Pledge a Book Please!

We all know that South Africa has terrible road safety stats. 

The Minister of Transport Mrs Diplou Peters is always saying that children need to learn about road safety.  It’s true. They do. The Minister of Basic Education, Mrs Angie Motshekga is always saying that children must read more. That’s true too – they should.

Here we are… pleasing two ministers with one book!

Sibo Looks Right is a book that contains all the rules of the road, including cycling – in a fun, easy to read manner.

Best of all – you don’t have to take our word for it – you can click on the link and read the book for yourself. Free!

Our plan is to get as many companies and people to pledge books – once we have reached our target of 3000 books (we’d love to get more than this too) we will ask people to honour their pledges and deposit the corresponding amount so that Lets Look Publishers can print these books and we can distribute them to the children.

Science Centres in South Africa have kindly agreed to help with distributing the books.

Here’s the crunch – we’d really like to do this BEFORE Easter!

So we need you to dash off and pledge a book – or two – or as many as you want to.

Challenge other people to pledge books too.

Of course, if you pledge more than 50 books  we can put your name/logo in the back of the book. If you pledge 1000 books – we can put your logo in the front of the book. There are great advertising and marketing aspects to sponsoring books.

If you read Sibo Looks Right you will see that Nash Nissan sponsored a large quantity of money towards our initial crowdfunding campaign and so their logo was featured in the front of the book. If you look on the back cover – there are more logos and names – these are all the lovely people who helped make this book happen in the first place.

Now we need to print more books and get them out to schools and children – FREE.

Let’s make this happen. Please! Pledge now.

A million thanks

Sibo

PS – The Sibo Series is already being read in schools and libraries around the country. In fact, The North West Province Education Department has just ordered more than 500 each of 10 Sibo titles and they are being delivered as we speak!

Start saving… NOW!

Hands up who saves?

I can hear you all saying – don’t be silly you usually have lots of month left over after your money and that there is none left to save. Or that you don’t have enough to live on, let alone save.

It might not be as hard as you think.

Here are some tips on how to start saving.

Write down everything that you spend. Record how much you spend – yes – every single last thing that you spend money on. Use credit card statements, bank statements etc to help you figure out what you do with your money. Once you have all your information – organise it into categories such as: rent, medical, food, clothing, car payments/petrol, entertainment etc.

Make a budget.  Now you know what you are spending, it is much easier to make a budget for all your monthly expenses. Do remember to budget in for things that don’t happen all the time – like getting your car fixed. If you are spending way more than you earn – then it’s time to figure out which are the non-essentials and start to trim them down a bit.

Plan on saving. The aim is to spend less than you earn.  You should try and plan on saving between 10 – 15% of what you earn each month.

Choose something to save for.  This is the fun part – you could be saving for short-term stuff – like having a holiday or a new car. Or things like a computer, cell phone, new handbag or a fancy matric dance dress. Then there is long-term saving – like for your education, your retirement or a deposit for your own home.

Decide on your priorities. No point saving for a holiday if you know you are going to need a new car soon. Of course, you can always save for more than one thing at once – you just have to be even more careful and clever with your money.

Pick the right tools to save.  Do some research and find out which place is going to safely look after your savings and make them grow. Most banks offer automated transfers – this way your money can zoot straight into your savings account at the beginning of each month and you won’t be tempted to skip a month.

Then sit back and watch those savings grow!

Sibo

A lucky girl

Mum and I got home the other day and our little neighbour dashed up to chat to me. She’s such a cute kid and always has funny things to say.

That particular day I noticed that her toe was all smooshed.

“Khanyi” I exclaimed, “Whatever did you do to your toe?”

She shrugged and answered that she had fallen and hurt it. I told her that she should be more careful with her little toes in future – they were not big enough to mess with.

“But I’m always unlucky!” she sighed. “I am forever falling and hurting myself.”

Mum and I looked at each other.

“Noooo…. You can’t say things like that! You have to think of yourself as being a lucky girl. If you think about being unlucky then that just attracts bad luck. Tomorrow you are going to have a good luck day. No more bad luck!”

But she just shrugged and said… “I’ll try – but I’ll probably have another bad luck day.”

We went inside and I felt sad that she is so little and yet she already has such a negative attitude.

Dad is always telling us about the law of attraction. Our minds are the most powerful things that we have. If we decide that we are going to have a good day – then we probably will.

But you, yourself, really have to believe this one hundred percent.

You can’t think in wishy-washy terms. You have to tell yourself that you are going to have a good day. Then you have to envision having a good day. The power of thought!

Of course, in my case it’s pretty simple. I envision eating a nice cold ice-cream at school. Then I take some of my pocket money to school and buy one. It’s a simple as that. The ice-cream man is there, the weather is good for eating ice-cream and I don’t lose my money. Everything works.

Or I see my maths paper in my mind’s eye with a nice big A+ on it. Or course I know that I’d put in a lot of work beforehand and could reasonably expect an A+.

Nothing worth having ever comes free or easy. We probably would not appreciate it if it did.

And on the odd occasions when you do fail, you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself down and try again.

Hope you all have a simply fabulous day! (Go on – imagine yourself having a fabulous day.)

Sibo

Letters… and not the alphabet ones either!

Sibo gets a letter

When last did you get a letter? A real letter! Not a window envelope from the bank or an bill that needs to be paid.

Unless you received some Christmas cards in the post, I bet you can’t even begin to remember.

The art of letter writing has gotten lost in this modern day society. Very few people write letters these days. Email is so much quicker and easier. More environmentally friendly too I suppose.

Kids don’t even write notes to each other and pass them under the desk anymore because they rather WhatsApp each other or use some other form of social media.

People would get love letters. They were things that you could read and re-read even when they got so crumpled that you could hardly read the writing anymore and the paper was falling to pieces. My gran still has letters that my grandpa wrote her a million years ago.

Of course, once you write something you can’t take it back. No matter how badly you want to. Although that still applies today – if you write a message on your cell phone or on some other social medial – you cannot take it back. Sure, you can delete things, but once you have read something – you cannot un-read it… so be nice with your words people!

Most people claim that the Post Office does not work very well anymore – but honestly – that isn’t exactly true. They do actually get pieces of post from A to B. My friend Ginny uses the Post Office all the time. Last year she posted her mum a birthday card – from Pretoria to Cape Town – regular mail. It was a really fancy one that she had specially made and was quite thick. She wondered if maybe somebody might think there was something interesting inside the envelope and if it would reach its destination or not.

But guess what. It did. Just a few days after she posted it too!

Sometimes it is a bit frustrating to stand in line at the Post Office to buy stamps (and then find that they don’t have any) but they will always be able to put a sticker with the right amount on your envelope if you have the letter with you.

Go on people – write a letter to somebody. I can guarantee that you will make their day!

Sibo

Breakfast is Important

Hope you all have survived the first week of school.

I was so tired the second morning that I almost did not make it to breakfast. Sadly my mum nagged me so much that I did not have a choice.

Sibo! She said. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Whaaatttt?  I am not even hungry yet at breakfast time. I have done nothing but sleep all night.

You’ve been fasting all night, she said. That’s where the name comes from – “Break Fast”. You must eat to have energy to manage for the rest of the day.

I yawned and staggered off to the breakfast table.

Okay – I’ll just have a piece of toast.

No ways – she smiled at me. You will have cereal, egg on toast and a piece of fruit!

I glared at her and she wagged her finger at me. No attitude from you missy! Eat your food.

Research shows that you can remember things better when you eat a decent breakfast. This is because the food restores glucose levels, an essential carbohydrate that is needed for our brains to function. I suppose that this is important so that we can remember what we learn at school.

Also – they say that if you eat breakfast as your biggest meal of the day – you are more likely to lose weight. Probably because then you are not always hungry and snacking on junk food all the time instead of eating a proper meal.

Not only does my mum make me eat breakfast, but she also makes me eat it at the table. Sitting properly too, not slouched all over the place. I’m not even allowed to have my elbows on the table to prop my head up.

She and Dad sit and eat breakfast with me.  Dad tried reading his newspaper once and Mum gave him a very evil eye. No ways – she said. This is family chat time.

She’s always very chirpy in the mornings. Dad tends to answer with just one word. I don’t really think he’s such a morning person.

Must admit though – I do feel a bit more sprightly after eating breakfast – maybe it’s not such a bad idea after all. And remember how good eggs are for you – we’ve talked about that before.

Take time to eat and enjoy your breakfast people!

SiboSibo and eggs

Happy 2017!

Hullo again – I hope that 2017 has been kind to everybody so far and that your holiday season was great!

It’s hard to believe that the year is already 10 days old!  Also that the school holidays have whizzed by and a new term has begun.

Time to move into a higher grade and learn many new and exciting things!

Feh… also time to get up early in the morning again – no more sleeping in.

But I always love going back to school and seeing my old friends.

Or maybe even meeting new friends!

Remember people – be nice to new kids in your class. It’s horrible being the new boy or girl in a place where everybody knows each other. You feel really lonely and left out. Last year we wrote about having a “Friendship Bench” – it really is a good idea.

I started thinking about dates… you know how sometimes you read something about Happy World Wetlands Day on the 2nd of February. Or maybe hear something about celebrating World Radio Day on the 13th of February.

I wondered who on earth decides on these dates?

So I did a bit of research and found out that the United Nations has a website that lists all of the dates that have been declared International/World such and such a day.

There are lots and lots of them. Many of them are rather dreary – to kids anyway. But then again, some are very interesting.

My friend Ginny decided to make a 2017 Sibo calendar and include all the interesting dates.

It turned out to be way too cool to hog to ourselves and we’ve loaded it onto  the website so that we can share it with you!

It’s a .pdf file and it’s actually A3 size because it’s full of lots of stuff!  Don’t worry – it does have the real public holidays on it as well.

You are welcome to download it – if you don’t have a printer at home – put it onto a memory stick and take it to your local Postnet or other printing place. (It will probably cost you around R20 to have it printed.)

The first person to post on my Facebook page what the 15th of May is – wins a Sibo book of their choice!

Have a fabulous 2017 people. Let us all make this year count!

Sibo

It’s a wrap

Well! This year took forever to get finished.

That’s what I think – but my mum says it whooshed passed so fast that her head is reeling and she cannot believe it is finished already. She’s muttering ridiculous things like she wishes she could cancel Christmas. Did you ever?

I’ve heard that the older you get the faster time goes. Seems silly to me – it should go fast when you are young and impatient and then slow down a bit when you have less time left.

I’ve started making some of my Christmas pressies – sneakily – because I don’t want Mum and Dad to see what I’m making them.

Then I started thinking about gift wrapping.

Sjoe! Wrapping paper is rather expensive when you don’t have lots of money. Seems a huge waste to spend money on something that is just going to get ripped off and thrown away – or hopefully – recycled.

Decided I’m going to get creative with wrapping paper too.

If it’s a small gift you can use a pretty picture from a magazine. You better check with your parentals first before you start chopping up a magazine.

You can also use newspaper – the comic sections are very cool. Spice it up with paint, glitter or interesting stuff from the garden.  Use your imagination and get creative. You can also wrap up a very small present in a lot of newspaper (a bit like pass the parcel) and have fun watching the person unwrap it.

One of my friends has a nice system going. She wraps up a present for her sister in a pretty piece of material – it started out as a scarf but then it got too tatty to wear.  Then her sister wraps up my friend’s present the next year in the same material. They have used the same material for birthdays and Christmas for years, but they would always wrap it up differently and add interesting touches. I thought that was an awesome idea.

Of course you could also use old cereal boxes or other containers that would usually get thrown away or recycled. The inside of a toilet roll also makes a brilliant container – you can make the present look like a cracker!

Don’t forget to recycle or reuse all the wrappings once the presents have been opened.

Have a fabulous festive season everybody!

See you in 2017!

Sibo

Habit Making

Was reading something really interesting the other day… about turning something into a habit.

A good thing – like playing an instrument or exercising or learning something new. To do this you have to do it every single day for 66 days – and then it becomes a habit.

Sounds like an incredibly long time to have to do something – but actually it’s really only two months. And it’s not like you have to do it all day every day either.

This is what he suggested.

Make a calendar – a real one on some paper – draw 66 blocks and number each block.

Schedule a time each day to do your stuff – say from 2.30 in the afternoon to 3pm. You can plan for whenever it suits you and for as long or as short as you like.

Each day, when you have worked on your project for the allocated amount of time, you put a nice big X in the appropriate block. After a while, when you see all those X’s you start feeling even more motivated.

I’ve decided that I am going to try this system. I want to learn to code.

Code? I hear you say… What’s that?  Can kids really code?

YES! Kids can code. All over the world, children are learning to code.

All those computer games that get played and the animations that you watch on the computer are done using coding.

Coding is the language that gets used to instruct things to do something on the computer.

A simple example… you want a cartoon of a dog to move forward to the middle of the screen, hop up and down and bark. There’s a sequence of instructions that need to be attached to that particular picture to make it do this. This is called coding.

Years ago it used to be rather hard to do this and you needed to have the right aptitude and mind-set to be able to code. Nowadays things are simpler.

There is a program called “Scratch” (developed by MIT Media Lab) which makes it really easy. It’s called “visual programming” and once you’ve got the hang of how it works – it’s fun galore!

Best of all – it’s FREE. People all over the world are using it, so you can interact with them and get help if you need it.

Here’s the website address – https://scratch.met.edu

Go crack some coding!

Sibo

Make Plans Please

sibo-and-zona-2

We are going away for the festive season – to Flatwater Stills – so its yukky old malaria pills time again. Mum insists we take them – and we do – because malaria is very nasty and we don’t want to get it. Luckily there are only a few places in South Africa where those particular mozzies hang out. Sadly, our relatives stay in one of those places.

I wanted to take our dog Zona with us on holiday but mum said no. She was not having that hairy mutt slobbering and panting in her car for hours and hours.

Dad was more realistic and pointed out that our family has plenty of dogs of their own, there are not many fences and so it would not be safe to take Zona with us.

Mum said that we could get old Mr Whatsit next door to come and feed Zona whilst we were away.

There was a bit of an argument – Dad said that it was a bit risky to ask an elderly neighbour to look after our dog for five whole days. What happened if he forgot or if he got sick or something.

He said he would rather book Zona into the kennels for those days and then we would know for sure that she was being looked after. Plus she would not be lonely either because there are people around and there are other dogs to bark at.

That started me thinking… Mum usually invites Mr Whatsit to our house for Christmas dinner because he lives on his own and his family – if he has any – is not around.

I looked at Mum. Shame, poor Mr Whatsit! He’ll be really lonely too.

Mum agreed and said she’d talk to some of the other aunties in the street and see who would love to have him join their family for Christmas lunch or dinner this year. She’d organise it before we left to go on holiday.

It’s so sad when people get old and nobody looks after them or comes to visit. Must be very lonely just sitting by yourself all day with only the television for company.

Sometimes I have to do errands for him. He’s a bit grumpy but mum says I should not let that put me off – he’s actually quite a sweetie at heart.

Remember to make a plan with your animals if you are going away please!

Sibo

Christmas is Coming.

Sibo cutie face

Eish! Seems like this year went very fast – to me, anyway.

The other day mum and I went to the mall and guess what… the shops are all full of Christmassy stuff. There are crackers, Christmas lights and the toy isles are starting to look very interesting. I got all excited but mum sighed and said that each year the shops get their Christmas stuff in earlier and earlier and by the time Christmas actually arrived you were so sick of Jingle Bells you could hooch.

I thought she was completely crazy but decided not to say a word.

When we got home I rattled my piggy bank and was a tad concerned to see that it is not very jingly. In fact it is downright empty.

I made a deal with mum. She will pay me for extra chores – things like vacuuming and doing different odd jobs obviously – not my usual tasks like washing dishes, picking up my dog’s pooh and stuff like that.

Dad says if I help in the garden, he’ll pay me too.

Even so, I don’t think I am going to have enough money to buy cool Christmas presents for everybody. I am going to have to get crafty…

Very crafty!

Ultra crafty in fact. I am going to have to make my presents this year. Good job I realised now already because it gives me enough time to get things done.

I’m planning on making some stuff out of Paper Mache. I know we’ve done this before – but really – it remains one of the easiest and yet nicest ways of making awesome things using recycled plastic stuff like yogurt containers and old newspapers or magazines.  You can transform simple junk into lovely useful pencil holders, boxes or mobiles – just by using a bit of imagination.

You can use wallpaper glue or you can make your own glue using water and flour. It’s not hard and it does not cost much.  Once you’ve finished sticking on several layers (remember to let them dry in-between) you can paint your article to make it look really nice.

The other day a friend of mine made a cool hat stand using a balloon and the top of a coke bottle. Then she painted a face on it. I bet you could use something like that for necklaces or scarves as well.

If you need help with your Paper Mache – check out my website – www.sibo.co.za

Get busy!

Sibo.