Thanda Kids Workshop | Child Minders

How many of us have had to or still have to make that decision to finally return to work after our maternity leave comes to an end and worry about leaving our babies and/or our toddlers in the hands of our child-minders. The worry of if they are getting enough stimulation and if they are bored at home with their child-minder is often a real struggle. Even if you are a stay-at-home mom, the worry of how to keep your child busy, educating him or her during their months or years at home and of course the worry of if you are helping your child exercise his or her gross and fine motor skills…

I was recently introduced to Thanda Kids in Ballito and I was blown away at the service they offer! I really wish this was something I had done since day one. Investing just over R1000 and three and a half hours of your child-minders time at one of Thanda Kids workshops, is something I highly recommend! Keen to find out more? I found out all the details and share six fun skills I learnt from Jodi’s amazingly put together workbook that we are using on a daily basis to stimulate Maddie through educational play.


The workshops are run by Jodi Chaplin, a qualified foundation phase teacher who has experience in teaching special needs, pre-school as well as foundation phase. After having to leave her little girl at home with a nanny at 10 months old, while she had to go to work, she realised the desperate need for training child-minders and empowering them with the knowledge of how to stimulate little ones. Jodi who is now mom to two daughters, has a passion for early childhood development and aims to equip Child-minders with the right tools, to help in our little ones learn and develop in the correct way, as well as them having fun with new and exciting activities to do at home through her self-taught workshops she runs at her home in Simbithi, Ballito.

Thanda kids (meaning, “For the love of kids”) started just a little over a year ago and is a hands-on course that teaches child-minders a range of age-appropriate activities. During the course child-minders will be expected to do/make activities and in doing so, she will learn how to better engage their child.  The morning starts off with a discussion of what each child-minder likes to do with their child and what the child enjoys. The workshop is then split up into four sections; fine-motor activities, gross motor activities, sensory play and art. Each of these sections have activities in which they do together. The child-minders are expected to do each activity and are encouraged to talk, ask questions and discuss. The excitement levels of course are through the roof as most of these ladies have never ever done art before and all of them do not know the importance of fine motor and gross motor skills for little kids.

By the end of the workshop, they KNOW how important THEY are in educating and teaching their little ones. They are the “teacher” in the most inquisitive, open minded and eager stages of the kids life. Jodi teach them how everything they say or do will influence their little ones and how valuable their teachings are. LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT and CONVERSATIONAL skills are all developed at this young age of life and so the child-minders have such a crucial responsibility in making sure their child is developing age appropriately in such areas of learning.

It is truly amazing to see how eager the ladies are and how much FUN they themselves have during the activities and are so enthusiastic to go home with their activity box and test out their learnings with their kiddies. The activity box is optional, however Jodi encourages the moms to purchase it for their child-minder as it is very important, as all tools needed to carry out activities at home, are in there including her personally made and designed workbook which includes explanations of each tip, pictures of each activity and various ideas for the child-minders to do with their kids.

The Activity box is packed with the basic tools needed to carry out most of the activities and includes:
1 x poster paint set (4 colours)
1 x finger paint set (4 colours)
1 x watering can
1 x flower seeds
1 x thick crayons
1 x set of glitter glues
1 x coloured cardboard pack
1 x thick threading pasta
1 x pack of thick chalk, 4 colours
1 x fine motor sticking activity (worksheets)
1 x pack of circle stickers
1 x pack of balloons
1 x DRY ingredients for the making of Play dough
1 x clear box
1 x certificate of attendance

1 x Workbook

Jodi encourages the child-minders to join a WhatsApp group to encourage friendships between them, sharing activities and photographs and to report back to her after the workshop with photos and questions.



The workshop is so much fun for the child-minders and it is so amazing to see how they leave, so eager to get home and start the activities with the little ones. They leave feeling empowered and knowledgeable about their job and that they know how IMPORTANT they are in their kiddies education and learning. Their job is not to sit, get bored and watch play (which must happen a bit too, obviously) BUT rather to educate them on the importance of LEARNING through play and having certain activities ready for their kids. Expanding their thinking and encouraging them to really get involved and make each day fill of fun and learning.



In future, Jodi would like to run a workshop for moms as well as grannies to learn fun age-appropriate activities as Jodi understands that if you are not trained in education it is so difficult to think of fun, educational activities to do.


The next workshop on Saturday, 19 May from 9am to 12.30pm at Jodi’s home in Simbithi, Ballito. The cost of the workshop is R550 and the optional activity box, workbook and certificate is an additional R600.

Instagram: @thanda_kids_durban

Here are a couple of my favourite activities from Jodi’s workbook which Maddie adores:

Activities to encourage gross motor play / skills:
These are the skills which require whole body movement and involve the large muscles of the body to perform every day functions such as standing, walking, running and sitting upright at a table. The are important as they teach our kids everyday self care skills and influence their everyday functions.

Activity: Balloon fun – this is an activity a sitting or crawling baby can do or a walking toddler. Encouraging both gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination. All you need is a couple of inflated balloons, a basket and a bat. Let your little one kick or hit the balloons into the basket.

Activity: Chalk fun – this is an awesome activity to get your little ones to explore different textures. Drawing on your pavement at home will be bumpy and is a great sensory activity for your child. Discussions over the colours, how it feels and what they are drawing can be had during this activity. You can draw circles and have your toddler jump from one to the other or follow a line.

Activities to encourage fine motor play / skills: these involve the smaller muscle groups in the hands which we use when using pencils, scissors, construction of Lego and opening lunch boxes. This will affect tasks which determines their school readiness.

Activity: threading – this is an excellent yet challenging activity which should be practiced often. As easy as using noodles as the object to thread onto some spaghetti or straws held by a base of play dough (Jodi shares her easy to make play dough recipe in her workbook too). This helps build enough muscle to write, hold and cut.

Activity: Sticker fun – this is Maddie’s favourite. She is obsessed with stickers and it incorporates colours, shapes and patterns. This is an awesome activity for fine motor control as well as hand-eye. It encourages them to stick the stickers on the dots shown on the page and can also serve as a colouring in activity.

An activity to encourage sensory play: 
Sensory play helps to enhance learning through hands-on activities that stimulate the child’s five senses.

Activity: Sensory bin – a great activity to encourage sensory play is to create a sensory bin using a big container or bow and each day add in new textures, shapes, smells, colours and toys for your child to experiment with.  Toss in saw dust, coloured spaghetti, rice, water, sand or flour.

An arts and crafts activity:
When your child does art activities such as drawing, play-dough or finger painting they are learning to use small muscles, writing skills and cause and effect to name a few. Not to mention how much fun it is!

We got the idea to make binoculars using recycled toilet paper rolls which Maddie painted and stuck together. Now she has a fun new toy!

DISCLAIMER: This is a paid for post however all views and opinions are my own and are in no way influenced.


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Instagram: @being_maddies_mom


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