Hauck South Africa News
  • 8 board games to take Family Game Night to the next level

    Posted by Dominique Bothma

    About the Author

    Posted on behalf of Zayaan Schroeder who is a mother to two kids and is passionate about making their childhood memorable and happy. She has been a parenting journalist for 10 years and also runs a parenting blog called Surviving the Madness dedicated to making things easier for moms. You can follow her on Instagram www.instagram.com/survivingmadness

    Now the games on this list are not the classics like Monopoly or Scrabble but something a bit more exciting. These days there are board games for your toddler right up to your older kids, so there’s no need for even the littlest members of the family to miss out.

     

    Monkey Around

    Suggested age: 2+

    Monkey Around is a wonderful first board game for kids that was created specifically for you and your two year old. Kids get to move about while playing a game which is perfect for little ones who have short attention spans and can’t sit still anyway.

    Bunny Bedtime

    Suggested age: 2+

    Another one for the youngest member of the family is Bunny Bedtime. Roll a chunky dice and move bunny on the path. Along the way players help bunny make choices about her bedtime routine. Which bath toy will she play with? What pyjamas will she wear?

    Skunk Bingo

    Suggested age: 3+

    Skunk Bingo is a great game for kids who can’t read yet. The concept is simple, spin the wheel and insert the corresponding number of tiles into the log. Whichever tiles come out the other side, you put on your bingo board. Unless you get a skunk, then they all go back to the tile pile. This game teaches your kids at an early age how to be a gracious loser.

    Spot it Jr! Animals

    Suggested age: 4+

    With adorable animals and only 6 symbols on each card, Spot it Jr. is ideal for kids under 7. Like the adult version of Spot It! There is only one matching animal between any 2 cards. But in this junior variation, each card has one big animal for easier spotting. Spot it Jr. is a fun way to sharpen kids' visual perception, focus and cognitive speed. Little ones will love to spot these colorful animals and the variety of images will challenge all ages.

    Gnomes at Night

    Suggested age: 6+

    If you want to foster a sense of cooperation among your kids then anything from Peaceable Kingdoms is a good choice. Gnomes at Night is a cooperative search-and-find maze game where players work as a team to manoeuvre the magnetic gnome movers around the maze. Work together in this quick-thinking communication game where every second counts!

    Catan and Catan Jr

    Suggested age: 10+ (Catan) and 5+ (Catan Jr)

    Settlers of Catan, or Catan as it’s now been called is the one game on this list that can be considered a classic game. The OG of board games, Catan has been around since 1995.

    Your adventurous settlers seek to tame the remote but rich isle of Catan. Start by revealing Catan's many harbours and regions: pastures, fields, mountains, hills, forests, and desert. Players acquire resources through trades, cards or lucky dice. Use resource combinations of grain, wool, ore, brick, and lumber to build roads, settlements, and cities. But beware! Someone might cut off your road or play a monopoly card. And you never know when the wily robber might steal some of your precious gains!

    The Junior version of the game is a modified playing style of the classic game, giving younger players the opportunity to experience the world of Catan. Catan: Junior takes place on a ring of islands where 2 to 4 players build hideouts, and the mysterious Spooky Island, where the Ghost Captain lives.

     

    Forbidden Island

    Suggested age: 10+

    Dare to discover Forbidden Island! Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of this perilous paradise. Your team will have to work together and make some pulse-pounding manoeuvres, as the island will sink beneath every step! Race to collect the treasures and make a triumphant escape before you are swallowed into the watery abyss!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Read more

  • 5 Reasons You Should Consider Baby Wearing

    Posted by Dominique Bothma

    About the Author

    Posted on behalf of Zayaan Schroeder who is a mother to two kids and is passionate about making their childhood memorable and happy. She has been a parenting journalist for 10 years and also runs a parenting blog called Surviving the Madness dedicated to making things easier for moms. You can follow her on Instagram www.instagram.com/survivingmadness

    When you’re expecting a baby there are so many lists you can find online that tell you what you will need for baby’s arrival. A pram is usually high on those lists but not a lot of them consider baby wearing. Many people view baby wearing as a hippy concept but there are so many benefits to wearing your baby in a sling or baby carrier.

    Check out Hauck’s Close To Me Baby Carrier

    A lot of online communities also put the two modes of transport against each other, but there is room for both prams and baby wearing in your life. For me baby wearing was beneficial both at home as well as being out and about. Let’s take a look at how baby wearing can change your life.

     

    1. It’s a hands-free kit

    The number one reason I loved baby wearing in the home was that it gave me the freedom to still get on with my life while keeping my babies close. In the early days your baby doesn’t want to be away from you so it’s easy to fall into a routine of getting nothing done. Because despite them actually doing absolutely nothing, they take up a lot of your time. So simple house chores like making supper and doing the laundry end up falling by the wayside. Baby wearing meant that at the very least I could eat something.

    But where it really saved my life was when I became a mother of two. It is no small feat taking care of a newborn baby and a toddler, especially one who is inquisitive and rambunctious. And having my newborn in a baby carrier meant that I could still pay attention to my toddler who honestly was the one who needed the attention.

    2. It helps to soothe baby

    Another great benefit of baby wearing is that somehow they are blessed with magical sleepy dust. Because every time my baby was fussy or wouldn’t fall asleep I would pop her into the baby carrier and walk around a bit and she’d fall asleep within 5 minutes. The combination of being close to a warm body, being wrapped up tight and the motion of walking does wonders to soothe your baby whether it’s sleeping time or not.

    3. Safety in public

    Being out in public by myself with my kids makes me anxious to no end. There are so many stories of babies being stolen from under their mother’s noses while out shopping that I’m so paranoid of even having my kids in the trolley. Baby wearing meant I could keep my baby close and not have this worry.

    It’s also a fantastic deterrent for keeping strangers with germy hands from touching your baby. Babies have very weak immune systems and pick up germs quite easily.

    4. You can breastfeed discreetly

    Many mothers also find that with baby wearing they can nurse discreetly in public without anyone even knowing what they’re doing, especially if you’re wearing them in a ring sling or wrap. It might take a bit of practice but once you get the hang of it, it’s really very handy. And you don’t have to cover your baby with a blanket!

    5. Strengthens your bond

    Overall it really just strengthens the bond between not only mom and baby but it’s also a great way for baby to bond with dad. In the first few months newborn babies are very dependent on their mothers and new dads can feel left out. So having dad wear baby whenever he can will strengthen their bond and also give mom that much needed break.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Read more

  • Self-care tips to help you be the best mom for your kids

    Posted by Dominique Bothma

    About the Author

    Posted on behalf of Zayaan Schroeder who is a mother to two kids and is passionate about making their childhood memorable and happy. She has been a parenting journalist for 10 years and also runs a parenting blog called Surviving the Madness dedicated to making things easier for moms. You can follow her on Instagram www.instagram.com/survivingmadenss

    As mother's we tend to take care of everyone else around us and we're usually last on the list. But as the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup and if you don't take care of yourself, how are you going to be the best mother for your kids?

    But being a mom is not only hard work but it's time consuming. There's so much to do so you don't exactly have time to take a leisurely bath with a book and some candles. Chances are the kids will come knocking because they can't find that thing they're looking for that's in the very obvious place. But that doesn't mean we can't find things to help our mental and physical health.

    Self-care is so much more than just relaxing. It’s taking the time and making decisions that are good for your life mentally, physically and spiritually.

    So here are 5 self-care tips for moms.

     

    1. Say no

    This is a big one for me but your time is precious. You're allowed to say no to things when you're getting overwhelmed. A lot of people want a lot of things from you, so prioritise the important ones (doctor's appointments, school events etc) and say no to your mother's aunty's 70th birthday or that third birthday party your invited to on the same day as the other two.

     

    2. Plan your day

    This one is difficult for me because I want to get every second of rest I can for the day before the kids get up. But if you get up half an hour before your kids do, you can make a cup of coffee, enjoy the quiet and mentally prepare yourself for the day. It's useful to have a notebook or diary where you plan out:

    • The 3 most important tasks for the day.

    • Any extra curriculars or appointments happening that day.

    • Something you’re looking forward to. 

    • What’s for supper.

    You can also use this time to meditate or pray while the house is still quiet.

     

    3. Exercise with the kids

    Have you ever tried doing a home exercise routine with a toddler? It's insane and everything just falls to shambles while they use you as a jungle gym. Instead, find other activities that will keep you all moving and having fun like racing in the park, playing a bit of soccer outside or going for a lovely walk. Fresh air does wonders for everyone.

    4. Date your kids

    When you have more than one kid not only are their lives busy with schoolwork and extra-curricular activities, there's also only so much one on one time they get with you when they’re sharing you with siblings. Take each of your kids on a date so that you can spend some time with them and develop your relationships. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, just going for an ice cream or doing something that they like to do is fine. And speaking of dating, don’t forget your partner.

    5. Make time for yourself

    Life is busy so this can be hard especially if you don't have anyone else to watch the kids. But it's so important to block out some time for yourself where you can relax and take time to recharge.

    But it’s important you do something with yourself that’s not being a mom. So either send them to the grandparents for a sleepover or make sure your partner is around to be in charge of the kids for a while. Then book that spa day or have that quiet soak in the bath. Take yourself out on a date or schedule that girls day you sand your friends never seem to have time for.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     













     

    Read more

  • Let baby take the lead with baby-led weaning

    Posted by Dominique Bothma

    About the Author

    Posted on behalf of Zayaan Schroeder who is a mother to two kids and is passionate about making their childhood memorable and happy. She has been a parenting journalist for 10 years and also runs a parenting blog called Surviving the Madness dedicated to making things easier for moms. You can follow her on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/survivingmadness/

     

    What is baby-led weaning?

    When most parents think about starting their baby on solids, they think jars of purees or spending time at the stove making purees for baby’s first taste of butternut. With baby-led weaning baby is in charge, kind of. The idea is that you present your baby with finger foods that they feed themselves.

    The concept might be slightly wild and out there but this method has long been used by cultures around the world. It became popular in the UK in 2008 after Gill Rapely and Tracey Murkett published a book on the subject.

    So why would you choose to go the baby-led weaning route over traditional purees? According to registered dietician Clancy Cash Harrison it can help fine tune motor development, "Baby-led weaning supports the development of eye-hand coordination, chewing skills, dexterity, and healthy eating habits," she says. "It also offers babies an opportunity to explore the taste, texture, aroma, and colour of a variety of foods."

    Another benefit of baby-led weaning is that your child learns to stop eating when they’re full. Often with spoon feeding the parent feeds their baby until they think baby has had his fill, usually trying to get a few spoonfuls more in after baby has indicated that they don’t want anymore.

    When is my baby ready for baby-led weaning?

    You shouldn’t start baby-led weaning before your baby is 6 months old and has reached all of the following milestones:

    • Be able to sit unassisted.

    • Have good neck strength.

    • Lost his tongue-thrust reflex (automatically pushing food out of his mouth).

    • Has developed adequate hand-eye coordination to put food into his mouth.

    • Shows interest in joining family meals.

      Be CPR ready

    One of the things that you should definitely do if you haven’t already is to do a course in infant CPR and First Aid course. When you know the difference between gagging and choking you will be less panicked when your baby gags the first time and you’ll also be prepared in the off chance that choking does occur.

    What’s the difference between choking and gagging? Choking is when the airway is blocked causing you to stop breathing. Gagging is often confused with choking and is actually totally normal and to be expected when a child begins to eat solid food. It’s quite the opposite of choking because gagging is the body's defence mechanism against choking.

    Gagging is caused when a baby either has too much food in their mouth or if the food starts to go too far back before they have chewed and broken it down sufficiently. With babies their gag reflex is much farther forward and even though it seems scary, parents should just let baby work it out for themselves.

    What do you need to get started?

    Unlike with spoon feeding you don’t need a whole lot to start with baby led weaning. You’ll need an easy to clean high chair because one of the downsides of baby-led weaning is that it can get very messy. That means bibs are essential if you don’t want baby’s clothes to get dirty at every mealtime. The full sleeved apron bibs are the best for this type of thing. Or if it’s summer time, just strip baby down to his nappy and let him at it.

    Shop our range of high chairs.

     

    At first you can place baby’s food straight onto the high chair tray if it’s plastic and easy to wipe down. Otherwise invest in some suction plates and bowls to try to minimise the mess. At first your child will eat with their hands but soon he will need spoons and forks to learn those skills.

    Tips for successful baby-led weaning

    Family meals: Try to have at least one meal of the day be with the whole family at the table.

    First foods: Should be a selection of fresh fruits and soft cooked vegetables. Cut them up into thick, finger shapes so that baby can grip them easily.

    Avoid: Salt, sugar, high choking risk foods like grapes, cherry tomatoes or nuts, honey.

    Embrace the mess: Place a plastic sheet or some newspaper around baby’s high chair to catch the inevitable mess.

     

    Read more

  • Best Educational Apps for Kids

    Posted by Dominique Bothma

    About the Author

    Posted on behalf of Zayaan Schroeder who is a mother to two kids and is passionate about making their childhood memorable and happy. She has been a parenting journalist for 10 years and also runs a parenting blog called Surviving the Madness dedicated to making things easier for moms. You can follow her on Instagram www.instagram.com/survivingmadenss

    Our children live in a very different world to the one we grew up in. Their world is filled with the kind and level of technology that we could only dream of. And while there can be downsides to this kind of tech heavy life there are also opportunities that we were never privileged to have.

    While screen time should be limited as busy parents and actually just any parent who needs a break, handing your kid your phone or tablet for a half an hour can be just what is needed to stop you falling over the edge. Or well, to get supper ready.

    There are so many things in the app store for kids that are just brain numbingly bad. But here are some great fun and educational games. My kids have played each and every one of these games at one point or another and they’re the ones that keep them occupied and learning while I take a moment to breathe.

    Khan Academy Kids

    Khan Academy Kids is for children aged 2-6 and includes thousands of educational games, activities, and books to help toddlers and pre-schoolers learn. A cast of adorable characters guide your kid through lessons, and it has an adaptive learning path that will customise their experience to help them to master different skills.

    The lessons cover areas such as reading, language, writing, math, social-emotional development, problem-solving skills, and motor development. Open-ended activities like drawing, storytelling, and colouring encourage creativity and self-expression. My 5-year-old and 2-year-old each have their own profile with their own learning journey.

    I love that Khan Academy Kids has partnered with the Super Simple Songs YouTube channel and uses their songs to teach various concepts. Another big plus with this app is that it’s completely free, forever - no ads and no subscriptions necessary.

    Download for free on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

    Astronomy for Kids: Star Walk

    My son like most little kids is obsessed with space, planets, the moon and stars and has 5 million questions about them that I don’t have the answers to. Astronomy for kids is a beautifully designed app with bright colours and fun animations and it’s been a really cool experience to learn with my little one. After each section there’s a little test so your child can test his knowledge.

    It’s available on the Google Play Store for R14.99 or the Apple App Store for $2.99

    Teach Your Monster To Read

    Teach Your Monster makes learning letters and reading fun. Your child makes a Monster friend and they go on a journey identifying sounds, sight words and reading sentences. This app is worth the price for me because it covers the first two years of learning to read, from matching letters and sounds to enjoying little books. The recommended age range for this app is 3 – 6 years but it can be used a bit beyond those years especially if your child is struggling. Another reason this is one of the apps I actually paid for is because it’s been designed in collaboration with reading experts from Roehampton University and hopefully they’re a clever lot who know what they’re doing.

    Download on the Google Play Store for R84.99 or the Apple App Store for $4.99

    Think & Learn Code-a-pillar

    This game is an early introduction to coding and with the way the world is going I think it’s essential that every child learns basic coding skills. In this game from Fischer-Price, your child must help the Code-a-pillar through the maze by giving it commands using a drag and drop function. As your child levels up they unlock new coding segments so each level gets progressively more challenging.

    Your child will develop mathematical skills like planning & sequencing, problem solving, number recognition and counting in order.

    Download for free on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

     

     

     

    Read more