Latest toys and boardgames for the family

There are two things I am enjoying most this winter holiday. Sitting by the fireplace reading or playing a game, and the kids happily playing together (without me). Paige and Ethan are finally playing nicely together for up to an hour sometimes, without fighting (*gasp*). They are at such a nice age where they are the best of friends and come up with the most imaginative games. Their playroom has been upside down since the start of the holidays, and will probably remain that way until school term starts. If you are looking for new toys to keep your kids entertained for hours, here are some newly launched options for all ages.

Teletubbies plush toyTeletubbies (18+ months)

Teletubbies fans will be pleased to know that their favourite cute and cuddly characters Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po are now available for them to take home in a whole new plush range. Lallaby Laa-Laa is the perfect toy to gently sing your baby to sleep with classic lullabies such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  This super soft cuddly toy has a gentle light that shines when you press her tummy. You also have the option of choosing how long Laa-Laa gets to sing – either 5, 10 or 15 minutes. The Talking Plush toy is available in all four Teletubbies characters, Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po. When you gently press the plush toy’s tummy you can hear them talk and make sound effects.

The new range also introduces the Laughing Giggle Plush toy, which is available in Po and Laa-Laa characters. It is very soft to the touch.  When you tickle the toy, it laughs and giggles – the more you tickle them the more they giggle. Jumping Po is also part of the plush series, she jumps and bounces and really personifies happiness.

Glimmies

Glimmies (3+ years)

A first in the South African market, but with a growing fan base the world over, Glimmies are a super cute glow in the dark range of toys. Glimmies are star fairy collectibles that have been sent by the moon to look after the forest animals and restore peace to Glimmies Wood. Each star fairy (23 to collect) represents a forest animal and has its own distinct features and characteristics resembling each animal they have been sent to protect.

Some of the star fairies include the Fox Glimmies, Foxanne (purple) and Volpessa (forest green), these two are always lucky and can get themselves out of any tricky situation.  Doterella is also the leader of all the Glimmies owing to her ability to raise spirits when the other Glimmies’ are feeling low. Hazelyn (orange) and Almendra (pink), the squirrel Glimmies are adventurous, full of energy and are always looking for special treasures to hide in secret places. The Glimmies are guaranteed to be a popular choice for all young fairy fans aged 3 years and older.

Grossery Gang and TMNT

Grossery Gang (5+ years)

Welcome to Cheap Town, the ramshackled, former bustling town now occupied by the grubby Grossery Gang.  This gang of spoilt grocery goods have gone way past their use-by dates and have rankled their way to life on the dreadful shelves of the Yucky Mart to create their own kind of fun – the rotten variety. There are over 150 Grossery items to collect. The Mushy Slushie Machine Playset is a must-have for your child to show off his collection, while adding two more Grosseries to his assortment. Collect all the members of the Grossery Gang and your very own Yucky Mart will be open for business. What about the Grossery Gang Sticky Soda for a refreshingly revolting drink? What you’ll get in the pack is four of the grubby bunch with a surprise lurking in the mess.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (4+ years)

From their home in sewers of New York City, these four brothers battle petty criminals, evil overlords, mutated creatures, and alien invaders while attempting to remain hidden from society. TMNT has always been a popular boys brand for over three decades and are generational heroes.

Leonardo is the tactical, courageous leader of the Ninja Turtles and a devoted student of Ninjutsu. He usually wears a blue mask and wields two katanas. Michelangelo is the most comical of the brothers, wearing an orange mask and his choice of weapon is a pair of nunchucks. Donatello is the scientist, inventor, engineer and technological genius of the Ninja Turtles. He dons a purple mask and a bo-staff. Raphael is the bad boy of the Ninja Turtles, wearing a red mask and wielding a pair of sais. Splinter is the mutant rat sensei and adoptive father of the Ninja Turtles.

20 questions, Anti-Monopoly and Hotel Tycoon boardgames

20-Questions (8+ years)

20-Questions is the classic game of people, places, things and years. Each round features a new mystery topic from history, entertainment, sports or culture. As clues are read aloud players rack their brains to identify what it is. The fewer clues you need to guess correctly, the more spaces you move on the board. 20-Questions is ideal for ages 8 and up. Two to more players. RSP: R499.99*

Anti-Monopoly (8+ years)

Anti-Monopoly is a real estate trading game with an exciting twist! Players choose free enterprise or monopoly, then play under different rules. In Anti-Monopoly, competitors have a fair shot at winning. Ideal for ages 8 and up. Two to six players. RSP: 499.99*

Hotel Tycoon (8+ years)

Hotel Tycoon is a game where players try to buy and build the best hotels in the world and compete for guests. The game caters for two to four players and is ideal for ages eight and up. Touted as the addictive new game for budding real estate magnates, Hotel Tycoon will have players building 3-D hotels and trying to bankrupt their opponents just so that they can say “I’ve won”. Hotel Tycoon is available at retailers and toy stores for RSP: R599.99*.

Toys and boardgames are available at top toy stores and retailers. For more info go to www.primatoys.co.za

*Prices correct at July 2017.

Information and toys provided by Prima Toys. Images my own.

Family remedies made easy with Hot Toddy

Hot ToddyThe Hot Toddy range has been developed from remedies passed down through generations, incorporating secret recipes families have faithfully relied on for centuries to assist in treating colds and flu. Today they are conveniently packaged for us in the Hot Toddy range of products.

Adults have a choice between the aromatic soothing hot tea, hot drink sachets, Fast Recovery tablets and cough discs. Since taste can make a child either enjoy or dislike taking medicine, the Hot Toddy’s range for children has been specially formulated to ensure their remedies help win the taste battle, while providing all the goodness and support needed during a bout of flu. Paige and Ethan enjoy the taste, and even I had a try and can agree, that it really is tasty.

Features

  • Free from aspirin and caffeine
  • The range is suitable for the whole family, from children to the elderly
  • Kids range includes natural tasting strawberry syrup and tasty lollies
  • The Hot Toddy range is available at Dis-Chem, Clicks and leading pharmacies nationwide

Hot Toddy Kid’s Sore Throat Lollies

A clever idea for little ones are the Kid’s Sore Throat Lollies. Specially designed to entice even the most fussy eater in the form of a lolly, the formulation includes Vitamin C, Echinacea extract, Zinc, Lemon juice, Honey and Menthol to help soothe sore throats and to help boost the immune system naturally.

Hot Toddy Kid’s Cold & Flu Syrup

The strawberry flavoured Hot Toddy Kid’s Cold & Flu Syrup can help to reduce the severity and length of colds and flu. It contains Echinacea, Pine bark and Ivy leaf extracts to help stimulate and strengthen the body’s immune system and to assist with fighting off infections.

Hot Toddy

This is not a sponsored post. Product was supplied for review.

Superbalist launches their stylish and affordable Sixth Floor bedding range

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Sixth Floor bedding from SuperbalistIt could be because we used to live on the sixth floor when we lived in Sea Point, but I’m liking the name of Superbalist’s new bedding range. You may know Superbalist from my previous post on women’s clothing, and they also sell men’s fashion and home items. Pretty much everything trendy and stylish can be found on Superbalist. Their inhouse Sixth Floor bedding offers a range of stylish duvet sets, and at affordable prices. Since price matters, it’s nice to know you can still treat yourself to a nice bedroom and comfy bed. If your kids have spent enough time sleeping in on your bed, then you are probably due a new duvet set anyway. We wake up to at least one, if not both, kids sleeping in the bed.

Even though we have a queen bed, I still use a King duvet cover, so we all have enough cover when we have a sleep in. It also means hubby and I don’t have to fight over the duvet in the night! Superbalist sent us the softest jersey cotton king duvet so we could all enjoy a sleep in. The duck egg colour is a personal favourite, and this duvet is available from R999, which really is affordable for the quality.

Sixth Floor bedding from Superbalist

When it comes to buying a new duvet set, I look for comfort and it preferably won’t require much ironing. Even though my husband doesn’t pay much attention to decor, he does like a say on the duvet. Well, not on the specific look, but as long as it’s not bright pink and flowery. Since Father’s Day is coming up, a new duvet for dad would make a good present if you are looking for ideas!

Sixth Floor bedding from SuperbalistSixth Floor bedding

Here are some of the features of the Sixth Floor bedding range:

View the full range on Superbalist.

 

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Flying with your family and tips from a mom who’s aloft a lot

Flying with your family and tips from a mom who’s aloft a lotLet me tell you the funny story of our first plane trip with Paige. She was only eight months old at the time when we flew to Durban for a wedding. I was a little anxious about the trip, mostly because I was worried her ears would hurt during landing. I suffered from ear ache as a child when flying, still do, and it is no fun. So I asked advice from other moms and went online to get some handy tips (like the ones I’m sharing below). One piece of advice is to give a bottle to your baby upon decent to help equalise their ears.

Since we were flying off for a family wedding, we were fortunate enough to be travelling with granny and cousin. I got to sit back and enjoy the flight, staring out the window, with hubby in the middle and granny had Paige on her lap in the aisle seat. Just across the aisle was cousin and behind Paige sat a smartly dress woman wearing a pair of adorable peep-toe shoes.

Paige was a star during the flight. She played, had a nap and was no trouble at all. The flight attendant announced our descent, I handed over the milk bottle and Paige happily drank away. That is until she projectile vomited over granny, across the aisle onto cousin and even into the peep-toe shoes of the lady who had the luck of sitting behind us. I could see the humour in it as, for once, I wasn’t covered in vomit. Fortunately everyone else could have a laugh about it too. Poor granny finally got to change once we retrieved our luggage. Needless to say, we did not try feed Paige a bottle on our return flight.

So maybe I’m not the best person to give advice, but another mom who’s done a lot of flying with her family is Sue Petrie, British Airways’ Commercial Manager for Southern Africa. She suggests a few proven hacks that can make your flight easier.

Booking your flight

  • Prepare ahead by checking in online. This is not only convenient for travellers of any age, it also decreases the likelihood of youngsters becoming tetchy while waiting in queues.
  • If you’re travelling internationally, check the Department of Home Affairs’ site at dha.gov.za to be sure you have the documentation you need.
  • You can reserve equipment like children’s bassinets, as well as children’s meals.
  • Remember to also check regulations on decanting liquids into small bottles, so you can plan accordingly.
  • Petrie urges travelling families to take advantage of concessions like preferential boarding and being allowed to take strollers onto the air-bridge and to the door of the aircraft.

Packing for your flight

  • While you want to pack enough supplies – you might need nappies, pull-ups and wipes, for example. Petrie advises against weighing yourself down with more than you can comfortably carry.
  • Naturally you need to pack food that’s appropriate for your child in terms of dietary needs and choking hazard. However, chewy snacks like biltong, nuts or fruit-rolls can help equalise pressure in the ears, which can be very uncomfortable.  While you want kids to stay hydrated, foods with too much sugar may make them too energetic. Try diluting fruit-juice with rooibos tea as an option.
  • “Avoid toy weapons or those with small parts. Everyone knows you can’t harm anyone or anything with a rubber Pirates of the Caribbean sword, but airport security are likely to confiscate it anyway. It’s also one of the few occasions that Lego isn’t a good idea as it, and other toys with small parts, can be difficult to retrieve when dropped aboard a plane,” says Petrie.

During your flight

  • Flying with kids can feel daunting, as though everyone on the plane is watching you and your family and expecting a noisy meltdown. Flight attendants are there to help and they’ll do all they can for families with kids as well as other passengers. Enlist their help wherever you can.
  • Few parents will allow their kids unfettered screen-time, but in-flight movies, portable CD players, smartphones and tablets can be a godsend for air-travel as the right app or game can keep a child occupied for hours. Small children may struggle to understand why they have to switch their devices off for take-off though. Packing a good portable charger, or power-bank, and headphones can also help.
  • While you want your youngster to have access to the toilet, Petrie advises against seating small children on the aisle as they may be snagged by trollies.

For more handy tips and information on travelling with kids, see https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/family-travel

This is not a sponsored post. Information supplied by British Airways. Image from unsplash.com.

Masterchef launches Cooking Sets for Kids

Masterchef Cooking SetCooking with your kids usually requires yummy ingredients, a mop, and a good dose of patience from mom. We have had some fun making chocolate cookies, fairy cakes and breakfast bars, amongst other recipes. I can’t say I have enjoyed all my time with the kids in the kitchen, but we have made some delicious, spoon-licking treats and memories, which made it worth it. Whilst the kids are small, I do prefer their help with baking rather than cooking, as it involves less knives. They do also like to help out with the washing up, but that usually involves even more cleaning afterwards!

My motives in getting the kids helping in the kitchen at a young age are somewhat selfish in that:

  • I imagine a day when I can sit down to a breakfast or meal prepared by my children. A meal without broken egg shell, burnt bits and all the dishes are cleaned by my helpful kids.
  • By instilling a joy for food, they will be more willing to experiment with different food types and become less fussy.
  • My children will start to enjoy grocery shopping, and become more involved in writing down a list and buying ingredients.

A brand new Masterchef Junior product range is now available for children who enjoy cooking or want to experiment in the kitchen. Designed especially for children the new MasterChef Junior cooking range recreates the fun and excitement of the hit TV series at home.

Each set includes real cooking tools with kid-safe, non-slip silicone grips and features three unique recipe cards for all levels of experience – line cook, sous chef and master chef – plus one blank recipe card to write your own recipe.

Masterchef Cooking Set

There are five sets in the range including the Cooking Essential Set Breakfast Cooking Set, Pizza Cooking Set, Burger Cooking Set and Baking Kitchen Set.

The product sets come in playful colours and the cooking tool sizes are perfect for a child’s hands. Ideal for ages six plus. The Masterchef Cooking Sets are available at toy stores countrywide from R599.99.

This is not a sponsored post. The information and the Masterchef Cooking Essential Set was given to me.

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MONOPOLY has new tokens thanks to their fans

MONOPOLY Token MadnessWhen I think of MONOPOLY, I remember the hundred or so times my younger sister beat me at the board game. She just had incredible luck of the dice or made shrewd purchasing decisions, either way, she was a legend at the game. I was better at other Hasbro games like Cluedo, Guess Who?, Jenga and Operation. How I miss those days, spending endless hours playing games as children. I still love board games, but until Paige and Ethan are old enough, I will have to get my mom and older sister around the table for a game. My younger sister may, or may not, be invited…

Back to MONOPOLY. They have some exciting news after they asked fans across the globe to vote on their favourite tokens.  From 64 possible options, and after an incredible 4.3 million votes, the top eight tokens were picked for the next generation of the MONOPOLY game. The tokens set to “pass GO” in the next generation of the MONOPOLY game are the Scottie dog, top hat, car, battleship, cat, T-rex, rubber ducky, and penguin tokens.

MONOPOLY Token Madness

Next generation MONOPOLY tokens

  • Scottie Dog Token: The best friend of Mr. MONOPOLY since the 1950s, the Scottie Dog token proved its popularity by receiving the most votes – making it the overall first place winner.
  • T-Rex Token: The mighty T-Rex token stomped its way into the new game, garnering the second most overall votes and making history as the first dinosaur token of Mr. MONOPOLY.
  • Top Hat Token: Coming in third place in overall votes, the Top Hat token – a staple in the game since 1935 – will keep Mr. MONOPOLY looking dapper well into the future.
  • Car Token: This 1930s roadster will continue fueling adrenaline rushes for Mr. MONOPOLY in the next generation of the game; coming in fourth place in overall votes.
  • Rubber Ducky Token: Coming in fifth in overall votes, the new Rubber Ducky token is truly all its “quacked” up to be.
  • Cat Token: Fans voted the Cat token into the game in 2013, and she clawed her way back in as one of the eight winning tokens, coming in sixth place in overall votes.
  • Penguin Token: Waddling into the game in seventh place in overall votes, the Penguin token is the new style muse for Mr. MONOPOLY.
  • Battleship Token: The beloved Battleship token represents the first round-the-world trip for Mr. MONOPOLY; securing the eighth spot in overall votes, this token’s legacy will cruise into the next generation of the game.

So long MONOPOLY tokens

While the Scottie dog, top hat, car, cat, and battleship tokens can breathe a sigh of relief, the iconic thimble, boot, and wheelbarrow tokens didn’t make the cut. Instead, they’re planning to take some time off and will not be part of the next generation of the MONOPOLY game.

  • ‘Sew’ long, Thimble: The lucky Thimble token is down on its luck. With just over 81,000 votes, this token will be left out of the next generation of the game after more than 80 years.
  • The Boot gets booted: Mr. MONOPOLY needs a new pair of kicks, because the once popular boot token – modeled after the working shoe of the 1930s – received just over 83,000 votes, and was ultimately booted from the game.
  • Bye, bye Wheelbarrow: The wheelbarrow token, a staple in the game since the 1950s, will wheel no more. With just over 60,000 votes, this historic token was voted out of the next generation of the game.

The next generation of the MONOPOLY game will be available for purchase this August. Until then, you can play the MONOPOLY Token Madness edition or localised MONOPOLY Mzansi edition available at your nearest retailer.

This is not a sponsored post. The information and a copy of the MONOPOLY Token Madness edition was given to me by Hasbro South Africa.

ABC of lice – what they don’t teach you at school

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abc of liceLice. Just thinking about it makes your head itch. It’s even worse to receive a letter from school notifying parents that there is a suspected outbreak and that we should check for nits. We can do our best to prevent it, but it’s just one of those things we all have to face at one time or another. It’s also no-one’s fault and has nothing to do with cleanliness. It’s just unpleasant. I thought you only need to worry about lice when your kids are young because of the frequent head-to-head contact, but I presume that the trending head-to-head selfies are no help to the spread in older children either.

Some more good news is that you can get rid of lice and even protect your child against them using Controlice® products.* Since we are back to school, I thought it would be fun to do an ABC of lice so we can all be educated about what to do when your child starts to itch and scratch their head.

Aniseed: Controlice® Oil Spray is a non-chemical pesticide that consists of plant oils including aniseed. When head lice are already in the hair, the clinically proven Controlice® Oil Spray is one quick way to eliminate the little monsters.*

Bath: Bathing or using a regular shampoo will not prevent or eliminate head lice. In fact head lice are not an indicator of poor hygiene at all.

Comb: Combing is an essential part of detecting and treating a lice infestation. Combing during a treatment assists to remove the nits (eggs) and dead lice from the hair. You can check for lice using one of the Controlice® combs. The Controlice® Lice Buster Comb is designed for long, curly or thick hair. The Controlice® Triple Comb is ideal for short hair.

Dog: The dog and cat (or any other pets) are not to blame for lice. Head lice cannot survive on pet animals, they are only spread by close contact with another person and you cannot get them from the family pets.

Ear: Lice favour the area behind the ears where they usually lay their eggs, so remember to also check behind the ear when finding signs of an infestation.

Frequently asked questions: For answers to some of the frequently asked questions about head lice, click here.

Girls and boys get lice: Lice don’t discriminate on gender, age or even hair length. Girls who keep their long hair are not any more vulnerable to lice than boys with short hair. Cutting your children’s hair to get rid of lice is not necessary.

Hat: Head-to-head contact is a common way for lice to be passed on. This is why they spread easily among younger children whose play typically encourages transfer. This can be difficult to manage. Infestation can also occur through sharing hats, combs, clothing and towels, so we can at least teach youngsters not to share their personal belongings to curb the spread of head lice.

Infestation: A nasty word meaning that lice have set up home in your hair. After being hatched the female louse is ready to mate in 7 to 10 days and will start laying her nits in another 7 to 10 days. Therefore treatment should be repeated within seven days to prevent re-infestation by breaking the lice life cycle.

abc of liceLice: An adult louse (plural: lice) is a crawling insect about the size of a sesame seed. It has six legs and grasps the hair with claws. Lice are clear in colour when they hatch but turn reddish-brown once they start feeding on the blood of their hosts. Female lice lay small yellowish-white oval-shaped eggs called nits which are attached at angles to the sides of the hair shafts. They crawl quickly but do not hop, jump or fly. They normally don’t separate from their human hosts because if they do they die from starvation in approximately 24-48 hours. They spend their entire lives in human hair, dropping down to feed on blood from the scalp four or five times a day.

Mom: The person children go to when they need to fix anything, when lice become a problem or when they don’t feel well. Moms know how to make it all better, and aren’t grossed out by things as they are well prepared after years of nappy changes. Also known as Controlice® Supermoms.

Neck: Check the back of the neck as well as behind the ears for lice and nits. Often lice prefer to lay their eggs in these areas hence could be the first sign of an infestation.

Outbreak: If your child hasn’t already shown symptoms of having lice, you may receive a letter from school informing you of an outbreak. Lice outbreaks often occur during warmer seasons, especially when the children are at school. Since lice spread by head-to-head contact, outbreaks can happen quickly between classmates during play, sport or sharing clothing. The Controlice® Defence products can assist to repel head lice and avoid a new or re-infestation during a lice outbreak.

Pharmacy: Controlice® is available at most pharmacies and leading retail stores nationwide.

Rinse: Controlice® Head Rinse is a non-chemical pesticide lice treatment. The active ingredient in the Controlice® Head Rinse is Dimethicone. Dimethicone forms a wax-like layer around lice that blocks the part of the respiratory system of lice causing them to die(1,2) . Work the solution through dry hair using your fingers. Head rinse is colourless and odourless and requires an 8 hour application time.

Shampoo: If you hear that there is a head lice outbreak at your child’s school, or if you have managed to get rid of the little crawlers and don’t want them coming back, you can use the Controlice® Defence range daily. Controlice® Defence Shampoo and Controlice® Defence Spray can assist to put up a line of defence to stop head lice from moving in.*

Towels: To avoid the spread of lice, teach your child not to share their towels. When you suspect a lice infestation, wash and dry all bed linen and towels on high heat.

Video: Checking and removing head lice can be quite a long process, so try to turn it into a happy mom and child experience. Using tactics such as videos and games like “I-Spy” can assist to distract your child and keep them still while you check or remove head lice.

Wash: When an outbreak has been identified, treat all the affected family members, wash bed linens and towels. Also check coat collars, hoods, hats and scarves for lice and nits and wash them as well.

Ylang-ylang is one of the active ingredients found in the Controlice Oil Spray.

Did you learn anything new about lice? There will be a test you know! Only kidding, but it’s best to be prepared as our patience and family will be tested if we do have an infestation. Reassure your children that it’s not their (or their friend’s) fault that they have an itchy head. With a few treatments, it will be gone and they can go back to school and play with their friends again.

*For a diagnosis or if symptoms persist, consult a medical practitioner. Efficacy of support may vary between users. This medicine has not been evaluated by the Medicines Control Council. This medicine is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Controlice

Reference

  1. Heukelbach, J., Oliveira, F.A., Richter, J. and Häussinger, D., 2010. Dimeticone-based pediculicides: a physical approach to eradicate head lice.Open Dermatol J4, pp.77-81.
  2. Burgess, I.F., 2009. The mode of action of dimeticone 4% lotion against head lice, Pediculus capitis. BMC pharmacology9(1), p.3.

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