Creative Parenting Expert, Nikki Bush, has helped hundreds of thousands of parents to build fabulous relationships with their children by turning very ordinary, everyday moments into extraordinary memories. She helps today’s busy parents to future-proof their children despite their busyness. Her wisdom, creativity and practical ideas are the bomb for parents who are long on love and short on time.
Nikki wears a second hat in the talent space, that of Talent Whisperer as she transfers her parenting wisdom into frameworks for managing young talent better and helping business owners and management to redefine what talent means in a fast-changing world. Her unique play-based team building sessions are unforgettable, helping teams to connect as human beings and not just human doings.
Nikki’s work is fueled by her passion for play, connection and relationships. She is a sought- after speaker and co-author of three bestselling books: Future-proof Your Child (Penguin), Easy Answers to Awkward Questions (Metz Press) and Tech-Savvy Parenting (Bookstorm) and an ebook called Talent Re:Defined.
She is the go to person for the media regarding anything to do with child development, parenting and future-proofing young talent, racking up over 140 interviews a year including a weekly slot on SABC 3’s Expresso and Radio 702.
Whether you are in business, an educator or a parent, we are all invested in raising today’s young talent for tomorrow’s new world of work. Nikki can help you do just that.
Read more about Nikki and her work here.
Nikki builds bridges of understanding between parents, teachers and learners helping them to connect better against the backdrop of a fast-changing world.
Nikki helps parents build great relationships with their children while future proofing them to thrive in a fast changing world.
Nikki helps businesses with challenges concerning young talent, while also helping parents in the workplace with work-life balance issues that impact on their productivity and performance.
A South African bestseller now in its 13th reprint.
Written by Nikki Bush and Dr Graeme Codrington
Published by Penguin, 2008
A South African bestseller now in its 10th reprint.
Written by: Nikki Bush & Ilze van der Merwe
Published by: Metz Press, 2009
A South African bestseller now in its 3rd reprint.
Written by: Nikki Bush & Ilze van der Merwe
Published by: Metz Press, 2009
Nikki’s newest publication
Written by: Nikki Bush & Arthur Goldstuck
Published by: Bookstorm, 2014
Little ones between 2 and 5 years of age are fascinated with opening and closing things. What’s closed must be opened and what’s open must be closed. Discovering what’s inside is always a surprise, stimulating a child’s curiosity and, in turn, their love of learning. Melissa & Doug have two products with six latches each: […]
The Cape Town Messy Play workshop hosted by Toy Kingdom was a smash hit, enjoyed by all. Please join me in Johannnesburg at the Toy Kingdom Sandton store for a fun and enlightening evening NEXT WEEK on 27 September 2017. It’s a creative reminder of the importance of encouraging children to interact with the real […]
Rituals are things we do over and over again that become part of who we are and how we operate in the world. A simple ritual for many has become the first cup of coffee of the day, symbolising a beginning. For families and parents, it might be how you celebrate birthdays, high days or […]
In an increasingly screen-based world, children are at risk of exploring the world the world through the sense of touch less. This is having a negative effect on their overall development, often leading to developmental delays and the need for therapy to get them back on track. Children experience the sense of touch through the […]
Logical thinking goes hand in hand with problem solving, thinking and reasoning and, believe it or not, coding for computer programming! Games of logic from word riddles to maths word problems, from crossword puzzles to Sudoku and chess, provide different ways to give the brain a really good workout. Today there is also a wide […]
Balance Beans from Think Fun is a brain game of logic that combines physics and maths for 6 – 9 year olds. It’s a fun way of experimenting with: quantity balance multiplication In reality it’s actually a concrete representation of balancing an equation. I always found that pretty baffling on paper when doing algebra at […]
Little Action from Djeco is a superbly crafted interactive game for little ones from 2 1/2 – 5 years of age that gets them throwing, balancing, aiming and catching the six little animals in the box. Children need to follow the visual instructions on the action cards. If they succeed they win a medal. When […]
Hand puppets provide a fantastic way for children to engage their imagination and creativity. They get to act out stories they know as well as creating their own and children just love an audience to applaud and appreciate their handiwork. Parents also have the opportunity to use puppets in conjunction with reading stories to their […]
The first time I got my hands on the Sensiball from Pollywiggles, I just wanted to keep touching it, sort of like stroking a very soft bunny or teddy bear. The velvety covering and the sensation when you push your fingers into the gaps in the ball just is just so soothing and fascinating at […]
Suspend is an aerial form of pick up sticks, except you are adding pieces by hanging them on the puzzle frame instead of taking pieces away. This very clever game of balance involves tricky hanging manouevres that result in the puzzle teetering, wobbling, shifting, tipping and maybe even collapsing. To add to the challenge of […]
I thoroughly enjoyed your workshop at St Peter’s last week. I have two boys aged 8 and 6 and a new addition of a little girl aged 12 weeks. My boys have loved playing games in the car on the way to and from school, it gives me some special time with them before their baby sister demands to be fed. Thanks very much.
You are truly extraordinary. Love your work. You are a visionary.
“Working in partnership with Nikki added real value to our Positive Steps campaign for Lipton Ice Tea. Nikki brought real credibility to the parenting message that were were trying to get involved in and gave legitimacy to our brand’s involvement. Nikki also came with a following, so if targeting parents, she amplifies your audience. Overall she was a strong addition to our campaign. As for the talks themselves and the content, Nikki captivated our audience with her engaging and entertaining style, coupled with her depth of knowledge and confidence. The take-home value for parents was enormous.”
Lovely meeting you yesterday at the Garden Road Montessori talk. I was so inspired and left feeling so light and enthusiastic about the little changes I plan to make with my son. I took a lot from the talk – but especially creating memories and special moments in our daily ordinariness. You made me realise how much potential each moment actually has! Thank you Nikki, for the good work you do.
Exposure Marketing has enjoyed having Nikki Bush on board as a parenting speaker at our events. Her creative content and engaging presentation style make her a real ‘value add’ at our expos. We have invited Nikki to present her talks at The Baby Expo MamaMagic and at our recent addition Future-Ed, The Education Show. Nikki’s talks are always very popular and relevant to our visitors.
I was fresh out of ideas for what to do with my four year old when I have quality time with her. Thanks Nikki for sharing your fun and creative approach with us today. I couldn’t wait to get home and play with my child. I had no idea I could be so instrumental in getting her ready for school and that it doesn’t need to be stressful.
Nikki, thanks for showing us how to mix up games to create more games and that it’s okay to break the rules and make new ones. I am so inspired to spend time with my two pre-schoolers. You have made me want to play with my kids again and I am going to home to haul out all the unused games and bring them back to life with all your ‘out of the box’ ideas.
Thank you for inspiring me to continue playing with my children now that they are in senior primary and high school. They will just love the potato and gambling games. You’ve given me new ideas for Friday games nights.
I never knew I was so competitive! Thanks for a really fun evening playing games in your home. Isn’t it odd how we forget just how much family fun there is in a simple deck of cards. Thanks for reminding me that fun doesn’t need to cost much other than a bit of my time.
Thanks for your Big Kid Fun workshop – my wife dragged me with her to attend and I haven’t had so much fun in a long time. It was great to laugh and ‘reconnect through play’ as you say. Play is definitely an under-utilised parenting too. We played some of your games with our children on the weekend and they were spot on. They want to know when we can play them again. Thanks for the inspiration.
Potatoes, cards, dried butter beans, gambling. Who knew you could still have so much fun with your kids as they get older! We haven’t laughed so much in a long time.
Love the idea of a activity stations where the children can make things to fill their own goodie bags to take home. Kills two birds with one stone.
Thank you for such a fun morning and for all the wonderful ideas for creating homemade parties. The Newspaper Party was my favourite and will definitely be a real hit with my 11 year old.
The themes, the games, the food ideas – they were all fantastic and so helpful. And I got my gift shopping done too. Thank you.
I own a Montessori preschool, teach a class of 20 children and am a mother of two toddlers under the age of 5, so I know my way around children. I can read their moods and stimulate them appropriately. Nikki Bush's Parenting on the Run workshop made me excited about parenting, it opened my eyes to a simpler, easier way of connecting with my children - both in the classroom and at home. I remembered and experienced what it feels like to be present, and the importance of giving my children the best present which is my presence. I can't wait to start a new family ritual and play all the games with my little ones.Thank you Nikki Bush!
It was a privilege to have Nikki Bush present the above-mentioned talk to our teachers in the Pre Preparatory. We found her presentation to be informative, well researched and relevant to how we are all caught up in the demands of society. Red Zone, we are all faced with this phenomenon, but she shared some invaluable tools on how to deal with this effectively
I found the Red Zone talk by Nikki Bush to be very enlightening. It highlighted for me the fact that we live in a society that places so many demands on us, and the fact that this will not change. We need to learn ways to deal with this. Nikki’s talk equipped me with the tools to take that “Time Out”, so as to ensure we don’t get caught up in this Red Zone.
"We were delighted that you agreed to present your keynote, Children Living in the Red Zone at our 2014 SAMA annual conference (South African Montessori Association)."The feedback from our members has been so positive. Delegates were highly complementary about your energy and enthusiasm and most importantly the practical solutions you provided for effectively managing the range of debilitating symptoms which manifest when children and their parents find themselves Living in the Red Zone. In particular the following key learnings from your presentation were mentioned by a number of our members:That parents and teachers are empowered when they acknowledge that the world is so very fast paced and that children internalise the constant rush of daily life and suffer as a result. That it is so crucial not to over schedule children and to take time to connect with children in little moments in any given day. For example bending to their level and greeting them warmly as a teacher when they arrive at school, knowing that they have been rushed out of bed and into the car and probably not been really spoken to yet.In summary, the overwhelming feedback has pointed to your practical, easy to implement advice on “tuning out” from a fast paced world and how you connected closely with each one of your audience. All this in a practical, no-nonsense, yet “ loving mom” way.The success of our conference was underpinned by careful planning and sound execution. However it goes without saying that the quality of the presenters is of paramount importance. In that regard, we are indebted to you for accepting our invitation and for your excellent presentation to our members.Thank you and best wishes for a successful year ahead.
"There is always so much sense in what you suggest as parenting strategies. I enjoyed what you had to say when you addressed us at Twin Rivers Primary School Zimbabwe and ever since then I have read every article you have posted. Please continue spreading your influence – the impact is priceless!"
Nikki’s talks are of the moment. She is adept at creating ideas around things that are changing.
My son was in your digital safety talk this morning and he is a very intuitive and in touch child who makes quick an accurate assessments of people. He came home and told me all about the talk and the thing he remembered most was what you had to say about reputation. He also said that you are a very good person inside and out and that I was not to miss your talk to the parents this evening, and he was right. What a valuable and informative presentation. Thank you!
As our children become increasingly technically proficient and preoccupied, it is vital for adults, parents and teachers to be aware of the world they frequent! Tech-savvy Parenting is a comprehensive, practical and insightful guide to understanding the possibilities and perils of this world, how to make it safe for our children, and how to embrace the opportunities it presents.
Thank you for delivering such a fun-filled evening on Friday. You left us all in stitches and we are still talking about all the fun we had. I will highly recommend you to a lot people as well as other YPO chapters as a resource.
Nikki had 150 people on the edge of their seats, participating in tasks and games eliciting responses and feedback to demonstrate the importance of team cohesion and ensuring the breaking down of silo’s and individual commitment.
"We had a great Get Outta Your Head workshop with Nikki Bush. We had a host of ladies who joined at the Women in IT networking event and they had a blast. It was a great session, definitely a go to event. If you want to see your staff making noise, connecting and having fun, Get Outta Your Head is definitely for you and your team."
We were privileged to have you address the Transaction Capital Women’s Forum on the 29th of May 2013. Your “Parenting on the run” workshop was extremely well received by the attending women, many of whom provided positive feedback and felt that they had gained useful insight into how they might spend guilt free quality time with their kids. I believe they benefited from knowing that they are not alone and others experience similar feelings. They walked away with some practical tools and feeling encouraged that they can succeed at being great mothers. Personally I have been reminded again to give my teenage daughters my full attention during the time we have together and to manage the boundaries between work and family time carefully. Thank you for your entertaining and enriching contribution to our women’s group.
"I attended your parenting on the run workshop when my daughter Holly was about 18months old and it was hugely beneficial. I attended the same workshop last weekend for the Crossroads School Fundraising breakfast, and it was really fantastic to have a reminder of the importance of play. I had slipped a bit into relying on the TV to entertain my daughter in the afternoons after work, however since attending your workshop on Monday I have been instituting periods of play time together. A few things that I have noticed in the few days since your workshop:"The joy on Holly’s face when we play together The way she verbalises what we are doing (e.g. she says “we are playing togethermummy!”) (this reminds me of the poem you read at the end of your workshop – “come mummy, play WITH me”) The way she is able to spend another 10 – 15 mins playing alone once her “emotional cup” has been filled by playing together How easy it actually is to let an almost three year old help you in the kitchen (a blunt knife and a piece of cucumber goes a long way!!) and how proud and included she feels at being allowed to participateThank you so much for your workshops, I feel incredibly enriched and grateful for the changes I am already seeing in my family.
You were absolutely spot on with your Evolution of Learning presentation at our Western Cape SAPA Conference. It was so relevant to where our educators are at and was put together in such an accessible way. Thank you.
Hi Nikki. I am a student at Parkview Senior School and I just wanna say I …REALLY LOVED YOUR PRESENTATION TODAY!!! THANKS ALOT! And one thing to remember: one body, one mind and one reputation!
Dear Nikki Just to let you know (again :)) how much I enjoy reading your newsletters. They are always informative and thought-provoking! I wish I had your job, I would love to speak publicly to people (especially to kids) like you do, about topics such as this and encourage them to personal growth. Yes, in my next life I definitely want to be you!!
“When you came over to Rustenburg we played games with cards and had so much fun. Thank you for opening my eyes to being light hearted and making an opportunity to laugh and play.”
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the Parenting on the Run workshop you gave at our daughter’s school, Our Lady of Fatima, in Durban last week. Your energy and empathy (sharing your own life experiences) so resonated with us.
I am in awe!!! Your talk last night: Parenting on the Run at Henley Business School was not only fun and encouraging and informative and empowering - I was blessed and motivated... When I shared last night's experience with my manager this morning she mentioned that you must be my inspiration. And when I asked her why - she reminded me of the SABC Career Indaba 2015 Parent Networking Evening that I had to fill in your big shoes. I remembered how I couldn't sleep the day before speaking in that Parent Networking Evening. I am grateful to have been your audience afterwards and not before that experience. When you mentioned yesterday that play is the bridge builder I couldn't help but reminisce on Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere Chapter Eight Lionesses Are Strategic "Lionesses train their young by modelling what is correct. In the wild there is little margin for error. If skills sets are not transferred, the survival of the cubs is threatened and the legacy of the pride is compromised. Lionesses learn how to hunt through play All this frolicking playtime serves a purpose as it inevitable highlights the strengths of each pride member. God loves it when we laugh and engage in recreation. We could say we involve ourselves in a “re – create” when we play." May God bless you for the work you do as you strive to equip the warriors on how to handle; prepare and launch their arrows - "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord...Like arrows in the hand of a warrior" You are an inspiration!!! #LetsPlayLearnConnect
I’ve always believed that parenting is an ever evolving process and not an event. Thanks for always walking the journey with us, Nikki.
It’s so nice to have some new ideas to take home and do with the children.
Thank you for spreading this very important message. We were honoured to have you.
Wow, this is the second time I have listened to this talk and I’m just blown away each time! I think so much of what you said just really has hit home. It has been so informative, we’ve all experienced this hectic pace of life and we’ve all witnessed our children becoming more and more immersed in TV, computers, iPods, you name it. One of the biggest messages that came across is that as parents it is our duty, our responsibility to actually spend time with our beautiful, precious children who have been given to us. They’re a gift, cherish them, spend time with them, don’t hand them over to technology and consumerism. Just love them. They are tiny for such a short time. So please, enjoy your children, spend time with them, there’s nothing more you can give to them than your time and your love. Nikki thank you so much for reminding us of that, it was so valuable. You’re an amazing woman, thank you so much
I now realise why you are a sought-after speaker – you are quality, polished and authentic. Thanks for a wow experience. Of course, having a 6-year-old, your talk really resonated with me.
Nikki Bush was our keynote speaker at our Clamber Club conference in March 2012. All I can say is WOW! What a speaker. Professional, relevant, entertaining and thought provoking.The most valuable aspect of her presentation to Clamber Club was that she had researched our company’s needs and the workshop was geared completely with our conference theme and direction in mind. So often one has speakers that present a topic with no reference to the company they are presenting to. Nikki really got to the core issues and her intrinsic knowledge and expertise was awe inspiring. Thank you Nikki, I would highly recommend you!
I was reminded about our car games this morning when I read your Nelson Mandela quote encouraging hysterical laughter. Well, we had plenty of that today en route to school when we played the customs official game .The 6 year old was creating a wackier and wackier list of what was allowed in and what wasn’t. My older daughter & I eventually admitted defeat and asked what was her criteria. She then told us she had forgotten, at which stage we all erupted into hysterical laughter.I haven’t had so much fun in 1 day in a long time. You should rename your talks Laughter Therapy! Take care and thanks for being such as inspiration.
Finally a course with practical ideas I could use! I really enjoyed listening to your talk on how to make the most of the time we have with our precious children. It reminded me of the games I use to play as a little child with no T.V. play stations, DVD, computers etc. I also liked the fact the you understand that we, as parents, lead busy lives so your suggestions of using bath/cooking/car times are most effective. I have photostated your “Car games” and left a copy in the cubby hole of my car. We now have a permanent supply of ideas to play in the car. My kids argue less and laugh more! I also think it is important to allow our children the opportunity to use their imaginations to come up with their own games. One doesn’t always have to provide them with toys and ideas but let them be comfortable in their own space and quiet time.Once again, many thanks for an enjoyable and worthwhile morning. All parents would benefit from listening to your practical. fun, effective and educational ideas. Ideas easy enough to implement whilst “on the run!”
here is always so much sense in what you suggest as parenting strategies. I enjoyed what you had to say when you addressed us at Twin Rivers Primary School Zimbabwe and ever since then I have read every article you have posted. Please continue spreading your influence – the impact is priceless!
Outstanding Talk Nikki!!! It really got me thinking. Thank you. I feel different facing my children this morning, more motivated, focused, happy. I’m a divorced mom and the last 4 years I have been quite preoccupied with my stuff. I have been there for my children but I now know what to focus on. Thanks again.
Tuesday’s presentation on “Noise and Clutter” was excellent and made a positive impact on our parents. Their response to your talk was that it made them very aware of their own environment and the various consequences. They were quick to make the necessary adjustments to their daily routine e.g. driving to school with the radio (news) on.Thank you for presenting your talk to our Pre-Primary Parents.
I just wanted to let you know how valuable your “Parenting on the Run” workshop was to me. We recently had a trip to the Kruger Park, which under normal circumstances can be very painful and feel very long when you have kids whining and whinging all the time. I made a point of taking your list of games etc. with me to ensure that they never even had chance to whine. What an absolute winner. They never complained once, we played plenty of the games and the trip went by so quickly. It was actually a very pleasant trip with them and we all enjoyed taking part in the fun. Thank you ever so much. I have my notes tucked away in a safe place for the next trip, so that we can all enjoy our journey again.
Thank you for your fabulous presentation on Friday afternoon. I believe that your Brand Teacher? workshop has already had a positive effect on the staff who attended. I have even heard two people mention the phrase ‘go to’ this morning! [Being a ‘go to person’ is part of personal branding – what are you the ‘go to person’ for?]. Nikki’s top qualities: personable, high integrity, creative.”
Many thanks for the fantastic Parenting on the Run workshop. Your practical suggestions have worked brilliantly for us. I have two very busy little boys (4 and 2) who are easily bored and distracted, but they are putty in my hands with my newfound “box of tricks”! I am no longer reluctant to take them on long road trips, or anywhere else where there is likely to be a wait (like doctors’ rooms, the car wash, etc), because I know I’ll be able to entertain them (or help them entertain themselves), keep them occupied and teach them new skills all at the same time. I didn’t realise how it easy it could be and how much fun we could have during the “in-between” times.Thanks for a really worthwhile experience.
Thanks so much for presenting such a fantastic, well prepared talk to the Moms & Tots Workshop leaders. We all thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to get back to our workshops to share your valuable information with all our mothers. You gave us a taste of what fun it can be to be a child who is given the right, creative construction toys to play with and we didn’t want to be adults again! You helped us realize what a vital role we can play – educating the mothers, and hopefully there will be less T.V watchers and more focused, satisfied children who feel proud of themselves and what they have created. Many thanks Nikki, and keep up the good work.
I can’t believe that I don’t have to feel guilty about being busy anymore!
Dear Nikki, Once again, we thank you so much for presenting at our Conference. Among the 355 responses to our survey questionnaire, there were many that gave you high praise and considered you to be one of the highlights of Conference. We congratulate you.
Parenting on the run is more simple than I realized. Anyone can do this.
Nikki, thank you so much for an awesome workshop – you made a wonderful impression on the teachers. I really appreciated your ability to train such a diverse group of people so effectively. Apart from the ‘feel-good’ feeling on the day, since visiting many of the preschools, we noted that they are implementing skills that they learnt at the workshop – that’s a real big thumbs-up. Your passion and the fact that you are self-taught has challenged them to get out of their comfort zones and make a difference!