There is a time of year in Johannesburg when the Expats return (from sunny family holidays in Europe) and South Africans leave their wintery caves. We come, one and all, blinking into the daylight for Summer braais and increasing social fun leading up to the coastal rush at Christmas. It is my favourite time of year and its just starting now. The bluey purple blossoms of the Jacarandas, the warmer evenings and the newly green grass have become the very image of Spring to me.
One of my favourite things to do in Jo’burg is inviting people over to sit around the braai, eating an eclectic array of food and drinking incredible wine. Pre kids the lunches were long and lazy, not much planning was required and no timelines were at play. Post kids this has changed. It’s a bit harder to sit still.
Q: So how do we get the best out of ‘grown up summer’ and still give our kids the time, attention and fun they deserve?
A: GET MORE NANNIES!!!!
Just joking. Maybe it just needs a bit of prep work…..
Here are 5 ideas I am going to try out and would love to know your ideas……….
1. Water Blob
I saw this on pinterest and couldn’t help but notice how easy it was to put together. So for our first braai of the season I made one, it really is so simple it took me about 20 minutes. I brought 3m of plastic sheeting from Parkhurst Hardware (R50) then used my hair straighteners to seal the edges. I did leave too big a hole to put the hose in, so it did leak a little, but it kept the kids entertained for the whole morning allowing me to cook, and lasted another 2 days. I will certainly do it again.
I had previously tried this - but recently we gave the kids water pistols (full of warm water) to “free” the toys. Great idea, really simple to do, and the inevitable water fight is always fun.
3. Decorating Marie Biscuits
We have decorated donuts, or biscuits - it is a little sugar overload, but again the kids love doing this for their dessert, you could even get chocolate biscuits to make smores to cook on the braai too.
4. Sponge Bombs
This is still on my to do list - I haven’t managed to get to Macro or Westpack to pick up the sponges - but looks a lot of fun, and something we will be doing this summer.
5. Chalk/ Magnetic Board
- Chalk Board Paint, Metal sheet, wooden boarder.
I got this idea from wonderful friend Catherine, its so simple, we got Parkhurst Hardware to make it up for us, but you could easily do it at home.