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									                                         s[                                31
                                                           nov/dec ’09 issue



                                   vale of york


Proudly supporting
                     The useful magazine for families with young children in
                       York, Harrogate, Tadcaster, Wetherby and Selby
                          Parent power is
                          Earlier this year the owners of Zak &
                          Flo of Bishopthorpe, and Expecting on
                          Gillygate, both mums with their own
                          businesses, joked about creating a
                                                                      Walking in a Winter
                          department store in York dedicated to
                          parents, children and parents-to-be,
                          with independent specialists in every       If you go down to the woods at
                          field. Customers would be able to           Stockeld Park today, you’re in for a big
                          buy with confidence and because the         surprise. The Christmas Adventure has
                          business belonged to those specialists,     opened its doors and the Enchanted
                          they would receive excellent service        Woodland on the outskirts of Wetherby
                          and good quality products.                  has become a little more magical, with
                                                                      some new visitors moving in for the
                          From this initial department store
                                                                      festive season.
                          idea the women have developed the
                          concept resulting in a new local loyalty    The fairies which sat in the Estate’s
                          scheme for parents, children and            office a few weeks ago, have found
                          parents-to-be and there are now eleven      their homes near to a set of large
                          independent specialists throughout          chimes.
                          York offering the ‘department store         ‘The sounds bring the wood to life,’
                          concept’, from their own outlets.           says Susie Broome from The Christmas
                          Consortium members are Zak & Flo,           Adventure. ‘This year we’re involving the
                          Expecting, Ruby Slipper, Make an            visitors much more. As a family I think
                          Impression, Paul Stride, Stratford          you get more out of it.’
                          Nappies, Bubbles & Squeak, Exclusive        But some of the new woodland folk are
                          Footwear, Bailey Cooper Photography,        not quite as welcome. There’s a definite
                          Floral Elegance & Jeunesse.                 sense of mischief about. Someone
                          The loyalty card offers a massive           called Figgy Pudding has set up home
                          advantage for customers, with access        in a tree trunk and he isn’t welcoming
                          to discounts and offers varying from        visitors. Susie is not impressed.
                          free delivery, gift vouchers and special    ‘There is a sign on Figgy Pudding’s
                          packages from each independent              door that says ‘DON’T ring the bell’.
                          shop. Current offers will be shown on       But if you do ring it, and most of our
                          the web-site and these will be updated      younger visitors won’t be able to
                          on a regular basis so it will always be     resist, you’ll hear Mr Pudding stamp
                          worth card holders checking on-line         downstairs and tell you to go away.’
                          before going out to shop.                   But the festive team here hope you’ll
                          The Parent Power card will be in a handy    ignore Mr Pudding’s rudeness and
                          key-ring format, ensuring that customers    enjoy the changes. The Christmas
                          remember it every time they go out          Adventure has been given a facelift here
                          -simply show it to the retailer prior to    and there – Santa’s house has been
                          making a purchase – and start saving!       extended and the gift shop has grown
                          The Parent Power Card will be               – but the activities which attracted more
                          launched on Monday 23rd November            than 80,000 visitors last year are back.
                          2009 and will be available, free of         This is a high quality venue and visitors
                          charge, at Zak & Flo, Expecting, Ruby       like the fact they can pick what they pay
                          Slipper, Paul Stride and Bubbles &          for, instead of having to invest in a high
                          Squeak. As the originators of Parent        price all inclusive ticket with every visit
                          Power Card, Zak & Flo and Expecting         So if you fancy skating, skiing on a
                          have a £25 gift voucher each up for         Nordic trail, exploring a snowflake maze
                          grabs. Simply sign up for your card         or visiting Santa at his Yorkshire home,
                          in either one of their shops in the first   make a date in your diary for a trip to
                          week of its launch and you will be          The Christmas Adventure. Don’t leave
                          entered into the prize draw.                your visit until the weekend before
                          Further details about offers from each      Christmas if you want to avoid the
                          retailer and how to get yourself a card     crowds, and time your woodland walk
                          can be found at                             with the dusk. Then it truly is a Winter
                          For further information contact: Ruth       The Christmas Adventure at Stockeld
                          Holden-Harris at Zak & Flo on 01904         Park is open daily from 11.30am
                          707829 or              – 8.30pm until Sunday 3rd January
                          Heather Booth at Expecting on 01904         (closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day).

                          Full Steam Ahead for a Free Day Out!
                          The National Railway Museum in York is looking for families and independent
                          adults to visit the Museum and be shadowed by a member of their staff so
                          they can learn more about how different audiences move around the spaces
                          and access the exhibitions. A payment towards expenses is available. If you
                          are interested in visiting the Museum for a free day out, please call Claire
                          Oxley on 01904 685 715 or

2 Families Vale of York
New Manager Takes the Helm                                                                                     Sicklinghall school
at the Magic Tree Day Nursery                                                                                  launches new website
Nursery manager Beth Dunwoody is settling into her new role at                                                 If you need proof that rural schools are
the Magic Tree Day Nursery, part of Belmont Grosvenor School,                                                  essential to the community – take a look at
Harrogate. Beth, who took over as manager at the nursery last                                                  Sicklinghall School’s fabulous new website.
month, is very excited about her new role – and hopes to develop                                               Visit to find
the already excellent facilities.                                                                              out what the children have been up to.
As a qualified yoga practitioner, Beth hopes to introduce yoga to
the children at the nursery, and also jabadao, a new approach to                                       to
physical learning in an early years setting.                                                                   Can
‘The Magic Tree Day Nursery has a wonderful setting with
excellent facilities and outstanding outdoor provision. There is so      Beth Dunwoody with Alice              YOUR
much for the children to do in a safe and secure environment.The
staff are very professional and supportive, allowing me to settle
                                                                         Baldwin (left) and Beatrice
                                                                         Palmer (right)                        school help
into my new role very easily,’ she said.
The Magic Tree Day Nursery, for children aged from three months, is based in the grounds of
                                                                                                               Martin House?
Belmont Grosvenor School, an independent prep school set in more than 20 acres of countryside at               Primary Schools across Yorkshire are being
Birstwith, Harrogate. For more information, or to arrange a visit, contact Belmont Grosvenor School on         asked to help raise funds and a smile for
01423 771029 or visit the website on                                                Martin House this Christmas. The Boston Spa
                                                                                                               based Children’s Hospice needs a staggering

                                                Parenting code                                                   £4 million a year to care for the hundreds of
                                                                                                                 children and their families who visit each year.

                                                – cracked!                                                      93% of that money comes from fundraising.
                                                                                                                So why not encourage your child’s school to
                                                How many parents have
                                                                                                               be part of the 12 Days Of Christmas Appeal?
                                                wished their child came with
                                                                                                               Fundraisers will send interested schools a
                                                an instruction manual? Those
                                                                                                               Christmas card, inviting them to use one of
                                                wonderful moments of bliss
                                                                                                               their seasonal events as a fundraiser for Martin
                                                ..... shattered by tantrums and
                                                                                                               House. Schools can then decorate the card and
                                                conflict. Just how should you
                                                                                                               send it back, with the money they’ve raised.
                                                                                                               The cards will then be used to decorate the
                                                Well you don’t need to rip your                                hospice this Christmas. To find out more, call
Café Francais                                   hair out any longer, thanks
                                                to a new book, Happy Kids
                                                                                                               the fundraising office on 01937 844569.
French club Café Français was launched                                                               
                                                Happy You - a lifeline to
by Michelle Lepine at the beginning of this     mums, dads and anyone working with children.
year in response to her daughter asking
her mum to teach her French. ‘She’d been        Harrogate author Sue Beever, a mum, trainer,
pleading with me to teach her and a couple      coach and master practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic
of mums from school asked too, so as I          Programming, shows parents how to re-think and re-
previously worked as a French teacher in        programme how they speak, overcome barriers and
Leeds and was keen to satisfy my passion        ensure a better outcome for both children and parents.
for the subject, I agreed!’ said Michelle       The book covers the theory and the practice, backed
who gave up teaching to care for her son        by real examples – including frustrated toddlers who
who was born with a muscle weakness             are unable to convey their needs; foot-stamping older              Front Cover: Clothes from
condition.                                      children; and, vitally – how to handle that nightmare    
Within a week Michelle had a full class of      when you know the answer is about to be: ‘No’. With
                                                lots of practical solutions including how to deal with             Circulation:          16,000
10 signed up and the children have been
making great progress.                          more challenging solutions, the book promises to help              Deadline: The deadline for the
                                                parents become more confident and ‘enjoy the journey’
‘The learning environment is relaxed and                                                                           Jan/Feb‘10 edition is early Dec ‘09
                                                regaining control of situations – both with children and in
fun,’ says Michelle. ‘The children sit on       everyday life.                                                     Contact us:
French tricolore coloured beanbags and
work together as a whole group, smaller         Happy Kids Happy You os published by Crown House                   PO Box 201, DN14 9ZW
groups or pairs. Each half term we follow       Publishing priced £14.99.                                          Tel: 01405 860831
a different topic and at the end of the                             
half term they take home a folder of work                                                                
to show parents and a short resumé of
what they have learnt. The emphasis is on               How to party                                               Designed by:
                                                                                                                   MOOIdesign Tel:01405 869045
learning not only single word vocabulary                     In these tough times it’s even more important
but also simple grammar and short                               for companies to go that extra mile when           Printed by: Warners(Midlands) PLC.
sentence structures. This is achieved                                                    delivering their
through songs, games, interactive teaching
                                                                                                                   Tel: 01778 391000
                                                                                         services, that’s
aids, competitions and crafts. Good effort                                               certainly been the
and work is rewarded with prizes and                                                     motto at Party            Copyright Families in the Vale of York Nov/Dec
certificates and well earned celebrations for                                                                      2009. Colour transparencies and any other original
                                                                                         Crew Harrogate            materials submitted for publication are sent at
Christmas, Easter and France’s National         where Melanie Turner of Knaresborough scooped the                  owners’ own risk and, while every care is taken,
Day at the end of the academic year in          national title of ‘Party Host of The Year’.                        neither Families nor its agents accept liability for
July.’                                                                                                             loss or damage. Families in the Vale of York is
                                                Melanie has worked for Party Crew Harrogate since April            part of a group established in 1990 and headed
The club caters for children aged 4-8           2007 and was thrilled to hear that she had been selected           by Families South West. All franchised magazines
years, runs every Monday after school from      as the winner of the title. ‘Melanie is a fantastic asset to       in the group are independently owned and
Michelle’s home in Harrogate and costs £4                                                                          operated under license. We take care preparing
                                                our business, said Elizabeth Maddick from Party Crew               this magazine but the publishers and distributors
a week per child .                              Harrogate ‘she’s enthusiastic, fun, reliable and has a very        cannot be held responsible for the claims of the
Contact Michelle for more information on        caring attitude towards the children at our parties, we are        advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents
                                                                                                                   nor for any consequence.
07818 828565        thrilled this has been recognised with this award’.
                                                Contact Elizabeth on 0844 415 0933 or

                                                                                                                                     Families Vale of York          3
news                       Do You Love                                                    The Fun Starts Here

                           If you’ve been practising Yoga for at least 2 years
                           and would like to teach children then Yogabugs is
                           after you! Yogabugs is the UK’s leading provider of
                           children’s Yoga classes which take place in nurseries,         The inspriration of sisters and single
                           schools, health clubs and gyms and teachers are                parents Amanda McGreavy and Elizabeth
                           currently required in Harrogate, Knaresborough,                Lowe and long-standing friend Gavin
                           Pately Bridge, Wetherby & North Leeds. Training                Adkins the Fun Run is a brand new
                           is provided with the opportunity to run classes and            privately owned play centre in Goole.
                           birthday parties.
                                                                                          With a wide range of experience between
                           Contact or telephone 0845
                                                                                          them – Elizabeth has worked in accounts all
                           899 7245
                                                                                          her life and for the last 4 years has worked
                                                                                          in a children’s nursery; Amanda sold

                          Secure Home for the Future
                                                                                          commercial kitchens to play centres and
                                                                                          Gavin has worked as a project manager
                          Trustees of Huntington Memorial Hall are celebrating after      and commercial kitchen installer – they were
                          reaching their fundraising target of £50,000 to provide a       well placed to make a difference to an area
                          new roof. Locals have been fundraising since November           crying out for a state-of-the-art play centre.
                          2007 in order to ensure the hall which is used by many          ‘We realised the lack of facilities for
                          groups including Rainbows, Brownies & Guides can contine        families and children in the area when we
                          to provide facilities for the community.                        moved here with our own families,’ says
                          User groups have independently raised funds towards             Elizabeth, ‘and that there was nowhere
                          the roof, securing their ‘home’ for the future together         really exciting to hold a children’s party.
                          with fundraising activities such as the Christmas Fayre,        So we began to look for a suitable site to
                          scarecrow trails, galas, and sales. Earlier this year           locate a play centre about two and a half
                          Yorventure awarded the Hall £20,000 which meant that the        years ago.’
                          new roof could be constructed.
                                                                                          After an inital negative response from
                                                                                          the council, they were finally given the
                                                                                          go-ahead last year and work began in
                                                                                          May this year. The result is a clean, safe
                           A Great Day out!                                               and challenging environment for children
                           Henshaw’s Arts and Crafts Centre in Knaresborough has          where parents can relax and enjoy a
                           loads happening for children over the festive period with      quality coffee and meal. The play centre
                           Santa’s Grotto open weekends from 12th December, a             has an impressive central play area for
                           special hunt the Santa Christmas Treasure Trail and the        older children, a separate toddler area and
                           ever popular children’s cinema. Situated on Bond End,          private party rooms.
                           the charity which supports blind and visually impaired         ‘We like to offer good quality home
                           people, has a sensory garden with magnificent sculptures       cooked food at an affordable price,’ says
                           such as the magical Story Telling Throne and Castle, and
                                                                                          Amanda, ‘and offer meal deals for the
                           a Sound Door. The centre promises everything you need
                                                                                          children. Unlike many other play centres
                           for a great day out!
                           A range of Christmas trees will also be on sale. These         we don’t believe in charging entry for
                           can be collected or delivered within the Harrogate and         parents. And as the play centre employs
                           Knaresborough area from 7th December onwards.                  local people, the majority of our staff are
                                                                                          parents themselves so appreciate what
                           For up to the minute details of their full Christmas           families are looking for.’
                           programme call 01423 541888 or visit
                                                             There are plenty of plans afoot for the
                                                                                          future too.’ We have a number of disabled
                                                                                          children who use the facility so we’re
                                                Twins, Triplets,                          are wanting to expand by providing
                                                                                          sensory equipment. This is very costly
                                                Quads?                                    and we would love to hear from any local
                                                                                          businesses who would be interested in
                                                Multi Tots, is a friendly new playgroup   sponsoring the project, says Elizabeth.
                                                for multiple birth children aged from
                                                0 to 5 and their parents or carers.       The Fun Run can be found on Rawcliffe
                                                Starting on November 5th they will        Road, Goole. T: 01405 780700 &
                                                meet every Thursday from 10am             07809 745607
                                                - 12pm in York at The House at
                                                Hob Moor Children’s Centre, Green
                                                Lane, Acomb. Go along to meet
                                                like-minded parents for chat, play,
                                                                                          Competition Winners
                                                support and sharing all the highs         Winner of the Cupcake Stand provided
                                                and lows of multiples parenting.          by Children’s Party Hire was Taryn Brown
                                                Expectant parents are particularly        of Harrogate and the winners of the
                                                welcome. For more information call        Schoolfriend Competition were Mrs Thorn
                                                Janine or Angela on 0795 1166367.         of Brayton, Selby and Mrs Selby of York.

4 Families Vale of York
                                     Organise yourself                                                Get the
                                     for 2010                                                         Ice Factor
                                     Organised Mum’s Life Book is the perfect diary to
                                                                                                      The Ice Factor, York’s open-
                                     keep you organised in the coming year. Taking
                                                                                                      air Christmas Ice Rink opens
                                     you through until Dec 2010, this week-to-view
                                                                                                      for a fifth successive year on
                                     diary incorporates a number of clever features
                                                                                                      14th November. Situated in a
                                     including tear out shopping lists, stickers to highlight
                                                                                                      picturesque setting at the Eye
                                     important events and Christmas planning pages for
                                                                                                      of York, skaters glide around
                                     this year and 2010, plus plenty of space for diary
                                                                                                      an illuminated oak tree in
                                     entries, meal plans and budgets!
                                                                                                      the centre of the 600 sq m rink, overlooked by Clifford’s
                                     Stylishly designed, inside and out, the Life Book is             Tower, the Law Courts and the Castle Museum.
                                     available for £12.99. Visit
                                                                                                      There’s loads of fun to be had with skates as small as
                                     or call 0845 644 7507 for a brochure.

                                                                                                      child size 9, Bobo the Penguin stabilisers to help wobbly
                                                                                                      toddlers stay upright and Skate School offering group
                                                                                                      lessons on Saturdays at 9am.
 We have 5 of these fabulous Life Books to give away. Send your contact details
 by email with the subject line ‘Organised Mum’ and the first 5 out of the hat on                     The Ice Factor has a public viewing area, a heated skate
 Dec 10th will win one.                                                                               hire marquee and a glass-fronted, heated Ice Bar & Café
                                                                                                      for those who don’t want to skate but want to watch the
                                                                                                      fun outside – try the hot chocolate with marshmallows
                                                                                                      and whipped cream to ‘defrost’ after a session on the ice.

Free! Easy-to-print                                                                                   This year there’ll be more discounts and special prices
                                                                                                      including discounts for Parents & Toddlers, clubs, York

christmas cards                                                                                       residents and groups of over 20.

for colouring in!
                                                                                                      With music and festive lighting to put you in the Christmas
                                                                                                      mood, there’s plenty of fun to be had for all the family.
                                                                                                      The Ice Factor is located at The Eye of York, off Tower
Let your children colour in their favourite characters
                                                                                                      Street, York, YO1 9WZ. Open from 14th Nov - 3rdJan. Ticket
and make fun Christmas cards to send or give to
friends and family this Christmas!                                                                    hotline: 0844 847 1523 or book online: www.ticketweb.
                                                                                             .To book parties, clubs, school groups or groups of
Fifi and the Flowertots Magazine, LazyTown Magazine and                                               20+ call 01653 619169 or email
Roary the Racing Car Magazine are published by Titan Tots.                                  
We know you all love Fifi, Sportacus, Stephanie and Roary, so Families Vale of

                                                                                                       FREE tickets
York has negotiated with Titan Tots to provide FREE cards featuring your favourite
characters. All you have to do is go to the dedicated part of the Titan Tots website
at for exclusive printable Christmas cards featuring your
favourite characters.                                                                                    Families Vale of York has joined forces with The
                                                                                                         Ice Factor and has 3 family tickets, worth £30
                                                                                                         each to give away to three lucky readers! For your
And as a special Christmas bonus Titan Tots is offering Families Vale of York readers                    chance to win, simply send your contact details to
an exclusive Families discount on subscriptions! It’s a really fun present and lasts 3,         with the subject line
6 or 12 months. A six-month subscription costs £12.90 (including postage). With the                      The Ice Factor Giveaway. On 1st December the first
Families exclusive discount, this brings the cost down to £11.61 – a great present for                   names out of the hat will win.
your own kids, for friends or for family who live elsewhere in the UK.
                                                                                                         So get your skates on and don’t miss out!
Whether your little one likes getting active with LazyTown, racing around with Roary
or loves the magical world of Fifi and the Flowertots there’s a TitanTots magazine
for them! Go to, click to subscribe and get 10%                     Terms and Conditions: Valid from 14th November 2009
discount off your subscription!                                                                       through to Sunday 3rd January 2010. No pre-booking
The new Titan Tots website is fun to visit, with lots of educational                permitted. Subject to availability. This offer is non-transferable
highlights from each of the magazines and some fun competitions.                                      and non-refundable.

 Enjoy-a-Ball launches in York
 Fully qualified Enjoy-a-Ball coach and mum of 2 boys, Lesley Reid, is excited to be launching her new
 business in York.
 ‘It’s so important to introduce children to a range of sports at an early age,’says Lesley whose four year old
 son goes to classes in Harrogate. ‘He absolutely loves it. It keeps him active and it’s helped to develop his
 communication, teamwork and concentration skills. I know the kids in York will love the games and team
 activities on offer.’
 Enjoy-a-Ball is a non-competitive coaching programme that teaches girls and boys aged 3 to 9 a variety of
 team games and eight different ball sports including; basketball, tennis, football, rugby, volleyball, cricket,
 baseball and hockey. It helps kids stay fit and active in a fun, caring and sociable environment and has
 received a positive response from parents, children and teachers alike throughout the UK.
 ‘It’s a very nurturing environment,’ says Lesley. ‘The accent is on encouragement and praise and children enjoy learning at their own pace. By playing many types
 of ball sports instead of just one, a wide range of gross motor skills can be developed, for example bouncing, catching, throwing, balance and timing. There are
 never more than 10 children in a class.which helps to ensure that each child gets as much individual attention as possible. There are six levels in the programme.
 As they develop through the stages we gradually tailor their specific skills across the full range of sports we teach.’
 Classes are held weekly in various venues across York and cost £4.20 for a half an hour session for children aged three and £6 for a hour session for children
 aged three and a half to nine years old. Parties are also available where the children are entertained with lots of fun games.
 For more info about Enjoy-a-Ball or to book a free class contact 07789861108 / 08452 26 26 94 or e-mail or visit

                                                                                                                                              Families Vale of York        5
wrapping you up?
How to stay on top this Christmas
By Sue Beever
It’s October and I’m out with my three-year-old
daughter. She spots a Santa decoration up at
the top of a lamp post and says, “Look, there’s
                                                                                       Essential g

                                                                                                     Wondering what to buy your newborn niece?
                                                                                                         Your best friend’s five-year-old who never
Santa”, to which I mutter, “Yes, and he’s way
                                                                                                           sits down? Or your god-daughter, 11, who
too early.” She looks at me and says, “He
                                                                                                            is too cool for toys but hates clothes?
isn’t real”, and for a moment I’m completely
                                                                                                           Worry not, we’ve done the hard work
thrown. My three-year-old thinks that Santa
                                                                                                      for you with our gift guide. All these classic
doesn’t exist?                                                                              presents have stood the test of time with the Families
Turns out she thinks this one is just pretend, not the real
one who comes on Christmas Eve. Phew!                                                 editors’ children. With 30 editors across the country and
Getting your Christmas story straight could be just one of the many and        66 children between us we think we’re well placed to give advice
varied challenges and stresses you face as a parent in the run up to this      – read on for our comprehensive guide to gifts that last.
Christmas: managing your children’s expectations, sourcing presents,
negotiating family politics, endless shopping... all on top of the regular
stresses and strains of family life. Oh and by the way, relax, chill, enjoy
yourself!                                                                      Babies:
Here are some ideas to make the run up to Christmas more fun, on your          Stacking cups or wooden bricks, try for good value baby
terms and on your schedule:                                                    toys; soft toys; soft fabric books; the That’s Not My series by Usborne
                                                                               Books; a beautiful mobile; Mr Whoozit by Manhattan Toys.
Centre it on your family
You and your children are now a family unit, with you at the helm. This        Toddlers:
can give you a new sense of freedom and power to shape how you want            Anything musical, try the ELC Piano, if you can bear the noise! Colouring
Christmas to be for your family. What happy memories do you have from          and sticker books (Usborne First Sticker Books series,
your own childhood? What would you like your children to remember     for lots and lots of stickers). Peppa Pig
from theirs? You may have existing family traditions that you want to keep     – toys available include train, playground etc. Things that move – a wooden
or you can just as easily establish your own. Perhaps local community          tricycle, a pushalong car and forever popular Little Tykes Cozy Coupe.
events such as carol singing or Christmas tree festivals capture the spirit    Flapbooks – Maisy, Spot, Poppy Cat all have big board books with zillions
and mark the start of Christmas for you.                                       of flaps for little fingers. A toy kitchen is loved by boys and girls, complete
                                                                               with plastic fruit and veg that you can cut up. Messy play (Play Doh and
Motivation made easy                                                           Aquadraw are both good investment toys that will last for years).
There are so many ways you can use aspects of Christmas to involve
and motivate your children. Christmas preparations are a great way to          Girls up to 4:
spend time together, building the atmosphere and anticipation, sharing
                                                                               Dolls (soft rag dolls, Baby Annabell that they can dress, feed etc) and the
the excitement. Making decorations, mince pies and other Christmas
                                                                               Disney Princesses seem to be popular with all little girls. Characters like
treats is great fun and you can then gift wrap some of these as presents.
                                                                               Dora the Explorer, Fifi and the Flowertots, and Charlie and Lola – toys,
You can use these novel, desirable activities as motivators to get your        books and DVDs are all available. A dolls’ pram or buggy. Happyland sets
children through routine tasks smoothly and easily. You’ll be amazed how       from ELC. A doctor’s kit and dressing-up clothes – fairies, nurses etc, John
quickly they can wash, dress, eat or tidy up when they’re focused on           Lewis stock a good range or try Letterbox (
wanting to do some baking.
                                                                               Boys up to 4:
Set your expectations                                                          Duplo in all its many forms. Characters like Ben 10, Spiderman and Power
Be clear about how Christmas Day is going to go, the overall shape
of the day and how you want to manage things like present opening.             Rangers. Brio train sets (or cheaper Tesco version), also possible to find in
This helps set everyone’s expectations and is a gentle way of putting          good condition on ebay. Dinosaurs – books, plastic models, model-making
some boundaries and ground rules in place to safeguard your sanity             kits etc, try Wooden farm and animals.
and happiness. As it approaches, you can expect your children                  Girls 5–8:
to get increasingly excited and hyper. So don’t expect them to be
spontaneously calm or controlled, especially when it comes to opening          By now you can’t go wrong with dressing-up clothes as they love putting on
presents. Be prepared to help slow them down and pace themselves to            shows, try The Disney Store. Playmobil is another favourite, girls often like
maximise everyone’s enjoyment.                                                 the hospital, dolls’ house, castle and circus. Craft kits are also popular with
                                                                               this age group, try Hama Beads, ELC for complete, easy-to-follow kits for
Embrace and enjoy the wonder of Christmas with young children, who
                                                                               decorating mermaids, jewellery boxes etc and Yellow Moon
are captivated by the simple pleasures of fairy lights, tinsel and wrapping
                                                                               ( Or what about skipping ropes and hula hoops;
paper. As your children get older though, they will eventually express their
                                                                               Barbie, often linked to the most recent film; and Build-a-Bear
frustration and disappointment that Christmas just didn’t deliver for them.
You can choose, in turn, to see this as ingratitude and be frustrated and
disappointed by them and the commercial world we live in. Alternatively,       Boys 5–8:
you can choose to see this as a positive sign of them growing up,
needing to take more responsibility for working towards what they want         Lego – it lasts and lasts, and Dads usually love it too! Playmobil again: the
for themselves. You can then celebrate their growing independence.             pirate ship is a real winner with most boys. Space and Star Wars are also
                                                                               popular. Or try Hot Wheels, Transformers, Marble Towers and Magnetix. And
So make Christmas a real family experience this year. Seek out and             for sports lovers, Swingball, a cricket bat, football goal or sports kit of their
create the sights, sounds and smells that you want Christmas to mean           favourite team always go down well.
for your family and make it the benchmark for years to come.
Oh, and it doesn’t have to start in October... unless you want it to!          Girls 9–11:
Sue is the author of Happy Kids Happy You (Crown House Publishing,             By now girls often love something which makes them feel grown up, try
available now, priced at £14.99) for mums, dads and anyone working             woolly slippers from River Island, little bags from Accessorize, or a gift card
with children. It shows how to re-think and re-programme how you               from Claire’s Accessories. DIY baking sets made up of cake decorations,
speak, overcome barriers, and ensure a better outcome for both children        cutters, apron and a book all put in a pretty tin make a lovely gift. Scrap-
and parents in all aspects of life. For more information and to book           booking is often also popular, you could include a voucher for a local class.
on Sue’s workshops, go to or email                Other girlie ideas include picture frames, scarves, jewellery, gift vouchers for Her next workshop will be on Wed 3rd Feb         cinema and pamper vouchers at beauty salons (nail make overs).
with a follow up on Wed 10th March in York, 9.30 – 12.30.
ift guide
 ll wrappe
                                                               This Christmas give your children the

a                                                              gifts of their past, their present and their future.
                                                               A gift of their Past – Tradition and
                                                                                                                     family visits which are important for them to be
                                                                                                                     included in and will therefore be more willing to
                                                               This time of year is a natural time to look back      take part if they have been allowed to do their
Boys 9–11:                                                     and take stock before looking ahead to the            own things too.
If they’re a sports-obssessive it’s easy: equipment,           future. So why not use this time to give your         A gift for their future – A positive
clothes, books or DVDS on their favourite team, or             child/teenager a sense of their past. This            sense of self
moment in sporting history. Most boys also like kites,         serves to include them in your family traditions,     Acknowledging your child/teenagers
scooters, wave boards and skateboards, or cool clothes         encouraging respect and keeping them in touch         achievements and efforts dramatically raises
to protect elbows etc. Or if they’re musical a drum kit or     with their elders. Traditions also provide your       their self confidence and self esteem. It
guitar (do check with the parents first!). Or how about kits   child or teen with the predictability, sense of       shows them that you value them as individuals
to make something (Letterbox have a good selection, or         belonging and the stability needed to get along       and builds a good foundation for a positive
try                                 in these fast moving modern times.                    relationship with them. Demonstrate how
                                                               Ideas include: Planting a tree, making                much you have been paying attention to and
Older kids:                                                    decorations, cakes, deserts, cards, attending         listening to them and that you are proud of
Excruciating but popular at this age are karaoke CDs/          carol concerts and other religious ceremonies,        them.
downloads. Or try a subscription to their favourite            decorating the house, helping to make a               A great way to do this is to write a letter to your
magazine – they love getting post and nothing beats            feast, making a gingerbread house, going to a         child each year. Highlighting and celebrating
the excitement of a hot-off-the press magazine. And,           pantomime, shopping for neighbours, writing           their successes for their PAST year. These
inevitably, PlayStation games, Wii Sports and FIFA 2009        letters, visiting friends, having guests over,        letters are not to be sent out but can be kept to
on the PC. Or an iPod, mobile phone...                         collecting firewood, looking back at past photos      be given to your child on a significant event in
                                                               and videos, talking about family and traditions       their lives – be that their 18th, 21st birthday or
And how about?                                                 and teaching them about others’ traditions.           when they get married or have a family of their
•   Doodle books (Beautiful Doodles, Doodles for Girls/                                                              own.
    Boys, Spooky Doodles, Christmas Doodles, www.
                                                               A gift in their Present – Time
                                                               One of the most important things that you can         You could include photos, pictures they have teamed with some pens or crayon.                                                                   drawn, things they have written and copies of
                                                               give your child and especially your teenager
•   Stationery – try Paperchase for some lovely notepads       is the gift of time. For the present is now and       awards and certificates that they have achieved.
    and matching pens etc.                                     now is when they need time with you (sharing          As well as information about their physical
                                                               the tasks involved in preparing food, having          development too – height, shoes size etc.
•   Books with CDs – ideal for car journeys.
                                                               a laugh, watching a favourite film, playing silly     Older children could join in with this letter in the
•   National Trust membership for a year’s worth of            games, shopping), time with friends and time          PRESENT and write their own feelings about
    brilliant days out.                                        just to do whatever they feel like doing. So          what they liked and enjoyed achieving and it
•   Klutz books (, fun, quirky and               don’t try and fill every minute of every day in the   can be somewhere that new goals and dreams
    imaginative to encourage the kids to get really            holidays with places to go and people to see.         can be laid out. This can help to set in place,
    creative.                                                  Teenagers may have places to go and people            a positive attitude around goal setting that will
                                                               to see in their own right and it is important to      stand them in good stead for their FUTURE.
•   Membership to the RSPB Wildlife Explorers’ Club                                                                  Maybe even giving them a tradition that they will
                                                               allow them time to do these things too. They
    – for £15 a year they get free access to any RSPB                                                                continue with their own family one day...
                                                               will in turn respect the fact that there are some
    reserve or Wildfoul & Wetlands Trust reserve, plus
    pack containing pencil tin, folder stickers etc, plus a
    magazine 6 times a year.                                   To discuss support around any aspect of family life please contact Rebecca Hill or Carole
Try for some good stocking fillers;          Thompson of Plain Sailing to discover what their personalised programs, individual for masses of Fair Trade              sessions or workshops can do for you.
products for children and adults alike; or try        07598 312653

                                                                                                                                       Families Vale of York          7
Christmas is coming and the wish lists are
getting longer. Elder brother is demanding
this season’s ‘dream toy’ while little sister
simply cannot seem to make up her mind.
Are you are dreading the crowds or the
hours of frustration trawling the Internet?
Can you trust some of those websites in
any case?
As you plan your Christmas shopping
don’t forget your local traders. With
                                                               shoplocal                     o 14!
                                                                                o up t & Flo are
                                                                                                                                                     4 Little
three times the number                                            ow g on k                                                                         This beautifully
                                                 Flo - N - this seasnowZatock clothes                                                               personalised
                                 Zak &ws for teense that they yesars.
of boarded-up shop
fronts on British                                                                                                                                  children’s art
high streets over the                       ne                nc                   14                                                              is illustrated,
                                  Great              annou               up to
last year and 12,000                     sed to d girls aged
                                   plea s an                                         ch  ildren’s ensure                                           designed and
                                                                           tion of d Flo will                                                     made to order
independent retailers               for bo
                                             y                   t selec            n                     ith                                                         by the artist He
                                                        larges York, Zak a of teens! W                                                                                                     len Sinfield.
closing down in the first                      g the es in
                                       fferin cloth                             ssies t             mith,
                                                                                                                                                  Working from ho
                                                                                                                                                                          me in Wetherby
                                     O            r                   the fu o, Teddy S nch
half of 2009, these are                         e                  n                                                                              created from ini                              each piece is
                                     design ality for eve e, Ooxo                                  Fre                                                                 tial
                                                                                                                                                 hand embellishe sketches through to the besp
becoming a dying breed.*                        u                    s                  lingot,             iss
                                      individ ns by Mare , Levi’s, Ber mall Paul, K the                                                          the highest quali
                                                                                                                                                                        d finished article,                      oke
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Here at Families we firmly             collect , Mini-a-tur ed Sugar, S arah Louise t to                                                                                ty and finish. An us ensuring
                                                 to                   d                                                                          message or sp                                y
believe that they should                Repet tion, No Ad arlings and ple who wa
                                                                                          S                   n                                                      ecial occasion de name, special
                                                    c                                      o                                                    onto any pictur                              tails can be plac
be saved from extinction.                Conne BFC, Little D for little pe                                                                                           e of your choic
                                                                                                                                                                                         e.                     ed
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Where else can you get the                Katch as somethin rowd.                                     shop
                                                                                                                                                They are the pe
                                                                                                                                                                     rfect personalise
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attention and the advice?                  shop h ut from the                           ays: ‘T w have a                                        and make an id                              d gift for any ch
                                                      o                        arris s                                                                               eal
                                                                                                                                               Day and Birthda Christmas, Christening, Naming
What other shop can offer                  stand             h Ho   lden-H d and we no s & clothes.                                                                  y gift or simply
both the festive season’s                           er Rut s increase h toys, gift tening
                                            Own ea ha                                                                                          loved one.                                 a special treat fo
                                                       r                    m wit             r Chris             e
hot picks at the same time                   floor a ed baby roo launch ou ve a websit so if people ur                                        Prices start from
                                                                                                                                                                      as little as £7.5
                                                         t                  to                  a
as some quirky little one-off                 dedica lso hoping 2010 and h mmer 2010 n’t find on o                                            initial seen here
                                                                                                                                                                                           0 and the illustra
sourced through fair-trade                               a                                      u
                                               We’re ent in early r spring/ s item they c directly.’
                                                                                                                    a                         value for money £15 which we think is amazing
                                                         tm                    fo                 r                 s                                              . Turnaround tim
channels or made locally? Get                  d  epar               nned a particula contact u                                     these days so there’s                                 es are normally
                                                             ch pla              r                                      top an
                                                                                                                                 d                                still                                     7
to know your local shops                          re-laun re looking fo , they should                           rlings            .          for Christmas. Vi plenty of time to place orders
and staff will set aside                                    a
                                                                      web    site                    Little Da lder children                                        sit www.4littlea
elder brother’s must-               Loving                                                  e this
                                                                                   We lik b Levis for
                                                                                                                                    k        range of Helen’s
                                                                                                                                                                                to see a
                                                      That G                                 fa
                                                                                                            ww.z   akand                     01937 587817
have for you as soon as
it comes in. Take little
                                  gift sh that Gift is t
                                                                       ift                               w
                                           op of                he we
sister along and see             Pots2               Harrog              bsite
what catches her eye.
                                 of bea o offering a te’s
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                                                                                                                                                         ks ff
                                                                                                                        Get Your FrocristmaObash, school mums’
And, more importantly, gift ideas                    nd orig                                                                                office Ch          s
                               They o for Christ inal                                                                  Whether it’s the                                         question
come back from the                                                                                                                                  in-laws, or the tricky
                              of pre
                                         ffer a w
                                                     ide ran
                                                             mas.                                                     night out, tea with the             day itself, Get Your
big Christmas shop                    s                                                                               of what to wear on
                                                                                                                                                the big
relatively calm and          family ents for the ge                                                                                                 endly wa  y of looking stylish
                            items cluding pe hole
                                                           w                                                          Off is the recession-fri
refreshed!                                                                                                                                           season.
                                     which                rsonali                                                      throughout the festive
                           this tim            ar                  se                                                                                                  zine’s very own
To give you a bit         painte      e of ye e very popu d                                                            When she’s no      t being Families maga               -storey York
                                    d            ar. Be             lar at                                                                        merton runs the two
of a head start we       that ca on pottery it a hand o                                                                 BetaMum, Jacey La                                        is seventh
                                                                                                                                                    le  consultancy, which
have contacted                                          o
                         presen n be used y r a Christm footprint, a
                                                                           r                                            dress agency and sty
some of our                        ts bec              e                   a
                                             ome fa ar after year, s stocking o icture
                                                                                              p                         heaven for bargain hu                                             thing
                        We re                                                                                                                                ution to everyone’s clo t
favourite shops                  ally lik
                                          e this
                                                        mily h
                                                                eirloom      many
                                                                                     of thes
                                                                                               r sack
                                                                                                                        ‘I’m not    saying I have the sol          t you’d be crazy no
in the area and        which                                                s.                  e                                                 occasion – bu
                      first C ould make rsonalised
                                                    pe                                                                   dilemmas for every
asked them to                   hristm                an orig           Christ                                           to look here first,’says
                                        as – s
                                                  ometh inal presen as bauble
                                                                                  m                                                                                      ’ll find top quality
recommend            Priced
                                                                                                                         Drop in at 42 Go     odramgate and you
gifts for you       order at £11.99 in                      ing to               t
                                                                     be tre for a child’s                                                              d accessories at ba
                                                                                                                                                                                 rgain                         a
                              fr                   c                                                                      nearly new clothing
                                                                                                                                                   an                                  ppers, who are paid
this Christmas.     websit om the sho luding p/p                              asured
                                                                                          for eve                                , as everything is sol
                                                                                                                                                            d by other stylish sho
                              e                  p                   an                                                   prices
                        last da www.lovin - Pots 2 G d it’s availa         r.                                                                 item sells.
                               t           g            o            b                                               commission when the                           m the more expensiv
                                                                                                                                                                                         e High
                        Decem e for orderin or from the le to
*Source: Local
                                                                                                                                           only accept items fro                   in excellent
Data Company                   ber 20      g is 1s
                                                        . The       ir                                               Jacey and her team                      and they have to be
                                      09.                                                                                                    ner clothes –                              but
                                                                                                                     Street names or desig                        season - like this De
                                                                                                                                           priate to the current
                                                                                                                     condition and appro                              priced at £60 .
                                                                                                                                             ss with silver beading
                                                                                                                      turquoise cocktail dre                              ange constantly, but
      The Willows
                                                                                                                                                   nswear collection ch
                                                                                                                      Brand  s in the main wome                              seph, Mulberry and
                                                                                                                                                       bbs, LK Bennett, Jo
                                                                                                                       currently include Whistles, Ho               r and there are even
                                                                                                                                               at less than a tenne
      Studio                                                                                                             Armani. Prices start
                                                                                                                                           mens, childrens and
                                                                                                                                                                  maternity collections.
                      children of
       Having four          oxon                                                                 Choc Affair
       her   own, Julie M s are
                  photograph                                                              Local busine
       knows                                                                                               ss C
                                                                                           produce beau hoc-affair is based in Nab
                       to treasure
       a keepsake            ally at this
                                                                                                             tiful hand-mad                      ur
                                                                                                                                e Fairtrade ch n, where they
        forever – espe                                                          en
                                                                                            If you pop in
                                                                                                            to the small sh                      ocolates.
                                                                       has be
        time of year.                                  illows Studio this                    unit, you will                    op at their m
                                      siness The W                     d                                     be
                                                                                             delights includ able to choose from a ra acturing
         Julie’s ph  otography bu rength since May ‘09 an                   chandise                           ing children’s                   nge of ethica
                          rength to st                     ch oice of mer                     choice of ham                     lollies, greetin               l
         going from st s offering customers a                    a range of                                     pers and even                    gs ba
                    as, she’               your lif  e and has                                actually mad                         a chocolate bo rs, a
         Christm                                                                                              e from chocol
                            ial people in                    rs.                                                               ate and filled        x which is
          for those spec make great stocking fille                                            Choc-affair Fl                                    with goodies!
                           ch                                     12 di  fferent                               avours are lo
          products whi                            calendar with                    n be        chocolate ch                     ve
                                                                                                               unks, infused ly bags filled with solid
                                  personalised each month. Photos ca
           Our   favourite is a            me fo   r                         sessio  n         Rhubarb, Lim
                                                                                                                                with flavours,
                          a seasonal fra outside within the same r date                        Peppermint -a Aniseed and Rose, as w ch include Bergamot,
           photos and                    and                               late                                    lovely gift to                ell as
           taken inside
                           the studio                be re-framed at a                          Their specialit                     take to a dinn the more traditional Ora
                            rmits  and can also                                                                  y this year, ha                     er party.                     nge and
            if weather pe r money!                                                              range. These
                                                                                                                  are solid choc
                                                                                                                                   s been the la
                                                                                                                                                  unch of an al
             - great va lue fo                                 nw   hich                                                                                         phab
                                              card collectio                    ur              smarties, pres                      olate letters an
                                                                                                                                                     d numbers, de et and number
                            s a Christmas ph of your choice from yo                                                en
                                                                                                that departm ted in a lovely clear box.
             Julie also ha                  ra                                  fts                                                                                   corated with
                             s the photog                      sion. Other gi                                    ent store Libe                     In
                                                                                                                                  rty of London deed they’ve proven so
              superimpose l as cards for any occa                      s & mousem
                                                                                       ats.      Christmas gi
                                                                                                                 ft idea. We th                    have chosen                    po
              session - as
                                             s, jigsaws, pl
                                                              acemat                             gift for a niec                 ink they’d mak                   to stock them pular
                             onalised mug                                               u                         e or nephew                      e a fabulous                    as a
              include pers                                   n to buy   but when yo                                              .                                stocking filler
                              tting fee an d no obligatio want to buy several!                   You can find
                                                                                                                  them at Statio                                                  or extra
               There’s no si ality, we’re sure you will                
                                                                                                                                   n yard in Nabu
                                                                                                                                                    rn and online
                    the high qu                                  illowsstudio.                                                                                     at
                                     her work at  : www.thew
               Find ex amples of
l   Where to Shop this
    Christmas and What to Buy
          Shopping made
          easy !
            A hand crafted piece
                                     of silver
           jewellery with your
           fingerprint on is the
                                   perfect gift
           solution for your lov
                                  ed ones - or even yo
           How do you fancy                                urself!
                                 shopping in the comf
          own home with frie                              ort of your
          local than that! Every You can’t get much more
                                     parent knows that tra
          young children round                                ipsing
                                    the shops can some
          daunting task, so wh                              times be a
                                   y not host a Pinkies                                                                                 ����������� ������������������
          party for yourself an                            & Tootsies
                                 d some friends?                                                                                        ��� ��� ���������������
         They come to you wit
         while the children pla samples for you to choose                                 Too Hoots Nurseries,                          ������������������� ��
         they then take an im
                                  y. When you have ch
                                                           osen,                      Garden Centre & Animal World                      ����������������
                                 print of your child’s
         go away make the
        products back to yo
                               jewellery and delive
                                u! So you really do
                                                     r the finished                 Ho         Come and visit…                   Ho     �� ���������������������
                                                                                                                                        � ������� ��������������
        leave the comfort of                          n’t have to
                                 your own home!
       Their fingerprint jew                                                                                                            �� ��������������������
       bracelets, charms,
       there is a gift for ev
                               ellery range includes
                              keyrings or cufflinks
                              eryone in the family.
                                                                                                   Saturday & Sunday                    ������������ ��������������
      from £40 to £110 -th                           Prices range                                                                       ��� ����� ������
                                e perfect gift to me                                               5/6, 12/13, 19/20
      heart.                                          lt anyone’s                                  December 2009                      Smarty advert 40x55:Layout 1                     5/8/09
      As all pieces are be
      booked to take place e, appointments must be
     delivery in time for Ch fore December 4th to ensure
                                                                                                           View our popular
                                ristmas – and for all
                                                                                                           Christmas Display
                                                                                                                                      Come and join
                                                                                                                                      the fun…
     there’s an additional                               pa                                                      and…
                               £25 Marks & Spence rty hosts                                                Relax in the Wise
     to spend online or in                              r voucher                                            Owl Tearoom
                               store as a thank yo                                                           (Freshly prepared
     help with the rest of                           u and to                                                 food everyday)
                              your Christmas shop
     Parties must be a mi                             pin                                                                             A new, exciting Arts & Crafts
                              numum of 4 to qualif g.                                Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas           session for 1-5 year olds.
    appointments are als                              y. Individual
                              o available.                                           Hirst Road, Carlton | Tel: 01405 862854          Sessions starting September.
    Call 0845 269 1538                                                                                                                Run by a qualified, experienced Teache
                            to book an appointme
    www.pinkiesandtoo                               nt. Visit
                  for a full
    great Christmas keep                          range of                                                                                                              on 01423 339 738
                                                                                                                                      For further information call Fiona
                             sake ideas.                                                                                                      or email: fionacashford@ho

                                                                                                                                       Make a mess here… not at home!
     There’s one local shop                                                                                                                   �����
     that you can be sure
     will have everything you
     could want to keep
     growing feet cosy,                                                                                                                                          �������������
      stylish and comfortable this
                                                          2009’ Hopscotch
      Voted ‘Kids’     footwear retailer of the year                shoes, first
      Shoes has everything        from pre walkers to school                                                                             Effective, safe and specific
      shoes, boots, wellies, slipp      ers and much, much more.
                                         rite, Lelli Kelly, Geox, Converse                                                               exercise for new mums. No
      with brands including Start
                                             to suite all ages, styles and                                                                   childcare concerns –
       and UGG, there is something
       prices.                                                                                                                              baby comes in buggy!
                                         e fitters and with a qualified
       All staff are fully trained sho                                    h
       member of the Society of         Shoe Fitters on hand in eac
                                          you   r children’s feet are in the                                                           Weekly classes in Harrogate
       shop, you can be sure that
       best possible hands.                                                    ,                                                      Contact Rachel 07796 142883
                                              has a fantastic range of gifts
        As well as shoes, Hopscotch                               ionable Gola
        perfect for the Chr    istmas season including fash
                                           the delightfully cuddly Taggie
        bags for the older children,                                                                                             
                                              l hair accessories for fashion
        range for babies and beautifu
        and school.                                                         keep
                                            e by Kidorable is perfect to
        This fabulous rainwear rang                                 urful designs
         little ones, not only   dry, but stylish too. The colo
                                                Macs, Wellies, Umbrellas
         of matching water proof Rain
                                               s and girls make splashing
          and Back Packs for both boy
                                                  Whether you choose to
          in puddles a childhood delight.                        saur, a rosy
          be a shiny red    Fire man, a muddy green Dino                e will
           Ladybird or a beautifu    l butterfly, the Kidorable rang
                                            rain  y days this winter.
           certainly brighten up those
                                                herby, Ripon, Horsforth and
           With shops in Harrogate, Wet                  Shoes not far away,
           Chapel   Allerton, there’s a Hopscotch              s play area in all
           and with easy    parking, a fabulous children’
           shops and welcoming         staff to greet you.

                                                                                                                                                              Families Vale of York        9
Information was correct as we went to press but be sure to check before
you make plans as things may have changed.
                                                                                           CRAZY TYKES
                                                                                           Thorp Arch Trading Est, Thorp Arch,
                                                                                           Wetherby, LS23 7BJ 01937 541007
                                                                                                                                           YORKSHIRE AIR MUSEUM
                                                                                                                                           Halifax Way, Elvington, York 01904 608595
                                                                                                                                           12 & 13 & 19 – 23 DEC        SANTA’S PLANE
                                                                                                                                           WETHERELLS DEPARTMENT STORE
 Theatre                                    Music, Concerts                                24 DEC 12PM – 3 PM          CHRISTMAS PARTY
                                                                                           Tickets priced at £7.50 per child.
                                                                                                                                           The Crescent, Selby 01757 702454
                                                                                                                                           21, 28 NOV & 5,12 & 19 DEC 10 AM – 4PM

                                            & Carol Services                               Traditional buffet for the children and
                                                                                           a glass of wine for the adults. Special
                                                                                                                                           SANTA’S GROTTO

01904 623568                                                    visitor for the children - before he gets too   WYEVALE GARDEN CENTRE
                                           CASTLE MUSEUM, YORK                             busy!,Games and prizes.                         Boroughbridge Road, Upper Poppleton,
10 DEC-30 JAN         HUMPTY DUMPTY        01904 650333                                                                                    YO26 6QE 01904 795920
GRAND OPERA HOUSE YORK                                CASTLE HOWARD                                   28 NOV 11AM SANTA’S ARIVAL
01904 671818                               1-5 & 8 DEC CAROLS IN KIRKGATE                  01653 648333
                                                                                                                                           See Santa arrive on a horse & carriage!
2-7 NOV                            ANNIE   Traditional Christmas carols sung in the        28,29 NOV, 5, 6, 12,13,19 & 20 DEC
                                                                                                                                           Visits on other dates TBC.
9-11 NOV              HORRIBLE HISTORIES   recreated Victorian street taking visitors on                            FATHER CHRISTMAS
            - FRIGHTFUL FIRST WORLD WAR    a journey back to Christmases past. Adults      Take the Christmas Express to visit Father      EMBSAY & BOLTON ABBEY STEAM
11 DEC-3 JAN                               £12.50, Concession £10.50                       Christmas at his Lakeside Grotto, every         RAILWAY
                                                                                           weekend during Christmas opening.               Information 01756 710614. Talking
                                                                                           STOCKELD PARK                                   Timetable 01756 795189.
JOSEPH ROWNTREE THEATRE                    ROYAL WATER GARDEN                                                                    
                                           01765 608888          On the A661 nr Wetherby, North Yorks.
Haxby Road, York, YO31 8TA                                                                                                                 22 & 29 Nov & 5, 6, 12,13,19 & 20 DEC
                                           3 DEC                    CHRISTMAS THEATRE      01937 586101                                                                                                                        SANTA’S SPECIALS
                                                      - THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
5-12 DEC              DICK WHITTINGTON                                                                                                     No booking needed. You can board the
                                           For all the family.                             14 NOV – 24 DEC *             SANTA’S GROTTO
HARROGATE THEATRE                                                                          A beautiful, traditional grotto with good       train at either Embsay or Bolton Abbey and
                                           12 & 13, 19 & 20, 27 DEC                                                                        the journey lasts approximately 55 minutes.
01423 502116                MUSIC AND LIGHTS AT CHRISTMAS       quality gift. Price £6.50.
27 NOV-16 JAN                 ALADDIN                                                      *Weekdays up until and including 18th Dec       Tickets £10 for ages 3+, £5 aged 2 & under.
                                           13 DEC 3PM           CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT
HELMSLEY ARTS CENTRE                       Traditional carol service with candles for      3.00pm – 7.00pm, Weekends 12.00pm               KEIGHLEY & WORTH VALLEY RAILWAY
                                           children.                                       – 7.00pm. Weekdays from 19th Dec                01535 645214 to check availability.
01439 771 700                                                       until 23rd Dec 12.00pm – 7.00pm. On
                                           21 DEC 2PM         CHRISTMAS STORY-TELLING                                            
7 JAN     THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER                                                      Christmas Eve 12pm - 6pm
                                           Lots of Christmas stories for 4 to 9 year                                                       28 & 29 Nov & 5, 6, 12,13,19 & 20 DEC
THE GEORGIAN THEATRE ROYAL,                olds. Booking essential, tel: 01765 643166.     WILLOW HOUSE CARAVAN PARK                                             SANTA SPECIAL TRAINS
RICHMOND                                                                                                                                   £14 for anyone aged 3+ and adults.
                                           RIEVAULX ABBEY                                  Wigginton Road, York, YO32 2RH
                                                                                                                                           Children 6 months to 3 years cost £7 per
01748 825252                               01439 798228                                    Tel: 01904 766822                                                                          ticket, children under 6 months travel free.
                                           13 DEC FROM 1.30PM CHRISTMAS CAROLS
29 NOV                 THE WIZARD OF OZ                                                    28 & 29 NOV, 5 & 6 DEC & 12-24 DEC              Book early!
                                           Seasonal festive music plus a chance to
9-31 DEC GOLDILOCKS & THE THREE BEARS      buy some unique festive gifts.                  11AM-4PM SANTA’S WINTER WONDERLAND              NORTH YORKSHIRE MOORS RAILWAY
                                                                                           Indoor woodland walk for all ages. Weave        Full timetable, operating dates and
WAKEFIELD THEATRE ROYAL AND                KEIGHLEY & WORTH VALLEY                         you way along the woodland path through         advance bookings:01751 472508 www.
OPERA HOUSE                                RAILWAY                                         the enchanted land where Santa’s reindeer
01924 211311   01535 645214                     Donner and Dancer are resting before their      5, 6, 12,13 & 19-22 DEC       SANTA TRAINS
30 NOV-3 JAN         DICK WHITTINGTON      19 DEC 7PM            CAROL SERVICE TRAIN       big night. £8 per child, £3 per adult
                                           Stopping at every station on the line for                                                       NATIONAL COAL MINING MUSEUM
LAWRENCE BATLEY THEATRE                    carols and Christmas readings.                  THE FARMER’S CART                               01924 848806
01484 430528                                                                Towthorpe Lane, York, YO32 9ST 01904            21-22, 28-29 NOV & 5, 6, 12, 13 & 18-23
4 NOV TELL TALE HEARTS - SPACE HOPPERS     YORK MINSTER                                    499183
                                           6 DEC 2PM      FOUNDATION FOR THE STUDY                                                         DEC                  SANTA UNDERGROUND
21 NOV                IMAGINE CREATIVE                                                     SANTAS WOODLAND GROTTO                          Visit Santa140 metres below the surface in
     WORKSHOP - UNDERWATER ADVENTURE         OF INFANT DEATHS FAMILY CAROL SERVICE         Take a sleigh ride to visit Santa & receive a
                                           17 18 & 19 DEC             CHAPTER HOUSE                                                        his underground grotto.
8-19 DEC               TREASURE ISLAND                                                     gift. £4 per passenger.
                                                      CHOIR ‘CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT’                                                        HENSHAWS ARTS & CRAFTS CENTRE
WEST YORKSHIRE PLAYHOUSE                   8pm. Doors open at 7.15pm. Admission            THORP PERROW                                    50 Bond End, Knaresborough 01423
Box Office: 0113 213 7700                  charge. Tickets on sale from Nov 29th.          Bedale, North Yorkshire 01677 425323            541888                             22 DEC 7PM & 24 DEC 4PM               
28 NOV-23 JAN         THE SECRET GARDEN                                                    5 & 6 DEC1 1.00AM-2.30PM                        12, 13, 19 & 20 DEC
                                                 FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS & CAROLS                                                         SANTA’S GROTTO
11 DEC-1 FEB                 CINDERELLA    24 Dec 12pm                  CRIB SERVICE               SANTA’S SPECIAL INTERACTIVE TRAIL
                                                                                           11am-12.45pm & 1pm-2.45pm. Tickets              Visit Santa in his winter grotto and let him
                                           24 Dec 11.30pm             MIDNIGHT MASS
ALHAMBRA THEATRE BRADFORD                                                                  - Children £6.50. Suitable for 9 years and      know what you’d like for Christmas
01274 432000
17-22 NOV              JOSEPH AND THE       Where’s Santa?                                 under. Ticket Line 01677 425323
                                                                                           4 DEC-3 JAN                 CHRISTMAS TRAIL      Days Out
       AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT                                                       An invasion of snowmen in the woods!! A
12 DEC-31 JAN JACK AND THE BEANSTALK       ANIMAL WORLD AT TOO HOOTS                       magical festive puzzle for you to solve.
                                           Hirst Road, Carlton, Near Goole, DN14           Lots of fun - suitable for all ages.            CLIFFORD’S TOWER YORK
THE GRAND THEATRE & OPERA                                                                                                                  28 & 29 NOV 11AM – 4PM
                                           9PX 01405 862854
HOUSE, LEEDS                               OPEN DAWN TILL DUSK EVERY DAY (except           MURTON PARK                                     AN AUDIENCE WITH VICTORIAN FATHER
0870 121 4901    Dec 25)                                         01904 489966                                    CHRISTMAS
17-21 NOV                THE KING AND I    5, 6,12, 13, 19 & 20 DEC SANTA’S GROTTO         5 & 6, 12& 13, 19-22 DEC 10 AM-3 PM             A Victorian Father Christmas, dressed in
1-10 DEC            A CHRISTMAS CAROL      Plus popular seasonal Christmas shop, real      SANTA SPECIALS                                  sumptuous traditional colourful costume
17-27 DEC             NORTHERN BALLET      Christmas trees for sale, animals to visit      YORKBOAT                                        will tell tales of Christmas past and recite
                   THEATRE’S PETER PAN     and Wise Owl tea rooms.                         3,5, 6,10, 12,13,17,19,20,20,22 DEC SANTA       famous yuletide stories and poems.
SHEFFIELD ARENA                            HUNTINGTON HALL                                 CRUISES                                         BENINGBROUGH HALL & GARDENS
17-22 NOV        DISNEY ON ICE PRESENTS    Huntington, York, YO32 9SH                      Tickets £11 Child £9 adult. Tel 01904           01904 472027
                       PRINCESS WISHES     5 & 6 DEC 1-4 PM SANTA’S GROTTO & FAYRE         628324 for more details and to book.            6,13, 20 DEC 1-3 PM WINTER ARTRAGEOUS
                                                                                                                                           Free art workshops. Normal admission applies.

10 Families Vale of York
                                                                                                               the                                    at Stockeld Park
                                                                                                          Christmas Adventure

CASTLE HOWARD                                      WHELDRAKE VILLAGE HALL
                                                                                                          Fantastic illuminations 
York, YO60 7DA 01653 648333                        Broad Highway, Wheldrake, York, YO19 6BU               after dusk                             21 NOV 2- 3.30PM
8, 9 & 15 DEC 10AM - 4PM                           WHELDRAKE PLAYGROUP ANNUAL TOY FAIR
                 CRAFT AND PRODUCE MARKET          Including a raffle with lots of great prizes,
DUNCOMBE PARK                                      toy stalls, chocolate tombola, cake stall and
Tel: 01439 770213             refreshments. If your child has any old toys or
14 & 15 Nov 10am - 5pm                             books take them to the village hall between
                  CHRISTMAS CRAFT FESTIVAL         11.30am and 12.30pm on 21st Nov and they’ll
                                                   be sold for you. For further details please call
HARLOW CARR                                        Sally on: 01977 596244.
01423 565418
28 & 29 NOV 10AM - 3PM
                                                   TOCKWITH VILLAGE HALL
                                                   28 NOV- 2PM TO 4PM ANNUAL CHRISTMAS FAIR
                                                   The fair will include a visit from Santa, children’s
Family Christmas event. Normal garden
                                                   games & stalls brimming over with a wide
                                                   range of local Christmas goodies, arts & crafts
1 DEC-28 FEB 09            WINTER QUIZ TRAIL
                                                   stalls, gifts & more.
I-spy hunt for under 6s.
12-13 DEC 10AM-2PM                                 YORK STEINER SCHOOL
                         CHRISTMAS MARKET          Danesmead, Fulford Cross, York
MURTON PARK                                        21 NOV 10am-4pm                    ADVENT FAIR
01904 489966                                       Seasonal market stalls, children’s activities, lots    Visit Santa from November 14th
15 NOV 11AM-3PM             CHRISTMAS CRAFTS       of wonderful food, continental cafe, magical
Get into the Christmas spirit at the last event    grotto, story telling, music, and more. Tel:           Fresh Christmas trees on sale
                                                   01904 654983 for more details.
before Santa Specials begin, with activities for
the young and old.
                                                                                                           from November 28th
                                                   LIGHTWATER VALLEY
NATIONAL RAILWAY MUSEUM                            North Stainley, Ripon 0870 458 0040
08448 153139                                           An inspirational day out for all ages, at Stockeld Park.
28 & 29 NOV & 19 DEC-3 JAN 11AM-4PM                3-6 DEC                    LIGHTWATER VALLEY           Near Wetherby on the A661. Open 7 days a week. 
MAKE YOUR OWN TURNTABLE CLOCK                                               DICKENSIAN FESTIVAL
                                                                                                          � � �� � � � �� � � � � � � � � � �� � � � ��� � � �
WATER GARDEN                                       12 - 13 DEC           FESTIVAL OF ANGELS
01765 608888             Bringing the magic and excitement of our
5-6 DEC 11AM-3PM           CHRISTMAS SPARKLE       childhood Christmases back to us. In and Families Advert 87 x 130 TCA.indd   1                                        07/10/2009 09:47
Make your own Christmas decorations for our
trees or to take home.
                                                   around Swinegate, Back Swinegate & Grape
                                                   Lane. Children can dress up in angel wings for          ��������
                                  IN THE HAYLOFT
                                                   the Parade of Angels.
                                                   YORK - AROUND THE CITY
for 4 - 9 year olds. £1.50, tel: 01765 643166.
                                                   26 – 29 NOV                ST NICHOLAS FAYRE
                                                   One of the country’s most popular Christmas
North Yorkshire, YO62 5AB 01439 770442             markets.                                                 ��������������������
5 & 6 DEC 10AM – 4PM             MEDIEVAL          STOCKELD PARK                                            ������������������
CHRISTMAS & CHILDREN’S DRESSING UP                 On the A661 nr Wetherby, North Yorks. 01937
HENSHAWS ARTS & CRAFTS CENTRE                      586101                           ��������������������������������������
50 Bond End, Knaresborough,                        OPEN UNTIL 3 JAN THE CHRISTMAS ADVENTURE                ���������������������������������������������������������������������
01423 541888                   A fabulous day out with lots of seasonal things
TUESDAY 22ND DECEMBER 1.30PM                       to do. Try the snowflake maze, eco-friendly ice-        ������������������������������������������������������������
                       CHILDREN’S CINEMA CLUB      skating, a walk through the Enchanted Wood and          �������������������������������������������
Adults accompanied by children FREE. Call for      Nordic Skiing. With a shop and cafe – and a visit
film details.                                      to Santa – what more fun could a family have?
                                                   Coffee & cake drop-in.                                  �����������������������������������������������������������������
Christmas Treasure trail and a large range                                                                 ��������
of Christmas trees and wreaths for sale in the     20 NOV 4.30 PM ONWARDS
plant nursery. Also shop stocked with a range      CHILDREN IN NEED ‘GREAT NORDIC SKI’                     ��������������������������������������������������������������
of beautiful and original handmade Christmas       Sponsored ski-athon event for all ages.                 ����������������������������
products and fully licensed café.                  24TH NOV (CRAFTS) & 26TH NOV (POTTERY)                  ����������������������������������������������������������������
                                                   Enjoy lunch and a day of crafts (see web for            ��������������������������������������������������������
HAREWOOD HOUSE                                     more details)                                           ����������������������������
0113 218 1010
                                                   28 NOV        FRESH CHRISTMAS TREES ON SALE
27 NOV 10AM - 5PM
             HAREWOOD CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIR         6 DEC & 18 DEC          WETHERBY SILVER BAND                    ����������������
7,8,14,15, 21, 22, 28, 29 NOV & 5, 6, 12,13 DEC    KNARESBOROUGH EDWARDIAN                                         ������������������������������������������������������
FAMILY ART ACTIVITIES                              CHRISTMAS MARKET                                                ����������������������������������������������������
14TH NOV 10-12                         TOY FAIR    Wander through the streets of Knaresborough

Admission £1 including free coffee/tea.            and discover bustling stalls offering seasonal
Children are free. Proceeds will go towards        goods and delicious treats, along with the

                                                   heady aromas of mulled wine, mince pies and                                      ����������������������������������
Bishopthorrpe playgroup.
                                                   roasting chestnuts.                                                              ����������������������������

                                                                                                                                                  Families Vale of York        11
Speech and language deve
   Families investigates what happens when a child needs extra help
   with their speech & language.
   Is your child’s speech difficult to                   the child’s developing speech and language skills.                   Case Study 1 - William
                                                         It is not at all daunting for the child as the session
   understand?                                           will involve playing with toys and looking at books.
                                                                                                                              York mum Helen Lickley has a four year old son
                                                                                                                              William who has been attending speech therapy
   Research shows up to 5%¹ of school aged
   children may experience some speech and /             In The Clinic                                                        sessions with Mary Hunt since January this year.

   or language difficulties which can impact on          Once assessment is complete the SLT will be                          Helen’s first point of contact was her health
   relationships with family and friends, and if left    able to discuss her findings with the parent. She                    visitor when at 19 months she was concerned
   untreated, on educational performance. As             will be able to decide if the child’s speech and                     that William had only a couple of words – ‘mama’
   parents how do we know there is a problem             language shows a pattern of simple delay in                          and ‘dada’.
   and once we feel there is, how can we go about        development which will resolve with maturity. You                    She then saw her GP who referred William to the
   helping our child to communicate effectively?         may be offered advice on promoting language                          Children’s Development Centre at York District

                                                         skills further.                                                      Hospital where William began to attend weekly
   What to Expect                                        It may however be the case that assessment                           group sessions. These sessions revolved around
   By the time a child is four, a substantial part       indicates a more specific problem. This could be                     play with another five children and 3-4 staff and
   of spoken language development has been               with speech (speech sounds) and/or language                          included signing, messy play, outdoor play and
   established. The rate and pattern of this             (both understanding and spoken language). The                        music. Everything in the sessions was designed
   development can vary but there are general            SLT would then arrange to see the child again
   milestones parents can look out for.                  for further in depth assessment, and would
   Speech & language develops from birth and early       subsequently plan a programme of regular
   babbling is the precursor to speech, firstly with     treatment sessions. Part of the programme
   sounds ‘p’, ‘b’ and ‘m’ which lead to ‘mama’,         would involve the SLT liaising with, and
   ‘dada’ and ‘bye bye’ often being the ’first words.²   possibly visiting the child’s nursery or
   Sounds develop until, generally speaking, by          playgroup so that everyone is working
   the age of around 18 months, children should          together to help develop the child’s
   be starting to say a few words and will probably      communication skills.
   have a vocabulary of around 20 words. By three        On the path through language
   a child may not be fluent but should have a large     acquisition some children may go
   intelligible vocabulary and use simple phrases        through a period of dysfluency in
   in conversation as well as using adjectives,          their speech. This can be a very
   prepositions and plurals. By four, their vocabulary   normal phase but the SLT can
   is around 1500+ words and they should speak in        assess whether this is likely to
   complete sentences.³                                  be something that will disappear
   As with all areas of child development, some          in time or whether some
   children are slower than others and learning often    intervention is needed.
   comes in ‘bursts’ followed by periods of little       Whatever the issue an
   change.                                               SLT will most certainly
   Speech and language therapists we have spoken         be able to work with a
   to advise that parents should not be too hung         child to improve their skills
   up on these guidelines as children all develop        and help them become a
   at different rates but if they feel there may be      confident communicator. Being
   a problem then there is absolutely no harm in         able to communicate effectively is such
   contacting either your health visitor, GP or a        a fundamental skill, and children really
   therapist directly. By informal and formal means      need to have any issues addressed
   the speech and language therapist can assess          before they begin formal education.

                                                                                                 your Local
                                                                                                           Martin House provides a home from home in a loving environment
                                                                                                 to care for children and young people in Yorkshire suffering from life limiting illness.
                                                                                                We   need to raise around £4million each year to run this vital service…. can you help?
                                                                                                                                         please contact us on

                                                                                                                                   01937 844569
                                                                                                               e: w:
                                                                                                 Registered Charity Number 517919. A company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales No. 2016332

12 Families Vale of York
                                                       what the illness was, during which time a
                                                       consultant pointed out that she had an ear
                                                       infection. As Ruby hadn’t started speaking he
                                                       suggested her hearing be investigated. Mum
                                                       Tamsin was initially quite alarmed and there
                                                       followed several procedures including requesting
                                                       a GP referral to the NHS hearing department.
                                                       When the GP checked Ruby’s ears he said that
                                                       the ear infection had gone but there was now
                                                       ‘glue’ ear ( a residue left in the ear after an ear
                                                       infection which can cause hearing problems.
                                                       Sometimes it drains itself, sometimes it needs
                                                                                                               Speech & Language
                                                                                                               Speech and Language Therapists assess the
                                                                                                               nature of children’s difficulties and provide
                                                                                                               treatment, advice and support for the child
                                                                                                               and family. Referral to speech and language
                                                                                                               therapy can be made through a G.P, health
                                                                                                               visitor, or directly to the speech and language
                                                                                                               therapy service. Speech and Language
                                                                                                               Therapists also work in independent practice,
                                                       grommets – a minor hospital procedure). Ruby’s          and can be contacted directly.
  to help the children with their communication and    hearing test was fine and revealed no problems
  Helen saw an improvement in his speech.
  By the time William had just turned 3 it was
                                                       and it was hoped the glue ear would clear up
                                                       without intervention -which it did.
  decided he was ready for more one-to-one                                                                     To find a therapist contact ASLTIP -
                                                       In the interim they were also put on the NHS            Association of Speech and Language
  sessions and he was referred to Mary who has         speech and language therapy waiting list and the
  worked with him in more focused way. William’s                                                               Therapists in Independent Practice www.
                                                       consultation came quite quickly when she was  
  specific problems were related to his suspected      just over 2.
  dyspraxia, and more specifically he had problems                                                             Royal College of Speech and Language
  pronouncing words that began with vowel              The therapist tried to engage Ruby in play with         Therapists
  sounds. He would add a letter before the initial     bubbles, teddies and tea sets. She responded
  vowel saying ‘p-up’ rather than ‘up’ for example.    with actions and eye contact and the therapist
  He also struggled with sentence order.               said this was positive as it showed she was           had corrected them. Games included animal
                                                       ready and happy to communicate -even though           glove puppets saying ‘girl’ and ‘dirl ‘ where Ruby
  Mary’s sessions revolve around games where           she had no speech that could be understood.
  William is encouraged to repeat sounds. Helen                                                              had to point out which animal spoke better; a
                                                       She was then placed on a waiting list for one-to-     fishing game where she had to say the picture on
  says he loves the sessions and always wants to       one sessions. This would take about a year to
  do his best for her. William’s progress has been                                                           the card and even one game styled on Buckaroo!
                                                       happen but Tamsin was told not to worry as until      Once a pair of letters was corrected they moved
  considerable and from knowing around 20 words        children are over 3 one-to-one therapy is quite
  in January, he now has a vast vocabulary and                                                               onto the next one.
                                                       limited. Tamsin and her husband had considered
  uses sentences confidently.                          looking into private speech & language therapy        The therapist also went into Ruby’s nursery about
  Interestingly William was discovered to have         but because they had been told it would be of         once a month and gave the team leader some
  delayed emotional development too, which Helen       limited use before the age of 3 they decided          exercises to do which all the children enjoyed
  points out is linked to his language problems:       against it.                                           together.
  without the means of verbally communicating in a     When Ruby was just over two and a half and            After a year Ruby was reassessed with the
  way his peers understood, he was often playing       starting nursery she began to say her first           picture book and her speech is now pretty
  alone.                                               words but because she was very quiet and shy,         normal for her age. However the therapist has
  Progress has been so impressive that there           she was quite hard to understand. As Tamsin           said that she wants to see Ruby at least until
  is now a question mark over his dyspraxia            was used to how Ruby spoke she understood             Christmas and now sees her once every three
  – there are still some difficulties but they are     her daughter but people she saw less often            weeks at school.
  not nearly as pronounced as they once were           struggled. When Ruby turned three the speech          Tamsin says the therapist is really skilful at
  now that William’s communications skills have        therapy appointment came up.                          communicating with her daughter, very warm and
  improved. William and Helen have had excellent       The assessment involved playing simple games          very clever - and Ruby is now very confident in
   support from their nursery Daisy Chain in York      and flipping through a book of pictures of            her speech having caught up with everyone else.
     and his new school which has arranged for         everyday objects such as ‘house’, ‘sun’, ‘bag’
     a staggered start to help William integrate
                                                       and saying the words. It was noted that Ruby          References:
   successfully. Helen envisages he will see Mary
                                                       was picking words up very quickly because             1
  for a while yet – until he’s ready to go it alone.
                                                       they were late, and because they were coming             speechrs.htm
  Case Study 2- Ruby                                   so quickly some of the sounds were getting            2 Bowen, C. (1998). Ages and Stages:
  Just before Ruby’s second birthday she had           muddled. So for example she was substituting             Developmental milestones for receptive and
  a week long stay in hospital for an illness that     pairs of letters ‘girl’ was ‘dirl’, ‘boy’ was ‘doy’      expressive language development. Retrieved
   turned out to be glandular fever. In the 6          and ‘balloon ‘was ‘dalloon’.                             from
    months prior to this she had been repeatedly                                                                devel2.htm on 12/10/09.
                                                       Ruby was given a half hour slot once a week and
     under the weather with heavy colds and            the improvements were very quick. The therapist       3
       a couple of chest infections. It took the       concentrated on a pair of letters or sounds and          speech&lang_ages&stages.htm
         doctors several days to pinpoint exactly      they played games and did homework until Ruby

                                                                                                                                 Families Vale of York     13
                                                                                         The parent bu
  Tiny Talk
                                                                                         Sisters Anne Nicholson and Sarah
                                                                                         Bugg have completed a first
                                                                                         successful year as partners in their
                                                                                         own unique business venture.
                                                                                         The sisters live near Selby where
                                                                                         their business High-Low, Quick-Slow
                                                                                         is based. They were both full-time
                                                                                         primary school teachers before taking
                                                                                         time out for their families. Both are
                                                                                         married, Anne having two sons, Tom 7
                                                                                                                                      ‘When we became full time mums,’
                                                                                                                                      says Sarah, ‘we appreciated how
                                                                                                                                      precious the time was that we shared
                                                                                                                                      with our children. As our own children
                                                                                                                                      moved on to school we decided to
                                                                                                                                      draw on our experience as mums
                                                                                                                                      and teachers to devise and develop a
                                                                                                                                      programme that would enhance that
                                                                                                                                      parent/child experience for others.’
                                                                                                                                      Their early-learning programme was

  -signing classes
                                                                                         and William 4, whilst Sarah is mum to        developed through observation of how
                                                                                         Alfie 6 and Elsie, 3.                        children learn through play and how
                                                                                                                                      important parent/carer involvement is
     Families editor Belinda Maunsell takes a look at the
     growing interest in baby and toddler signing with a
     visit to Harrogate’s Tiny Talk.                                                     A Smart Move
     I admit to being quite impressed when my daughter, at the age of 18 months,         With a BEd.Hons degree and eight years Primary teaching
     brought home a couple of baby signs she’d learned at nursery. Certainly
     being able to make the sign for please and thank you with a ‘meese’ and
                                                                                         experience, Fiona Ashford was looking for a new challenge
     ‘ta’ accompanying them was cute – and now her speaking is developing                when her youngest started school.
     more, she’s certainly very polite – but what value is there in attending regular
                                                                                         ‘Leaving behind a rewarding
     classes? Does baby signing really help children communicate better and
                                                                                         career in primary teaching to raise
     encourage early speaking?
                                                                                         my two children, I discovered
     I took my now two year old along to Tiny Talk in Harrogate last month to            many wonderful groups and
     witness first hand just what goes on at the classes and to chat to local mums       sessions, all providing great social
     about the benefits signing had had on their little ones.                            interaction and some long-standing
     The classes are run by secondary school music teacher and mum of                    friendships along the way,’ says
     two Emma Calvert who began to sign with her first son when he was 6                 Fiona. ‘When the time came to
     months old. Emma’s now been running classes in Harrogate, Wetherby                  get back into work I completed a
     and Knaresborough for almost four years and feels signing has helped                Return to Teaching course in 2008
     hundreds of parents avoid the frustrations many babies feel when they try to        and began supply work. But being
     communicate with adults but are misunderstood.                                      a glutton for punishment and Art
                                                                                         being my specialist subject, I still
     Our class was aimed at toddlers aged 18 months – 3 years and was certainly          provided my offspring and friends
     very lively! With 12 children who were all walking, Emma had her work cut out       with fun hours sticking and gluing
     and I wondered how she would be able to have them all sitting nicely, signing       at the kitchen table.’               her much loved grandmother who
     beautifully and joining in perfectly! I was, of course, not going to witness
                                                                                         Fiona’s moment of realisation        was a fabulous artist and loved
     anything quite so regimented and the class began with the children greeting
                                                                                         came when she was presented          watching her great grandchildren
     each other and soon there was singing – lots of it and moving – not just on
                                                                                         with a rather large bill to repair   ‘making’ and ‘doing’.
     the spot but around the room, exploring – and my daughter’s favourite bit
     – going on a bear hunt! In fact there was so much going on I had to abandon         her Dyson Hoover. ‘The cylinder          ‘My initial difficulty in setting up
     my notepad and set off around the room with them.                                   looked like a huge kaleidoscope          was understanding the market
                                                                                         with the amount of glitter inside,’      and pitching the sessions at
     Emma’s classes are very well planned and structured but she moves                   she says, ‘and I started thinking        the right level, not to mention
     seamlessly through activities to make them seem spontaneous. The ‘lesson’           about how to encourage parents           advertising and design. Thankfully
     was based around five toys – including a doll, a soldier, a bear etc. These         to do crafts with their children         I have friends with toddlers who
     new toy signs were repeated often through various songs and games whilst            whilst avoiding making a mess at         answered all my questions and
     more key everyday signs and ones from previous weeks were re-capped.                home. I’d recently held my son’s         gave me some sound advice:
     Even though my daughter hadn’t been to this class before, she was                   birthday party in the village hall       mainly stop to worrying about it
     completely drawn into the activities and was marching off round the room            and provided yet another table of        and get on and do it!
     with the others without so much as a backward glance. The inclusion of              crafts for the children. I’d I clearly   ‘Finding the right venues and times
     familiar songs was great too – the teapot song for example and a great              underestimated the appeal as             was a big hurdle as it’s not easy
     session with musical instruments and a rendition of ‘If you’re Happy and You        I was still being asked by small         to cater for everyone but as time
     Know it’ which of course has lots of actions.                                       children for materials days later. It    goes on I shall be offering a range
     Indeed, our language is accompanied with gesture so why would we need               then occurred to me that it was far      of times and places to cater for my
     to specifically use sign language with babies? To find out the answer I asked       easier (and cheaper) to do crafts        growing numbers.
     some of the mums why they brought their children to the class and how they          there than at home. The lightbulb
                                                                                         inside my head switched into             ‘The wonderful support I received
     had benefited from learning signs.
                                                                                         overdrive – “Make a mess here            from family and friends gave me the
     I put it to one or two mums that I hadn’t seen many signs from the children         – not at home!” and the idea of          confidence and without my family’s
     during the lesson – was it just the parent learning the sign? This was met          Smarty Art was born!                     extra push and enthusiasm for
     with a smile of recognition – it seems much of the learning goes on out in the                                               the idea, I wouldn’t have been as
     world – at home, shopping, playing. This is when parents use the signs on a         Smarty Art is an Art and Craft           successful.’
     one-to-one basis with their children to start some meaningful communication.        session for 1-5 year olds,
                                                                                         incorporating the EYFS curriculum        Fiona plans to offer holiday
     Indeed the main aim of the class is for the parent to learn the signs – and for
                                                                                         and providing an opportunity for         sessions too. ‘The response so far
     the children to play and have fun – with some signs along the way.
                                                                                         not only the children but also for       has been great,’ she adds, ‘and
     All the parents and carers agreed that signing had been really useful before        parent and carers to experiment,         the best thing about it is seeing
     their children were able to say any words – being able to sign ‘full’ or ‘more’     make a mess and have fun whilst          the children return each week with
     makes for a far less frustrating mealtime. And I could see their point – it could   learning. Fiona finds it extremely       such enthusiasm and hearing that
     certainly lead to fewer stand-offs! One mum, whose son had been born                rewarding to watch a small child         they’ve talked about Smarty Art!’
     prematurely, had found the classes invaluable. As his development is still a        create something of their very own       Current sessions run at -
     little behind for his age (some of his peers are beginning to speak), signing       no matter what the final outcome         Kirk Hammerton village Hall,
     has meant he has access to a wide vocabulary and has been able to make              may be. ‘And it’s not always what        Wednesdays 1.45-2.30pm &
     himself understood clearly.                                                         we adults might be hoping for!’          Coronation Hall, Boroughbridge
     All the parents agreed that their children were becoming confident                  she says.                                Thursdays 1.30-2.15pm.
     communicators as a result of attending the classes and if a child can begin         Fiona’s initial capital was a small      Contact Fiona on 01423 339738 or
     formal eduation with that advantage, Emma’s doing a great job!                      amount of money left to her by 
     You can contact Emma on 01423 817517

  14 Families Vale of York
Sister Act
in early learning experiences. ‘We
were both committed to creating
something that was stimulating
for young children and something
which would provide a focus for
busy parents to access,’ says Anne.
‘We were determined it should enable
parents/carers to spend quality one-to-
one time with their child.’
                                                                                         If the media is to be believed, British mothers are either serene
                                            mouth proved to be the best form
Using their knowledge of early child        of recruitment. People liked what we         domestic goddesses, who nurture their beloved and thoroughly
development they set about creating         were doing and told their friends.’          organic offspring with angelic joy and patience (I call them Alpha
their own material and writing their
own songs. They worked with a local         The sisters have expanded into Drax          Mums) or fag-smoking, Asbo-toting hooligans, raising an army
recording studio to create their own        and have doubled their sessions at           of small hoodies on turkey twizzlers and alcopops (known to me
CD and with a local artist to create        Osgodby to keep up with demand.
                                                                                         as Omega Mums). This column is for the rest of us – those of us
their own images. Then with a tall          Both agree the best things about
toy giraffe, a long, low toy snake, a       their business are being able to work        who try our best but never quite make it. We’re the Beta Mums.
young toy cheetah and an adorable           around family life, being there for their
                                                                                         My little angels make me proud in        I’m the first to stand up and shout
toy tortoise, High-Low Quick-Slow was       children and working with each other.
born.                                                                                    so many ways.                            for the right of every woman to
                                            Although they have enjoyed                                                            make their own life choices. If she
‘We wanted to create an experience          considerable success the business            Actually, that’s a lie. My normal,
                                                                                                                                  wants to somehow run a fashion
through which children could learn          has been built on lots of hard work          ordinary kids occasionally side-
new skills whilst enjoying interaction      including careful planning to ensure                                                  label with her Hollywood star
                                                                                         swipe me with a moment of
with parents and other children,’           their objectives are being met. ‘The                                                  sister, dividing ‘her time between
                                                                                         unexpected loveliness; a drop in
adds Sarah. ‘Our sessions provide           rewards are considerable,’ says Sarah.                                                London … and her eco-friendly
                                                                                         the ocean of whining, weeing and
opportunities for children of all ages to   ‘We get so much satisfaction from                                                     cottage near Stroud’, as well as
                                            seeing children enjoying themselves
move to music, to make music and to                                                                                               doing every little thing for her
enjoy music.’                               and making progress. We’ve also met          So it was last week, when I was          cherubs, that’s entirely up to her.
‘When we started up we recruited            lots of lovely families who have given       woken by both my boys parading
                                            positive feedback’.                                                                   The problem I have is that I simply
friends with children and local                                                          into my bedroom, bearing
parents and in no time were running         You can contact Sarah on 01757                                                        don’t believe her. As a former
                                                                                         ‘breakfast in bed’.
sessions in Selby, Escrick, Wistow          707743 or Anne on 01757                                                               journalist and PR, I can smell the
and Osgodby. In the beginning we            611234 or you can email them -               Call me an ungrateful swine but I        whiff of PR puff at a thousand
ran with low numbers but word-of-                  find it hard to face a full-on Frube     paces. God knows, I’ve written
                                                                                         at 6.30 on a week-day morning.           enough of it myself. But I sincerely
                                                                                         ‘That’s lovely, darlings,’ I             hope I’ve never written the kind
                                                                                         managed, sleepily, ‘But do you           of self-satisfied nonsense that
                                                                                         mind if I don’t? Maybe fruit...?’        declines to acknowledge the

                                                                                                                                  money and help that Ms Miller
                                                                                         And off they scuttled, returning         surely has at her disposal and
                                                                                         moments later in a procession.           which is out of the reach of us

                                                                                         Eldest first, proudly bearing a          mere mortals.
                                                                                         solitary lime, closely followed
                                                                                         by the scatty five-year-old,             Mother’s guilt starts almost at the
 York-based children’s party                                                             brandishing a large heavy                moment of conception and it’s
 company PaintyParty is gearing up                                                       chopping board and a very sharp          hard-wired into us for the rest of
 for the festive season with an image                                                    knife.                                   our lives. We need to be forgiving
 makeover including a bright new                                                                                                  and understanding of each other’s
 logo and great new website where                                                        Tough to resist the temptation to        individual choices, not spread
 its customers can even display their                                                    send them back down for a gill           the kind of half-truths that merely
 own work!                                                                               of rum, a slug of soda and some          serve to make other mothers feel
 PaintyParty offers a fantastic way                                                      mint. Now THAT would be a treat:         even more inadequate than they
 for children to celebrate their special day by providing ready-drawn canvases           ‘Wake up mummy, here’s your              already do.
 which they can paint and decorate themselves, allowing them to create their             mojito!’.
 own masterpiece whatever their age or artistic ability. A huge range of themes                                                   My boys brought me a Frube in
 is available, from Beautiful Butterflies to Dangerous Dragons, and bespoke              Perhaps not the best plan.               bed because we have Frubes in
 canvases can be designed if required. The PaintyParty host comes to your home           But at least it’s a true story of        the house. I didn’t make it myself,
 with all the equipment required, sets up the party, guides the children through         genuine motherhood. Which is             fermenting my breast milk in one
 the artistic process and then – most importantly – clears everything away                                                        of my hand-knitted stockings and
                                                                                         why I was so irritated to read
                                                                                         Savannah Miller quoted in Vogue          adding organic wild strawberries
 PaintyParty’s owner Jackie Midgley says ‘With three children of my own I                as saying: ‘I make absolutely            picked at full moon from my
 really understand what a challenge it can be to come up with a memorable                                                         double-dug vegetable patch and
                                                                                         everything; from the curtains in
 yet affordable birthday treat every year. As well as being fun, PaintyParty offers
                                                                                         the kitchen to every mouthful of         washed in fairies’ tears.
 children a way to explore their creativity in a supportive and tutored environment
 – and guests also have a great party gift to take home. Best of all, it’s completely    food that goes into my children’s        But they brought me a Frube
 stress-free as we take care of everything!’.                                            mouths.’                                 because they like Frubes and they
 Jackie has studied and worked in the fields of art and design for around 20             To which a gushing Vogue feature         love me. I’m not an Alpha Mum but
 years and alongside running PaintyParty also works as an artist and art tutor.          writer adds: ‘She even makes             I’m doing something right.
 She firmly believes that everyone has some artistic ability within them, and her        their toys.’
 passion is to make art accessible and fun for everyone.
 The PaintyParty package costs just £10 per child and includes all the pre-             Jacey Lamerton juggles motherhood with running her own dress agency and style
 drawn canvases, party bags, art materials, painting t-shirts and table coverings.      coaching business Get Your Frocks Off!. Some days the juggling goes better than
 DIY kits are also available for those who prefer to host their own parties. For        others. Her shop sells nearly new clothes and accessories from brands including
 further information or to book a PaintyParty check out the new website at www.         Diane von Furstenberg, Joseph, LK Bennett, Hobbs, Mulberry and many more. It’s now
                                                                                        at 42 Goodramgate and open Mon – Sat 10 – 5.

                                                                                                                                          Families Vale of York       15



                                                                                                          Develop your child’s
                                                                                                          skills and confidence
                                                                                                        The Little Gym is a place where children
                                                                                                        develop their co-ordination, balance,
                                                                                                        confidence, listening and social skills
                                                                                                        whilst having heaps of FUN! The Little Gym
                                                                                                        provider of the world’s leading gymnastics
                                                                                                        based development programme will be
                                                                                                        opening in Harrogate soon.

                                                                                                        Contact us now for more information
                                                                                                        on 01423 701560




16 Families Vale of York

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