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Clubs and Classes Directory Family Travel Kids Activities, Competitions, What's On Guide and more...

Issue 44 January/February 2020

email: editor@familiesbedfordshire.co.uk Tel: 07824 377175



Harpers Nursery & Forest School BLUNHAM MK44 3NX

A unique learning experience for children aged from 6 months to 5 years.

Swimming lessons from Little Fishes Classes for babies, toddlers & preschool children ✹ Sub – Surface Swimming ✹ Warm Pools perfect for babies ✹ Structured and progressive lessons through play & having fun ✹ Over 20 years’ experience Location1: Hilltop Swimming School, 22 Backstreet, Clophill, MK45 4BY. *Please note: Can offer classes at various locations. For more details contact: Tel:01707 276734 Mobile:07805 309102 enquiries@littlefishesswimclub.co.uk www.littlefishesswimclub.co.uk

Looking for childcare in Bedfordshire? Ofsted rated ‘Outstanding’ in all areas Limited spaces now available for 30 hours of FUNDED childcare

*20% sole agency discount

Since 2004, Harmony at Home has been finding the perfect nannies for families across the UK. We now have a dedicated and professional service to create ‘Harmony at Home’ for families in Bedfordshire.


Tel: 01767 641499

Contact Sally now: T: 01234 522360 / 07812 605106 E: sally@harmonyathome.co.uk www.harmonyathome.co.uk

Marston Vale Community Rail P

Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership Present

Take the Marston Vale Line (Bedford - Bletchley) to Milton Keynes Model Rail Exhibition 2020! All aboard the Gro u p S ave Santa All aboard the S RaiSaturday 16th Decem l Tick

ets Great r th atKids Saturday 16 2017 es fDecember and adults o r f am are all welcome on Santa T h

ilies!Vale Line, come and ird offtrain the Marston foron Kids and adults welcome festive gon roSanta’s u 3 - 9areaall p sboard oenjoy: f in his grottot ultsLine, train on the MarstondVale come and Santa on ,k a ids half Hop off r 5’s s for Chriinment o freRefreshments a Face-painter &gballoon available Entert town emodeller ! in the pr

-& balloon icein, uhisnd ford Be d Santa on board grotto Face-painter modeller e tm a s tre

Saturday 15th February 10am - 5pm Stantonbury Leisure Centre, Milton Keynes Adults £8 (50p off with valid rail ticket!) Kids £1

Take the Marston Vale Line to Milton Keynes Central (change at Bletchley) - free vintage Routemaster bus every 30 mins to the exhibition. ★ 30+ fantastic working model railway layouts. www.mkmrs.org.uk/exhibitions or 07870 213845

Exhibition also open Sunday 16th February 10:00 – 4:30. (No Marston Vale Line service on Sundays).

For further information Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership contact Stephen Sleight tel. 01234 832645 e-mail stephens@bedsrcc.org.uk www.marstonvalecommunityrail.org.uk 2

Families Bedfordshire January/February 2020

cen Refreshments available Santa Special Times depart: Santa Special Times Marston Vale Santa trainsTicket Price Bletchley 10:01 12:01 & 14:01trai Marston Vale Santa trains depart: Normal Bedford 10:55 12:55Bletchley & 14:55 - B Bletchley 10:01 12:01 & 14:01 or join at any station along the Marston Va £7.30 Bedford 10:55 12:55 & 14:55 The Santa Special takes place on the £3.65 scheduled Marst or join at any station along the Marston Vale Line!

service; unfortunately it is not possible to reserve seat Under 5s travel f The Santa Special takes place on Please the scheduled Marstonnon-folding Vale Line buggies as space is v avoid bringing Senior Saver - Be service; unfortunately it is not possible to reserve seats. Travel Pass Holde Please avoid bringing non-folding buggies as space is very limited. A third off for grou

Information Line: Information Line: 01234 832

01234 832marstonvalecrp 645 marstonvalecrp @marstonvalecrp






RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch (25-27 January 2020) Over the last four decades, the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch has become the largest garden wildlife citizen science project. Hundreds of thousands of people have volunteered their time providing the RSPB with nearly 9 million hours of monitoring garden birds. This year’s event takes place on 25 - 27 January 2020. Join up to half a million people in spending just one hour watching and recording the birds in their garden or local green space, then send your results to the RSPB. Only count the birds that land, not those flying over. Tell us the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not the total you see in the hour. The Big Garden Birdwatch has given the RSPB an astonishing amount of insight into how our wildlife is faring. It was one of the first surveys to alert the RSPB

to the decline in the number of song thrushes in gardens, since 1979 its numbers have halved. By 2019, numbers of song thrushes seen in gardens have declined by 76%. Rebecca Munro, RSPB Director of Communications, said: “The popularity of Big Garden Birdwatch shows just how passionate people across the UK are about their wildlife. Everyone has a role to play in saving nature and protecting our wildlife. This event is an enjoyable, easy, inclusive activity that anyone can do and a great opportunity to connect with nature.” Warm-up for the Big Garden Birdwatch at RSPB The Lodge nature reserve, Sandy 11am – 3pm on Sunday 19 January. Join our friendly staff and volunteers to get useful tips on identifying birds, information on the Big Garden Birdwatch survey and giving nature a home. There will be guided walks at intervals throughout the event and children can get mucky by making fat balls for their gardens. Don’t forget to stock up in the shop

on your bird food ready for the following weekend’s survey and browse the range of binoculars and telescopes. Car parking for non-members, guided walks and children’s activity charges apply. The Lodge nature reserve is one of the best places in the county to visit for attractive natural landscapes and wildlife friendly gardens. Families find the reserve a great place to bring

kids with four nature trails to choose from. Children enjoy the Wild Play Trail with opportunities to get close to nature and play. Get inspiration from the beautiful gardens around the UK headquarters of the RSPB. The gardens are specially managed by the reserve and are an exemplar of gardening for wildlife, with lots of tips and examples for visitors to take home.

For your FREE Big Garden Birdwatch pack, plus RSPB shop voucher and advice to help you attract wildlife to your garden, text BIRD to 70030 or visit www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch

The Lodge nature reserve, Sandy Sunday 19 January, 11am - 3pm

Warm-up for the Big Garden Birdwatch

Join us for useful tips, guided walks, children’s activities and to stock up for the big survey from the shop.

Car parking for non-members, guided walks and children’s activity charges apply. Find out more at www.rspb.org.uk/TheLodge www.familiesonline.co.uk

Reach over 30 000 readers, advertise in Families Bedfordshire, email: editor@familiesbedfordshire.co.uk

Bedfordshire 3

NEWS & VIEWS In this issue: 3 4- 5 6

RSPB's The Big Garden Birdwatch News 2020 Play Predictions and Kids Activities 8 The Truth about Eating Disorders 9 Clubs and Classes 10 Eco Resolutions for 2020 11 The Importance of Imagination 12 Family Travel 13 Shows & Competitions 14-15 What's on Contact no. 07824 377175 Email: editor@familiesbedfordshire.co.uk www.familiesonline.co.uk

Editor: Michéllin Store. Design: Sarah Harmer. Published six times a year.

UPCOMING ISSUE: March/April – Celebrating Motherhood & Easter Due out: Early March Advertising and editorial deadline: Friday 7th February 2020 Find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/FamiliesBeds Follow us @FamiliesBeds

Follow us families_beds18

Thank you to everyone who entered into our Nov/Dec 2019 Competitions and to our local theatres for running these wonderful competitions! Congratulations to all of our winners! ✹ Lisa – Family Ticket to see Peter Pan at The Grove Theatre ✹ Fabio & Marie – Family Ticket to see My Scarecrow’s Wedding at The Stables MK ✹ Rebecca – Family Ticket to see Rapunzel with the Bedford Pantomime Company at The Bedford Corn Exchange ✹ Chloe & Milly – Family Ticket to see Hansel & Gretel at The Quarry Theatre

A Must Read - The Fred and Woody Series The first two books in the Fred & Woody series (written by Alex Waldron, published by Ruby Tuesday Books) are perfect for all parents, carers and pre- and primary school educators who wish to initiate honest, realistic and age-appropriate conversations with young children about their private parts and the important issues of consent and staying safe. That’s My Willy! and What’s Down There? are illustrated books written by father of two boys, Fred and Woody, to help boost body confidence, improve awareness and bolster understanding of health and hygiene, safeguarding and consent, from an early age.

They show children that are all different and perfect in their own way, in all shapes and sizes, and that their body is just that – theirs! There’s also an incredibly useful section at the back of each book packed with tips and ideas for grown-ups to get the most from the book for their little ones, written by a highly-trained Relationships and Sex Education Trainer (Relationships Education is compulsory in UK primary and secondary schools: http://bit.ly/ GovGuidelines). The books are available as paperback and hardback online and in all good bookshops in the UK.

To stand a chance of winning a set of these books, see page 13 and enter. 4

Calling all families - Wear A Hat Day needs you! The annual fundraising extravaganza Wear A Hat Day is coming back in 2020 – Families Magazine and Brain Tumour Research are calling on you to get involved! Wear A Hat Day 2020 takes place on Friday 27th March, at the end of Brain Tumour Awareness Month. Over the last decade, this hattastic event has raised more than £1 million in support of the charity Brain Tumour Research. It has become a must-do event for many children and parents and their communities. Taking part is really easy and the charity has some great ideas on their website to help you plan and host wonderful hat-themed fundraising events. Register today to ensure you get your FREE fundraising pack in time: www.wearahatday.org

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer. No family should be devasted by a brain tumour. Wear A Hat Day is a really important campaign to be involved with – not only is it great fun but with your participation, it becomes a powerful symbol of hope for all affected by this disease. Funds raised will continue to help the charity build a network of experts in sustainable research at dedicated Centres of Excellence whilst influencing the Government and larger cancer charities to invest more nationally.

Together we will find a cure.

Air Quality is Worse Indoors A new report into the state of air pollution in UK households has found that our homes are experiencing dangerous levels of indoor air pollution. The report commissioned by Clean Air Day found that nearly half of UK homes have high indoor air pollution as a result of dangerous levels of formaldehyde and other pollutants. Data also shows that outdoor air pollution adds to indoor air pollution; it builds up in the home, taking longer to disperse inside than outside. According to the British

Lung Foundation children are particularly sensitive to poor indoor air quality as their lungs are proportionally larger in relation to their body weight than adults and immature immune systems mean they are less able to fight off any problems that arise from polluted indoor air. Sources of indoor air pollution include smoking, faulty boilers, open fires, gas cookers and heaters, as well as irritant chemicals from new furniture, air fresheners and household cleaning products.

For more info visit: www.cleanairday.org.uk and www.blf.org.uk

Would You Rent Baby Clothes? Babies can get through an alarming number of outfits in a day, so there’s no getting away from the fact that you will need plenty of sleepsuits in different sizes, each of which will only fit for a matter of months or weeks. So how do you avoid ending up with piles of clothes your baby has outgrown? For more and more new parents, the answer is simple: rent. Two UK companies have introduced an alternative which they believe solves this problem

as well as being affordable and environmentally sustainable by reducing waste. The alternative also reduces time spent by parents constantly re-selling and purchasing clothes. Families pay a monthly subscription, return outgrown clothes and then receive the next size up, in line with their baby’s growth and the changing seasons. Clothes are professionally cleaned and must pass quality control before being sent to the next renting family.

For more info visit: bundlee.co.uk or www.bellesandbabes.co.uk

Families Bedfordshire January/February 2020


NEWS & VIEWS Milton Keynes Model Railway Society’s Annual Exhibition The Milton Keynes Model Railway Society will be staging their annual exhibition over two days on Sat 15 and Sun 16 February 2020! The exhibition is one of the largest in the area with over 30 fantastic working model railway layouts, a wide range of traders and refreshments. On Saturday only, you can add more magic to your train adventure by hopping on the Marston Vale Line (Bedford to Bletchley) for a day out with a difference and with amazing family rates! Groups of 3-9 adults travel for a third off with GroupSave, children

(5-15) half price, under-fives are free! Granny & Grandad travel for half price with a Bedfordshire Concessionary Travel Pass! The MK Model Railway Exhibition entry fee is £8 for adults (50p off with a valid rail ticket) and kids £1. Opening times are 10am – 5pm (Sat 15 Feb) and 10am – 4.30pm (Sun 16 Feb) at Stantonbury Leisure Centre. Enter the competition on page 13 to WIN 1 of 3 family tickets to the exhibition with free return train tickets on the Marston Vale CRP line.

For more info visit www.mkmrs.org.uk/exhibitions and www.marstonvalecommunityrail.org

Wanda - Eco-Friendly, Natural Charcoal Water Filter Live Wanda set out on a mission to provide families with a new, eco-friendly source of great tasting tap water, while reducing water miles and dependence on disposable plastic. “Bottled water can travel thousands of miles before reaching consumers. The global production of bottled water amounts to over 160 million avoidable barrels of oil every year. It has to stop, and it can, because for most of us, cheap, plentiful water is close at hand – it comes out of the tap,” says a Wanda representative. Unlike hardwood trees, such as oak, bamboo regrows quickly after harvesting – and it needs little watering and doesn’t require pesticides or fertilisers. Made from 100% bamboo charcoal, Wanda filters are extremely porous with

Do you have a smartphone? Computer? Ipad? We all deserve the best life, invest in your future – join now! We want people who ➾ Want to change their lives financially ➾ Want multiple streams of income ➾ Want to make an impact

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You don’t have to be great to start, but you need to start to be great!

For more information contact Chanel Pelosi 07867 129826 or email: chanelpelosi1@gmail.com

National Storytelling Week National Storytelling Week takes place from 1 to 8 February and is a chance to reflect on one of the oldest art forms in the world. We are all immersed in stories — from conversations during which we retell events in our lives, to watching our favourite television shows. Speech and language therapists believe that storytelling is vital for children’s academic success as it promotes narrative skills and strengthens the ability of children to correctly sequence ideas. To be a good reader and writer a

child needs firstly to be a good speaker and listener. Above all though, storytelling is fun. Whether we are listening to someone else’s story or telling our own, inventing and adapting narratives can open doors to exciting new worlds — both real and imaginary. National Storytelling Week takes place in storytelling clubs, theatres, museums, schools, hospitals, spoken word venues, and care homes.

To find a local event or to look through its extensive archive, visit www.sfs.org.uk

a surface area ten times that of wood charcoal. Its millions of tiny holes trap impurities, eliminating undesirable tastes and odours, making it an ideal natural filter and 100% compostable. See page 13 to WIN a Water Jar! Carafe: £29.95, Carafe Filter: £9.95, Water Jar: £12.95, Water Jar Filter: £69.95.

For more information visit https://livewanda.com/

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer

Business Opportunity

MadeGood Safe for Schools Granola Bars peanuts, egg, dairy and soy and Parents across the UK can breathe a sigh of relief with the help of MadeGood's organic granola bars. MadeGood is a totally allergen free granola bar that is safe for kids to eat in schools. The bars are free from the most common allergens including gluten, nuts,

boast a good source of vitamins from six different vegetables. Perfect for lunchboxes. Available in three flavours; Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Banana, and Mixed Berry, from ASDA stores across the UK, with each box containing 6 x 24g bars and costs £2.79 RRP.

For more info visit www.madegoodfoods.com. *Win 2 MadeGood boxes of each flavour – See page 13 to enter.




Sign up today for your

of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease



www.wearahatday.org Registered charity number 1153487 (England and Wales) SC046840 (Scotland). Company limited by guarantee number 08570737. www.familiesonline.co.uk

If you have any news for the next issue, email: editor@familiesbedfordshire.co.uk

Bedfordshire 5

2020 Play Predictions Early Years Specialist, Claire Russell, predicts the top 5 children’s play trends for the year to come.

1. Versatile toys and play resources - As awareness steadily grows around sustainability, parents are thinking more about how many toys their children have and how much they actually need, steering their little ones towards those resources which offer greater potential for play i.e. the more ways something can be played with the better! 2. Making memories - Leading on from the first point, 2020 sees a greater emphasis on making those precious moments together count. Instead of buying more toys or giving actual tangible gifts, parents will put a higher priority on spending their time and money, making magical memories. 3. Learning about the natural world - Parents will continue to seek out activities that teach children about, and encourage their curiosity in nature, giving them a greater appreciation and understanding of the world around them and an increased

motivation to better look after it as they get older. Are you spotting a theme here yet? 4. Expressing our feelings and emotions - This was one I made last year and with mental health being talked about more and more, we will in turn seek to give our children the space, tools and language required to better express their feelings and emotions. (Books to consider: ‘The Happy Self Journal’ – www.happyself journal.com and ‘Big Life Journal’ – www.biglifejournal.com) 5. More coding and ICT - As artificial intelligence continues to gather pace with a fifth of our workforce estimated to be automated by 2030* parents will be investing more in the kind of play which will help their children learn and develop the skills which will become essential components of the future workplace. As we seek to live more

Claire Russell is the founder of playHOORAY! She is passionate about play and keeping kids playing for longer. After having her son in 2014 she decided to use her teaching experience to create and share activities online inspiring other parents and practitioners working with young children. For further information please visit playhooray.co.uk

WINTER FUN Find these winter words in the grid. Then read the remaining unused letters on the bottom three lines from left to right to find a secret message!














❄❄ ❄ ❄ ❄ ski thaw puddle


We are starting to see a backlash to consumerism, partly in line with the rise in sustainable living, and people are beginning to place more value in experiences over things. We are becoming increasingly aware that we not only need to educate our children about the importance of protecting our planet for future generations but also, ensuring our children are prepared for what the world might look like in another 10-20 years. *McKinsey Global Institute

responsibly, parents and carers will be enlisting the help of toys and resources which support this ethos, encouraging sustainability and helping raise ethically minded children. Future proofing our children, both emotionally and from a practical point of view, will become more important - building their resilience and preparing them for an ever-changing professional landscape which continues to be influenced by the growth of technology.

DOT TO DOT Join the dots to create a creature you may see in your garden this winter!

.. .. . . . .. . . .. . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . .. . . . .. . . . . . . . . . .. 31




35 36 37






40 41 42 39





ice sled robin scarf frozen snowman hot chocolate

Families Bedfordshire January/February 2020









43 44






1 12








19 18

When you’ve finished, why not colour it in?


Helping children believe they can do anything Singing, dancing and acting classes for 4 - 18 year-olds

AMPTHILL 01525 790795 stagecoach.co.uk/ampthill DUNSTABLE AND LUTON CENTRAL 01582 966730 stagecoach.co.uk/dunstable LEIGHTON BUZZARD 01525 790795 stagecoach.co.uk/leightonbuzzard

Stagecoach Performing Arts is the trading name of Stagecoach Theatre Arts Limited. Stagecoach Theatre Arts schools are operated under franchise and are independently owned by their Principals. Stagecoach and Creative Courage For Life are registered trademarks of Stagecoach Theatre Arts Limited.



Classes held: Every Tuesday at 5:30pm & Every Saturday at 10:15am Dunstable Leisure Centre, (Martial Arts Room) Court Drive Dunstable, LU5 4JD For more information please contact us on

07709 327274 or 01753 882012 tiska.karate@btconnect.com



email: editor@familiesbedfordshire.co.uk Tel: 07824 377175

Bedfordshire 7

The Truth About Eating Disorders Shelley Goffe-Caldeira

With high profile celebrities like Christopher Eccleston, Russell Brand, Demi Lovato, Paula Abdul and many more sharing their stories, it’s finally acceptable to discuss eating disorders openly. This year Eating Disorder Awareness Week runs from 2 March – 8 March Eating disorders are not only a problem for adults; children of either gender can be affected by them. Over the last 30 to 40 years, the prevalence of eating disorders has increased to become a widespread problem across the UK and worldwide. Over 1.6 million people in the UK are estimated to be directly affected by eating disorders. Overall figures are likely to be underestimated as many children and adults with eating disorders do not always get a formal diagnosis. What is an Eating Disorder? An eating disorder is a serious mental health issue that involves a disordered eating behaviour which can be fatal. This can include eating too little or too much or becoming obsessed with one’s weight or shape. Different Types of Eating Disorders There are several types of eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, binge-eating disorder (BED) and eating disorders not otherwise specified, known as (EDNOS) whose features closely resemble more well-known eating disorders.

Anorexia Nervosa: Young girls or boys as well as adults who have anorexia try to keep their weight as low as possible by not eating enough food or exercising too much, or both which causes illness and starvation. Bulimia: Those who suffer sometimes lose control and eat a lot of food in a very short amount of time (binging) and are then deliberately sick, or use laxatives to stop weight gain. Binge eating disorder (BED): Individuals regularly lose control of eating, and eat large portions of food all at once and get uncomfortably full, and are then often upset or guilty. Other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED): This eating disorder is the most common and symptoms do not exactly match those of anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder. The illness is not less serious than those above but simply presents itself in a different way. Worrying Statistics Eating disorders are complex conditions that are unique to each individual but there are some surprising statistics parents need to be aware of. ● Children often first begin to show symptoms of eating

In the last seven years, the amount of boys going into hospitals in the UK increased from 235 to 466.

disorders between the ages of 6 and 12. ● Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness and Anorexia Nervosa is the biggest killer. ● 35% to 37% of adolescent girls engage in dangerous dieting behaviours, including fasting, diet pill use, laxative abuse, and more.

How Can Parents Create A Healthy Body Image? The modern world of social media, music videos, Netflix, and teen magazines has a great impact on how young children and teenagers see themselves. It is important to remember that parents do not cause eating disorders, but they can miss vital clues that their child has developed one.

during this time. Reinforce their individual beauty by giving compliments. Positively support their need to experiment with different styles and looks. ● Let your children know how proud you are of them and acknowledge their achievements. ● Encourage your children to become involved in an activity such as swimming lessons, dance classes, music lessons, singing lessons – this will help bolster their sense of accomplishment. ● Spend quality time with your children and be aware of what is going on around them. What are they watching? Listening to? Are they on social media? Are they suffering any peer pressure?

Here are simple things to help your child build a positive body image: ● Be a healthy role model and teach your children how to take care of their body through healthy eating and exercise. ● Those going through puberty often feel very awkward in their own bodies. It is common for girls and boys to gain weight

If you think your child may be suffering from an eating disorder, it’s important to consult your GP.

For information about anorexia, check out Need2Know’s Essential Guide to Anorexia at For more parenting tips and advice, Gabrielle’s blog @thelondonishmum www.need2knowbooks.co.uk. Enterread N2K25OFF to receive a 25% discount. 8

Families Bedfordshire January/February 2020



Activities Away from School

Activities that take place completely away from the school environment don’t just keep restless children busy or entertained and help working parents manage their child’s spare time, they can also offer great developmental benefits that will help them academically, physically and socially.

New Friendships Outside of the school environment, your child is likely to make friendships with children that don’t go to their school and get used to socialising with children of all ages outside the structure of the formal school day. Improving Life and Social Skills Outside school activities provide an ideal environment in which to nurture social skills and confidence. Many extracurricular activities work to teach children the value of working as a team to achieve a mutual goal — a skill that will benefit them in their future endeavours. Boosting Academic Performance Discovering that they have a talent can give a child a new source of confidence or a passion that translates into their engagement and behaviour at school. For example, performing in drama club can improve confidence in speaking up in class and inspire creative writing. Playing an instrument will help children understand music lessons. Building Self-Esteem In a busy classroom it can sometimes be hard for a child to make themselves heard. Outside of school activities will give your child the chance to build their self-esteem. Most groups or teams are more intimate than the typical classroom environment, making them less intimidating for children. Children may also be more interested than they are in their lessons and will engage more easily with the activities involved. Positive Role Models Sports coaches, group leaders and other responsible adults who are sharing their skills provide role models and a valuable new take on the world for children. Happier Children Outside of school activities promote emotional well-being by allowing children to work off excess energy, relax their minds, and overcome the stress associated with school life. Chance to Shine Outside of school activities offer your child the chance to be themselves away from the influence of their school friends. Without being judged by their peers as “not cool” or www.familiesonline.co.uk

“geeky” your child may thrive in developing a new outlet for creative, sporting or intellectual pursuits. Promoting Healthy Hobbies Children with a regular activity are likely to spend less static time glued to a smartphone or screen and the interests that they develop during outside of school activities are likely to mean they spend more time practicing skills and pursuing their passions. Explore Interests and Create Broader Perspectives When children participate in multiple different activities, they get the opportunity to explore a range of interests which subsequently broaden their world view. Time Management As children get older and move on to secondary school, being able to juggle different aspects of their lives becomes increasingly important. By attending classes, clubs or activities outside of school, your child will be taking on more responsibility for managing their schedule effectively. Sense of Commitment Students who participate in outside of school activities develop a sense of commitment to whatever they are involved in. This is because they have to commit to them and give them

their all, and this commitment starts to extend to other areas of their lives. A Brighter Future The skills and habits a child learns during his or her school years help to shape the kind of future they will lead as an adult. As a result, outside of school activities that promote everything from healthy-living habits, to leadership skills, good time-management, and better social or academic performance have plenty of advantages to offer. Don’t Push Them Keep in mind that you shouldn’t

Bedfordshire Clubs and Classes Directory: Big Bold Youth Performing Arts www.bsopa.co.uk 01234 815744 Dunstable Training and Tuition www.dunstablett.co.uk 07548 518004

Stagecoach Performing Arts www.stagecoach.co.uk Ampthill & Leighton Buzzard 01525 790795 Dunstable and Luton Central 01582 966730

Inspiring Music www.inspiringmusic.co.uk

Tiska Karate www.tiska.com 07709 327274

Little Fishes Swim Club www.littlefishesswimclub.co.uk 07805 309102

The Tutor Train www.thetutortrain.com 0750 0862722

pl or

push children to over-do it when it comes to extra activities. It’s better for your child to choose something that they really enjoy doing and stick to it, rather than attempt numerous different activities that quickly become overwhelming, and may detract from their ability to concentrate on school work. Of course, you may also have the type of child that just wants to try everything, in which case, it may be best to let them do so and try to narrow down their commitments when you see which activities they particularly favour.

More info: www.nuffieldfoundation.org/out-school-activities-and-education-gap

leaaryn to

Performing in drama club can improve confidence in speaking up in class and inspire creative writing. Playing an instrument will help children understand music lessons.


We have centres in: • Leighton Linslade • Ampthill • Biggleswade We also offer music lessons, free loan of some instruments and school holiday courses.

in school or join our groups with musicians of all interests, abilities and ages. • Individual/Group lessons • Orchestras • Theory • Bands

• Choirs • Rock and folk groups • Pre-School activities and much more...

For more information visit www.inspiringmusic.co.uk @CBCInspiringMusic @InspiringMusic1 email: editor@familiesbedfordshire.co.uk Tel: 07824 377175

Bedfordshire 9

Your Top 8 Eco-Resolutions for 2020 Resolutions are on everyone’s mind at this time of year. Whether you love or loathe them, there’s no avoiding the fact that they can be a great way to kickstart the new year.

By Claire Winter

2019 was a turbulent year, which saw a significant rise in eco-activism. Greta Thunberg has inspired school strikes and protests around the world. Concentrating on consuming less and being more environmentally aware has never felt more urgent. So why not make sure your list of resolutions is focused on sustainability for this year? Take a No-Waste Pack Encourage the whole family to be prepared and to take a refillable water bottle, coffee cup, and canvas bag with them when they go out. Cutting down on disposable coffee cups, plastic water bottles and bags will dramatically reduce the amount you add to landfill each week. Skip Meat One Day a Week Research shows the drastic effects of raising cattle and other livestock on the environment. Raising meat consumes both water and land. Why not start dropping meat from your family’s diet one day each week? Start with a meat-free Monday and remember every meatless meal you consume helps the environment. Avoid Plastic Plastic is terrible for our environment as it needs a huge amount of petroleum to produce it. It also never breaks down and adds to the water problem the world is currently facing. Set a goal to avoid plastic as much as possible. Buy your food in glass jars and investigate local shops that offer refill services for your shopping basics. You can also try to buy from

companies that use environmentally-friendly packaging. Ask for change, call out shops and restaurants that use too much plastic on social media by tagging Greenpeace and use the hashtag #pointlessplastic. Install Rain Barrels Rain barrels are an easy way to save water. Head to a local home improvement store or surf online stores for a rain diverter. Install to gather the rainwater from your gutter system. You can use this water during the summer for your lawns, gardens or animals; it will also help reduce your water bill. Start a Compost Bin Composting is a great way to reduce the amount you throw away. Composters work better in the sun as they yield the best results at high temperatures. Ensure that the compost receives heat and water and make sure to rotate the contents in the compost bin occasionally. You can fill your compost bin with lawn clippings, brown paper bags, and organic food scraps. This will help you to reduce food waste and create nutrient-rich soil that you can use in your garden.

Avoid Fast Fashion Fast fashion is killing the planet. The resources needed to produce and dispose of all the clothing produced globally earns the fashion industry the title of the world’s number one pollutant. Start thinking about what you purchase. Can you buy second hand clothes or reduce the amount you are buying? Think about investing in a smaller capsule wardrobe, which contains interchangeable pieces instead of buying throwaway high fashion clothes. Buy Seasonal and Local Foods Consider your purchasing decisions around the food you buy for the family. Make it your new year’s resolution to only buy seasonal and local foods. If you can afford it, buy organic because fewer pollutants and pesticides are used in the production of organic food. Visit your local farmer’s market to buy soap, honey, and jewellery from the stallholders. Investigate the journey each food makes and buy goods with the shortest travel time. Do you really need asparagus or green beans from another continent?

Avoid Wet Wipes Wipes that are flushed away are responsible for clogging up our sewers. Even if you don’t flush them, they are another singular-use disposable that is filling up our landfills every day. If you use them to take makeup off, could you make reusable wipes from soft cotton squares that you simply wash and reuse?

If one girl protesting outside the Swedish parliament can start a global protest movement against climate change, we can all do our bit. Small actions undertaken by large numbers of people really can make a big difference.


Families Bedfordshire January/February 2020


The Importance of Imagination By Dr Neel Burton

Einstein held that imagination is more important than knowledge: “I am enough of the artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” It’s hard to disagree. Imagination is the highest form of thought, and almost divine in its reach. With enough imagination, we could identify and solve all of our problems. Most children begin to develop pretend play at around 15 months of age. By playing out scenarios and extending themselves beyond their limited experience, children seek to make sense of the world and find their place within it. This meaning-making is full of emotion — joy, excitement,

awe — and finds an echo in every subsequent act of creation. Despite its importance to the individual and society, our system of education leaves very little place for imagination. Our schools and universities and wider society are often forced to prioritise knowing over thinking, and equate thinking with reasoning, and reasoning with logic. This has done, and continues to do, untold harm. Instead of digging ourselves in deeper, we need to make more time and space for thinking, and we need to rehabilitate alternative forms of cognition such as imagination, inspiration, and emotion that can support, supplement, or supplant reason and return us to wholeness. In recent years, I’ve been trying to recover the bright and vivid imagination that I left behind in primary school. For that, I’ve been doing just three things, all of them very simple to explain: ✿ Being aware of the importance of imagination. ✿ Making time for sleep and idleness. ✿ Taking inspiration from the natural world. How might that translate to

you and your children? Don’t skimp on sleep. Don’t fill every hour of the day with scheduled activities. Make time for idleness, for daydreaming, and long walks in nature. Above all, don’t worry about ‘wasting time.’ While we are idling, in bed, in the bath, on the bus, our unconscious mind is busy assimilating and processing disparate pieces of information, and making all sorts of novel connections and projections. Time is a very strange thing, and not at all linear: sometimes, the best way of using it is to ‘waste’ it. Here are 12 tips for nurturing imagination in your children: 1. Allow for unscheduled down-time, even for ‘boredom.’ 2. Discourage passive TVs, tablets, and other electronics. 3. Encourage reading, make sure there are plenty of age-appropriate books around. 4. Encourage story-telling and writing. 5. Encourage pretend play, even if it gets messy! 6. Spend time in botanical gardens, zoos, art museums, science museums, natural history museums… 7. Spend a lot of time outdoors.

8. Travel to different places: forest, beach, mountains, abroad. 9. Encourage contact with different people and cultures. 10. Encourage thoughtprovoking questions, and ask some yourself. 11. Try not to impose preconceived notions, especially pre-conceived notions of what it means to be successful. 12. Allow your children to follow their enthusiasms, however eccentric, impractical, or disruptive they may seem. You never know where they may lead!

Dr Neel Burton is a leading psychiatrist and author of Hypersanity: Thinking Beyond Thinking, out now, priced £12.99. To find out more, visit www.neelburton.com

True Stories from Local Business Owners and Business Opportunities… The new year has begun and with all things new, comes the want and need for change. Many families are becoming self – employed to spend more time with their families or simply to do what they love and earn a living from it. Families Bedfordshire caught up with local business owners to share some insight on what it feels like to own your own business and with the added bonus of business opportunities to explore in 2020… Still Confused About Money? Chanel Pelosi, Mum of 2 shares her story... ‘I was confused about money until I discovered there was another way to achieve my dreams and life goals through multiple streams of income with my phone - anywhere and at any time. In 2016 I had given birth to my daughter, now 3 and, after my maternity leave, I had to resign due to relocating. With no family or friends nearby the cost of childcare and travel was far more than my wages. I found myself at home without a job or any income, and totally dependent on my partner. In 3 years, I felt nothing had changed. Joining Amey Finance opened doors to a better future for me and my family. It’s a long-term plan and it’s one that you can fit around your life. You can trade when you choose to and from wherever in the world you are; Or build your own team if you like residual income. One stream or two it’s totally up to you. Imagine yourself with more time to spend with your family, freedom from a boss, financial independence, or even taking a nice holiday, whatever your circumstances are - you can do this! www.familiesonline.co.uk

I have learnt that success lies outside of our comfort zone and we can all achieve it. No matter your age, gender, or if we have kids or no kids - there simply are no barriers when it comes to building a successful business in trading or team building. If you would like to become our next team member please contact me Chanel Pelosi – 07867 129826 or email chanelpelosi1@gmail.com. We are building generational wealth. My kids are my ‘Why’, what is yours?’ Des, Director of Amey Finance and Dad of 2 shares his story... ‘As a father of two and a full time teacher, I was tired of living paycheque to paycheque and was desperate for a way to have residual income. Learning to trade allowed me to learn a new skill that eventually was able to pay for my bills. It seemed like a no brainer to opt for the additional income stream in Network Marketing as I was simply helping others in my network to make a residual income too. As a driver of social mobility, it was a WIN WIN.’

Sally Whitear, Owner of Harmony at Home Nanny Agency, Bedfordshire shares her story... ‘I started my own business in the first half of this 2019. Following a lengthy career in childcare I wanted to continue to do something I was passionate about but also something that could offer me the flexibility I needed to suit my own family’s needs. Having worked closely with children and families for 20 years I decided opening the Bedfordshire branch of Harmony at Home Nanny Agency was the thing for me. As a qualified Early Years Teacher, I understand the importance of the relationship between a child and the adults who care for them. Owning Harmony at Home Nanny Agency allows me to continue to work with families, which I love, and matching the perfect nanny with just the right family gives me the satisfaction that I am still making a difference to children’s lives’.

email: editor@familiesbedfordshire.co.uk Tel: 07824 377175

Bedfordshire 11


Short Break Ideas for 2020 Short breaks are becoming increasingly popular with families in the UK. Budget airlines, busier lives, and the desire to see lots of different places in a shorter amount of time are just some of the reasons why families are opting for them. Short breaks can also be good for your mental health. Psychologists claim that people who take them are much happier than people who take long holidays. This is because people’s enjoyment and enthusiasm for their destination may start to wane after more than a week away.

Adventure Awaits Taking a break to try a new sport or have an outdoor adventure will be popular in 2020. Whether it’s spending the weekend in a cosy cottage in North Wales to go on the world’s fastest zip wire (www.zipworld. co.uk) or exploring the stunning scenery of the Pyrenees. The Adventure Creators (www.adventurecreators.co.uk) are a small, friendly tour operator that specialises in multi-activity holidays in this mountainous

By Claire Winter

Don’t forget to let us know your favourite short break destinations on our Facebook page or on Instagram.

area. Activities include canyoning, rock climbing, mountain biking, river rafting, and high rope adventures. An in-situ holiday manager is on hand throughout your stay to answer any questions and ensure everything runs smoothly, as well as to give you recommendations for the best family-friendly restaurants in the area. Holidays are available MaySeptember.

Unusual European City Breaks Reykjavik is a perfect place to visit with a family because it is small in size and easy to explore, with plenty of colourful buildings, interesting food and cosy cafes in which to enjoy coffee and cake. You can take day trips to explore the stunning waterfalls and hot springs of the Icelandic landscape. Or why

not visit Bari in Italy? With its host of historic buildings and winding streets, it’s fun, noisy and perfect for families that like to wander and soak up the sunshine. There are lovely beaches nearby and you can also enjoy the regular opera and ballet performances at the recently restored Teatro Petruzzelli.

Eco-Friendly Stays With awareness growing of the effect of travel on the environment, think about travelling by train, which is much greener. Amsterdam, Bruges, Bordeaux, Lyon, Strasbourg and Cologne can all be reached by rail in under 6 hours from London. Then there are eco-friendly destinations such

Theme Park Fun Copenhagen has loads of fun things to do for families and is just a two-hour flight away. It’s also home to not one, but two amusement parks. Bakken, with its 82 year old wooden rollercoaster, is just ten minutes’ drive north of the city and is the world’s oldest amusement park, dating back to 1583. Tivoli Gardens consists of 15 acres packed with pagodas, roller coasters, and fairground rides, including

as Slovenia (www.slovenia.info/en) where 54% of the land is under protection. It also has beautiful coastal towns to explore and activities like white water rafting and hiking to try. Half of the country is covered in forest, so it is really one of the greenest countries in the world.

the world’s tallest carousel. You could also check out Efteling: World of Wonders in Holland (www.efteling.com/en). It’s about 1.5 hours from Amsterdam and has a fun, fantasy, storybook setting and a variety of novel accommodation options. You can immerse yourself in the enchanted forest, where there are carousels and fun rides for the younger children, while thrill seekers can battle dragons on the rollercoasters.

Waterside Breaks Beautiful Scotland is a fantastic destination all year round. The country is celebrating a year of Coasts & Waters in 2020 so there’s never been a better time to explore its beautiful rivers, lochs and coastline. You can also enjoy fantastic events as part of the celebrations, such as the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival and Scotland’s Shores at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which


Families Bedfordshire January/February 2020

will feature classic film screenings and a special outdoor coastal experience. More information at www.visitscotland.com/about/themedyears/coasts-waters/. Also check out www.watersidebreaks.com which has a wealth of waterside accommodation options from riverside cottages in the Norfolk Broads, to luxury lakeside lodges in the Cotswolds to lovely seaside holiday homes.



SHOWS The Quarry Theatre – www.quarrytheatre.org.uk Morgan & West: Unbelievable Science Morgan & West with Makin Productions present captivating chemistry, phenomenal physics, and bonkers biology in this fun for all the family science extravaganza! Magicians, time travellers and all-round spiffing chaps Morgan & West have a secret past – they are genuine, bona fide, legitimately qualified scientists, and now are bring their love of enlightenment to the stage! Expect explosive thrills, chemical spills and a risk assessment that gives their stage manager chills, all backed up by the daring duo’s trademark wit, charm and detailed knowledge of the scientific method. Leave your lab coats at the door it’s time for Unbelievable Science! On TV, Morgan & West have fooled Penn & Teller (Fool Us ITV 1), competed to be the Next Great Magician (ITV 1), and even attempted to escape The Slammer (CBBC). Please note: Morgan & West take full responsibility for any horizons broadened, passions enflamed or minds blown during the course of the show. For all ages. Rumpelstiltskin & The Snail of Destiny Poor Polly Buckwheat, the Miller’s daughter, is in a bit of a pickle! If she doesn’t turn a roomful of straw into gold by morning, the greedy King will turn a bit nasty. But should she accept the kind help of an eccentric dwarf

who mysteriously appears in her prison cell? Of all the fairy tale characters, Rumpelstiltskin has got to be the most mixed up. He is helpful yet demanding; secretive yet nosy; short yet owning a name as long as his beard. Not surprisingly, this story of transformation will make you laugh and gasp at the same time! Using its trademark puppets, music, storytelling and transforming sets, Widdershins aims to create gold on stage with this new version of the Grimm’s classic tale. Presented by the Theatre of Widdershins on Saturday 22nd February, 11am & 2pm. Tickets are £10 (£8.00 concessions) and suitable for ages 3yrs+ The Place Bedford Suitcase Shakespeare: Macbeth: Romeo & Juliet Muddled up with Macbeth? Romeo running rings around you? In Suitcase Shakespeare two actors bring to life an entire Shakespeare play using only what's in their suitcases! Original songs, plenty of humour and, of course, many, many hats. All of this in only 45 minutes on Tuesday, 18th February – Macbeth will be showing at 11 am, Romeo and Juliet at 2pm! Ideal for audiences aged 6 to 106! http://www.theplacebedford.org.uk/ Bedford Corn Exchange Philharmonia Family Concert: Olympic Spirit Saturday 15 February, 2pm Faster, higher, stronger – explore the colourful

world of a symphony orchestra in our friendly afternoon show that welcomes all the family to be a part of the Philharmonia’s jam-packed season at Bedford Corn Exchange! Join the exciting concert celebrating the Olympic spirit – the perfect way to get inspired for Tokyo 2020. Cheer for the underdog, feel the thrill of a race, and share in the joy of triumph over adversity as you hear musical favourites from film and television, as well as timeless classics for symphony orchestra. Highlights include Chariots of Fire, The Flight of the Bumblebee, In the Hall of the Mountain King, and many more. Plus – stay on at the end and you’ll get to meet the musicians, conductor and presenter. Adults: £16.50, £13.50, £9.50 Under 18s: £8.50, £5.50. For ticket info: https://www.philharmonia.co.uk/ concerts/2622 Peppa Pig’s Live Show at The Grove Theatre! Peppa Pig is excited to be going on a special day out with George, Mummy Pig and Daddy Pig - it’s going to be her best day ever! Get ready for a road-trip full of fun adventures. From castles to caves, dragons to dinosaurs and ice-creams to muddy puddles – there is something for all of the family and their friends to enjoy, including Miss Rabbit, Mr Bull, Suzy Sheep, Gerald Giraffe and more! Prepare for the brand new Peppa Pig live show packed full of songs, games and laughter, it really is the best day ever for Peppa Pig fans! www.grovetheatre.co.uk


Wanda is offering 2 families a chance to win a water jar each, each worth £69.95 (Includes of a Water Jar filter, base, lid and tap) All you need to do is send us the right answer… Bamboo can grow up to ___ centimetres per day. A) 50 centimetres B) 100 centimetres C) 500 centimetres For more information about the Wanda bamboo charcoal water filters see page 5 and visit their website (livewanda.com) for a clue to the answer. Entry deadline: Monday, 18 February 2020 There are 3 Family tickets (1 ticket = 2 adults and 2 children) to WIN to the Model Railway Exhibition and return rail travel on the Marston Vale CRP Line from Bedford. Just answer the following question to stand a chance at winning… What size adult group travels for a third off on the Marston Vale Line with GroupSave? a) 2- 4 b) 5- 10 c) 3 -9 Entry deadline: Saturday, 1st February 2020 See news page 5 for clue.




WIN 2 sets of books – ‘That's My Willy' & 'What's Down There?' About boy and girl bodies for kids by Alex Waldron (worth £16.98 as a set or £7.99 each). 2 Families stand a chance at WINNING the Fred and Woody series. To enter answer the following question: Who published the Fred and Woody Series? a) Rogan Books b) Ruby Tuesday Books c) Penguin Books For more information about the kid’s books ‘That’s My Willy’ and ‘What’s Down There?’ see page 5 and visit their website (https:// bit.ly/2M5IUzw) for a clue to the answer. Entry deadline: Monday, 18th February 2020.

WIN! Madegood is giving TWO lucky winners each TWO boxes of each flavour! To be in with a chance of winning, simply tell us: Which flavour does MadeGood bars come in? a) Mango Apple b) White Chocolate c) Chocolate Banana Get your entries in now! See page 4 for a clue to the answer. Competition closes Monday, 18th February 2020.

WIN a Family of 4 ticket (2 adults, 2 children) to see Peppa Pig’s Live Show on the 8th February 2020 -10am show! To enter answer the following question: Peppa Pig’s Live show will be at which theatre in Bedfordshire? a) The Place Theatre Bedford b) The Quarry Theatre c) Grove Theatre Find a clue to the answer on this page. Entry deadline: Friday, 31st January 2020

HOW TO ENTER – Send answers to editor@familiesbedfordshire.co.uk with your name and contact number. PLEASE NOTE: ✹ Add competition name in heading of subject box when you email your answer across ✹ T&C’s apply ✹ All competition prizes are not exchangeable for cash prize and can’t be re – sold ✹ No entries will be accepted after the deadline date ✹ Winners will be contacted by phone call by Michéllin – Families Bedfordshire Magazine Editor ✹ We normally do a shout out to winners over Social Media and in the following edition, please do let us know if you would prefer us not to include your name. email: editor@familiesbedfordshire.co.uk Tel: 07824 377175

Bedfordshire 13

What’s on Jan – 22 Mar Dreams and Nightmares Free entry. Explore dreams and nightmares in art with an exhibition of incredible artworks drawn from the internationally renowned Cecil Higgins Art Gallery Collection. www.thehigginsbedford.org.uk Jan – Sat 1 Feb An exhibition about cyber security 9.30 am. Exhibition sponsored by McAfee, has been upgraded with improved interactive and audio experiences. Drawing a direct link with the data processing that happened in Block C during WW2 and the ever-evolving cyber threat, the display will teach visitors how to safely navigate cyberspace. https://bletchleypark.org.uk/ Wed 8 Jan – Wed 1 Apr Baby Bonding Sessions There are 2 sessions: -10am will be for babies aged 8 weeks onwards - 11am will be for babies from 20 weeks old until walking. Bonding sessions include a great mix of baby massage, baby yoga and some story massage elements and are baby led and informal. See website for cost. www.theplacebedford.org.uk Sun 19 Jan Warm-up for the Big Garden Birdwatch at RSPB The Lodge nature reserve, Sandy 11am – 3pm. The Lodge nature reserve is one of the best places in the county to visit for attractive natural landscapes and wildlife friendly gardens. A great place to bring kids with four nature trails to choose from. Children can


enjoy the Wild Play Trail with opportunities to get close to nature and play. *See page 3 for more information. www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch Sun 19 Jan and Sun 16 Feb

Antiques & Vintage Fair 9.30am - 4pm. Packed with 45+ stalls of just about every type of antique you can think of including silver, jewellery of all types, books, small furniture, pictures, advertising, china and tons of vintage. Ample parking and a superb cafe selling hot and cold food all day. Cost: £2 & children free for children U16 accompanied by an adult. www.madisonevents.co.uk

Fri 31 Jan

Thu 13 Feb

Dig! For you and your baby. Sit within a garden and meet the puppet mini bugs, bird and butterflies, see the sun rise and set and experience the different weather over a day in the life of a garden. Share the music, singing and story - and then stay to play amongst the plants! The show is at Luton Central Library. Age Guidance: 6 months 2 years. For details on cost visit website. www.culturetrust.com

Kaleidoscope Inspired by research into how a baby’s sense of sight develops & how they instinctively begin to categorise colour. Kaleidoscope is brought back to life for you and your baby. Ages 6-18 mnths. 25-minute show designed to be an intimate and interactive experience. www.theplacebedford.org.uk Sat 15 Feb

Sun 9 Feb

Mon 20 Jan - Thu 19 Mar British Wildlife Photography Awards Exhibition 10am - 4pm Daily A celebration of British wildlife in 2019. Celebrate its 10th Anniversary in helping raise awareness about our coast, its amazing biodiversity and the threats it is facing. Free Entry, donations welcomed www.culturetrust.com Sat 25 Jan

Business Opportunity

Business opportunity Building Generational Wealth 2pm. Includes: Multiple streams of income seminar in Luton. Call/ email to book your free seat. Limited spaces available. 07867 129826. chanelpelosi1@gmail.com For more info see page 5 – Amey Finance and page 11 – ‘Still confused about money’.

Philharmonia Family Concert: Olympic Spirit 2pm at the Bedford Corn Exchange. Highlights include Chariots of Fire, The Flight of the Bumblebee, In the Hall of the Mountain King, and many more. Plus – stay on at the end and you’ll get to meet the musicians, conductor and presenter. https://www.philharmonia. co.uk/concerts/2622

Public tree planting. 11 am. Free. Donations welcome. Help the Forest Centre plant 5 million trees Be a part of the creation of your community forest, and plant trees at Forest Centre’s newest woodland at Wilstead, near Wixams. Suitable for all ages. No parking on site. The forest centre asks that everyone either parks at the Forest Centre and takes the free shuttle buses to/from site, or walks up from Cranfield. Dress for the weather – wellies may be needed. All tools and training will be provided. Location: Forest Centre, Marston Moretaine, MK430PS For more info call 01234 767037 or visit www.marstonvale.org/Event/ public-tree-planting-feb-2020

Sat 15 Feb and Sun 16 Feb Milton Keynes Model Rail Exhibition Sat – 10am – 5pm. Sun - 10 am – 4.30pm. Free vintage Routemaster bus every 30 mins to the exhibition. plus 30+ fantastic working model railway layouts. www.mkmrs.org.uk/ exhibitions or 07870 213845

Primary Home Tuition



Game Play is back to The Place! We are once again throwing our doors open for a weekend dedicated to games and the people who play them, featuring retro consoles, live action Mario Kart tracks, exciting tabletop games and shows that blur the lines between playing and performing including The Unbuilt Room and Lamplighters. This year time around we are also inviting professional game makers to share tricks and tips about creating your own game! The Unbuilt Room is a performance-game where small groups of players wander through rooms in a collaborative act of memory to create imagined, immersive theatre, exploring how places create memories and how memories create places. Lamplighters is part theatre, part game, part improv comedy. Neil Connolly, your Spymaster, has a mystery to solve but he can’t do it alone. He needs his spy network. That’s where you come in. Ideal for those who leap from their seat at the chance to be a spy and those who want to watch from a safe distance.

Weekend Passes £40 adults, £35 students, £28 children. Individual day and event tickets available. See website for further ticket details: www.theplacebedford.org.uk/tickets or call the box office on 01234 354321 14

www.thetutortrain.com E: hello@thetutortrain.com T: 0750 0862722 @thetutortrain

Families Bedfordshire January/February 2020

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CMYK / .eps

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Mon 17 – Wed 19 Feb

Sat 15 – Fri 21 Feb Luton’s Full House Feb Fest Feb Fest is an arts event for children and young people jam-packed with stuff to do and things to see in venues across Luton, including theatre shows, drama, dance and puppetry workshops, creative activities and lots more. For more info on activities and shows’ timings and locations visit https://fullhouse.org.uk/ Sat 15 – Sun 23 Feb Get hands on with History at Wrest Park 11am – 3pm. Suitable for children. Discover what life was like upstairs and downstairs for lords, ladies and the people who served them. Booking required. www.english-heritage.org.uk Sat 15 Feb Jumble Sale 2pm start. High quality goods including clothes for all, shoes, handbags, household linens toys, lots of books, Bric-abrac, white elephant etcetera. Free parking in the playing field carpark. Refreshments available. Cost: 50p. The Village Hall, PAVENHAM, Bedford, MK43 7PH Sun 16 Feb 10th Annual Shuttleworth Collection Scale Model Exhibition 10am – 4pm. Held at Old Warden Aerodrome. Includes modelling competition, trade stands and refreshments. Cost: Children free up to age of 16. Check website for further cost. www.shuttleworth.org Mon 17 Feb – Fri 21 Feb

Feb Half Term

Feb Fest: Imagination Station 11am – 3pm. Free for young people of all ages & aimed at families. Location: The Hat Factory Arts Centre. Activities include: arts and crafts, face-painting, storytelling, music and more! https://www.culturetrust.com/ Mon 17 Feb

Feb Half Term

FebFest: Muckers Ages 7+. Join Paloma on a magnetic, captivating, and mucky journey. Muckers is a quest for selfacceptance, with original songs and quite a lot of Spanish. Side-splitting and poignant in equal measure, it brings us face-to-face with the curious invisible forces which are acting upon us when we don’t even know it. Showing at The Hat Factory Art Centre. www.culturetrust.com www.familiesonline.co.uk

Feb Half Term

Half Term Holiday Theatre Club 10am – 4pm. Ages 6 – 14. Themed to tie-in with this year’s Grove Production Project ‘The Sound of Music’, a 3-day workshop filled with activities such as using props, exploring costumes, playing characters, drama, improvisation and dance. You can even pick up some handy tips in preparation for the GPP audition on 26th April! *Please wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring a packed lunch with bottled water to drink. www.grovetheatre.co.uk Mon 17 Feb – Fri 21

Feb Half Term

Feb Multi – Active Holiday Course Ages 3-13 yrs. 9am – 4pm with extended hours available. Locations vary in Bedfordshire. Holiday packs include: Multi Activity day, Adventure Expedition, Superhero Academy, The Science Academy and more. www.multi-active.co.uk Wed 19 Feb

Feb Half Term

Trunk Tales 2.30 – 3.30pm. Ages 4+ Free Event. Booking Required. Presented by Tell Tales Hearts. Join a magical story teller who shares tales of boastful toads; magical fish and fearsome beasts of the wild woods. Using puppetry and the contents of her magical trunk she will create Arabic seas; epic mountains; fields of turnips and the tallest trees. Houghton Regis Library, LU5 5ES https://fullhouse.org.uk/ 20 Feb

Feb Half Term

Little Darling 11.30am & 2.30pm Magical Memories of Peter Pan. Join the littlest of the Darling children as he tries to make sense of his magical childhood and the memory of the boy who never did grow up, Peter Pan. A whimsical and fun adventure story for small people with big imaginations. Ages 4+ but suitable for all. https://fullhouse.org.uk/ Sun 23 Feb P.B’s Antiques & Collectors Fair 9.30am-3.30pm. Variety of stall holders including pottery, glass, pictures and jewellery from all eras. Toys, linens, curios and more. Cafe, disabled access and easy 'Don't miss an issue! Download the latest magazine and our back catalogue at issuu: www.issuu.com

What’s on

parking.Parkside Hall, Woburn Street, Ampthill, MK45 2HX

Farms to visit Mead Open Farm Opening hours: 10 am – 6pm. Indoor and outdoor play, animal fun. Day nursery and day camps. Huge indoor play – all weather fun. Tasty treats at Grain Store Kitchen. https://www. meadopenfarm.co.uk/

Drama classes at Bedford School of Performing Arts. Join Big Bold Youth this Winter for a FREE trial of their popular weekly drama classes. From just £5.25 per week and 50% off for siblings, book online at www.bsopa.co.uk, call us on 01234 815 744 or email enquiries@bsopa.co.uk

Green Dragon Eco Farm Opening hours Vary. Closed during January. Visit in February. Eco Centre Café – open during school holidays. Farm animals, wild birds and more. Farm, Nature and Eco trail, wildlife zone, walled garden and orchard. Playtime – All weather play year round for under 8 yr olds. Soft play, messy and play barn. https:// greendragonecofarm. co.uk/ Herrings Green Farm Open 7 days a week. 10am to 5pm. Over 200 birds on display. Children under 3 are free. Handle different species of owls, pat a pet, experience flying displays, horses, groom ponies/ donkeys and more. http:// birdsofpreycentre. co.uk/


Story time every Monday at Kiosk at the Park 9.30am. Milk and biscuits, juice boxes, breast feeding and nappy changing facilities. http://kiosk. attheparkbedford. co.uk/

Sat 8 & Sun 9 February www.grovetheatre.co.uk 01582 60 20 80 Peppa Pig © Astley Baker Davies Ltd / Entertainment One UK Ltd 2003


’S L E TO ! G

TOKYO 2020

TOKYO 2020 TOKYO 2020

TOKYO 2020

To be included in the March/April issue, email us by 1 February.

FASTER, HIGHER, STRONGER – explore the colourful world of a symphony orchestra in our friendly afternoon show for all the family! Join us for an exciting concert celebrating Olympic spirit ahead of Tokyo 2020, with classics including Chariots of Fire and Flight of the Bumblebee.. • Recommended age 5+ • Running Time: 1 hr, no interval • Adults £16.50; £13.50; £9.50 • Under 18s £8.50; £5.50 TICKET INFO: philharmonia.co.uk Bedfordshire 15

Don’t miss our March/April issue, to be included email: editor@familiesbedfordshire.co.uk





I believe in the value of knowledge Open Morning Wednesday 4th March, 10am Telephone: 01234 361918 | www.bedfordgirlsschool.co.uk

Bedford Girls’ School is part of The Harpur Trust

Families Bedfordshire is part of Families Print Ltd, a franchise company. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. Families ® is a registered trademark of LCMB Ltd, Remenham House, Regatta Place, Marlow Road, Bourne End, Bucks SL8 5TD. The contents of Families Bedfordshire are fully protected by copyright and none of the editorial or photographic matter may be reproduced in any form without prior consent of Families Bedfordshire. Every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, but the franchise company, Families Print Ltd, Families Bedfordshire and Lifecycle Marketing cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents, or any consequence thereof.

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