonderful work with their four legged friends – labradors mostly.
It was incredible to learn that for the first 12 months they form a relationship with their surrogate family, before they are sent to the association for training. It’s six months of bonding with the trainer before the serious work starts. They eventually leave the association knowing how to for example, but not limited to these, cross a road with their blind human, open cupboard doors for their humans and to disobey their human for their own and the human’s safety.
The market was one of those days that you can enjoy as a family outdoors. Roam around the stalls and purchase stuff you don’t need but buy because it’s all for a great cause. The best part for me is that the event takes place literally outside our doorstep, so that petrol saving can be invested further in this association and the amazing work they for those with sight challenges.
If you missed out this time round, don’t sweat it .. I believe there should be a summer one in a few months. Entrance was a meer R20 and the delicious food being sold was all so reasonably priced too.
July school break is upon as of tomorrow, and what have you got planned for your toddlers?
Toddlers “know” what they want to do .. but don’t! Everything excites them .. but not everything is exciting. Let’s get real here. If you are going to take your toddler to an event or activity over the holidays, there must be an element of pleasure for you too, right?
Here are a some of the activities I found interesting and fun for you to partake with your young one or as a family ..
The Joburg Zoo
This is one of those places that never really get boring…ever! We’ve been to the Zoo a few times already this year, yet our young man never stops asking to go. You mention the word loo and he for the oddest reason hears ZOO! The #JoburgZoo has a holiday programme running from the 6th to the 20th July 2015, and it istargeting toddlers to pre-teens. According to their website they are open between 9am and 5pm, and entrance is normally R65 for adults, R40 for kids up to age 12. I suggest you call them on 011 646 2000 to confirm if the entrance fee is the same and for any other questions you may have. The #JoburgZoo has an array of wildlife for everyone to enjoy and learn more about.
Why not watch a play?
If your kids are old enough to sit still through a play and enjoy it, then venture on over to the Computicketfor a browse round what’s in the local children’s theater?
The #IreneVillageTheater is currently performing The Snow Queen.
Tickets range between R80 and R100, booking is essential so don’t just pop around expecting a seat.. you have been warned!
The show is about mischievous trolls breaking the Spring Queens magic mirror, Spring turns into winter and the land becomes cold and miserable. A piece of the magic mirror lands in Kay’s eye transforming him from a kind boy to a spiteful mean boy. He is taken by the Snow Queen to live with her, but is later rescued by his loyal and faithful friends. Filled with singing, dancing this performance promises to turn the cold winter into a warm experience. It has been on stage since the 22nd of June and runs all the way through to the 4th of July, with a mid-morning and mid-afternoon performances running for about 1h30 with a 15 minute break. I think the show timings are so thoughtful, as they take into account your little one’s routine meal times .. don’t you agree?
You’re probably thinking .. hey but I have a boy child .. he isn’t going to be keen on the Snow Queen! Well then take him to watch Oliver Twist. The Adventures of Oliver Twist is being performed at the #NationalChildrensTheater out in Parktown. This show has been on since the 8th of June and runs through to the 19th of July. You can book by either calling them on 011 484 1584 or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org . I’m sure it will bring back wonderful memories of your own childhood.
So you’ve been to the Zoo and to the theater .. but there are a few more days to keep the young chap entertained .. if they had it their way they would be ogling at the iPad all day, but we don’t want that right?
#Like2Bike will next be hosting a Kids FUNdamentals skills clinic out at Northern Farms on the 12th of July. They have a few of these clinics throughout the year, so if you miss it this time round make sure to book with email@example.com or visti their website for more information on costs and the activities they run for children as young as 2 years old! Who knows that young child you’re rearing may just be the next Chris Froome!
Our young man is currently fascinated with lions. #TheLionParkhas a wealth of exciting activities for the whole family, so that you have a memorable wildlife experience. They offer a variety of tours, and for the kids they have the opportunity of visiting the Cub World or play around in their newly built amusement park.
What I found super awesome is that children under 4 years enter the park for FREE! Yep, I’m always looking for a saving in these tight times. For adults if you’re self-driving and want to experience some interaction with a lion cub you’re looking at R200… you’re not going all the way there and not taking this opportunity right? OK! the only snag here is make sure that they have cubs available before you take that option. There’s a price saving and you’re in for R160 as an adult. If playing with the cubs isn’t your thing, why not visit them over a weekend and watch the lion trainers feeding the lions at 12h00.
So, besides spending some quality time with your children at home or at the local park or letting them play with your iPad just so you can catchup with some emails while they sit next to you, I hope that some of the above information will help you find something entertaining to do with your loved little ones.