Category: Activities

What kids will (and won’t) be watching on ShowMax

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ShowMax kid friendly featuresWhat is the most you have spent to keep your kid’s happy and entertained? I’m guessing it’s a significant amount of money and you thought it was worth every cent?  Whether it is the latest toy, entrance fee to an attraction or the three scoop ice-cream cone your toddler insisted on getting but never finished, the costs all add up during a month. So when I can get a pick of kids series and movies with ShowMax to keep them entertained for only R3,30* a day, I think it’s a bargain. It’s even cheaper than those awful R5 coin machines we try avoid at the shops. We pay our R99 p/m subscription with eBucks so we don’t even notice the expense. There are other payment options including card payments, PayPal and prepaid vouchers (nice Christmas stocking filler). For data, Telkom’s Entertainment Bolt-on is good value – you get 100GB for R99.

ShowMax is even more kid friendly since launching their profiles feature. One of the main concerns for kids viewing TV and the internet is the potential access to adult content. Now you can set up different profiles for each member of your household with optional pin security. Parents can set parental controls depending on the age of the children: teens, older kids or younger kids. This means that children will only be able to access content that is suitable for their age group and the pin security ensures that they won’t be able to change these settings.

ShowMax kid friendly features

To keep the peace in the house, ShowMax allows for simultaneous viewing for two different profiles on separate devices. Mom can watch The Good Wife on the iPad whilst the kids can watch their shows on the TV. If you are already a subscriber, be sure to update your app to benefit from these new features.

ShowMax kid friendly features

So what are my kids watching right now? Popples is Paige’s new favourite, and there are always new shows being added. Fireman Sam, Thomas & Friends and Dinosaur Train are also hit series in our house. My kids usually watch the same show over and over, but if you are looking for variety, the Box Set collections groups similar series together by theme.

Watch all the shows and try out the kid friendly features for free. Sign up for a 7 day free trial and decide whether you think it really is value for money.


* Calculated over a 30 day month at a R99 p/m subscription

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M-Net Animania Festival this December

M-Net Animania Festival As a family, we need no excuses to sit down on our little L-shaped couch and watch a movie together. What is usually up for debate is who gets the long end of the couch so they can have their feet up (me or Paige or both together) and, what movie are we going to watch. Paige is pretty relaxed about watching anything, dad would prefer to watch surfing movies (with or without surfing penguins) but secretly loves animations, we both do, but it’s Ethan who is the fussier one of us all. Anything involving cars and little yellow minions gets his vote of approval, but since it’s 3 to 1, he ends up watching what the rest of us want to watch.

Whenever I watch an animation, I think about how clever the creators, scriptwriters, production team, the graphic and voice artists are to make a movie that is visually outstanding and witty. The stories appeal to all ages and we can all fall in love with the characters as they journey through their fantasy lives and the obstacles they face along the way. Animations tend to delve into complex human emotions and life challenges including love, death, hatred, revenge, forgiveness and compassion. Granted young children may not grasp all these concepts or some of the humour may go over their heads, but these stories help them to process these life events. The music in animations are also so powerful and I remember whilst watching Happy Feet 2, looking over at Paige during the scene that Eric pleads to the walruses, and tears are streaming down her face. It was a reminder that our children are sensitive to what they are watching and we need to judge what is appropriate for them. In this case, we switched over to something more lighthearted and gave her a big kiss on her sweet wet cheeks. Chat about the movie, open it up for discussion and help answer any questions that are puzzling your children.

M-Net Movies Family Channel 105 will keep the family entertained this holiday with the best animated movies running all day, every day from 4 December to 12 January 2016. What is great about watching animations is that it can be a family activity which even dad and older siblings can enjoy, or a chance for you to have some peace to do a few chores or put your feet up. Especially in the heat of the day when it’s recommended to stay out the sun, it’s a lifesaver to be able to keep the kids entertained with a movie. Plan your outings for the morning and afternoons, and take a midday break on the couch. Enjoy some time out with the M-Net Animania Festival, have a laugh, sing along and even capture some of the fun on Dubsmash.

WIN 1 of 40 R1000 takealot.com vouchers with the Animania Movie Festival. All you have to do is enter the Animania Dubsmash competition and do your best lip syncing impression to a clip from the M-Net Movies Family Channel 105 featured movie for the week. How fun is that?! Enter on the M-Net Animania Festival website.

Ma Se Kinners

Ma Se Kinners - Cape TownThis is what a children’s store should look like – bright colours, gorgeous outfits and monkeys hanging from trees along with their stuffed animal friends. Ma Se Kinners has a playful magic about it and the nicest owners you will meet. Evert Johan Erasmus opened the store a year ago and proudly stocks top quality baby and kids apparel designed and locally manufactured. You can tell he is an Interior Designer from the details in the store and he hopes to assist parents with creating a fun, yet functional space for their children too. You can find the store near St.Georges Mall and around the corner from The Reserve – Taj Cape Town (near the corner of Adderley and Wale Street). If you aren’t lucky enough to find parking outside, you can drive round and park in Mandela Rhodes Place.

Location: Shop 1C, Church street, CBD, Cape Town
Telephone: 083 982 1748
Opening Times: Mon-Fri 09:00am – 6:00pm and Sat 09:00am – 4:00pm

Bird Watching at Table Bay Nature Reserve

Table Bay Nature Reserve - The Mommy City

After driving down the West Coast R27 road for over 3 years and admiring the Rietvlei Wetlands from the car, we finally visited the reserve and bird hides. Part of the Table Bay Nature Reserve, the wetlands and water area offer boating, sailing, picnic and braai areas, fishing, hiking and two bird hides. There are some 196 bird species including pelicans, flamingos, ducks, coots, herons, plovers, weavers and swallows. The walk to the bird hides is along a gravel road and then wooden walkways over the vlei. You can bring a pram or bikes for older kids, otherwise be prepared for some carrying of tots. Nice escape from the city and for the kids to see the birds, watch the boats and fishmen reel in carp. The entry fee is dependent on which activity you choose, vehicle, number and age of persons.

Information:

Location: Corner Sandpiper and Grey Avenue, Table View (Directions)
Telephone: (021) 444 0315
Opening times: 07:30-17:30 (daily); water sports hours 10:00-17:00 (weekdays), 09:00-17:00 (weekends)
Prices: Visit www.capetown.gov.za

Table Bay Nature Reserve - The Mommy City

Hamleys, The World’s Finest Toy Shop, opens in South Africa

Hamleys Cape Town South Africa by The Mommy CityChildhood memories should be filled with happiness, laughter and experiences like walking through the doors of the world’s finest toy shop, Hamleys. As a little girl, I can remember visiting the store on a trip to London and thinking this is something out of fairy tales. There were shelves upon shelves of toys over seven floors, the shop assistants were dressed in costumes demonstrating toys and loads of bubbles wafted through the store and down the escalators. Bubbles machines were popular then and so were stamps, I remember my sister got a set of Lion King ink stamps. I couldn’t get over the electric cars for children, and really wanted to drive around in the bright red mini Porsche but was a bit too big. I wonder what Paige and Ethan will remember from their first trip to Hamleys at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town? That’s right, Hamleys is opening stores in Cape Town and Johannesburg next month!

As you may know, I love to hear the history and the behind the scenes of businesses and Hamleys has a very special story. When Hamleys first started selling toys in London way back in 1760, gas lights would not illuminate the city’s streets for another half a century. William Hamley filled his cramped Holborn shop with every toy he could find – the sort of toys that would make a child smile from ear to ear, the sort of toys that define a generation. Hamleys His dream was to own the finest toy shop in the world. The store found incredible success over the years until the shop was forced into liquidation in 1931 during the economic depression. Hamleys was saved by a man who had ridden on the delivery vans as a boy, Walter Lines, who bought it and rebuilt its reputation. In 1938, he was rewarded with the Royal Warrant from Queen Mary. Her granddaughters, the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose, both had Hamleys toys in their nursery.

Even being bombed five times during World War II did not stop Hamleys. Wearing tin hats, staff served at the shop entrance, rushing in to collect the toys then handing them over at the door. When Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne, she still remembered the toys her grandmother had given her and in turn, gave Hamleys toys to her own children. Hamleys in its famous location at 188-196 Regent Street, London, England. The toys may have changed, but if he were here today, we’re sure William Hamley would recognise the same delighted faces as he guided you round the shop he dreamt of as a boy.

Find out more about the store openings at Greenstore Mall in Johannesburg and the Cape Town V&A Waterfront on the Hamleys South Africa Facebook page and visit their website to see what you can expect.

Hamleys Train Cape Town - The Mommy City

Behind the Scenes at MooMoo Kids

MooMoo Kids & The Mommy CityI first featured MooMoo Kids and their fantastic range of UV swimwear and beach gowns almost two years now (where did the time go!). You may remember Paige looking too cute in her UV poppersuit two summers ago and also wearing her lovely wide-brimmed sunhat. I’ve been meaning to pop in to their factory and shop for ages, and on Monday I visited them at Unit 1 Westside Business Park in Westlake for a tour and chat. If you are in Cape Town you are also welcome to visit their factory shop and here’s a map for directions.

MooMoo Kids was started by Cam Shackleton 10 years ago when she starting making sleeping bags for her two children and friends. The business slowly grew from her garage to their factory in Westlake, with an ever growing range of products for baby, toddlers and now even onesies for adults. Her team includes Jo, who runs the wholesale side and marketing, and who is so great to chat to and helpful. Zaida is the cutter, Rowena does quality control and packaging (makes sure all the products are perfect before being sent out), Ricardo handles logistics and Denise tests out patterns and sews up sample products before being sent out to local seamstresses for bulk production. The team are all parents themselves and Cam has fostered a working environment where family is and will always be the number one priority.

All their products are made locally in Cape Town and wherever possible fabrics are sourced locally too. This proudly South African business is focused on providing quality products with plans to grow the brand and offer more employment opportunities. They are always interested to hear feedback and ideas for new products from parents, so please visit their website, comment on their Facebook page and sign up for the newsletter. They are frequent exhibitors at Expos and you should keep a look out for their stand and pop in to say hi.MooMoo Kids & The Mommy City

 

Johnson’s Baby Sense Seminars & Giveaway

With such a wealth of information available to expectant moms and new parents, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of facts or to be confused by different points of view and opinions. The Johnson’s Baby Sense seminars are now in its 12th year and are designed to convey concise and expert information to moms-to-be and new parents with babies up to 12 months of age. The parenting experts this year include Sr Ann Richardson (co-author of Baby Sense and Sleep Sense), Tina Otte (midwife and special editor of Your Pregnancy), Lizanne du Plessis (OT and author of Raising Happy Children), Kate Bailey (OT and early childhood development and stimulation expert) and Dr Welma Lubbe (registered nurse and advanced midwife with qualifications in neonatal nursing science).

Baby Sense SeminarsBirth & newborn seminar
08h30 to 12h00

Focusing on the pregnant mom and parent of the newborn. The experts will equip moms-to-be with everything they need to know about baby’s transition from womb to world, the golden hour straight after birth as well as newborn basics.

Baby Sense SeminarsYour baby seminar
13h30 to 17h00

The afternoon session is aimed at parents with babies up to 12 months of age and will include information on stimulating your baby, gentle sleep solutions and what it takes to be a brave mom.

 

Baby Sense SeminarsJohnson’s baby massage
12h15 to 13h15

A Johnson’s Baby Massage Workshop takes place between the two sessions and will teach moms the benefits of sensory stimulation and provide tips for baby massage and how parents can communicate with their baby through touch and massage.

Dates and venues:

1 August 2015 – Port Elizabeth – Radisson Blu Hotel
15 August 2015 – Durban – Three Cities Riverside Hotel
22 August 2015 – Cape Town – The Vineyard Hotel
5 September 2015 – Johannesburg – The Protea Balalaika Hotel

Cost per seminar is R240 and R60 for the massage workshop.  Each person attending will receive a wonderful goodie bag, refreshments and the chance of winning amazing prizes. The seminar sponsors are Johnson’s, Baby City, Tolo, Huggies, My Smart Kid, Medela, Stokke and Tiger Brands. Please note that moms with babies under six months are welcome to bring them with. For bookings, visit www.babysense.com.

WIN Baby Sense HamperWIN a Baby Sense hamper including 2 tickets to a seminar of your choice (in Port Elizabeth, Durban, Cape Town or Johannesburg). Hamper is valued at R1000 and includes the Baby Sense Book, 2 seminar tickets, nurture nest, burp and bib, and taglet. Enter via Rafflecopter and comment below with your choice of venue. Entries close 15 July 2015. Usual terms and conditions apply. Good luck!
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