With school holidays around the corner, Saadiq Samodien pins down a few impressive local businesses and initiatives offering great kids entertainment and activities. Get your child active and involved in pastimes that are educational, creative, and more importantly fun.
Be In Touch (a pro-tech digital parenting company), has teamed up with Computers 4 Kids (a cutting edge computer education company), to provide innovative entertaining AND educational screen time option for parents and kids looking to divert from mindless social media and gaming. Perfect digital bonding for the holidays coming up.
The Minecraft Virtual Escape Room Challenge helps kids from Grades 3 to 7 build EQ skills, as well as develop some 21st-century life skills like strategic thinking, coding, communication, creativity and problem-solving. It turns out that Minecraft is not just a game.
On this cool virtual experience where some awesome prizes are up for grabs, your child will receive access to a 5-day online Minecraft curriculum with bespoke Worlds. They will receive pin codes to unlock one World/Activity each day, at a time of their (or your) choice, and will keep kids engaged for 1 to 2 hours a day, ensuring you are in control of screen time. These exciting Worlds cover a variety of subjects and topics that are relevant to life skills and come with a full set of instructions.
On the final day, Wed 23 September, the Minecraft Escape Room Challenge will commence for 2-3 hours. Using their expert Minecraft Knowledge, participants will explore a mansion, locate items, problem solve, unlock secret doors and rooms, go back in time, and … ESCAPE! They’ll need all their Minecraft knowledge and brainpower for this one.
Dates: 19 – 23 September. Prize winners to be announced on 9 October
Cost: R350 per household
To Book: Minecraft Virtual Camps
Cape Town Korean Martial Arts, founded in 2002, offers traditional Korean Martial Arts of Tang Soo Do & Haidong Gumdo that are taught in a modern way using traditional techniques, values and principles that are well suited for modern life challenges.
These adult and kids martial arts classes in Cape Town are taught in a warm family‐friendly and inclusive environment where all genders, cultures and ages can come together to practice.
Cape Town Korean Martial Arts emphasise that physical fitness, better health, discipline, and stress release methods are as important as learning self‐defence techniques. Although the team believes in rigorous physical and mental training to which Korean martial arts are well known for, they also prioritise having fun. That includes setting up sessions based on the principles and values of Korean martial arts – thinking and acting in the world to help guide students in all areas of their lives.
The martial arts centre runs 3 specialised classes – Kids martial arts, Adult martial Arts, and Korean Sword classes. During the lockdown, an additional Fitness program is available for those who want to benefit from the Martial Arts fitness training and self‐defense skills without a long‐term commitment.
Address: 174 Carr Hill Road, Wynberg
Timeless Toys believes kids should just be kids…to jump in muddy puddles and explore the world around them. It’s that commitment to imaginative and open-ended play that inspires their curated selection of timeless pieces from globally trusted brands.
They offer a whole world of screen-free alternatives for kids stuck at home, from sustainable wooden toys, educational games, puzzles, arts and crafts, musical toys, pretend play and much more.
From babies through to those tricky pre-teens you are bound to find the perfect creative plaything to keep their minds active and awaken curiosity during the school break.
Timeless Toys offer free and fast nationwide shipping for orders over R750, plus a free gift-wrap service so you can easily send something unique to that special little person you can’t be with right now.
The best way to learn is through play. That’s exactly the philosophy behind Playing and Learning, which provides a comprehensive product range of quality products for children of all ages and abilities. They offer a varied selection of educational products including educational toys, games, classroom and home-schooling resources & therapeutic tools.
Their motto, “Having Fun, Growing Minds” can be seen in all their products, which caters to all your child’s fun and learning needs. Playing and Learning also have a dedicated interest in toys and games for children across the range of special needs such as autism and more. So if you are looking for something in particular, they’ll be more than happy to source it for you.
Playing and Learning can also provide a guided product demonstration at your school or therapy practice for a more live, interactive experience. Browse through their website for an endless catalogue of toys and products for online order, or reach out to them for demonstration enquiries.
The Aquarium Foundation offers a range of fun and educational activities online to inform, inspire and increase impact around the world. They offer weekly content, story readings, puppet shows, fit fishies exercises, arts and crafts for the younger ones split up in the following way:
- Mini Crew (ages 3 – 7): Learn something about the environment through little pirates, mermaids, explorers and sailors. Members will enjoy a weekly episode of Spunky Sea Stories; an educational show where kids will learn about sea life, the Aquarium, colours, numbers, and letters with activity sheets.
- Cool Crew (ages 8 – 12): Launching on 1 October 2020, these classes and activities have been developed to inform and inspire primary school eco-warriors. Kids will learn about the ocean, its inhabitants, the people and the planet through a web series called MzanSea Stories. Each episode will include an introduction to marine ecosystems, fun facts about a featured animal.
- Pro Crew (age 13+): This weekly web series starting on 1 October 2020 called uLwandle Stories are about interesting topics, with footage from the Two Oceans Aquarium and a weekly creature feature.
All the above activities are offered at a monthly subscription of R200, which serves as a donation to help the Aquarium Foundation do crucial work in ocean conservation, awareness, research and education.
To stay in touch with the latest news, courses, and experiences, please subscribe to the Aquarium Foundation’s newsletter here.
Kiddiwinks is a family-run business with everyone from children to grandparents involved to offer specialised LEGO® play products and sets.
LEGO® play is not only bound to put a smile on any kid’s face, but the cognitive development and other great advantages of the toys have long been touted by experts in education and psychology. During play sessions, kids get an opportunity to hone skills such as teamwork and communication, constructive problem-solving, fine motor skills, patience and organisational skills.
To get started, Kiddiwinks recommends these five LEGO® play sets for a great brainpower boost:
- LEGO® DUPLO®: Brick Box – offer a developmental bridge for pre-schoolers to work on their fine motor and spatial skills. LEGO® DUPLO® bricks are designed to be compatible with LEGO® bricks, so they’ll remain a great play piece later on too.
- LEGO® Super Mario™: Adventures with Mario Starter Course – Kids can enjoy real-world play by teaming up with their favourite characters while nurturing skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking.
- LEGO® Advent Calendars – These LEGO® calendars come in various cool themes such as Harry Potter™, Star Wars™ and Friends and are a handy parenting tool to offer kids motivation to do their daily chores.
- LEGO® Art: Star Wars™ The Sith™ – Create Darth Maul, Kylo Ren or Darth Vader, and learn unexpected details and stories via the accompanying soundtrack as you build.
- LEGO® City: Ocean Exploration Submarine – As the Netflix documentary “My Octopus Teacher” leaves South Africans in awe, this LEGO® set is ideal for the youngster passionate about undersea exploration and adventure. Kids can enjoy lifelike role-play scenarios with realistic ocean vehicles, lifelike settings and fun characters.
StartSmart-MiniChess is an early educational transformation program and mobile game, delivered in-school or clubs or online, that aims to make a significant difference in children’s lives from a very early age (4-9 years) using clever-play innovations as a tool to develop children’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) skills.
StartSmart-MiniChess is not your average chess-coaching programme, but it does use many chess-based games as a way to teach important skills that are not addressed in school curriculums. And as an added benefit, the programmes also teach learners how to play a good game of chess.
The MiniChess stable of Capacity-building programs is a game-changer for 21st Century education – using complex and creative play-innovations to develop critical skills from early ages. Their focus? To help create a sustainable future for humans in the age of smart machines.
These award-winning programs were developed locally by Marisa van der Merwe and are now being implemented in 9 other countries as well as Online across borders. It’s your move – start smart to build a generation with an empowered mindset and entrepreneurial future!
For more information or franchising opportunities, reach out to the team via email or call.
To get started with the mobile game, watch the introduction video on YouTube, and download the game on GooglePlay or Apple App Store.
Cost: R54.99 (once-off fee) for mobile game
With venues in Hout Bay and Gardens, The Clay Cafe offers a wide selection of colourful paints for kids to create memorable crockery that is both personal and completely unique. You can look forward to a relaxed environment with friendly staff to assist with any painting techniques and pointers that you might wish to make use of.
Once the artistic urge and the stomach are both satisfied, all items are left with the team at The Clay Cafe to be fired and glazed, a process that takes three weeks. When convenient, you can swing by to pick up your new set of cups and saucers, or your vase, or piggy bank, to take home or bestow as a very special handmade gift.
The Clay Cafe is especially ideal for weekend family outings, play dates, and children’s birthday parties while parents can sit back and enjoy a meal at the restaurant and view. They also have a garden and playground available for children to explore when they finish painting.
Booking is essential for children’s’ parties and large groups, and party packs are also available on order.
Address: Old Oakhurst Dairy farm, Main Road, Hout Bay | 23 Wandel Steet, Gardens
Atlantic Surf once again hosts their quarterly Holiday Surf Club at Blouberg Beach during the September school holiday break. The camps are aimed at 5 to 15 year-olds, and the idea is to entertain children while they learn about the ocean and how to share it with others. There are options for absolute beginners, as well as more advanced surfers.
Through interactive practical games in the ocean and on the beach, as well as ventures to the rock pools, beach clean-ups and team building activities, beginners are not only taught how to surf or bodyboard, but how to enjoy the ocean in a fun and safe way.
The Grom Academy is for intermediate to competent surfers who already know how to catch clean waves. This group will be part of the same camp but they will be surfing at the backline, with more advanced coaching to help take their surfing to the next level.
Wetsuits and board can be rented for the sessions, and advance booking is essential.
Paint by Numbers South Africa is the ultimate all-in-one art kit that allows kids to experience the joy of painting right at home.
Each fun kit consists of clearly labelled printed canvas, paint and paintbrushes. Everything you need to create a masterpiece on the spot – beautiful enough to display with pride. The numbers on the paint pots and the canvas corresponds, making it easy to just lose yourself in the act of painting. So whether you are a beginner or an advanced artist, Paint By Numbers South Africa can help make your inner artist shine.
The Kids Canvas collection contains a large selection of canvasses with different sizes and levels of difficulty. Whether you’re in the mood to paint something as simple as a Rainbow, a little bit more complex like the Boston Terrier, or show off your artistic skill with the Boats and Balloon artwork – they’ve got it all.
Paint by Numbers South Africa delivers nationwide via courier or Postnet (and in outlying areas) so you can be painting your masterpiece in no time!