Friday, 21 February 2020

Upcoming March/April Holiday Camps

The March/April school holidays are coming up soon. If you're wondering what to do with your kids, there is still time to book their stay at the best children's paradise in South Africa. We have four unique and exciting themes for each of our upcoming holiday camps. Places are limited and filling up quickly, so call us now to reserve a spot.

This week will be all about deciphering codes to unlock doors that lead to epic adventures. On the final day, campers will have to follow the clues to find a key which will allow them to escape from Sugar Bay (with counselor supervision, of course), to have a braai at the beach.
Highlights:
  • Laser tag excursion
  • Formal Vegas party night
  • Escape from Sugar Bay


Santa's Vacation Week: 12th - 19th April



When Santa is away, the elves will come to Sugar Bay to play! This will be a very festive and jolly week at camp. There will be crafts to make, toys to test and presents to unwrap. 

Highlights:
  • R100 tuck shop voucer for the camper who can guess where Santa went on vacation
  • 7-day Sugar Bay advent calendar with a special present for 7 lucky campers
  • Excursion to an ice skating rink


We're off to see the wizard - the wonderful wizard of Oz.

Highlights:

Our campers are in for a treat this week. They should bring their competitive spirit and a sweet tooth with them to camp.

Highlights:
  • Excursion to a trampoline park



For prices, click here. If you have any questions about our holiday camps, please call us on 032 485 3778 / +27 82 525 9503 or send an email to holidays@sugarbay.co.za.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

How to Tie Dye Your Clothes Using Acrylic Paint




This trend from the 1960s has made a comeback! Tie dying your clothes is a fun way to add colour to your wardrobe. Celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Harry Styles and Willow Smith have all been spotted rocking the tie dye fashion trend.

What you need:
  • Acrylic paint in various colours of your choice
  • Plastic bottles with spouts for each colour of paint (This is a good opportunity to recycle disposable water bottles or empty sauce bottles.)
  • Warm water and cold water
  • White t-shirt or material you want to tie dye
  • Rubber bands





Method:


Mixing the paint can get quite messy, so it is best to do it outdoors on the grass. Pour a different colour of paint into each plastic bottle. You only need to fill about one eighth of the bottle with paint. 




Fill each bottle half way, with warm water. Put the lids on tightly and shake well. This step is very important if you are using acrylic paint. If it doesn't mix properly, the paint may become dry and crusty. Add cold water to fill up all the bottles and shake well again.



There are many different patterns that you can make with tie dye. For the bullseye effect, pinch the t-shirt or material in the place you want the centre to be and pull up to make a tube shape. Wrap a rubber band tightly around the pinched fabric. Wrap a few more rubber bands around the fabric leaving gaps in between each rubber band. You can use as many or as little rubber bands as you like. Each section will represent a different colour. You can also choose how much space to leave between each rubber band.



Take one of your bottles of diluted paint and squeeze the paint onto the first section of fabric. Take another colour and squeeze the paint onto the second section. It is up to you which colours to use; be as creative as you like. If you don't want any white spaces on your final product, make sure to add enough paint to cover the fabric completely.






Take the rubber bands off and leave the fabric to dry in the sun for a few hours.




If you do everything outdoors, the clean up will be super easy. Just use a bucket of water or a hose pipe to wash away any paint splatters on the grass. 


You can also use food colouring instead of acrylic paint. For every 250ml of water, add about 16 drops of food colouring. If you want lighter colours, only use about 8 drops per 250ml of water.      
                                                                                                      
                                                         
 







How Sugar Bay Camp is Completely Different


The word “camp” may conjure up memories of slurry porridge and compulsory exercise, but fortunately there is one camp in South Africa that will have your kids remembering the complete opposite.



In addition to their delicious dining experience, Sugar Bay Kids Camp is also unique in the following seven ways:



1. Activities are not compulsory

Sugar Bay offers over 100 activities, none of which are compulsory. This means that your children are free to choose what they would enjoy every day. Sugar Bay has all the usual camp activities like ropes obstacle courses, paintball, arts & crafts, BMXing, and kayaking, but they also have activities that are not found at most camps like water slides and a 4-station bungee trampoline.



2. This camp has a beach!

One of the best perks about Sugar Bay is that it has private access to the lagoon and beach. If you live inland and your children seldom have the opportunity to see the ocean, they will love being at Sugar Bay. Free-choice of activities means that they could spend the whole day at the beach if they wanted to, learning how to surf, kayak, stand up paddle board or build sand sculptures.



3. Each child receives individual attention

Although, Sugar Bay can accommodate up to 210 campers at a time, the company is committed to giving each child individual attention. To do this, the camp strictly upholds a 1:3 staff to child ratio to ensure that each child is properly supervised and their needs attended to.



4. Kids from all over the world attend

Your child will make friends from all over the world, because Sugar Bay is an international holiday camp. Children from France, England, America, Mozambique (and more) attend the holiday camps at Sugar Bay. The camp also caters for a broad age group (7 – 17 years old). When children turn 17, they can enrol in a Camper In Training course to become camp counselors.

5. Safety is their most important priority
If you are apprehensive about sending your children to camp, you can rest easy knowing that at Sugar Bay, they will be supervised 24/7. All supervising staff are trained in Emergency First Response and basic child psychology; and all water activities are supervised by qualified lifeguards. There is also an electric fence surrounding the property, CCTV cameras and patrolling night watchmen. The camp also has a zero tolerance policy towards bullying.



6. No cellphones allowed

Children may feel a little apprehensive about giving up their cellphones for a week. However, when they experience the benefits of reconnecting with the real world, they will gladly give up their phones again to spend another week at Sugar Bay. Unplugging from technology is especially important for children and has many benefits. It can improve communication skills, sleeping habits and general quality of life. You will still be able to contact your child by phoning the camp directly.



7. American-style

Sugar Bay is the only American-style children’s camp in South Africa. If you have ever seen an American movie about a summer camp (typically in a woody area with kayaking and camp fires) Sugar Bay is a lot like that.  However, unlike American camps which only run during summer, Sugar Bay hosts 5, 6 and 7-day holiday camps during all the school holidays. They are also open throughout the year for school tours. The other difference is that, while pulling pranks on other children is common in American camps (think of "The Parent Trap"), at Sugar Bay, only the staff members (known as camp counselors) are allowed to be pranked. This contributes to the safe and inclusive ethos.
 

As a parent, you want the best for your children. Experts in child development agree that a camp experience can help children mature socially, emotionally and morally. In her article, “What’s So Great about Summer Camp?”, Dr Hartwell-Walker, licensed psychologist specialising in parent education, says that a “camp can open a whole new world of friendship, interests, skills and independence for your child.” She goes on to say, “When a camp program is well-conceived and well-executed, your child will come home with an expanded sense of self and enhanced self-esteem.”



Sugar Bay is one such camp. Plus, your kids will enjoy the camp food so much that you’ll be phoning for their recipes.



For more information or to book a camp, please call Sugar Bay on 032 485 3778. Alternatively you can send an email to holidays@sugarbay.co.za or check out their website. The camp is located in Zinkwazi Beach, KwaZulu Natal – but they do offer transport from Sandton and King Shaka International Airport.

8 Signs of Great Parenting




Your child’s behaviour is not an accurate measure of your parenting skills. The best indication of great parenting is your behaviour as a parent.



A well-behaved child may have overbearing parents. All children will, at times, test limits to try and get a reaction out of adults. This is normal for kids of all ages and is not a sign of bad parenting.



Aiming to be a perfect parent can cause you anxiety and can actually have a negative impact on your kids. A great parent simply tries their best to help their children become happy, healthy and independent adults.



Whether you have a toddler, a tween or a teenager, here are eight signs that you’re doing a good job:





1. You love your children unconditionally.
Even if your child sometimes tests your patience, the point of being their parent is to help them grow. Everything that you teach your child should come from a place of love. Children need affection. Show your kids that you love them with smiles and hugs. While love is not enough to be a good parent, it is a vital part of raising happy and emotionally healthy children.



2. You make time to have fun with your kids.
When it comes to spending time with your children, quality is better than quantity. You don’t have to be with them every second of the day, however, when you are with your kids, try to make the most of it. Don’t let your phone distract you. Play board games, tie dye your shirts, teach them a fun new skill, or have a conversation during dinner. Be creative; don’t use technology as a cure for their boredom.


3. You encourage your children to play outdoors.
Allowing your children to play outdoors by themselves is not as safe as it used to be. Gone are the days when parents could say, “Have fun playing in the neighbourhood. Be home before supper.” However, it is important for children’s health that they have at least one hour of physical activity every day. Adults need exercise too, so why not go outdoors with your kids? Try doing some of the things you used to do in your youth, like going for a walk, playing soccer, cycling or playing French cricket. You will have fun and so will your children!




4. You set rules and boundaries.
All children need to know what they should and should not do. Be consistent and have appropriate consequences. If your child is opening up to you about something they did that they know was wrong, or that you disapprove of, try not to react in anger. You want your child to feel comfortable enough to tell you anything. Remember that discipline is not an outlet for your frustration; it is a tool to help children learn how to make better choices.


5. You give your children responsibilities.
Giving children an age-appropriate chore will give them independence and a sense of responsibility. A chore can be feeding the dog, cleaning their room, setting the dinner table or even packing their bag. Don’t do things for them that they can do themselves. It may take some time for them to get it right, but they will learn from their mistakes.



6. You provide nutritious food for your kids.
I don’t think any child has a perfectly balanced diet. It’s okay if it’s not all veggies and proteins, but try to limit junk food and sweets. You are in charge; say no. Good nutrition has a major impact on your child’s development.


7. You try to make sure your children get adequate sleep.
The Sleep Council spoke to Vicki Dawson of The Children’s Sleep Charity who said, “Sleep is so important in order to ensure that children can meet their full potential in every aspect of their lives. It can be helpful to have an awareness of roughly how much sleep a child needs but we do need to consider that all children are individuals. A good bedtime is really helpful in order to plan the evening routine and fit in quality family time.”


8. You give your kids opportunities for social interaction.

Everyone needs friends. For children, friendships are essential for their social and emotional well-being. Set up play dates and help your child meet other kids who have similar interests. If your child is shy, help them break the ice when making new friends. Most importantly, teach your children to treat everybody with kindness and respect.
Do you agree with these eight points? Let us know which characteristics you believe a great parent has.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

How to Survive Your Child’s First Sleepover Camp

You will find many online tips to help children manage homesickness, but parents often experience separation anxiety as much as their kids.

You may have already imagined your child’s first sleepover camp, and everything you could get done. A week or two without your child may sound like a dream come true. However, when you finally get the solitude you have been craving, the house seems dreadfully empty and too quiet.

You may find that the only thing refreshing in their absence is the camp’s website, as you frantically search for the latest photo of your child. That looks like my baby’s knee in the background. Does her knee look happy? Is that a new graze or an old scab? Does her knee miss me? You may continuously read a ten-word letter from your child, over-analysing every word. The good news is that it gets easier every time they go to camp.

Here are 4 ways to overcome the void when your child is away from home:


1. Use this time productively.

See it as an opportunity to give more attention to the people or tasks you have been neglecting. Go on a date with your significant other. Spend quality time with your younger children. Finish that DIY project you’ve been postponing.



2. Trust the camp you chose.

Research the best holiday camp for your child. Read reviews and articles, like this one. Once you have made an informed decision, rest assured that they will do their best to ensure your child’s safety and happiness.


3. Focus on the benefits.

Remind yourself of how valuable this experience will be for your child. They will make new friends and learn how to become their own person. If you choose a tech-free camp, your child will have a break from social media, which will do wonders for their communication skills and creativity.


4. Keep in touch.

Fight off the urge to ask to speak to your child. Most children will feel homesick if they hear their parent’s voice. Write emails to your child. Ask them questions about the camp, the food they’ve eaten, the activities they’ve enjoyed and about the new friends they’ve made. For their sake, don’t say anything negative. This includes telling them how much you miss them, or asking if they miss you. Remember that your child is likely to be very busy having fun. Don’t feel disheartened if you receive no response, or if their response is very brief. If you are still worried, you can call the camp and ask them how your child is doing.

You pay a lot of money for your child to go to a sleepover camp - try to enjoy the time alone while it lasts. Before you know it, your child will be back at home with a bag full of dirty laundry, complaining about missing the camp food and pestering you with every detail about the camp for days on end.