• 7 Benefits of Block Play

    Most parents today would remember these from their childhood – wooden blocks, Lego or other forms of toy blocks. Pre-schools kept a variety of them, neatly stacked on shelves in the classroom. Not much has changed decades later as we are actively encouraged, in this technological age, to expose our children to block playing. Numerous research studies have indicated the following cognitive, intellectual, and developmental benefits in children, including babies and toddlers, who play with building blocks:   1. Boosts imagination and stimulates creativity Blocks can be used to represent anything and therefore is ideal for creating a foundation in storytelling and building structures or re-enacting events. Young children have…

  • Kids Tech Review: The Playbrush

    Imagine converting brushing teeth for your kids from a chore (one that involves a lot of nagging, negotiating, sometimes even bribing from your side) to an exciting and welcomed activity in your home. Where your kids willingly race to brush their teeth properly for two full minutes? Enter the Playbrush. A simple concept that has transformed lives worldwide.   What is the Playbrush? It’s a small silicone device that allows you to manually insert your child’s toothbrush in it and then using Bluetooth technology, connects to an app on your phone or tablet, allowing your child to play a game while brushing their teeth. Think of it like a magic…

  • 5 Ways to Raise Kids Who Read

    I bought my son’s first set of books for him when he was about three months old – in utero, that is. I was at the final day of a book fair and the specials were never to be repeated, so I took full advantage. He was only able to use them when he was around three or four years old but that didn’t stop me from buying and stashing over the years. Almost a decade later, here’s what I’ve learnt as a mum determined to pass on the love of reading to my child: 1. It’s never too early to start New research shows that reading books with an…

  • 6 Tips For Choosing an App for Your Child

    Screen time has become synonymous with modern-day parenting and it’s difficult to avoid it altogether. And we all know that guilty feeling that consumes us when we allow our kids to indulge on tech devices – sometimes a bit too much. According to new research from the University of Washington, parents need not fear their children playing with their iPads as “mindful play with an adult, combined with thoughtful design features, can prove beneficial to young developing minds.” So how can we choose the best apps without having to worry about it being detrimental to our child’s development? Here are some tips on what you should look for in an…

  • How to Raise a Smart Baby: Interview with Dr John Medina

    I have yet to meet a parent who’s not always on the lookout for the most educational toys and gadgets that claim to increase their child’s IQ. In my culture, great emphasis is placed on academic achievement and I’m sure many other Indian mothers would agree. However, culture notwithstanding, every parent yearns for their child to be smart, happy and confident. While some mothers may detest certain methods like those of the “tiger mum” (Remember Amy Chua? The Chinese-American professor whose stringent methods of parenting were criticised in her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother?), others are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure their child is successful…

  • Mums Delighted as Spur Supports Breastfeeding

    Popular South African family restaurant chain, Spur, has found its breastfeeding policy brought to the limelight after a customer posted a photo of their signage in store and praised it on Facebook last week. Initially implemented in January 2016, Spur’s breastfeeding policy has been effective in all of their stores countrywide for the past two and half years, although not many mums were aware of this. Spur restaurants are known for being family-friendly and thus welcomes breastfeeding. “Breastfeeding plays an important role in early childhood development due to its health and well-being benefits. We encourage all our franchisees to provide a friendly and safe place for women to breastfeed, and…

  • Making Fresh Pasta

    When I studied Italian as an undergrad many years ago, the Italian lecturer told us that she makes fresh pasta daily in her house and that we all should try it as it’s just not the same as store-bought pasta. I remember thinking to myself, I can barely make perfectly round and soft rotis, why on earth would I even consider making my own pasta. More than a decade later on one rainy night in the tents of Mina (during my Hajj pilgrimage), a lovely Zambian lady who owned a restaurant back home, convinced the rest of us ladies (yes, we really should have been praying but somehow the topic…

  • My Top 7 Essential Baby (Travel) Products

    Becoming a mum again after eight years meant that a lot had changed in the baby product industry. There are definitely more stylish and even more practical products on the market, supposedly making life simpler for parents. It’s easy to get carried away and buy every “must-have” product but it’s not feasible. These are my top 7 essential baby products. Not only did it make my daily life at home easier, but they all proved to be invaluable when we travelled locally and internationally.   Doona Infant Car Seat/Stroller This has to be by far the best investment I’ve made. The idea is so simple – a car seat converts…

  • Ramadaan Reads for Older Kids

    As a child, I remember the excitement of borrowing a book from the library that had a Muslim/Indian character in it. It felt awesome to be able to identify with the character but unfortunately those books were very few in number. Fast forward to a generation later and the amount of diverse books that’s available on the market is amazing! With Ramadaan literally around the corner, and excited mothers sharing their Ramadaan reads for their little ones, its easy to forget about the older ones. Here are some suggestions from my 9-year-old’s bookshelf. Depending on your child’s reading ability, I would think the following would be suitable for kids aged…

  • Book Review: Weaning Sense by Meg Faure & Kath Megaw

    I first heard the authors of Weaning Sense (Quivertree Publications, 2017) speak when I attended the Clicks Baby Meet Up at Moses Mabhida Stadium late last year, a week before I gave birth to my second child. Meg Faure is an occupational therapist and author of Baby Sense and Sleep Sense (among other titles), and Kath Megaw is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in paediatrics, and the founder of Nutripaeds. Their talk about COLLAB weaning – a scientific-based approach that takes the baby’s age, temperament and personality into consideration – won me over and I purchased a copy of the book at the event. Now that Ibraheem is…