Exploring the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

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The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre is an extraordinary, all-weather family destination situated in the vibrant and safe precinct of Newtown, Johannesburg.
With more than 350 interactive maths, science and technology exhibits it is the largest and most visited science centre in Southern Africa. In addition to the hundreds of exhibits it also offers a wide range of leisure and educational activities and events.

Koko recently finished building a clay scale model of the solar system and to finish off the astonomy theme science lessons, we took our group to Sci-Bono Discovery Centre.
The kids loved it. There are so many interactive exhibitions that the kidlets were a little overwhelmed. We did, however, have a guided tour and our tour guide was wonderful with the children.

The kidlets loved the Microsoft exhibition. Koko played on the Kinect and the girls alternated between the laptops and the tablets.
Our favourite interactive exhibition, by far, was the Mind Ball game.
Koko couldn’t relax enough and eventually got frustrated sitting there watching the ball roll towards him. We could see immediately when he started over thinking and eventually lost. He wanted to go again, but there just wasn’t time.
Fifi and Daniel drew a tie (they hit the time limit). Daniel was amazing, I’ve never seen such focus from a 7 year old in my entire life! Watching his brainwaves on the monitor fascinated me. Fifi was concentrating so hard, she stopped breathing and went red in the face! Silly girl. These two monsters had us all in awe with their determination to win. They were thrilled that they had tied!

Mindball is a two-person game controlled by players’ brain waves in which players compete to control a ball’s movement across a table by becoming more relaxed and focused. Mindball is produced by the Swedish Company Interactive Productline. The concept, introduced in 2003, originates from the prototype Brainball which was developed by Smart Studio at The Interactive Institute, also in Sweden.

We were treated by a science experiement show by the Sci-Bono resident scientist. The kids loved watching things explode, change colour and expand. Watching these little faces in awe of what you can do with “simple” ingredients had me worried we might have explosions going off of home, LOL, but they were expressly told that they were not to try any of these at home. Thankfully Koko is a very careful child, so I don’t have to worry about that and Fifi and Pixie weren’t that interested until he made a helium balloon explode!
Once our group left, we spent a further 2 hours just exploring the centre and all the exhibitions. Even with 4 huge school buses arriving full of school children, we had plenty of space to explore and didn’t have to wait for turns at the exhibitions.

All in all, we highly recommend this facility. Its educational AND loads of fun!


The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Southern Africa’s largest science centre, is affiliated to the Gauteng Department of Education to support maths, science and technology education and to help build to South Africa’s science, engineering and technology capacity. Sci-Bono is responsible for implementing the Gauteng Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Strategy.

Sci-Bono started as a partnership project of the Gauteng Department of Education and various private sector partners. Located in the historic Electric Workshop in the cultural precinct of Newtown, Johannesburg, Sci-Bono annually receives hundreds of thousands of visitors to its a large collection of interactive science and technology exhibits and exhibitions. Sci-Bono also offers a broad programme of science and technology related events, activities and programmes for both the general public and the school community. Sci-Bono is now one of the most popular leisure and educational destinations in Gauteng.

Sci-Bono is a Non-Profit Company funded by its principal, the Gauteng Department of Education, It also benefits from grants and donations from donors in the broader public and private sector. Sci-Bono is also supported by various scientific and engineering bodies in industry and by the diplomatic community in South Africa.

To rent a car with Around About Cars and explore this incredible region of South Africa click here: Car Rental South Africa




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Letters to Santa are Old School

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Daisypath Christmas tickers

letters to santa
With Christmas fast approaching, Koko has asked when they are going to write their letters to Santa. Fifi said she would much rather send an email to him with her online wishlist. I was flabbergasted! I couldn’t believe that my little 7 year old daughter is tech savvy enough to know what an online wishlist is, for starters and that she’d rather write an email, than a letter via snail mail.
Letters to Santa
This little conversation between siblings got me thinking. Where would one send an email to Santa? Is that even a thing?
Letters to Santa
Well OF COURSE it is! Here are a few places I have found online:

1. Clause.com
Letters to Santa
This site has a form you can fill out to send an email to Santa. It is cute and simple to use.

2. EmailSanta.com
Letters to Santa
This site not only includes a form to email Santa, but also access to the Naughty or Nice list, Christmas Countdown, Joke of the Day, Toy bag of Fun, Present counter and you can view live streaming of emails received by Santa from all over the world!

3. SantaClaus.com
Letters to Santa
If your child is old enough to write their own email from scratch, this is the site for you. This site also has an option to receive a call from the Big Guy himself.

4. Elf HQ
Letters to Santa

Santa gets millions of letters, cards, texts, faxes and emails. Thank you for choosing to send him a message through ElfHQ.com — that gets your message straight through the North Pole Post Office immediately and right into Santa’s hands as soon as possible.

Please understand though that Santa does not have time to respond to all the mail he receives. But he does read it ALL.

5. Letters to Santa
Letters to Santa
Send letters to Santa and receive an instant reply. No email address or home address needed.

6. Portable North Pole
Letters to Santa
Santa’s free video is coming later in the season!




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Musings of a Dance Momma ~ Acrobatics Festival [Part 2]

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musings of a dance momma
Acrobatics Festival

Acrobatics Festival

Acrobatics Festival
With the Acrobatics Festival in full swing over the course of October, Fifi finally had the opportunity to perform her group dance, Bare Necessities and the girls did EXTREMELY well.
Acrobatics Festival

Acrobatics Festival
They got an A+ and a HUGE trophy. We could, unfortunately, not be at the Adjudication.
Acrobatics Festival
These girls have been working really hard all year and their hard work panned out beautifully today. Their lifts were near perfect and they had the audience in awe. It was a sight to see. I’m thrilled and amazed at how far Fifi has come in the last year and I couldn’t be happier that she is doing so well.
Acrobatics Festival
Acrobatics Festival
Acrobatics FestivalAcrobatics FestivalAcrobatics Festival
A HUGE thank you to Jackie McGinn from J&C Dance Creations for all the countless hours you have put into our girls and for helping them work towards their full potential.




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Musings of a Dance Momma ~ Roodepoort Dance Festival [Part 2]

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Roodepoort Dance Festival
Roodepoort Dance Festival

Fifi danced her first solo at the Roodepoort Dance Festival last week and BOY am I proud! Last year she did a class dance at the Gauteng Dance Festival on a school stage, THIS year she got to dance, alone, on a HUGE theatre stage.

Roodepoort Dance Festival

Fifi and her friends backstage awaiting the big moment!

I was a nervous wreck! She was a nervous wreck! Her dance teacher was amazing and settled her down beautifully. The teachers have been so supportive and have brought the best out of all our girls.
Roodepoort Dance Festival
Once she was on stage and saw me (I sat very close to the front) I saw her visibly relax. She danced beautifully. I’m pretty sure I burst with pride as she was dancing her heart out and thoroughly enjoying herself on stage.
Roodepoort Dance Festival
I’m always amazing at how this little introvert just blossoms on stage. She is a meek and mild little girl in public and a force to be reckoned with on stage.
Roodepoort Dance Festival
I am so proud of this blossoming little dancer. She loves it and has decided to start Contemporary Dancing next year. I am so glad that she has found her passion. I see many, many, dance competitions and recitals in our future!
Roodepoort Dance Festival
Fifi has worked really hard on this dance the whole year and her dedication has paid off. She took a second place and I am thrilled with her performance.
Roodepoort Dance Festival
She danced to the song, Try, by Patrick Brasca featuring Jay Chou, from Kung Fu Panda 3. She initially wanted a tiger print costume, but we realised that it wouldn’t work on stage and she ended up choosing these gorgeous fabrics for her costume. I love the colours and she just sparkled under the lights.
Roodepoort Dance Festival
She dances Try again at the Gauteng Festival, I’m looking forward to her performance.
Roodepoort Dance FestivalRoodepoort Dance FestivalRoodepoort Dance Festival



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Musings of a Dance Momma ~ Roodepoort Dance Festival [Part 1]

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Roodepoort Dance Festival

Roodepoort Dance Festival

We are slap bang in the middle of Modern Dance Festivals and Fifi is doing exceptionally well. I am so proud of her. Her 2 groups took first place at the Roodepoort Dance Festival last week and her first ever solo took a second.

We are thrilled with the results again this year. Her groups danced in 2 age group sections, Under 8 AND Under 10. Fifi is 7,5 years old.

When She Loved Me was danced in the 8 and Under section and brought most of the audience to tears. It was SO beautifully danced. The girls had their expressions perfect for the sad music and told the story beautifully. The Adjudicators clearly loved this performance just as much as the audience. I was so glad that I’d thought to put a pack of tissues in my bag, they came in handy for all the momma’s watching their beautiful little girls interpreting this song.
Roodepoort Dance Festival

Anxiously awaiting for their turn on stage.

Roodepoort Dance Festival
Roodepoort Dance Festival

Guess who spotted Momma in the audience?

Roodepoort Dance Festival

The Adjudicator’s comments on the report. We couldn’t be more proud of this beautifully talented group of little girls.

Funky Town was their second group dance and fell under the Under 10 section. They won their section with this dance last year as well. They dance groups 2 years in a row, with technical changes added to the dance the following year. This is the last year they are dancing Funky Town. This dance always gets the audience’s attention and everyone loves this dance! I’m sad to see this dance go. The girls love that they are, so far, unbeaten at Roodepoort in their groups.
Roodepoort Dance Festival

Hamming it up for the camera backstage. These girls are old pros and LOVE performing this dance.

Roodepoort Dance Festival

She really does enjoy this dance. “It’s so much fun, Momma!”

Roodepoort Dance Festival

I love watching her on stage

Roodepoort Dance Festival

The finish, all these gorgeously talented girls deserved this win, hands down!

Tomorrow she does her first group dance, Funky Town, at the Gauteng Dance Festival. This is also the first Festival Pixie will be dancing in!!! *EEEEEK*




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Freebie Friday: Owl Resources

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freebie friday 2015

Owl Resources

If you have been reading my blog for a while or follow my Instagram page, you’ll know I have a “slight” love, ok so its really an obsession, for Owls (barn owls are my absolute favourite) and Mugs (not in any particular order). Pixie recently asked for “owl school” and I have shared those printables with you. Here are a few more owl freebies I have been collecting.

Owl Math Freebie from Paula’s Preschool and Kindergarten
Addition, subtraction, and ordering by size are all fun with this Owl Math Freebie! Students will solve addition or subtraction problems and then color by number, and will cut and paste owl lengths from shortest to longest. Simply print and go to add some owl themed fun to your math class!

Owl Theme Class Jobs Freebie from Fancy Free in 4th
Perfect for Back to School in the Owl Themed Classroom! Here is a list of a few classroom jobs and I have provided 2 blank ones for you to add any other job specific to your class.

Teacher Appreciation Free Printables & Gift Idea from Living Locurto
It’s hard to believe that school is almost out for the summer! For an easy Teacher Appreciation gift, you’ll love these adorable free printable owl teacher gift tags and card by Angeli! She always comes up with the cutest illustrations and free printables for us.

School’s a Hoot! from Delightful Designs
Owl Printables for Back To School

FREE Owl Circle Label Templates – Editable from FlapJack Educational Resources
It contains six blank templates that can be edited in PowerPoint to organize your classroom in so many ways – transportation, lunch choice, work stations/centers, etc.

Colorful Owls in Pretty Tree Clip Art Image from My Cute Graphics

Owl Babies from Homeschool Share
Author: Martin Waddell
Illustrator: Patrick Benson
ISBN: 0763617105
Level 1 unit and video by Robin Diedrichs

Owl Prowl Kindergarten Kit from Homeschool Share
created by Ami

{FREEBIE} “Owl” About Numbers! Math Work Page from Class of Kinders

Owl Week (with freebies!) from Highland Heritage Homeschool
Various owl printable freebies

Owl Opposites Flashcards ~ Free Printable from 1+1+1=1
There are 16 different flashcards in this set…

Owl, Owl, 1 2 3 Freebie (Numbers 1-10) from Clearly Primary by Jill Bell
This is a set of 2 math centers that focus on the Numbers 1-10. The owl theme makes them great for Fall or anytime!

Concepts covered:
Ordering numerals 1-10.
Reading and printing number words 1-10.

Each center includes print & laminate cards, a recording sheet, and student directions.

Printable Valentine Activity pack from My Owl Barn
You can download the Valentine Activity Pack for kids with total of 56 pages of fun! There are math activities, coloring pages, printable valentine cards, writing activities, crafts, a banner and so much more.

10 FREE Owl Crochet Patterns from The Steady Hand
1. Jip the owl by Tessa van Riet
2. Owls Two Ways (crochet) by Ana Clerc
3. Owlie Friend Pattern by Sam the SAHM
4. Wendy the Owl by Divine Debris
5. Huggable Owl Pillow by Yarnspirations
6. No longer available
7. Mr. Hoo by Carey Huffman
8. Sleepy Owl iPad Crochet Bag by Paper, Needles and Sweets
9. The Original Not ANOTHER Owl Hat! by Oombawka Design
10. Hooty Owl Coasters by Sally Mae

Halloween Printable Owl Masks from My Owl Barn
These Halloween masks are perfect to wear with your owl themed costume. There is barred owl and barn owl to choose from. All you’ll need to do is download the one you want, print and add some string.

Owl Letter Match Freebie for Preschool and Early Childhood from Jennifer Hier – Early Learning Ideas
Owls ABC and fall fun for your preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten class! A great way to introduce letters at the beginning of the year.

Students will practice letter recognition and will have an opportunity to explore phonemic awareness as they play this cute letter match game. Children match the baby owl letter cards to the letters on their game board. The set includes 4 game boards and a complete set of lowercase baby owl letter cards

This owl activity is perfect for your preschool, pre-k, SPED, and kindergarten classrooms.




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