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Issue 129 March/April 2019



Family Health • Good and bad foods • Vacination fears allayed


Early Years • Cutting the cost of childcare


Parenting • Powerjam - local youth band project • School holiday family breaks

11 Education Feature • Teaching times tables • Handwriting - a vital skill 16 Clubs and Classes 23 Easter Clubs

• Kingston • Richmond • Brentford • Isleworth • Spelthorne • North Surrey Families® Upon Thames • Issue 129 March/April 2019 • Visit us at

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Family Health

Good and bad foods?

Using food to reward or punish behaviour sends mixed messages to your child and could be a recipe for emotional eating, warns Andrew Campbell

Worse, it can interfere with the child’s natural ability to regulate their eating, encouraging them to eat when they're not hungry to reward themselves.

It's not unusual for parents to offer their children "special" - and often unhealthy - foods as a reward for good behaviour or achievement.

Offering unhealthy food as a reward or treat is also confusing. Children hear that they're supposed to enjoy healthy foods and avoid foods with little nutritional value. Being told that they can indulge in foods that are bad for them as a reward, or having these withheld as a punishment, sends a very mixed message. Luckily, there is plenty of advice on a healthier approach to your children’s diet. Visit

And if children are bored on a long car journey, or fed up with being in the buggy, it’s tempting to use snack foods to distract them for a little longer. We’ve all noticed that if children are upset because they have hurt themselves or want something they cannot have, the offer of something sweet helps make them ‘feel better’. Withholding special food treats may also be a punishment. A parent might refuse to serve pudding, for example, if their children have talked back or neglected to tidy their rooms. But what is the result of using food as a tool to deal with emotions like boredom or sadness or as a punishment? Does it turn children into adults who cannot cope with being bored or upset without a sweet snack?

There certainly isn't any evidence to suggest that occasionally resorting to the biscuit tin will affect children in this way. But what if we do it on a regular basis? What happens when sweets and biscuits become the major reward in a child’s life? There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that regularly using food as an emotional distraction or as a reward or punishment for children may be associated with a greater risk of emotional eating. A recent study carried out by Aston, Loughborough and Birmingham universities found that parents who use controlling feeding practices with their children could be unintentionally teaching their children to rely on food to deal with their emotions later in life. Using food as a reward can also undermine healthy eating habits. Giving sweets, crisps or squash as a reward can lead to children overeating foods that are high in sugar, fat, and empty calories.

4 • Kingston • Richmond • Brentford • Isleworth • Spelthorne • North Surrey - March/April 2019

Vaccinate – your fears allayed Don’t be afraid of vaccinating, especially in view of the benefits vaccines bring, says Dr Robert Arlt


part from washing our hands, vaccinations are the only effective means of preventing infectious diseases. Vaccinating most of the population against specific diseases helps eradicate them. Of course, everything we do - eating and drinking, playing ball, crossing a street - comes with some amount of risk. The same applies to vaccines, but how big is the risk really? For this article, I will restrict myself to talking about childhood routine vaccines in SA and in the European Union. Here the only live vaccines are against measles, mumps, rubella, rotavirus and chicken pox: as the viruses they contain are very much weakened they will never harm children with a working immune system. Concerns about Autism Although a presumed link to Autism was never proved, in the United States, countries in the European Union and a few other affluent countries, thiomersal, a mercury-based preservative, is no longer used in routine childhood vaccination schedules. Concerns about Aluminium Many vaccines contain aluminium salts. They act as adjuvants, strengthening and lengthening the immune response to the vaccine.

The vaccines we use nowadays contain very minimal amounts of aluminium, and recent studies did not show more aluminium salts in children who had been vaccinated than in children who had not. The view of most experts is that there is currently no convincing evidence that exposure to everyday levels of aluminium in any form increases the risks of Alzheimer’s disease, genetic damage or cancer. Aluminium is the most common metal in the earth’s crust and we are exposed to it all the time. It reacts with other elements to form aluminium salts, and small amounts of these are found naturally in almost all foods and drinking water, as well as in breast milk and in formula milk for babies. Aluminium salts are used as food additives (for example in bread and cakes) and in drugs such as antacids. It is widely used in food packaging. Aluminium is not used by the body. Any aluminium absorbed from food or other sources is gradually eliminated through the kidneys. Babies are born with aluminium already present in their bodies, probably from the mother’s blood.

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Concerns about Diabetes Whether vaccines can provide a "stimulus" triggering some dormant condition is a hot topic particularly regarding development of Type One Diabetes. Recently, an Australian study suggested that the live rotavirus vaccine since it was regularly given to babies there came along with a decrease in the number of cases of Type One Diabetes there. Conclusion The benefits of vaccinations outweigh the fears and concerns, so don’t be afraid of vaccinating!

EXTRA: Dr Robert Arlt is a private Consultant Paediatrician at Roseneath Medical Practice. He has a special interest in allergology and is very experienced in paediatric ultrasound.

Families Upon Thames • 5

Early Years

Cutting the cost of childcare Foresight and planning can help with your expenditure, reports Parental Choice’s Stephanie Rough hildcare can cost parents up to 45% of their disposable income. After housing, it is the second largest household cost. At the most expensive end, a full-time nursery place or child minder can set you back over £1,300 per month. When you factor in other costs such as commuting, it’s no surprise that many parents decide it is not financially viable for both parents to continue working. However, with some foresight and planning, there are some ways to cut your childcare costs.


Family members Many parents turn to family members for at least some element of their childcare. From full-time care, to part-time regular days to ad hoc school holiday care, childcare from family members is free! In fact, paying family members anything at all has tax implications, but you can pay their expenses without being seen to employ them. Help from friends Building a network of local working parents offers the opportunity for sharing childcare responsibilities. Looking after each other’s children on days when you are not working can reduce costs especially during school holidays. Providing no cash exchanges hands, you don’t need to register as a childminder, but if the arrangement is regular and more formal, you may want to consider Public Liability Insurance in case a child has an accident in your home.

Nanny sharing Nannies are expensive which is why it’s commonplace now to share, particularly when/if you only have one child. Whilst it’s not as easy as a 50/50 split in relation to costs, as each family must be registered separately as an employer, there are definite savings on both employer National Insurance and the nanny’s salary. It’s important to be realistic in your needs. Paying a nanny with her own car may come at a premium (simple laws of supply and demand!) but if you only need her to drive once a week, would it be cheaper overall for her to use public transport or take a taxi instead? Au-pairs Live-in au-pairs are now very popular providing families with childcare and help with general household duties. At £100 to £140 per week for 25 to 30 hours of work, au pairs are considerably cheaper than nannies and many other forms of childcare. Company Benefits Are there benefits available from your employer? Whilst company childcare vouchers are now closed to new entrants, those already in the scheme can continue to save up to £243 per month tax free to pay towards OFSTEDregistered childcare. In addition, companies may also offer discounts at certain childcare providers to help save you money, or offer a back-up care provision.

6 • Kingston • Richmond • Brentford • Isleworth • Spelthorne • North Surrey - March/April 2019

Re-consider your working hours Childcare is inherently inflexible but maybe your working arrangements don’t have to be. So before searching for childcare see if you can make them more flexible. If you are considering working part-time, check whether local nursery providers offer discounts on less popular days (some do!) before confirming your work days. Remember that employees have the statutory right to take reasonable time off to deal with an emergency involving a child and the right to up to 13 weeks unpaid parental leave prior to a child’s 5th birthday. Employees are also entitled to make a formal application for flexible working hours annually and many employees arrange informal flexible working direct with their line manager. Can you work from home to help take the pressure off commuting and being late to collect your child? Are compressed hours or term-timeonly working an option? Co-ordinate a plan with your partner to work out a weekly routine. If one of you starts work early and the other later, this may reduce childcare costs. Free hours and Tax-free childcare Tax credits and a new style of childcare voucher (replacing the employer scheme) can create savings of up to £2,000 per child for parents meeting the eligibility criteria. In addition, children aged 3 and 4 in England are entitled to 15 hours free childcare for 38 weeks per year. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to 30 hours free. Whilst most nurseries do offer these free hours, you do need to check (especially for the 30 free hours) and calculate if any additional costs must be factored in. To check if you are eligible, go to Stephanie Rough is Corporate Childcare Manager at Parental Choice, the essential one-stop shop for guidance on making the right decisions on your childcare needs. For further information, visit

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Families Upon Thames • 7


Musical Tweens and Teens

Perform and play like a legend – your child’s dreams come true with Powerjam!


hortlisted by Richmond Council for the Community Project of the Year Award, Powerjam is a local youth band project providing young children with the chance to play and perform in a band.

Powerjam is now on the radar of community organisations such as Try Twickenham/BID and Twickenham Riverside Trust who invited Powerjam to play at two of their biggest events last year, one as the sole entertainment.

Local musical greats like The Who, The Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart have inspired young children since the 60s. And now Musical Tweens and Teens can follow in their footsteps thanks to Powerjam.

Recognising the talent and passion at Powerjam, the famous Eel Pie Club is hosting a dedicated Powerjam night on 27 March when various Powerjam bands (ages 1018) will headline and students of all ages will have the rare opportunity to enter the club and watch the bands perform on the same stage where The Kinks and The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood once stood.

Powerjam’s young bands have a growing fanbase and enthusiastic crowd gathering at each Powerjam gig. Check them out on youtube! Young people are inspired and excited to see their peers onstage sounding like rock and pop stars. Adults too are often surprised at the bands' level of play and classic song choices.

This is a great opportunity for the whole family to enjoy live, popular crowd favourites from all generations, from Queen to Ed Sheeran, along with acoustic numbers and originals.

Anna Texier, local volunteer director and founder of Powerjam is originally from LA; she started Powerjam four years ago to keep musical youths interested in their instruments and give them opportunities to play and perform music together. Winner of Richmond Council’s The Community Heroes Spirit Award and a mother of a musical teen, Anna explains, “I find this age group in particular has so much more to deal with than I had at that age, socially, emotionally, and academically, and they really need a place they can come to regularly to play and work with like-minded young people who share a common passion and goal. At Powerjam, the focus is definitely on the termly community gigs—it's what makes Powerjam so special.”

“Internationally Unknown”. Doors 6.30pm, 7pm Showtime. Adults £5, Students £2 at the door.

Interested families seeking more information about Powerjam workshops and gigs contact cXnIw5uk CWA6iFTas

The Eel Pie Club's "Powerjam Night” is one not to be missed! Wednesday 27 March with Powerjam bands: “Nobody For President”, “The Chasers” and

8 • Kingston • Richmond • Brentford • Isleworth • Spelthorne • North Surrey - March/April 2019



icango was formed to help parents experience fantastic family breaks which work around school holidays. In the UK, an average child has 12 weeks of holiday per year which means that family holidays are almost entirely governed by this time. Booking holidays for these periods can be complex, overwhelming and timeconsuming and often leave parents feeling confused and frustrated. Wicango partners with over 100 suppliers across the world. Major airlines, 1000s of rooms and all the holiday extras you would need are at their fingertips.

Wicango customer journey is characterised by three simple steps: Dream, Design and Discover. You Dream “We appreciate the uniqueness of our families and ask them what their dream holiday looks like, preferred weather conditions, their holiday budget and if they have any special hobbies, sports or interests so that we recommend places and experiences that fulfil the things that are important to them. We Design “Our team at Wicango takes on the entire researching process. Our promise is to present customers with exciting, tailored holiday options within 48 hours of receiving an enquiry. Our researchers are well-travelled experts who abide by a simple rule of thumb – we only recommend holidays that we would like to experience ourselves. “Let’s face it, travelling during school holidays is more expensive. There is no escaping this fact, but this doesn’t prevent families from

School holiday family breaks booking memory-filled holidays with their loved ones. We are transparent in our pricing and only quote total costs with absolutely no hidden extras. “Before our families jet off on their holiday, we make sure that all the information they need is sent to their home address in a handy customer travel pack, we also like to surprise our customers with something special when they arrive at their destination, this might be a family care pack in their room.

being an accredited Travel Trust Association member, ATOL member offering financial protection.” Enquire at: or call 020 3960 7606

Hassle free family holidays with 10% off all family holidays booked in March 2019! (T&C’s apply)

You Discover and share “When a family returns from holiday, we always ask for customer feedback. This is valuable insight for other families. Wicango, also goes to great lengths to keep our families safe by

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Families Upon Thames • 9

Supporting Your Child through Exam Stress By Vicky Bellman


e have come to the time of year when many children are preparing to face exams or tests at school. These exams or tests vary in their significance for your child’s future. For some, they will be the stepping stone to the next part of their educational journey, for others an assessment of their progress this academic year. Regardless of which category the exams or tests fall into, exam time is likely to be a pressured and overwhelming time for most children and their parents. Stress and anxiety in young children is particularly heightened at this time of year as they deal with performance-related concerns related to their educational tests. These tests can often feel like tests of who they are. Their behaviour may suffer during a stress peak and it’s important to do what you can to respond from a place of calm. Invite them to join you in feeling calm, rather than you joining them in emotional chaos.

Help Manage Expectations Working longer than is advisable for their age, or expecting grades significantly higher than their capabilities could well be detrimental to your child’s emotional and mental well-being. It’s important you guide your children appropriately in this area. Encourage Good Work Habits Primary school children may find it hard to sustain concentration for longer than 30 minutes without a break. It’s important not to schedule too many study sessions in one day – one or two would be the appropriate maximum for this age group on a weekend or school holiday day, but less if they are also managing homework. Otherwise your child will become stressed and it’s much harder for them to learn under pressure.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you support your child at this time: Keep it in Perspective Yes, of course exams are important. But everyone involved needs to remember it's not the end of the world if there’s a hiccup and things don’t go as well as expected. There is almost always another chance.

10 • Kingston • Richmond • Brentford • Isleworth • Spelthorne • North Surrey - March/April 2019

Remember the Building Blocks Again, when it comes to the real basics, we can easily forget the building blocks for emotional wellbeing. Make sure that your child is getting enough good food, water and sleep! Free time is Vital It’s a difficult balancing act, but it’s important to remember that primary school age children need plenty of free time - structured studying has to be balanced with plenty of unstructured free time. Relaxation and fun are vital. Getting outside to play and spending time relaxing with family and friends are super-important at this time. A useful analogy to share with your children is that human beings are basically machines. We need fuel, and we also need to switch our engine off every now and again. Otherwise, we risk overheating! On any long-term journey in a machine, comfort breaks and fuel fill ups would be an accepted and necessary part of the journey. Humans are no different. Make Time for You You can’t pour from an empty cup. Your children need more from you when preparing for and going through exams or tests. To be able to give more you need to be able to have more fuel in the tank. Connection is Important Make sure you have family down time; perhaps, watching a movie one night with popcorn, or going for a family walk, or day out. Don't just save the treats for the exam results, as this reinforces to children that they have more value when they achieve more. Let them know that their wellbeing and enjoyment of life is as vital when they're striving for success, as well as when they're achieving it.

Vicky Bellman is a counsellor at Fegans, a Christian charity which counsels children and provides support for parents. For more parenting advice on stress and mental health, visit

EDUCATION FOCUS SPRING 2019 Assessing Choices

Full marks to Hampton Prep

To support the work they have been doing in their humanities lessons Year 2 pupils from Hampton Prep visited the Florence Nightingale Museum near Westminster Bridge. The children saw many famous London landmarks during the day including the Houses of Parliament, the Elizabeth Tower, the London Eye, Waterloo Station, the Shard and Charing Cross. They all listened to a very strict Florence Nightingale as she told them all about her life and the changes she made, and took part in activities in the museum, learning about herbs used for medicine in the Crimean War, comparing hospitals from the past with our modern-day ones and dressing up as nurses and soldiers. Florence commended the children on their excellent behaviour, beautiful manners and interesting questions. Well done Year 2!

Health for life Twickenham Prep encourages exercise as a vital part of a child’s development At Twickenham Prep School (TPS) they feel that regular opportunities to exercise form a very important part of a child’s development. As well as weekly PE and Games lessons, Reception children take part in a brand-new initiative called Movement for Learning, designed by Professor Pat Preedy and Dr Rebecca Duncombe. The programme is designed to promote both physical and mental development and improve attention and listening skills. The children take part in daily physical activities, including a warm up and circuit exercises, using equipment - bats, balls, hoops and bean bags - and a cool down. The school has seen big improvements in children’s fine and gross motor skills, balance, throwing and catching, as well as in behaviour and concentration. Plus the children really enjoy their morning exercise time. Year 1 pupils spend a term looking at Healthy Living and visit the Little Gym for a high energy session and a workshop on the importance of exercise. TPS continues this commitment throughout the school, helping all their pupils foster an enthusiasm for exercise and health for life.

Newland House - We Love Language This term Newland House demonstrated that learning a new language can be rewarding and fun through a number of events and opportunities to explore speaking French and Spanish. Building on their extensive range of extra-curricular clubs they have just introduced a new Spanish Club, which is proving very popular whilst pupils from their established French Bilingual Club attended a student study day at the British Film Institute in February where they learned about film language and explored the cultural themes in the films. Their visit ended with a showing of the heart-warming film 'Le Petit Nicolas'. Year 7 pupils recently competed against 14 other schools in a ‘Likes and Dislikes’ themed event at the 'Love Languages' Competition held at the London Freemen's School. Their team delivered a comic sketch book performance based on the ‘Love of Polo’, complete with polo sticks and riding hats. Their linguistic fluency and humour certainly impressed the judges and they claimed victory in the Years 7/8 category. On aime les francais!

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Families Upon Thames • 13

Teaching the Times Tables Simple tips and tricks to help your child learn multiplication In 2020, it becomes compulsory for all Year 4 students to undergo a new Times Table Test (England only) and this is likely to put additional pressure on parents to help their children get to grips with their times tables.


hildren’s inability to instantly recall times tables and manage simple multiplication is a recurring theme of mathematics teaching reported by teachers in primary schools. These skills need to be embedded by Year 4 in order to prepare for the maths teaching for the next two years. At secondary school, lack of basic numeracy, including not knowing their multiplication tables really well, can lead to an inability to grasp new concepts and really slow children's mathematical progress. While it may seem tedious to practise times tables with your child, by ensuring your child is confident with times tables you will be equipping them with essential tools for success in maths. Getting Familiar with Multiplication Concepts The first step with multiplication is to make sure your child understands what multiplication really means. In other words, they need to understand that 4 x 3 is the same as 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 and be confident with such number sequences.

Point Out Patterns It doesn't all have to be memorised by rote. There are clues and helpful hints that can be learned. For example 2x is just doubling the number. This is the same as adding the number to itself: 2 x 2 = 4, 2 x 3 = 6, 2 x 4 = 8 etc. So the pattern is 2, 4, 6, 8 etc. And once these are remembered then the rule of commutatavity above means they also know 3 x 2, 4 x 2 etc. 9× has a pattern too: 9, 18, 27, 36, 45, 54, 63, 72, 81, 90. Notice how the tens (first digits in every number) go up by one and the units (second digits) go down. All the multiples of ten end in zero. All the multiples of 5 end in either 5 or 0 and are half as large as the multiples of ten. (10 x 5=50 which is half of 10 x 10 = 100). Any number x 0 is always 0. No matter what. The answers to the 4 times table are double the answers to the 2 times table. For example, 3 × 4 = 12 is the same as 3 × 2 × 2. Likewise, the answers to the 8 times table are double the answers to the 4 times table. For example, 5 × 8 = 40 is the same as 5 × 4 × 2. Learning the 11 times table is actually easy up to the number 9. It is simply doubling the appearance of the number you wish to multiply by. For example, 2 x 11 = 22, 3 x 11 = 33, 4 x 11 = 44 and so on.

14 • Kingston • Richmond • Brentford • Isleworth • Spelthorne • North Surrey - March/April 2019

Teach the Tricks The great thing with times tables is that there are many tricks that can help your child memorise them more easily. Let's take a look at a couple of tricks: 2 times tables: Double it! Two times a number simply means add the number twice. 6 x 2 is actually 6 + 6 and 8 x 2 is the same as 8 + 8. 4 times tables: Double the number you are multiplying, then double it again! It is simply a matter of doubling the number, then doubling the answer. For example, 4 x 5 is 5 + 5 = 10 and then 10 + 10 = 20. 4 x 5 is 20. 12 times table is 10x plus 2x. For example: 10 x 4 = 40, then add 2 x 4 = 8 Drilling Some drilling is inevitable. Drilling should be done once the child is familiar with their tables or at least a set of numbers. Drilling should be started in order, and once you feel they are getting there you can mix it all up. They may hesitate at the beginning but the more you drill, the more the times tables will be embedded into their memories. Everyone’s Different Some children like to learn by rote; for others it doesn’t work at all. To support their learning, work out what will make times tables stick in your child’s mind, whether that’s singing them, putting them into practice with puzzles, playing games with them or writing them out. Good luck - x100!

Save our handwriting!

laboured, that can have a knock-on effect to all areas of writing, from spelling, punctuation to generating ideas.” Selene Cutler, a handwriting tutor and member of the National Handwriting Association, says: “If children struggle with handwriting at Primary School, once they reach Secondary School they sometimes find it difficult to keep up in class when workloads increase and handwriting is at a much faster rate. This can quickly lead to low self-

esteem, so problems with handwriting are best addressed at an early age.” Technology is the future but handwriting is still here to stay. It is our legacy, a complex task linked to creativity and critical thinking. Limiting screen time seems to be a sensible solution: as with anything, too much of one thing is never good! For more information, contact Selene Cutler 07521 554 188

Handwriting is a vital skill, linked to creativity and critical thinking. Our experts suggest screen time limits to encourage children to pick up a pencil It comes as no surprise that today’s children are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to handwriting. Spending an ever-increasing time on a virtual world of games and replacing old-fashioned games such as brick building, puzzles and colouring (ideal for developing fine motor skills) prevents them from acquiring the necessary hand muscles for handwriting movements and correct pencil grip. According to Sally Payne, Head Paediatric Occupational Therapist at the Heart of England Foundation NHS Trust: “Children are not coming into school with the hand strength and dexterity they had 10 years ago.”

It seems clear that cutting down on screen time will help with this issue. But what is screen time? Screen time is the time you spend not just on smartphones or tablets but also spent watching TV, DVDs and computer games, either playing recreational games, educational games or doing homework. Spending too much time in front of a screen interferes with children’s sleep time, time they could be spending socialising with family and friends, and creative play time. It also affects their physical development. Dr Prunty a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at Brunel University, explains: “If handwriting is

Part of the Hampton School Trust. IAPS Independent Day School for boys aged 3 -11 & girls aged 3 - 7 years

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Families Upon Thames • 15

Clubs & Classes

Outdoor Sports Clubs that are Ideal for Children As children get older, they get less active. As they move through primary school, the number of children meeting the recommended amount of physical activity for healthy development and maintenance of healthy weight drops by 40%. Getting children involved in a sport from a young age can help them keep fit and encourage the development of a lifetime habit of regular exercise. As spring approaches, here are some outdoor sports options to consider:

Athletics Athletics offers opportunities for use of the widest range of skill sets of any sport as its various disciplines provide the opportunity to throw, run or jump. It is suitable for all children as different body shapes, skills and preferences suit different activities. Most junior athletics clubs run taster days or tester sessions so that new participants can see whether they like the club before signing up. To find a local club, visit

Cycling Cycling is an essential part of growing up – it’s great fun, helps children feel independent and keeps them fit and healthy. Local kids’ cycling clubs are fantastic places for children to get out on a bike, with expert coaching, a gang of riding buddies and access to some amazing cycling facilities. Sessions are often weekly and many clubs offer cycling holiday camps at which children can spend the entire day on two wheels. To find a local club, visit

Rugby The first years of rugby are not about scrums, mauls and tackling and you don’t need to worry about the complicated rules of the game either. Boys and girls alike are encouraged to play a simple, non-contact game together involving tags, in which tackles are replaced by touching a player or removing a tag from their clothing. The focus here is developing passing and running skills. Your local rugby club is likely to have junior and ‘mini’ teams starting at under 6s and there are also a large number of providers which offer rugby classes which from toddler age upwards. To find a local football club visit

Football Many local football clubs run teams for boys and girls starting from age 7 as well as regular community coaching programmes for children from age 3, with the emphasis on skill development and fun and not on winning. As with rugby there are many providers offering classes and school holiday camps introducing the sport to children as young as 2 years. To find a local club, visit

16 • Kingston • Richmond • Brentford • Isleworth • Spelthorne • North Surrey - March/April 2019

Orienteering Orienteering is an outdoor sport which the whole family can enjoy together. It offers a unique mix of mental and physical challenge and you can progress at your own pace. The aim is to navigate, in sequence, to different control points that are located on a special course, using a specially-drawn map. Clubs hold events in local parks, green spaces and forested areas. To find a family friendly event near you, visit (Scotland:

Tennis Children from 3 years of age can learn the basic rules and skills of tennis. The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) runs the Mini Tennis programme which uses smaller courts and equipment, combined with lower bouncing balls to introduce children aged between 3 and 10 to the sport. Also run by the LTA, Tennis for Kids offers children ages 4 to 11 an introductory course of six sessions delivered by specially trained coaches at various locations across the UK. For more info, visit

Multi-Sports If you are not sure which sport to choose for your child, look out for multi-sports sessions run by independent providers or local authorities at which kids can try out a variety of sports such as athletics, rugby, football, netball, tennis and cricket. These are often available both in term time and in school holidays and are a great way for kids to experience a number of sports and find out what they like for themselves.



Let’s Make a Spring Bird Café 3

The Easter holidays will soon be here, and, this being the UK, the sun may not always shine. So why not use one of those rainy or chilly days to celebrate the arrival of spring and get creative making this fun craft project created by our friends at Wonderbly? You can help your children create a funky spring bird café. It’s great for small fans of nature and Babyccinos. I’ll have one Latte, to fly… You can make your own (really) small family business with an upcycled milk carton and get to feed the local bird population at the same time. Let’s get ready for the bird café opening day!

You will need:


• A milk carton • A paper plate • A pencil • A ruler • Scissors or a Stanley knife (for adults only) • Paint (use acrylic paint if you want it to go outside but make sure you wear an overall or apron as it doesn't wash out!) • Bell and paper clip (optional) • Decorative tape (optional) • Bobbins and mini umbrellas • Dowel or BBQ sticks • Yummy seeds • Flappy customers

Here’s how to do it…. 1

First things first, grab your (empty) milk carton. Take your ruler and get your child assistant to measure and trace two flaps for awnings and a hole for the birds. Your team’s builder can then cut the holes.


Time to get creative. Paint the milk carton and paper plate to make your building and outdoor area. For sharper colour, give your milk carton two coats.


It’s all in the details. Tile your roof by painting them on with the brush, and adorn your awnings. We used decorative tape, but you can paint or colour in with pens and pencils.

4 Get your bird café

7 Nearly ready! Grown-ups,

customer-ready. Add a doorbell (obviously) by rolling a paper clip around a pencil, thread the bell into it and push it through the milk carton. Make some bunting using thread and decorative tape. You can even make a window plant box by folding up some paper and gluing it underneath one of the awnings.

make a little ‘X’ with the Stanley knife below the seed hole and push a piece of dowel or a cocktail stick through. Finally, pop some tables and parasols outside for your first customers. Bobbins and mini umbrellas are perfect for this, or you could use corks and leaves if you want more plants.


While you’re doing the fiddly bits, let your child one make their café’s sign with some cardboard and paint. Let them paint with their fingers for more sensory fun! Leave to dry, and then help the café owner write their name with a marker before you cut and glue it.


Almost time for the grand opening. Get the kids to stock the café with seeds. Birds especially love sunflower seeds and peanuts.



Take your bird cafe outside for the birds to enjoy or play inside with your own paper birds, you decide!"

Wonderbly creates beautiful, personalised children’s books that inspire courage, curiosity, and kindness in children all over the world. A treat for any curious little mind. Find out more at

Email: • Tel: 07792 006546


Families Upon Thames • 17

Please tell advertisers you found them in

Upon Thames

Just Imagine Ballet

Twinkle Ballet 15 months 5 years old -

Sparkle Ballet


Dazzle Ballet

6 - 11 years old 11 - 18 years old Our pupils perform at The Royal Ballet School


NEW - RAD Classical Program - optional exams

18 • Kingston • Richmond • Brentford • Isleworth • Spelthorne • North Surrey - March/April 2019

Music Can Improve Parent-Child Bond New research suggests sharing music can improve parent-child relationships, especially during adolescence. Researchers found that young men and women who shared musical experiences with their parents during childhood -- and especially during adolescence -- report having better relationships with their mums and dads as they enter young adulthood. While shared musical experiences at all age

complicated, and can include simple activities like listening to music in the car together.

levels were associated with better perceptions of parent-child relationship quality in young adulthood, the effect was most pronounced for shared musical experiences that took place during adolescence.

The research, published in the Journal of Family Communication surveyed young adults about the frequency with which they engaged with their parents as children from the age of 8 and how they perceived their relationship with their parents now.

The authors said shared musical experiences with their children don’t have to be

More info:

SWIMMING LESSONS Beginners to Advanced


Crash Courses available 8th - 12th April You can also come for: Family Fun Swims Private Lessons

We teach our swimming lessons in the water

Hook Aqua Centre 7 Hawkhurst Gardens, Hook, Chessington. KT9 1AH

Phone Cass on 02083977731

Email: • Tel: 07792 006546

Families Upon Thames • 19

Clubs & Classes

Esteem booster Expert advice to show you how to build your child’s self-confidence

Children’s self-esteem is influenced by feeling loved, valued and believing good things about themselves. Perform have teamed up with positive parenting expert Anita Cleare to bring families four top tips for boosting self-esteem. 1/Encourage independence When children do things for themselves and are praised for this, they feel proud. Teach your child to dress themselves and wash their own hair. 2/Use believable praise It’s not believable to tell your child he did something well when he clearly didn’t. Praise concrete achievements. Saying ‘Well done for keeping on running' (even when he lost the race) tells your child exactly what they have done well. 3/Listen to their ideas Expressing ideas and being listened to help children feel valued. Involve them in practical family problem-solving by asking for their input. This helps them feel they are making a positive contribution. 4/Encourage laughter and show you care Play, chat, share jokes and funny stories. Laughter helps children relax and feel good about themselves. Be affectionate. Snuggle and cuddle! Show your child they are utterly lovable exactly as they are. Perform uses drama, dance and singing to bring out every child's true potential. To book a free confidence-building Perform drama class, visit More parenting tips from Anita Cleare can be found at

Swim like a fish this Easter Hook Swim School is offering courses in Swimming from 8-12 April, 10am-12noon, in half-hour classes with the teacher in the water for any age or ability. Also on offer that week are Family Fun Swims, Private lessons and Water Aerobic classes.

Stagecoach launches a new THURSDAY school in TWICKENHAM to meet the growing demand for performing arts. Sarah and Will Chitty, local Stagecoach Principals and professional actors, are already inspiring the next generation of budding young performers in Twickenham and Teddington every Friday and Saturday! Due to popular demand Sarah Chitty is due to open the doors of a NEW THURSDAY CLASS for Stagecoach Performing Arts Twickenham for children aged 4-18 at Waldegrave School on 25 April 2019. Sarah and Will bring a wealth of creative experience to their roles, and have already driven attendance of their Stagecoach classes to capacity. Stagecoach Twickenham and Teddington offers weekly classes on Fridays and Saturdays with nearly 500 students learning singing, dancing and acting from an expert team of performing arts teachers. Such is the popularity of these sessions that Sarah and Will are expanding their offering, opening an additional THURSDAY school, so that more local youngsters can enjoy the benefits of thriving in the performing arts. Sarah says of her new school, “I’m buzzing with excitement at the opportunity to build a strong, creative new school that will challenge the talented children of Stagecoach Twickenham, whilst being fun, educational, stimulating and rewarding for them. Schools are cutting the Performing Arts and we don’t want children to miss out on a hugely important aspect of their education and development. “We have been extremely busy planning the year’s curriculum and activities, as well as building a great team of performing arts teachers and staff. We already have a performance opportunity planned in the WEST END in June and in 2020 there is talk of a showcase event at DISNEYLAND PARIS!” Stagecoach is the world’s largest network of performing arts schools, with more than 750 extra-curricular performing arts schools worldwide. Stagecoach aims to make a difference in its students’ lives by teaching Creative Courage for Life, with many students going on to be professionals and world-renowned actors, singers and dancers. Early Stages classes are available for children aged four to six and Main Stages classes take place for six to 18-year-olds every weekend. For more information about Stagecoach Twickenham, please visit their website at or call 0208 9795276

20 • Kingston • Richmond • Brentford • Isleworth • Spelthorne • North Surrey - March/April 2019

Easter Clubs

Dancing and Drama at Just Imagine Booking is now open for a Jolly Holiday with Mary at Just Imagine’s five-day Easter Camp. Children from 3-10 years old (divided into age groups) can join for one or more days for lots of dancing, music, drama, creative art, costumes and a performance on Day 5!

Peter Pan at Step On Stage

It’s going to be.... SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS! Step in time and bring a packed lunch! Monday 8-Friday 12 April;10am-1pm;

Join in this Easter for a swashbuckling adventure and fly with Peter Pan and battle the evil Captain Hook aboard his ship to save Wendy, Michael, John and the Lost Boys from his clutches! Drama, Dance, Music, costumes, prop making and a certificate for every child.

Three mornings of creative fun at the Hampton Hill Theatre from 9–11 April, 9.30am–12.30pm each day. Suitable for 3 to 8 year olds. £80 per child, 10% discount for siblings.

Duke Street Church, Richmond; 5 Days + Performance £180 + vat, 3 Days: £100 + vat, 1 Day* (or multiple single days): £38 + vat. Email

Hoppy Easter Workshops The Happy Potter in Teddington is offering fun workshops for kids this Easter. Have fun creating some great Easter gifts!

Tuesday 16 April - Bunny ear headbands and crafty noses

Tuesday 9 April - Bunny bunting with pom-pom tails

Thursday 18 April - Cute chick felt sewing workshop

Wednesday 10 April - Cute chick felt sewing workshop

Friday 19 April- Bunny bunting with pom-pom tails

Thursday 11 April - Bunny ear headbands and crafty noses Friday 12 April - Easter egg treat box origami and paper crafts

Wednesday 17 April - Easter egg treat box origami and paper crafts

Workshops 10.30am-12.30pm. £25. For age 6+. Includes lunch and chocolate eggs!

Email: • Tel: 07792 006546

Families Upon Thames • 21

Clubs & Classes ART & CRAFT

CERAMICS CAFÉ KEW Ages: All Children can create something unique. Starting with a plain white bisque shape, they paint on their design using ceramic under-glazes, it is then fired in the kiln, and their piece is ready for collection within 2 to 4 days. Open Tuesday to Sunday, Mondays on Bank Holidays/half terms. In: Kew Contact: Joanna Wronka 020 8332 6661

(18 months−5 years), Sparkle (6−10 years) Dazzle (11+ years). Plus: Tap, Contemporary, Street, Jazz, Character Dance, Classical RAD Ballet, Boys Only Ballet, Family Dance/Homeschool Classes, Holliday Camps, Birthday Parties, Adult, Silver Swans Dance (60+ years) and SHINE (SEN Dance classes, workshops and one2one sessions with a Dance Therapist). In: Richmond, East Twickenham, St Margarets, Teddington, East Sheen, Kew Contact: The Fairy Godmother or Miss Jessica, Principal 07813 741189 BalletLondon

MUSIC & DRAMA HAPPY POTTER CERAMICS Ages: 6+ Arts and crafts café for all ages offering pottery painting, clay, Tshirt design, mosaics, foam clay and decopatch. NEW: After School Art Club, plus holiday workshops, baby prints and children’s parties. Adult workshops available also. In: Teddington Contact: Una 02089731468


JUST IMAGINE BALLET Ages: All Just Imagine Ballet is an inclusive ballet and dance school for all ages and abilities. Just Imagine values creativity and expression and focuses on the healing and nurturing aspects of the creative arts. Children can progress through four separate ballet programmes created to be in line with their physical, emotional and social development and aligned with the National Curriculum key stages. Glimmer (0−18 months), Twinkle

PERFORM WEEKLY DRAMA, DANCE AND SINGING CLASSES About: Confidence-building fun Ages: 4-12s. A unique mix of drama, dance and singing specially formulated to bring out every child's true potential. Classes are kept small to ensure lots of individual attention. Perform offer no-obligation FREE trial sessions. Venues: Esher, Hampton, Isleworth, Kew, Kingston, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Richmond, Surbiton, Teddington, Twickenham and Weybridge. Contact: 020 7255 9120 /

STAGECOACH PERFORMING ARTS Ages: 4-18 Fun, educational and confidenceboosting classes in singing, dancing and drama, which cater for the varying needs of young performers, whether reserved or budding talents. Classes focus on the Performing Arts and having fun in a structured safe environment, whilst learning life skills to prepare them for the stage of life. Two-

week trial available. In: Chertsey, Cobham, Hinchley Wood, New Malden, Richmond, Staines, and Weybridge Contact: Chertsey: 0772 517 6102 Cobham: 020 3723 9702 Hinchley Wood: 01372 238238 New Malden: 020 8540 7791 Richmond: 020 8332 6741 Staines: 07802 800633 Weybridge: 0808 208 5134 STAGECOACH TWICKENHAM / STAGECOACH TEDDINGTON PERFORMING ARTS CLASSES Ages: 4-18 Dates and Times: Thursdays Ages 4-6 4.15-5.45pm Waldegrave School Thursdays Ages 6-18 4.30-7.30pm Waldegrave School Fridays Ages 4-6 4.15-5.45pm Waldegrave School Fridays Ages 6-18 4.30-7.30pm Waldegrave School Fridays ages 14+ 4.30-7.30pm Waldegrave School Saturdays Ages 4-6 9-10.30/9.3011/10.45-12.15/ 11.15-12.45 St Catherine’s School Saturdays Ages 4-6 9-10.30/ 9.1510.45/ 10.45-12.15 St Marys & St Peters School, Teddington Saturdays Age 6-18 10-1 and 2.305.30pm St Marys & St Peters School Teddington Saturdays Ages 6-18 10-1 and 2.30-5.30pm St Catherines School Saturdays Ages 15+ 3.30-6.30pm St Catherines School Part time Performing Arts classes for children ages 4-18 offering exciting West End performance opportunities, and learning to sing, dance and act all under one roof. A dynamic and exciting extra curricular school club offering Creative Courage for Life! Price: Ages 4-6 £168 (90 Minutes) ; Ages 6+ £336 (3 hour session) Contact: Sarah & Will Chitty 07824 999414 0208 979 5276 twickenham

22 • Kingston • Richmond • Brentford • Isleworth • Spelthorne • North Surrey - March/April 2019

STEP ON STAGE Ages: 3-18 Mondays to Fridays: Dance, Drama and Music at The Exchange Arts Centre, 90 London Road, Twickenham (opposite station) – Drama, Dance and Singing Classes, LAMDA, Trinity and ISTD. Saturdays: Dance and Musical Theatre at Hampton Hill Theatre, United Reform Church, Hampton Hill and St James Church, Hampton Hill – Musical Theatre, Ballet, Tap, LAMDA, ISTD and Trinity exams. Contact: Emma Tinniswood 07973 900196


COERVER COACHING PERFORMANCE ACADEMY Ages: 7-16 The Performance Academy is the UK’s premier football development programme for boys and girls aged 7 -16 and offers unrivalled levels of support, both on and off the training pitch. Book a FREE Trial Session today! In: Hounslow, Kingston Contact: Michael Cook 020 3544 2284

SWIMMING HOOK SWIM SCHOOL Ages: 3 months to adult Hook Swim School & Aqua Centre is a privately owned, family-run 15 metre, purpose-built teaching pool where children build confidence through a fun and personal swimming experience through lessons which develop and perfect new skills. In: Chessington Contact: 020 8397 7731



TEAM SWIM SCHOOL Ages: 2.5yrs+ Swimming lessons for all abilities and ages. Fun and engaging classes for non-swimmers, as well as taxing for stroke improvers. Children enjoy the whole pool, not just sectioned areas. NEW: Water Polo for kids – Stage 4 swimmers and above. Contact the school to register interest. Small groups, great results. Plus club swims available three evenings a week. Call or email to arrange a trial lesson. In: Cobham Contact: Paul Furness 07915510720

WATER BABIES Ages: 0-4 An incredible sensation of freedom and empowerment. Babies have a real affinity with water and because they’ve spent 9 months floating in the womb, being in warm water feels much more familiar to them than being on dry land. However, this early confidence usually diminishes with time and can even turn to fear. That’s one of the main reasons why Water Babies believes in starting them young. But a baby never swims against their wishes, and lots of bonding, fun and socialising is always incorporated so you can be sure that a Water Baby is a happy baby. In: Chessington, Kingston, Morden, Shepperton, Richmond, Surbiton, West Horsley, Woking, Godalming, Cobham, Farnham, Addlestone, Cranleigh Contact: Melissa Holt 01932 227 428

Handwriting Tutor HANDWRITING WITH MRS CUTLER Ages: 4 to 11+ Achieve neat, cursive, joined-up handwriting and boost your child’s self-confidence with one-to-one handwriting lessons. Half term group courses are available for pre-school and older children. Preschool children will learn to build fine motor skills to improve strength and dexterity in their hands and fingers. The courses for older children will focus on learning how to hold a pencil correctly, letter formation, spacing and cursive handwriting. In: Twickenham Contact: Selene Cutler 07521 554 188

MRS JONES EDUCATION – 11 PLUS TUITION Ages: 8 to 11 Mrs Jones Education aims to enable your child to reach their full potential and successfully gain a place at a good senior school where they will achieve and be happy. Learning is structured to maintain your child’s enthusiasm and imagination and allow them to enjoy learning. In Year 4 children attend 11 Plus Foundation before moving onto 11 Plus Preparation in Year 5. 11 Plus Mock Exams are also available for both age groups. In: Kingston, Surbiton, Wimbledon, South Wimbledon/Sutton, Hampton, Richmond, Twickenham, Chiswick, Ealing, Hounslow and Isleworth Contact: 020 8390 6076

Howzat! Join All Stars Cricket All Stars Cricket offers children aged 5-8 years a great first experience in cricket. Sessions are accredited by the England & Wales Cricket Board and delivered nationwide at over 2,000 centres. All Stars Cricket will help your child develop key skills in a fun and safe environment where parents can join in too and help create #BigMoments you’ll both treasure! Following successful registration, All Stars Cricketers will receive a brand-new kit bag full of goodies to help them get their summer of cricket started and fully

look the part when they attend their eight weekly sessions. This year there’s a brand-new Cricket World Cup-themed activity book that is full of top tips and games: it’s a great place to keep those weekly stickers to celebrate your All Star's achievements. Plus, it’s all delivered straight to your door. Sessions start in May 2019. To find out more about how to get involved this summer, visit and book your place

Email: • Tel: 07792 006546

Families Upon Thames • 23

Days Out

A Football Festival for the Family Sunday 31 March, from 11am at Kingsmeadow Enjoy a day out with the family and watch world class women’s football as Chelsea FC take on London neighbours West Ham United this March. With a whole host of entertainment to enjoy on the day, courtesy of Chelsea FC’s official partner Vitality, fans are invited to make their own healthy smoothies power pedalling special juicer bikes outside the ground. Football coaching will be available for children aged 4-12 from Chelsea Foundation coaches on the astro-turf pitches next to the

stadium, while stars from England netball will also be around showcasing their talent and offering you the chance to test your skills. Chelsea Women’s matches give football fans the chance to get closer to the action, with a real sense of community spirit at Kingsmeadow. Fans can greet the players as they enter the ground as well as pose for selfies at full-time. You’ll also get to know more about the team and women in sport with a special Q&A session hosted outside the ground just before kick-off.

Bring your support as the team play their last home league game of the season, looking to secure a place in next season’s Women’s Champions League. Chelsea FC Women’s team play their home matches at Kingsmeadow in Kingston upon Thames, with kick-off for the match at 2pm. Admission to the festival is included in your half-price match ticket (£3 for adults and £1.50 for juniors). Buy your tickets now at Parents can book their children into a coaching session in the morning

24 • Kingston • Richmond • Brentford • Isleworth • Spelthorne • North Surrey - March/April 2019

My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty Richmond Theatre Give children a first taste of the magical world of ballet and enjoy the classic fairy tale together, in this new version specially created for children aged three upwards. As a baby, Princess Aurora is cursed by Carabosse: on her 16th birthday, she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. Her godmother, the Lilac Fairy, alters the spell so Aurora will not die but will sleep for 100 years, only to be awoken by her true love. From Aurora’s christening in the grand hall of the palace, to her jubilant wedding celebrations, the popular story comes alive on stage. With a narrator to help the young audience follow the story, and a shortened

version of Tchaikovsky’s gorgeous music, this is the perfect introduction to the beauty of ballet, and a fantastic family day out. Performed by second-year students of English National Ballet School, English National Ballet's My First Ballet series has been enjoyed by over 290,000 people since its creation in 2012. Booking fees will be added to each ticket as follows: General Tickets: £12.00 £27.00 + Booking Fees: £1.00 - £2.90 In addition, all bookings made through ATG Tickets for this venue are subject to a £3.65 Transaction fee.

Family fun on Easter Day Join the fun at The Whiteley Village Easter Farm Fair. It’s the perfect Easter day out for all the family!

12PM - 4PM



WHITELEY VILLAGE Visit the mobile mini farm where you can meet the farm animals; enjoy a ride on a horse and cart and watch the amazing falconry display. Follow the Whiteley Easter Bunny Trail and work out clues to win an Easter Surprise or take a break in the Village Hall with Easter crafts and face painting. Food and refreshments will be available to purchase on the day. Visit to purchase advance tickets - limited tickets available on the day

MobileMini MiniFarm Farm Mobile Horse andCart CartRides Rides Horse and FalconryDisplay Display Falconry Face Painting Face Painting

Easter Trail EasterTreasure Treasure Trail BB BBQQ&&

Family Ticket: £25.00 (2 Adults & 2 Children) Adult: £9.00 - Children: £5.00 (2yrs to 12yrs)

Family Ticket: £25.00 (2 Adults & 2 Children) Adult: £9.00 - Children: £5.00 (2yrs to 12yrs)

Whiteley Village

For further details please visit: 01932 825828

Book your tickets via:

Email: • Tel: 07792 006546

Families Upon Thames • 25

26 • Kingston • Richmond • Brentford • Isleworth • Spelthorne • North Surrey - March/April 2019

Days Out Cinderella Ballet at the Royal Albert Hall Cinderella becomes a truly spectacular ballet as the Royal Albert Hall is brought to life with over 90 dancers, a live orchestra, and plenty of surprises. Enter an enchanting kingdom where forest creatures live alongside princes, a growing tree appears to dance in the wind, and Cinderella’s wit and generosity get her to the ball – with the help of a little bit of magic. This inventive production combines magnificent sets and costumes, surprising theatrical tricks and lively choreography to delight, move and astound – all to the melodious tunes of Prokofiev’s sublime score, performed by English National Ballet Philharmonic. Award-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon originally created Cinderella to great acclaim for Dutch National Ballet and San Francisco Ballet: he and his collaborators now adapt it for English National Ballet and the grand space of the Royal Albert Hall. Thursday 6 – Sunday 16 June 2019 Starts: 2:00pm, 2:30pm, 7:30pm

Eggceptional Edens’ Easter!

Eggceptional entertainment this Easter with Eden Walk’s Eggstravaganza Event! Visit on 11 and 18 April from 12noon-4pm to join in all the free fun. There are workshops to make some eggciting crafts to take home including headbands, masks and papier-mâché eggs. Keep it sunny side up at the face-painting station and don’t forget to say hello to Charlie Chick and Rosie Rabbit to get your free chocolate giveaway (while stocks last). More information at

Calling all…sailors! National Trust Easter Bring the family to Cutty Sark in Greenwich for an action-packed day out on the fastest ship of its time.

Egg Trail

Meet characters from the ship’s past such as Captain Woodget and the ship’s cook and listen to their epic stories about life on board. Try and outwit the crew in our Sailors’ Challenge game, find your sea legs by taking the helm at the ship's wheel, follow a family trail or take part in fun workshops. Book now to save 10%:

The National Trust have teamed up with Cadbury to offer fun Easter Egg trails with a chocolatey treat at the end! Easter trails are running at Hatchlands Park, Polesden Lacey, Dapdune Wharf, Claremont Landscape Gardens, Winkworth Arboretum, Shalford Mill, Hindhead Commons, Box Hill and Morden Hall Park. Details and dates are listed in our What’s on section or please visit During the Easter holidays there are also other themed trails at some properties including Wind in the Willows at Dapdune Wharf and Dragon Nest Quest at Winkworth Arboretum.

Email: • Tel: 07792 006546

Families Upon Thames • 27

28 • Kingston • Richmond • Brentford • Isleworth • Spelthorne • North Surrey - March/April 2019

Easter Eggstravaganza Enjoy a great family day out this Spring, as the lambing season gets into full swing! With over 350 gorgeous newborn lambs due and ‘Meet the Shepherd’ sessions daily, there will be plenty of opportunity to learn about the lambs and even watch one being born! Children will

also love to get up close to the baby chicks, ducklings and bunnies in the Small Animal Village, in addition to goat milking, tractor rides, pony rides and pig racing. Plus, complete the Easter stamp trail to take home a chocolate treat, and enjoy fun live Easter shows.

With plenty of play indoors and out, you can be sure of a great day out whatever the weather! 5-23 April 2019; Open daily 10am-5.30pm. Visit for more details

Spring into Easter at Hever Castle Come to Hever Castle in the Easter Holidays (6-22 April) and enjoy the free Easter Trail hunting for colourful carrots around the grounds or spotting the bunnies in the Castle (free with Castle entrance). Make an Easter bonnet at daily craft workshops* and show off your creations in a parade in front of the Castle every day with prizes for the best bonnets. Children can also have their faces painted*. Visitors age 7-14 can explore the Tudor Towers adventure playground with its own moat, drawbridge and three turrets. Here there are three slides and two poles and lots of interactive elements including musical instruments, a maze and hidden boxes to find.

Under 7s can enjoy the natural play area, Acorn Dell, with a two-metre high living willow structure, giant sandpit, mound with tunnels to clamber in and a climbing frame. After the challenge of the Yew Maze (see how long it takes you to find the way out!) enjoy seasonal home-cooked food and mouthwatering cakes in the restaurant followed by a visit to the Gift Shop stocked with Easter goodies. Visitors will also enjoy a dazzling display of spring blooms from daffodils to hyacinths, camellias and early tulips. (* small additional charge)

Tom Gates at Richmond Theatre! Based on the best-selling books by Liz Pichon, this brand-new story of Tom Gates is brought to you by the award-winning team behind Horrible Histories and Gangsta Granny.

Tom's doing everything possible to stay out of trouble but he's got three sad faces on the school achievement chart! And getting another sad face means Mr Fullerman won't let him go on the school trip.

Richmond Theatre Wed 20 - Sun 24 March

Moany Marcus Meldrew is making things worse and now Tom's annoyed his grumpy sister Delia. Even Amy Porter (who's smart) won't talk to him. Can his best friend Derek help? Will Rooster the dog stop eating his homework? Will his grandparents the Fossils ever make something he can actually eat? This exciting and hilarious Tom Gates adventure is perfect for all the family.

Email: • Tel: 07792 006546

Families Upon Thames • 29

What’s On - March/April 2019 ONGOING FAMILY EVENTS AT CUTTY SARK Cutty Sark, King William Walk, Greenwich, London, SE10 9HT Calling all…sailors! Take the family to Cutty Sark in Greenwich for an action-packed day out on the fastest ship of its time. Meet characters from the ship’s past such as Captain Woodget and the ship’s cook and listen to their epic stories about life on board. Try and outwit the crew in the Sailors’ Challenge game, find your sea legs by taking the helm at the ship's wheel, follow a family trail or take part in fun workshops. Book now to save 10%. EVERY WED DURING TERM TIME PANDEMONIUM AT WATERMANS ART CENTRE 40 High St, Brentford TW8 0DS Ages: 0-2 and 2-4 Cost: £5 A popular, drop-in musical workshop with plenty of fun and games, a brilliant way to introduce music to your children and to make new friends. 020 8232 1010 EVERY WED MORNING PARENT AND BABY CINEMA AT WATERMANS ART CENTRE 40 High St, Brentford TW8 0DS Times: 11.30am Cost: £6.50 Screenings of the latest films for parents or carers with babies under one. 020 8232 1010 EVERY FRI DURING TERM TIME AND SCHOOL HOLIDAYS SEE SAW DROP-IN SESSIONS AT ORLEANS HOUSE GALLERY Riverside, Twickenham TW1 3DJ Ages: under 5s Time: 10.30am-12.30pm Cost: Child £6 (additional sibling £3) Multi-sensory sessions which include music, play materials, soft play, creative activities, stories and rhyme time in a relaxed informal environment. 020 8831 6000 EVERY SAT MORNING FAMILY CINEMA AT WATERMANS ART CENTRE 40 High St, Brentford TW8 0DS Times: 11am Cost: £5 per person Your favourite family films old and new, on the big screen. See website for details. 020 8232 1010 EVERY SUNDAY JUNIOR PARK RUN AT OSTERLEY PARK Jersey Road, Isleworth TW7 4RB Ages: 4-14 Time: 9-10am Enjoy a free timed run around the front lawn as part of the national Junior Parkrun series. 020 8232 5050 TO 31 JULY (selected dates) EMERGING RIDER CYCLING COURSE WITH THE BICYCLE SOCIETY Osterley Park and House, Jersey Road, Isleworth TW7 4RB Ages: 2-3 years. Time: 10-10:45am Cost: £20 The Bicycle Society’s Emerging Rider course consists of 45 minute classes with songs, colouring in and of course balance bikes. 020 8232 5050

TO 17 MARCH SCIENCE WEEK AT WISLEY RHS Garden Wisley, Wisley Lane, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB Go along to RHS Garden Wisley for a week-long science extravaganza showcasing the research of the RHS, along with hands-on activities, workshops and talks.

10 MARCH HOW DOES THIS POLITICS THING WORK THEN? Watermans Art Centre, 40 High St, Brentford TW8 0DS Time: 3pm Price: £10 (£9), Family of 4 £36 Politics is super important and can be made really fun, if you know how. Luckily Comedy Club 4 Kids & Simple Politics have teamed up for a show that keeps you entertained, engaged and informed so you can also shout at the telly along with your parents during Question Time! Ages 6+. 020 8232 1010 14 MARCH MINI ACES UNDER 5S CLUB Brookland’s Museum, Brooklands Road, Weybridge KT13 0QN Time: 10.30-11.15am and 11.30am12.15pm Mini Aces club brings the Museum to life through stories, craft, song and dance. With a focus on different objects, stories and exhibits each month, children will discover the treasures we have in our collection and build self-confidence in a new and exciting environment. Book in advance. 01932 857381 16 MARCH YOUNG ARCHAEOLOGISTS' CLUB Chertsey Museum, 33 Windsor Street, Chertsey KT16 8AT Ages: 8 to 16 Time: 11am-12.30pm or 2-3.30pm Cost: £5 per child. Bellamine Jars. Must be booked in advance. 01932 565764 16 MARCH MUM2MUM MARKET Teddington Baptist Church, Church Rd, Teddington, TW11 8PF Time: 2-4pm Quality second hand baby, children's and maternity clothes, and preloved baby equipment. 17 MARCH KID CARPET’S NOISY HOLIDAY Watermans Art Centre, 40 High St, Brentford TW8 0DS Ages: 3+ Time: 3pm This lively show contains a mix of live music, theatre, comedy, puppetry and animation. A ridiculous and funny story of going on your holidays with silliness and mischief for the whole family. 020 8232 1010 20 TO 24 MARCH DAZZLING DAFFODILS Hever Castle, Hever Road, Edenbridge, TN8 7NG Feel uplifted this spring during Hever Castle’s Dazzling Daffodils event. With 14,000 new daffodil bulbs set to bloom across the gardens, there will be a wide range of varieties to enjoy. There will be children’s daffodil-themed craft workshops on 23 and 24 March. 01732 865224

MORE ONLINE: 20 TO 24 MARCH TOM GATES LIVE ON STAGE! Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond, TW9 1QJ This exciting and hilarious new adventure brings Liz Pichon’s fantastic characters to life and is perfect for all the family whether you are a lover of the books or new to Tom and his friends! 0844 871 7651 24 MARCH BROOKLANDS MINI DAY Brookland’s Museum, Brooklands Road, Weybridge KT13 0QN Time: 9am-5pm All types of Mini (including the modern BMW) are invited to this annual event, so expect displays in all areas of the Museum site. From the oldest to the newest, this year’s event will see some of the earliest examples nestling among hundreds of Minis and their variations including vans and pickups. 01932 857381 24 MARCH THE SELFISH GIANT Watermans Art Centre, 40 High St, Brentford TW8 0DS Ages: 3+. Time: 3pm Cost: £10 (£9), Family of 4 £36 Inspired by the touching children’s story ‘The Selfish Giant’ by Oscar Wilde, Bristol's two leading family theatre experts are combining forces to explore an unusual friendship, and how even the grumpiest giant’s heart can melt when Spring finally comes. 020 8232 1010 24, 30 & 31 MARCH MUM'S THE WORD Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD Time: 11am-1pm and 2-4pm Cost: £4 per child Shh, don't tell mum, but you can plant a special present to take home for her for Mother's Day. Booking not needed 020 8545 6850 30 TO 31 MARCH MOTHER’S DAY WEEKEND Hever Castle, Hever Road, Edenbridge, TN8 7NG Show your mum just how much you love her with a wonderful family day out to Hever Castle on Mother’s Day Weekend. The historic Castle and stunning gardens is the perfect place to say thank you and enjoy a family day out. 01732 865224 31 MARCH MOTHERING SUNDAY Hatchlands Park, East Clandon, Surrey GU4 7RT Time: 10am-5pm Enjoy a day at Hatchlands Park. Stroll through the parkland, meet the donkeys and treat mum to a home-made cake in the café. Mums go free too. 31 MARCH MOTHER'S DAY Osterley Park and House, Jersey Road, Isleworth TW7 4RB Time: 11am-3pm With free entry for all Mums, celebrate

30 • Kingston • Richmond • Brentford • Isleworth • Spelthorne • North Surrey - March/April 2019

Mother's Day with a walk in the formal gardens and a visit to the house, then pop into the Stables Walled Garden to sample some jams and curds from the National Trust range. 020 8232 5050 31 MARCH MOTHERING SUNDAY Winkworth Arboretum, Hascombe Road, Godalming GU8 4AD Time: 10am-4.30pm Visit Winkworth Arboretum this Mothering Sunday for so much more than a walk in the woods, followed by something tasty from the tearoom. Mums get in free when accompanied by their children. 31 MARCH MOTHERING SUNDAY AT CLAREMONT Claremont Landscape Garden, Portsmouth Road, Esher KT10 9JG Time: 10am-4.35pm Make Mother's Day special with a visit to Claremont. Stroll through the garden and visit the Camellia Terrace in bloom. The café will be open for hot lunches and afternoon teas. Mothers get in free to the Garden when accompanied by their children. 01372 467806 31 MARCH CC4K MOTHER’S DAY SPECIAL Watermans Art Centre, 40 High St, Brentford TW8 0DS Ages: 6+. Time: 3pm Cost: £10 (£9), Family of 4 £36 A special Mother’s Day show from Comedy Club 4 Kids headlined by trickster George Egg and guests doing their thing for an audience of children and their families…but without the rude bits! 020 8232 1010 31 MARCH MUM GOES FREE FOR MOTHER'S DAY London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes SW13 9WT Treat your mum to a relaxing day out with a walk to watch the wildlife flitting among the gardens and meadows. Your mum gets free admission to the Centre when accompanied by a paying child or adult. Just quote ‘Mother’s Day’ at admissions. 0208 409 4400 6 APRIL DR BIKE - FREE CYCLE CHECKS & MINOR REPAIRS Osterley Park and House, Jersey Road, Isleworth TW7 4RB Time: 10am-12pm Dr Bike is a free service which provides free cycle checks and minor repairs for anyone that might need them. Booking not needed. This event is free, but normal admission charges apply for the venue. 020 8232 5050 6 TO 18 APRIL SENSORY NATURE TRAIL Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD Time: 9am-4pm Cost: Suggested donation £2 Set off on a journey of discovery around the park using your senses. No need to book. Pick up a trail at the Garden Centre. 020 8545 6850

MORE ONLINE: 6 TO 18 APRIL SPRING I-SPY TRAIL Claremont Landscape Garden, Portsmouth Road, Esher KT10 9JG Time: 10.30am-4pm What's Claremont hiding? Take the Spring I-spy trail and follow nature's clues for the first signs of spring. Booking not needed. Admission applies. 01372 467806 6 TO 22 APRIL EASTER FAMILY FUN Hever Castle, Hever Road, Edenbridge, TN8 7NG Make some special family memories this Easter, hop through the beautiful grounds of Hever Castle following the trail of colourful carrots to claim your delicious chocolate treat. Celebrate spring by making and decorating an Easter bonnet at daily craft workshops. Then show off your creation in a parade in front of the Castle with prizes for the best bonnets. 01732 865224 6 TO 22 APRIL CADBURY EASTER EGG HUNT Winkworth Arboretum, Hascombe Road, Godalming GU8 4AD Cost: £3 per hunt Follow a fun-filled trail around the Arboretum and win a delicious treat, every day throughout the school holidays. Booking not needed. Admission applies. 6 TO 22 APRIL FAMILY TRAIL: DRAGON NEST QUEST Winkworth Arboretum, Hascombe Road, Godalming GU8 4AD Time: 10.30am-4pm Cost: £1 per trail A dragon's nest is hiding among the trees at Winkworth - are you brave enough to join the quest? Embark on a daring adventure and follow the clues on a very different kind of egg hunt this Easter. 6 TO 22 APRIL CADBURY EASTER EGG HUNT Claremont Landscape Garden, Portsmouth Road, Esher KT10 9JG Time: 10.30am-4pm Cost: £3 Buzz about the Garden, finding clues to discover Claremont's bees and their favourite flowers to win a delicious Cadbury Easter treat. 01372 467806 6 TO 23 APRIL CADBURY EASTER EGG HUNT Hatchlands Park, East Clandon, Surrey GU4 7RT Time: 10am-5pm Enjoy a nature-themed trail through the parkland, solve the clues and claim your chocolate prize. Normal admission + £3 per trail. 6 TO 23 APRIL EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA Bocketts Farm, Young St, Fetcham, KT22 9BS Hundreds of gorgeous baby lambs and Meet the Shepherd sessions. Baby chicks and bunnies to meet in Animal Handling. Easter Quiz Trail with chocolate treats! 01372 363764

7 APRIL LONDON BUS MUSEUM SPRING GATHERING Brookland’s Museum, Brooklands Road, Weybridge KT13 0QN Time: 10am-5pm The South East’s biggest, longest-running and best-loved bus show is back and will be a fabulous day out for families and transport enthusiasts alike. For the family, there are the bus excursions and two free circular service routes to ride, children’s activities and more. 01932 857381 7 APRIL MOLE & GECKO: THE SHOW Watermans Art Centre, 40 High St, Brentford TW8 0DS Ages: 5+. Time: 3pm Cost: £10 (£9), Family of 4 £36 Mole and Gecko is an interactive rap musical that you (the audience) help create. There will be live songs, rap stories, and instant poems as the heroes find out that what they thought they were searching for, might be less important than what they find along the way. 020 8232 1010 8 TO 12 APRIL COLOURFUL SPRING CRAFTS Claremont Landscape Garden, Portsmouth Road, Esher KT10 9JG Time: 11am-1pm Cost: £1.50 per craft Brighten up your day with easy to make creative crafts that will bring some colourful Easter fun in to your home. There will be a different craft every day. 01372 467806 8 TO 19 APRIL EASTER HOLIDAY FAMILY FUN Brookland’s Museum, Brooklands Road, Weybridge KT13 0QN Time: 10am-5pm On weekdays during Easter the popular car rides will be operating. Also, London Bus Museum will be operating bus rides around the local area. Look out for Bertie the Brooklands Bear, who will be making guest appearances, pick up one of the trails for children up to 12 years old or join in with the Easter family workshop. Easter Egg Trail every day from 8-19 April. Drop in, no need to book. Free activity with Museum admission. 01932 857381 9 TO 11 APRIL WOODLAND ADVENTURE Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD Time: 11am-4pm Cost: £5 per child What's life like for a woodland creature? Go and experience it with the Ranger team. Booking essential. 020 8545 6850 11 TO 12 APRIL QUACKY RACES Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD Time: 11am-3pm Cost: £2 One of Morden Hall Park's favourite traditions is back. For £2 you'll be able to borrow a plastic duck to join in a race down the river. You can also make a flag to cheer your duck on from the sidelines. No need to book. 020 8545 6850

March/April 2019 - What’s On 13 APRIL DISCOVER AMPHIBIANS Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD Ages: 7+. Time: 7.30-9pm Cost: Adult £5; Child £3 Help look for frogs, toads and newts from the wetland boardwalk. Suitable for those Booking essential 020 8545 6850 14 APRIL THE MYSTERY OF MEMORY LANE OR… THE PUPPY DOG’S TALE Watermans Art Centre, 40 High St, Brentford TW8 0DS Ages: 3-8 yrs. Time: 3pm This warm and nostalgic show is based around a Bric-a-Brac market stall. Help Mr Shabby and Mrs Chic find where Puppet Dog Toby belongs, as they tell stories and sing songs using tin toys, hand-carved marionettes, seaside Punch and Judy puppets and vintage musical instruments. 020 8232 1010 16 TO 27 APR MY FIRST BALLET: SLEEPING BEAUTY The Peacock, Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A 2HT, Give children a first taste of the magical world of ballet. Enjoy the classic fairy tale ballet together, in this new version especially created for children aged three upwards. 020 7863 8222

19 TO 22 APRIL CADBURY EASTER EGG HUNT Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD Time: 10am-4pm Cost: £4.50 per child Go along for Easter fun and frolics for all the family to enjoy. Take a nature challenge to solve the clues and win a tasty Cadbury chocolate prize. 020 8545 6850

22 APRIL LITTLE EXPLORERS Kew Gardens, Kew, TW9 3AB Ages: 2-5 Cost: £10 per child Go along for a fun-packed adventure in the Gardens with games, stories, crafts and dressing up. Hands-on fun 90-minute learning sessions aimed at children aged 2-

5 and their parent/carer. Booking essential as places are limited. 020 8332 5655 24 TO 30 APRIL TULIP CELEBRATIONS Hever Castle, Hever Road, Edenbridge, TN8 7NG The third Tulip Celebrations event as part of the Tulip Festival at Hever Castle & Gardens will be even bigger with 21,000 tulips in bloom in the stunning grounds of the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. Free daily tours with the gardeners can be enjoyed as well as tulip floral arrangements in the Castle. 01732 865224 25 APRIL BABY SPECIAL – GLISTEN Watermans Art Centre, 40 High St, Brentford TW8 0DS Ages: 0-18 months. Time: 10am, 11:30am and 2pm Cost: 1 parent AND 1 Child £15 (£14); Additional Parent OR Child £8 (£7) Glisten is an interactive performance for babies and their grown-ups taking them on a gentle immersive journey filling an empty space with colour, sounds and surprises, creating a sensory landscape ready to explore after the performance. 020 8232 1010 28 APRIL BRITISH MARQUES DAY Brookland’s Museum, Brooklands Road, Weybridge KT13 0QN Time: 10am-5pm Celebrate the best of British manufacturing at this marques event. There will be action on Test Hill, club displays around the site and traditional British fare in the Café and BBQ. 01932 857381 28 APRIL HANSEL & GRETEL Watermans Art Centre, 40 High St, Brentford TW8 0DS Ages: 3+. Time: 1.30pm & 3.30pm Cost: £10 (£9), Family of 4 £36 Goody and Storey and Norwich Puppet Theatre present a colourful retelling of the classic Grimms’ fairy tale, serving up a feast of delicious music, dynamic scenery and knock-your-socks-off puppetry. 020 8232 1010

Thai treat for mum This Mother’s Day treat mum to something she wants all year round – a delicious meal she won’t have to cook, in the company of her lovely family. Giggling Squid serves mouth-watering Thai specialities including Black Pepper Soft Shell Crab, Roast Duck Salad with Pomelo Salad and Salmon Penang amongst a plethora of spiced offerings. How about the ‘Hungry Squid’ (£10.95) with Chicken Green Curry, Handmade Chicken Satay, Mixed Vegetable Stir Fry and Jasmine Rice? Or the ‘Wealthy Squid’ (£11.95) with Lamb Massaman Curry, Shredded Duck Spring Rolls, Fish Cake and Jasmine Rice. A dedicated “little tapas for little people” menu will ensure smiles all round.

Email: • Tel: 07792 006546

It’s not just the beautiful setting, cosy atmosphere and delicious food that she’ll love, but the chance of winning a GOLDEN TICKET, disguised in a Mother’s Day card.

Families Upon Thames • 31

Profile for Families Magazine

Families Upon Thames Issue 129 Mar/Apr 2019