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Issue 106: March/April 2016 www.FamiliesNWLondon.co.uk

FREE North West London Including North Middlesex, South Hertfordshire, North Hillingdon, Brent and Harrow (Queens Park, Wembley, Edgware, Stanmore, Northolt, Northwood, Watford and all the areas in between)

Party Planning Easter & Summer Camps and Activities What’s On for over term break


Open Days, What’s On and much more inside!



Welcome to the March/April issue!

CONTACT US: Families North West London Magazine Editors: Heather Waddington and Janine Mergler P.O. Box 2378, Watford WD18 1RF T: 01923 237 004 E: Editor@FamiliesNWLondon.co.uk



www.facebook.com/ FamiliesNWLondon @FamiliesNW Circulation 30,000+ copies every issue. Published seven times a year. For families from birth to twelve.

7 Mums Mean Business

8-9 School Open Days

12 Boosting your Child’s Literacy and Numeracy skills

20-23 Ideas and local resources for planning your next PARTY!

24-27 Easter and Summer Camp and Activities Clubs!

30-31 Children’s Theatre

UPCOMING ISSUES: May/June 2016: Residential/Day Camps & Activities for Summer. Deadline: 8 April. Send in your news, stories and advertising bookings to the details left.

Trending articles on the FNWL website: ▲▲ Easter and Summer Camps and Activities!

Cover image: Depositphotos.com

Feature images used under license from depositphotos.com. Other images have been supplied by independent sources.

Scan our QR code to take you straight to the most current local information!

▲▲ 11+ Preparation ▲▲ Children’s Party Venues ▲▲ What’s On over Term Break


NEWS Hungry Caterpillar Day Nurseries Open Week Hungry Caterpillar Day Nurseries will be holding a parent’s open week 14th-8th March at all their nurseries in Acton, Acton Park, Hanwell, Northolt, Perivale, Stanmore, Yeading and West Twyford NW10 and would LOVE to invite you along to come and see their Caterpillars (baby room), Chrysalis (toddler room) and Butterflies (pre-school room) in action! You will get a real feel for what a day in the life of a Hungry Caterpillar is truly like and get to ask as many questions as you like to their staff team and manager! Pop in anytime between 9.30am and 11:30am or 3:00pm and 6:00pm. No appointment necessary! Open Week special offer! Receive 10% off your first month’s fees for all families who sign up during open week! So don’t miss out! For more information call 0208 088 2383 or visit www.hungrycaterpillars .co.uk



NEWS Opportunity to meet artists in their studios at Harrow Open Studios Event

Kids Learn Fast director launches new website and blog

The 2016 annual event will take place from Saturday 4 June to Monday 6 June, and Saturday 11 June to Sunday 12 June. Nearly 40 artists in and around Harrow will welcome visitors of all ages, and admission is free. Harrow Open Studios is a diverse group of artists whose main focus each year is to invite the public to visit their studios to see their work. Visitors can meet the artist, ask questions, purchase work or arrange a commission. Work on display includes paintings, ceramics, jewellery, prints, wood turning, textiles, photography, and ironwork. Eight new artists have joined for 2016. Harrow Open Studios artists currently have an exhibition at Harefield Hospital until 27 April, and throughout May at the Harrow Arts Centre. Brochures available from April. www.harrowopenstudios.com

Kids Learn Fast is a leading private tutorial school in Edgware, specialising in access to top local Grammar and Independent Schools. The school director, Elisa Gianoncelli also runs working learning clubs for children, focusing on maths, verbal and non-verbal reasoning, comprehension and story writing. The new website features information about the school, the clubs, and a ‘Kidszone’. Elisa also produces short stories for children, due for sale soon. 0208 958 1192 / 07956 868 119; elisagianoncelli@hotmail.com; www.kidslearnfast.co.uk

Bal-A-Vis-X Workshop Inspiring tuition workshop – free trial session! West London for SEN Explore Learning centres provide maths and English tuition for 5 to 14 year olds of all abilities. The centres are open 7 days a week, meaning Explore can fit into busy family life.

As Explore members, children work with tutors who are great educational role models, enthusiastic about learning and fantastic motivators. Each child has an individualised learning programme, and all Explore courses map to the National Curriculum in England and the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland. Find out how your child can benefit from Explore Learning membership today. Book your free trial at www.explorelearning.co.uk

Bal-A-Vis-X is a series of more than 300 Balance/ Auditory/Vision Exercise, of varied complexity all of which are deeply rooted in rhythm. These exercises require full body coordination and focused attention. The programme utilizes sand filled bags, racquet balls and balance boards. The exercises help eye tracking (for academics/sports), better listening and improves sustained concentration skills. Book now for the 3 Day London training 3-5 June 2016 - PLACES LIMITED - save with the EarlyBird offer. www.integratedbrain.co.uk usha.patel@integratedbrain.co.uk

Tell them you saw it in



Join my Team! Nicola Barnard

Independent Organiser

Tel: 07967737009 Email: Nicola.barnard@yahoo.co.uk http://org.usbornebooksathome.co.uk/NicolaB/ 4


SportsKids - Multi-Sports Academy

Sports Activities for 4 to 16 year olds

Tel: 01923 255099 E: SportsKids@outlook.com Sportscoach are celebrating 10 years by expanding and rebranding to

SportsKids Academy

American Football - Dodgeball - Handball - Basketball Tag Rugby - Softball - Gaelic Football - Rounders - Athletics Kwik Cricket - Gymnastics - Tennis - Climbing Wall - Fencing Lacrosse - Netball - Volleyball - Archery - Martial Arts - Kin Ball Football - Badminton - Tri Golf - Uni-Hoc We are located in Harrow and Rickmansworth


NEWS Aqua Vie launches a new website and new Tuesday and Wednesday morning baby swim classes in Bushey! Due to popular demand, additional classes are being offered for new babies this coming term at Meadow Wood School in Bushey on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Limited places are also available at Abbots Langley on Wed and Thurs 4pm. To book a place contact Michelle or Jan office@aqua-vie.com or tel 01923 245 773 and check out their NEW website - www.aqua-vie.com.

The only swim school to specialise in parent and baby swimming classes using the Alexander Technique, Aqua Vie help parents to swim with their children enjoying true water confidence in warm pools. They specialise in teaching children how to be calm in the water which enables them to follow instruction easily and control their own buoyancy ready to learn the swimming strokes anywhere from 18mths + to 3yrs old our children can swim independently. Aqua Vie runs classes for swimmers of all ages and abilities in Abbots Langley, Bushey, and Chesham.

Retired Teaching Professionals Wanted!

Little Notes shortlisted for the Excellence in Primary/Early Years Award at the 2016 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence Widely regarded as the Oscars for the Music Education world, the shortlisting is recognition of the high quality classes that Little Notes deliver to families with pre-school children. Every Little Notes class is delivered by a highly-trained professional musician, treating even the youngest babies to excellent live music throughout their session. Little Notes has a strong reputation for enormously fun and creative sessions, that are highly enjoyable for adults too! Director, Lou Bradbury, said: “We have a fantastic team who are passionate about delivering the very best music to the very youngest children. We introduce families to excellent live music, with fun games and activities, enabling them to love music right from the start. Our classes in Harrow and Northwood are led by the extremely talented soprano, Sarah Stroh. We have seen many local families having a wonderful time led by Sarah and her piano and flute. With Little Notes, she makes music classes the highlight of a child’s week. It is through class leaders like Sarah that Little Notes has such an excellent reputation.”

To find out more, visit www.littlenotes.co.uk/harrow-and-northwood

TalentEd was set up in 2012 in response to two major problems: 1) the brightest pupils from low-income backgrounds were not being stretched and challenged to realise their potential; and 2) despite the shortage of good teachers in challenging schools, there were not enough routes for retired teachers to remain engaged with the profession. TalentEd solves this by offering high-ability Year 10 students across London a year-long programme of weekly small group (1:6) sessions. They develop self-awareness, study skills, aspirations and the ability to pursue future options. Our qualified teachers work with students to improve their GCSE grades and career ambition. We are always on the lookout for inspirational teachers and new schools so that we can support more young people and are interested in recruiting new tutors for our schools all over London, in particular North West London. Please contact info@talent-ed.uk or head to www.talent-ed.uk to find out more and apply.

Ruislip, Northwood/Oxhey, Pinner, Harrow (HA2), Harrow on the Hill and Watford call: 0208 123 9346 email: jodiesloan@littlekickers.co.uk Mill Hill, Swiss Cottage, Hampstead, Golders Green, Muswell Hill, Friern Barnet call: 0208 201 1084 email: jlevene@littlekickers.co.uk Harrow (HA3), North Wembley and Bushey call: 0208 422 0676 email: niro@littlekickers.co.uk



NEWS Volunteers needed to make disabled children’s dream Florida holiday come true!

Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, is looking for volunteers aged 18 and upwards to make the holiday dreams of 25 disabled children come true. The charity organises an annual Destination Dreams holiday to Disney World, in Florida, to give 25 children with life threatening illnesses the opportunity to experience a ‘Dream’ holiday.To ensure that

the holiday takes place, between 4th – 12th December 2016, the charity needs to find a team of volunteers who can support the children and their families on their journey ‘across the pond’.No experience necessary, but volunteers do need to have a full, valid, passport and be happy to spend 10 nights away from home. They will also be required to raise a minimum of £1,200 by 30 September 2016, towards the cost of their trip, and must be willing to attend a selection day in Stafford on 8 May 2016. They also need to attend a residential training weekend on 8 and 9 Oct, in Birmingham. The closing date for completed applications is Thurs 31 March 2016. For further information and an application pack please contact the Volunteer Team on 01782 600443 or email: volunteer@ caudwellchildren.com

THIS GIRL CAN gets women into the swim of things at Hatch End Swimming Pool Swimming is about to change in Harrow as Hatch End Swimming Pool, creates a new pool experience designed for women by women. Hatch End Swimming Pool (operated by Everyone Active in partnership with Harrow Council) has teamed up with Sport England’s THIS GIRL CAN campaign to create special womenonly sessions. THIS GIRL CAN: SWIM sessions at Hatch End Swimming Pool will run from 19:00 to 21:00 every Tuesday and Thursday for the next six months, and will include:

• A calm environment with soft lighting and relaxing music • Hooks to hang towels, robes and t-shirts beside the pool • Friendly helpers on hand • Any type of costume permissible – including a t-shirt over costume • High-powered hairdryers and free beauty products in the changing rooms Bookings are made on the day on a first come first served basis. To find out more information about Hatch End Swimming Pool visit www.everyoneactive. com or call 020 8248 8041.



Early-Bird Discounts

@ Leaders are Readers Summer Schools! There are early-bird places available at the Leaders are Readers summer schools this year until the end of June. Booking your child’s place early means you save £££s off the full fees. Over the past 8 years, the Leaders are Readers summer schools have become established as London and surrounding areas’ academic camp for children aged 3.5 to 11. Their summer school is designed to be challenging yet fun, where children develop strategies and skills in critical thinking, comprehension and reading, creative writing, language and vocabulary, mathematical reasoning, verbal and nonverbal reasoning, and also prepare for 11+, 10+, 8+, 7+, 5+, 4+ assessments. Students make educational strides while enjoying fun break times and creating friendships. Ninety-five percent of parents say, “My child gained self-confidence at the Leaders are Readers summer school.” Centres are in Dartford, Enfield, Northwood Hills and Stanmore. Last year, the Leaders are Readers SuperDuper Early-Bird places sold out before the end of March at some centres, saving parents almost 23% on full price. The Super-Duper Early-Bird places are very limited so snap them up quickly. But do not despair – they also have April, May and June early-bird places. These are still a real bargain, so book in time. Tel: 01992 651 300 www.leadersarereaders.co.uk

Mums mean business

Hilda Wright is a local mum and founder of Mini Maniacs What should we know about you? I am a mum of two,- a son aged 6 and daughter aged 4 going on 14! I’m a qualified lawyer who was brave or silly enough to swap years of training to start her own Children’s Entertainment business. What is Mini Maniacs? It’s a Children’s entertainment business that specialises in a wide range of parties, nursery/ school classes and Character appearance hiring. We have face painters, glitter tattooists, and also sell party bags and even personalised cupcakes! How did you get started? The business started in 2013 after I’d just qualified and realised that part time legal roles were too few and far between and i wanted to be around more for my young family. I started with just doing classes in my local area and then more and more mums were asking me to do parties for their kids- in 2014 after some good advice from a mummy friend I decided to branch into themed parties and take

on staff for the first (very daunting) time. Now we are a team of over 14 from face painters to princesses and it’s beautifully hectic! What does the future hold for the business? We hope to grow even more, to expand and really take a sizable market share of the local children’s entrainment sector. Do we want to rule the world? not really, but Middlesex would be a great start! What is the best bit about what you do? Our reviews are unrivaled, and I still blush when I read them! I still do some of the parties, and the buzz my staff and I get from that is immense also. I enjoy crafting the activities playlists, taking an idea from nowhere, recording and synthesizing it, and finally seeing it come to life at a party with the kids going crazy over it is again phenomenal! Any bad bits? As we’re getting so busy I’m spending less time with my family which constantly racks me with guilt. Hopefully as the staffing

team grows, I can step back a little (but not too much!). How do you fit work around family life? I work whilst the kids are at school and nursery then when they go to bed- I try not to work whilst they’re around but if a customer contacts us, it’s difficult to say no! I’m still trying to find that balance... What advice would you give other mums looking to open a new business? Be prepared to work hard, to sacrifice any spare time you may have had. Get ready to be fully absorbed by what you’re trying to build, and most of all ensure you’re truly truly passionate about your business otherwise all that hard work will seem more like torture than an achievement.

Hilda can be contacted via her website, www.mini-maniacs.com; on email - info@mini-maniacs; or phone 07751231737

LIKE us on Facebook to get after-press updates on local events and activities! www.facebook.com/FamiliesNWLondon

Paediatric First Aid Courses Sat 12 March and Sun 10 April Pinner/Harrow Area

Accepted for Voluntary OFSTED Registration. Training can be extended for Full Registration at no further charge.

Certificate valid for 3 years Cost = £85

Contact Margaret at mcstraining@hotmail.co.uk or on 07814 191 395 for bookings Other dates available



Education Independent School Open Days Please check school websites to confirm in advance of visiting advertised open days. Listings are subject to change. Aldenham School Elstree WD6 Boys and Girls 3-18 yrs (Boarding/ Day) enquiries@aldenham.com

Open Day: Sat 18 Jun, 10am-12.30pm. Prep School 01923 851664. Senior School 01923 858122

Avanti House School Stanmore HA7. Boys and Girls 11-18 yrs. www.avanti.org.uk

Open Day: By appointment. 020 8249 6830

Buxlow Preparatory School Wembley HA9 7QJ Boys and Girls 4 - 11yrs (Day) www.buxlowschool.org.uk

Open Morning: Fri 18 Mar, 10am-12pm. 020 89043615

Buckingham College Preparatory School Pinner HA5 Boys School 4-11 years www.buckprep.org

Open Day: By appointment. 020 8866 2737.

Charlotte House Preparatory School for Girls Rickmansworth WD3. Girls 3+-11yrs. www.charlottehouseprepschool.co.uk

Open Day: Thu 10 Mar, Sat 12 Mar, 9.30-11.30am. 01923 772101

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School Elstree WD6 Boys 5-18 yrs. www.habsboys.org.uk

Open Day: By appointment. 020 8266 1700

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Girls’ School Elstree WD6 Girls 4-18 yrs. www.habsgirls.org.uk

Open Day: Sat 8 Oct: Jun Sch 10am-12.30pm; Sen Sch 2-5pm. 020 8266 2302 email ldevine@habsgirls.org.uk

High Elms Manor School Watford WD25, Boys and Girls 6 months – 11 years. www.highelmsmanorschool.com

Open Day: By appointment. 01923 681103

The John Lyon School Harrow on the Hill HA2. Boys 11-18 yrs. www.johnlyon.org

Open Day: By appointment. 020 8515 9400

Krishna Avanti Primary School Edgware HA8. Boys and Girls 3-11 yrs. www.avanti.org.uk/kapsharrow

Open Day: By appointment. 020 8381 3344

Mariposa Primary School (opening Sept 2017) Harrow HA8 Boys and Girls 4-11 yrs www.mariposaprimaryschool.org.uk

Open Day: By appointment. admissions@newschoolforharrow.org.uk

Merchant Taylor’s Prep Rickmansworth WD3 Boys 4-13. Northwood HA6 Boys 11-18yrs www.northwoodprep.co.uk www.mtsn.org.uk

Open Day: Sat 7 May 2016 (Rickmansworth Campus) Fri 7 Oct 2016 (Northwood Campus) 01923 825648 (Rickmansworth) 01923 845514 (Northwood)

North London Collegiate School Edgeware HA8 Girls 4-18yrs. www.nlcs.org.uk

Open Day: Fri 4 Mar, 1.30-3.45pm. Jun Sch 020 8952 1276, Sen Sch 020 8951 6481/6468.

Northwood College Northwood HA6. Girls 3-18 yrs. www.northwoodcollege.co.uk

Open Day: Tue 28 Jun, 9.30-11am. Bluebelle House Nursery Tue 26 Apr, 9.30-11am. 01923 825446.

Orley Farm Harrow-on-the-Hill HA1 Boys and Girls 4-13yr www.orleyfarm.harrow.sch.uk

Open Day: Sat 7 May 2016 10am-12pm. 020 8869 7634/7600


Preparatory School Established in Wembley in 1927


18th March 10:00 to 12:00

• Small classes taught in a caring, family environment. • An excellent record of 11+ Senior School progression & scholarships. • Outstanding success in music, drama & sport. • An active and supportive PTA.

For further information call 020 89043615 or email admin@buxlowschool.org.uk

www.buxlowschool.org.uk 8


Independent School Open Education Days Quainton Hall School Harrow, HA1. Boys 2.5-13yrs, Girls 2.5-11 yrs. www.quaintonhall.org.uk

Open Day: Sat 17 Sep 2016, 10am-12:30pm. admin@quaintonhall.org.uk 020 8861 8861

Reddiford School Pinner HA5 Boys and Girls 2yrs 9months – 11 yrs. www.reddiford.org.uk

Open Day: By appointment. 020 8866 0660

Roxeth Mead School HA2 Boys & Girls 3-7yrs. www.roxethmead.com

Open Day: By appointment. 020 8422 2092

The Royal Masonic School for Girls Rickmansworth WD3 – Ruspini House Pre School (boys and girls aged 2-4) Cadogan House Pre-Prep and Prep Department (girls aged 4-11), Senior School (girls aged 11-18)

Open Day: By appointment. 01923 725354

Saint Jérôme CofE Bilingual School Harrow HA1 Boys and Girls 4-11 yrs www.stjeromebilingual.org

Open Day: By appointment. 020 7932 1178

Stanborough School Watford WD25 Boys and Girls 4-18yrs. Boarding/Day. www.spsch.org

Open Day: By appointment 01923 673268

St Christopher’s School, Wembley HA9 8HE Boys & Girls 4 – 11 years (day) admin@stchristophersschool.org.uk

Open Morning: By appointment. 020 8902 5069

St John’s CofE Primary School (opening Sept 2016) Watford WD17 Boys and Girls 4-11 yrs www.stjohnswatford.co.uk

Open Day: By appointment. 01923 255 017

St Helen’s School Northwood HA6. Girls, 3-18 yrs. www.sthn.co.uk

Open Day: Wed 22 Jun, 9.30am-12pm. Sat 24 Sep, 9.3011.30am 01923 843230

St Hilda’s Preparatory School for Girls Bushey WD23 3-11yrs. www.sthildasbushey.co.uk

Open Day: Fri 20 May, 9-11am. 0208 950 1751

St John’s School Northwood HA6 Boys aged 3-13. www.st-johns.org.uk

Open Day: Wed 25 May 2016, 9.15am. 020 8866 0067

St. Margaret’s School Bushey WD23 Girls 4-18 yrs (boarding/day) www.stmargaretsbushey.org.uk

Open Day: Thu 5 May, 9.30am-12pm. 020 8901 0872

St. Martin’s School Northwood HA6. Boys 3-13 yrs www.stmartins.org.uk

Open Day: By appointment. 01923 825 740

St Nicholas Prep School and Nursery, Kingsbury NW9 8PN 3mths – 11 yrs. www.stnicholasschool.org.uk; www.stnicholasnursery.org.uk

Open Day: By appointment. 020 8205 7153

York House Rickmansworth WD3. Boys and Girls 3-13 yrs www.york-house.com

Open Day: Sat 12 Mar; Sat 7 May; Sat 1 Oct; all 9.30am-12pm. 01923 772 395




COPING WITH REVISION AND EXAMS It’s important to fully prepare for exams, both emotionally and practically. These strategies will help at all levels from SATs and school testing, to GCSEs and beyond.

factor about learning - all learning is hard and requires sacrifice and deferred gratification, but students need to understand “what’s in it for me?” For 11+ it’s to do with visualising the end goal of attending a particular school, for older children it is going to their chosen university and getting a good job.


Create a work area where your child will be uninterrupted and comfortable. Agree up front whether music or TV will help or hinder them! Encourage your child to keep a file for each subject with section dividers and to file new notes and handouts straight away. Get good revision aids for each subject, including past papers, and match revision notes to likely exam questions.

As the exam system has changed greatly over the past few years, and is continuing to do so, some parents may feel it best to just let the ‘experts’ at their child’s school get on with it; we believe parent involvement is important and that parents don’t need to be an expert in any subject to make a real difference! It is hard for children to understand the long-term importance of doing their best, so try to encourage and establish a feel good




Parents also need to encourage the student to start revision early and make a realistic timetable that they will stick to. Agree to a regular “check-in” where you are “allowed” to discuss where the student is in relation to their deadlines.


“It is hard for children to understand the long-term importance of doing their best, so try to encourage and establish a feel good factor about learning” LEARNING TIPS It really helps to structure each revision session, setting an achievable aim and testing this at the end. “Doing something” with the information students are trying to learn and remember is essential to allow the brain to learn, make connections and remember. Different people find different activities useful, and your child needs to find out what helps them remember things. Some students like to use “spider maps” or create colourful posters that they display on the wall to see regularly; visualisation, mnemonics or acronyms are examples of

useful rote learning techniques. Remember, the least effective methods of learning are just repeatedly reading the information through, or simply copying it out.

MANAGING STRESS DURING REVISION AND EXAMS A little bit of stress can be a good thing as it motivates us to work hard. But exams can make stress get out of hand, which can stop us from performing well, so it’s important to address it and get it back

under control. It’s vital students eat well, with fresh fruit and vegetables and proper breakfasts. Sleep is the other essential. Try to keep household routines the same and encourage regular breaks from work, particularly if they are becoming frustrated, angry or overwhelmed. Encourage and praise your child; show an interest by talking to them about what they are learning. Keep a note of key dates and deadlines to ensure you support them before the ‘panic stage.’ As the exams draw closer, refrain from talking about them. Keep conversations light, trivial and away from anything to do with exams. Before the exams, remember to tell them that you love and value them whatever happens. And remind them of this again, when the results are due!

Jaderberg Krais Jaderberg Krais specialises in bespoke support for children’s learning, with schools advice, child assessments, specialist subject tutoring, entrance exam preparation and study skills. Contact Katie on 020 3488 0754 or via http://www.jaderbergkrais. co.uk/contact-us/




How to boost your child’s literacy and numeracy


iteracy and numeracy are central to your child’s learning in primary school and will continue to underpin many of the subjects they’ll cover during their secondary education. They are of course crucial to later life as well.

Whether they’re already acing their algebra or still struggling with basic sums, here are some ideas on how to give these key skills a boost.

 A little extra learning at home can work wonders…but don’t go overboard! Realistically, it isn’t always possible for teaching staff in busy classrooms of 30 pupils to provide the one-on-one attention children benefit from – perhaps looking at improving handwriting

“Reading and aspects of numeracy are both typically taught quite differently to when most of us were children”

Elisa’s Tutorial School Edgware

from 21/2 years to 16 years of age. Give your child the best start. 26 years experience. Ex St. Michaels’ Grammar School teacher. BA. PGCE Expert tuition in English, Maths and reasoning for 4 plus, 7 plus, 11 plus, 13 plus and also GCSE. Pre-school reading, maths and writing classes taught through music, art, toys and stories, computer lessons also.

020 8958 1192 07956 868119 Online tutoring available at

www.childrensstories.net www.kidslearnfast.co.uk and ElisaGianoncelli.com 12


or listening to reading daily. By sitting with your child and working on specific areas, you can make a huge difference to their attainment. Keep it sensible though – even just ten or fifteen minutes a day for Key Stage 1 children can have an impact, yet still leaves hours and hours for Lego building, climbing trees or playing with friends.

 Find out about the methods their school uses to ensure consistency If you want to do some work at home, it will help your son or daughter greatly if the methods you use are consistent with those they’re being taught at school – otherwise you can do more harm than good by confusing them. Reading and aspects of numeracy are both typically taught quite differently to when most of us were children, so do attend any curriculum information evenings the school holds, or ask their teacher for more information about methods.

 Employ tech to your advantage There are some brilliant educational apps and websites out there with masses of kid appeal. Try to find ones which align with the National Curriculum (or at least use British English to avoid conflict with what’s done at school). Many of the best apps have an in-built system of rewards and some even provide parents with progress reports. [Link: https://www.familiesonline.co.uk/locations/national/ education-childcare/education-and-schools/eight-of-the-besteducational-apps-for-primary-school-children]


For more information about supporting Numeracy and Literacy visit: • www.nationalnumeracy.org.uk/ • www.literacytrust.org.uk/ • www.bbc.co.uk/education • www.tes.com/teaching-resources • www.educationscotland.gov.uk/parentzone • www.driveforliteracy.co.uk/parents • www.mad4maths.com/parents • www.familymathstoolkit.org.uk  Encourage reading Reading opens the door to almost endless learning and enjoyment. Some children are naturally enthused by books, others need more nudging to get the reading bug. Firstly, encourage any reading at all – be it comics, magazines, the back of the cereal packet – without worrying much about what they are reading. Also try and home in on your child’s interests and give them books that work with these – reluctant readers might gain confidence with non-fiction relating to their hobbies, or a football-mad child might enjoy some sporty tales and then decide fiction is for them. Bedtime stories are a crucial opportunity to snuggle up discussing books together. They’re still beneficial even once children can read independently - parents of older kids could take on a more challenging classic together, taking it in turns to read a page before talking about what’s going on. Incorporate ‘stealth learning’ into everyday activities Sneak some maths and literacy into their day-to-day life and you can improve their skills without it feeling like schoolwork. Adding up the cost of the shopping, dividing the bill in a restaurant, playing Monopoly or snakes and ladders, budgeting for that much-longed for Christmas present or helping with cooking are all brilliant but subtle numeracy activities. For literacy, writing shopping lists, sending a postcard or email to the grandparents, or finding a pen pal might all help.

“Some children are naturally enthused by books, others need more nudging to get the reading bug” Liat Hughes Joshi is a parenting journalist and the author of four books including ‘New Old-fashioned Parenting’ and ‘How to Unplug Your Child’ (both published by Summersdale) and Raising Children: The Primary Years (Pearson).

SW Consortium & QE Boys

CEM 11+ Latymer & Henrietta Barnett

Saturday 7 May 2016 ................ 2.30pm - 4.30pm Saturday 4 June 2016................ 2.30pm - 4.30pm Saturday 3 July 2016................. 2.30pm - 4.30pm

Nascot Wood Recital Hall, Nascot, Wood Road, Watford WD17 4YS

£25 per paper including detailed feedback & online software to practise.

BOOK NOW www.mocktestmasters.com • www.11plusmocktests.com FEEDBACK includes: ✔ Detailed report on your child’s strengths & weaknesses ✔ Access to mock test questions and answers ✔ Uniquely, all exam formats - just like the real exam!



Mummy On The Edge

Mummy on the Edge Out with the old and in with the new (-ish)


t the end of January, still feeling the loss of David Bowie, (the man who gave this ten-year-old the twin lifelong gifts of her favourite song and a love of red shoes (my happy shoes!)) we experienced torment closer to home. Our beloved Chico, faithful companion to Midi-Me and I, unexpectedly gave up after 8 and a half years of service. Was he man, was he dog? No, he was Supercar. There I was on the A1M, driving back from returning a jumper to the M&S Outlet in Hatfield Galleria and the car started to feel a bit funny when I put my foot on the accelerator. As I drove through Elstree, up and down that hill near The Fisheries, some hidden, noise-making part of the car started to complain. I drove all the way home and, half parked outside my house, Chico gave up there and then. No amount of coaxing forward or backwards would make him move. I can’t imagine what I would have done if he would have given up on the motorway. I might not even be here to write this. Faithful to the last, Chico did not leave me vulnerable in the middle of Barnet Bypass, like a ball in a pinball machine, but dutifully delivered me to my home before exhausting his last breath and shuffling off his mortal ignition coil. Upon arriving home on foot from the bus stop, Midi-Me was faced with the sight of our old friend being trussed up to the AA man’s van to be towed to my mechanic. Deep inside I knew it was the end but I had to try; I owed him that at the very least. Trembling with emotion, Midi-me and I poured a cup of tea and indulged in the verbal equivalent of a Friends flashback, stringing together scenes from “The one where we drove to Southend at two in the afternoon,” “The one where we got lost in Shakespeareland,” “The one where we named our car after a terrible X Factor contestant” and many other notable episodes of Mummy on the Edge. Poor Midi-Me was quite sad as it felt like the end of an era but I resolved to find another car and think of another non-English singer to name it after. My old computer and phone were Julio and Enrique. I think my next car will be called Serge. One thing is for certain: Chico-Time is over. I recently got my kitchen a bit fixed. Both Midi-Me and I had grown perfectly used to having an area of open shelving (-cupboard door fell off many years ago and I stashed it in the shed) and even an open-fronted drawer (-there is nothing I can insert here to explain this). We were also fully used to a mismatched painted kitchen, as I never finished painting it green. But y’know, eclectic, innit. Anyway, I bought tester paint pots



and sought opinions from Midi-Me and Mr Angelina. I was quite sure I wanted two contrasting colours as I’d seen on Houzz and Pinterest: one for the top and one for the bottom. We settled on Frosted Fondant for the bottom. Sounds delicious doesn’t it? I was thinking we would end up with a warm, putty colour. Well… my kitchen now has the cadaverous pallor of a mauve My Little Pony that has trotted off a cliff and been found 4 days later. But it’s okay. We’ll get used to it. Have you been to Planet Ice in Hemel Hempstead? It sounds like the other end of the universe but it’s actually just 25 minutes from Brent Cross on the M1 if you have use of a Chico. For her birthday, I took Midi-Me and her friends skating. I was cutting shapes on the ice, pretending to be a graceful Russian figure-skater (just with my arms, obviously; my bottom half concentrated very hard on remaining upright) and Midi-Me wasn’t embarrassed at all. Although her best friend (my second daughter) did skate off and pretend not to know me briefly. Despite the disgusting what they call “food” served in what they call “The Café” it was a lot of fun! Much better than Wembley Outlet Centre in December, where the rink was like a bowl of soup. We will definitely return to Planet Ice once I have found Serge.

More at www.mynotesfromtheedge.blogspot. com and www.facebook.com/angelina.melwani and twitter at @appleina




Cooking With Kids

Mummy Cooks makes Granola Bars Whether it’s for an afterschool playdate or a rainy weekend activity, you can’t go wrong with whipping up a batch of something in the kitchen. Children of all ages can get involved and in the end your house smells amazing and your children will have a memory of the experience that will last longer than the baking will - Yum!

INGREDIENTS • 1 egg • 2 ripe bananas • 3 tbsp of your chosen nut butter • 80g oats • 20g almonds • 20g hazelnuts

• 20g cashew nuts • 1 tsp ground ginger • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds • 2 tbsp goji berries • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds

• 2 tbsp chia seeds • 60g dates • Small handful of mixed dried fruit, we went for a combination of mango, raspberries and raisins

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. 2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, add the almond butter and the egg and mix well. 3. Add in the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix until fully combined. 4. Pour into an oven proof baking tray – we find that silicone ones work best. If you do not have a silicone one, line with parchment paper. 5. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and golden brown. Leave in the baking tray to cool on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes, then slide it out and allow to cool further before slicing into squares.

As mum of two young girls Ashleigh (6) and Jessica (4), Siobhan Berry at Mummycooks is passionate about nutritious, home-cooked food. She wants to inspire, educate and empower parents to feed their children healthy, home-cooked food. Siobhan believes that cooking is a fun activity that brings families together. www.MummyCooks.ie

_ Open term time _ Ofsted rating - ‘Good’ _ Soft play, Gym, Tennis, French and IT classes _ Free places government funding available for 2-5 year olds

Honey Bears Montessori Nursery

Eastcote Methodist Church, Pamela Gardens, Eastcote HA5 2QU

Tel: 020 8426 1855 077 5169 4480 info@honeybearsmontessori.co.uk




Parenting Don’t forget! Easter Sunday is March 27

The Great Easter Egg Hunt Keep up (or start!) this fun tradition with your children this Easter By Sally J. Hall


aster means different things to different people. But for the kids it is quite simple; it means time off school and plenty of Easter eggs! So why not organise an Easter Egg Hunt with your children and their friends? Here’s how to make this year’s Easter’s egg hunt one that will be talked about for years to come.

What is an Easter Egg Hunt? The night before Easter Sunday, the grown-ups hide eggs and other treats around the house. Then the kids have to find them on Easter morning. For many parents, the planning is almost as much fun as watching the kids finding the eggs and you can make it as simple or as complex as you like.

Give us a clue Add an extra dimension with clues. You could also make a treasure map for them to follow. Think of a theme; numbered pictures of bunnies, pirates looking for buried treasure, fairies looking for magic eggs. Check out local Easter events and activities (symbol) in our What’s On section – pages 32 - 37 Sally J. Hall is a writer and editor who has written for all the main parenting titles as well as The Independent and The Mail. She is author of Eco Baby and contributing author to Watch My Baby Grow (Dorling Kindersley).

First, the shopping list • Buy a few eggs per child. Look for packs that are cheaper than individual eggs. Or hard-boil and colour some real eggs, ready for breakfast in the morning! • Find holders for the children to collect the eggs in such as paper bags, baskets plastic bowls or flower pots. • Perhaps buy some small gifts as well as eggs - books or colouring pens. • Important! - Make a list of where you have hidden all the eggs.

Some nice ideas to do the day before, especially if it’s raining Get the children to decorate the holders they will collect the eggs in. Decorate paper bags, line baskets with straw and tie on a ribbon and add a label with the child’s name on it to the pots.

Where can you do an Easter Egg hunt? At home, inside the house. Great if the weather’s bad. Lock rooms that you don’t want the children in. In the garden. If it’s fine, this is ideal. Put the eggs out in the morning. Why not make bunny footprints from flour or talc near each hidden egg? In the woods. If you live near some open space, gather the kids in one area until the adults have planted the eggs and clues. Then let them loose!

Some ground rules So that the children all feel they have been treated fairly and for safety, it’s important to have some rules. • When they have collected three eggs, they must come back to ‘base’ before going off again. • Give the kids clear boundaries that they must not stray outside. If you’re outdoors, place small kids with grown-ups or older children for safety. • Help kids get a fair share by collecting different colour eggs each –wrap them in coloured paper. Make those for the small kids easier to spot. • Get older children to help younger ones. • Don’t allow the kids to eat the eggs as they find them – they have to bring them all back to base. • Once the game is over, allow them to eat one or two and then the rest should be taken home.

Make it better Make it more fun with activities along the way. Tell an Easter themed story, or play some games.




How to Read With Your Child – And Really Enjoy It!

Not now, darling...” is the plaintive refrain from parents - at bedtime, in the library, on the bus or any moment that you have had the audacity to put your feet up for five minutes. Your dearest progeny plonks him or herself down beside you with a picture book that you have already read aloud a hundred times. Recently, when sorting junk in the garage I came across A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson and I realised

For Children aged 2 to 5 years old

• A wonderful setting for children to learn and grow

• High standard of qualified and caring staff • Family atmosphere

• Safe secure and stimulating environment • Large Outdoor area

Open 51 weeks a year, offering part time and full time sessions


18th March 10:00 to 12:00

Why not come and see our nursery! Tel: 0208 904 3615 nursery.manger@buxlowschool.org.uk www.buxlownursery.org.uk



that I could still recite every line, years after I had read it with my child. How can we ensure we are fresh and eager each time our loved one wants to share their reading? And given that we know that it is not only vital for children’s intellectual development to read together but that it also benefits our own inner lives, what should we do to get better at it?

Parenting Here are ten ways to truly enjoy reading with your little one


Accept and celebrate the knowledge that reading with your child is part of your job description as a parent. It is there alongside cuddler, sleep-trainer and bottom wiper. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Soon, you will be a natural performer.

2 3 4

When they are babies, choose books YOU like to read to them. They are too small to understand much but the cadence of your voice gives them comfort. You could read a cookbook aloud and they’ll be content.

When they are toddlers, reading together enables bonding but it also can act as an incentive: if you stay in your bed ALL night, you can get into my bed in the morning for a story, how’s that?

The concept of ‘making time’ is an impossible ideal. We can’t magic up extra minutes to read but we can use the moments we already have. Lots of pictures are the best way to keep a little one on the potty; submergible bath books enable hair-washing and nit-checking too. What a bonus!


Keep books for daytime reading on the lowest shelf and allow them to select the book they want, no matter how many times it has been shared. If you really can’t stand it another time, have a bit of fun; read it backwards, or upside down, or in gobbledygook. Your child will soon insist it is done the right way up and before you know it, they will be reading it to you!

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Books without text such as Clown by Quentin Blake are brilliant for sharing – encourage your toddler to tell you what is happening. Talk about what you both see.

At the library, suggest that each of you dig out a title. Your youngster will often pick one they already have at home - but it doesn’t matter, because your special task is to discover one they’ve never seen before. Just think how much more enthusiastic you will be to open it up.

“Accept and celebrate the knowledge that reading with your child is part of your job description as a parent.”

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Books for bedtime should be chosen by you and kept higher up on the shelves. Make this a time for your child to listen and be calm and contented - though questions should be answered. Then, it’s lights out! As they grow older, you can be more adventurous and find longer stories, like fairy tales. Soon, you can introduce to them the novels you loved as a child. Perhaps they will want to continue reading a particular chapter book alone but they will always remember the sense of an experienced shared.

Justine Crow is the author of The Little Book of Nits published by Bloomsbury. Parent of three, she owns her own bookshop with her partner, The Bookseller Crow on Hill, and is a qualified swimming teacher. And in what little spare time she has, she also runs gastronomic writing retreat courses in France and is the food critic of The Transmitter.


When shopping together, don’t expect a young child to choose the ‘right’ book. You decide what to buy while your child rummages through the books on the playtable. Then read one together before you leave. Once they can actually read, allow them to choose their own books.




PA R T I E S We love this feature!

It is always so much fun to plan and hold a birthday party for children. We’ve listed everyone and everything you need to know in our local area to help you create a wonderful special day for your ‘someone special’…

Y Party Entertainers/Planners/ Activities Adam Ants - with over 15 years’ experience Adam Ants offer an unforgettable party experience. One or two hour parties with fun, games, magic tricks, balloon modelling and puppetry. Arrange something different – a “Build a Teddy Bear” party, a Sports Olympic party or a fab kids disco. Special offer to all Families NW London readers - book a midweek party before 30th June 2016 quoting ‘FamiliesOffer’ to receive a 25% discount! www.adamantsparties.co.uk or call anytime 0208 959 1045. Captain Calamity - The scene is set for fun and laughter! Welcome to the home of Captain Calamity - Award Winning Children’s Entertainer! Dov Citron (a.k.a. Captain Calamity!) utilises marvellous magic, interactive story telling, call-and-response games, crazy clowning, sensational science, incredible balloon twisting, hilarious puppetry, action-dances and jaw dropping bubble performances to enchant children of all ages in a world of interactive adventure. With Captain Calamity; the children become the stars, engaging with the performance and becoming part of the act. They are invited to shout out, jump up and get stuck into the action! Anything is possible when the Captain taps into the unlimited resource that is a child’s imagination! www.captaincalamity.com/ Facebook.com/ captaincalamitychildrensentertainer. The Captain Calamity Adventures YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/ UCTfKI1CjzpsoAGR5TCrIpwA Cheeky Chops Cookery Parties Themed parties from the comfort of your own kitchen: Italian, Mexican, Baking, Sushi, Tea Parties and more! In North London, Herts and surrounding areas. All equipment provided, only quality ingredients. Birthday cakes and cookery-themed going home presents available on request for a small extra cost. Fully trained DBS cleared chefs with 15 years experience and collaboration with local schools. polly@cheekychopsparties.com 07968 960 551 www.cheekychopsparties.com

Captain Calamity Creative Fun Factory Toddler Parties (13 mths - 4 yrs) - These parties are run like their Toddler Fun & Music classes. They can entertain up to 30 children for one hour and supply two hosts. Cheeky Monkey is included too! Harrow/Pinner 0208 427 9797 www.creativefunfactory.co.uk Enjoy-a-Ball parties are for super-active 4 - 9 year olds. They are full of high energy games loved by boys and girls alike! 08452 26 26 94 www.enjoy-a-ball.com northlondon@enjoy-a-ball.com Froggle Parties - offers high energy parties that are non-stop fun. Each party crams tons of activities like comedy magic, games, mini disco, balloon modelling, puppet show, prizes for every child, rocket balloons, and bubbles. Themes, clowns, baby and toddler parties, bubble and snow machines and other party extras also available. Call 08450 504 509, www.froggleparties.com Kiddikicks Birthday Parties - bounced on a castle, done clowns? Need a great active kids party? Then book a Kiddikicks football, sports day or multi-sport party that packs in the fun. High energy, high quality sports fun for 1 to 2 hours. 10 to 25 children per group. 020 7937 7965 www.kiddikicks.co.uk Kool Kidz – have been entertaining children since 2002, and can make your children’s parties perfect and flow with ease from start to finish. They offer many different types of parties, including Disco, Dart Tag as well as traditional and themed parties eg; Princesses, Pirates or Superheroes! 01582 723449 www.koolkidzgroup.co.uk

Visit our extensive ONLINE parties directory! www.FamiliesNWLondon.co.uk



Parties Looking for birthday party with a difference for your child? LEGO®DAY parties give children the opportunity to build and play with their own working model using the e2 Young Engineers Kits. Choose from a range of models, including, cars, theme park rides, robots or helicopters. Fun and creativity guaranteed! Suitable for ages 6 to 12 years. Tel: 07565 195895 / 0203 539 2956 or email: nikhit@young-engineers.co.uk www.middlesex.young-engineers.co.uk

Langley village making it accessible from the M1 and M25. It offers clean modern playrooms and facilities. The venue is large enough to host over 30 children and their parents with ample parking. The parties offer a soft play room for the under 5’s, 3 new inflatables to include a 20’ square Inflated Urban Skate Park with an 8’ platform slide for 2 years plus, plus Rural Mega Slide Multi Play with a 12’ platform slide for the 5 – 14 year olds, and an Urban 2 lane Bungee Run! 07703 532 812 www.abbotsparties.co.uk

Little Kickers – in Watford and Northwood. Celebrate your child’s birthday with Little Kickers! It’s fantastic fun; it’s healthy too, and they guarantee every child leaves with a huge smile and a shiny medal. Take to the side-lines while the qualified football coaches ensure your child and their friends enjoy a party to remember! 0208 123 9346 jodiesloan@littlekickers.co.uk www.littlekickers.co.uk

Baby Lounge – The Nest Harrow – a unique venue for your party. There are two interconnecting rooms and a covered outdoor space. Available for hire Saturdays and Sundays. Hire fee includes a hot water urn, coffee machine, use of fridge and freezer, tables, chairs and plenty of toys. 0208 617 9596 www.nestlounge.co.uk

Mini Picassos - offer exciting art courses, holiday workshops and birthday parties for children aged from 2-13yrs. Using the work of artists as inspiration, your child will experiment with a wide range of media including acrylics on canvas, drawing with charcoal, sculpting in wire & plaster & much more. 07903 638817, www.minipicassos.co.uk They also run art classes for adults: Life drawing, Drawing & Painting sessions. Monkey Music - tailor made parties with singing, dancing and playing instruments - especially designed for 1 - 4 year olds. www.monkeymusic.co.uk Mother Nature Science - Exciting science-themed parties combining the ideas of “playing” and “learning”. Can be presented outdoors, indoor at home, or wherever you choose. Each Mother Nature Science party features an impressive array of spectacular topical demonstrations and interactive activities, and children leave the party with fun and educational take-home experiments. 020 8863 8832, www.mnature.co.uk

ARC House Harrow The Arc House performance space is designed to offer a flexible, multi-use space and includes the Lounge@ Arc House café. It holds a performance area and an outside amphitheatre that faces the performance space. The 53-square-metre indoor performance space is fully fitted with AV and PA equipment and is available for hire. enquiries@archousevenue.co.uk Aspire Kidz Zone Stanmore - can help you party with their range of exciting parties. From sports hall to swimming pool parties, their experienced staff will ensure your child has a party to remember. 020 8420 6725, www.aspire.org.uk

Brondesbury Sports Club - in between West Hampstead and Cricklewood offers the perfect leafy setting for children’s parties and functions. Use of two large-sized rooms in a traditional clubhouse with a kitchen and bar, an outdoor grass area and free parking costs from £125. Be quick, dates are quickly booked up! Contact admin@ brondesburysc.co.uk or 07747 518763 for info. www.brondesburysc.co.uk Cinnamon Square Rickmansworth - hosts unique hands-on baking parties in its scientific baking laboratory ‘The Makery.’ The children make bread, pizza, cookies and their own birthday cake and carry out some fun experiments. The parties are suitable for 5 years and up and can accommodate 10-15 children. Cupcake and Chocolate Making parties available for children aged 9+. 01923 778353 www.cinnamonsquare.com continued on page 22 v

Perform Parties - theme based entertainment for 4 to 12 year olds! Perform Parties are high energy, fun and totally infectious and kids just can’t resist joining in all the activities. Based around a colourful theme and involving lots of lively games, they use the power of children’s imaginations to get everyone involved. 0845 400 4000, www.perform. org.uk Silly Millie the Clown - parties for 3 - 9 year olds. Funny magic show, puppet’s, party games, silly songs & balloon animals. 020 7823 8329 or 07939 239 397 www.sillymillietheclown.co.uk Takayo – can make a party truly unique and inspiring, with a Japanesethemed celebration that everyone is sure to love. Kimono makeover parties are absolutely perfect for girls aged 5 years and above. Discover more at www.takayo.co.uk 07862 874583.

Y Party Venues/Parties onsite Abbots Parties @ Breakspeare - offering great inflatable and trampoline parties. The Sport Centre is set in the heart of Abbots

BAKING PARTIES AND COOKIE DECORATING A multi award winning bakery and coffee shop, where children can decorate cookies in the café. Watch wonderful foods being created in ‘The Makery’ – its very own scientific baking laboratory and use the smell station (very Willy Wonderkish!) to guess what’s baking in the oven. At the baking parties, children make bread, pizza, cookies, plus their own Birthday cake. Cupcake and chocolate making parties also available for 9 years and over. Stockists of baking kits Pre-school parties now available for 3-4 year olds!

Check website for ½ term workshops and new parent & child classes!



Parties Craft Tub Crafting Parties Abbots Langley - Crafters are given a credit of £8.00 to spend around the shop floor; add up your items using a shopping list, then with your chosen colour paints and glue at the ready, it’s time to get started. Take as much time as you like. £15 per person (includes the £8 credit). No studio fees no hidden costs. Under 5 years Old? Only £10 for you guys with a £5 credit. Pottery painting: This option provides you or your party members a huge choice of pottery items from the lower shelf range. A choice of over 15 exciting little models all which ooze character and fun. £15.00 which includes refreshments for all. Once painted, the bisque is fired in the kiln overnight ready for a collection one week later. Children under 5 years must be accompanied by a parent. Toilet and changing facilities are on site. www.crafttub.co.uk Gambado Watford - one of UK’s ULTIMATE indoor play and party centres and their magnificent birthday parties are fun and hassle free for busy parents. All parties come with an assigned party host to ensure everything runs smoothly, play time on the main frame, hot and cold buffet food, printable invitations, thank you cards and a FREE gift for the birthday child! . www.gambado.com 0844 375 9494 Hertsmere Leisure Centre Offering a wide range of affordable parties including – inflatable pool parties, bouncy castle and play, and football. Invites included and catering options available. WD19; WD23 and WD3 locations! www.Hertsmereleisure.co.uk Partyman World of Play Wembley - with 7 different type of children’s parties to choose from there is something fun for everyone here www. partymanworld.co.uk Play Wembley - Play Wembley has 3 fabulous Birthday Party areas and the facilities for private hire after 6.00pm Football Parties; Pizza Making Parties; Disco Parties, Pottery Painting Parties www. playwembley.co.uk Rumble-Tumble Harrow - take the hassle out of organising birthday parties, we will do it all for you, from party invites to entertainment to food and even the cake! We offer a range of packages to suit all budgets as well as the option of hiring out our venue. All you have to do is turn up with your child and guests and we will take care of the rest! 020 8427 8847 www.rumble-tumble.com Stagecoach Parties - are packed full of fun, lively party entertainment including dramatic games, fabulous songs and fun for everyone! There are themed parties for children aged 4 - 10 and Murder Mysteries for 10-16 years. Their parties provide a way to remove the stress from what


should be a day of celebration for everyone, and allow you to sit back, relax and let them do all the work! Available in Stanmore & Harrow Weald, Northwood and Sudbury Hill & Wembley North www.stagecoach.co.uk The Windmill Studio Centre (HA4) - based in Ruislip Manor hosts many exciting activities for all the family including Children’s Parties – See advert on page 20 for their new Pop Video Parties for ages 7+. 01895 624755, www.thewindmillstudio.com Wildchild Outdoor Adventure Parties (various) Wildchild Outdoor Adventure Birthday parties introduce children to fantastic new indoor and outdoor activities, giving them the opportunity to get outdoors, relish new challenges, stretch imaginations, and above all have FUN! Whether your kids would love to head into the woods for a Dinosaur Hunt, share a top secret Spy Assignment, thwart Pirates, try Archery, Climbing, Abseiling, Fencing or even Skateboarding, Wildchild’s definitely got it covered. 0845 3717099 www.wildchildactivities.com Willows Activity Farm, London Colney - A birthday party at Willows Activity Farm is bursting with fun! From meeting and feeding farm animals, taking a ride on Tristan the Runaway Tractor, Funfair Rides and acres of under cover play, children can also play in the NEW Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground (opens 2nd April 2016). Their party package includes invitations, delicious party food, party bag and helium balloon for each child. The birthday child also receives a birthday card with a £10 Willows voucher. One free adult with every full-paying child. For more details call 0870 129 9718, or visit www. willowsactivityfarm.com

North West London

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Ten Of The Best

Party Bag Fillers



Because we all know mums throw away all that plastic rubbish when their little one’s not looking…


By Claire Muffett-Reece

3 6

4 7

8 9 10 Claire Muffett-Reece is a freelance journalist who writes on parenting, lifestyle, health and general interest. Mum to Jack, five, and Max, three, her work has been published in The Evening Standard, The Metro and Cosmopolitan, among others

1. Animal Hand Temporary Tattoos, £3.95 Prezzybox Sold as a box of eight these simple to apply creations include instructions for making a number of animal characters. 2. Backyard Science Ant Hill Making Kit, £4.79 insectlore.com Not too many kids to buy for? This mould-your-own plaster creation is designed to house real ants so kids can observe their daily activities. 3. Catch A Bubble, £3.95 Prezzybox After blowing, simply wait a few seconds for these clever bubbles to set, before party guests can catch and stack them as high as they like! 4. Disney Frozen Cupcake Kit, £1 Morrisons Give each guest their own cupcake making kit to take home rather than splashing out hundreds (!) of pounds on an Elsa impersonator. 5. In The Night Garden Water Squirters Bath Toys, £10.19 Argos As a set of three this is a tad pricey for a party bag filler – so why not split them up and add a mini bubble bath for kids to enjoy instead? 6. Julia Donaldson Picture Book Collection, £11.99 The Book People This line-up features 10 books including The Gruffalo, A Squash and a Squeeze and The Snail and the Whale ¬– and all for under £1.20 a book! 7. Make Your Own Superhero Mask Kit, £2.45 Not On The High Street This crafty role play creation features cut outs, jewel embellishments, glue dots and elastic to design their very own super-hero mask. 8. Peppa Pig The Balloon Ride DVD, £3 The Works Part of a ‘four for £10 deal’, this DVD is the perfect party bag present – plus the parents will be delighted at a little peace and quiet! 9. Super Hatching Dinosaur Egg, £3.95 Dotcom Gift Shop Now party guests can pretend to be a paleontologist with this neat idea, which sees a dinosaur egg ‘hatch’ after 72 hours in water. 10. Vegetable Seed Sticks, £1.05 Part Ark These pocket-sized treats contain vegetable seed-loaded card sticks your little one’s guests can tear off and pop in to compost to germinate.



Summer and Easter Camps

Believe it or not…

the Easter and Summer holidays are on their way! SuperCamps

And what better way to keep the kids entertained than with a great summer camp or activity. Whether it’s a day camp right on your doorstep or further afield, we’ve hunted high and low to find out some of the best of what’s going on to keep the kids busy these holidays.. And remember to tell them Families North West London Magazine sent you!

Aqua Style – Run fast track swimming courses during the holidays. These are available in Colindale and Bushey. 07925 954144 www.aquaswim.org Arts Depot – Run family friendly workshops during the school holidays. www.artsdepot.co.uk Art and Craft Summer Camp with My Sisters and Me. Do you have children with an arty streak? Are you looking for something to keep them entertained in the long summer holidays? Then book them into the Summer Camp at Harrow Arts Centre where a different theme will be introduced every day. The classes are from 9.30am-3pm, for ages 5-11 years. 07946 055 422 info@mysistersandme.co.uk Art Club at The Triumph Press – summer workshops for children aged from 6 years. Each week follows a different theme and you can choose as many weeks as you like. 07949 594946 www.artclub.co.uk Aspire Offer Ofsted-registered activity camps during the school breaks. Camps are great for 5 - 14 year olds and are run by experienced staff. 020 8420 6725, www.aspire.org.uk Barracudas Day Camps are for children aged 4.5-16 yrs. who want to try new activities, meet new friends and most importantly have fun! All camps are OFSTED registered. Activities include motorsports, lab rats, archery, fencing, trampoline, swimming, arts & crafts, drama and many more. Offering 34 locations centres at summer camps including Watford and Barnet. 0845 123 5299 www.barracudas.co.uk BrightStars Learning Summer School is a two week English and arithmetic programme aimed at 4 - 11 year olds. The course is based in Edgware, Middx and runs from 8th August - 19th August. Classes include preparing children for Reception and the 11+ exams. The enthusiastic and experienced team of teachers look forward to making this an enjoyable and beneficial experience for your child. For further information please contact Reena Damani on 07538656810 - www.brightstarslearning.co.uk


Brondesbury Sports Club Kids’ tennis and multi sports camps run during Easter, May and Summer holidays. Multi-sport camps in the Summer offer football, hockey, tennis, cricket, netball, table tennis and rounders, run by fully qualified coaches – book for a day or a week. They also offer term time and summer cricket coaching all set in a beautiful central location near Cricklewood, Hampstead and West Hampstead. admin@brondesburysc.co.uk www.brondesburycoaching.co.uk Blag Youth Theatre Performing Arts Summer School, open to all kids from 7-17 years. This year’s project will be Matilda and the Chocolate Factory from July 25th -6th August. Rehearsals from 10am-6pm daily. 01923 772 320 www. blagtheatre.co.uk Camp Beaumont Multi-activity day camps offering over 40 different activities at Mill Hill School, NW7 2AQ, 29th Mar–15th Apr from ages 4+ and St Helen’s School, HA6 3AS, 29th Mar– 8th Apr from ages 4+. 0800 655 6560 or www.campbeaumont.co.uk Cooking Camp Creativz Kids cooking camp and workshops in school holidays. Fun and creative introduction to cooking, baking and chocolate making. Based in North West London, camp days run from 10am to 3pm. 02089586628 tracey@messyplay.co.uk or facebook Cooking Camp Creativz Eggless Cake Delights Kids 3 day hands on Eggless Baking Course for keen young bakers aged 9 - 16 years old who would love to learn how to make eggless cakes, cupcakes etc!! Classes are held in small groups in a friendly environment and all equipment will be provided. 07737847405/07590337823 info@ egglesscakedelights.com

fun, make new friends and take part in a wide range of sports and activities. Activity camps are delivered every school holiday by Fit for Sport, the UK’s Leading Healthy Lifestyle Activities Provider! 0845 456 3233 or www.fitforsport.co.uk Fleet Tutors – Run 5-day or 3-day small group preparation courses for 11+ or 13+ entrance exams. These are run by highly successful school entrance exam tutors and focus on Maths, English, Verbal Reasoning and NonVerbal Reasoning during the week, with students sitting mock exam papers. 0845 644 5452 www.fleet-tutors.co.uk Gymboree Watford Summer camps for 2.5 - 5 year olds. 2 hour activities include sports & fitness, theatre arts workshops and pre-school classes. Available Monday to Saturday. Must be pre-booked. Contact watford@gymboree-uk. com, 01923 250440, www.gymboree-uk.com/watford Harrow Woodcraft Folk Fun & freedom in the countryside, at their weekend camps all summer, for all the family. Camp craft such as putting up tents & fire lighting; group games in the fields and woods; exploring nature; arts and crafts and campfire songs & stories. Call 0208 428 2409 www.woodcraft.org.uk Hatch End 11+ Tuition Run various courses over the Summer Holidays in preparation for the 11+ exam. 020 8421 3066 www.hatchend11plus.co.uk Hertsmere’s Summer Fun Play Schemes Hertsmere Leisure will be running Easter Play Schemes at their centres. www.hertsmereleisure.co.uk

Explore Learning – Offer Maths and English tuition sessions for 5-14 year olds throughout the school holidays. 01895 636378 www.explorelearning.org.uk

Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre (HOAC) Sailing, Windsurfing, Kayaking and Land activities for 8-18 yr olds.01895 824 171 www.hoac.net

Fit For Sport delivering OFSTED registered Activity Camps for children aged between 3 – 12 years old, for over 20 years. Camps are a great way for your child to keep active, have

Holidaytime Holiday Club – Offer a fun, active and safe time for all children aged between 3 and 13 years at Quainton Hall School in Harrow. Activities include swimming, arts and crafts,


Summer and Easter Camps trips, sports coaching, cooking, parties, nature trails, games, and much more. 07903 126486 www.activetime.co.uk Jaderberg Krais 11+ Workshops in Maths and English 2016 for Y5 and Y6 children. A series of engaging 11+ workshop days to boost children’s motivation and confidence teaching and practising many of the skills needed to successfully sit the 11+ exams. Easter holiday workshops will take place on Monday 4th April 2016, with Maths from 8.30am-12.30pm and English from 1.30-5.30pm. To book a workshop, please call Nimita on 07957 464763 or email nimita@jktutoring.co.uk. Full Workshop details available at: www. jaderbergkrais.co.uk/workshops Jigsaw Summer Schools – designed to provide enjoyable and stimulating performing arts activities for students during the school holidays. The sessions are split into age groups of 3 to 5 years and 6 to 16 years. 020 8447 4530 www.jigsaw-arts.co.uk Kids Can Achieve Run play schemes for children with additional needs. The playscheme is all about your child having fun through play and structured activities, and sessions are arranged around constructive play, arts and crafts, outdoor play and swimming. 020 8420 2300 www.kidscanachieve.co.uk King’s Camps the UK’s leading provider of sport and activity camps for 4-17 year olds during the holidays. Offering week long packages and FlexiCare; there’s something available for everyone.0114 263 2160 www.kingscamps.org Knowledge Above Standard - Come and practise a crash course for the 11+ CEM entrance exams. 5 lessons for the price of 4 when booked before March 31st. Please contact Kas/Akshay on 07985 588 085 www.knowledgeabovestandard.co.uk

Leaders Are Readers – Summer Schools for 3.5-11 year olds in Maths & English including Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning, and Learning to Read, and 11+, 10+, 8+, 7+, 5+ and 4+ preparation. Attended by children from all over the world so early booking is advised. In 4 locations this year: 25th July – 12th August in Enfield and Stanmore; 1st – 19th August in Dartford and Northwood Hills. Aim is to cover a year’s essential work in 3 weeks, fill in learning gaps and prepare children on advanced topics so they can zoom ahead when they return to school in September. Academic yet fun learning environment for all ability levels. Early-bird and sibling discounts available. Tel: 01992 651300 www.leadersarereaders.co.uk Little Big Leaders - Effective Reading, Maths and English Programmes, children aged 3.5 to 11. Consistent lessons during term time & 3 week Super Summer School at Rickmansworth, Bushey, Edgware. 9am to 1.00pm or 1.20pm. £100 off Super Summer Offer (valid until the end of the month for those paying for 3 weeks. Please check ad for full terms and conditions). Call NOW 020 8213 3100 www.littlebigleaders.com Little Kickers Courses running throughout the summer. Football training for kids from 18 months to under 7 years. Ruislip, Northwood/ Oxhey, Pinner, South Harrow & Watford jodiesloan@littlekickers.co.uk 0208 123 9346. Mill Hill, Swiss Cottage, Hampstead, Golders Green, Muswell Hill, Friern Barnet jlevene@ littlekickers.co.uk 0208 201 1084. Bushey & Harrow HA3 0208 422 0676 www.littlekickers.co.ukMakes ‘n’ Bakes – Summer holiday baking classes for ages 2.5-6 years. Begins with a story, weighing out ingredients, baking a yummy creation then making a quality craft. Sessions last 1 hour with a maximum of 6 children per class. 07887 984401 wilkin@afrormosia.com

SuperCamps Mini Minors Holiday Camp & Play Scheme Multi-activity holiday day camps for children aged 3-6 in Summer holidays. Based at Brookland School in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Activities include sports, arts and crafts, dance, drama, bouncy castle, yoga and much more! Ofsted registered and inspected as ‘Outstanding’! 020 8371 9686 www.xkeys. co.uk/day-camps/mini-minors-xuk-day Mini Picassos – Fab, fun and creative! Holiday workshops from 10-1pm weekdays for children aged from 4-11 years. Clay modelling, painting, plaster, charcoal cartoon Manga style drawing sessions. Scholarship classes available 07903 638817 www.minipicassos.co.uk Modern Combat Martial Arts offer a wide range of classes suited to all levels, ages and abilities throughout the holidays. Classes run in Hatch End, Harrow, Northolt, and Bushey. www.moderncombatmartialarts.com www.fightingcombatfitness.co.uk 07818 416 671 info@moderncombatmartialarts.com

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Summer and Easter Camps continued from page 25

Monkey Music Their holiday workshops are a popular way to keep children entertained during the holidays. Unlike the regular classes where children are strictly grouped according to age, the holiday workshops cater for a mixed age group of children. Older siblings love joining in the fun and they also welcome friends and visitors. Book early to avoid disappointment. 01727 831867 www.monkeymusic.co.uk Mother Nature Science Holiday Camps Open to boys and girls, ages 5- 12 years and run during the summer, Christmas and Easter Holidays at school venues across London. The Scientists will ensure your children ‘get ahead in science’ this holidays with action packed programmes of hands-on activities exploring a spectacular array of scientific themes and topics. www.mnature.co.uk 020 8863 8832 info@mnature.co.uk. Northwood Community Arts Group Summer Circus Skills 2016 for boys and girls aged 6-13 with Albert and Friends Instant Circus. Mon 8th– Fri 12th Aug from 10.30am-3.30pm each day at St Johns Church, Hallowell Road, Northwood. A week full of safe and active fun including uni-cycling, stilt-walking, tight-wire balancing, ball walking, juggling and Diablo. Amazing skills showcase for family audience on the last day. Participant early bird offer of £90 each is available until 30 April. Full price from 1 May will be £99. 01628 675800 northwoodarts@artreach.biz www.norwthwoodcommunityarts.co.uk NumberWorks‘nWords Maths and English tuition classes which will target identified needs to improve achievement levels. Catering for all levels from 4 to 16 years old. Specialised programmes for 7+, 11+ and SATs. www.numberworks.co.uk 0208 868 7672 eastcote@numberworks.com


Orley Farm School Holiday Club runs MonFri, 10-15.30 during the summer holidays. Activities include: dodge ball, trampoline, tennis, rounders, dancing, netball, basketball, swimming, cricket, gaelic football, hurling, and canvas painting and jewellery making. 4+yr olds. 0208 8697600 www.orleyfarm.harrow.sch.uk Perform Wizard of Oz Easter holiday workshops for children aged 4-7. Three full days (10am-3pm) of fun-packed drama, dance and singing in the company of Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man. The course ends with a colourful performance on the last day. Courses run 4th - 6th April in Northwood. www.perform.org.uk/wizard Push and Glide – Run 5 day crash courses during the holidays at Northwood College. These are suitable for ages 3-4 years and 4 years+. 07749 554405 www.pushandglide.co.uk Raviv Practice London - Prevent regression in the school holidays- Keep your child’s brain stimulated and improve academic performance during the holidays. Raviv Practice London offers three evidence-based computer programs that present the perfect compromise between play and work. Oneto-one intervention scientifically proven to improve your child’s grades. Contact Usha Patel - Raviv Practice London on 07766 837 616 Rose Hall Farm Offer a range of courses for junior riders, including Pony Day’s which are for one day and look at riding and stable management. They also offer 2, 3 or 4 day courses which cover show jumping or flatwork/dressage, with riding in the morning and afternoon. They also include lectures on various aspects of show jumping or dressage and stable management. 01442 833269 www.rosehallfarm.co.uk


Modern Combat Martial Arts ROS Stageworks An opportunity for young performers to take part in a specially adapted (junior) version of a well known musical, after a week of rehearsals and workshops. 0208 868 5338 www.rosswsummerschool.org Sharpe Academy of Theatre Arts From 22nd-26th August Sharpe Academy are running a Musical Theatre Summer School at Watersmeet in Rickmansworth. There is a session for 3-5 year olds daily at 10.30am12.30pm, and for 6-21 year olds at 10am-4pm each day. 01923 711063 www.sharpeacademy.co.uk Easter Shed From 4th-8th April, participants at Chickenshed will explore and develop a wide range of performance skills through workshops that involve drama, dance, singing and story-making. Parents and friends will be invited in on the final afternoon to see a performance that has been devised throughout the week. For ages 5-12 years. 020 8292 9222 www.chickenshed.org.uk

Summer and Easter Camps Stagecoach Summer Workshops performing arts holiday workshops for 4-6 year olds (half day) and 6-18 years (full day). Learn a show in a week, make friends, learn new skills working with industry professionals – with a costumed performance on the Friday to family and friends! www.stagecoach.co.uk/holidayworkshops

Type IT! – Fast track holiday courses suitable for boys and girls aged 11+ and other family members such as parents and grandparents. The course includes encouragement to develop good touch typing skills, 5x fun and engaging daily lessons and fun keyboard games away from the computer screen.. 020 8864 0325 www.typeitforkids.co.uk

Stitch–London Spend up to 3 days in the Stitch Studio in Cuckoo Hill, Pinner, making! Suitable for boys and girls aged 8+. All fabrics and materials supplied. 0750 300 1024 www.stitch-london.co.uk

Ultimate Activity Camps - An exciting range of games, creative and sports activities for children aged 4-5 years and 6-14 years. Ultimate Activity Camps are guaranteed to give your child maximum fun and care during the school holidays. Camps take place at Parmiter’s School in Watford. www. ultimateactivity.co.uk

Supercamps - Putting the magic back into the Easter holidays! Looking for something for your children to do this Easter? Then Super Camps daily activity camps are the perfect way to put the magic back into the school holidays. The programme is jam-packed with fun activities that will keep your children entertained for hours, and their ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating gives you the peace of mind that your children are in the best possible care. Camps include a variety of sports, games, and arts and crafts. No two days are the same and the price includes all activities.01235 832222 www.supercamps.co.uk Theatre Tribe for ages 8–15 yrs. Gangsters and Molls theme from 4th-8th April at South Hampstead High School. 020 3239 3149 www.theatretribe.co.uk The Radlett Centre Five Day Musical Theatre Workshop. 8-16 years. 4th-8th April. Sing, dance and act at this very popular event! They do not ask for any previous experience, but as this is a performance of a very high standard, you must be prepared to work hard and take direction. 01923 857546 www.radlettcentre.co.uk

barn, treasure hunts and den building. With changing seasonal events there’s something new each school holiday. Willows Activity Day Camps are OFSTED registered. 01727 829535 www.willowsactivityfarm.com The Windmill Studio Centre, based in Ruislip Manor, hosts professionally run holiday workshops, 4 - 9 years, during most school holidays, giving opportunities for children to make new friends and have lots of fun with Arts & Crafts, Role Play, Party Lunch, ready to Party with lots of Dancing, Props, Party Games and Party Prizes, with a special visit from Jimmy the JAMtots Bear, all in a safe and clean environment! 01895 624755 www.thewindmillstudio.com

Watford Football Club Central Trust – Football and Multi-sports Summer Camps at various local venues. 01923 496362 www. watfordfcsetrust.com Wildchild – Hold Camps over the Easter holidays including Wild Animation, Wild Archery, Wild Survivor Bushcraft Day and Wild Wheels Skateboard School. Venues include Phasels Wood Activity Centre in Kings Langley and St Albans Girls School. They also have a programme of activities planned for the Summer Holidays. www.wildchildactivities.com Willows Activity Farm – Activity Day Camps every school holiday. Book the kids into Willows Activity Farm for holiday adventures they love! As well as all the fun of Willows Activity Farm, the children enjoy indoor play in their exclusive playrooms. Lunch and a two course hot meal plus all drinks and snacks are also included. Activities include farmyard animals, funfair rides, bouncy castles, The Big Dig - sand and water play, indoor play

www.activetime.co.uk NORTHWEST (LONDON) MARCH/APRIL 2016


Local Clubs and Classes Directory CLASSES FOR GROWN-UPS Adult Art Classes in Stanmore (HA7) Drawing, painting and mixed media art classes for adults. Weekday morning studio sessions in a relaxed, supportive environment.  020 8954 2897 or 07500 006 099  myartclub@yahoo.co.uk Eggless Cake Delights (HA) offer eggless baking , cake decorating and dessert classes for kids & adults in Harrow. Classes are held in small groups in hands on and Demo format, during weekdays, weekends and during term holidays in a friendly environment.  07737847405 or info@ egglesscakedelights.com.  www.egglesscakedelights.com The Veggie Kitchen (HA7) Pure vegetarian cookery courses in Stanmore. Specialising in Indian cuisines, as well as Thai, Chinese and many more, students will learn to cook nutritious and delicious vegetarian meals in a friendly and homely environment. Offer group and one-to-one hands on courses.  0208 204 1906  www.veggiekitchen.co.uk Yogabellies Aquabellies (various) Beautiful water based yoga classes for women throughout their lives. The sessions incorporate traditional yoga asanas (postures) adapted for water, water relaxations and positive life building experiences for women, mothers and mothers to be. There are AquaBellies - Aquanatal yoga for pregnancy, AquaMamas, post natal and AquaBelles aqua yoga classes suitable for all women. NEW for January YogaBelles: yoga designed for a unique women’s body.  07840 904887  anjli@yogabellies.co.uk www.yogabellies.co.uk/members/anjli

First Aid MCS Training (HA1, HA5) Paediatric First Aid Course. Accepted for full and voluntary Ofsted Registration. Certificate valid for 3 yrs.  Margaret 07814 191 395  mcstraining@hotmail.co.uk

LANGUAGES AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT Gujarati Masti Maja classes by Sansaar (HA5) Fun and interactive Gujarati music, song and dance classes for 3 to 6 year olds in North London, to help your child speak Gujarati confidently. Saturday morning at 9am and 10am at St Lawrence Church in Eastcote, Pinner.  www.sansaar.org Portuguese for Children (NW6) Every Saturday, from 10am to 12pm, the International Gospel Church on Belsize Road will be open for children from 4 to 12 years of Brazilian-English parents to enrol. Lessons will include how to read and write and Brazilian culture, including music. Lessons run from September and February 2016 and are free.  contact@igclondon.org.uk

Sign Language Sing and Sign (Various) Fun classes combining the benefits of baby signing with music to develop language, memory and attention skills. Babies 6-30 months. Bushey, Rickmansworth, Stanmore and Harrow:  www.singandsign.com TinyTalk (Ruislip, Ickenham & Rickmansworth) Baby Signing and Toddler Talking, Newborn to 4 years old. One hour classes of signing and singing with instruments and sensory equipment which is based on a theme each week, as well as time for socialising, while babies learn to develop their social skills and play with toys. Classes term time only - Tesco Community Room in Watford on a Monday, St Giles Hall in Ickenham on Thursdays and Methodist church in Ruislip on Fridays. 07879 604967/01895 313150  www.tinytalk.co.uk/ruislip

ACTIVITY CENTRES Aspire National Training Centre, Kidz Zone activities (HA7) Wide range of activities available from 6mths to 12yrs.  020 8954 5759  kidzzone@aspire.org.uk. Wood Lane, Stanmore, HA7 4AP Gambado Watford (WD25) Giant play-frame, dodgems, climbing wall, and parties.  01923 892140  www.gambado.com JAMtots (HA4) An Interactive daytime activity centre for parents with babies and toddlers. All pay as you go with a variety of sessions that include Parent & Toddler Groups, Musical Tots, Gym Tots and one off events plus special visits from Jimmy the JAMtots Bear.  01895 624755  thewindmillstudio.com

Rumble Tumble Harrow (HA1) Harrow’s only indoor supervised soft play children’s play group. Why not take advantage of the Drop & Shop facility and have a stress free shop, or book a special event in the Party Room available for all occasions. You can even relax and have a snack in the restaurant while your little ones are playing.  0208 427 8847  info@rumble-tumble.com www.rumble-tumble.com The Windmill Studio Centre (HA4) An exciting activity centre that has just about everything to offer for all ages from babies to adults.  01895 624755  www.thewindmillstudio.com

MUSIC & MOVEMENT Little Notes (HA1&HA6) Music Teachers’ Awards for Excellence Finalist 2016. Pre-school music classes run exclusively by professional musicians. Love music, right from the start! Classes for children from 0 to 5 years in Harrow & Northwood. Please see website for more details and to book a Free Taster Session.  sarahlittlenotes@gmail.com www.littlenotes.co.uk 020 8426 4114 Mini Maniacs (Various) Multi award nominated classes that are filled with music, dance and exploration – plus plenty of excitement. Focusing on a range of engaging activities, the classes take you up tempo then down tempo, leaving parent and child feeling like they’ve been on a tummy tickling roller coaster!  Contact hilda@mini-maniacs.com or visit www.mini-maniacs.com Monkey Music (Various) Award-winning Monkey Music introduces babies and young children to music in a way they understand and enjoy - and is brilliant fun for children and adults too! The unique four-stage curriculum ensures that classes are a “good fit” for pre-schoolers. Voted as “Best National Toddler Development Activity” and “Best National Pre-school Development Activity.” Age guides are as follows: Rock’n’Roll from 3m, Heigh Ho from 1yr, Jiggety Jig from 2rs, Ding Dong 3- 5yrs. Classes are open 6 days a week, at venues in Hillingdon, Eastcote, Northwood and Harrow.  01895 674587  www.monkeymusic.com

SPORTS AND EXERCISE Capoeira Academy UK (HA) Classes in Stanmore providing outstanding and fun classes for children aged 4+years. A unique blend of martial arts, dance, acrobatics and music; capoeira develops skills for life with inspiring and nurturing teachers.  07841342874  capoeiracademyuk@gmail.com www.capoeiracademyuk.com Enjoy-a-Ball classes (Various) Sports coaching for 3-9 yr olds in a fun, positive and non-competitive environment. Ten ball sports for the perfect introduction to sport. Physi-ball classes - Ball skills and core skills for toddlers aged 18mths to 3 yrs. Classes run in Mill HIll, Finchley, Golders Green and Muswell Hill. Call 08452 26 26 94 to book a trial session. Enjoy-a-Ball parties are for super-active 3 - 9 year olds. They are full of high energy games loved by boys and girls alike!  08452 26 26 94  www.enjoy-a-ball.com northlondon@enjoy-a-ball.com Field End Flyers Saturday Morning Community Cycle Club (HA5) Every Saturday in Term Time at Field End Road for all children aged 5 – 11 years. Join the friendly team of British Cycling Coaches at 9.45am, and learn fun skills, race on the amazing fully enclosed Cycle Track, make new friends (for both children and parents) and enjoy a whole morning of fun till 12.30 - (refreshment break half way through). All you need is your own bike, helmet, gloves and water bottle and a shower proof jacket.  For further info contact Tracey at fieldendflyers@gmail.com Little Kickers (Various) Enabling children aged 18mths up to their 7th birthday to develop their coordination, balance and agility through football activity classes Mill Hill, Swiss Cottage, Hampstead, Golders Green, Muswell Hill, Friern Barnet  020 8201 1084  jlevene@littlekickers.co.uk. Ruislip, Northwood/Oxhey, Pinner, Harrow (HA2), Harrow on the Hill and Watford  0208 123 9346  jodiesloan@littlekickers.co.uk or Harrow (HA3) Bushey and North Wembley  0208 422 0676  niro@littlekickers.co.uk www.littlekickers.co.uk

The Van Niekerk Academy of Dance • Ballet classes for boys & girls aged 3-18 • Outstanding Royal Academy of Dance examinations results • Established 14 years in Stanmore • • •

Successful places at Royal Ballet School, Tring Park, Central School of Ballet, London Senior/Junior Ballet, London Studio Centre, Ballet West Numerous cups/medallists – British Federation of Festivals Contemporary/Jazz classes

Classes are held in the Stanmore and and Bushey Area Suzanne Van Niekerk (RAD Qualified Teacher)

T: 020 8950 2457 www.vanniekerkacademyofdance.co.uk “Develop poise, technique and expression through dance”



Directory editor: Anna Blackshaw

Modern Combat Martial Arts (MCMA) offer a wide range of classes suited to all levels, ages and abilities. Their Combative MCMA curriculum has been designed for the purpose of Street Self Defence. Why Join MCMA? • They offer their SAFE Kids classes from 4 years old • Junior & Teen classes • Annual Grading Examinations & Structured Belt System • Mixed Adult classes • Women Only Kick Boxing Are you looking for something that can challenge you or your child mentally & physically, and teach a life skill that is so valuable in today’s society? Then look no further and contact them today to book your FREE TRIAL LESSON Locations: Hatch End, Harrow, Northolt, Bushey  www.moderncombatmartialarts.com  www.fightingcombatfitness.co.uk  07818 416 671 E: info@moderncombatmartialarts.com Rugbytots - the UK’s first rugby based play programme for 2-7 year olds. Focusing on developing your child’s motor skills and confidence with fun-filled programmes aimed at improving general ball skills, balance, agility and coordination. Currently classes in Watford, Rickmansworth, Bushey and Stanmore.  For more information contact remi@rugbytots.co.uk SportsKids Academy (WD3 & HA3) Multi-sports Activities for children. All students are taught in small groups of similar age and ability. Mini academy ages 4-6 years (an hour and a half) Main Academy 6-16 years (3 hours). (Previously known as SportsCoach.) Held at JFS The Mall Kenton and Rickmansworth Masonic School Rickmansworth  01923255099  sportskids@outlook.com www.sportskidsacademy.co.uk White Crane Karate School (HA8) Karate classes for ages 4 years and above held in Edgware, East Finchley, Finchley Central , Stanmore and Harrow Weald. Adult classes in Barnet.  Sheena 0787 550 1674  whitecraneedgware34@hotmail.co.uk www.karatewhitecrane.co.uk

Massage & Yoga Positiv-Life Fitness (various) Specialise in Small group Personal training Pregnancy Pilates, Mum & Baby Yoga & Postnatal Pilates & Baby Massage, for those in & near Eastcote Ruislip, Pinner, Northwood & Uxbridge. info@ positivlifefitness.com  07974 062 973  www.positivlifefitness.com www.facebook.com/positivlifefitness > Twitter @PositivLifeFit YogaBugs (various) A magical, fun and interactive story-style adventures for children where they learn yoga techniques. Yoga improves flexibility, posture and concentration and also helps in relaxation. Fun and engaging classes for children from walking to 12 years of age.  Contact details: 08458997168. deepti@yogabugs.com. www.yogabugs.com YogaBelliesKidz Family yoga (HA & WD) Share the mental and physical benefits of yoga...peace of mind, relaxation and increases body strength and flexibility! YogaBellies Mum and Baby yoga: Monday afternoons (birth to 10 months) YogaBellies Little Angels pre-school yoga (18 months to 4 years): Saturday mornings, Bushey YogaBelliesKidz family yoga (children 4-12 years): Saturday & Sunday mornings, Bushey NEW: YogaBelles Mum and Daughter (13-16 years): Weekday evening, Bushey  07840 904887  anjli@yogabellies.co.uk; www.yogabellies.co.uk/members/anjli

Swimmimg Aqua Style (WD23/HA6) teaches children, babies and adults to swim without aids in small groups, or One to One. Good facilities and plenty of parking. They run Intensive ‘Fast Track’ Courses during School Holidays and weekly ‘Term Time’ courses.  www.aquaswim.org  07925954144. Aqua Vie Swimming based on effortless swimming and true water confidence. Fun classes for babies & Children from 6wks+ to all ages including Adults. New Tues, Wed & Sunday morning classes in Bushey WD23. Tel 01923 245 772 www.aqua-vie.com or email office@aqua-vie.com Aweswim (various) Aweswim offers courses for people of all ages and abilities, ranging from parent and baby groups through to adults.  www.aweswim.co.uk  01923 537070

Local Clubs and Classes Directory Push & Glide Swimming School (WD18, WD23, HA6) Push & Glide Swimming School provide extremely high standards of swimming instruction, they pride themselves on their friendly, dynamic teaching environment. They provide fully qualified instructors who are committed to maintaining and improving an excellent quality of teaching along with low ratio swimming lessons in a safe environment for children aged 3.5 years plus. All abilities are catered for, from gaining water confidence through to competition training, following the ASA progressive scheme awards.  07749554405  www.pushandglide.co.uk Splashtime Swim School (various) Swimming lessons, Holiday clubs and After school club held at Quainton Hall School. Swimming lessons also held at Merchant Taylors School and Uxendon Manor Primary School.  Splashtime Swim School  07903126486 Children’s Activities 07794078452

THEATRE AND PERFORMING ARTS Beverley School of Performing Arts (HA8) After school & Saturday classes in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Street, Singing & Drama for boys and girls aged 3-18years. ISTD and LAMDA examinations to advanced level.  07974 750 224  www.beverleydance.co.uk. JAM2000 Performing Arts & Agency (HA4) Truly like no other, with classes available from 2.5 years – adults, male and female plus an incredibly busy agency that is always looking for new recruits!  01895 624755 www.jam2000.co.uk Perform Drama (Various) Together with a team of experienced theatre professionals, the children will combine live original music, inspirational dance and quick witted improvisation and colourful costumes into a performance at the end of the term. Perform sessions are specially designed to encourage creativity, confidence and communication skills as well as being a kaleidoscope of fun!  0845 400 1275  www.perform.org.uk Sharpe Academy of Theatre Arts (HA1, HA4, HA7, WD3) Performance based theatre school with venues based in Harrow, Rickmansworth, Ruislip and Stanmore where children aged 3-21 attend weekly classes in preparation for full scale Musical Theatre productions.  01923 437693  www.SharpeAcademy.co.uk Stagecoach (Various) Training in three disciplines: drama, dance and singing. Great for building confidence, making new friends and beginning to hone talent and enthusiasm for performing, or being coaxed out of their shell by having fun!  Harrow 020 3504 0100 Harrow on the Hill & Sudbury Hill 01923 248 294 Stanmore & Harrow Weald 020 3504 2154 Watford 01727 768 738 Queen’s Park 020 7723 5861 Northwood 01442 263 599  www.stagecoach.co.uk Wordworks Studio (HA5) Individual and group classes in Speech, Drama and Communication Skills for children 3-18yrs.  wordworksstudio@ymail.com

Dance Diddi Dance (HA) Funky preschool dance classes for boys and girls. Classes held across Harrow and North Hillingdon. 07521 454235  tejal.patel@diddidance.com www.diddidance.com Futunity UK Academy of Sport and Dance (UB8) Purpose built facility in Uxbridge City Centre. Futunity UK offer classes for children ages 2 all the way through to adults. Hip Hop, Street Dance, Gymnastics, Free Running, Breakdancing, Ballet (RAD), Tap (ISTD), Contemporary, Cheerleading, Pole Fitness, and Children’s Parties. Classes range from beginners to advanced/ competitive levels. Futunity UK also have three fully equipped studios available for hire, at very competitive rates. Futunity UK also supply dance (all genres) and gymnastics teachers into schools to run after/before school extra curricular sessions, and PE and PPA cover lessons.  01895 251224  admin@futunityuk.com www.futunityuk.com Karan’s Bollywood Masterclass (Various) Exciting, Energetic and popular dance classes that teach a fusion of Bollywood, Bhangra, Hip-Hop and Kathak. Open to Toddlers, Children & Adults, you will learn from professional teachers and all dance levels welcome.  020 8423 9543/07944 457 984  www.kspark.co.uk Lorna Clark School of Dance (Various) Established for over 40 years, training students from 3-18 yrs - Ballet, Tap, Modern, Classical Greek and National.

Royal Academy of Dance Examinations are taken in Ballet from Primary to Advanced Level and ISTD exams in all other Genre to the same standard. All classes held in South Harrow/Eastcote. Book a free No Obligation Lesson with this advert.  0208 8662105 or 01923 285380.  www.lornaclarkschoolofdance.co.uk The Van Niekerk Academy of Dance (HA7) Ballet classes to develop poise, technique and expression through dance, for boys and girls aged 3-16 years with Royal Academy of Dance examinations  020 8950 2457  www vanniekerkacademyofdance.co.uk

ARTS AND CRAFTS Art Classes for Kids (and Adults) in Stanmore (HA7) Drawing, painting and mixed media art classes for children and adults. On-going, small groups Monday–Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings in Term Time for children from Year 1 up. Weekday morning studio sessions for adults in a relaxed, supportive environment.  020 8954 2897 or 07500 006 099  myartclub@yahoo.co.uk Art and Craft Club (HA5) Term time, Mon 4.30-5.30, Sat 10-11am or 11-12pm at Harrow Arts Centre. New activities introduced every term; drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, sewing, fabric printing and much more! For 5-11yr olds. Materials provided. Qualified teachers.  07946 055 422  info@mysistersandme.co.uk Messmakers! (HA5) A gentle and fun introduction to creative arts for the very young and their families, with lots and lots of mess and none of the tidying up! Exploring different materials and textures each week. Ages under 5, come dressed for mess!  0208 416 8989  www.harrowarts.com/family Mini Picassos (NW10) Offer exciting after school art courses for children aged 4-13 years. Toddler Picassos - weekdays at 10am & Tues 2.45-3.45pm: Painting, water play, collage, play dough and songs. Ages 15 mnths–3 years. Adults evening Life drawing classes. Get creative with a Mini Picassos Arty Birthday Party for children aged 2-10 years and Summer Holiday workshops too!  07903 638 817  www.minipicassos.co.uk info@minipicassos.co.uk The Veggie Kitchen (HA7) offers pure vegetarian cookery courses in Stanmore. Specialising in Indian cuisines, as well as Thai, Chinese and many more, students will learn to cook nutritious and delicious vegetarian meals in a friendly and homely environment. Offer group and one-to-one hands on courses.  0208 204 1906  www.veggiekitchen.co.uk

AFTER SCHOOL CLUB /EDUCATION SUPPORT Brownies and Guides (Various) Rainbow, Brownie and Guide Units exist across the area which provide fun activities for girls aged from 5 onwards.  www.girlguiding.org.uk/interested or  Peggy Brand 020 8205 7597 Click IT! Computer lessons for Children (HA2) Fun, exciting and educational weekly computer lessons for children aged 2-5. Classes held at nursery schools all over North West London. Have fun learning with technology: mouse and keyboard skills and devices including graphic tablets, trackpads and digital microscopes. Every lesson is designed to complement the EYFS curriculum. Free trials available.  020 8434 7111.  www.clickit-kids.co.uk. wendy@clickit-kids.co.uk. Elisa’s Tutorial School (HA8) Experienced private tutor in Edgware. Programmes for children from 2.5-16 yrs. If your child needs a little extra help, in English maths verbal and non-verbal 4+ 7+ and 11+ preparing for entrance exams or you just want to give them every advantage, Elisa can help. 99% success rate.  020 8958 1192 07956868119  www.childrensstories.net Explore Learning centres provide maths and English tuition to 5-14 year olds of all abilities. Visit their website to find your nearest centre or call to book a free trial class!  www.explorelearning.co.uk. First Class Learning (Various) Structured yet flexible programme, designed for children studying the UK National Curriculum. Tailored to a child’s learning needs & style. Find out more about this structured approach to

learning, by contacting one of your local Centre managers.  www.firstclasslearning.co.uk Fleet Tutors (Various) Private home tutoring for Maths and English; 37 years’ experience.  020 8580 3911  www.fleet-tutors.co.uk High Fliers (HA4 & WD7) 11+ tuition for Independent and Grammar school entrance. Run by highly experienced and qualified prep school teachers offering a unique and tailored tutoring service.  07949 297070/07534 020868  info@high-fliers.org.uk www.high-fliers.org.uk Holidaytime After school club is part of Activetime Children’s Activities limited (HA1) Pick’s up from four local school’s at the end of the school day, then take the children back to the club for a snack and the daily activity. They are open Monday- Friday 3pm-6pm  Nicole 07794078452  holidays@activetime.co.uk www.activetime.co.uk Integratedbrain - Improve Co-ordination for learning! (UB5) Activities to help those with poor co-ordination, dyspraxia, dyslexia or fine motor difficulties. Small groups of 4/5 children working to develop better all-round motor integration.  Usha Patel 07766 837 616  ushapatel.raviv@gmail.com www.integratedbrain.co.uk Jaderberg Krais Educational Consultancy and Tutoring (various) Tutoring, Assessments, Consultancy for children 5-18yrs. 7+, 11+, GCSE, A Levels, SEN, EFL.  020 3488 0754  www.jaderbergkrais.co.uk Knowledge Above Standard (HA7) Maths, English, Verbal and non-verbal reasoning, 7+, 11+ 13+ exam preparation.  07985 588 085  www.knowledgeabovestandard.co.uk Leaders are Readers (HA5 & N21) Leaders are Readers offer specialist experience and accelerated learning in their award winning Saturday School, and also run popular Summer and Winter Schools during holidays. 2 hours spent per subject, including English, Maths, Learning to Read and Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning. All programmes are for ages 3.5 to 11 and the success rate is 90% for helping pupils prepare to sit entrance exams, including 4+, 5+, 7+ and 11+. Childcare vouchers accepted.  01992 651 300  www.leadersarereaders.co.uk Little Big Leaders Ltd (HA7) Supplementary School for students aged three and a half to 11 years undertaking Reading, Maths and English.  020 8213 3100 07949 925374 Magikats (HA1) Innovative programmes, written to support the National Curriculum from ages 3 – 16, Sat at Gayton Library, Harrow. Individual programmes and support for individual children, promotes confidence, skills and a love of learning.  02084275663  www.magikats.com Math’scool Award-winning Maths Tuition plus out-of-lesson homework support.  0844 840 8400  www.mathscool.com The Northwood Speech and Language Therapy Practice (HA6) An independent service covering a range of children’s communication difficulties.  01923 824 074  www.northwoodpractice.co.uk Number Works ‘n’ Words (Eastcote) After school Maths and English tuition classes which target identified needs to improve achievement levels. They set goals for your child, monitor progress and provide regular progress reports. Cater for all levels from Reception to Year 11.  www.numberworksnwords.co.uk The Play Shelter After School Club at Malorees Infant & Junior Schools (NW6) - 3.30pm to 6pm term time. Play Schemes available October 2015.  0207 407 6744 for more information.  admin@theplayshelter.co.uk www.theplayshelter.co.uk Raviv Practice London (UB5) Catch up reading course for children on the SEN register. Reading courses are flexible with home based learning (via computer) monitored daily.  Usha Patel on 07766 837 616  info@ravivpracticelondon.co.uk (registered therapist) Simple Studies (NW4) Offer expert English and Maths tuition for 4-16 year olds at their cosy centre in Hendon. They specialise in 11+ entrance exams. Quote ‘Familiesmagazine’ and get 10% off your first lesson!  07793 498195  www.simplestudies.co.uk Stanmore Tutor Stanmore Tutor prepares students thoroughly for the top selective schools ensuring that they reach their maximum potential for that all important place.  020 3538 2437

Push & Glide Swimming School provide extremely high standards of swimming instruction, we pride ourselves on our friendly, dynamic teaching environment.      

Children’s low-ratio group lessons Children’s private lessons 1-2-1 & 2-2-1 Adults group lessons Adults private lessons 1-2-1 & 2-2-1 P & G Shark Swimming Squad Crash Courses

t: 07749554405 e: swim@pushandglide.co.uk




Compiled by Anna Blackshaw

What’s On in Children’s Theatre

We aim to be as accurate as possible, but these listings are compiled several weeks beforehand and may be subject to change. Please check before setting out. Shoemaker A classic fable using magical puppets, intricate design, original music and the simplest of dialogue. Ages 3+ Sat 30 Apr – Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales Under the sea, out on the farm and into the jungle, four terrific tales are woven together with live music, puppetry and a whole host of colourful characters from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s best-loved titles: Tiddler, Monkey Puzzle, The Smartest Giant in Town and A Squash and a Squeeze. Ages 3+

The Alban Arena Civic Centre, St Albans 01727 844488 www.alban-arena.co.uk Thu 10 – Sat 12 Mar – High School Musical Rare Productions Youth Theatre Group brings to life the Disney Channel’s smash hit musical! On the front steps of East High, it’s the first day after winter break (Wildcat Cheer). The Jocks, Brainiacs, Thespians and Skater Dudes find their cliques, recount their vacations, and look forward to the new year (Start of Something New). In Ms. Darbus’ homeroom, basketball team captain Troy discovers that Gabriella, a girl he met singing karaoke on his ski trip, has just enrolled at East High.

The Beck Theatre Grange Road, Hayes. 020 8561 8371 www.becktheatre.org.uk Sat 23 Apr – Swan Lake Vienna Festival Ballet Music by Tchaikovsky One of the best known love stories, performed by the ever popular Vienna Festival Ballet. Lavish costumes, stunning scenery, international stars, and the glorious music from Tchaikovsky make this an afternoon not to be missed.

Artsdepot 5 Nether Street, North Finchley, N12 020 8369 5454 www.artsdepot.co.uk

Mon 4 – Tue 5 Apr – Mission Impudsyble Britain’s newest secret agent is off the leash….and ready for action! Head along to this brand new interactive spy adventure suitable for the whole family starring everyone’s favourite Britain’s Got Talent champions. From K9 Intelligence Agents Ashleigh and Pudsey must defeat their arch nemesis Dr Feline and his acrobatic cat burglars as they battle for world domination. With a fantastic array of gadgets, cars, jet packs and gismos audiences will help Ashleigh and Pudsey by finding clues, breaking codes, and solving puzzles. So get ready for this amazing musical adventure, featuring West End performers, and give the nation’s original and best dancing dog the “appaws” he deserves! Suitable for ages 4 – 104! Mon 11 Apr – Mister Maker Go and join your ultimate arts and craft hero Mister Maker, for his first ever live theatre tour! Packed full of arty adventures there’ll be a big ‘make’ to take part in, super songs to join in with, a fabulous supporting cast, and not forgetting, The Shapes! Yes, you’ll be able to share the fun with Mister Maker’s colourful all-dancing friends Circle, Square, Rectangle and Triangle too! This show is tons of arty fun for all the family! Wed 13 Apr – The Chris and Pui Show CBeebies’ favourite double act is coming to town! See Chris & Pui from ‘Show Me Show Me’ in their new stage show with the toys & characters from their hit TV programme. Incy Wincy, Twinkle, Old MacDonald, Humpty, Granny Humpty and many more of your favourite Chris & Pui characters will be dropping in along with the toys – Tom, Momo, Teddington, Stuffy and Miss Mouse. Take your character toy along too but please look after it! With songs, comedy sketches, a dash of magic and heaps of joining in, this is a family show for children aged two to a hundred and two.

Tue 19 Apr – The Tap Factory A dazzling and amazing dance spectacular and cirque experience. This tremendously visual and highly exciting show features the world’s best Tap Dancers and international musicians, as they blend the art of dance, percussion, comedy, and cirque acrobatics. With Urban, tap dance, hip hop, comedy and aerial acrobatics, audiences will be amazed and thrilled by this high octane spectacular.


Sat 19 Mar – Play Dough What is money? Did you know you can make it with the power of your imagination? Join Unlimited Theatre for Play Dough the game show where you can play with 10,000 real pound coins. The hosts Queenie and TooMuch will lead your team through a series of high-energy games while telling you their story, and everything they know about how money really works. You can’t take the cash home with you – but if you win, you get to decide the end of the story. Play Dough is a playfully interactive show for young people 7+ and their families about the value of money. Sun 20 Mar – The Doodle Dance Show Grab a pen and kick off your shoes for this playful, interactive story-show that will get the whole family drawing and moving, doodling and imagining. Together you will create a world populated by crazy birds, dancing pirates, strange underwater creatures and maybe more. This is the most fun you can have with your family and a giant piece of paper. Ages 3-9 years Sat 26 Mar – The Amazing Bubble Man Louis Pearl, the Amazing Bubble Man, embarks on a tour of the UK with his unique show that has been delighting audiences of all ages around the world for thirty years. The world’s leading ‘Bubbleologist’ is back by popular demand, exploring the breathtaking dynamics of bubbles, combining comedy and artistry with audience participation and enough spellbinding bubble tricks to keep everyone mesmerized.Ages 4+ Tue 5 Apr – Digitopia Dotty’s friend Hex is a simple two dimensional line. He can make angles and the most he can make is six. His favourite shape is a hexagon. He’s happy with this, but one day he really wants to make a curve. With a lot of effort he learns to bend, then multiply, and suddenly he can create all kinds of shapes, eventually popping into three dimensions, discovering he can turn into anything he wants to. Digitopia’s visually stunning integration of live dance and digital technology creates a world that defies the usual rules of gravity and physics, where straight lines, curve and sound is seen. Ages 5+ Wed 6 – Sun 10 Apr – The Bear One night when she’s fast asleep, an enormous snowy white bear climbs into Tilly’s bedroom. It has a big black tongue and a yawn as big as your head. But Tilly’s not scared. The Bear is a heart-warming and humorous, wintry tale, adapted from Raymond Briggs’ much-loved book. With dazzling puppetry, music, storytelling, and laughs, this is an unforgettable experience for the whole family and a perfect introduction to theatre. Take a bear with you, and join Tilly and her great big white friend on a wild and magical adventure. Ages 2-7 years Sun 17 Apr – Grass Look down. What are you standing on? Explore the ground and all of its wriggling inhabitants in this quirky dance show for young children. Featuring worms, slugs, snails, spontaneous outbreaks of ant dancing and plenty of obscure insectrelated facts, Grass uses performance, puppetry and projection to inspire children to look closely at the world around them, to get mucky and play. Ages 4-7 years Sat 23 Apr – Error 404 There’s a boy. No more than ten years old. You know someone just like him - except that his best friend is a robot. Join him on a roller coaster of laughter, tears, music and games - you might even change the ending. Funny, engaging and unusual, Error 404 asks you to look again at everything you thought you knew. Ages 8+ Sun 24 Apr – The Elves and the


Mon 28 – Tue 29 Mar – How the Lion Became King of Tinga Tinga Land This high-octane adventure will transport children and their families to the African Plains through music, puppetry and lots of interactive song and dance. The story follows the adventure of the wise old bird Banjoko who decides that the land of Tinga Tinga should have a King, and how she sets about finding the suitable animal worthy to wear the crown of Tinga Tinga land. Children are encouraged to turn up in costume, as their favourite animal, to bring a truly authentic experience of Africa to the performance. Suitable for ages 3+ Wed 30 Mar – The Railway Children Image Musical Theatre returns with this wonderful adaptation of E Nesbit’s classic. Giving the whole audience the chance to join in and up to 8 children the opportunity to perform on stage with the professional team of actors this show proves to be family entertainment at it’s very best. When Father is taken away by two strangers, the lives of Roberta, Peter and Phyllis are shattered. Their mother is forced to take them from their comfortable London home to live in a simple country cottage. Thu 14 Apr – Swan Lake One of the best known love stories, performed by the ever popular Vienna Festival Ballet. Lavish costumes, stunning scenery, international stars, and the glorious music from Tchaikovsky make this a night not to be missed. Swan Lake is the most popular ballet in the world. It’s the ballet that captures like no other the full range of human emotions - from hope to despair, from terror to tenderness, from melancholy to ecstasy. An evening not to be missed. Sat 16 – Sun 17 Apr – The Wizard of Oz: Easter Panto Follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Beck Theatre for a fantastic all-new Easter pantomime version of The Wizard of Oz, starring comedy legend Bobby Davro as Scarecrow and Dani Harmer CBBC’s Tracy Beaker and Strictly Come Dancing as Dorothy. Packed with well-known pop songs, brilliant dance routines, lots of audience participation and plenty of laughter for all the family! Fri 22 Apr – Tap Factory Tap Factory is a fun, rhythm-based theatre show showcasing urban tap dance and percussion, comedy and acrobatics. Tap Factory is so much more than a tap show, this is “chalplinesque”, pure pleasure and positive energy.

Chickenshed Chase Side Southgate N14. 020 8292 9222 www.chickenshed.org.uk Sat 16 Apr – Tales’ Big Day Out Welcome the start of the warm weather with a bang! Tales Big Day Out is an enjoyable and entertaining outing for all the family, whether you’re familiar with the Tales world or you’re coming along for the first time. Children will have the opportunity to take part in a great interactive workshop and watch a fun performance of Tales from the Shed, then everyone will come together for a huge Tales extravaganza outside in the amphitheatre. There will also be other free to activities to discover and enjoy. Ages 0-6 years

Compass Theatre Glebe Avenue, Ickenham UB10 01895 673 0200 www.hillingdontheatres.uk Wed 16 - Sat 19 Mar – Bugsy Malone Bugsy Malone is a Roaring Twenties cocktail of gangsters, chorus girls, splurge guns and jazz Remember the kids’ movie? This has an adult cast and all the great songs, including Fat Sam’s Grand Slam, My Name is Tallulah and Give a Little Love. Tue 5 – Sat 9 Apr – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland After the success of last Easter’s Wizard of Oz, DK proDuKtions return with another great value Easter Holiday musical show for all the family.

Harrow Arts Centre Hatch End HA5 0208 416 8989 www.harrowarts.com Tue 29 Mar – Captain Calamity’s Crazy Science Show! A zany brew of science for the curious! Captain Calamity will mix up a batch of twisty, sloppy, stretchy green slime, launch Alka Seltzer rockets and send Smoke Rings high into the air. Featuring marvels such as Elephant Toothpaste, giant towers of foam and balloons that won’t pop, this spectacular show of things that ooze, bubble, fizz and pop will leave children and adults alike wide eyed with wonder! Tue 5 Apr – Rapunzel From the Emmy Award-winning team behind the mega-hit television series, Friends, comes Rapunzel, an exciting musical for all the family. Immersion Theatre are thrilled to present the UK Premiere of this witty, tongue-in-cheek retelling of a perennial favourite featuring a possessive mother who happens to be a witch, a shy young man who happens to be a prince and a strong-willed young girl with the longest hair you’re ever likely to come across! Rest assured this fairy tale isn’t going to be business as usual so get TANGLED in this glittering gem of theatrical goodness. Sun 24 Apr – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Charlie Hubble is a little boy with a very big dream: he wants to be a world-class magician. So, he saves up his pocket money to buy The Big Book of Magic for Trainee Magicians. Then he sets off to Mr Zacoor’s Toy Shop to buy his spellbook. But Mr Zacoor is no ordinary shopkeeper -, he’s a real life Sorcerer - arnd he has a very special job for Charlie... This delightful new show comes to life with an irresistible blend of music, puppetry and storytelling. There’s also an enchanting toy shop setting filled with all sorts of magical surprises. Ages 3-7 years

Little Angel Theatre 14 Dagmar Passage, Cross St, N1 020 7226 1787 www.littleangeltheatre.com Wed 2 – Thu 3 Mar – Aladdin This colourful tale from the Arabian Nights is set in the Middle East: a place of mystery, enchantment and strange, mythical creatures. Large scale contemporary Shadow Puppet theatre tells of a poor street boy who falls hopelessly in love with a Royal Princess. What magic would he need just to see her again? Follow his wild and dangerous adventures as he gets caught up in excitement way beyond his control. Ages 4-11 years Fri 4 – Sun 6 Mar – Jungle Book Fearless and free, Mowgli the ‘man-cub’ finds fun and friendship despite learning to live by the Law of the Jungle. Mowgli’s daring adventures in the dangerous world he inhabits are brought to life by Indigo Moon Theatre with inventive shadow theatre, original music and colourful digital projection. A contemporary tale: the eternal quest for love, identity and belonging. Find out more about this inspirational and accessible art form and its use of multiple light sources after the show. Ages 5-11 years Wed 9 – Fri 11 Mar – A Midsummer Night’s Dream Join award winning Box Tale Soup for their new family adaptation of Shakespeare’s enchanting story. Be transported to a world of mirth and magic where Shakespeare’s language is made accessible to a younger audience through the use of puppetry, physical theatre and original music. Ages 6-16 years Sat 12 – Sun 13 Mar – Alice in Wonderland Join Alice on her remarkable journey in this new production to enchant all ages. Find magic in Wonderland, and make it safely home again. The only danger is, you may not want to leave! Ages 4 to 12 years Thu 17 – Fri 18 Mar – Frankenstein Little Angel Youth Theatre present their own unique interpretation of Mary Shelley’s classic tale. A scientist discovers the secret of animating matter and energizes a monstrous creature, which proceeds to wreak havoc on his life and that of everyone he loves. Working with professional theatre director and puppet maker Oliver Hymans, the young company have devised, designed and made the puppets in this original production. Ages 8-adult (no admission to under 5s) Thu 24 Mar - Sat 26 Mar & Tue 29 Mar - Fri 1 Apr Handa’s Hen When Handa and her friend Akeyo go looking for Grandma’s black hen Mondi, they find two fluttery butterflies round the hen house, three stripy mice under the grain store, four little lizards behind the pots… But where is Mondi? Based on the book by Eileen Browne, this beautiful and engaging show features 55 stunning puppets. . Ages 2 to 6 years

What’s On Sat 2 – Thu 7 Apr – The Magic Beanstalk Jack, his mum and their cow Daisy are in trouble. Their house is leaking, the phones cut off, there’s no food in the fridge – and they’ve got NITS! Something’s got to change and what happens next is an exciting adventure for all girls and boys who believe in magic. Ages 5-11 years Fri 8 – Sun 10 Apr – Leaper Using a signature blend of intricate puppetry and mesmeric music, Tucked In are asking ‘what’s happening to the fish?’. Leaper follows one fish’s magical quest against the ever-growing natural and man-made monsters of the sea. Ages 4-8 years Sat 16 Apr – Sun 26 Jun – We’re Going On a Bear Hunt A family go on an expedition of a lifetime – running down the grassy bank, wading through the cold river, squelching over the oozy mud, stumbling into the dark forest, then peering into a cave… what will they find? Little Angel Theatre brings Michael Rosen’s thrilling and funny adventure to life in this entrancing puppetry production directed by Peter Glanville and with music and lyrics by renowned singersongwriter Barb Jungr. Ages 2-7 years

Puppet Theatre Barge Little Venice W9 020 7249 6876 www.puppetbarge.com Tue 1 – Sun 13 Mar – Joey’s Fireworks A Marionette spectacle featuring Joey with Mr and Mrs Punch! Sat 19 Mar – Sun 15 May – The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse In Act 1 the Town Mouse visits her cousin in the country and has an adventure. In Act 2 the Country Mouse visits the town and finds a few surprises.

The Radlett Centre 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, WD7 01923 859291 www.radlettcentre.co.uk Sat 12 Mar – The Teddy Bear’s Picnic This joyous show is full of songs, games, stories, fun and laughter. Children (and mums and dads) are encouraged to bring their teddy bears along with them

and there will be prizes for the biggest, smallest, oldest, friendliest, etc. It’s a teddy bears’ picnic to remember with some surprise visitors, including possibly the biggest teddy bear in the world, and non-stop fun and games. Ages 5 and under Tue 12 Apr – The Railway Children When Father is taken away by two strangers, the lives of Roberta, Peter and Phyllis are shattered. Their mother is forced to take them from their comfortable London home to live in a simple country cottage. Whilst there, they learn about the railway from their new friend Perks and soon fall in love with it. Image Musical Theatre returns with this wonderful adaptation of E Nesbit’s classic. Giving the whole audience the chance to join in and up to 10 children the opportunity to perform on stage, this show proves to be family entertainment at it’s very best. Learn the songs and actions before you arrive via the website or social media and immerse yourself in rhythm of the Railway. Ages 5+ Fri 15 Apr – The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark Plop is a baby Barn Owl. He lives at the top of a tall tree, in a field. Plop is exactly the same as every barn owl that has ever been - except for one thing. Plop is AFRAID of the DARK. One day, Mr Barn Owl suggests that Plop fly down into the world and find about the dark for himself. So, Plop climbs out of his nest-hole, peeps over the edge, wobbles a bit, and falls off his branch. And this is where Plop’s adventure begins... Follow Plop’s adventures as he journeys into the night-time world of campfires, fireworks, starry nights and moonlit adventures. This gentle, reassuring tale is brought to life with an irresistible blend of music, puppetry and storytelling. Ages 3-7 years Sat 16 – Sun 17 Apr – Bar Mitzvah Boy: The Musical Rosenthal’s hysterical story of a North London family’s anxious build up to their only son’s Bar Mitzvah will resonate with many Jewish families, but this classic tale speaks loudly for any important family occasion – whatever the religion! Wed 20 – Sat 23 Apr – Oliver! The classic British musical, based on Charles Dickens’ book. Songs include As Long As He Needs Me, Where is Love, Who Will Buy and Consider Yourself. A wonderful heartwarming show for the whole family.

The SSE Arena Arena Square, Engineers Way, Wembley HA9 0AA 0844 815 0815 / 824 4824 www.ssearena.co.uk 13th – 17th April - Disney On Ice presents Silver Anniversary Celebration Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they commemorate 25 years of Disney On Ice across Europe in an action-packed ice adventure that travels to four magical destinations! Disney On Ice presents Silver Anniversary Celebration will take audiences on a fun-filled tour. www.DisneyOnIce.co.uk

Owen, is a surprising and surreal encounter with three people who have a lot to say – and only three words with which to say it. Ages 0-7 years Sun 17 Apr – Sun 1 May – The Polar Bears Go Up The Polar Bears are back. This time the two intrepid explorers are going up in the world… There aren’t many balloons in the Arctic. So when you find one, it’s precious. And if it gets lost, you have to go and find it. So now they must step up and explore unknown territory: the sky above their heads. They climb trees, jump on clouds and reach for the stars as they race each other all the way into space (and stop for a sandwich along the way, of course). Following last year’s exceptional show The Polar Bears Go Wild we bring you the next instalment of their adventures. Ages 2-5 years

Watersmeet High St, Rickmansworth WD3 01923 711 063 www.watersmeet.co.uk

Unicorn Theatre 147 Tooley Street, SE1. 020 7645 0560 www.unicorntheatre.com Sun 24 Jan – Sat 2 Apr – Minotaur In Crete, in an impossible labyrinth, lives a fearsome and lonely beast with the head of a bull and the body of a man. Only his sister Ariadne cares for him, and she dreams of setting them both free from the rule of their selfish father, the King. This playful, clever retelling of the well known Greek myth will be an action-packed treat. Ages 8+ Sat 6 Feb – Sun 20 Mar – Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore Where is Jeramee? Who is making that noise? What is under the sheet and why does it keep moving? Delivered with wit, impeccable timing and plenty of clowning around, this show, directed by Tim Crouch and written by Gary

22 Apr Swan Lake One of the best known love stories, performed by the ever popular Vienna Festival Ballet. Lavish costumes, stunning scenery, international stars, and the glorious music from Tchaikovsky make this a night not to be missed. Swan Lake is the most popular ballet in the world. It’s the ballet that captures like no other the full range of human emotions – from hope to despair, from terror to tenderness, from melancholy to ecstasy.

Watford Colosseum Rickmansworth Road Watford WD17 0845 075 3993 www.watfordcolosseum.co.uk Fri 15 Apr – The Wizard of Oz Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Watford Colosseum for an amazing all-new, updated Easter production of The Wizard of Oz, with comedy legend Bobby Davro as Scarecrow and Dani Harmer as Dorothy! Join Kansas farm-girl Dorothy and her pet dog Toto on this magical adventure suitable for all ages. Watch in amazement as they are picked up by a tornado and carried off to the magical Land of Oz. With help from their new friends the Munchkins, they to travel to the Emerald City where the great Wizard of Oz lives. Packed with brilliant dance routines, well known pop songs, lots of audience participation and plenty of laughter for all the family!



What’s On

listings for all the family Compiled by Anna Blackshaw

To promote your local event, coffee morning, nearly new sale, parenting courses or community group in the next What’s On listing (May/June 2016) send your entry by 8 April 2016 Email Editor@FamiliesNWLondon.co.uk. Listings in this section are FREE for most non-commercial ventures. Please check details of the events before setting off in case anything has changed since going to print.

www.FamiliesNWLondon.co.uk/RegularEvents for all our local weekly regular events. It’s updated every day!

25-28 Mar Be a SuperHero @ the London Designer Outlet!

March Sat 5 Mar & Sat 2 Apr - Kids Run Free (NW10) Running Races on the 1st Saturday of the month for under 16’s at Gladstone Park. Individual races for each age category: under 2 year olds run 50 metres; 2 - 3 to 4 year olds run 100 metres; 3 - 5 to 6 year olds run 250 metres; Any age run as many laps as they want up to 5K. Races start at 9am, please arrive at 8.45am for warm ups! www.kidsrunfree.co.uk Sat 5 Mar - Lots for Tots - Baby and Toddler Table Top Sale (WD23) An indoor table top sale at The Bushey Academy, for people that want to sell their second hand baby, toddler and children’s items, and those that want to buy them. Items for sale include toys and books, baby equipment, bike seats, car seats, clothes, accessories and more. 10-11.30am. info@lotsfortotssale.co.uk www.lotsfortotssale.co.uk Sun 6 Mar – Mothering Sunday (various) Don’t forget Mothering Sunday on Sunday 6th March - it’s Mum’s turn to be spoilt! Sun 6 – Sat 19 Mar - Society of Ruislip Artists Spring Exhibition 2016 (HA4) The Society of Ruislip Artists present their spring 2016 exhibition at the Cow Byre Gallery on the Manor Farm Site in Ruislip. This is a free event - just turn up on the day! www.hillingdontheatres.uk


Mon 7 Mar - Dealing With Disobedience (HA9) How can parents encourage children to do what they are asked when they are asked? Learn strategies for encouraging co-operation and managing non co-operation without shouting or threats. 9-11am at Elsley Primary School. Book in advance. www.brent.gov.uk Wed 9 & 23 Mar - Code Green: Scratch Computing Club (NW10) Learn how to code and make games, visuals and programmes at Willesden Green Library. Reserve your place at the library now as space is limited. For children aged 8 – 11. From 4-5pm. www.brent.gov.uk Thu 10 & Mon 21 Mar - Power of Positive Parenting (HA0/HA9) An overview of all the key information about positive parenting, including the benefits of using positive parenting and the main strategies. A crèche will be available at both sessions. At Lyon Park Primary School from 9-11am on 10th Mar & Wembley Primary Children’s Centre on 21st Mar from 10am-12pm. Book your place in advance. www.brent.gov.uk Sat 12 Mar - Autism Expo Conference (UB8) AKO Autism Expo Conference at Brunel University - lots of information, advice, products, support, stands clinics and food court. Amazing Speakers including Dr Carol Stott, Jen Leavesley, Phill Wills, Austin Hughes, Aaron Yorke and more. Book your tickets now to meet like-minded people. www.linkis.com/akoautismexpo.co.uk


Sat 12 Mar – NCT Hillingdon: Nearly New Sale (UB10) Don’t miss out on this fantastic bi-annual sale at Vyner’s School. Get everything you need for your new baby and children; from toys and clothes, to pushchairs and bicycles - they have it all. Everything sold should be in great condition and well taken care of. So don’t miss out on your chance to bag a bargain this spring. NNS.Hillingdon@nct.org.uk Sun 13 – Wed 23 Mar - Takeover 2016: Paradise (NW6) Young people from Brent and surrounding areas will take control of every corner of the Tricycle Theatre with performances of theatre, film, music, poetry and more. This 11 day event is in its 3rd year so keep an eye out for new exciting developments and ways to get involved. www.tricycle.co.uk Mon 14 – Sun 20 Mar - Safer Sleep Week 2016 (various) The Lullaby Trust aim to raise awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and the proven advice to reduce the number of deaths. Their 3 top pieces of advice are to place your baby on their back to sleep; avoid smoking during and after pregnancy and don’t allow anyone to smoke around your baby; and sleep your baby in their own cot or moses basket for the first 6 months – avoid co-sleeping on armchairs or in beds. Find more information head to their website. www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-week Fri 18 – Sun 20 Mar – Swimathon (WD17/WD25) Watford Leisure Centre Central

and Woodside are urging the local community to sign up and join in with the World’s Biggest Swim. The event’s official charity partner for 2016 is Sport Relief, and there are a range of distances and challenges to suit swimmers of all fitness levels. Sport Relief is a truly worthwhile cause so as many people as possible are encouraged to set up a team, take the plunge and join in the fun. www.swimathon.org Fri 18 – Sun 20 Mar – Cricklewood Village Market (NW2) A World Village Market with a street food section and small craft beer bar, as well as a stage with musical entertainment. The market will be held on the Cricklewood Lane Event Space, NW2 1ES - wide pavement area adjacent to B&Q and on the main route into town from the train station, from 10am Friday, 9am Saturday and 10.30am Sunday. www.marketsquaregroup.com Sat 19 – Sun 20 Mar - Women Making Waves (SE10) To mark Women’s History Month, spend a weekend investigating the role of women in the traditionally male domain of exploration, through a series of talks, workshops, guided tours and children’s activities at the National Maritime Museum. www.rmg.co.uk Sat 19 – Mon 28 Mar – Easter Eggstravaganza (AL4) Choc-o-bloc family fun with the Easter Bunny, Easter Egg and Bunny Hunts, shows, adventure play and farmyard fun at Willows Acivity Farm. www.willowsactivityfarm.com

What’s On

Thu 24 Mar – Wear a Hat Day 2016 (various) Join in Wear A Hat Day 2016 - the premier brain tumour awareness event in the UK, helping to support long-term, life-saving research to move us ever #CloserToACure. There are so many ways to get involved - take a look at the ‘A-Z of Hats and Event Ideas for inspiration’ on the website. Posters, Quizzes, Hat-templates, Merchandise ... It’s all there and ready to help you make 2016 a hat-record year! www.braintumourresearch.org/wearahatday

©ZSL London Zoo, Land of the Lions Sun 20 Mar – Abbots Langley Orchestra in Concert (WD5) The next concert to be given by the Abbots Langley Orchestra will take place at 7:30 pm in St Lawrence Church Abbots Langley. www.abbotslangleyorchestra.org.uk Sun 20 Mar - Vitality North London Half Marathon (HA9) This year the route is being reversed for this truly unforgettable running event, meaning you finish your 13.1 mile journey INSIDE the iconic Wembley Stadium - creating what has to be The Greatest Finish Line in the World! Follow in the footsteps of legends and go along for a truly epic and memorable half marathon. www.northlondonhalf.com Sun 20 Mar – The Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games (various) Get ready for the London Sainsbury’s Sport Relief

Games - your chance to walk, run, swim or cycle yourself proud with thousands of people from your local area and, with entertainment for all the family; it’ll be an unmissable day. Whether you enter the Mile, Swimathon or the Family Cycle, as a personal challenge or just to join in, the money you raise will help to transform lives, in London and across the world’s poorest communities. www.sportsrelief.com Sun 20 Mar – Family Day: A Hunting We Will Go (NW3) Celebrate the great outdoors in song and story at Keats House – and with Easter just around the corner, go out in the garden for the famous Egg Hunt! From 1-4pm, no booking required. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk Mon 21 Mar - Internet Safety Workshop (HA1) A two hour workshop for

parents of children aged 6-11 years. Topics include: Keeping children safe on the internet; Negotiating and setting limits for use; and Social media. Spaces are limited and are on a first come, first served basis. 7-9pm at Hope Harrow. 020 8863 7319 info@hopeharrow.org.uk www.hopeharrow.org.uk Tue 22 Mar - Open Cockpits Evening (NW9) There will be 12 aircrafts available to view at this very special event at the RAF Museum. Children over 10 can now attend, but unfortunately there will be no access to the Lancaster for anyone under the age of 18 due to safety restrictions with the access lift. All other aircraft will be open for visitors aged 10+. Tickets are limited for this event and it is recommended that you book in advance. 6.15-9.15pm. www.rafmuseum.org.uk

Fri 25 Mar – Land of the Lions (NW1) ZSL London Zoo’s biggest and most breath-taking experience ever will be unveiled to the public this Easter, as the doors open to Land of the Lions. Home to a pride of endangered Asiatic leo lions, it will feature an awe-inspiring ‘windowless-view’ of the big cat’s enclosure. There will also be a brand new live-action adventure which will see visitors become part of the story, as they help ZSL’s forest rangers deal with a ‘lion-emergency’ in the Gir Forest, and lend a hand with the veterinary team who come to the rescue. Providing the perfect home for the big cats, Land of the Lions promises an enthralling new experience which will support and promote ZSL’s international conservation efforts to protect Asiatic lions. www.zsl.org/lions continued on page 34 v



What’s On

18 Mar www.swimathon.org

continued from page 33

Fri 25 Mar – Traditional Easter @ Chiltern Open Air Museum (HP8) Visit the museum this Easter weekend for a celebration of all things sweet and sticky! Make some delicious traditional Easter treats, join the Easter egg hunt, see costumed re-enactors in the Museum buildings, and discover the origins of Easter traditions. Why not have a go at Easter-themed crafts and dress up in the decorated Easter bonnets, and join in with the family games! http://www.coam.org.uk

Fri 25 Mar - Easter Egg Trail (HP4) Egg hunt with a chocolate treat at Ashridge Estate. Suitable for all ages, drop-in between 10am and 4pm. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ashridge

Playground will be open as usual – make sure you have a bounce on our new bouncy castle! Take a ride on the vintage bus, which will be transporting visitors between the Playground and Gardens each day. www.knebworthhouse.com

Fri 25 – Sat 26 Mar – Easter Garden Fun! (SG3) Have fun in the Gardens and Park at Knebworth House this Easter! There is plenty to do – a Children’s Easter Quiz Trail, explore the Maze and the Dinosaur Trail. Enjoy the spring flowers and listen to the birdsong. Visit the Gift shop and Tea Room for Easter treats. The Adventure

Fri 25 – Sun 27 Mar - Easter Weekend Short Films Marathon (E2) See back-to-back screenings of Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate’s animated classics including the Clangers, Bagpuss, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine. At the V&A Museum of Childhood from 2-4pm. www.vam.ac.uk/moc Fri 25 – Mon 28 Mar - Be a Superhero @ LDO! (HA9) Everyone wishes they had a superpower, and over Easter there will be a free weekend of superhero fun at London Designer Outlet! Kids can have their picture taken on a superhero set, show off their super powers on the bouncy castle and look just like Batman or Superman thanks to the amazing face painters! There will also be spot giveaways for those dressed up in superhero outfits! 11am-4pm www.londondesigneroutlet.com Fri 25 – Mon 28 Mar Easter Egg Hunt (SE10) Cutty Sark’s chickens have been laying their eggs in some strange places, how many can you spot around the ship? Join in the hunt for a chance to win a family ticket to Camp Bestival! www.rmg.co.uk

Fri 25 – Mon 28 Mar – Easter Adventure Quest (NW3) Adventurers wanted this Easter weekend at Kenwood! You’ll meet characters from the past with stories of time gone by, who will help you on your quest to crack the clues and win your chocolate reward. www.english-heritage.org.uk/kenwood

Peter Rabbit 2 Apr @ Willows Farm



Fri 25 – Mon 28 Mar Cadbury Georgian Easter Egg Hunt (TW7) Osterley Park and House’s very own Georgian Bunny, depicted in the Tapestry Room, has left a map and some clues all over the Georgian

garden. Find the clues, solve the mystery and locate Osterley’s secret garden containing your chocolaty prize! As well as the Easter Egg Hunt, Osterley will be hosting timed Garden and Estate tours and a special Georgian Bunny Trail around the house throughout the day. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/osterley-park-andhouse Fri 25 Mar – Fri 8 Apr - Easter Holiday Activities @ V&A Museum of Childhood (E2) Includes Small Films Marathon, Puppet Workshop, Cosmic Shoebox Workshop, and a Drawing Workshop. www.vam.ac.uk/moc Fri 25 Mar – Sun 10 Apr Easter Family Fun (HP10) Easter bunny trail with treat, feed the goats, meet the lambs, tractor rides & more at Odds Farm Park. www.oddsfarm.co.uk Fri 25 Mar – Sun 10 Apr – Easter Giant Duck Hunt (SW13) Some of the ducklings have gone missing at WWT London Wetland Centre, can you help find them? Follow the GIANT Easter duck trail around the beautiful nature reserve to discover where they are hiding. If you find them all you’ll win a Cadbury’s Freddo Frog! Plus, you can make your own LEGO brick duckling to build and take home, as well as join in the Easter arts and crafts sessions to make your very own festive gifts. www.wwt.org.uk Sat 26 Mar & Sat 30 Apr Mum2Mum Market (HA2) Do you have loads of outgrown baby and kids stuff? Are your toy cupboards bursting after Christmas? Is your loft still full of baby stuff? Sell at a mum2mum market and you keep 100% of your takings. Don’t worry if you haven’t sold before - the expert sellers tips will ensure you get your pricing and presentation right to maximise your sales on the day. The

What’s On

Mon 28 Mar - Easter Egg Festival (WD3) Easter egg spotting, egg & spoon & sack races, entertainer, home made teas & plants at Chenies Manor House from 2 to 5pm. www.cheniesmanorhouse.co.uk Mon 28 Mar - Easter Fun (AL9) Quizzes, trails & Easter bunny hunt at Hatfield Park Farm. www.hatfieldparkfarm.co.uk Mon 28 Mar – Sun 10 Apr - Easter Fun @ Battersea Park (SW11) Includes Easter Egg Trail, Spring Trail, Rabbit Day, Hedgehog Day and much more. www.batterseapark.org Tue 29 – Thu 31 Mar - Land Yachts (SE10) Make your own amazing land yacht powered by the wind, just like Cutty Sark, and take part in some fun science demos to find out about ships and sailing. www.rmg.co.uk

ZSL London Zoo Land of the Lions

Harrow sales are held on the last Saturday of every month at the Beacon Centre. www.facebook.com/events/1002609093137274/

races. The ladies race is at 3.10pm, followed by the mens race at 4.10pm. www.chiswickpier.org.uk

Sat 26 Mar - Easter Drop-in Craft Activities (AL3) Egg hunt at Verulamium Museum. Make a special Easter headdress. Suitable for ages 3-7 (with adult). 2-4pm. www.stalbansmuseums.org.uk

Sun 27 – Mon 28 Mar - Jousting at Knebworth (SG3) The Knights of Arkley will be jousting in front of the House, with the turrets and towers of Knebworth House proviinge a spectacular backdrop to the action. At the start of each performance, there will be a ‘Knight School’ where a lucky few children from the audience will be invited to have a try at fighting for fun with the knights and their squires. Once again, the Green Dragon Bowmen will be offering visitors the chance to try some archery. www.knebworthhouse.com

Sun 27 Mar - Sunday Music: Stumbling Blocks (HA2) The Granary at Headstone Manor hosts the perfect Sunday lunchtime outing for all the family. Arrive early to avoid disappointment as audiences are limited to 40 people. 12-1.30pm www.harrowmuseum.org.uk Sun 27 Mar - The Great Egg Roll & Egg Hunt (N6) Head along to Lauderdale House on Easter Sunday for their Easter Egg-stravaganza family event! Decorate your own Easter Egg and participate in the The Great Egg Roll held in Waterlow Park! Chocolate Egg prizes will be awarded for ‘Best Decorated Egg’ and ‘Best Roll’. Afterwards, enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt on the Lower Terrace. Everyone leaves with a chocolate egg! 11am start. www.lauderdalehouse.org.uk Sun 27 Mar – Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race (W4) Why not head down to Chiswick Pier to watch the annual Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race? There will be a bbq, bar and live music to keep you entertained before, between and after the

Mon 28 – Wed 30 Mar - Out of this World: Venture to Venus (SE10) Find out about the unusual cloudwrapped planet Venus in the Planetarium at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Discover amazing past, present and future missions to explore this deadly world in an interactive science quiz and make a paper globe of this mysterious planet to take home with you. From 10am-12.30pm, suitable for ages 5+. www.rmg.co.uk

Mon 28 – Thu 31 Mar - Sea Food! & Seaside Stand-Ins (SE10) This Easter head to the National Maritime Museum for holiday activities! Get inspired and create your own fantastic pretend food, or become a pirate, a mermaid, a monster or a captain as you make a full-size carnival-style backdrop. Sessions run from 11.30am – 4pm. www.rmg.co.uk Tue 29 Mar – Fri 8 Apr EGGcellent Easter Adventure (EC2R) Follow the trail to find the chicks and egg hidden in the Bank of England museum. www.bankofengland.co.uk Tue 29 Mar – Thu 7 Apr - Spring Book Trees & Make a Treasure Book (various) Events happening at Brent libraries over the holidays. In Spring Book Trees make a tree of your favourite books, characters or authors. For children aged 5 – 11. In the Make a Treasure Book sessions adults can create a scrap book which includes a record of activities done with their children. The final product is a book of memories to keep. The course is delivered by Brent Start Adult Education College which focuses on gaining skills for employment. Children must be over five and accompanied by an adult. Please book in advance at the library. Check website for details of dates and locations. www.brent.gov.uk continued on page 36 v

Sun 27 Mar – Fri 15 Apr Easter Crafts (HP4) Various Easter activities at the Ashridge Estate. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ashridge Mon 28 Mar - The Railway Children (various) This Easter Monday 400 cinemas nationwide will screen The Railway Children, a film of York Theatre Royal’s Olivier award-winning production performed in summer 2015 at the National Railway Museum, Yorkshire.. The story deals with themes of justice, the importance of family and the kindness of strangers. Filmed with seven cameras by an expert team, who navigate the unique staging including moving platforms, props and rail carts, the film captures every moment of the fast-paced production. www.railwaychildrenfilm.com

www.FamiliesNWLondon.co.uk for many more local events and diary dates for the whole family!



What’s On

Disney On Ice @SSE Arena, Wembley 13-17 Apr

continued from page 35

April Fri 1 – Sun 10 Apr – Tattoo T-Shirts: Davy Jones’s Locker (SE1) Impress your friends and family over the Easter holidays on HMS Belfast by designing your very own t-shirt, inspired by traditional navy tattoos, nautical superstitions and the sailor legend of Davy Jones’s Locker. While you’re getting creative, you’ll learn more about the history of navy tattoos, what the symbols mean and why as a sailor you wouldn’t want to be visiting Davy Jones’s Locker in a hurry! 11am – 12.30pm and 2 – 4pm. www.iwm.org.uk Sat 2 Apr - Morning Stars (SE10) This planetarium show at the Royal Observatory Greenwich is for children with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) and their families and carers. Explore the night sky and find out from a Royal Observatory Astronomer what is visible on the night of your visit and the month ahead, with opportunities to ask questions afterwards. From 10-10:30am for ages 7+. www.rmg.co.uk Sat 2 – Sun 17 Apr - Peter Rabbit Holiday Hop (AL4) The start of the late school holiday coincides with the opening of the brand new Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground at Willows Activity Farm. Go and meet Peter Rabbit and Lily Bobtail and discover many of their favourite places full of activity and imaginative play. www.willowsactivityfarm.com Sun 3 Apr - Ealing Road Film Club: Minions (HA0) A free film screening of the hit animated film Minions. 1-3pm at Ealing Road Library. www.brent.gov.uk


Mon 4 – Wed 6 Apr - Holiday Activities (AL3) At Verulamium Museum Greedy Grendel (Mon); Saxon Fun & Games (Tues); King Arthur (Weds). 10.30am-12.30pm & 2-4pm. Ages 6-11. Book & pay in advance www.stalbansmuseums.org.uk Tue 5 Apr - Creative Writing Workshops (HA6) A series of creative writing workshops at Northwood Library. From 11am-12pm, 6-7 year olds can practice forming basic character descriptions and sentences in this fun workshop set in the crazy world of Charlie and Lola. From 1.30-2.30pm is an introduction to basic comprehension with the crazy Cat in the Hat for ages 5-6. Then from 3-4pm 8-9 year olds have the opportunity to design their own comic strip! www.hillingdon.gov.uk Tue 5 – Thu 7 Apr - Cutty Sark Comics (SE10) Take inspiration from the ship’s many characters and stories to design your own comic strip. From 11.30am-1.30pm & 2-4pm. www.rmg.co.uk Wed 6 – Fri 8 Apr - Crafty Tales (NW10) Go and get crafty and create colourful characters in this fun workshop at The Library at Willesden Green. Age 5+. 2.30-4pm www.brent.gov.uk Thu 7 Apr - Disney Day (WD3) Disney classics will be screened at Watersmeet Theatre all day - Lady and the Tramp (U) at 11am; Beauty & the Beast (U) at 2pm; and Wreck it Ralph (PG) at 5pm.Films are free, you just pay a £1 per ticket booking fee. Go to one, two or all three! www.watersmeet.co.uk Thu 7 Apr - Dolly Pops presents, Peter Pan and Tinkerbell (NW10) Go and meet Peter Pan and his magical friend Tinkerbell in this retelling of the legend of Neverland at The Library at Willesden Green at 11am. www.brent.gov.uk


Tue 12 Apr - Snowdrop Days 2016 (SW3) Chelsea Physic Garden’s annual Snowdrop Days return with stunning new displays highlighting the snowdrops intricate beauty. These stars of winter will be unveiled in an innovative take on the traditional Snowdrop Theatre, presenting snowdrops as you’ve never seen them before. With a programme of walks, talks and workshops. 10am-4pm www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk Wed 13 – Sun 17 Apr - Disney on Ice Presents Silver Anniversary Celebrations (HA9) Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse at Wembley Arena as they commemorate 25 years of Disney On Ice across Europe in an action-packed ice adventure that travels to four magical destinations! www.disneyonice.co.uk Thu 14 Apr - Harrow Film Makers Spring Show (HA5) Harrow Film Makers are holding their spring public show at Pinner Village Hall, where members will be showcasing their documentaries, travelogues, dramas, and comedy shorts. For all the family. Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start. www.harrowfilmmakers.org.uk Fri 15 Apr - Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (WD3) Through a series of misunderstandings, Alvin, Simon and Theodore come to believe that Dave is going to propose to his new girlfriend in Miami… and dump them. They have three days to get to him and stop the proposal, saving themselves not only from losing Dave but possibly from gaining a terrible stepbrother. 11am & 2pm at Watersmeet Theatre. www.watersmeet.co.uk Sat 16 Apr - Lots for Tots - Baby and Toddler Table Top Sale (WD3) An indoor table top sale for people that want to sell their second hand baby, toddler and children’s

items, and those that want to buy them. Items for sale include toys and books, baby equipment, bike seats, car seats, clothes, accessories and more. At Rickmansworth School from 10-11.30am. info@ lotsfortotssale.co.uk www.lotsfortotssale.co.uk Wed 20 Apr - Setting Limits & Defining Boundaries (HA1) A two hour workshop helping parents of children aged 3-11 years to set limits and define boundaries. Topics include: How to set effective rules and boundaries; What can help to eliminate power struggles; Discuss effective rewards and consequences; Explore different ways to communicate positively. Spaces are limited and are on a first come, first served basis. 7-9pm at Hope Harrow. 020 8863 7319 info@hopeharrow.org.uk www.hopeharrow.org.uk Fri 22 Apr - Silent Disco at Cutty Sark (SE10) One for the grown ups! Time Out’s legendary silent disco is sailing down the river to Greenwich once again. Get ready to climb on board Cutty Sark for a nose around the world-famous ship before donning a pair of headphones and dancing the night away. Over 18’s only. www.timeout.com Sat 23 Apr – William Shakespeare 2016 Birthday Celebration Parade (CV37) Why not take a trip to Stratford-upon-Avon to celebrate 400 years of Shakespeare’s legacy with a procession through the town. The festivities will combine birthday and commemoration in a day full of music, colour and action. Once the Procession is over there are community festivities and street entertainment taking place across town throughout the day, organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and others. www.shakespearescelebrations.com

What’s On Sat 23 Apr - St George’s Day (E2) Go and discover the delights of English folk music and dance traditions with rousing song, dance and instrumental performances by the Trad Academy at V&A Museum of Childhood. Enjoy the quintessentially English sound of the Becontree Brass band and take part in arts and craft activities. In partnership with London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Drop-in from 11.30am-4.30pm. www.vam.ac.uk Sun 24 Apr - On Your Bike in aid of Michael Sobell Hospice (HA6) A challenging 33 mile route which will start and finish at the hospice and takes riders through Amersham, Bovingdon and Hemel Hempstead. There will be a waterstop and comfort break location en route. Riders are asked to raise a minimum of £100 sponsorship to help the work of the hospice. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration 7.30am, ride starts at 8.00am www.michaelsobellhospice.co.uk Sun 24 Apr - Sunday Music: Hooker and Davies (HA2) The Granary at Headstone Manor hosts the perfect Sunday lunchtime outing for all the family. Arrive early to avoid disappointment as audiences are limited to 40 people. 12-1.30pm www.harrowmuseum.org.uk Sat 23 – Sun 24 Apr – The A-Z of London: Open Weekend at London Transport Museum’s Depot (W3) A rare opportunity to see inside the Depot in Acton which holds over 320,000 artefacts from London’s transport history. There will be themed workshops, tours, talks and family fun. www.ltmuseum.co.uk

Sun 24 Apr – Wake up Whetstone (N20) A Festival taking place on Whetstone High Road, with stalls, music, dancing displays, hot and cold food, refreshments, children’s rides and games. Starts at 12 noon. info@lovewhetstone.co.uk Tue 26 Apr - Anger Management Workshop For Parents Only (HA1) In this two hour workshop for parents of children aged 3-11 years you will look at: Increasing our understanding of anger; Look at ways to help an angry child; Share tips and strategies on how to manage difficult behaviours and emotions; Learn how to create a happy, cohesive home environment. 7-9pm at Hope Harrow. 020 8863 7319 info@hopeharrow.org.uk www.hopeharrow.org.uk Wed 27 Apr & Wed 4 May Parenting Pre-Teens Workshops Part 1 & Part 2 (HA1) Two workshops for parents of children entering adolescence aged 10+. Are you struggling to understand your adolescent? These workshops will help you learn skills to face the challenges. Topics include: Understanding and acknowledging the needs of adolescents; Negotiating and setting limits; Finding different ways to communicate effectively; Exploring peer pressure. 7-9pm at Hope Harrow. 0208 863 7319 info@hopeharrow.org.uk www.hopeharrow.org.uk Fri 29 Apr - International Day of Dance (NW10) A dance event to celebrate International Day of Dance at The Library at Willesden Green. There will be performances demonstrating the art of storytelling through dance, special guest dancers, plus the chance to have a go yourself! 11am-12pm & 1-2pm www.brent.gov.uk

30 Apr – 2 May – IWA Canalway Cavalcade (W9) Organised by Inland Waterways Association (IWA) volunteers, there will be an array of boats, trade show stalls and boaters gathered at the festival at Little Venice this May bank holiday weekend. As well as boating activities, there will be Morris dancing, a tasty selection of food stalls, a real-ale bar, little shops selling the weird and the wonderful and most of all a lovely picturesque view of the many beautiful narrow boats that will come and join us for this special weekend. www.waterways.org.uk Sat 30 Apr – Tue 3 May - Art Exhibition (NW7) Over 150 paintings will be exhibited by Milldon Art Society at their annual show at Trinity Church. Go and vote for your favourite picture over the Bank Holiday weekend. Open: Sat 30 Apr 2-8pm; Sun 1 May 1-8pm; Mon 2 May 10am-8pm; Tues 3 May 10am-5pm. Free entry. www.milldonartsociety.org.uk

May Sat 7 May - Plant Sale @ Michael Sobell House (HA6) This annual horticultural event is once again being organised

by the award-winning team of MSH volunteer gardeners. Go and buy your bedding plants, flowers and fruit ‘n’ veg. Entry is free and refreshments will be available. Any donations of plants for this event welcomed. 10am-12pm www.michaelsobellhospice.co.uk Sat 7 May - Watford Model Railway Exhibition (WD23) A Model Railway Exhibition at Queen’s School with more than 20 layouts in a variety of scales and gauges. Free parking, full disabled access, and refreshments. An excellent family day out! 10am-4pm. www.southwesthertsmrs.org.uk Sat 7 May – Free Comic Book Day (various) Free Comic Book Day sees Hillingdon libraries showcase its great range of graphic novels and manga with a big comic giveaway. Visit a participating library on the first Saturday in May each year, borrow at least one title from their comic book collection, and receive a free special edition comic to keep. One per person, while stocks last. Take a look at the website to find libraries taking part. www.hillingdon.gov


for many more local events and diary dates for the whole family!




What’s New TUM TUM introduce their Thermal Food Flasks, set to become the lunch box and picnic essential this year! The insulated, stainless steel flasks will keep food hot for up to five hours and cold for up to seven hours. Available in three designs, including Scruff the dog, Bluebell the cat, a ladybird and bumblebee. The TUM TUM Food Flasks provide an all year round lunch time solution, perfect for hot pasta and soup for the cooler months and ideal for cold rice dishes and salads for summer – so lunches will always stay fresh. RRP:£17 www.tumtumtots.com www.amazon.co.uk

In time for spring, Playmobil have launched their new Water Park Play Area – with functional shower, water seesaw this is a great addition to any Playmobil collection this season!

Making the morning routine a little bit easier, Magnitone London have introduced their Full Monty Total Skincare Multi Brush, this ultimate multi-tasker cleanses, tones, exfoliates and buffs for beautifully conditioned skin head to toe. Totally waterproof, and with three brush heads for face, body and feet, you are minutes away from looking and feeling like a new woman. RRP: £130 www.magnitione.co.uk Ora is the innovative kitchen towel that is round instead of square, with each stack containing the equivalent of two traditional kitchen rolls. With no perforations it offers an easy one-hand grab so there is no tearing, unravelling or wastage. Its unique conical shape means that 30% fewer lorries are on the road and 20% less packaging is required than other leading kitchen towel brands. There is also a Handy Pack for on the go occasions. Ora is the first product to come from British consumer goods company, Better All Round (BAR). RRP: £1.90 Standard Pack RRP: £1 Handy pack. Available in Tesco

RRP £26.99 available from bit.ly/ PLAYMOBILUK

Buddies is a brilliant new brushing system made for kids that dislike conventional toothpaste flavours, and for parents that want to take the tears out of teethcleaning time. The Buddies range is made up of a dentist approved Buddies Toothpaste and Buddies Toothbrush, designed for children between the ages of 2-5. Unlike strong-flavoured or sickly sweet toothpastes, Buddies Toothpaste comes in two mild flavours designed with young taste buds in mind: Apple Fresh and Hint of Mint.

SnoozeShade, the multi award winning range of baby sunshades and sleep aids, launched SnoozeShade for Cots. It has been designed to fit all standard European cots or larger travel cots and will ensure daylight or a strange location will never get in the way of baby’s naptime. Blocking up to 94% of light, it is compact and lightweight and ideal for home or away – especially when sharing a hotel room! RRP: £69.99 www.snoozeshade.com

RRP: Prices start at £4.99 www.buddiestoothpaste.com

If you’re looking for a quirky gift or fun wall art to hang up in a bedroom or playroom, Spineless Classics have launched a new product. The clever designs, framed or unframed, show an entire book in one poster. RRP: £14.99 to £39.99. www.spinelessclassics.com Where Do I Live? is a fun animals of the world lotto that teaches children about animals and their habitats across the globe, suitable for ages 3-6. Double-sided boards feature interesting animal and habitat facts to encourage educational discussion and learning. RRP: £9.50 www. orchardtoys.com

Talk for Writing in the Early Years - Pie Corbett and Julia Strong Research shows that telling stories improves a child’s comprehension and critical thinking, memory, concentration, confidence, and language. Pie Corbett’s ground-breaking Talk for Writing approach shows how to put rhyme and story at the heart of work with children and parents so that young learner’s language and creativity flourishes. It has been used successfully by thousands of schools nationwide. The approach is based around three concepts – imitation, innovation and invention. Children can first imitate patterns, then innovate within them, and eventually grow to invent their own stories independently. The book is accompanied by two hours of DVD footage and teaching notes from Pie. RRP: £32.99 Open University Press




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Profile for Heather Waddington

Families NW London Magazine issue 106 Mar/Apr 2016  

Children's Party Planning resources, Easter and Summer Camp and Activity Listings, What's On in Brent, Harrow, Barnet, Hillingdon and SW Her...

Families NW London Magazine issue 106 Mar/Apr 2016  

Children's Party Planning resources, Easter and Summer Camp and Activity Listings, What's On in Brent, Harrow, Barnet, Hillingdon and SW Her...