6 Fun Things We Did Over The Summer Holidays
I can’t believe that we’re already at the end of the first month in 2018! It’s true as you get older the hours are like seconds, while for our toddlers it feels like a lifetime. I hope and pray that 2018 will be loads better than 2017 was for our family, both hubby and I lost our dads a few months apart. Our first summer holidays without them and them not being around was truly felt.
The holiday was far too short but oh so hot! Alas, we avoided the beaches and adding to the water stress the Western Cape, South Africa is currently under. We got to visit family in Swaziland, spend quality time with friends here in Johannesburg, South Africa and dote a lot on our son who appreciated every minute with us. He got to see so much more of us than he usually does during the year.
In an effort to keep our son content over the summer school break we managed to fill his calendar with a variety of things he thoroughly got to enjoy, some overflowing into the new year too.
Adventure Club App we discovered thanks to blogger Rebecca from In These Stilettos , App is full of amazing ideas for parents about activities they can do with their kids. There’s absolutely something for kids up until about 10 years old. Over the holiday hubby and our son got to experience the Krispy Kreme doughnuts world through a behind-the-scenes look at how their world-famous doughnuts are made. Learning about their delicious pastries, got to decorate their own doughnuts and even bring home some. Needless to say, both had loads of fun.
Also through the Adventure Club App, my boys (hubby and son) invited some our son’s schoolmates on a playdate outside the house. They went and explored Treetop Adventures out in Riversands, Fourways area. They get to climb and make their way across 10 obstacles that are on platforms 1.2m above the ground culminating on two zip-lines – our son loved the zip-lines the most! I’d say that was the best part of the morning for our son.
Next on the App for us is the Helicopter Flip, our son loves anything to do with flying. He dreams of one day becoming a pilot, yes I know it may early days yet, so this passion may or may not change one day. The adventure will let him get inside a real cockpit and ” learn” all about the different controls and buttons used by the pilots when flying an aeroplane or in this case a helicopter. A parent and child get to have a 15min helicopter experience in the clouds to appreciate the Johannesburg skyline.
Baking with SASKO Cookie Mix was something else we did that was loads of fun! It caters for Halaal, Kosher or Vegetarian needs and makes baking with the kids easy and fun! For that reason, the son and I baked up a storm during the holidays. Using our hands to roll and flatten the cookies a fantastic and fun way to develop their fine motor skills. We got to try out the cookies and muffin mix during the break, and both are super easy. Our son isn’t into icing sugar, so it was from the oven, cool and into our tummies.
We also tried to make some “snowmen” using a meringue recipe I found, but that didn’t come out quite right, yet still tasty.
Time with the extended family is a must during the big holidays if you’re not travelling somewhere just as the nuclear family. To further fuel our son’s passion for flying, he and I caught a flight to Swaziland just before the end of the year to spend some time with the family there. The lady that helps us care for our son catches a bus home every day, so it’s been something he has been curious about. We managed to tick that off his bucket list as we had to jump on a bus from the main terminal building in order to reach the plane. For the first time, our visit wasn’t rushed and our son got to spend some quality time with my siblings and their respective families. Eating mangoes right off the trees in the garden, riding bikes on dirt roads, snacking throughout the day, swimming and sleeping in late. No homework to worry about. No waking up early to get ready for school. Just plain playing in the streets like in the old days.
Boys just seem to love fishing. I still don’t recall how we got onto the whole fishing idea, but we did. During our visit to Swaziland, we found a starter fishing rod and every Sunday since we’ve done our best to go fishing with our son. We’re fortunate to have a dam close to home apparently loaded with Bream and Barbel fish, but we’re yet to catch one. Apparently, they on some new diet and we haven’t yet received the ingredients. We continue our pursuit of our first catch.
A visit to the Lion & Safari Park was long overdue and we finally got to tick that off as well. We went on a self-drive cruise through the Lion and Wild Dog Enclosures and got to see a few other animals too. Our son has watched the movie Lion King a few times now, so he was keen to see Mufasa in real life. Although we saw more than one alpha male lion, he refused to acknowledge one as Scar(the bad lion). We also got to see Nala(lioness) and Simba(Mufasa’s son), Pumbaa(Warthog), Ed the Hyena and Banzai(Wild dog), Wildebeest, Giraffe(up close and personal … literally), what’s a game drive without seeing buck here in Africa, we saw many, Ostrich and Zebra. For an additional fee, the whole family also got to stroke the back of the lion cubs for a few minutes until one decided my bare feet looked delicious and literally latched onto my foot claw and tongue. Yes, there was a minute or two of fear fly by my way. FYI – kids under 12 go on the game drives for free. I was super impressed with the new Lion Park setup, it’s literally just 13km past the Lanseria airport and are open late. I’m definitely keen to return and experience the other attractions they host, it’s so worth it!
A visit to the dentist is a must at the start of a New Year in this family. This was the second time we took our son and he was such a trooper. He listened carefully while the dentist asked him to open his mouth so he could check his teeth. Thrilled to hear that he has amazing teeth, no cavities to worry or address, and already four permanent teeth – two front and both bottom molars are out.
What fun stuff did you and your kids get up to over the December school break?