### Category: Being a Mom

In first grade, young mathematicians expand on their early shape identification skills by going “3-D.” Now, they’ll begin to work on identifying spheres, cones, cylinders, and cubes. So Build a Castle…and Explore First Grade Geometry!

You can engage your first grader with these fundamentals of geometry outside of the classroom with this homemade castle activity.

In addition to being fun and educational for your child, this project utilizes reusable, recyclable materials that are easily available right at home!

What You Need:
Large shoebox lid, or lid from a paper carton
Clean milk cartons: pint, quart, or half-gallon
Cardboard paper towel or toilet paper tubes
Paper cups
Aluminum foil
Straight (non-bendable) drinking straws
Ice cream cones
Oatmeal boxes (the round tubular kind)
Ping pong balls
Nontoxic tempera paint
Glue, string, markers, tape
What You Do:

1. Start with an important scientific (and organizational) principle: help your child sort all of the household stuff you both have collected for this activity. Make one category for cylinders, one for cones, one for cubes, and so on.
2. Identify these titles and their three dimensional shapes clearly, and go over with your child the relationship between those flat squares and circles he studied all through kindergarten and these new geometrical forms. Those shapes she studied in kindergarten are the basis for these important 3-D forms (and it’s pretty cool!)
3. Use the box lid as your building platform, and have your child start gluing and taping down the main shapes she will use to build the foundation of her castle. This is a great time to pull out a storybook or two with a castle illustration, or even better, to bring out a nonfiction resource (such as any of the architectural books for kids by David Macauley) in order to help her get a sense of what her castle might look like. As you go, invite your child to make connections: what geometrical shapes are prominent in these castles? How do they stay up without toppling?
4. Some creative notes: milk cartons come with “peaked roofs” already in place (perfect for castle building), and you can easily use straws to mount aluminum foil “flags” on top. Paper towel rolls can be topped by ice cream cones or by paper cups as well (flat cylindrical roof areas are also a great place for flags). String can be used, along with spare pieces of cardboard, for drawbridges and catwalks.
5. Help your child glue all the pieces to the box lid surface and each to of the other pieces and then, paint the whole structure. You can go for a “stone” look with gray paint…or try recalling some of Europe’s great castles and use white! She can paint her castle any color she would like. When the paint dries, invite your child to draw any other details she might like to add with markers.

### Did You Know? As your child advances in math and science, she’ll explore the formulas and ratios behind these fundamental shapes. This can be tricky stuff, but hands-on activities like this one will allow your child to develop comfort and familiarity with these concrete fundamentals that underlie all of that abstraction that’s to come in the years ahead.

Disclosure: Guest Post

How important is religion in parenting? Last night my husband and I we were up until late discussing religion matters regarding our daughter. When religion plays a big role in parenting it such a pain in the …… Married to a Muslim man and I was born a Christian but later changed to nothing. Definitely have good reasons.

What sparked the question of religion, you know in Muslim culture there are women who cover their faces. As I learn a little about the Quran each day I somehow feel that is oppressing women making men feel all superior above women and as a feminist that is a no, no in my book. I might be wrong, but as far as I understand I wouldn’t want my daughter to get involved with something that will teach her that men have power over women.

Found asking myself why religion plays a huge role in parenting. Is religion really necessary, especially religion that will inhabit a human being to enjoy life and all its possibilities.  Asked husband actually told him that our daughter should have the freedom to choose with path/religion she wants to follow when she is old enough. For now, we teach her what is right and wrong and let her experience life and everything in it.

Am I really just a bad parent? When I married my husband we never spoke about this and I never even thought about it. He knew where I stood when it comes to religion. Always say I don’t judge anyone who believes in God/Allah, but don’t know force your beliefs down my throat.

My daughter, she is a curious child and she is always interested in why in Christianity, they praise God the way they do and sing loudly and scream hallelujah while in Muslim they don’t. She also wanted to know why Hindus had so many gods and goddesses and the other day she wanted to know who is RA (The Egyptian God of Sun) I explain to her to the best of my abilities.

# Am I being unreasonable to my husband about the religion matter? Have you encountered the same problem?

Where has the time gone, it’s back to school and I am not ready. Seriously, did not miss doing homework and lunch box . I also did not miss the washing all white PE clothes gosh, they make me hate Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I can not believe we are back at it again, another and lots of school activities, meetings (can I resign from being a mom). Also I am back to work and back into the weekly routine. I enjoyed my holidays not having to wake up and run like a headless chicken Has Been splendid.

It’s a new year, another 365 days to make our dreams come true and if your dream has come true its your year to prosper and make it greater. I am looking forward to a fruitful and rewarding year, of course I will be hustling harder than last year Because I have a DREAM.

I am not making any resolutions this year I am just going to make me and strive to succeed.

# It’s back to school and I am not ready. Are you ready to go back into the routine?

Bullying in primary school should not be happening especially at a lower grade. I have always said that school children are the meanest. Lately my daughter has been complaining about a girl in her class Grade 1.

This girl has been mean towards my daughter and her other friends. Saying things like you are stupid, pushing and pinching her in the back when they are standing on a line.

This morning again while my daughter and I were walking to the transport she complained again about this mean little girl. I am seriously starting to get angry about this. I told her to tell her teacher because it’s really unacceptable, its making my daughter uncomfortable.

Never thought that I will have to deal with bullying in primary school. If this girl is mean from grade 1, I can only imagine her in Grade 7. My daughter said I told her that it is not right to hit someone.

She called me stupid again and said my other friends and I wish she does not come back to school next year. That sentence really alerted me that it must be really awful for them to wish her out of the school.

Got me thinking what do I do with this, because I am currently feeling like going to the school and giving that little mean girl a piece of my mind.

I cannot turn into mama bear on a 6 years old girl who clearly thinks what she is doing is right and has seen someone in her family to mean towards another person in her presence.

# Bullying in primary school how do I handle that; I would really appreciate you input?

Did you know that almost 15 percent of South African primary school children are overweight? This is according to the latest stats from the South African Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The thing that caught my eye looking at this news was our girls are very overweight than boys. Any a parent with a primary school child in their household should be worried as me and this made me understand that our children are in trouble, especially girls.

It was found that girls living in the city-based have more than double the rate (30 percent) and have more body fat. It’s a fact that girls are usually heavier than boys. The World Obesity Federation (WOF) has warned that unless South Africa takes extremely important action to deal with the problem otherwise by 2025 almost 4 million local school children will be overweight.

This is a serious matter parents our children are in trouble and according to the latest research. The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HAFSA) it has shown that girls who were very overweight between the ages of 4 and 6 were 42 times at risk to be overweight as teenagers.

The biggest contribution to obesity is inactivity, our children watch too much television and it was found that girls watch more than boys. This presents a threat to our risk as they will at the risk of contracting long-lasting such a Diabetes.

In Fact, the time is now to act so that we can nip this as early as possible. Solutions need to be placed as suggested by Professor Ian Caterson from the WOF strongly encouraged governments to act: “Introducing tougher rules to protect children from the marketing of unhealthy food, making sure schools help increase healthy eating and physical activity, strengthening planning and building rules to provide safe neighbourhoods, and monitoring the impact of these policies.”

# Is your child active enough and what needs to change?

Did you know that since the 9th until the 15th October is The National Nutrition Week: Love your beans Campaign , I honestly had no idea until this morning? The theme for this year is “love your beans” and I am not a fan of beans or lentils.
This afternoon from 1 -2pm the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) hosted a Twitter Talk which I attended because I was curious. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the educational 1 hour talk they gave tips and ideas of how to incorporate beans and lentils in your daily diet and lifestyle.

When I think lentils I immediately think about winter and soup but apparently you can have them all year round. It was really an eye opening one hour well spent. That also shared resources like recipe of how to prepare pulses to keep them interesting, to see what went on the talk see @ADSA_RD on Twitter.

Things I have learned today about pulses in The National Nutrition Week:Love your beans Campaign.

• Pulses protect us from certain diseases.
• Soak overnight to make them easier to digest and also quicker to cook.
• Really loved how you can even include them in your baking of muffins, homemade bread etc.
• The earlier you introduce beans and lentils to your children the better. (My daughter hates beans and it’s my fault)
• You can boil, fry, roast, mash, even tofu them, you can really do anything with pulses.
• Good source of fiber and protein.

The information is a lot I cannot include all of them in this post just visit twitter and see for yourself and you will also get lots of recipes shared.
The National Nutrition Week :Love your beans is brought to us by @HealthZA & @SAHeartStroke @CGCSA1 @CEPMilkSA & @NNW2013 #LovePulses. Check them out on twitter to find out more about the ‘Love your beans” campaign.

# Does your family eat pulses?

I decided to get an educational tablet as her birthday present because she loves my tablet and we are always fighting for it.

So I google educational tablets for children and I got MiPad Kiddies from MiMate and it was budget friendly because I bought this one for R999.00 from Takealot.

This MiPad Kiddies from MiMate Review is to help mommies when they decide to search such a product for their kiddies. There isn’t enough options in the market.

I am happy for the tablet because its keeping her busy during the school holidays. It is also a learning opportunity for her too because I told her she is responsible for it, she has to make sure it  does not crack.

Packaging

I love the packaging its brightness and showcases the different colours they over on their cover which is 4 colours. The quality of the box amazing MiMate has done a fabulous job on the packaging it’s something you will be drawn if it was on an electronic store shelf.

Features

The product is pre-loaded with a lots of games and educational game.

Built in with Children’s software

Child friendly interface

Android 4.4 Operating System

High Resolution Dual Camera

Full length displays IPS screen

Uses Wi-Fi

Accessories

In the box toy also find Headphones, Charger, USB cable, Free USB Reader etc.

# Abeerah’s Opinion: She loves it and she said it has a lot of things to do like colouring book, keyboard. Loves the pick cover it came with. In her words its fabulous.

My opinion: I love that it keeps my daughter away from my tablet (Smile), I love the packaging and cover makes it easy for children to handle. I love its pre- loaded with enough games and learning material. I am just disappointed with the quality of the camera as my daughter loves taking photos.

This was my MiPad Kiddies From MiMate Review, totally worth the price and my daughter is happy having fun and leaning at the same time.

I say the sex talk struggle for black parents because I will be addressing this from my experience and from what I have seen in the black communities and what I have heard from the parents.

Earlier this week I was on the line to take a taxi to work and I realised that even in this day and age black parents do not talk to their children about sex,condoms and contraception.

This other lady said that one of her neighbours children is doing life orientation in action and disrespecting his mother. I said that it is because you don’t have the talk with us about sex and explain that if you do this and that you will get pregnant and or get a girl pregnant.

Their answer was that is how it is and it’s how they were raised.

This really got me thinking if our own parents do not talk to us about such important things the rate of teenage pregnancy still go up and number of dropouts will also rise.

How will this change us escape poverty because come on, let’s face it, not everyone is gifted to be a brilliant business entrepreneur without proper education.

So parents, they are setting us up for failure, and they expect teenagers not to be sexual active.

My parents never spoke to me about sex and contraceptives,I didn’t even know what was a morning after pill until after I had my daughter that is at the age of 24 years old.

Our black parents need to talk to us more and be more open with us about such topics not wait for the schools to teach us about sex.Then lack of information  leads to experimentation and most of the time teenage pregnancy.

I am not saying that other races do not have teenager pregnancy issues like in the black communities.We need to educate our children about pregnancy, HIV/Aids risks, condoms and contraceptive.

Prevention is better than cure remember and stop making sex Taboo subject and stop thinking that if you talk to them about sex they will go out and have.

I really hope that with time the sex talk struggle for black parents will improve for the better.

# I am interested to know how does the sex and contraceptive talk differ with every race?

I recently had the bad touch talk with my daughter because I believed that is was time for her to learn the difference and because she is an overly friendly person. I am a fan of Law and Order: SUV. I have seen enough to understand that an adult or child older than my daughter have the power to pursue my daughter to keep a secret and she won’t know if that is wrong because I as the parent I would have never spoken to hear about what is bad and what is good.

I am glad to say the first my daughter learned was that secrets are bad, but I noticed that when she was playing with friends and she came back upset when I asked her what happened, she would refuse to tell me. I had to get it out of her that is why I decided to have the talk with her so that she knows that I am her safe haven and she can tell me anything.

# The Bad Touch Talk With My Daughter

1. No one is supposed to touch her private parts in a funny way.
2. Touch her bum and her breasts
3. No one is supposed to kiss her like husband and wife kiss it is wrong
4. When someone touches her in the wrong way she has the right to scream NO
5. I put the talk in play I touch her bum in an uncomfortable way and she told me that is wrong I must stop it.
6. She can tell on anyone touching her the bad way could her teacher, transport driver, uncle, aunt, parents (her father and I) and even her friends.
7. That her body belongs to her and no one else
8. If someone asks her to touch their private parts she must say no
9. It is never her fault that the other person behaved badly towards her.

We need to start child sexual awareness at an early age by instilling the power of No and the power of knowledge in our children. Besides, most of the sexual offenders they are the people that our children know and trust from our family members, friends and neighbours. It is always some close to us who may cause harm to our children.

They are lots of platforms online that can help us parents in talking to our children about sexual abuse and there are also activities you can play with them to make the learning less intense and more fun.

#NoChildSexualAbuseOnMyWatch

Have you spoken to your son or daughter about the bad touch and how did it go?

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My daughter and I we got busy during Youth Day we made Snowflake red velvet cupcakes, we initially went to Pick n Pay to get icing and cupcake cups, but I found an amazing product from Snowflake treats it had everything we needed and it was even affordable.

Snowflakes treats includes:
500g Cupcake Mix
300g Icing Mix
12 paper cups
10g Sprinkles
The package makes 12 large cupcakes or one double layered cake, the box has instructions about making cupcakes and also the butter icing, its pretty much straight forward. Extra ingredients you will need are are:
2 large eggs
125 ml cooking oil
200ml water
150g butter or baking margarine
30ml milk

Since I live in a flat and I don’t have a big stove with an oven so I used my mini gadget I bought online few months back the Salton Elite Cupcake Marker, makes 8 cupcakes, it’s easy to store and clean because it has a nonstick coating. Not only does it make cupcakes you can use it to make muffins and mini pies pretty handy.

Everything worked out the cupcakes came out perfectly and they put a smile on my daughter’s face what more can a mom ask for.