The Mommy City http://www.themommycity.co.za Mommy blogger based in South Africa Thu, 05 Mar 2020 09:36:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.themommycity.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/The-Mommy-City-Favicon-trans-150x150.png The Mommy City http://www.themommycity.co.za 32 32 School life and lice http://www.themommycity.co.za/lice/ http://www.themommycity.co.za/lice/#respond Thu, 05 Mar 2020 09:35:27 +0000 http://www.themommycity.co.za/?p=8132 Sponsored post Preschool and primary school teachers are modern day superheroes. They gently introduce our little ones to a love of learning and creativity, yet they are also tough enough to manage anything that could affect their learners. Even the horror of head lice in the classroom. Not so for most moms who dread the…

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Preschool and primary school teachers are modern day superheroes. They gently introduce our little ones to a love of learning and creativity, yet they are also tough enough to manage anything that could affect their learners. Even the horror of head lice in the classroom. Not so for most moms who dread the arrival of those unwelcome little visitors during the warm months.

I’ve blogged about head lice before as I know it’s such an important topic and us moms want to make the right decisions in order to avoid an infestation. Be sure to check out my ABC of lice and how to prevent head lice ruining school events. Talking about schools, do you know your school’s policy on head lice?

Head lice policy

Turns out, there is a South African head lice policy for schools to follow. If an outbreak is suspected children are inspected for nits, the little eggs that head lice lay and glue to the base of the hair. Being static, nits are easier to spot than adult head lice which move quite quickly. Nits hatch within seven days, so the closer a nit is to the scalp the fresher it is. Nit casings a centimeter or more from the scalp have already hatched.

If nits are spotted, parents are called, and the child goes home. As South Africa has a “no nit” policy, she can only come back after having been treated and when all traces of nits and lice have been combed out.

Back to school with Controlice®

Yes, it’s a worry, but chin up mom, Controlice® is the safe and trusted product range and method that moms have used successfully for over 15 years. Their website www.controlice.co.za has reassuring information about the little enemies and how to keep them away. Available from selected pharmacies and retailers.

Controlice® products

  • Controlice® Oil Spray (60 ml around R152*) or Controlice® Head Rinse (100 ml around R132*) both eliminate head lice once they have moved in.
  • As all nits and dead head lice must be combed out, a reusable Controlice® comb is a great investment.
  • Gentle Controlice® Defence Shampoo can be used daily on the whole family and contains active ingredients which can repel head lice. (125 ml around R107*)
  • Controlice® Defence Spray can help to repel head lice and detangle and condition hair. (100 ml around R107*)

Giveaway

Controlice® is giving away a hamper worth R1380 containing R880 of Controlice® products and a R500 Sorbet voucher for mom who will need pampering after sorting out the little crawlers. Enter on my Facebook page. Entries close Thursday, 12 March 2020 .

Stockists

Visit www.controlice.co.za for more information and to shop online. Available at leading pharmacies.

*Prices correct at March 2020.

**For a diagnosis or if symptoms persist, consult a medical practitioner. Efficacy of support may vary between users. This unregistered medicine has not been evaluated by the SAHPRA for its quality, safety or intended use.

Disclaimer

This is a sponsored post. Information provided by Nativa. Images my own and supplied.

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Thomas & Friends™ TrackMaster™ Monkey Palace http://www.themommycity.co.za/thomas-friends-trackmaster-monkey-palace/ http://www.themommycity.co.za/thomas-friends-trackmaster-monkey-palace/#respond Mon, 25 Nov 2019 06:46:15 +0000 http://www.themommycity.co.za/?p=7921 When you think of Thomas & Friends™ you think of big adventures with your favourite trains, exploring all over the world. Today we are off to India with the Monkey Palace Set inspired by one of Thomas’ latest adventures. Build your own motorized track and get up to mischief with your two monkey friends. TrackMaster™ Monkey Palace…

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toy train track

When you think of Thomas & Friends™ you think of big adventures with your favourite trains, exploring all over the world. Today we are off to India with the Monkey Palace Set inspired by one of Thomas’ latest adventures. Build your own motorized track and get up to mischief with your two monkey friends.

TrackMaster™ Monkey Palace

toy train track
toy train track

The TrackMaster™ Monkey Palace let kids experience a world of play with moments inspired by the Thomas & Friends™ show.

In a special episode, Thomas visits India, where a few monkeys get separated from their family. This train set features motorised Thomas, a palace, a gantry and two adorable monkey figures.  As Thomas passes below the tree limb with a monkey in his cargo car, the cheerful chimp grabs onto the limb and swings back towards his friends! The monkeys can also hang from the palace and stand on the gantry.

toy train track
toy train track

Children will have a blast creating awesome animal adventures for Thomas and his primate pals! For even more ways to play, TrackMaster™ push along metal engines work on TrackMaster™ track! 

Features

toy train track
Thomas & Friends monkey train track
  • Includes motorized Thomas, full track layout, cargo car, palace, gantry, 2 monkey figures and platform with pivoting tree limb
  • Compatible with other TrackMaster™ toy trains and sets to build a bigger motorized railway
  • Batteries Required: 2 x AAA (LR03) (Not Included)
  • Suitable for ages 3-7 years

TrackMaster™ Sets

Build your own Thomas & Friends™ world with the entire range of compatible motorized TrackMaster™ sets and expansion packs.

The TrackMaster™ sets are inspired by the Thomas & Friends™ series and you can watch our train hero in the Monkey Palace episode below:

Stockists

Available at leading toy stores nationwide or buy online at The Kid Zone.

Disclosure

This is not a sponsored post. Product supplied for review purposes. All images are my own.

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Head lice – they’re not inside they’re on top! http://www.themommycity.co.za/head-lice-theyre-not-inside-theyre-on-top/ http://www.themommycity.co.za/head-lice-theyre-not-inside-theyre-on-top/#respond Fri, 25 Oct 2019 08:10:48 +0000 http://www.themommycity.co.za/?p=7886 Sponsored post Moms love it when their little ones come home from school buzzing with knowledge. Sometimes though, the activity isn’t inside their heads but on top!  Head lice populations rise in summer, and girls with longer hair pick them up easier than boys. Should it happen, mom is usually horrified and despairing. What to…

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Moms love it when their little ones come home from school buzzing with knowledge. Sometimes though, the activity isn’t inside their heads but on top!  Head lice populations rise in summer, and girls with longer hair pick them up easier than boys.

Should it happen, mom is usually horrified and despairing. What to do? Which product to buy that doesn’t involve putting pesticides onto that precious little head?

Controlice®

head lice treatment

This is when she can go back to school herself and visit the Controlice® library (www.controlice.co.za) and read my blog post ABC of lice – what they don’t teach you at school.  These articles give facts about head lice and reassurance on the safe, tried and tested products that moms have used for over 15 years to rid their little ones of unwelcome passengers.

Does she want to:

  • Eliminate;
  • Comb out;
  • Prevent head lice from coming back; or
  • Deter head lice.

By reading labels she can buy just the right Controlice® product for the job: 

Eliminate head lice

head lice treatment

To eliminate head lice already in hair, mom can attack the little pests:

  • Controlice® Oil Spray has a clinically proven formula of active ingredients which work in a 15-minute application, killing live head lice by physically suffocating them. 60 ml costs around R152*.
  • Controlice® Head Rinse contains 4% dimethicone which is left on the hair for eight hours and covers and drowns head lice. 100 ml costs around R132*.

Comb out

An important part of elimination is to comb out all the nits (lice eggs) and dead head lice. Controlice® has two reusable combs, for short or long hair. It is an asset with young children, whose head to head play predisposes them to sharing more than just fun.

Prevent and deter head lice

head lice treatment

If all that her child comes home from school with is a letter warning that head lice are circulating, mom can deter them from coming home by using the Controlice® Defence range.  While they don’t eliminate existing infestations, the active ingredients do help to protect the family:

  • Controlice® Defence Shampoo is gentle enough to be used daily and contains active ingredients which can repel head lice. 125 ml costs around R107*.
  • Controlice® Defence Spray is a plant-oil based formulation that can help to repel head lice as well as detangling and conditioning hair, leaving it manageable and shiny. 100 ml costs around R107*. 

Top marks mom!  Now your kids can get back to school so they can put more in their heads and not worry about what’s on top! It is also concert time at school and I wrote a post all about it called Don’t let head lice ruin your end of year festivities.

Stockists

Visit www.controlice.co.za for more information and to shop online. Available at leading pharmacies.

*Prices correct at October 2019.

*For a diagnosis or if symptoms persist, consult a medical practitioner. Efficacy of support may vary between users. This unregistered medicine has not been evaluated by the SAHPRA for its quality, safety or intended use.

Disclaimer

This is a sponsored post. Information provided by Nativa. Images my own.

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Saving my sons, a journey with autism http://www.themommycity.co.za/saving-my-sons-a-journey-with-autism/ http://www.themommycity.co.za/saving-my-sons-a-journey-with-autism/#respond Thu, 24 Oct 2019 08:08:12 +0000 http://www.themommycity.co.za/?p=7876 Autism can be a treatable medical illness. Until reading the story of Ilana Gerschlowitz and her sons – Saving my sons, a journey with autism – I did not comprehend the revelations in that one statement. I could never have imagined that one family could endure such a journey, and ultimately provide answers and hope…

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book on table with reading glasses

Autism can be a treatable medical illness. Until reading the story of Ilana Gerschlowitz and her sons – Saving my sons, a journey with autism – I did not comprehend the revelations in that one statement. I could never have imagined that one family could endure such a journey, and ultimately provide answers and hope to other families in South Africa and around the world.

Saving my sons

“If you’ve met one individual with autism, you’ve met one individual with autism.”

In Saving my sons, you meet Ilana, mom to three sons and founding director of The Star Academy. Together with her husband, Martin, they have fought the battle with autism not once, but twice. Read their journey which they lay bare upon the pages, in agonising honesty with all the highs, lows, regrets and wins they have faced over the past 15 years.

This journey was not taken alone and in the book you will hear accounts from Ilana, Martin and their son Eli, as well as from various medical experts and instructors who joined the fight against autism for sons David and Aaron. Journalist and co-author Marion Scher compiled their accounts and gives the reader a more complete picture.

Saving my sons is their story, and Ilana would be the first to agree that every family will have different experiences and each child requires personalised treatments. Your views may differ, autism is a topic that runs hot and will continue to be as people seek answers and a cure. Take away what you need from this book and hopefully Ilana’s spirit and courage to keep challenging the preconceived ideas of autism held by the medical world and society.

“No day will end, no sun will set, without us searching for David’s cure. I know it’s out there.”
Ilana Gerschlowitz

The rise in autism

In the book, the rise in autism is discussed by experts as to whether there is a higher prevalence in recent years, as opposed to better diagnosis and awareness of the condition. The following paragraph uses an analogy of canaries in coal mines, and by reading David’s and Aaron’s stories, you will come to know about their triggers.

“Children with autism have been labelled our planet’s ‘canaries in the coal mine’. Just as canaries taken into coal mines by miners in previous years warned them of the presence of dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide and methane (they were more sensitive to the gases than the miners can got ill first), children with autism are sounding a warning for the rest of us. Their very important message is that our world is simply too toxic for healthy living, and that this toxicity is increasing both local and global prevalence of the condition.”

The Star Academy

Ilana has learnt that the sooner a child seeks treatment, the better their chances are of a full recovery. That is why she founded The Star Academy in South Africa which provides Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) instruction to children with autism. She later went on to establish Catch Up Kids, which helps children overcome learning difficulties.

“Many children do completely lose their diagnosis of autism… The younger the child and the more hours of ABA they receive early on, the better their chance of recovery… We have to bring out their capabilities by never expecting them to do less than any other child can do.”

There is no room for hesitation, and if you are in any doubt whether your child falls within the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, read through the criteria at the end of the book. Every day is crucial and no time should be lost in starting treatment. Ilana would continuously adapt her son’s treatment protocols, even on a daily basis, so as not to lose a single hour to autism. This dedication is expected from all her staff at The Star Academy, and her children’s treatment team.

Reaching the final destination

In the book you will follow as Ilana tried various treatments, discarding the ones that failed and travelling to America to find more answers. Advances in technology, such as iPads have made learning and communication tools more affordable and accessible to parents and children. Whatsapp groups and Skype have opened up means of communication between and amongst specialists and parents across the globe.

Still many parents in South Africa face financial hardships and isolation, and don’t have access to the care their autistic child so desperately need. You will learn more about The Star Academy’s outreach project, The Yellow Canaries in Tembisa, and be humbled by a parent’s love in the face of overwhelming odds.

There is still a way to go in finding a cure for every child. In the meantime, let’s celebrate every victory, no matter how small. Celebrate the joy of a child being able to blow out their birthday candles for the first time or saying ‘I love you mom’.

“Treating autism is not a sprint – it’s a marathon. It requires trial, error and endurance.”

A book everyone should read

book page

Why should everyone be reading this book and learning about a family’s journey with autism? More and more children are fighting the battle with autism and it’s up to society to join the fight alongside them. For me, reading this book has given me more insight into the condition, how I can better support parents and children fighting autism, and be open to inclusive education. What will you take away from this book?

Saving my sons, a journey with autism is relevant to:

  • Parents and caregivers fighting autism or who suspect their child is on the spectrum
  • Family and friends of children with autism
  • Teachers, educators and learning institutions
  • Doctors, medical specialists, occupational therapists, speech therapists
  • Any person who wants a better understanding of autism

Stockists

The book is available at leading retailers and online stores. Please visit The Star Academy website for a full list of stockists and links to purchase your copy. Proceeds will go to helping under privileged children access ABA and medical treatments.

Disclaimer

This is not a sponsored post. Book supplied for review purposes. Images my own.

book on table with reading glasses

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Soon-to-be parents guide to budgeting for baby http://www.themommycity.co.za/soon-to-be-parents-guide-to-budgeting-for-baby/ http://www.themommycity.co.za/soon-to-be-parents-guide-to-budgeting-for-baby/#respond Wed, 16 Oct 2019 18:19:17 +0000 http://www.themommycity.co.za/?p=7865 Having a baby can be wonderful. It can change your life in so many positive ways. When you’re dealing with the excitement of finding out you’re pregnant and trying to remember all the people you need to tell and the millions of things you’ll have to do before the baby arrives, budgeting for baby may…

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7 tips to survive a summer pregnancy - The Mommy City

Having a baby can be wonderful. It can change your life in so many positive ways. When you’re dealing with the excitement of finding out you’re pregnant and trying to remember all the people you need to tell and the millions of things you’ll have to do before the baby arrives, budgeting for baby may not be at the top of your list.

Marlies Kappers, chief marketing officer at financial services provider, DirectAxis, says it’s difficult and probably not that helpful to work out an average cost, because expectant parents’ circumstances and choices differ so much, but it’ll probably be more than you think.

Financial planning for parents

“First-time parents face a lot of unknowns. Doing some financial planning when you find out you’re pregnant may help to reduce some of the stresses after the baby is born,” says Marlies.

Together with some other moms at DirectAxis she put together this list of suggestions to help soon-to-be parents budget for a baby.

Do the maths

Having a baby will definitely add to your expenses and often reduce your income. If both parents work, you may lose some or all of one parent’s income when the baby arrives.

Should you want to return to work either your spouse or partner will need to stay at home, or you will need to pay for child care, unless you’re lucky enough to have a relative or close friend who will look after the baby.

South African women are entitled to four consecutive months’ maternity leave, during which time their jobs or an equivalent job must be reserved, but employers are not required to pay some or any of their salary during this time.

Women who are receiving a portion of or no salary from their employers and who have contributed to the Unemployment Insurance Fund can claim between 38% and 58% of their salary, up to a maximum of R12 478, from the UIF tax-free for 121 days. Expectant mothers can go on maternity leave any time from up to four weeks before the due date.

Legally, working dads can take up to 10 days of paid paternity leave.

Once you know what the household income will be, you’ll be in a better position to draw up a baby-friendly budget. To find out more about budgeting visit https://www.directaxis.co.za/make-a-plan/understanding-money.

When you start budgeting, remember the expenses begin before the baby is born. For example, you’ll need maternity clothes and to prepare the nursery. A suggestion is to update your budget each trimester.

Read the fine print

Review your medical aid. Find out exactly what is covered and what isn’t, so you don’t get any financial surprises when the baby is born.

It’s as good a time as any to get all your financial affairs in order. Make sure you have an up-to-date will, so if anything happens to you there’s provision for your baby. If you don’t have any life insurance now may be the time to consider it.

If all this seems a bit daunting, make an appointment to see a qualified financial adviser, who’ll be able to do a needs analysis and recommend appropriate products.

Bank for baby

Start saving, ideally when you start trying for a baby or at least as soon as you find out you’re pregnant.

Open a bank account, such as a tax-free savings account, and put away as much money as you can afford each month.

Shop smartly

Don’t leave everything to the last minute. Not only will this mean having to spend a lot of money at once, rather than spreading the costs over nine months, but chances are you’ll forget something important or buy things you don’t really need.

Instead, do your research. There’s plenty of information for expectant mothers online. Once you have a basic list, check it with other mothers and refine it. Then compare prices online, so you’re sure you’re getting the best deal. Once you’ve got a list of essentials, buy a few items each month.

Baby don’t need bling

When it’s your first child, you’ll be tempted to want everything brand new and shiny, but cots, car seats and prams can be expensive. Often you can find good quality second-hand items such as prams online, from shops that specialise in refurbishing and reselling these items or from friends whose babies have outgrown them.

Helpful blog posts

Here are some of my budget smart blog posts which are packed with helpful information for prospective parents.

Disclaimer

This is not a sponsored post. Content provided by DirectAxis. Images my own of via unsplash.com

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Balambie, a safe sleeping space for baby http://www.themommycity.co.za/balambie/ http://www.themommycity.co.za/balambie/#comments Tue, 01 Oct 2019 08:39:28 +0000 http://www.themommycity.co.za/?p=7784 Few products excite me more than the Balambie from Chameleon Baby. I can see the potential of this locally designed and made cot to provide a safe sleeping space for babies across homes in South Africa and around the world. For under R300* a newborn can sleep in safety and comfort whether at home, with…

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Balambie baby cot

Few products excite me more than the Balambie from Chameleon Baby. I can see the potential of this locally designed and made cot to provide a safe sleeping space for babies across homes in South Africa and around the world. For under R300* a newborn can sleep in safety and comfort whether at home, with caregivers or whilst travelling. The easy to assemble Balambie includes a carry bag, mattress and mattress cover.

Balambie

Balambie baby cot

Chameleon Baby approached me a few weeks ago to review the Balambie. The concept of an affordable newborn cot excited me and I could see the various applications in both lower and higher income homes. Safety is crucial and it is designed by a mother considering the USA CPSC standards for cribs and bassinets. My concern though was whether parents would embrace the idea of a corrugated cardboard crib for baby.

You may spot in the photographs that my daughter’s doll is being used to demonstrate the cot. My children are well past the newborn stage so I am unable to test the cot myself. Instead I rely on my experience in forming my opinions on how the Balambie can benefit the family.

So why would you want to buy the Balambie? It is more than a cardboard box and I hope I can show you the potential of this affordable and safe sleeping option.

Firstly the price tag is an incredible R285* which makes it affordable as your newborn’s main sleeping space or an alternate option for caregivers and travel. Once your newborn has outgrown it, pay it forward by gifting it to a mother in need. There are a number of different uses, it’s easy to assemble and the design works.

Uses

  • Co-sleeping: place the Balambie next to your bed at night. Baby is close to you but safe and comfortable in their own sleeping space.
  • Around the home: being lightweight and portable, move the Balambie around the house so baby can be wherever you are in the day.
  • Grandparents and caregivers: easily transport the Balambie or purchase as an affordable second cot to store at grandparents, family and caregivers.
  • Travel: a space-saver option in the car and ideal for your holiday adventures including camping.
  • Guesthouses: offer your smallest guest a safe sleeping space which is affordable and can be stored away under the bed.
  • Charity: gift a Balambie to a mom in need.

Assembly

Balambie baby cot
Balambie baby cot

The Balambie is assembled by fitting the three pieces into place. There are two side pieces and one main piece which folds down to form the base of the cot. The pieces fit into slots and secured by locking the flaps into place. The mattress sits on the base, waterproof side down, and the cover fits over the sides.

It takes only a minute to set up and will be quicker once you get the hang of it. Disassembling is as easy by removing the mattress, open the locks and pull the three pieces apart. Store flat packed in the carry case. Please watch the demonstration video by Chameleon Baby below.

Balambie baby cot
Balambie baby cot

Demonstration

Design

Balambie baby cot

The designers have given the Balambie a new look with the pretty unisex tree and bird design. The green and brown colours suit both girls and boys and the calming illustrations would look good in any room. The Balambie sits securely on the floor and won’t easily tip over.

The carry case is equally sleek and stylish with a top zip and two handles. Flat packed, the Balambie is easy to transport and can be stored under a bed, furniture or in the cupboard.

What is impressive for the price is the inclusion of a mattress and mattress cover. The mattress has a waterproof cover underneath to prevent leaks and the top is fabric for baby to lie on. The mattress cover fits over both sides of the cot and can be easily removed for cleaning.

Balambie baby cot

Features

  • Strong, safe and durable
  • Lightweight at 2.4 kg and holds 12kg
  • 0 – 4 months
  • Non-toxic ink and corrugate
  • Biodegradable
  • Cot dimensions: 88(length) x 44(height) x 52(depth)
  • Flat pack dimensions: 90(length) x 60(height) x 7(depth)

Stockists

The Balambie currently retails for R285*. Please visit the Chameleon Baby online shop to place your order and for more details on their product range. Website at www.chameleonbaby.co.za/.

Balambie baby cot

Disclaimer

This is not a paid post. Balambie provided for review purposes. All images my own.

*Prices correct as at October 2019.

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Make unicorn poop with Poopsie Slime Surprise! http://www.themommycity.co.za/poopsie-slime-surprise/ http://www.themommycity.co.za/poopsie-slime-surprise/#respond Tue, 03 Sep 2019 08:11:52 +0000 http://www.themommycity.co.za/?p=7738 With a title such as this, who wouldn’t be interested in finding out more about Poopsie Slime Surprise? Unicorn poop is ultra rare after all and if you can make it at home, why not! We got to mix our own thanks to Prima Toys who sent over a Poop Pack for us to try.…

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Poopsie Slime Surprise

With a title such as this, who wouldn’t be interested in finding out more about Poopsie Slime Surprise? Unicorn poop is ultra rare after all and if you can make it at home, why not! We got to mix our own thanks to Prima Toys who sent over a Poop Pack for us to try.

Poopsie Slime Surprise!

Poopsie Slime Surprise

Make your own magical unicorn poop (slime) with Poopsie Slime Surprise! Each magical package allows you to create surprise unicorn poop with that special, Poopsie dazzle! Step 1 is to unpack your Poopsie canister which transforms into a storage case.

Let’s see what you have got? There are different types of slimes with names that will make your kids giggles – like Under the Poocific, Fizzy Farts, Junk Foodie Doodies, Turdz of Paradise and Antfartica. We opened Purr-Fect Poo with a fun Stinks bottle and poopsie collectable.

Make unicorn poop!

Poopsie Slime Surprise
Poopsie Slime Surprise

You will find 10 magical surprises which you will use to make your slime. First, open your bottle which will be used to mix your poop in. Using the measuring cup, fill with water and add drops of the surprise scent to the bottle.

Tear open the unicorn food packet and pour the powder into the bottle. Replace the lid and give it a good shake. Open up and use the unicorn spoon to stir and remove the slime from the bottle. Sprinkle with unicorn magic (or unicorn sparkle if you have the rare slime), and see it shine.

Poopsie Slime Surprise
Poopsie Slime Surprise

The final step is to add some bling! Open the unicorn bling and gently fold it into the slime until it blings. Store the slime in your themed bottle and when you gotta go, take your slime with you in the collectible Poopsie keychain for magical fun anytime!

Poopsie Slime Surprise
Poopsie Slime Surprise

Features

Poopsie Slime Surprise
  • 10 magical surprises
  • Unicorn food (slime powder)
  • Unicorn magic
  • Collectible bottle
  • Poop character keychain
  • Mystery scent dropper
  • Unicorn spoon
  • Collector’s guide
  • Ages 5+

Stockists

Poopsie Slime Surprise! is available at leading retailers nationwide and online. Visit www.primatoys.co.za for a full list of stockists.

Disclaimer

This is not a paid post. Product supplied for review purposes. All images my own.

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