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					                                                                                                                                                                May/June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      issue 70


                                                                                                                                                  up
                                                                                                                             ®                           o n T h a m es
                                                  azine for families wit                                                           mond, Kingston, Elmbrid
                                               mag                       h yo                                               of Rich
 T h e F R EE                                                                      ung                                 ughs                               ge, H
                                                                                         children living in th   e boro                                         ouns   low and Spelthorne




                                               TWIZZLE
                                                      PARTIES
                                          We provide the best in children’s
                                           party fun and entertainment
                                            Recommended by The Observer & Tatler
                                                   Magic, games, prizes,
                                              balloon modelling and puppet
                                                    shows for all ages
                                                  Discos    Bouncy castles
                                                  Fabulous theme parties
                                            Table & chair hire; food & party bags
                                           We offer a complete party service

                                                 020 8789 3232
                                                   www.twizzle.co.uk




                                                       Fun Dance Classes
                                                  Hounslow        Isleworth        Teddington
                                            Popstar Parties High School Musical,
Clothes by Mini A Ture www.miniature.dk




                                           Mamma Mia-ABBA, Hannah Montana & Grease
                                                   E: Lindsay@PopstarsAcademy.com
                                            T: 020 8568 6886 www.PopstarsAcademy.com




                                            Stretch your child’s imagination
                                            in three directions at once

                                          Call your local Stagecoach to enrol now!
                                          Richmond                  0208 948 9288        New Malden                0208 540 7791
                                          Twickenham                0208 224 6905        Weybridge                 01932 254 333
                                          Cheam/Worcester Park      0208 398 8106        Walton on Thames          01932 254 333
                                          Surbiton/Kingston         0208 873 7140        Hinchley Wood             01932 254 333
                                          Isleworth                 01932 886 413




                                                  So much more at www.familiesuponthames.co.uk
                                                            www.familiesglasgow.co.uk
       DO IT FOR DAD WEEK                31st May-4th June
            Decorate your own pottery gift
                  20% off 1 pint mugs




    Providers                                           Open from
    of quality                                           8.00am to
    childcare                                             6.00pm
       and                                              51 weeks of
    education                                             the year




    • Safe, secure and loving environment
    • Preschool education curriculum approved by Ofsted
    • French lessons and additional sports programmes
    • Qualified, skilled and caring staff
    • Full and part time care for children from birth – 5 years
    • Large outside gardens
        To give your child a helping hand in the early years
         please contact the numbers listed below for more
                   information or to book a visit

                 Chessington – 020 8391 4447
                    Bridge Road, Chessington KT9 2ET
                    Ealing – 020 8571 6867
            Comer Crescent, Windmill Avenue, Ealing UB2 4XD
                  Shepperton – 01932 592525
       Shepperton Film Studios, Studios Road, Shepperton TW17 0QD
                           Nurseries also in:
              Walton on Thames – 01932 226975 or 252858
           Ottershaw – 01932 874286, Ripley – 01483 222020

                    www.toadhall-nursery.co.uk

2    FAMILIES UPON THAMES May-June 2010
                                                                                                                      contents

                                                        welcome to Families uponThames
                                                           4        News and views

                                                           7        Mums mean business

                                                           8        Parties

                                                           12 Family gardens
Clothes by Mini-A-Ture www.miniature.dk


I don’t know about you but the rise in
                                                           13 Book reviews
temperatures and blue skies overhead
have had me zooming round like one
of the bumble bees swarming over
our flowering currant bushes. The
                                                           14 The Down’s Syndrome
girls have returned from school to find
‘Wet paint’ signs on every imaginable                               Association
surface and the garden has had a
thorough clear up. My office space
is becoming severely restricted as
growing number of pots sown with
delights such as spherical courgettes,
                                                           16 If you go down to the
baby tomatoes and broad beans soak
up the moisture and warmth in the
                                                                    (bluebell) woods
hope that they will be strong enough
to be planted in the veg patch
sometime in May and June.
                                                           18 Live your dream
If you are looking for gardening
inspiration, turn to page 12 for advice
from expert David Austin. We have
reports on a wonderful charity based
in Teddington ( page 14), local bluebell
                                                           19 The importance of play
woods (page 16) and the rest can be
summed up as parties and
parenting – now that sounds like a
great title for this issue!
                                                           20 Be a good enough parent
FRANCES LOATES, editor
FAMILIES UPON THAMES
PO Box 425
                                                           21 Out and about this May
Walton on Thames
KT12 5AG                                                            and June
t: 01932 254584
e: editor@familiesuponthames.co.uk

  B U I L D C O N F I D E N C E • B O O S T C O N C E N T R AT I O N • M A K E N E W F R I E N D S • H AV E F U N




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                                                                                                           May-June 2010 FAMILIES UPON THAMES      3
          news and views...
    CASH BOOST FOR
    TOLWORTH SCOUTS

    When Lee Perkins was laid up in
    hospital with life-threatening
    burns he was so touched by the
    kindness of 1st Tolworth Scout
    group that he vowed to help
    them in any way he could.

    While he was recovering from
    an accident in 2004, cub leaders
    looked after his daughter Laura,
    then aged seven, taking her
    away on a cub camp and making
    sure she was kept informed of
    her dad’s progress.

    Their kindness was had such an
    effect on Lee that he has since
    spent much of his spare time
    helping out whenever he can.
    And now his employers EDF
                                                  Free and easy at Ham and Osterley
    Energy Networks have awarded
    the group £250 as part of their

                                          E
                                                 ntertain your children for free during          Over half term, the 17th century kitchen
    Team Sports Awards.                          half term with the National Trust, which     garden at Ham House is the venue for several
                                                 is waiving children’s admission charges      days of family fun.
    The youngsters at the 1st             at many properties from 29th May to 6th                To encourage families to have a go at
    Tolworth Scouts love orien-           June, including Osterley and Ham House.             growing their own produce, the Sow and
    teering and mountain climbing,            Many of the activities on offer are linked      Grow event on 29th May (11am to 4.30pm)
                                          to the Trust’s Food Glorious Food campaign,         reveals just how much enjoyment can be
    but needed some new maps
                                          which this year will introduce thousands of         had from creating that first vegetable patch.
    and compasses. They can now           visitors to the delights of eating and growing      Discover demonstrations, lots of interactive
    go out and get them after Lee,        local seasonal produce.                             fun and free seed giveaways. From 30th May
    of Cranborne Avenue, Tolworth             At Osterley Park and House, young visitors      to 2nd June, a special Family Sow and Grow
    successfully applied for the          can take their first steps to food self-suffi-        event (11am to 4.30pm) introduces children
    grant.                                ciency this half term. Head Gardener, Andrew        to growing food from seed, including sowing
                                          Eddy, has created an ornamental vegetable           and potting up, with free seeds and pots to
    He said, ‘They were so kind           plot filled with all sorts of delicious edibles      take home.
    that I vowed to do all I could to     to inspire families during Osterley’s ‘Grow            Inside the house, children can explore the
                                          Your Own’ weekend (29th to 31st May). Free          many nooks and crannies of this magnificent
    help them in the future. I was
                                          seeds are also on offer, to grow on at home.        ‘time capsule’ with a house trail that
    in a really bad way but the cub       Andy says, ‘Everyone is feeling the pinch a         introduces them to its exciting and exotic
    leaders said they would take          little, so it’s wonderful to be able to offer our   past. Hands-on activities reveal more about
    Laura with them and look after        family visitors an extra treat!’                    the dangers of sea faring in the 17th century,
    her and allow her to use their            On 3rd June, children can delve into            and the lives of Ham’s many servants.
    mobile phones to ring mum             Osterley’s craft cart which is packed with free     Call 020 8439 8231 for more info.
    each night to see how I was           activities. On 30th May, a special Discovery
    doing. I was very touched by          Day introduces creative activities for families,
    their kindness at a difficult time.’   focusing on aspects of 18th century life, such      For more on family gardening, see page
                                          as food and games. Activities may include art       12, for more local events and activities,
                                          and craft workshops, and storytelling.              including more at local National Trust
    Since the accident he does as         Call 020 8232 5055 for more details.                properties, see pages 21 to 23.
    much as he can to help including
    fundraising, assisting on cub and
    scout camps and running First         FREE COMPUTERS
    Aid courses.
                                          If you are a low-income            allows you to purchase one of   Grant Card. The grant allows
    The popular troop celebrated          family with children in school     the following packages:         you a choice of computers
    its 100th anniversary last year       years 3 to 9 you could get         1 Full package (a computer,     from a range of Approved
                                          a grant through the Home           one year’s internet access,     Suppliers and can be
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                                          Access programme to pay            service and support)            redeemed at a number of high
    country. It’s an important part       for a computer, one year’s         2 A computer with service       street retailers, over the phone
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                                          on what you need, the grant        (NoE) and a Home Access         an application form.

4   FAMILIES UPON THAMES May-June 2010
 Dame Kelly Holmes calls on local heroine
 Hampton-based five-time British aerobic                                       Katie Cannon, is a unique and talented
 gymnastics champion, Katie Cannon, 25,                                    performer and sportswoman with a career
 who gives gymnastic fitness classes to                                     spanning 20 years in which she has excelled
 local children, has been asked by Dame                                    in gymnastics. Katie went on to become
 Kelly Holmes to educate and inspire                                       Britain’s aerobic gymnastics champion no
 aspiring sports athletes from around the                                  less than five times. No other person has
 country to pursue promising careers in                                    achieved this accolade to date while she has
 athletics.                                                                proudly represented the UK at two world,
    Katie is leading various seminars covering                             and two European championships.
 the key aspects of what athletes must set in                                  In 2006 Katie retired from her career in
 place from an early stage to ensure longevity                             gymnastics and she put into practice her                              Pilates, yoga and ballet, Katie Cannon’s
 of their bodies through their sporting                                    experience, expertise and foresight into                              workout uses free body movement,
 careers.                                                                  fitness training for young children inspired                           abandoning gym machines, using the body’s
    Katie commented, ‘There are some                                       by gymnastics. Backflip Performers, based in                           own resistance, resulting in an intense
 essential activities which new athletes must                              Richmond, Barnes and Wimbledon is today                               cardio-muscular workout. Levels range from
 learn to implement such as stretching –                                   one of London’s most successful kids’ fitness                          beginners to advanced.
 many sports people find this crucial activity                              initiatives.                                                             Katie’s latest venture is the Katie Cannon
 uninspiring or tedious. I often shock people                                  Most recently Katie has opened her first                           Centre, West London, located in Brentford
 by walking onto stage in handstands and                                   gym. The Katie Cannon Centre in Richmond                              where she plans to expand her kids’ fitness
 they can’t believe how flexible I am. Posture                              employs a completely novel approach to                                classes.
 alignment and stretching makes durable                                    exercise, inspired by Katie’s career of extra-                           Katie who is a gymnastics senior club
 athletes capable of pursuing longer careers,                              ordinary athletic achievements.                                       coach, qualified personal trainer, also holds
 and I am passionate about educating young                                    Borne out of a desire to give adults a                             a BSc in sports science, health, nutrition and
 sports people about their importance.’                                    workout inspired by aerobic gymnastics,                               exercise.

                                                                                                                                               Find out more at www.BackFlipPerformers.com


SUPPORT ELMBRIDGE HOME-START
                                                                                                              PLAY AT PICCALILYS
Start your training and gather the sponsors now - the Claygate                                                Have you discovered this new Play Café based at Weybridge
                                                                                                              Cricket Club? Open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm, this is a
5 mile run for Elmbridge Home-Start is on 11th July and starts at                                             great place to take your under 5s for some fun. There’s a special
10.30am at Claygate Recreation Ground. Registration for adults                                                area for under 1s and plenty of equipment to keep the over 1s
                                                                                                              happy.
16 and over is £13, for juniors 15 and under is £10. A t-shirt is                                               Piccalilys serve hot and cold food for parents, carers, babies and
                                                                                                              young children, including organic snacks and baby food. Emma
included! For further information, registration and sponsorship                                               told us that party bookings are welcome for afternoon sessions
forms, please email: homestart@elmbridgehousing.org.uk                                                        from 2 to 4pm. Contact them on 0773 972 4673 or check
                                                                                                              www.piccalilys.co.uk


                                                                                                                                                   French and Spanish
                    FOOTIE TOTS                                                                                                                   Summer Holiday Clubs
                   An introduction to the world of
                                                                                                                                                          2010
                fitness and football for children ages                                                                                             Children enjoy games drama,
                          2 1/2 to 5 years                                                                                                       cooking and more and learn a new
                                                                                                                                                    language at the same time!
                FOOTIE WIZARDS                                                                                                                               Twickenham 26-28 July (£75)
           For children ages 5 to 8 years                                                                                                                    Molesey 29-30 August (£50)
   ALL CLASSES HELD INDOORS - FOOTBALL PARTIES                                                                                                               New Malden 2-4 August (£75)
                     AVAILABLE                                                                                                                               Clubs run 10-2pm
         Call Andy for info and bookings on                                                                                                                  £5 discount for second child
       07931 707720 or 020 8287 3269                                                                                                                          Book at www.childrensclubs.com
                    andy@footie-tots.co.uk                                                                                                                            0208 979 4586




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  I enclose a cheque for £9.30/£18 made out to Families upon Thames.

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                                                                                                                                               May-June 2010 FAMILIES UPON THAMES              5
                                                                                                                                                                                               5
              news and views...
                                                 WIN A HOLIDAY TO EGYPT
                                                 Readers of our last issue will remember our item about Families Worldwide and their amazing
     HERE COMES SUMMER                           adventure holidays. (Check page 4 of the online version of our March/April issue at
                                                 www.familiesuponthames.co.uk.) The competition for a Families holiday to Egypt we
     St Andrew’s Primary School in
     Lockhart Road, Cobham have been             mentioned is still open to entries. Highlights of the trip include seeing the pyramids, the sphinx
     in touch to tell us about their School      and the Egyptian Museum, sleeping on an overnight train, riding camels in the desert, relaxing
     Summer Fair and Fun Dog Show on
     Saturday 10th July from 2 to 6pm.           and exploring the delightful town of Aswan and sailing a felucca sailing boat slowly down the
     For more information. Please email          Nile. Check it all out at www.familiesworldwide.co.uk and click ‘Competition’ in the left hand
     carolgates2@hotmail.com
     We love to list your school events          navigation menu.
     – please get in touch asap with
     anything you have planned for July
     so that we can include it in our July/                                                                           BREASTFEEDING
     August issue. Email date, time, place
     and details please to:                      It’s about time                                                      BENEFITS
     editor@familiesuponthames.co.uk
                                                 for families                                                         National Breastfeeding
                                                                                                                      Awareness Week this year
                                                                                                                      is 21st to 27th June. The
     DIG IN
                                                                                                                      government’s Start4life’s latest
                                                                                                                      campaign is about laying the
     BBC presenter Chris Collins will be one
     of many gardeners offering hands-on                                                                              foundations for a healthy
     advice and inspiration this spring as                                                                            lifestyle during those early
     he takes to the road around the UK                                                                               months and focuses on six
     with the BBC Dig In team on board                                                                                recommended behaviours for
     the specially adapted Dig In van to                                                                              parents to follow and adopt,
     encourage audiences to learn how to                                                                              covering the three strands of
     grow their own food.                                                                                             the campaign: breastfeeding,
                                                                                                                      introducing solid foods and
     Chris, best known as Blue Peter’s                                                                                active play. The building blocks
     resident gardener, will be joined by        Spending quality time together enhances the family dynamic           are:
     various special guests. There will also     and is key to nurturing positive relationships. Every family is          Mum’s milk - Breast milk
     be grow-your-own demos, potting             different, as is every individual family member, so finding fun,      is best for both mum and
     activities, a chance to quiz the experts,   rewarding things to do that everyone will enjoy can seem             baby, boosting kids’ immune
     free seed giveaways (first come, first        difficult, but don’t rule out life’s simple pleasures! According      systems and reducing the risk
     served) and a special Dig In garden.        to the Family & Parenting Institute, there was a 20% decline         of obesity.
                                                 in time spent eating at home between 1975 and 2000,                      Every day counts
     Says Chris, ‘This is a great opportunity    yet enjoying a family meal at home and exchanging stories            -Supporting mums to start
     for inexperienced gardeners to learn        about your day is a perfect way to bond in an enjoyable and          breastfeeding and continue
     how easy it is to get started growing       meaningful way. Cooking together reaps many relationship             exclusively for the first six
     their own vegetable’.                       rewards; it’s fun and interactive, teaches teamwork and other        months of their baby’s life.
                                                 skills, as well as being the healthier (and often cheaper) option
                                                                                                                      Family and friends are an
     Find out more when the Dig In tour          to eating out or ordering in.
                                                                                                                      integral source of support, in
     visits Kingston’s May Merrie on 3rd             Time spent together has many benefits for children, as well
                                                                                                                      addition to midwives, health
     May. Read more about family gardens         as for parents. The same study by the FPI shows that between
                                                                                                                      visitors and peer supporters.
     on page 12.                                 1974 and 2000, Britain saw a 200% increase in the time that
                                                 fathers actively engage with their children and fathers’ interest        No rush to mush -
                                                 and involvement in their children’s education and learning           Introducing solid foods at
                                                 results in better educational results. This is a very encouraging    around six months helps avoid
     RESIDENTIAL CAMPS                           statistic and is only complimented by the fact that, although        stomach upsets and allergies,
                                                 the rate of employed mothers has tripled since 1951, mothers         as well as maximising the
     The organised amongst you may be            now spend more time with their children and are more                 benefits of continued breast-
     thinking ahead to the summer break          involved in their education than 3 decades ago, proving that         feeding.
     so here’s a summer camp you may             the message promoting the impacts of positive parental input             Taste for life - Introducing
     wish to book up now:                        has been, and continues to spread.                                   a variety of different foods at
                                                    Making time to spend together can be difficult in modern           around six months will help
     Camp Beaumont runs at The German            day life. With the summer half term holiday approaching, it’s        prevent a baby becoming a
     School, Petersham Road, Richmond            important to make the most of this time, but a family trip           fussy eater later in life.
     from 12th July to 27th August. There        to the cinema or a picnic in the park are simple, enjoyable              Sweet as they are - Avoiding
     are tons of activities to choose from       ways to make the most of the opportunities this extra time           sugary foods and hidden
     - swimming, motorsports, climbing,          presents. It’s also great to know what’s happening in your           sugars when introducing
     circus skills, arts and crafts and much     area that you could get your family involved in. During the          babies to solid food reduces
     more. Children choose six activities        summer half term holiday there will be thousands of events           the likelihood of them
     a day. Also specially designed theme        taking place all over the UK as part of National Family Week         developing a sweet tooth in
     days take place each week to ensure         including community picnics, story-telling sessions and a            later life.
     campers are entertained. For children       national Guinness World Record attempt. Enjoying what your               Baby moves - Encouraging
     from as young as 3 up to 16, Monday         local community has to offer as a family is a perfect way to         lively, active play helps babies
     to Friday 8am to 6pm. From £42 per          spend some quality time together.                                    develop brain and muscle
     day. Contact 01263 823000,
                                                                                                                      power.
     info@campbeaumont.co.uk for details.           For more information on National Family Week, visit
                                                 www.nationalfamilyweek.co.uk – check what’s going on                 For more, please check
                                                 locally with the easy-to-use search.                                 www.nhs.uk/start4life
66    FAMILIES UPON THAMES May-June 2010
                                                                                                    mumsmeanbusiness


Born to
  boogie




                                                                                                                                                   Photo of Helen and Zoe by Sam Day
                               The day two Twickenham
                            friends bemoaned the lack of
                          alternative things to do with the
                           children at weekends, they had
                         no idea they were embarking on a
                         journey which would lead them to
                                 Dusty Does Disco.
Helen Harkin and Zoe Hand              The business has very much
have lived in the same              grown organically since its          made a lot of decisions based        Dusty and by the end he had
Twickenham street for               conception in January this year.     on our similar experiences and       received true celebrity status!’
three years. With Helen’s           They told us, ‘snatched moments      our gut instinct but also, having       Dusty is also available for
background in marketing and         when the children were playing       four children between us we are      children’s parties and Helen
Zoe’s in business, acting and       nicely, late nights after they had   more than aware that facilities      and Zoe promise that having
hairdressing, their previous        gone to bed and on our morning       for our venue such as parking,       your child’s party at Dusty Does
professional experience was very    run around the park were             baby changing, a microwave           Disco is affordable, unique and
different but they soon found       the only opportunities to get        and being all on one level are       stress free. The party children
that their past experiences and     together and make our plans!’        vitally important to parents         are made to feel like VIPs with a
personalities complimented one         When the idea was born in         having a relaxing and stress-free    reserved, decorated party table
another perfectly. After brain      January they thought we were         time. The bar serving wine and       right next to the dance floor.
storming and fondly recalling a     giving themselves plenty of          beer is an added bonus! In           The birthday child is also invited
holiday that their two families     time by booking the first of the      general though it has been great     on stage to receive a special gift
had shared in 2008, the idea of     monthly events for 6th March.        to have someone to share the         and a big hug from Dusty!
a disco with a dancing mascot       But Helen and Zoe hadn’t quite       load with and help look after           Such has been the success
was born as a business idea.        bargained for how much work          the kids.’                           of the business that they
   They told us, ‘Discos are a      would be involved though                The rush to launch was well       are now looking for another
fantastic opportunity for the       and actually found themselves        worth their effort and Helen         venue so that they can take
whole family to get out for a       working frantically towards the      and Zoe told us that seeing the      Dusty to another town. Helen
fun filled afternoon and dancing     end to have everything ready in      excitement on the children’s         and Zoe are also working on
is great exercise for children’.    time!                                faces as they came in and saw        improving their website as well
Helen and Zoe were unaware of          So it was especially good         all the disco lights and also        as looking into franchising and
any other similar events when       to have a partner to share the       being able to pleasantly surprise    merchandising.
they had the idea. They told        load, ‘We would advise any           a lot of the parents who had            Asked if they would have
us, ‘We have since come across      mums thinking about setting          underestimated how great the         done anything different, they
some children’s discos, however,    themselves up in business to         venue and facilities would be        would only have allowed
none that have a Dusty the          firstly find a partner on the same     was fantastic. ‘Children and         themselves a little more
Disco Dog!’                         wavelength!’, they add, ‘we’ve       parents alike fell in love with      preparation time!
extra




           Find Dusty the Disco Dog on 15th May and 12th June at The Winning Post Function Room, Chertsey Road, Whitton, TW2 6LS
           Children £5, Adults £2. Siblings under the age of 1 FREE, 3 to 5pm (doors open at 2.30pm).
           Book online at www.dustydoesdisco.co.uk For more information, call 07980 641380 / 07792 182951
           For party enquiries, email: info@dustydoesdisco.co.uk For more on parties, see pages 8 to 11.



                                                                                                    YES, YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL!
                                                                                                    Successful ‘business mum’ is
                                                                                                    seeking 5 working partners
                                                                                                   to work part-time from home,
                                                                                                        alongside & without
                                                                                                       compromising family
                                                                                                      commitments or current
                                                                                                               career.
                                                                                                      If you have a supervisory,
                                                                                                          managerial, sales,
                                                                                                     marketing, recruitment or
                                                                                                     self-employed background,
                                                                                                      or you wish to develop an
                                                                                                       extraordinary lifestyle,
                                                                                                        please call Diana Page
                                                                                                            01235 533 362

                                                                                                May-June 2010 FAMILIES UPON THAMES            7
                                                                         parties



                                                                                                                          Party pe
                                                                                                                           wet!)’ says Susan. ‘Every child       PARTY VENUES
                                                                                                                           has a cardboard lunchbox of
                                                                                                                           sandwiches, carrot sticks, hoola
                                                                                                                                                                 AND ENTERTAINERS
                                                                                                                                                                 There’s absolutely no shame in bringing in
                                                                                                                           hoops and fruit; Nigella’s birthday   the professionals to help with your party,
                                                                                                                            biscuits come next and then          and there are lots out there with years of
                                                                                                                            the cake. As it’s in the park we     experience in crowd control. Hiring a venue
                                                                                                                            expect parents to stay and we        is great too as the mess is kept out of your
                                                                                                                             provide refreshments for them       home, and there’s more space for all that
                                                                                                                             too. We play very traditional       energy to bounce around.
                                                                                                                             games, such as pass the parcel
                                                                                                                              (with forefeits that everyone       Lisa told us, ‘The best party we had was my
                                                                                                                              has to do like jump up and         son’s fourth birthday. We hired a hall and a
                                                                                                                               down 10 times) musical            magician, and the theme was Batman. I made
                                                                                                                               statues, musical bumps,           individual Batman cupcakes and one main
                                                                                                                               sleeping lions. This year we’re   candle-topped Batman cake. About 25 guests
                                                                                                                                going to do more sports day      came, and they all loved it. My son Callum
                                                                                                                                things like sack and egg and     says the magician is his hero!’
                                                                                                                             spoon races. Giant frisbees and         ‘My sons have always loved Laser Quest, a
                                                                                                             skittles fill in unstructured moments and            laser tag game (sometimes called Zap Zone)’,
                                                                                                             they act as presents too. We also do a piñata       says Kim. ‘It’s heart pounding and adrenalin
                                                         DIY PARTIES                                         which kids love. The parties always feel            pumping stuff, but such an easy party to
                                                                                                             pretty chaotic and are very home made but           organise. We’ve probably had about six of
                                                         So, you’re a gung-ho mummy with a stash             are full of energy and fun.’                        these parties. My daughter has also had a
                                                         of bunting at the ready and a well-thumbed          Sarah told us about the party she put               Laser Quest party; and even my husband and
                                                         recipe book with post-it notes on the party         the most effort into, ‘It was Megan’s fifth.         I had an adult one with friends, which was a
                                                         treat pages...                                      Firstly I completely emptied her bedroom            scream!’
                                                         Karen says, ‘My three have always loved             (moving toys, shelves, bed and her sister’s         Helen’s idea saved on seasonal stress,
                                                         traditional party games and dancing parties         cot), borrowed about six tables and plenty          ‘ Oscar’s birthday is two weeks before
                                                         (and they are all boys). Some of the most           of chairs from the nursery up the road,             Christmas which is always a really stressful
                                                         popular games have been: doughnut eating            and set them all up with shiny tiaras, glue,        time of year. Last year I bought a block of
                                                         competitions - thread ring doughnuts onto           sequins, feathers and glitter for them to           tickets to the panto (Snow White). It was
                                                         string/ a washing line at the correct height        make their own princess tiaras. I pinned            fantastic - the only preparation I had to do
                                                         and eat without using your hands: chocolate         loads of netting to the ceiling and filled it        was invitations and name badges for the day.
                                                         eating competitions - but using only a knife        with fairy lights. The room looked amazing          It was a matinee performance so parents
                                                         and fork: and the Mummy game - teams                and if I was setting myself up in a fairy party     dropped their children at the theatre after
                                                         use loo roll to wrap a child to create the          business and could have left it all there then      lunch and picked them up again afterwards.
                                                         best wrapped Egyptian Mummy. All the old            it would have been great - unfortunately the        We bought ice creams in the interval, which
                                                         favourites are still very popular - musical         girls needed their bedroom back afterwards!         I pre-arranged with the manager, along with
                                                         bumps, the best dancer, sleeping lions etc.         The only downside was having to                     arranging for Oscar’s name to be read out
                                                         It’s advisable to not invite too many and have      single-handedly provide the services of party       by one of the cast to make him feel extra
                                                         an alternative quiet activity/ chill-out zone for   entertainer, house clearance and removals...        special. There were 20 of us in total all on
                                                         those who want to opt out. My friend held a         not to mention the tidying up.’                     one line! 13 children and 7 adults (each adult
                                                         cinema party recently for eight year old girls.        ‘I buy lots of crafts, usually about four        was assigned children to look after). It was
                                                         Turned lights down low, had choc ices in the        items - www.yellowmoon.org.uk do lots of            definitely the least stressful party I’ve done
                                                         interval with a torch, popcorn and the latest       crafts in packs which are good for parties’         and worth repeating.’
                                                         DVD release, then hot dogs afterwards. Very         is Sara’s tip. ‘If you buy things that aren’t       Karen says, ‘For Bethany’s 10th birthday we
                                                         easy and cheap.’                                    too difficult for the age group it works             went to a Safari park, did the drive-through
Photos by Carolina Middleton www.carolinamiddleton.com




                                                         Kim told us, ‘One of the best party games,          well. We then play traditional games like           safari and saw the animals, had a cooked
                                                         probably for under 10s, is to give each child       musical statues. Some children finish the            lunch in one of the restaurants, went on all
                                                         a piece of bubble wrap to jump on. The first         crafts before the others so we put music on         the rides. She starred in the sea lion show,
                                                         to pop all the bubbles is the winner. It’s a        for them to dance to until the others have          we had a picnic tea which I brought with me
                                                         great (if noisy) way to get rid of some of that     finished. For my eldest’s ninth birthday she         and then when it got dark we went on an
                                                         energy. Or buy some plain wooden photo/             had four friends over and we combined               illuminated walk around the grounds. It was a
                                                         picture frames from a pound shop or Ikea.           crafts with a sleepover. After the crafts and       full day out and all the children really enjoyed
                                                         Each child decorates a frame using paints,          tea, I put on a DVD and they had a sleepover        themselves.’
                                                         glitter, feathers, anything you can think of.       (with midnight feast).’                             Felice has had many successes through the
                                                         While they’re absorbed decorating, call each           Finally Pascale, the voice of reason,            years, ‘As our children have progressed from
                                                         one up and take his/ her photo or a group           reminds us there’s no need to get carried           primary school age to teens, we have held:
                                                         photo and print off on computer (or have            away; ‘Our parties have always been                 swimming parties at a local pool with the
                                                         partner run round to Snappy Snaps and they’ll       low key - you will never see any themed             party tea included; a movie followed by tea
                                                         print within an hour). At the end of the party      partyware in our household! We set up good          at Pizza Hut; roller skating, ice skating and
                                                         each child can put the photo in their frame         old traditional party games and provide             bowling parties; the cinema followed by
                                                         and take it home - party bag sorted!’               plenty of sweets and cucumber sandwiches.           dinner in town; a day out to a theme park;
                                                              ‘We are lucky that our son is a summer         A bouncy castle is always a success, the            facial/ nail/ henna makeover parties and most
                                                         born so always head to the park for his             cinema for older children and sleepovers for        recently, murder mystery and dinner at home
                                                         party which means numbers aren’t an                 everybody (of course with no more than a            followed by clubbing ‘til late in town at the
                                                         issue (and we always say if it rains we get         handful of guests).’                                magical age of 18!’

                                                         8    FAMILIES UPON THAMES May-June 2010
                                                                                                                        parties



rfect
                                              Some parents enjoy planning and hosting
                                              children’s parties, while others are deeply
                                                     relieved it’s only once a year.
                                                 ROBINA COWAN asked a bunch
                                               of mothers to tell us about their most
                                               memorable and successful parties. She
                                                found out how to organize the best
                                              party ever. Read on and be inspired.



 THEMED PARTIES                                    they got through), an overall winner was
                                                   declared and we finished with the group
 Most children have a special interest, be it a    dance. We filmed the whole thing and
 sport, dancing, singing, a particular book or     gave each girl a CD to take home the next
 film, which provides the perfect starting point    morning, taking care of the goodie bags.’
 for arranging the party.                          Frances told us, ‘We are lucky with our
 Mum of three Claire likes themed parties.         youngest daughter in that her birthday falls
 ‘We had a Mad Hatter’s tea party for our two      on Hallowe’en which gives us an instant                eat. The party was a hoot and still talked
 year old twins, just grandparents and aunties     theme her friends never tire of. It helps that         about!’
 and uncles were invited. We had it in the         it usually falls in half term so we have spent            ‘Magicians and Mad Science have always
 garden, everyone wore a funny hat and we          days making costumes, designing invitations            been a hit with my boys’, Sarah told us.
 ate lots of miniature cakes, sandwiches and       and games (eg pin the tail on the witch’s cat,         ‘Last year for my daughter’s fifth we had a
 nibbly bits. Great fun and the girls loved the    apple bobbing) and getting creative with               fairy party which was so magical. All the girls
 hats! I am thinking of having ‘Where the Wild     the food (spider biscuits, dead man’s fingers,          dressed as fairies and the party company
 Things Are’ party this year. They can all dress   mystery punch, etc). As the years have passed          provided a beautiful drinks fountain,
 up as monsters and we can make up some            we’ve made each year different - once they             made fairy dust with the girls and then
 fun games to match the theme.’                    were older we risked an evening bonfire                 they all planted fairy eggs in the garden.
 Angela told us, ‘My sister in law, (a qualified    and barbecue which was quite spooky and                While they were eating tea the eggs were
 primary school teacher), always comes up          of course there was the year we hired a                magically transformed into fairy dolls - it was
 with wonderful homemade budget ideas              ‘wizard’ whose traditional magic act was a             wonderful to watch!’
 on a theme. Her fairy party was signposted        real success.’                                         Roberta’s idea worked well too, ‘for my
 outside the house with painted toadstools,           ‘We threw a Murder Mystery party for                7 year old daughter’s party we had a dance
 the children had their tea from toy china fairy   our twelve year old daughter which was                 theme. I was lucky to have a choreographer
 cups, and all the games were fairy themed.        excellent, with her friends declaring it               friend who taught them a wonderful routine
 Even the party invitations were sent out in       the ‘best party ever’, says Kim, ‘Choose               which they threw themselves into and as a
 tiny fairy writing with a toy magnifying glass    which mystery you’d like from the internet,            finale performed it to collecting parents’.
 to read. For someone with a creative leaning      download it and print out (costs about £20).              Finally, Karen told us, ‘For my daughter’s
 and time to spend, lots of fun can be had - I     Detailed instructions are provided along with          third birthday we had a Bug’s Life party. I
 am in awe of her attention to detail!’            timings. It takes a little time to prepare but         actually think both my daughters enjoyed
    ‘When our daughter was nine she invited        is well worth it and anyway at that age the            helping me make all the caterpillar cakes,
 eight friends for an ‘X-Factor sleepover’         birthday girl/ boy can help. The children dress        bug like sandwiches etc more than the party
 party’ says Alix. ‘When the girls arrived, we     up and act in character, we had a 1920s                itself! Depending on the age and whether
 sent them off to each choose a character          newspaper reporter, glam starlet. Food can             they want to do so, include your children in
 (the over enthusiastic, the pleading, the         be laid out to graze on or you can break to            the making, designing and planning.’
 downright awful etc), plan their look and
 rehearse their song, plus come up with a
 group dance for the finale. That took care
 of a couple of hours before tea! The judges
                                                              extra
 were daddy, her brother, plus one guest who          For more Go to www.familiesuponthames.co.uk and search in the Directory under
 didn’t want to perform, while I played Davina        Children’s parties for a list of local goodies with links to websites.
 McCall at her most over the top. The girls           At the Families Group website www.familiesonline.co.uk you will find archived articles
 duly performed their act, were judged (lots          about parties full of tips and advice. Be sure to register on the site to get access to local
 of mock screaming down their mobiles when            information.




                                                                                                       May-June 2010 FAMILIES UPON THAMES               9
                        parties

Party profiles                                                            An in-depth look at a selection
                                                                         of party options.
                                                                          receive a party balloon to take home. At a
                                                                                                                                                                      IES
                                                                                                                                                         POPSTARS PART
                                                                          minimum extra cost they will provide their very
                                                                          own party bags with party goodies, including a
                                                                          book for each child to take home.
                                                                             The children are encouraged to come                                   ribbons to ‘Best of Both Worlds’ and more.
                                                                          in fancy dress, however, it is not essential                                High School Musical parties tell a story of
                                                                          as Stagecoach Parties provide props and                                  friendships, drama, loyalty and united dreams.
                                                                          accessories like hats, wands and fairy wings.                            You don’t have to be the next Troy or Gabriella
                                                                          There is a break during the party for parents to                         to enjoy the dancing at a High School Musical
                                                                          provide food, drink and birthday cake and party                          party as your Instructor will teach you songs
           PA              RTIES
STAGECOACH                                                                hosts will help during this time.                                        from the three films have been mixed with an
                                                                             The Murder Mystery Parties for ages 11 to                             array of dance props and basketball games, a
                                                                          16 years are a fun, exciting and creative event                          High School Musical Party is high energy and
STAGECOACH PARTIES                                                        where the detective host will take care of all the                       great fun,
The latest venture of Stagecoach Theatre                                  entertainment. The parties last for two hours                               Grease themed parties are a timeless classic
Arts plc, Stagecoach Parties promise to take                              and thirty minutes and are set around a three                            and appeal to all ages. A story of love, rivals
children on a roller coaster ride through their                           course meal. Themes include; The Mystery of                              and everlasting friendship, Grease captures the
imagination and land them safely back home                                the Caribbean Curse and Murder at Midwinter                              spirit of 1950s pop culture. Re-live the energy
with a bulging bag of amazing memories!                                                                                                            of the film by dancing to your favourite Grease
   Whether it is your child’s 4th birthday or                             WHAT THEY SAID                                                           tracks with pom poms and clapperboards - it’s
your teenager’s 16th birthday Stagecoach can                              ‘Absolutely brilliant – the children are still                           electrifying!
run a party for you. The parties range from                               talking about it. The show at the end will stay                             Families upon Thames readers receive 10%
a themed two hour creative Drama, Dance                                   with me forever. ‘                                                       discount when booking a party before the end
and Singing party to a spine chilling Murder                              ‘Thanks a million for a wonderful Murder                                 of May. Please quote ref: PSA2 - PSP10%.
Mystery evening experience.                                               Mystery Party! Lea came home and said that                               Call 020 8568 6886 or
    Party hosts take care of all the enter-                               it was the best party ever! Thank you for                                email: Lindsay@PopstarsAcademy.com
tainment throughout the party and are there                               organising everything so professionally’.                                www.PopstarsAcademy.com
for the arrival of the very excited young guests                          For further details, please call Polly Simmonds
and do not leave until the last goodbyes have                             on 01932 256294.                                                         MOTHER NATURE SCIENCE
been said.                                                                                                                                         PARTIES
   For ages 4 to 10 years, themed parties                                 POPSTAR PARTIES                                                          Want something fun, educational and unique
combine a variety of drama, singing and dance                             If your children love to follow the latest dance                         for your children’s next party? Mother Nature
activities. The parties are all based around                              crazes, sing into a hairbrush and love music this                        Science parties sound great. Their exciting
original themed stories that are unique to                                is the party to go for. They bring along music,                          science-themed parties combine the ideas of
Stagecoach and are designed to unleash the                                lights, and choreographed dance routines to                              playing and learning, and can be presented
imagination and creativity of the children,                               all your favourites, fun popstar games, dance                            outdoors, indoors at home or wherever you
ensuring that no two parties will ever be the                             props with blow-up guitars, bubble machine                               may choose. Each Mother Nature Science party
same. Themes include Wonderland for flittering                             and complimentary invitations.                                           features an impressive array of spectacular
fairies, Wild Wild West for gun-slinging                                      The new Street Dance Parties are for children                        topical demonstrations and interactive activities,
cowboys, Once upon a Time for would-be                                    to enjoy street dance and hip hop urban dance                            and children leave the party with fun and
princesses, piratical Pieces of Eight, Disco Divas                        moves, popping and locking to current dance                              educational take-home experiments. Visit them
for aspiring pop stars and Super Heroes to save                           tracks and their all-time favourites mixed with a                        at www.mnature.co.uk or call 020 8863
the day! During the last ten minutes of the                               variety of dance props and games.                                        9986.
party, family and friends are invited to watch                                Mamma Mia parties are for dancing to Abba
some of the fun and exciting activities the                               songs with glitter microphones, dance ribbons                            WHAT THEY SAID
children have enjoyed during the party.                                   and pom poms! There are choreographed                                    ‘Thank you Mother Nature Science for the
   Before the party you will receive themed                               routines to Dancing Queen, Waterloo, Money,                              wonderful party yesterday. Lara, Leo, and their
party invitations to send out to your child’s                             Money, Money and more.                                                   friends all enjoyed it very much. They even say
guests. On the day a trained party host will                                  Enter the dream world of Hannah Montana                              want to become scientists in the future!’
arrive at your home in full costume, loaded                               by dancing to her songs including routines from                          ‘As you know Joshua has been to a science
with themed props to use during the party.                                Hannah Montana The Movie. Do the hoedown                                 party before and is really into science and he
Party prizes and stickers will be handed out                              throwdown with glitter cowboy hats, join in                              and his friends thought the party was amazing,
throughout the party and every child will                                 with blow up guitars to ‘Rock Star’, dance                               so a big thank you!’


     Parties                                                                                           Balloons – Beautiful & Stunning Colours for
                                                                                                       Children’s Birthday Parties & Other Occasions.
                                                                                                       Popcorn Machine for your Summer/Beach theme
     Bouncy Castles, Inflatable slides, Ball Ponds &                                                   parties. Affordable Prices. Great alternative to party
     much more for Birthdays, Holy Communions, Spring                                                  bags – Please try us first. Delivery to Venue Possible.
     / Summer School Fairs & Other Occasions.                                                          020-8399 5679, www.party-bounce.co.uk
     Popcorn Machine for your summer & Beach theme
     parties. Also Tables & Chairs and Balloons available.
     020-8399 5679, www.party-bounce.co.uk


                                                             BOUNCY
                                                             CASTLES,
                                                             SLIDES &
                                                             SUMO SUITS
                                                             For Birthdays, Spring/Summer Fairs etc.
                                                                 Also Tables, Chairs & Gazebos
          FUN, GAMES AND MAGIC                                         for children’s parties
       WITH LIVE DOVES AND RABBIT!
                                                                020 8399 5679
            0118 973 0737                                     www.party-bounce.co.uk

10      FAMILIES UPON THAMES May-June 2010
MOTHER NATU                                                                                   S
            RE PARTIES                                                          ACTIVE PARTIE
                                                                                                                                     parties

                                                                                                                      for all your summer / beach theme parties.
                                                                                                                          Please book early to avoid disappointment
                                                                                                                      on 020 8399 5679 www.party-bounce.co.uk
                                                                                                                      10% discount for Families Upon Thames
                                                                                                                      readers – offer ends 30th May 2010

 PARTIES TO REMEMBER                                                                                                  ACTIVE PARTIES
 Rowena’s company grew from the time                                                                                  For an outdoor party in a beautiful location,
 when she organised her own child’s parties.                                                                          how about Painshill Park, Cobham?
 They were so popular that her friends and                                                                            Their active parties are set in the landscape
 the parents of attending children told her to       details, please call Kirsty on 07961 397226 or                   with themes from Camp Building to
 start up a traditional party business. That was     email her on kirsty.sweet@blueyonder.co.uk.                      Christopher Robin Days Out. They can be
 14 years ago and Rowena has never tired of          Storytellers can also be found on Facebook                       catered or self-catered and party bags are
 hearing the children laugh while hunting,           The Story Teller’s Children’s Parties group. You                 available. Painshill Park parties are suitable
 singing and playing team games during that          can get a 10% discount when you mention                          for ages 4 to 12 years. For more information,
 time. The games that have proved popular            Families magazine on all parties booked by                       please call 01932 868113 or check
 for many years and the cry, ‘Can we play            31st May for parties in June and July 2010.                      www.painshill.co.uk
 that game again?’ is reward enough to know
 that the children are enjoying themselves. It’s     THEATREBUGS PARTIES
 a party, there needs to be laughter, a little       Theatrebugs provide fun-filled, interactive                       IMAGINE DREAM PARTIES
 shouting and running, a few slightly scary          drama adventure parties for 4 to 8 year olds                     Imagine Dream Parties offer imaginative and
 games and a couple of quiet games. The              crammed with stories, games, tasks, dressing                     interactive parties with many themes.
 mixture means the children rarely get bored.        up and good old fashioned fun! Choose from                       Professional entertainers will arrive in full
 Rowena arranges a consultation, so not to be        themes such as, Cars, Dora, Superheroes and                      costume and create a world of fantasy and
 a stranger on the big day, a week or so before      Princesses and many more!                                        make believe. All equipment is provided
 the party and provides all the prizes including        New to Theatrebugs are party packages for                     including music, sweets and stickers, themed
 a material party bag. Read her blog for more        2 to 3 year olds with song, music and puppet                     props, certificates and a present for the
 insight to her ethos. Call 020 7249 3242            shows, lots more great themes to choose from                     birthday child. 01932 784564
 www.partiestoremember.co.uk                         like Under the Sea, Teddy bear’s Picnic, and                     www.imaginedreamparties.co.uk
                                                     many more.
 NEW STORYTELLING PARTIES
 As with Rowena, this idea evolved out of Kirsty     WHAT THEY SAID
 Sweet’s own children’s parties. Parents of the      ‘The perfect solution for a party to remember!’
 children coming to their parties started to ask     www.theatrebugs.co.uk 020 7350 2995
 her to organise their children’s parties and the    enquiries@theatrebugs.co.uk
 idea has grown from there.
    The idea is to take the child’s favourite book   BOUNCY PARTIES
 or poem and base the party around that. The         Party Bounce provide a wide choice of bouncy
 party starts with some crafts and ends with         castles, inflatable slides, sumo suits, tables
 the story or poem being read to the children,       and chairs and much more for all occasions –
 wearing the masks, finger puppets or whatever        children’s parties, fetes and fairs, corporate /
 they might have made, interacting with the          charity events, etc.
 story or poem and quite often learning too            To make the celebrations extra special, why
 (the Owl and the Pussy Cat is a good one, how       don’t you order beautiful, high quality helium
 many children know what a runcible spoon            balloons as an alternative to party bags?
 is?).                                                 New this year is an popcorn machine - great
    Kirsty told us, ‘I myself
 have 5 children the
 oldest being 19, so in
 fact have been doing
 this a very long time. I
 also organise Christmas                                  Dream Children’s Parties
 and Easter craft
 workshops for children
 at our church which is                                   Just choose your theme at
 done on a much larger
 scale.‘                              www.imaginedreamparties.co.uk
    If you are interested
 or would like further
                                         or call 01932 784564
                                                                                     for editorial and advertising
                                                                                     Next issue: Summer special,

                                                                                     please call 01932 254584.




                                                                                                                     May-June 2010 FAMILIES UPON THAMES 11
            family fun

             KNOLL HOUSE
                    HOTEL                                                                                             Get started                                                                                          t

                                                                                                                      with gardening
                                                                                                                       DAVID AUSTIN believes gardening is an activity for all the family.
                                                                                                                                                                         caught one in my son’s bug hunting kit
                                                                                                                                                                         allowing me a good close look. They can take
        Unrivalled facilities for families
                                                                                                                                                                         up to 7 years to mature from wood eating
         Excellent low season offers                                                                                                                                     grub to beetle. Like the stag beetle, bees
         Studland Bay · Dorset · BH19 3AQ                                                                                                                                have had a tough time in recent years with
                  s 01929 450450
                                                                                                                                                                         numbers falling dramatically as tastes change
              www.knollhouse.co.uk
                                                                                                                                                                         and their favourite flowers can no longer
                                                                                                                                                                         be found in the garden or countryside. The
                                                                                                                                                                         large garden bumble bee has seen a 95%
                                                                                                                                                                         decline since 1960. Bird feeders are always

     surrey childcare                                                                                                                                                    guaranteed to provide interest in the garden
                                                                                                                                                                         with those acrobatic blue and great tits but
               nanny agency                                                                                                                                              some plants can also provide seeds for the
                                                                                                                                                                         birds; we had a selection of finches visit our
                                                                                                                                                                         sunflower heads over the winter (not to
                                                                                                                                                                         mention squirrels). Even digging over your
                                                                                                                                                                         borders and vegetable patches will bring
                                                                                                                                                                         in the blackbirds and robins and occasion-
                                                                                                                                                                         ally thrushes. Last week I discovered a
                                                                                                                                                                         hibernating hedgehog in a customer’s garden
                                                                                                                                                                         during a tidy up.
                                                                                                                                                                            On the more practical side of gardening
                                                                                                                                                                         there is always the increasingly popular
                                                                                                                      Gardening is increasingly popular with all age     vegetable patch. Some may be lucky to have
      Surrey’s childcare recruitment                                                                                  groups whether you have a large outdoor            a dedicated area within the garden or an
                                                                                                                      space or small yard or balcony. So why not         allotment, others may choose to go down a
                  specialists                                                                                         encourage your children to get stuck in as         more self-contained route by having a raised
      25 years childcare experience                                                                                   part of a family activity?                         bed built. This is a great idea for children or
     All nannies personally interviewed                                                                                  I am fortunate enough to have a garden          older people to enjoy gardening as it can be
                Live in or daily                                                                                      and two children under 7 and it has been           as big as is manageable and fairly accessible
                                                                                                                      a revelation to see just how naturally             as it’s off the ground. You can also determine
               Full or part time                                                                                      enthusiastic and interested children are in        the quality of the soil which should help you
          Permanent or temporary                                                                                      what happens in the garden. From digging           produce better plants. You could also try
          Online babysitting service                                                                                  over the vegetable patch and seeing worms          growing potatoes or other veg in a rubble
         www.surreychildcare.co.uk                                                                                    wriggling around, to moving objects in the         sack or other containers; just keep them
                                                                                                                      garden and finding frogs, toads or newts, to        watered so they don’t dry out. Dwarf fruit
       020 8399 4199                                                                                                  seeing how the tiny little seed they helped
                                                                                                                      plant, grow into a beautiful tall sunflower or
                                                                                                                                                                         trees can also be grown in containers and
                                                                                                                                                                         strawberries in dedicated planters or trailing
                                             Fancy Dress clothes from Kiddymania www.kiddymania.co.uk 01455 615 804




                                                                                                                      tomato. Then of course there is always that        ones even in hanging baskets, great for
                                                                                                                      much loved activity of jumping up and down         snacks for the little ones while they make use
                                                                                                                      in muddy puddles just like Peppa Pig.              of the garden. Anyone who has grown their

     Nuffield Health                                                                                                      As spring turns to summer, more of us will
                                                                                                                      be thinking of how we can make use of and
                                                                                                                                                                         own in recent years will tell you that there is
                                                                                                                                                                         nothing better than produce fresh from the
     day nursery.                                                                                                     maintain our gardens. That could be from
                                                                                                                      cutting the lawn to those summer barbecue
                                                                                                                                                                         garden; you really can taste the difference.
                                                                                                                                                                         The basic rule for the newcomer would be
                                                                                                                      parties. Anything that brings the family           don’t try to do too much all at once and
                                                                                                                      together to enjoy an activity that’s good for      grow things that are simple to look after to
       Childre fro    month t    yrs                                                                                  your health either through the physical side       give yourself the best chance of success.
       Saf carin environment                                                                                          of digging and hoeing to eating those lovely          Finally, keep the garden safe. For example,
                                                                                                                      fresh potatoes from the veg patch or carrots       put sharp tools out of reach of children, be
       Friendl lon standin team
                                                                                                                      from that window box, can’t be bad.                careful about which flowers or shrubs you
       Gr fundin availabl fo ove ’s                                                                                      So how can your family become more              grow and their fruits, use circuit breakers on
       Freshl prepare nutritiona meals                                                                                involved with the garden? Well if your             electrical equipment, maybe build an area of
                                                                                                                      children are interested in wildlife, how about     restricted access for barbecues, keep a safe
       Ofste approved
                                                                                                                      attracting some by building bug or bee hotels      area around playground equipment and use
     For a prospectus please contact:                                                                                 or huts which incorporate wooden structures        soft materials such as bark in a quantity that
     020 8335 2901                                                                                                    filled with twigs, pots or bamboo canes or          could break a fall.
                                                                                                                      build a stag beetle bucket? These creatures
                                                                                                                      may look frightening but are endangered -            Above all make the garden a fun, learning
                                                                                                                      personally I think they look incredible, having    environment for all to share and enjoy.


     nuffieldhealth.com
                                                                                                                                  extra                                                                                    fi
                                                                                                                             David Austin is from professional gardening company Leaf it to Us. Contact him on
                                                                                                                                              07766 63043 or email: Leaf_it_to_us@talktalk.net


12     FAMILIES UPON THAMES May-June 2010
Ed’s Reading Room is part of www.edontheweb.com, a DT                      books
award-winning website. It was created by Maggie Humphrey
a teacher of more than 25 years, and Les Snowdon, wh
                     Reading matters
together are authors of several books on fitness walking an
healthy eating. Ed’s Reading Room is part of www.edonthewe
                                               website. suggesting this created of
                                                              It was
com, a DTI award-winning children toRoomthis May and June. wonderful selectionby Magg
        Thanks to MAGGIE HUMPHRIES from Ed’s Reading
                          great books for your       read
                                                          for

Humphreys, a teacher of more than 25 years, and Les Snowdo
             FOR AGES authors
who together are5-7 YEARS of several books7 on fitness walkinFOR AGES YEARS PLUS
and healthy eating. Ed’s Reading Room is part of www
                                        Scarlet Silver: Swashbuckle School                                               No Way Out by Gene Kemp
edontheweb.com, a DTI award-winning website. It was create
                                        by Sarah McConnell and Lucy
                                        Courtenay
                                                                                                                         (Faber and Faber £5.99)

                                        (Hodder Children’s Books £3.99)
by Maggie Humphreys, a teacher of more than 25 years, and Le
                                        The notorious Long Joan Silver
                                                                                                                         Adam and Alex are twins.
                                                                                                                         They’re not identical but they
                                                                                                                         are telepathic and there is
Snowdon, who together are authors of several books on fitnes
                                        was eaten by a giant shrimp and
                                        ever since then her granddaughter
                                        Scarlet Silver has wanted to be a
                                                                                                                         something secret that holds
                                                                                                                         them together even when

walking and healthy eating. Ed’s Reading Room is part of www
                                        pirate. Now Scarlet and her family
                                        sail the high seas, learning to be
                                                                                                                         they argue. They are on what
                                                                                                                         is supposed to be a typical
                                                                                                                         family holiday - but somehow
edontheweb.com, a DTI award-winning website. It was create
                                        pirates and seeking treasure. But
                                        the captain of Swashbuckle School
                                        isn’t quite what he seems.
                                                                                                                         it is different. They are in a very
                                                                                                                         strange town with weird houses
                                                                                                                         and people.
by Maggie Humphreys, a teacher of more than 25 years, and Le
                                           Join Scarlet on the pirate ship
                                        55 Ocean Drive for an adventure
                                                                                                                             This is a brilliant book that you
                                                                                                                         won’t want to put down. You’ll

Snowdon, who together are authors of several books on fitnes
                                        on the ocean waves. If you enjoy
                                        this story there are lots more in
                                        this super new series.
                                                                                                                         see that no matter where they
                                                                                                                         run there’s…no way out.

walking and healthy eating. Ed’s Reading Room is part of www
edontheweb.com, a DTI award-winning website. It was create
       The Goffins Go Batty by
       Jeanne Willis
       (Walker Books £4.99)
                                                                                  Goodbye, Copper Pie by T M
                                                                                  Alexander
                                                                                  (Piccadilly Press £6.99)
by Maggie Humphreys, a teacher of more than 25 years, and Le
       George is settling in to life                                              Goodbye, Copper Pie is the

Snowdon, who together are authors of several books on fitnes
       at Grandma’s house and his
       thoughts turn to having a
       pet. Along with Lofty and
                                                                                  second book in this great new
                                                                                  series about the five friends
                                                                                  who make up Tribe. It’s full of
walking and healthy eating. Ed’s Reading Room is part of www
       Eave, the Goffins secretly
       living in Grandma’s attic,
                                                                                  questions. Will the summer fair
                                                                                  be a success? Who’s getting a

edontheweb.com, a DTI award-winning website. It was create
       he sets upon giving a lost
       puppy a home. But can he
       convince the grown-ups to
                                                                                  dog? And not least, will Copper
                                                                                  Pie really desert Tribe? There are
                                                                                  three stories in this book for you
by Maggie Humphreys, a teacher of more than 25 years, and Le
       let him have a puppy?
           Here is another terrific
                                                                                  to get to know these fantastic
                                                                                  characters.
                                                                                     Here’s a group of ordinary
Snowdon, who together are authors of several books on fitnes
       book by this talented writer.
       You too can go batty with
       the Goffins in this charming
                                                                                  kids who find fun in inventive
                                                                                  ways. You’ll enjoy finding out

walking and healthy eating. Ed’s Reading Room is part of www
       and hilarious story!                                                       more about their challenges and
                                                                                  friendship as you delve into Tribe’s
                                                                                  adventures.
edontheweb.com, a DTI award-winning website. It was create
by Maggie Humphreys, a teacher of more than 25 years, and Le
Snowdon, who together are authors of several books on fitnes
               extra eating. Ed’s Reading Room is part of www
walking and healthy
edontheweb.com, a DTI award-winning website. It was create
       Ed’s Reading Room is part of www.edontheweb.com, a DTI award-winning website. It was created by Maggie Humphreys, a teacher of more
       than 25 years, and Les Snowdon, who together are authors of several books on fitness walking and healthy eating.
by Maggie Humphreys, a teacher of more than 25 years, an
       Ed’s Reading Room is an exciting free online book and story club for primary children in                You are very welcome to contact
Les Snowdon, who together are authors of several books o
       homes and schools at www.edontheweb.com. Each month, recently published books are
       selected as Ed’s Books of the Month for Owlets (ages 5 to 7) and Owls (over 7s). On the
                                                                                                               Maggie on 01753 730019 or by email
                                                                                                               at mgh@edontheweb.com about
fitness walking and healthy eating. Ed’s Reading Room is pa
       website, there are fun literacy activities to accompany each book, including wordsearches,
       quizzes, poetry and reviews, and there are new original stories in Edtime Stories. There are
                                                                                                               the website or about Ed on the Web
                                                                                                               Spelling Bees in schools.

of www.edontheweb.com, a DTI award-winning website. It wa
       lots of other fun online activities, complementary to the curriculum, in Ed’s Imaginarium.
       Check out Ed’s Archive for Ed’s Books of the Month from previous months.

created by Maggie Humphreys, a teacher of more than 25 year
and Les Snowdon, who together are authors of several book                                                    May-June 2010 FAMILIES UPON THAMES 13
         special needs


Can-do with DS
 FRANCES LOATES finds out about a Teddington-based charity, how for 40 years it has supported those affected by
     Down’s syndrome throughout the UK. She also discovers what’s going on locally for families affected and those who
                                want to get involved with the charity’s wonderful work.

                                                                            With much still to do, it is
                                                                        hoped that instead of a life
                                                                        of social exclusion, affected
                                                                        families will one day feel
                                                                        part of the mainstream. The
                                                                        charity works endlessly for
                                                                        understanding of those with
                                                                        Down’s syndrome among the
                                                                        general public. They provide
                                                                        information, counselling,
                                                                        support and advocacy for those
                                                                        affected plus their families and
                                                                        professionals who support them.
                                                                        Most of all they champion the
                                                                        rights of people with Down’s
                                                                        syndrome to live the life of their
                                                                        choice.
                                                                            Since 1970, the Down’s
                                                                        Syndrome Association has
                                                                        worked tirelessly to improve
                                                                        knowledge. As Carol Boys says,
                                                                        ‘Our work is not yet done and
                                                                        I look forward to working with
                                                                        others in the learning disability    mainstream school, have jobs
                                                                        arena to ensure that opportuni-      and make decisions about their
                                                                        ties for those with Down’s           lives and futures.
                                                                        syndrome continue to grow and
                                                                        flourish’.
                                                                                                             HAPPENING LOCALLY
                                                                        WHAT IS DOWN’S?
                                                                        One in every 1000 babies, or         BIG STEP FORWARD
                                                                        600 babies a year in the UK, is      The DSA’s organised walk which
                                                                        born with Down’s syndrome,           is taking place on Sunday 6th
                                                                        a genetic condition with             June in Bushy Park just over the
                                                                        those affected carrying 47           road from the National Office in
                                                                        instead of the usual 46 pairs of     Teddington.
                                                                        chromosomes.                             Whether you have 5 walkers
                                                                            Down’s syndrome is not a         or 50, the charity wants you to
                                                                        disease. People with Down’s          walk that weekend to celebrate


F
      rom small beginnings as      a large extent to the charity’s      syndrome are not ill and do not      Down’s syndrome and 40 years
      a local support group        work. The 1971 Education Act         ‘suffer’ from this condition.        of the DSA. They can provide
      for parents in 1970, The     changed the status of children           Although older mothers have      you with full instructions on
Down’s Syndrome Association        with Down’s syndrome from the        a higher individual chance of        how to organise your own walk
(DSA) is now a national charity    previous and quite outrageous        having a baby with Down’s            along with up to the event
with over 20 000 members           label of ‘ineducable’ and            syndrome, more are born to           support and t-shirts for all
across the country and an          recognised their right to attend     younger mothers, reflecting           registered walkers.
impressive record.                 school. Also that year legislation   the higher birth rate in this age         The DSA has an annual
   Carol Boys, Chief Executive,    was passed which ensured that        group.                               operating need of approximately
says, ‘Forty years ago, people     those with Down’s syndrome               Everyone with Down’s             £1.6 million and this is met
with Down’s syndrome were          had a right to access services       syndrome has some degree of          almost entirely on voluntary
fighting for the basic rights       within their own communities.        learning disability along with       donation so your contribution
– to life, medical treatment,         Far from the lives led in long-   physical characteristics which       makes a difference.
education and to be an             stay hospitals which was the         may bring with them specific              To register, please contact
accepted member of society.        expectation earlier in the 20th      medical problems.                    Alexa Dizon on 0845 230
The ability to engage in           century, where parents were              Due to medical advances, the     0372 or email alexa.dizon@
activities that help define one’s   urged to consign their children      life expectancy of someone with      downs-syndrome.org.uk
sense of self were limited or      with learning disabilities, people   Down’s syndrome is now 60 to
non-existent; however, the DSA     with Down’s syndrome now             65 years with recent research        FULHAM FC BADGERS
has led the case for change as     lead full, rich and varied lives.    into the condition enabling a        The DSActive programme
an instrumental force expanding    Our society is a long way from       greater understanding of the         began in 2006 as a pilot
the range of opportunities at      being fully inclusive for those      associated health issues.            programme with the Fulham
both local and national level.’    with any form of disability              With the right support,          FC Foundation in partnership
   The changes in those 40 years   but recent progress has been         people with Down’s Syndrome          with the Down’s Syndrome
have been phenomenal, due          impressive.                          do make friends, most go to          Association in response to a lack
                                                                                                             of footballing opportunities for
                                                                                                             people with Down’s syndrome.
        Down’s syndrome is not a disease. People with Down’s                                                 The programme has grown to
                                                                                                             include seven teams with six
      syndrome are not ill and do not ‘suffer’ from this condition                                           respective professional football

14     FAMILIES UPON THAMES May-June 2010
                                                                                                          special needs

 GET IT RIGHT
 More than many disabilities, this syndrome seems prone to
 misconceptions. For example those with Down’s syndrome do no ‘all
 look alike’ – they can share certain characteristics but with always
 look more like Mum or Dad than anyone else with the condition.
 What’s more, people with Down’s syndrome are by no means
 necessarily all happy and affectionate and indeed no different to
 anyone else in their character traits and varying moods.
     When speaking about Down’s syndrome it is important not to
 fall into the trap of being offensive or plain inaccurate so as not
 to perpetuate any myths about the condition. This is especially
 important when talking to your children.

 DON’T SAY                          DO SAY
 Mongol                             Person/baby/child with Down’s
 Suffers from OR is a victim of     syndrome
 Down’s syndrome                    Has Down’s syndrome
 A Down’s baby/person/child         A person/baby/child with Down’s
 Retarded/mentally handicapped/     syndrome or who has Down’s
 backward                           syndrome
 Disease/illness/handicap           Learning disability
 Down’s (as an abbreviation)        Condition OR genetic condition
                                    DS (as an abbreviation if necessary)


clubs. In total, more than 200        main focus was not on winning
players engage in DSActive
training weekly.
   In March Down’s Syndrome
                                      or losing, but just taking part.
                                      The event was a resounding
                                      success and the DSA now has
                                                                                extra The Down’s Syndrome Association’s website is
football teams from across            plans for a national Down’s
                                                                                             www.downs-syndrome.co.uk
London came together for their        Syndrome Football League.
first-ever football tournament.
                                                                            For parents who have just discovered they are expecting a baby with
Other participating London              From May 22nd to 29th,
                                                                           Down’s syndrome, a new book published on 1st June could be helpful.
clubs were QPR Tiger Cubs,            Fulham FC Badgers will be on
                                                                           Down’s Syndrome - The Essential Guide by Antonia Chitty and Victoria
Charlton Upbeats and West             tour in Hong Kong playing
                                                                                    Dawson is published by Need2know books at £8.99.
Ham United DS Team. Unlike            against Hong Kong’s DS Team,
traditional tournaments, the          The Hong Kong Dragons.




                                  Experiencing your World Together




                                                    Finding
                                                    the right
                                                    secondary
                                                    school
                                                    need not
                                                    be difficult




   For more information,
   enrolment and fee details
   call 020 7228 3933 or visit
   www.thameschristiancollege.org.uk
   Thames Christian College, Wye Street, London SW11 2HB


                                                                                                 May-June 2010 FAMILIES UPON THAMES 15
                        out and about...
If you go down to the
Do you have a fondness for
Hyacinthoides non-scripta? Maybe if we
were to ask if you were fond of Bluebells
we’d be making more sense?
   The sight and scent of blooming bluebells
covering a woodland floor in May and
into June is one of the most magical and
intoxicating experiences nature has to offer on
a family walk. As Carys Hudson from Surrey
Wildlife Trust reminds us, ‘bluebells are one
of the marvels of spring, transforming forest
floors into a lush carpet of green and purple’.
   After the harsh winter, the bluebells should
be at their best in May this year and if we’re
lucky, the bluebell season could extend into
June.
   Up to 70% of the global population of
bluebells flower is in Britain so they are an
extra special seasonal aspect of the British
landscape. Sadly, this treasured species has
greatly declined over the past 50 years and
is globally threatened by the invasion of the
Spanish bluebell.                                    Image of a bluebell wood at Wakehurst Place, East Sussex,
                                                     kindly supplied by www.kew.org
   The Spanish bluebell is a serious threat
because the two species hybridise freely. The
resulting hybrid Hyacinthoides × massartiana
and the Spanish bluebell both produce highly
fertile seed and can invade areas of the native
common bluebell.
                                                      Make sure you don’t miss them this year
                                                   and be sure to pass on the magic to your
                                                                                                            Should your child turn
   Other reasons for decline of the beloved        children; why not get them to help you
bluebell are: habitat loss, particularly           establish a bluebell patch in a shady patch of
                                                                                                            up at the back door with
woodland and hedgerows; picking, uprooting         your garden to help maintain our horticul-
and bulb removal, mainly for gardens; and          tural heritage (see below)?                              a pretty posy for you, do
tipping of garden waste in woodlands and
hedgerows.                                         BLUEBELL FACTS                                           make sure they wash
   As a result, since 1981 the common              The Spanish bluebell is distinguished from
bluebell has been a protected species under        the common bluebell by its paler, larger blue            their hands at once!
the Countryside and Wildlife Act. Landowners       flowers, more erect flower stem (raceme),
are prohibited from removing common                broader leaves, blue anthers (where the                  belief that anyone who wanders into a ring
bluebells on their land for sale and it is a       common bluebell has creamy-white ones)                   of bluebells will fall under fairy enchantment
criminal offence to remove the bulbs of            and little or no scent compared to the strong            and soon after die.
wild common bluebells. This legislation was        fragrant scent of the northern species.                     Although most live up to their name, it’s
strengthened in 1998 under Schedule 8 of              The bluebell is a perennial herb that                 not unusual to spot violet-blue, white or even
the Act making any trade in wild common            grows in spring from bulbs that stay in the              pink flowers blooming amid the blue mass.
bluebell bulbs or seeds an offence.                soil over winter. The shoots emerge from
   Bluebells are notoriously slow to establish     early January, before trees’ leaves block a              BLUEBELL FOLKLORE
themselves, so stumble upon a deeply               large proportion of the available sunlight.              In English folklore the bluebell was said to
carpeted blue haze and it’s likely to be ancient   The bluebell sets seeds profusely and also               call the fairies to their meetings. People also
woodland – which adds to its mystery.              multiplies by offshoots from its bulbs.                  would not walk through a field of bluebells
   Fortunately the area is blessed with many a        The part of the scientific name                        because they believed it to be enchanted
bluebell wood at this time of year. Many are       ‘non-scripta’ means ‘unlettered’, and                    and that the fairies would spirit them away –
in local parks and open spaces, others open to     distinguishes this species from the ancestor             never to be seen by human eye again.
the public but nevertheless tucked away so go      of cultivated hyacinths (Hyacinthus                         Some believed that by wearing a wreath
and hunt them out!                                 orientalis), which in Greek mythology grew               made of the flowers, the wearer would
   It goes without saying that it’s against the    from the blood of the prince Hyacinthus as               be compelled to speak only truth. Others
law to pick bluebells and dangerous to do          he died.                                                 believed that if you could turn one of the
so as parts of the plant are poisonous. This is       Medicinal uses of the bulb include                    flowers inside out without tearing it, you
especially worth remembering if you are lucky      diuretic and styptic properties. Because the             would eventually win the one you love.
enough to have any in your garden. Should          bulbs contain toxic substances, they were a                 Bluebells have long been symbolic of
you child turn up at the back door with a          popular source of glue for bookbinding – the             humility and gratitude. They are associated
pretty posy for you, do make sure they wash        toxins discouraged attack by silverfish. The              with constancy, gratitude and everlasting
their hands at once!                               toxicity may be the origin of the superstitious          love. Bluebells are also closely linked to the
                                                                                                            realm of fairies and are sometimes referred to
‘bluebells are one of the marvels of spring,                                                                as ‘fairy thimbles’.
                                                                                                               Other local names used throughout
transforming forest floors into a lush carpet of green                                                       the UK, which mainly refer to the flowers,
                                                                                                            include Auld Man’s Bell, Calverkeys, Jacinth,
and purple’                                                                                                 Wilde Hyacint and Wood Bells.

16   FAMILIES UPON THAMES May-June 2010
woods today                                                                           Have a family outing to a local bluebell wood
                                                                                      this May or June and discover the magic and
                                                                                            mystery of these beautiful spots.



 WHERE
 This species is found in deciduous woodlands,
 hedgerows, meadows and on cliffs. The
 bluebell occurs in coppiced woodland,
 where it may dominate the ground flora.             SEE THEM NOW
 Humidity is a key requirement. It is intolerant
 of trampling, heavy grazing, water logging,        Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, TW9 3AB: Find bluebells at Kew in the
 deep shade and does not compete well with          Conservation Area to the north-west of the Gardens. The website has
 vigorous grasses. The presence of the species      a regularly updated bulb map giving the current status of its many
 in hedgerows and under bracken on pastures         varieties, check www.kew.org and be sure to see the bluebells at their
 may indicate that the land was once covered        peak.
 in woodland.
                                                    Osterley Park, Jersey Road, Isleworth, TW7 4RB. At Osterley the bluebells
 GROW YOUR OWN                                      appear in the south and west woods.
 Bluebells prefer a moisture-retentive,
 humus-rich, woodland type soil. The site           Esher Commons. This Site of Special Scientific Interest has been subject
 should be well drained, cool and shady, but        to a Restoration and Management plan over the last five years. One of the
 it shouldn’t dry out in summer. It is ideal        four main aims of the project has been to control invasive plants such as
 for naturalising in a wooded corner or old         Rhododendron and Himalayan Balsam. Such plants had been pushing out
 orchard. In the garden it can be planted in a      many less competitive native species such as bluebells, which hopefully will
 border or amongst herbaceous plants.               now thrive again. Esher Commons can be accessed from various points in the
     From seed: Sow early in spring or as soon      Borough, check www. elmbridge.gov.uk for a detailed map.
 as ripe in a cold frame. If you have plenty of
 seed it can be sown in situ, but it is usually
 more economical to sow it in a frame.              Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU. During May the
     By division: Bluebells are easily propagated   Wilderness area of the Gardens has many wildflowers and patches of
 by division of large clumps of bulbs. Divide       bluebells. This part of the gardens is to the north of the site and the place
 the bulbs in summer after the leaves die           where, historically, courtiers went in search of privacy and where gentlemen
 down. Larger bulbs can be replanted direct         of the court would entertain ladies in secret.
 into their permanent positions, but it is best
 to pot up smaller bulbs and grow them on for       Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park to the south-west corner of the Park
 a year in a cold frame before planting them        has glorious patches of bluebells in May and June.
 out when dormant in late summer. Bulbs
 should be planted about 8 cm deep in small         Cranford Park, Cranford, TW5 9RZ. The old woods are a great place to see
 clumps .                                           bluebells at this time of year.
     By chipping: A mature bluebell bulb (one
 of about six years old) can be carefully cut       Syon Park, Syon House, Brentford, TW8 8JF. There are bluebells in the
 to produce bulblets, which will each grow          woods.
 into individual plants. Simply take a mature
 bulb and with a very sharp sterilised knife,       For bluebell woods further afield, check Surrey Wildlife Trust at
 cut the tip off the bulb. Turn the bulb over       www.surreywildlifetrust.org They have information about glorious bluebell
 and carefully cut the trimmed bulb into            woods throughout the county.
 segments making sure that you have a piece
 of the basal root plate in each section. These
 bulblets can then be planted as normal.




                                                                        Come and join in the fun!
                                                                        sing, dance, learn and be inspired at


                                                                         Term time classes

                                                                         Classes tailored for individual age
                                                                         groups: 6 Months – 4 Years
                                                                                                                      For more information and a
                                                                         Wide range of children’s percussion                          call us on:
                                                                         instruments

                                                                         Exciting props, puppets and Toys



                                                                                                   May-June 2010 FAMILIES UPON THAMES 17
            parenting



Live that dream
MATT JARDINE believes we can teach our children to achieve the life they dream of. In this first in a
series of articles, he asks fellow parents to examine their own aspirations.
I have information that could change your
child’s life forever.
   This information is not new! But it is being
delivered today in a different voice so that
maybe you and your child will hear it clearly
enough to be inspired to begin to benefit from it?
   Who am I to deliver these ideas? No one special at all! I am
a teacher, a parent, a separated husband, a lover, a friend, a son, a
brother and many other things. I have had my fair share of ups and
downs, twists and turns, highs and lows from which I have established
a firm belief in the ideas I offer you today.
    I have tried and tested them on my own life before even daring
to suggest that they may work in yours. I am convinced of their
authenticity.
   Actually, if you take a moment to look at your own life, to
focus a mental spotlight upon it, you will see that you have
already been using and benefiting from the ideas I will
present over this and following articles. Perhaps you
have been benefiting without knowing, by default, but
benefiting all the same?
   Today my goal is simple and twofold:
   1 To start a process whereby you can begin to use these
ideas by choice rather than by default.
   2 To pass on this information to your children so that they may learn
to create the life of their dreams.


So let’s begin by daring to dream.
   I asked a friend the other day what would     science of visualisation and goal projection

                                extra
be the first thing he would do with unlimited
money.
   His response was to pay off the mortgage,
                                                 but certainly within the world of sport it has
                                                 been regularly documented that imagination
                                                 and mental rehearsal are primary keys to
the car, the school fees…I stopped him mid       success.                                            ABOUT THE AUTHOR
flow. There was not one ounce of inspiration         I can offer you though the same                  Matt Jardine is a father of two and has
coming from his words. What do you think         explanation I offer my students within my           taught children and adults for over 20
that is all about; the need to engage in         karate classes:                                     years.
the mundane? Is about being realistic and           Everything starts with a thought. Look              He owns and runs Jardine Karate
responsible? Is there more to life than this     at a building. It was once just an idea in          and teaches karate to over 500
way of thinking?                                 someone’s mind. Next came a blueprint               young pupils. His school and teaching
   I said that these were all obviously taken    followed by a mass of happenings,                   philosophy is based upon the principle
care of as the money is unlimited, so now        occurrences and activity; some mundane,             of ‘small wins’- small incremental
what would you do?                               effort filled and un-miraculous; some                successes that lead a child to the
   He couldn’t tell me. He didn’t know. He       exciting, ‘lucky’ and coincidental.                 confidence and realisation that they are,
hadn’t really thought about it.                     Finally we end with a solid structure that       quite literally, unlimited in potential.
   And there it was right there; he hadn’t       can be physically touched, lived in and                He is the author of Mo and Lucy -
even thought about it!                           testament to the truth that all things start        Choices, a book that guides its young
   When did we stop daring to dream? When        with a directed thought - a wish.                   readers to understand the importance
did we stop imagining we could be a famous                                                           of choice and is currently working on
footballer, a vet, an astronaut, a leader           Future articles will build upon this             a new children’s title I Want To Be An
of people, a mother, a father, a doctor, a       platform. For this article just indulge your self   Astronaut from which these articles are
business owner… when did it happen?              and let yourself ponder these 3 questions:          developed.
   Let’s just experiment with daring to                                                                  Retreat to Africa this year will see
dream. This is where our amazing lives can       1 What would you do if you had                      him developing an adult title The
be created. This ‘playing’ could be the most     unlimited money?                                    Urban Pilgrim. Based upon inspirational
crucial and important step of all the things I   2 What things would you do if you had               insights and reflections he enjoyed
plan to present to you.                          6 months to live (pain free and not                 whilst walking an ancient Japanese
   Let us, for a minute, be a child again. I     emotionally tumultuous)?                            pilgrimage, this title will aim to help
love to watch my son playing on the grass        3 What would you do if you had both                 adult readers consider their unlimited
verge outside my flat. Whether he has a           unlimited money and 6 months to live?               potential and show them how they may
football, rugby ball, cricket bat or tennis                                                          reach beyond the ordinary.
racket I watch him get completely lost in a         Play with these questions. Enjoy them.              Matt believes that he will have had
world of imagination where he is playing for     Ponder them. Dare to write down the                 a ‘good day at the office’ if his writing
England and taking on and beating all other      answers in a book that may very well be ‘for        or teaching inspires just one person to
competing nations.                               your eyes only’. It is not that easy to do at       reach for the life of their dreams!
   I can literally see the thoughts flowing       first but with practice it becomes easier and
through him and watch daily his skills           really enjoyable.                                   Read Matt’s next article in our
develop as he imagines himself into                 Let the process begin by daring to dream         July/ August issue.
improvement.                                     and I will see you back here in the summer
   There is not the space here to get into the   issue for the next step…

18   FAMILIES UPON THAMES May-June 2010
                                                                                                                                                                       parenting

                                                          Lessons in play
                                                                                                                                    Smile!
                                                                                                                                    It’s time to brush up on
                                                                                                                                    your child’s dental care
                                                                                                                                    Make it a part of your routine and provide your
                                                                                                                                    children with the best in childrens dental care.
                                                             DR CLARE BAILEY tells us to                                            Exclusively for 0-18 year olds, Toothbeary has been designed
                                                             drop what we’re doing and play                                         specifically with children in mind from colourful murals and
                                                             with the children.                                                     child-friendly benches, to the very latest in dental care
                                                                                                                                    technology. No intimidating dentist chairs, no scary dentists,
                                                                                                                                    bright lights or hurried consultations.
                                                          Our parent coaching courses          the immense love I have for my
                                                          start with a session on how          boys, all my good intentions, a      For parents who want the best start for their children in
                                                          to play with your children,          healthy sense of humour or any       dental care, come and see the experts who offer the highest
                                                          joining their games, following       amount of reading up on it.
                                                                                                                                    standards in dental hygiene and treatment.
                                                          their interests and imagination,        The first session was a real
                                                          without taking over or telling       eye-opener, mainly because I
                                                          them what to do. This is rarely      was quite taken aback by the
                                                          the reason parents book on the       fact that something that seemed
                                                          course. Often they have other,       frivolous to me is so vital to the
                                                          very reasonable priorities, like     growth and development of my
                                                          re-establishing calm and a sense     children. Play was surely simply
                                                          of control or boosting their         something that kids do in order
                                                          child’s confidence and resilience.    to while away long afternoons.
                                                          All of which are covered in later    On weekends we might have
                                                          sessions. But as Penny our           the luxury to get involved too
                                                          Parent Blogger, fresh from her       but even then it was primarily to
                                                          first session found, play is key:     prevent siblings from squabbling
                                                                                               and perhaps to slip in the odd
                                                              ‘I used to believe I was         bit of spelling or to sneak in
                                                          one of the lucky few who             some work on numbers and
                                                          would succeed at pretty much         colours.’
                                                          anything I put my mind to.
                                                          If I worked hard enough at           PLAY THEIR WAY
                                                          something it worked out pretty       Follow their lead, their rules and
                                                          well. How wrong I was...             imagination (within reason!)
                                                              Parenting has been a roller           Young children have a
                                                          coaster ride, with tremendous        natural curiosity and need to
                                                          highs and also some pretty scary     learn about the world through
                                                          lows. Tom and Jack are 5 and         play
                                                          3, and are the best of friends,          Be an ‘appreciative audience’
                                                          but the worst of enemies             or simply describe what they
                                                          too, so every day is full of         are doing. Not only does this
                                                          challenges. I have felt entirely     increase their vocabulary, but
                                                          unequipped for policing their        it shows you are engaged
                                                          countless conflicts, which are        and interested, which in turn
                                                          so frustratingly petty, yet earth    nurtures their creativity and
                                                          shatteringly important to them.      imagination
                                                          The first of my many inadequa-            Avoid criticism. Resist the
                                                          cies as a parent... I find myself     urge to teach or tell them what
                                                          repeating myself constantly,         to do (all too tempting to tell
                                                          talking to walls, raising my voice   them where furniture should go
Picture by Carolina Middleton www.carolinamiddleton.com




                                                          and at times admittedly even         in the doll’s house or that the
                                                          my hand. Some role model...          horse stays in the stable...does
                                                              How could I have ever            it matter if the horse comes into    To register, book a consultation or 020 8831 6870 or visit
                                                          imagined that love and               the kitchen for tea?)                for further information, please call: www.toothbeary.co.uk
                                                          common sense would be                    This is an opportunity to join                                         358A Richmond Road,
                                                          enough to raise a happy child?       their world, at their pace.                                                East Twickenham TW1 2DU
                                                          I realize that parenting is an art       Children usually love the
                                                          that often eludes me, despite        attention and the good it
                                                                                               generates goes a long way.

                                                               extra
                                                           Parenting Matters offer Parent Coaching Courses, individual,
                                                           corporate and phone sessions. Next course in Thames Ditton starts
                                                           Tuesday mornings from May 4th for 9 weeks. For further info go to
                                                           www.parentingmatters.co.uk, info@parentingmatters.co.uk or call
                                                           01494 677575. You can also check out your parenting style and its
                                                           implications in their online quiz.

                                                                                                                                                        May-June 2010 FAMILIES UPON THAMES 19
            parenting


Celebrate
‘good enough’




                                                                                                                                           Seraphine (www.seraphine.com)
                                                                                                                                           Denise Van Outen shopping at
                        KEVIN RYAN helps parents shrug off that inferiority complex.


D
           o you feel                children should have boundaries,     competing ideas and experience
           overwhelmed by            and then fundamentally disagree      and the inexperienced can be
           magazine articles,        where those boundaries should        left confused and downhearted.
           books, radio and          be. To be a parent is to feel           Do parents have to feel bad
television programmes telling        guilty all the time about your       all the time? In Neuro-linguistic
you what you are doing is            own perceived inadequacies           Programming (NLP) there is the
wrong? To be a parent in any         and the suspicion that you           concept that everyone does the       development. He believed in
era is to feel permanently guilty    are making the wrong choice          best they can with the materials     the ‘Good-enough mother’,
it seems.                            against the often contradic-         and knowledge that they have         who meets the child’s needs,
    A few months ago I caught        tory advice pumped out by the        at that time. Parents do the best    yet gives it enough space to
an edition of Woman’s Hour           parental advice industry. It can     they can with the information        allow it to develop, as opposed
on the radio, where nutrition-       seem so overwhelming.                they have, decisions are made        to the ’Perfect mother’, who
ists were worrying that today’s          Every view is met by a counter   for the right reasons at the         obsessively meets the child’s
mothers only knew how to             view from an equally qualified        time and can be changed when         needs, giving it no space to
cook nine dishes, and were           expert or prestigious organisa-      better reasons are offered.          develop. (Unfortunately, this
concerned about the effect           tion. Every month a piece of a       We all act in good faith, but        research was from the 1950s,
that this limited culinary range     new scientific research appears       can feel unsettled when new          when fathers were not yet
might have on the development        showing that something you           information causes us to reflect      seen as important for the early
of their children. These experts     believed was right now turns         back on our actions. Hindsight       development of the child.) This
were countered by another            out to be wrong. Even where          can be a torturous vision,           developmental space occurs in
guest, the comedian Annabella        there seems to be universal          imposing present knowledge           the mistakes a mother might
Weir, who proudly admitted           agreement, such as the efficacy       on past decisions and leaving        make, allowing herself and
that she only knew how to cook       of breastfeeding, mothers            us finding ourselves wanting.         the child to learn. Being ‘good
four dishes and saw these new        who cannot breastfeed feel           The past cannot be changed           enough’ allows for failures and
pronouncements as yet another        inadequate and guilty for letting    and these feeling of guilt can       mistakes and it is only through
stick to beat parents with.          their child down. Nothing you        be ameliorated by admitting          these perceived shortcomings
    Parents seemingly cannot do      do can ever seem right.              to yourself that you were            that learning occurs.
anything right. In the eyes of           This may appear to be            doing the best you could in             Experts offer advice and
the media - everything they do       a very twenty-first century           the circumstances you found          parents can take and learn
is wrong. They are bombarded         phenomenon, but in fact              yourself in.                         from them in a guilt free
by reports and experts telling       it is very ancient, as old as           Donald Winnicott, whose           environment. Yet sometimes it
them what they should do.            parenthood itself. Family            pioneering research in the           does feel as if there is a glut of
Some say they should ignore          histories always have tales          1950s into the developmental         experts weighing down upon
their baby’s cries, others that      of battling grandparents and         relationship between mother          parents, constantly telling them
they must respond to their           in-laws offering new parents         and baby, forms the basis            that they are not good enough.
child’s every murmur. Some say       often contradictory advice based     of much of our present               Parents should not be deterred.
starting nursery early will help     on their own experiences of          understanding of child               Stand up and shout:
children’s development, others       child rearing. Parenthood has                                             ‘We are good enough!’
claim this will impair it. All say   always been a battleground of
                                                                               extra
                                                                           Kevin Ryan, based in Isleworth, is a coach at Moving On Coaching. If
                                                                           you wish to know more you can visit www.movingoncoaching.co.uk,
                                                                           email info@movingoncoaching.co.uk or phone 020 8400 9045




          We offer your child the best start in life




                            Nurseries in
 Brentford • Clapham • Hammersmith • Kentish Town • Wembley
           Limited places available • Corporate discounts
                   web • www.bringingupbaby.co.uk
                 e-mail • office@bringingupbaby.co.uk
                           020 7622 5552

20   FAMILIES UPON THAMES May-June 2010
                                         out and about...
                                                                     box office 0871 230 1552
                                                                     www.rosetheatrekingston.org                        Football training for under 7s who are nuts
                                                                                                                        about football
                                                                     22nd MAY, Kids Go Disco at Oceana,                   Get your midfield dynamo enjoying super-skills,
                                                                     154 to 166 Clarence Street, Kingston,                fun and exercise
                                                                     KT1 1 QP, 2 to 5pm. Disco for children               CRB checked and FA qualified coaches
                                                                     aged 4 to 10 years with their families.              Training sessions, courses and parties
                                                                     £10 each, adult or child. Book online at             across London
                                                                     kidsgodisco.com                                    kiddikicks.co.uk           0845 602 8276
Fun at Kew Gardens




                                                                     1st to 4th JUNE, Half Term Fun at
                                                                     the Landmark Arts Centre, Ferry Road,
                                                                     Teddington, TW11 9NN. Arty, creative
                                                                     and drama activities and a show for ages
                                                                     5 to 12 years. Full details at
                                                                      www.landmarkartscentre.org

                                                                     22nd to 26th JUNE, George’s
                                                                     Marvellous Medicine at RIchmond
                                                                     Theatre, The Green, Richmond, TW9
                     FUN INDOORS                                     1QJ, 2 and 7pm. Roald Dahl’s story about
                     Until 20th MAY, Kingston Readers                a young boy who makes a marvellous
                     Festival, www.rosetheatrekingston.org           new medicine to sure his grandmother
                     has a full list of events.                      of her terrifying temper. Book on 0870
                                                                     060 6651.
                     Until JULY, Perform Fairytale Forest
                     Workshops in various local centres. Check       30th JUNE, 2nd and 3rd JULY, Monkey
                     www.perform.org.uk                              Theatre presents The Adventures of
                                                                     Odysseus at Riverhouse, Manor Road,
                     1st MAY, Theatre of Widdershins presents        Walton, 4.30 and 6pm. Children aged 8
                     The Arabian Knights at Vera Fletcher Hall,      to 11 present this story full of action and
                     4 Embercourt Road, Thames Ditton, KT7           fun. Suitable for ages 6 years +. Tickets
                     0LQ, 2.30pm. Sheherazade’s fabulous tales       £6 (carpet £3), book on 01932 253354.
                     are brought to life with puppets, story-
                     telling and original music. Suitable for ages   30th JUNE, 2nd and 3rd JULY, Monkey
                     4 to 10 years. Tickets £6, book on 0844         Theatre presents Witch Hunt by Stuart
                     884 8832.                                       Arden at Riverhouse, Manor Road,
                                                                     Walton, 6pm and 7.30pm. Children aged
                     19th to 23rd MAY, Guess How Much I              11 to 13 present this tale of fear and
                     Love You at The Rose, 4 to 26 High Street,      friendship. Suitable for ages 8 years+.
                     Kingston, KT1 1HL. With something for           Tickets £6 (carpet £3), book on 01932
                     everyone, this is the perfect entertainment     253354.
                     for the young and not-so-young! Ages 3+,




                                                                                   ! Nannies, Maternity Nurses,
                                                                                     Housekeepers and Mother’s
                                                                                     Helps
                                                                        All our
                                                                      applicants   ! Permanent and Temporary

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                                                                      personally     Full and Part-Time
                                                                     interviewed   ! Evening Babysitting Register
                                                                          and
                                                                         their
                                                                      references
                                                                       checked




                                                                                      Tel: 020 8947 4666
                                                                                     info@wimbledonnannies.co.uk
                                                                                      www.wimbledonnannies.com

                                                                                     184 Copse Hill, SW20 0SP
                                                                                        Fax: 020 8947 0405

                                                                                         bestbear.co.uk accredited


                                                                                                                     May-June 2010 FAMILIES UPON THAMES 21
                        out and about...
      classified                                                                              meteors and satellites. £2 for adults, £1 for
     advertising                       FUN OUTDOORS                                          children and concessions, 0845 456 2796.
                                       Throughout MAY and JUNE, Family Fun
                                       Days at Ham House Garden, TW10 7RS, 11am              23rd MAY, Raise your Voices to Ham House,
                                       to 4.30pm. Exciting new Discovery Room and            TW10 7RS, 6 to 9pm. To celebrate the 400th
                                       Ham Voyages map in the house. Self-guided             anniversary of Ham House, a one-off community
                                       trails and family tracker packs for the garden        singing event. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the
                                       available throughout the open season. Toy Box         gardens - bring a picnic if you like - where you
                                       in Orangery Garden. Contact 020 8940 1950,            will be entertained by various community choirs
                                       hamhouse@nationaltrust.org.uk                         in a real festival of the voice. Free admission
                                                                                             throughout the day but you need to register your
                                       2nd and 3rd MAY, Let’s Go Fly A Kite at               interest on 020 8940 1950.
                                       Painshill Park, Portsmouth Road, Cobham, KT11
                                       1JE, 1 to 4pm. Drop into a family workshop and        30th MAY, Family Discovery Day at Osterley Park
                                       have some fun with this ancient art by making         and House, Jersey Road, Isleworth, TW7 4RB, 12
                                       your own decorated kite which you can then fly         to 4pm. Hands-on creative fun days for families.
                                       out in the landscape.                                 Activities may include art, craft, storytelling or
                                       www.painshill.cco.uk 01932 8868113.                   hands-on activities in the House and Garden.
Kate’s School of Dance                 8th MAY, Richmond May Fair, Richmond Green,           4th JUNE, Teddy Bears’ Picnic at Bedfont Lakes
 Kate's School of Dance offer Dance    Richmond, TW9 1PB, 10am to 5pm. Free entry.           Country Park, Clockhouse Lane, Bedfont, TW14
 for 2-11yrs, RAD qualified teacher,                                                         8QA, 11am to 1pm. If you go down to the Lakes
      CRB checked and insured,         9th MAY, Chestnut Sunday, Bushy Park,                 today you’re sure of a big surprise. Take your
    RAD syllabus, Lafour Syllabus.
                                       parade 12.15 to 4.30pm. Traditional fairground        Teddy Bear along to picnic for a fun day out.
    Call Kate on 07957639460 or        ‘Galloper’ carousel and other rides and stalls.       Advance booking only on 0845 456 2796.
 email info@katesschoolofdance.co.uk
         for a free trial lesson.      Living history displays:
   www.katesschoolofdance.co.uk        Henry VIII, English Civil War, WW2 gunnery and        10th, 17th and 24th JUNE, Teddy Bears’ Picnic
                                       others including Ancient Greeks.                      at Thatched Cottage Glade, Claremont Landscape
                                       Shire Horses from Richmond Park.                      Gardens, Portsmouth Road, Esher, KT10 9JG, 1
                                       Military Vehicle camp and display reflecting           to 2.30pm. Take teddy and a picnic followed by
                                       Bushy Park’s wartime history.                         storytelling from 2pm. Additional charge for story-
                                       Teddington School’s Jazz Band.                        telling. Call 01372 467806 for details.
                                       Classic cars, motorcycles and cycles.
                                       St John Ambulance and Police information and          11th to 20th JUNE, Twickenham Festival -
                                       advice. Information and displays about Bushy          The Best of British. For full details, contact
                                       Park’s wildlife, history, The Friends of Bushy and    Twickenham Town Centre Management
                                       Home Parks, The Hampton Wick Association,             on 020 8891 7410 or check
                                       The Horse Rangers Association and Richmond            www.twickenhamtown.co.uk
                                       Park’s Holly Lodge Centre.
                                       Local charities’ information stands and fund          11th JUNE, Bat and Owl Walk at Bedfont Lakes
                                       raising activities including pony rides.              Country Park, Clockhouse Lane, Bedfont, TW14
                                       Education and volunteering opportunities in the       8QA, 9 to 11pm. Using bat detectors, tune into
                                       Park. Refreshment kiosks will be stationed at the     the bats that fly the skies above the lakes and
                                       site too.                                             listen out for the local owls. £2 for adults, £1 for
                                       For full details contact 020 8977 3416.               children and concessions. All children must be
                                                                                             accompanied by a responsible adult. Call 0845
                                       15th MAY, National Moth Night at Bedfont              456 2796 for more details.
                                       Lakes Country Park, Clockhouse Lane, Bedfont,
                                       TW14 8QA, 8 to 10.30pm. Celebrate National            12th JUNE, Elmbridge Music Festival, Esher Rugby
                                       Moth Night with a candle-lit picnic. Take a           Club, Molesey Road, Hersham, 11am to 10pm.
                                       thermos and some snacks and see what Bedfont          Live music, busking tent, fun fair, arts and craft
                                       Lakes has to offer in the world of moths and          stalls. Adults £4, children free. Call 01932 229996
                                       bats. There will be games and activities for all      for more details.
      11+ TUITION                      the family. £2 for adults, £1 for children and
                                       concessions. All children must be accompanied         12th JUNE, Llama Day At Claremont Landscape
and Mock Exam Paper                    by a responsible adult. Call 0845 456 2796.           Gardens, Posrtmouth Road, Esher, KT10 9JG,
       Practice                                                                              10.30am to 4.30pm. Meet the Bluecap Llamas
 TIFFIN/GRAMMAR                        16th MAY, British Reptile and Amphibian Day at        from Wadhurst in Sussex . Visitors will have
                                       Painshill Park, Portsmouth Road, Cobham, KT11         the opportunity to walk the llamas around the
& Private School Entry                 1JE, 12.30 and 2pm. Discover fascinating facts        garden. £10 charge payable on the day to Bluecap
 Surbiton Kingston Richmond            as you come face to face with live British reptiles   Llamas. Call 01372 467806 for details.
   Hampton Sheen Putney                and amphibians. Join a short talk, followed by
      Wimbledon Sutton                 question and answer sessions. Animal handling         12th JUNE, Ham Fair, 11am to 4.30pm. Contact
                                       will take place at approximately 1.15pm and           Ham Amenities Group on 020 8940 9476 for
   KS2: YEAR 4 - 6 (Tiffin, 11+
                                       you can drop-in and visit Fred the snake handler      more details.
 Common Entrance, Bursaries and
          Scholarships)
                                       any time between 12.30 to 4pm. This event
  Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal         is great fun for all ages, included in price of       13th JUNE, Country Bike Ride for Charity and
 Reasoning, Mathematics, English,      normal admission and no advance booking is            Family Fun Day, Cobham Rugby Club, Fairmile
Exam Practice, Interview Technique     required, www.painshill.cco.uk 01932 868113.          Lane, Cobham, KT11 2BU, 10am to 4pm. Join
                                                                                             Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and Surrey
     Highly Experienced Graduate
     Teacher, B.Sc (Hons), PGCE
                                       21st MAY, Star Walk at Bedfont Lakes Country          County Cricket Club for a day of pedaling.
      EXCELLENT RESULTS                Park, Clockhouse Lane, Bedfont, TW14 8QA,             Three different rides to choose from, all starting
      TEL: 0208-390-6076               9pm. Join a Ranger to search the skies above          at Cobham Rugby Club, and an array of different
                                       Bedfont Lakes to see constellations, planets,         stalls and activities.
     www.11plustuition.co.uk

22    FAMILIES UPON THAMES May-June 2010
                    Please check all events before you leave home as details may have changed.


                                                                                                     Please send us details of your
The 10 mile family ride will be mainly off
road, crossing the Mole Valley and Great
                                                                                                     events in July and August for
Bookham Common, perfect for all ages.                                                                        a free listing:
For adventurous riders, try the 17 mile dirt                                                         editor@familiesuponthames.co.uk
trail through Oxshott Woods. For more
persistent pedallers, take part in the 45 mile
road ride, a challenging tarmac route with
several hilly sections?
   Rainbow Trust asks each rider to try and
raise just £50 in sponsorship for the bike ride
but any donation will make a real difference
to the families they support. There are
prizes for the riders who raise the most.
   To register for the bike ride, visit
www.rainbowtrust.org.uk/countrybikeride
or for more information call 01372 220022 or
email cycling@rainbowtrust.org.uk
Entry fees are £12 for adults, £6 for 13
to 17 year olds until 30 April. Thereafter        @nationaltrust.org.uk
£15/£7.50. Children 12 and under are free.
Entries on the day are welcome, includes
a donation to the charity. For further            27th JUNE, Osterley Day at Osterley House
information about the charity, please visit       and Park, Jersey Road, Isleworth, TW7 4RB,
www.rainbowtrust.org.uk                           12 noon to 5pm. Join in the celebra-
                                                  tions of local life at this popular day of
                                                  live music, dance performances, art, crafts        Fun With Music!
13th JUNE, Twickenham Carnival. Free
event. Twickenham Carnival 2010 celebrates
                                                  and children’s activities. This free event
                                                  takes place on the lawns of 18th Century
                                                                                                        In Central Richmond
the rich heritage of the borough. The day         Osterley Park and House.                                             Music Classes for
features an exciting mix of performances             Art in the Park transforms the front                              1-5 Year Olds
and activities. Enjoy the Carnival Village that   lawn into a giant open-air art gallery,
transforms the Orleans House Gallery site         with exhibitions and sales of work from                             For more information, call:
with vibrant live performances, food stalls,
workshops and children’s activities. For more
                                                  local artists and crafts people. The Open
                                                  University is getting creative juices going
                                                                                                                      020-8332-2275
information, contact 020 8831 6000                with a series of writing workshops, and
Send an email to Arts Team at                     local community groups are showcasing
artsinfo@richmond.gov.uk                          their work, with displays highlighting the
View the Twickenham Carnival website              range of activities available in the borough.
www.richmond.gov.uk/arts                          Family fun includes a host of special craft
                                                  activities such as mask and badge-making,
                                                  face painting (see above) and henna
20th JUNE, Father’s Day at Claremont              designs for the hand.
Landscape Garden, Portsmouth Road, Esher,            An variety of music is on offer and the
KT10 9JG, 10am to 6pm. Fathers get in free        Hounslow Seniors Trust show how life
to the garden when accompanied by their           doesn’t have to stop once you reach a
children. Call 01372 467806 for details.          certain age. Members of their Fun & Fitness
                                                  in Retirement group are performing the
                                                  Chair Dance and Hounslow Age Concern
24th JUNE, Midsummer Picnic Week at               group, Golden Age, perform Bollywood
Osterley Park and House, Jersey Road,             dance numbers. Another older group folk
Isleworth, TW7 4RB,11am to 7pm Enjoy a            and Bollywood songs, and rounds off the
summer’s evening in the Garden as part of         day with a relaxation workshop focusing
Midsummer Picnic Week. Families welcome           on breathing exercises and ‘laughing yoga’.
020 8232 5050.                                    For more information, call 020 8232 5050.




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                                                                                                  May-June 2010 FAMILIES UPON THAMES 23
                                                                                                                             Sunday 25th July Family Day
                                                                                       Turn an ordinary Summer’s afternoon into a magical adventure
                                                                                       as we relive Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
                                                                                                  Start the day with a ride on the rabbit hole helter-skelter,
                                                                                                               between races take tea with the Mad Hatter
                                                                                                                and White Rabbit, solve the Cheshire Cat’s
                                                                                                                     riddles, have your face painted by the
                                                                                                                          Queen of Hearts and much more.
                                                                                                                                    Free family entertainment.




        Tickets from £16 per person. Kids go FREE.
        Fine dining packages from £106 per person (includes Premier Admission ticket).
        To book call 0870 727 1234 or visit ascot.co.uk




 Families upon Thames is designed by Sarah Harmer and printed by Warners, in Lincolnshire. Copyright, Families upon Thames magazine 2010. Colour transparencies and any other original materials
 submitted for publication are sent at owner’s risk and, while every care is taken, neither Families nor it’s agents accept liability for loss or damage. Families upon Thames is part of the Families Group,
established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under liscense. We take every care preparing this magazine but
                       the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of the advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequence.

				
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