January Newsletter: Here’s to new beginnings….

We are almost 3 weeks into the new year and I hope you are all embracing 2018, perhaps carrying a few extra grams (*wink*.) The kids are finally back at school and the mums are doing a happy dance! With routines being the order of the day, a happy and comforting norm can once again be achieved. To make the morning routine a little smoother, below are some tips: Start the night before! Let the kids pick out their clothes the night before at their own leisure. Pack backpacks and if possible, items that make up lunches; showers and baths the night before could also be soothing. Give your children calm, clear instructions about what you want them to do, and be sure to praise their cooperation Simple charts will help to remind younger children of what they’re meant to be doing and when. Cut down on distractions like television, tablets and other devices. Try not to give your children extra attention for arguing, whining or stalling. Even negative attention is an incentive for them to keep going with this behaviour. Set a timer! Use a timer for tasks that seem to take particularly long for kids. Set a reasonable time limit, and announce that the task must be complete when the timer goes off. We’re crushing on all the innovative lunch box ideas that are out there. Have a look at Niqi on Instagram, handle @naqiya_mayet! Her lunchbox ideas are nutritious, balanced and absolutely fabulous!   0

December 2017 Newsletter

And with the blink of an eye, the year is over! Reflecting back its been an incredible one! Some highlights include Hello Shongololo turning ONE, some amazing reviews received from various sources and most importantly, the ongoing positive feedback from our clients. This is the difference we want to make, bringing smiles to children’s faces! A great end to the year and beginning of all that is fun and merry! As we prepare for the festive season, many parents find this time a little challenging. Keeping the little ones busy for days on end can be tough and in a selfish effort to help myself as well as the greater good, I asked my mum friends for their tips on scintillating holiday-break activities for kids. Use chalk to allow your budding artists to create masterpieces outdoors using coloured chalks – ideal for small gardens. Let your kids loose on your wardrobe. Children love dress up! Bake! And let them lick their fingers! Incorporate soft adventure and physical activity into every day .Kids need this to remain centred and happy. Organise a trip to the zoo or rhino & lion. Take a picnic, visit the animals and have a fun family day out. Blow up balloons and chase them around the house or garden. The same can be done with water balloons! Organise some water play activities. Kids love playing with water! Load them up with water balloons, run through the sprinklers, shoot each other with water guns, and slide around on slippery plastic. Take the kids to feed the ducks. Allow kids to have fun and make a collage. Use old magazines, leaves, paper and anything you can lay your hands on to build a work of art and put it in a frame. Hunt for bugs, goggos and shongololos in the garden or at your local park. Play at the park. Get the family together and go to a park just to play! Play on the playground equipment or take your own outdoor toys. Make a day of it and take a picnic too. Go to the library. Go to your local library and choose story books together to read at bedtime. Go to the movies. Once in a while it is fun to see a movie on the big screen with a special treat of a big bucket of popcorn. Or how about setting up a movie night at home? Get a Hello Shongololo activity box, it’s packed with hours of fun activities to keep the little ones busy and facilitate lovely bonding time between parents and children. Good luck parents! You can do it! With that, I’d like to leave you with this wonderful note to share with your little ones. Anything Is Possible  There is something incredible inside of you. It’s the power to make all your dreams come true. So imagine, believe, and Let your dreams free. There is no limit to what you can do or be. Deepak Chopra Season’s greetings to all and have a happy, merry and safe festive period. 0

The silly season is upon us…

November has leaped upon us, bringing with it the first taste of the festive season surrounded by all its delight. This year has flown past us faster than a toupee in a hurricane! It’s months like these where we begin looking back on the year that is coming to a close and begin collecting special moments that stuck with us throughout the year. I’d like to share with you, a few of my favourite moments from this year. Hello Shongololo turned 1 in October! What a rewarding moment and humbling milestone for us to reach. To add to the excitement in October, my son celebrated his 4th birthday (note, we were forced to celebrate for the entire month of October and not just on his birthday resulting in all diets going out the window. Further to that, our ‘5 days of birthday giveaways’ was a massive success and so much fun to be a part of. A heart felt thank you to our generous sponsors: Readers Warehouse, Faithful to Nature, Sugar Apple, The Purply Lovey, The Stylishi Mama, Macaron. You have partnered with us on this initiative and made our celebrations a little more merrier. If you followed the competitions you may realise that  Mums are the stricter of the 2 parents. Congratulations to all of our winners, we hope that you are enjoying your prizes and getting to share in the fun with your little ones. With the silly season drawing close, some of us may be travelling with our kids. This oftentimes feels stressful and laborious; which is completely normal but actually not very necessary, if planned for with foresight. I’ve put together a few pointers which has helped me during our travels with my son and will hopefully make your travel a little less stressful and a lot more fun! Take familiar foods, especially on flights to make sure your child does eat something. Also, be sure to take some ‘sucking’ sweets for take-off and landing to prevent ears being uncomfortable and blocked! If you’re driving, make sure you take regular stops for leg stretches and fresh air. Many of the garages have play areas and space for the kids have some fun and take a break. A personalised photo album with your little one’s favourite thing is always a winner. Print pictures of their school, friends, pets, family, birthdays… They love looking at it and talking about it. Consider letting loose on ‘screen-time’ rules. Load your iPad games and kid friendly apps. This will keep them busy for a while and can give you a little down time too. Stickers are the secret weapon; all kids love stickers. Take stickers as well as accessories for them to decorate. For example, decorating a cup or even a card for granny may be a wonderful distraction for them Different activities and surprises are wonderful too. We have created our Hello Shongololo travel kit in mind of kids travelling on long journeys. They consist of a variety of different activities, they’re easy to use and friendly to play when in moving vehicles or in flight. They can be ordered from www.helloshongololo.co.za What’s happening? The magical musical production of Shrek will be showcased at the People’s Theatre, the musical. It is currently showing now until through to the 24th December 2017.11.07. Email info@peoplestheatre.co.za to book or visit www.webtickets.co.za. The Killarney Country Club is hosting a movie evening on 25th November 2017. For R100, kids get to watch the animation of Moana, receive two mini pizzas, a popcorn and small soft drink. To book call 011 442 7411 or mail marketing@killarneycc.co.za. And for our entertainment, Black Friday is coming soon. Keep a look out on social media for the Hello Shongololo specials. What’s new? Shongololo on Safari, our most popular activity box is back in stock. They make a wonderful Christmas present, so do keep them in mind. We have updated our kids travel kits. The kits include loads of fun activities to keep the little ones busy on a road trip or flight. The kits are significantly different to the first iteration, and I’m proud to say that my 4 year old niece has given me the thumbs up!   0

October newsletter: Its our birthday!

I just can’t believe that Hello Shongololo is turning ONE this month. I must admit that it has been the most invigorating year filled with so many different emotions. Having said that, I thought it would be apt to begin this newsletter by thanking each and every one of you for your part in making this year so special. Firstly, my clients. Your support has been overwhelming and this entrepreneurial journey couldn’t be where it is without you. Your belief in Hello Shongololo and it’s goal of raising a generation of healthy, happy, freethinkers is what makes this venture such a success. I want to say thank you from my heart to yours. My family and friends, for being the most amazing soundboards, gently providing me with feedback and for being there to toast to a win and sometimes to sip on chai whilst I lick my wounds. … and lastly my husband, who has encouraged me every step of the way, put up with my many moments of frenzy and trepidation and always lovingly re-routing me in the right direction. This year has been quite an adventure and allowed me to step out of my comfort zone into a completely unknown territory. Needless to say that I experienced many bumps on the road and have learnt many lessons. One of which is that entrepreneurship is a mental game. The entrepreneur is expected to keep her head in the right space and constantly carry out self motivational tactics. If this is mastered, half your battle is won. A quote to end this newsletter “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire” Jenniffer Lee With that I say once again that I am sooo delighted to share this birthday with you! Ps: Order your Hello Shongololo Activity boxes today! 0

May newsletter – Musings on motherhood …

  This year is flying by in the blink of an eye. We are in May already, the month in which we celebrate moms!  When I reflect on what motherhood means to me I’m drawn to fond and happy thoughts of my mom and grandmother and the profound influence which they have in my life. This extends from the wholesome nurturing, guidance and to the nourishing love which continuously keeps my cup full…  Then, I think of my son and the bright light he has brought to my life. There is no purer joy then witnessing his little journey through these ever-changing years. Amidst the chaos, smelly socks and cold tea (which I probably re-heated numerous times), motherhood brings with it a special feeling. Days are filled with happy giggles, cuddles and unique discoveries. We are taught by our kids, to be patient, consciously present and sincerely appreciative of all the little things which we so often tend to take for granted. We asked some moms what they thought of motherhood “Always having someone who welcomes you home with a big smile and a happy dance when walking through the door! Also always having a living moving talking and loving teddy bear to cuddle up to anytime of the day. Smelling the top of his head while he sits or lays with me brings a feeling of joy and love, it very primal!”  Monique Griffith “For me it would be the unconditional love I have for my children and that they have for me. And the miracle of that love beginning from the moment the child is in your tummy. I see their faces light up when I enter the room.  Knowing that you’re their safe space and nobody can replace that no matter how much fun they have else where they always come back to their moms.” Nabila Mayet Cassim “My excited son running up to me shouting Mama. It’s the best feeling in the whole world knowing that you can be important to someone is great responsibility and biggest blessing. The look in his eyes says to me he thinks I am more than enough. I’m his perfect mom.” Kgomotso Molewa It’s life altering, rewarding and fulfilling. Love, joy and laughter fill my heart and home together with a permanent need to nurture, grow and protect my little ones. Motherhood also means a constant feeling of exhaustion, but it’s all for a great cause… being the best mom I can be! I also have a new found respect for my mother (mom of 5!)”   Nicky Lane “Seeing the world through the eyes of my children. They are my mirror and my forever teachers” Aradhana Bageloo “Coming home after a long day at the office to a smile that just makes you feel like nothing else matters. Being called “mommy” is something so meaningful you never fully understand until you become a mommy yourself. I love being able to teach him new things and I especially love how it’s the simple things that make him happy. The best part about motherhood is that it makes you wanna be a better person because someone else’s life literally depends on it” Natasha Poulton That’s motherhood for you!  It’s one of those paradoxes the toughest, most exhausting yet fulfilling jobs in the world. We may complain about motherhood at times but in all truth wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world. Our favourite Trevor Noah once said “Moms Are Just Like Superheroes Without the Capes.” Wishing all the mums out there a wonderful Mother’s Day, keep going! You are doing a great job! Much Love Natasha xxx 0

April Newsletter – Happy Holidays!

Alas, our first newsletter; one of many firsts on this new and exciting journey… What an adventure it has been! The school holidays are upon us and for some, myself included this may seem daunting. Do you ever wonder how best to keep your kids occupied and entertained during the coming weeks? My little boy has been on holiday for a week now and it’s been lots of fun, not just for him, but for me too. We experimented with making homemade slime, colourful play dough cookies, gooey mud cakes and at the end of the day, watched some TV too. I met with my girlfriends today without our cohort of kids. An afternoon of giggles, laughs, nostalgic banter and happy moments, without little puppies nipping at our ankles. I was in hysterics when one of the mums mentioned that her time spent doing the dishes was therapeutic for her, merely because she finally had a few moments alone with her thoughts. All this made me come to the realisation that whilst holidays are a great time for bonding with one on one time together, excluding the pressures of daily life; that time out is just as important for a parents’ wellbeing. Essentially it makes us better parents. And in being better parents, we are more conscious in our time spent with our kids and are inclined towards making the time with our children fun and engaging. It’s essentially a domino effect and you get to choose how the dominos fall. Take care of yourself and you will be able to take care of your family.   Two very important things to remember these holidays: 1. Recharging your batteries will keep you in charge this holiday. Not just of your kids but yourself, work and of your family’s state of being, which, let’s be honest tends to be in our hands on most days!  2. You don’t have to do it alone: get a Hello Shongololo activity box. The boxes are designed to facilitate time between parent and child in a fun and engaging manner. It’s a win-win if you ask me! 0