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To my children

Author L.R.Knost
“I hope you search for four-leaf clovers,

grin back at Cheshire moons,

breathe in the springtime breezes,

and dance with summer loons.
I hope you gaze in wide-eyed wonder

at the buzzing firefly

and rest beneath the sunlit trees

as butterflies fly by.
I hope you gather simple treasures

of pebbles, twigs, and leaves

and marvel at the fragile web

the tiny spider weaves.
I hope you read fairy tales and comic books

and sing silly, made-up songs,

and pretend that you’re a superhero

who rights all this world’s wrongs.
I hope your days are filled with magic

and your nights with happy dreams,

and you grow up knowing that happiness 

is found in simple things.
The dream I dream for you, my child,

as you discover, learn, and grow

is that you take these joys with you

wherever in life you go.” 

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Smart Toy Club …. A review

I was totally curious when I first saw this toy rental subscription idea … after all at the rate that kids develop and grow we all know that an expensive toy you bought last week can be quickly outgrown in a day or two.

Subscribing to a program that aims at allowing your child to learn through play and at the same time saves you money and the clutter of too many toys seemed like a dream come true.

So, when bear was offered a two month trial I was super excited. 

The subscription is open to children aged 6 months to 5 years and each month they receive a bag of specially chosen toys to keep for the next 4 weeks. All of this from as little as R249 a month for a bag of toys worth R700.

We rushed off to collect our first bag of toys and was greeted by Lyneves friendly smile and welcoming service.

I eagerly grabbed the bag and couldn’t wait to try. All the toys are packaged in a handy bag with a keyring label and your name. This meant we could keep the toys neat and hung up.

Beforehand we had gone online and filled in a form to allow her to know bears age, interests and milestones … allowing for the correct toy choice.

Bears favourite was the sticky bath toy and he latched onto it in the car. 

For the next month he played contently with the few toys in the bag. At one stage I thought he’d get bored with such a few toys , but he constantly chose the borrowed toys over his own. 

As a crawling bear I was most greatful for the duck in the ball as i wanted to get one but knew he wouldn’t have used it for very long.

I was glad to see all the toys were clean as hygiene with toys is very important. The toys are washed in Milton sterilizing solution and those with batteries and the books wiped with antibacterial wipes. None of the toys were broken or in a bad state either.

I must admit I was an awful client …planning the wedding, going back to work full time with papa losing his job and with a sick bear, meant I didn’t return my items on time. 

Lyneve was very polite and patient with me ,sending me a reminder. 

The second months toys I felt were much better suited to bear and we really enjoyed the toys and books. What was really great was that if we had wanted to keep a certain toy another month those would have been added to our next subscription bag.

It’s a brilliant service , as a mom and educator the only thing i would change is to perhaps be able to pick the toys as opposed to having them chosen for us as most babies and children develop at their own pace but there was also something magical about not knowing what toys you would receive. 

This is a great idea not just for moms but playgroups and preschools aswell.
For more information contact 

http://www.smarttoyclub.co.za/

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It’s not from Woolies

I remember many years ago , 14 to be exact, my 8 year old son Dylan had just started school after being homeschooled and we were all excited about his first real cake sake.

He gushed that whole Monday afternoon demanding certain coloured icing and types of treats for Friday. 

Each day , as we got closer he changed his mind to yet another favoured treat to take to sell to his friends.

Thursday finally dawned and we stopped after school to buy the dry ingredients to make the cakes.

There I was , baby on hip and 5 helpers in the kitchen mixing and stiring ( and eating most of the dough) as we prepared to make 60 cupcakes. 

They were barely out the oven and Dylan was ready to ice them. 

As was tradition I mixed up bright bowls of different coloured icing for my older 4 kiddies to help me ice.

An hour and a filthy kitchen later the kids were sent to bath and get ready for bed as i boxed up the cakes. 

Bright and early the next morning we all carried these cakes the 3km to the school. I don’t drive so we’ve always kept healthy and done what we need to do by foot, sharing the load, as big families do.

Finally it was 10 am and cake sale time.

I nervously watched Dylan set up his stall and handed each of the bears R5 to spend. I then watched as not one child went for the yummy just like gran made bright blue, green and red cupcakes.

I was more shocked … what 8 year old doesn’t like a cupcake? …or sugar for that matter? 

And then …. with the echo of a pretentious woman this little voice asked him “Why aren’t your cakes from woolies?”
To save my child further embarrassment and humiliation I promptly walked over and bought each and every one of my own cupcakes.

This story has always stayed with me … not for embarrassment but out of sadness.

Sadness that children that young were forced to be so materialistic and status bound. 

Sadness that the simple pleasures of our childhood are lost on the quick conveniences of today’s kids.

And sadness that children,via their status conscious parents, are so quick to succumb to peer pressure.

That was 14 years ago ..

 I still bake hideously bright granny made them cakes. Some flop, some are lop sided and others look great. 

Why ? 

Because every child deserves the delight of licking bright blue icing off sticky fingers on a hot day . 

#childhoodmatters

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Blog Challenge 12 … my favourite childhood book

As a child i was a regular bookworm.  I’d hide under the covers reading by torchlight and always had a book with me wherever I went.

At 12 I discovered the beauty of old world poetry and swooned at the works of Lord Byron and Dylan Thomas. 

Robert Frost soon worked his way into my heart with each line of his poem The Road Not Taken.

It wasn’t long after that I discovered the world of Shakespear and romantically read through his plays , devouring each word.

I’d  read all the children’s classics by 12 and started enjoying the works of Jane Austin, Charles Dickens and oddly Wilbur Smith.

But, I think if you ask me which book sticks out as my favourite on my childhood it would have to be Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery.

The story recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan who is mistakenly sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert to help them on their farm in the town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island

The novel recounts how Anne makes her way with the Cuthberts, in school, and within the town. It describes her love of literature and later she eventually goes off to study teaching.

As a child i identified with Ann’s character and today it’s still one of my most loved books.


What was your favourite book ? 

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Blog challenge 3 … My favourite quote 

Albert Einstein


This is my favourite quote.

Years of working with children you quickly see that not everyone is carbon cut to be perfect at just one thing.

We are all unique and amazing. Each of us posses a wide array of talents and abilities.

 Its only when we want to start placing people into societies boxes of conformity that we find flaws.

We need to be open minded enough to see that everyone , regardless of age, race, education, lifestyle or natural abilities, is unique, amazing and really great at at least one thing we aren’t.

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Princess tea party 

A beautiful sign

On Friday night Fun Mamma S.A. was invited to the 2nd Tableview Brownie troops to give a lesson on Table manners .

The evening started with our young princesses making their own silver crowns and paper wands.

Setting up our mock dinner table

After a brief introduction and a lesson on our ten table manners, the girls answered a fun quizz to test their knowledge.

Princess academy in action

We then took turns learning to set the table correctly and demonstrate the correct way to sit at a dinner table.

Dinner table

Princesses in training

We moved on by demonstrating “how to make tea“.

 This is one of the Brownie badges and we chose 3 little volunteers to brew their own tea. 

Tea making station

A little help to pour the hot tea

Next the girls tucked into their supper and got to put our table manners to the test

After dinner the girls were shown how to make their own marshmallow tea cups for pudding. A quick demonstration at each table and our young chefs were proudly showing off their masterpieces.

Princess academy

After clearing up it was time for a fun fashion show, as the girls showed off their princess outfits down the mock run way.

Getting ready for bed

Before we knew it , it was dark and time to get ready for bed. A quick setting up of their sleepover beds and changing into their PJ’s and the girls were ready for our last princess surprise…. A pin the kiss on the frog game.

Pin the kiss on the frog

It was great fun and this tired mama headed home very impressed with the girls manners.

To find out more about Brownies contact :

www.girlguides.org.za

To order your own princess tea party sign, pin the kiss on the frog or table manners posters click here



To book Fun mamma S.A. for a Table manners or one of my life skills lessons for your children or organisation please pop me an email funmammasa29@gmail.com