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The essential guide for a great family summer Tuition Plus

'Helping students achieve their true potential'

Professional Tutoring Literacy & Numeracy          

Tel: 07592 556 452 Email:

Issue 52 July/August 2019


me to MiniBr co u el



An interactive mini city where children are in charge!


Funded by:

Contents IN THIS ISSUE‌ 4



Clubs, classes and camps


A summer full of fun!


Top parental stresses


New parent money survival guide


Does your toddler have difficulty sharing?


Keep learning alive this summer


Competition time!


Summer workshops and camps


What’s on

Birmingham Welcome to an action-packed summer issue of Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton ColdďŹ eld Magazine. Yet another school year has own by, and the Summer Holidays are once again almost upon us. Time to start planning how to ďŹ ll those lovely long 6 weeks! Families Birmingham prides itself on bringing - right to your home - ideas for the best things to do and the most interesting places to go in our region and beyond. With active holiday camps, festivals, sporting tournaments, museum exhibitions, fabulous entertainment, and activities in the great outdoors, we really are spoilt for choice.




Have a great summer and see you again in September – ready for our Back-to-School issue.

Suzanne Brown Editor: Suzanne Brown Design: Lauren Brown Designs Print: Warners Midlands PLC, Manor Lane, Bourne, Lincs, PE10 9PH Š Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton ColdďŹ eld, July 2019

Š Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton ColdďŹ eld magazine 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 Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton ColdďŹ eld are fully protected by copyright and none of the editorial or photographic matter may be reproduced in any form without prior consent of Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton ColdďŹ eld magazine. Every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, but Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton ColdďŹ eld magazine, our distributors, the franchise company, Families Print Ltd 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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Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton ColdďŹ eld 3


To advertise call: 07807 352087

Get 40% off Birmingham Bears tickets FREE family entertainment. Live music. Fast-paced cricket action. And under 16s go FREE! Vitality Blast is back. Birmingham Bears will once again host seven Twenty20 games at Edgbaston this summer. All home games will take place during the school holidays in 2019 and will offer a fun, safe and affordable family day out this July and August. And you can get tickets for only £12 (that’s a saving of 40% compared to the usual advance price) when you use the promo code VISIT2019 online. Under 16s, meanwhile, go FREE to all games. On a Bears matchday, there will be nearly 2 hours of great FREE kid-friendly activities available in their Kids Zone – including inflatables, interactive activities, face painting and giveaways. There will also be a chance to meet Hugh Bear – and all of this is included with your matchday ticket! Fixtures in 2019 - Sunday 21 July, 2.30pm start; Wednesday 24 July 7pm start; Friday 9 August, 7pm start; Sunday 11 August, 2.30pm start; Friday 23 August, 7pm start; Sunday 25 August, 2.30pm start; Friday 30 August, 6.30pm start. Tickets: Save 40% on tickets. Visit and use promo code “VISIT2019” online at checkout. Tickets must be purchased in advance of the day of the fixture.

The end of supermum? Eight in ten mums have shunned the idea of being a supermum – and feel they are ‘good enough’ instead, a recent study by OnePoll has found. 2,000 mums of children aged 0-18 have found that rather than aiming for perfection, most believe they are doing OK when it comes to raising happy and healthy children. Managing to produce a cake on time for their child’s birthday is among the things mums believe show that they are doing a ‘good enough’ job, as well as serving up vegetables for their child at mealtimes, even if they only eat a couple of forkfuls. Researchers found telling your child you love them at least once a day is the top sign mums believe means they are doing well enough.

Baby & Children's Nearly New Sale Event, Kings Heath Grab a bargain at a local Nearly New Sale coming up in September 1000s of nearly new quality toys, clothes and equipment, designer and high street brands at bargain prices for ages 0-12 years.



Join us as we celebrate our 40th Anniversary by holding your own celebration! Get your free fundraising pack today: T: 0121 752 8779

4 Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield

Registered Charity No. 503456

Pregnancy and maternity items at a fraction of high street prices! TO BOOK A TABLE: FACEBOOK EVENT: KINGS HEATH ̣ Baby & Children's Nearly New Sale 0-12Y • Saturday 28th September, 2.00 – 4.00pm • All Saints Centre, 2 Vicarage Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7RA • Entry: Adults £1; Kids FREE @funyardevents



Digital isolation taking hold of children

Free childcare to attend smear tests Mothers across the UK are being offered an hour’s free childcare so they can attend a smear test., which claims to be the largest platform for parents and childcare providers in the UK has launched the initiative to encourage more women to attend a smear test to determine whether they are at risk of cervical cancer, which in 99.8% of cases is preventable with early treatment Every year in the UK, around 3,000 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer. In the UK, women are invited by the NHS to get a cervical screening from the age of 25 to 64. However, figures show the take-up of testing of women is at a 20-year low. While the test usually takes just five minutes, a free hour of childcare is being offered to allow for waiting times and travel.

There has been a large increase in the number of children ages 9 to 16 who say they feel lonely, according to a report from CHILDWISE, an independent market research agency specialising in children and young people. The new data shows that three in five children respond in the affirmative when asked if they ‘ever feel lonely.’ This is a 7% increase on last year. Girls are much more likely than boys to feel this way, with four out of five older teenage girls age 15-16 reporting ever feeling lonely, including more than a third who admit to often feeling this way. This comes on top of research by Childline which reported a 14% rise in the number of children contacting the charity about loneliness. Many children reported that watching their friends socialise without them on social media made them feel isolated. The youngest person to call was just 10 years old.

Mothers can take up this offer by visiting:

Drive for more men in childcare More men are to be encouraged into careers in nurseries and early years’ settings, in a new project to provide more diverse role models for children before they start school. With men making up just 3% of early years staff in England, the project aims to break down the barriers that prevent men entering careers in children’s early education, including the myth that men are less suited to caring roles. The project will be run by the Fatherhood Institute, and will spearhead an innovative recruitment drive that highlights the positive roles men can play in the crucial first years of a child’s education. It will provide practical resources like myth busters, ‘how-to’ guides and online content to support male recruitment into the profession, as well as online peer support for men already working in the sector.

Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield 5


To advertise email:

S4 Swim School S4 Swim School has been providing the service of swimming lessons to thousands of children for over a decade. Hundreds of S4 swimmers have progressed to County, Regional and National level competitions and beyond, thanks to the excellent pathways between S4 and other aquatic organisations (swimming, triathlon, water polo and synchro clubs). Member reviews: “Fantastic lessons! Can't recommend them enough. My daughter loves it and they have been fab with my youngest who has only just started!” (Facebook) “My daughters took part in the intensive course and absolutely loved it. Was really pleased at the progress they made in such a short time, we have now signed up to regular classes and can't wait to see the progress they will make.” (Facebook) “Fantastic swimming school, the instructors are brilliant with young children, very positive and encouraging. Would definitely recommend.” (Facebook) For more on the S4 philosophy visit

Classical music concerts for babies and toddlers Inspire your baby or toddler with music ranging from Bach to Barber, or Chopin to Shostakovich. Inspire your baby or toddler with music ranging from Bach to Barber, or Chopin to Shostakovich. Bach to Baby continue their popular 2019 concert series across the West Midlands enabling babies and their grown-ups to revel in many classical cultural delights together. “As a mother and pianist I see the awe and wonder in babies and young children when they hear classical instruments played by outstanding musicians for the first time at our concerts, and the joy families get from sharing great live music together.” Miaomiao Yu, Founder - Bach to Baby. So go along - relax and enjoy the music with your tot without tuts and glares from other concert-goers when baby cries or needs a feed. CONCERT DATES: Holy Trinity Parish Church, B72 1TF Saturdays 27 July, 24 August: 11am Solihull Methodist Church, B91 1LG Saturdays 20 July, 10 August: 11am Friends Meeting House, Bournville, B30 1JT Wednesday 21st August: 11am

Playday is the national day for play in the UK, and will take place this year on Wednesday 7 August. Playday is an annual celebration of children's play with thousands of children and families playing outside at events across the UK. It is an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of children's play and the need for quality play opportunities every day of the year. From small-scale community events to thousands of children taking part in events organised in parks and open spaces, Playday is celebrated by each community in a way that suits them.

Image by Alejandro Tamagno


6 Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield

Celebrate play on Playday UK!

As well as a celebration of children’s right to play, Playday is a campaign that highlights the importance of play in children’s lives. You can hold and register your own Playday event or find one close to you by visiting



Help for choosing a family dog If you are considering adding a dog to your family, this is an important decision which is best not made on a whim.

Government to help parents choose apps The Government has announced plans to help parents embrace the benefits of technology for their children. Announcing the plans, the Education Secretary, Damian Hinds said “No parent has all of the answers. Our children are growing up in a constantly changing world and it is hard to keep up.” “Screens can be an easy distraction for children, but harnessing the power of technology to support early communication and development means that we have another tool in our arsenal to help young kids develop those skills.” The government’s plan is to provide reliable information about which educational apps for phones or tablets are the best or most effective. This will help parents choose from the hundreds available on the market.

Generally, children and dogs from great bonds and friendships and dogs can offer the opportunity for children to learn great life skills such as responsibility and compassion. But all dogs are individuals. The breed of the dog is perhaps the single most important factor you can take into account, when deciding what dog is right for your family. To help families with this decision a Dog Breeder Decider tool has been created by pet food manufacturer Webbox. The tool matches a dog breed with your family by analysing your family’s lifestyle and preferences against the personality traits, behaviours and requirements of all dog breeds.

The Government will be appointing a new advisory panel to assess existing apps and produce tips and guidance for all parents to help them make informed decisions about which to choose for their children.

Do you worry about your child’s ability to pass exams? When my eldest daughter was about 6, I developed real concerns about her learning in Maths and English.

Miralee Askew,

Former Primary Headteacher

Being an experienced teacher certainly had its benefits but tutoring your own child can be fraught! I felt she needed more expert help, so I researched my options and eventually found perfect answers from a creative Oxford professor I employed to help me and my child. Visit to find out how tutoring sessions in Oxford helped my daughter gain a place at a top school in Birmingham (that she aimed for without pressure) and how I can help your child in a similar way! Also, claim a FREE no-obligation tuition session for your child.

Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield 7

Clubs, Classes & Camps MASQUERADE MUSICAL THEATRE Youth Theatre Group, Age 5+ Garretts Green Lane, Sheldon, B26 2SA Telephone: 0121 722 3761

Free taster sessions for every family at our award-winning music classes at The Bournville Hub, 27 Sycamore Road, B302AB (Mondays & Fridays). Small, friendly, age-specific classes offer interactive fun, helping little ones find their own voice. Jolly Babies is from birth-12 months. Babies love stroking, watching, listening, bouncing, dancing & rocking. 1-3 year olds sing about their world in themed Music with Mummy classes while 3-5's learn through musical narrative at Three Four Time. After school clubs for Reception & Year One. Original & familiar songs, playing instruments, movement & listening - little ones love it! Contact 07815 759035 @MusicWithMummy WestMidlands

To advertise call: 07807 352087 Solihuull YYoounng Dancers

DUBARRIE SCHOOL OF DANCE Ballet, Tap and Jazz age 2 ½ + Branches in Yardley and Solihull Telephone: 0121 448 0055

Ballett & T Ta ap p Lessons Classes from agge 2 ½ + Tel: Kate on 077722 732678

Will your child be ready for their 11 Plus in September 2019? Thousands of year 5 children are preparing to sit their 11 plus exams in September 2019, in the hope of achieving a grammar school place. Below are some ways that can help increase your child’s chances of 11 plus success. 1. Speak with your child about what to expect on the day of their 11 plus exam. Fear of the unknown can cause unnecessary nerves. 2. Review the familiarisation sheets provided by grammar schools in Birmingham, Walsall and Wolverhampton. 3. Sit 11 Plus Mock Exams to help your child become familiar with examination conditions and the format of CEM style 11 plus tests. 4. Consider an 11 Plus Intensive Course in the weeks leading up to the 11 Plus to give your child a final performance boost. For Intensive Courses visit: For 11 Plus Mock Exams visit:

S4 SWIM SCHOOL S4 Swim School offer small size grouped swimming lessons and coaching sessions to children and adults at many great pool venues across the West Midlands. Swim Intensive courses also run over the holiday periods, designed to give your child a real boost and fast track swimming development. Member benefits: • Small group sizes, max of 5/7 pupils • Individual swimmer achievements records • Personalised membership card with access to a member’s area • Downloadable term plans • On-going swimmer assessments • DBS checked experienced instructors • Fast progression through groups Visit for more information and to secure a place with S4 Swim School.

ADVERTISE IN OUR NEXT ISSUE! Call Suzanne on 07807 352087

8 Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield

Clubs, Classes & Camps


Plan ahead for September By Andrew Campbell The summer holidays may seem long but they will soon be over. So it’s not too early to start thinking about what after school classes and clubs and weekend activities you may want to book for your child in September. This is particularly important if you have a child who wants to undertake a number of activities or classes or if you have multiple children. It’s essential to work out a schedule whereby all the activities ďŹ t together neatly and you are not left rushing from place to place with too little time to spare Planning ahead gives you time to research all the options thoroughly, talk to providers and book into free trials and taster classes that are scheduled early in September, before the term gets into full swing. Testing out your child’s interest in a new activity by taking advantage of free trials and taster classes is deďŹ nitely recommended if you want to avoid a situation where you pay for an activity in which your child swiftly loses interest. Without prior planning, it’s easy to ďŹ nd yourself scrabbling around in a hurry at exactly the time

JUMP IN, HAVE FUN AND LEARN TO SWIM WITH DIAMOND SWIM ACADEMY! Diamond Swim Academy runs a Swim England learn to swim programme for children aged 2.5 years upwards: from the very beginners learning to swim right up to stage 10 and ready for club swimming. Our lessons have small classes with only 6 per class and ten minute gaps to allow you to communicate with teachers and to ensure they swim for the 30 minutes. We run from 3 venues; Archbishop Ilsley, Acocks Green Moseley Road Baths, Balsall Common The Blue Coat School, Harbone. E:info@diamondswim M: 07756 088617 M: 07706 485091

when you are also preparing for your child to go back to school. There’s the chance you’ll miss out on something suitable too, as popular classes ďŹ ll up quickly. It’s also easier to get a session time that suits your family’s schedule if you are ready to book early, as well as being able to avoid travelling further to get exactly what you want. If you want to book your child into an activity with friends, there’s likely to be some coordination involved with their parents, so pre-planning is beneďŹ cial. Last but not least, you may ďŹ nd you can save money by taking advantage of ‘early bird’ booking discounts offered by many activity providers.

Action packed summer camps As the countdown to the end of the summer term begins you may be looking for ideas to make sure your children have a 6 weeks holiday full of fun. That’s where Aspire Sports comes in! Join them at their Ofsted registered Active Camps this summer. Aspire provide fantastic discount offers, a loyalty scheme and accept childcare vouchers. They also have Learn to Ride sessions running in Sutton ColdďŹ eld, Solihull and Walsall during the summer holidays! For more information about Active Camps or Learn to Ride, visit or call 0121 663 1979.

Action-packed childcare this






Alderbrook School

Monday 22nd July - Friday 30th August

   Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School

Monday 22nd July - Friday 30th August


Queen Mary’s Grammar School

Wednesday 17th July - Friday 30th August

Open from 8am-6pm



Book before 5pm on Friday 5th July


For more info visit or call 0121 663 1979 Xtra Time available up to 6pm. See website for full details. Terms and conditions apply.

Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton ColdďŹ eld 9

Family Days Out

To advertise email:

Days of fun all summer long By Claire Winter

Zoos, museums, forts, space adventures and art galleries. Out there is a day out for everyone! Here is Families’ pick of attractions that your family should check out this summer.

VISIT A MUSEUM Across the Midlands and beyond, there are world-renowned museums some of which offer free access to exhibitions all year round. We’re spoilt for choice with Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter (Birmingham), ThinkTank (Birmingham Science Museum), Lapworth Museum of Geology (Birmingham), West Midlands Police Museum (Birmingham), Dudley Museum and Art Gallery, Black Country Living Museum (Dudley), National Motorcycle Museum (Solihull), Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings (Bromsgrove), Herbert Art Gallery & Museum (Coventry), and the British Motor Museum (Gaydon). Further afield we have the National Football Museum in Manchester and the V&A Museum of Childhood in London. It’s worth checking out the individual museum’s website as they often offer free or low cost activities for kids to do during the holidays. is a great resource for finding museums across Britain.

HAVE A FOREST ADVENTURE IN THE LAKE DISTRICT Hunt for fairies in Hayes's Ever-changing Forest this summer. This magical forest is open to families to experience and learn about the seasons. After a day of fun, families can relax in the sensory room and enjoy a drink and snacks in the Woodland Cafe.

TRY TENNIS FOR FREE Game, set and match! Capitalise on Wimbledon fever and sign your child up for a free tennis lesson. The charity Tennis For Free offers free weekly coaching sessions at 86 locations in England and Scotland every week. Go to their website at to book a session.

GO STARGAZING Pay a visit to the award-winning National Space Centre, Leicester. This summer, they invite us to go along and take One Giant Leap to the moon (12 July – 1 September) - an immersive celebration of the Apollo 11 50th anniversary.

RELIVE THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION The Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire, is home to some amazing museums that make for an immersive and unforgettable experience. Pay a visit to Blists Hill Victorian Town and experience the age of steam, see how you can generate electricity using water at Enginuity and discover how Coalbrookdale changed the world forever at the museum of iron.

WE’RE GOING TO THE ZOO, ZOO, ZOO Visit Dudley Zoological Gardens and see more than 1300 animals, close to 200 species, including some of the rarest creatures on Planet Earth. There’s a rich geological history, around the ruins of the 11th century Dudley Castle. Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park, Edgbaston has a unique collection of animals from across the world. Or see West Midland Safari Park's 'Summer Nights' an extended hours event which runs from 1st Aug - 1st Sept.

EXPLORE A NATIONAL PARK The UK’s 15 National Parks are the home of our most breath-taking and treasured landscapes. From the rugged wildernesses of the Cairngorms in Scotland, the ancient woodlands of the New Forest in southern England, or the beautiful shores of the glorious Pembrokeshire Coast in Wales, there are treasures of nature to be found in each and every one. National Parks offer many options for families to get outdoors and have fun together. Find out more at Share your summer fun days out with Families Birmingham on Facebook or Twitter!

visit i it www.dis discoverdudle d k There’s lo ots to see and do in the bo orough of Dudley

@D DiiscoverDudley D D dl

10 Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield

@DiscoverDudley @Di D dl

Family Days Out


Simple summer picnic ideas By Gabrielle Nash When the weather is good there is nothing better than a summery picnic outside, but even if it’s not perfect weather, a picnic is a way to get you in that summer mood! So why not get the whole family involved and make some tasty treats for the hamper.



These make a colourful and enticing addition to any picnic! They are also a great way to get younger children exploring new fruits. Pick your favourite fruits – we love grapes, strawberries, kiwi and melon.

The packets you buy from the supermarket are full of salt whereas a homemade version is super easy, loads healthier and a great way to use up leftover wraps. Around 12 will comfortably serve 4 people. You’ll need some corn tortillas and some vegetable oil.


METHOD: Heat the oven to 200c and line a baking tray with baking paper. Cut the tortillas into triangles (just like the packet sized ones) and then gently brush with oil. Place on the tray, taking care not to overlap them and bake for 8 minutes. When they’re out, place on a plate and sprinkle with a little paprika. Serve with guacamole or hummus.

Wash and chop into bite size pieces (taking care with size depending on age of child). Arrange in colourful rainbows onto skewers (there are some safer plastic skewers for younger children) and then serve with Greek yoghurt and honey, a raspberry coulis or if even melted dark chocolate for more of a treat! Follow Gabrielle Nash @thelondonishmum

recipe is easy A great alternative to the sandwich, this tasty enough and with enough for even toddlers to help tless times coun e thes e mad for adults to enjoy too. I’ve s getting love ys alwa she and with my eldest daughter involved. INGREDIENTS: 1 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry with tomato 1 cup tomato pizza sauce (or make your own passata and oregano) 150g grated cheddar cheese 1 egg, beaten chicken, chopped Additional ďŹ lling options: chopped ham or s gette cour and cooked peppers METHOD: y oil a large baking tray Preheat your oven to 200c, line and lightl and spread the pizza tray Roll out the puff pastry onto the baking y too wet. Sprinkle pastr the make to sauce on top. Be careful not ional toppings. on the cheese all over and then add addit ning at the shorter Roll the pastry into one long roll (ideally begin s. layer end) and you will be able to see the baking tray, brush with Slice carefully into 8 pieces. Lie at on the 15 minutes. for oven the in bake a little beaten egg and cold! or Delicious eaten hot

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Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton ColdďŹ eld 11

Family and Home

To advertise call: 07807 352087

A new public green space for Birmingham The new Port Loop park will open Sunday 21 July with a fun-filled day for all the family. It will be the first public green space in Birmingham for more than a decade, offering an expansive area of almost one acre. It is adjacent to the new Port Loop homes and will feature grass mounds plus a lawn on which residents and local community groups can host events, festivals and other permitted uses. The first new Port Loop homes opened in Birmingham in June 2019. Joint venture partners Urban Splash and Places for People, who are working with landowners the Canal & River Trust and Birmingham City Council created the homes and open areas. Each home within the first phase of the Port Loop development has been created to customer specification - with buyers choosing from a range of floorplans to determine the number of bedrooms, fittings and general composition of their homes over either two or three storeys. Each home also has a private garden terrace or access to a private courtyard as well as private parking. Head of sales for the development Guy Ackernley explains: “With extensive customisation and vast variability, the first phase of homes at Port Loop has proved perfect for buyers in Birmingham – be they first timers, families or empty nesters. It has been an exciting process working with customers as they design their dream home.” Port Loop is just one of a number of developments being delivered by Urban Splash and Places for People whose successful, well-established working partnership, is also creating large scale communities at Smith’s Dock in North Shields, Park Hill in Sheffield and Lakeshore in Bristol. Port Loop park launch Family Day: Sunday 21 July, 11am - 4pm; South Park & Rotton Park St, Port Loop, Birmingham, B15 0AP

Port Loop home interior

To learn more about Port Loop homes, register now on: Port Loop show home: 21 Rotton Park Street, Birmingham, B16 0AB

Top causes of parental stress An online childcare platform has revealed that the majority of parents stress about the tidiness of their home more than anything else. A survey of more than 4000 parents found that a lack of sleep and childcare issues are also top stress triggers for them. Research conducted by the UK’s online platform for childcare providers,, has revealed that the biggest stress for UK parents is the cleanliness of the house, rather than other triggers such as their child’s behaviour in public or even losing their child in a crowd. 60% of respondents answered that the state of their house causes them the most stress as a parent, compared to over half (55%) who answered a lack of sleep and just under a third (30%) who answered finding appropriate childcare. The survey of 4,517 members found that losing their child in a crowd is a concern that just 16% of parents stress about. Richard Conway, founder of said: “As a parent of two myself, I definitely know how it feels to be stressed. There’s plenty of stressors involved in raising children, but it’s interesting to see that parents mostly stress about the tidiness of their house. Maybe this is because it’s a common cause that most parents experience daily.”

12 Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield



Eating out with children By Tanith Carey with Dr Angharad Rudkin

For many parents, eating out with small children is a welcome break from the grind of cooking and cleaning up after meals. If it all goes well, that is. Here are our tips for eating with kids at each developmental level up to age 7. AGE 0 TO 2 YEARS KEEP IT SHORT If your little one is wriggly and only stays in his high chair for 20 minutes, don’t expect him to sit through a full meal at a restaurant. Start by just having one course. It takes time for a younger child to sit for more than hour as his meal-times at home are probably much shorter, CLEAR THE TABLE Young children are curious about new objects. Ask waiting staff to take away any unnecessary sugar packets, glasses, or condiments that could be grabbed, spilled, or dropped. Look out for tablecloths, which can also get tugged and start spills. You child reacts to your stress levels so the more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your child will be. LOOK FOR FAMILY-FRIENDLY PLACES Start with family-style eateries or cafés where there is already plenty of noise to drown out any din made by your own child. Places with kids’ menus will also be more relaxed and more likely to have welcoming waiting staff. Once there, look for a quiet table in the corner – or a booth – so you won’t feel conspicuous if your child is excitable.

AGE 2 TO 3 YEARS DON’T RESORT TO YOUR PHONE While it might keep your child quiet, handing over your phone will be sending the message that this is the default he can demand to keep him quiet. Your child will also start to associate eating out with screen time. Play games and chat rather than ignore him when he is quiet or wait for him to get bored. Games such as I-spy can help your child understand what’s going on around him. PLAY LET’S PRETEND FIRST At this age, games like Let’s Pretend are critical in helping your child to learn about social behaviour. Help children learn how restaurants work and how everyone is expected to behave by playing games of “café” before you go. DO SOME PREP Try eating out after nap times and off-peak when there are fewer other customers and the staff will have more time. Before you go, explain to your child that, just like at home, they will be expected to sit on their chairs, copy grown-up manners and use their “inside”, not their “outside” voices.

AGE 4 TO 5 YEARS EXPERIMENT WITH FLAVOURS Stay safe by sticking to favourite foods, but invite your child to try the new tastes on your plate and make it part of the fun. Be patient. Your child now has around 30,000 taste buds, three times more than an adult, so their taste is acutely sensitive. Consequently adult foods can taste too intense or bitter. CUTLERY PRACTICE At this age, most children are developing the muscle coordination to hold a knife in an adult pincer grip. Give your child the chance to eat in a grown-up way. At least if there are spills, you will get a break from cleaning them up! NOTICE GOOD BEHAVIOUR Praise your child for what he does right, whether it’s eating with his mouth closed or using his knife and fork well, so he gets the message to keep doing it.

AGE 6 TO 7 YEARS LET THEM ASK FOR THEIR FOOD Children of this age are now likely to be gaining the confidence to talk to adults they don’t know, so let your child order his food. It’s a good way to practise social skills. MODEL POLITENESS Take the opportunity to explain to your child how important it is to say “please” and “thank you” to waiting staff. Research has found that good manners helps children make friends. MODEL TABLE MANNERS The best way for children to learn good table manners is to demonstrate them yourself. You are always your child’s most influential teacher. A new book, What’s My Child Thinking: Practical Child Psychology for Modern Parents by Tanith Carey with Dr Angharad Rudkin looks at how young children think and uses those insights to work out the best ways to help keep them calm and happy in more than 100 everyday situations including having meals in cafés and restaurants. The book is published by DK, price £16.99.

Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield 13

Early Years

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The new parent money-saving survival guide By Ashleigh Swan

So you’ve just become a new parent? What you’ll definitely be aware of already (as well as the fact that you’re not sleeping much) is that having a baby doesn’t come cheap. What follows is my money-saving survival guide for the costly months ahead. IF YOU DON’T NEED IT, DON’T BUY IT About three months before my first daughter was born, I turned into this uberexcited parent who felt the need to go to every shop and buy every baby gadget known to man. I mean let’s face it, we need it all don’t we? Well actually, we don’t. It’s very likely that if this is your first baby, you may think you need things that you will rarely or never use. Things like a baby bath thermometer, baby food maker and bottle warmer, costly items which you can definitely do without. It’s understandable that you want all the right things for your baby’s arrival but instead of wasting your money on unnecessary gadgets, have a chat with friends who already have kids to get an idea about what items are really needed and what items are just a novelty.

BUY BIG Cute new born clothes are lovely but your little bundle of joy will grow out of them in just a few weeks. Do you really need a new outfit a day? When buying clothes for your new baby, instead of getting clothes that will fit them now, buy one size up. In this way, the clothes you buy will last much longer. Once your baby has outgrown them, sell them on online straightaway to recoup some of your costs and to spend on the next size up. In this way, you will save money.

DON’T OVERPAY FOR NAPPIES In the run up to the birth, one of the things parents forget to stock up on are nappies. It’s not a huge problem as you can buy nappies in most supermarkets and online. The thing is, it’s okay just popping to the shop when you’re running low but I can assure you that you’ll be paying over the odds. You can look out for special offers or even buy in bulk but the best way to save is to use a comparison tool like Store Scanner available at

JOIN BABY CLUBS Try to snap up anything you can get for free with both hands. That’s where baby clubs come in. There are currently a loads of baby clubs in the UK you can sign up to (completely free) and once they have your

details, you will be sent a number of freebies which include sample products, useful magazines and money-off coupons for a wealth of products and brands. Try Boots Parenting Club, Cow & Gate Baby Club and Babies R Us Mother and Baby Club.

YOUR BENEFIT ENTITLEMENT You might be inclined to think that financial help to raise a child is a thing of the past. This is incorrect. Although the government have made numerous cuts to a range of benefits, there is still help and you should definitely check to see what you are entitled to. runs through your circumstances and will work out what benefits you can claim. If you (jointly with a partner) earn under £50,000 you can claim Child Benefit. If you’re pregnant or have had a baby in the last 12 months, you can get free prescriptions and NHS dental treatment and, depending on your income, you may also be entitled to Child Tax Credits, Healthy Start, Sure Start Maternity Grant and others. Ashleigh Swan started Ashleigh Money Saver in 2013 to deliver the best money saving advice, tips and voucher codes to women in the UK. For more information, visit

Talk, sing and play to build brains A survey of more than 2,000 parents and expectant parents by the NSPCC found that 62% were unaware that moments playing, singing or telling stories can be brain-building ones. NSPCC research has found some parents struggle with ideas about how to interact with their young child beyond eye contact and cuddling. In response, the charity is launching a campaign, ‘Look, Say, Sing, Play,’ to encourage new parents to use everyday scenarios to have more two-way interactions with their babies. Parents can sign up to get weekly brain building tips that are fun and age appropriate.

14 Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield

Early Years


Common toddler behaviours: Difficulties with sharing By Tanith Carey Do you sometimes wonder what goes on your child’s head when they kick up a fuss? Do you often search for exactly the right words to calm them down? In the following extract from a new book What’s My Child Thinking by Tanith Carey with psychologist Dr Angharad Rudkin, you will find evidence-based strategies to help you respond when toddlers refuse to share.

“THAT’S MINE!” Scenario: Your little boy is refusing to share his favourite toy with your friend’s son at a playdate at home. What he’s thinking: “My dinosaur belongs to me. I live here so everything here completely belongs to me and I want to be in control.”

What you're thinking: ‘This is embarrassing. What’s my friend going to think? Her son won’t want to come and play again.’

to him about how other child feels, and say something like ‘Joe is happier when you let him play with Mr Rex.’

Many parents feel guilty when their toddlers don’t share. But there’s no need to worry. At this stage, it’s still too early to expect kids this age to share what they have only just discovered belongs to them.

Let him keep certain special things to himself

WHAT TO DO: Sharing can’t be forced Telling your son he MUST share his toys won’t teach him. It will make him more insecure that adults can take his favourite things away without taking his wants into account. Help him learn how others feel Some parents try to reach a compromise by insisting little ones take turns with a wanted toy. However, research has found that your toddler will learn more if you talk

If another child’s coming to play, explain to your toddler that he or she should only leave out toys they don’t mind others playing with. Children allowed to have a special safe place for their favourite things have been found to be more generous later on. If all else fails, take the playmates outside. Studies have found young children argue less over toys when they play outdoors because they have more to interest them and are less focussed on possessions. What’s My Child Thinking: Practical Child Psychology for Modern Parents by Tanith Carey with Dr Angharad Rudkin looks at how young children think and uses those insights to work out the best ways to help keep them calm and happy in more than 100 everyday situations including having when having difficulty

Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield 15


To advertise call: 07807 352087

8 brain-stimulating activities to keep learning alive this summer By Claire Winter

The summer holidays are a great time for children to reboot and relax, but it’s also been reported they can lose 25% of what they’ve earned during the long break. HAVE A BOARD GAME TOURNAMENT Tactical board games like Chess and Backgammon give the brain a workout. Scrabble helps with vocabulary and Monopoly boosts maths and money management skills. Games like Trivial Pursuit are great for learning general knowledge. Not only are board games fun, but they also teach valuable lessons like being strategic, following instructions, learning how to lose, and communicating with other players.

MAKE READING FUN The annual Summer Reading Challenge, which inspires kids across the UK to read six books and collect rewards for doing so, is an excellent place to start. Sign up at your local library. To find out more check out When your child reads they exercise their brain, they use their imagination and they gain valuable knowledge about the world they live in. Comics and newspapers designed for kids like the Week Junior or First News, might appeal to kids who are not so keen on longer books. You could also reward reading with screen time on a favourite device or make bedtime a dedicated reading time.

TRY A NEW SPORT Learning a new sport not only strengthens the body but also the brain. We have a great guide to summer camps and activities on pages 6, 8, 9, 15, 16 and 19 and at Ackers Adventure you’ll find plenty of opportunities for your whole family to try a plethora of new sports like rock climbing, canoeing, Karate and abseiling. Sport also teaches essential life skills like self-confidence, teamwork and strategic thinking.

KEEP A SUMMER JOURNAL Encourage your child to document the summer with pictures and writing, perhaps choosing a theme. If they like computers, you could get them to create a digital journal with written entries, video diaries, and photos.

WRITE STORIES AND POST CARDS Documenting the summer on Instagram with pictures and captions is one way to get an older child who loves social media platforms involved. If all else fails, encourage them to engage in the oldfashioned way and write stories with an actual pen and paper! Getting younger children to write and send postcards when you are on holiday will boost their writing skills.

LEARN TO COOK Bake Off and Master Chef fans will love this challenge. Get your child to search for some fun recipes to make for the family. They could design a menu for the day, a picnic or an evening meal. Let them be in charge of buying the ingredients too, even if you need to accompany them to the supermarket or help them order online. Weighing, measuring and following instructions all keep the brain active.

GET GARDENING Research some insect and butterfly-friendly plants and flowers to plant in the garden or try and grow some fruit or veg from seed. It’s a great introduction to science, and you could also tie it in with a visit to Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Hoar Park, Hatton or a National Trust property like Packwood House or Baddesley Clinton for inspiration.

TRY PUZZLES Number puzzles and Sudoku are great for improving the grey matter. Older children may enjoy a fun day at an escape room where they have to solve clues to get out. The key to surviving the summer holidays is to mix it up. If you are working, book the kids into a scheduled summer camp like Ackers Adventure, Phys-Kids, Aspire Active, Premier Active, The Kick Start Academy, The Core's Theatre Summer School, Seesaws or Barber Institute of Fine Arts and plan some exciting days out, as well as fun at home. 16 Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield

1 - 21 SEPTEMBER Book now! Acocks Green Bearwood Bournville Erdington Four Oaks Great Barr Handsworth Handsworth Wood Harborne

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Come along to our open event on Sunday 1 September at Bullring from 11.00am-5.00pm. Ability development for any child at any age Terms and conditions apply. Fees vary. Participating study centres only. Please refer to your local study centre. Subject to availability.


To advertise email:

The Bic® Kids Young Artist Award is back Young artists offered chance of a lifetime Is your child’s imagination constantly running away with them? This summer, the BIC® KIDS Young Artist Award is giving proud parents across the UK the opportunity to see their child’s drawings graduate from the fridge door to billboards!

WIN a week of school holiday camp childcare The Kick Start Academy are giving away a 1-week summer holiday pass for their award-winning children’s sports and activity camps to TWO lucky readers!

Age guidance:

KSA, who run school holiday camps in Castle Vale, Coleshill, Quinton, Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth and Ward End, allow your child to design their own individual programme to create their own ideal day! There’s 40 different sports, creative activities, gymnastics, trampolining, even swimming - all delivered by their highly qualified teachers.

Open to all 5 to 11-year-olds, entrants are encouraged to exercise their artistic flair. Entrants should draw a landscape piece on plain A4 paper, use pencils, pens and/or crayons and not draw any famous characters or logos to be eligible to win.

To enter our competition for a chance to WIN one of KSA’s 1-week camp passes for a date of your choice in the summer holidays simply answer the following question:

Parents can enter by visiting and uploading the artwork before the deadline on Sunday 4 August.

Name one of the venues in which KSA are running a summer camp.

As well as the priceless opportunity to have their drawings published, the 13 finalists will win a bundle of BIC® KIDS goodies. Specifically designed to help children hone their artistic talent, these goodies will include an array of exciting stationery products including the BIC® KIDS Evolution Ecolutions® Colouring Pencils and BIC® KIDS Kid Couleur Felt Tip Colouring Pens. 0121 748 7977 | Competition closes at midnight Wednesday 17 July.

WIN a family ticket to see Elmer the Patchwork Elephant at The Core Theatre Elmer the Patchwork Elephant Show, based on the classic children’s book series written by David McKee, tells the tale of a rather unusual elephant. Elmer stands out with his patchworkcoloured skin and his sense of humour, but will he realise that it is his unique characteristics that his friends truly value? For the chance to WIN one of two sets of family tickets to watch this live stage show at Solihull’s Core Theatre on either 23 July (at 2.30pm or 4.30pm) OR 24 July (11am) simply answer the following question:

Who wrote the bestselling book – Elmer the Elephant? Was it: A: David McKee B: David Tennant, or C: David Schwimmer Competition closes at midnight, Tuesday 16 July.

TO ENTER The Core Theatre and/or The Kick Start Academy competition(s) just email Families Birmingham by the closing date given. Put the name of your chosen competition in the subject line of your message, and send your answer, your name, postal address and best contact number to To enter the Bic Award Competition go directly to their website as detailed above. Good luck! Competitions. Terms and conditions. 1. Only one entrant from the same email account will be accepted per competition. 2. Under 16s must obtain parental consent before entering. 3. Entries must be received by the closing date stated on each individual competition. Proof of entering cannot be taken as proof of receipt. 4. All decisions of Families Birmingham Magazine are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Tues 23 - Wed 24 July | 0121 704 6962 | Age guidance 1 – 7 years Please note there is no cash value nor exchange for this prize so please don’t enter if you cannot attend either date shown above. Family ticket = 4 seats

5. No prize is exchangeable for cash or any other prize. 6. Winners’ contact details will be supplied to the Promoter of each competition. 7. Families Birmingham is not liable for any delay or failure by the Promoter to deliver any prize or for the quality of the prize or for any loss or damage arising in connection with the competition. 8. By entering a competition, entrants will be deemed to have accepted and agreed to these terms and conditions. 9. Winning entries will be randomly drawn from all correct entries and contacted via the email account provided by the entrant in the first instance, and then by phone if necessary. If Families Birmingham does not obtain a response from the winner within 24 hours, we reserve the right to select another winner at random. 10. These competitions are restricted to residents of the West Midlands only.

18 Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield

Summer Workshops and Camps



















Families First at the Barber Institute

book ! today


or call 0800 195 0898

Tudor Grra ange Academy Ac Solihull

Dame Elizabeth Cadbury School Birmingham

See Facebook for early bird discounts & more!

My ytton School Warwi Wa w ck

 /p /premieractiveuk

Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield 19

What’s on OUT & ABOUT Baddesley Clinton and Packwood – National Trust Open every day. Baddesley and Packwood are the perfect places for families to explore the outdoors, enjoy fresh air and run wild this summer.

Dudley Canal Boat Trips All summer, daily, 10.30am - 4pm

Quote FAMILIES BIRMINGHAM when booking!

‘Have a Go’ sessions

Historic Heroes

Family Art Workshops

Sat 13 July Other dates tba on website

20 July – 1 Sept

Tues 23, Tues 30 Jul, Wed 7 & Tues 13 Aug

Ackers Adventure Book a 1½ taster session for abseiling, archery, bushcraft, climbing, canoeing and jungle challenge. Age 8+

Echills Wood Railway

Moon Landing Party

Open every Sunday. Also open Wednesdays and Fridays from 24 July. 11am – 4.30pm

Sat 20 July, 6pm - 9pm

Hatton Adventure World Open every day, 10am – 5.30pm

Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum Thinktank is holding a party to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 1st Apollo moon landing. thinktank

Clayground Collective: Crater Formations 20 – 21 July

Hatton, Warwick, CV35 8XA So much fun to be had with inflatables, family theatre, JCB track, pony rides, superslide mania, sheep racing. For older kids there’s laser combat and assault course.

The Terrace, Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham Sculpt an epic lunar landscape with raw clay. Suitable for all ages.


Home Fixtures in 2019 Sun 21 July, 2.30pm start Weds 24 July, 7pm start Fri 9 Aug, 7pm start Sun 11 Aug, 2.30pm start Fri 23 Aug, 7pm start Sun 25 Aug, 2.30pm start Fri 30 Aug, 6.30pm start

Use online promo code for 40% ticket discount ‘VISIT2019’

Watt’s the Solution? LEGO Family Workshop 22 Jul - 30 Aug, 12.30pm, 1.30pm & 3pm

10 July

Pride and Prejudice 17 July y

A Midsummer Night’s Dream e

25 July

Chapterhouse/Immersion Theatre Compan o y returns this summer. Tickets start from just £11 for concessions

Book tickets online e:

www.birminghambotanicalgar b g bo c g g u /wha w tson For more information please contact rec ception uk AN EDUCA ATIONAL CHARITY

23 July – 27 Aug, every Tues, 11.30am-12.30pm; 1.30pm2.30pm Aston Hall, Birmingham An exciting and interactive drawing exploration of Aston Hall. aston

Fairy Door Craft Weds 24 July, 11.30am 2.30pm Sarehole Mill, Birmingham Welcome fairies into your garden by creating a fairy door to take home. sarehole

Kids Jewellery Workshop Thurs 25 July, 1pm - 3pm Museum of the Jewellery Quarter Design and create either a bracelet or pendant. Learn and use real jewellers’ techniques. jewellery

Tall Tales: Sleeping Beauty Fri 26 July, 11am-12.15pm or 1pm-2.15pm Aston Hall, Birmingham An interactive telling of Sleeping Beauty. Pre-booking essential. aston

Barber Institute of Fine Arts Early years sessions in art exploration. For age 3 – 4 years.

Destination Space The Moon

Summer Suncatchers

Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum A fun, action-packed family show about the Apollo program and what it takes to get to the moon. Mon – Fri. thinktank

Alice in Wonderland

Picture This! Family Drawing Tour

Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum Using programmable LEGO learn the basics of coding as you build, test and modify new creations. Mon – Fri. thinktank

22 July - 30 Aug, 1pm - 1.30pm

24 July

20 Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield

21 July – 30 Aug Edgbaston Stadium

Hoar Park Shopping and Craft Village, CV10 0QU Go along to the Children’s Farm, Pets Corners, Bee Crafty Birthday Parties, Disco and more.

Treasure Island

Find us on:

T20 Cricket Matches BIRMINGHAM BEARS

Sundays 21 July, 18 Aug & 15 Sept

Join us and let your imagination run wild with our summer of specttacular l th theatrte.

Yo our support keeps the Gardens growing

Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham Fun drop in art sessions for all the family during the Summer Holidays.

Craft Fairs

t es


Tue 23 July; Every Saturday 27 July - 31 Aug; 12pm – 4pm, all ages

Weds 17 July, 10.30am 11.30am; 11.30am - 12.30pm

Birmingham New Road, DY1 4SB Get on board an electric narrowboat for a family boat trip like no other! -trips

The Core Theatre, Courtyard Gallery Go along as a family and enjoy making art together! Age 4+

Summer Smiles

BMAG Babies Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Creative, interactive and sensory play for children aged 6 months – 2 years. bmag

Kingsbury Water Park, Sutton Coldfield A narrow gauge railway offering a great family day out.

Black Country Living Museum Find out more about the heroes of the Black Country this summer holiday.

Space Junk Jet Pack FREE! Tue 23 July, 12pm - 4pm, all ages MAC Foyer, Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham Free family drop in art session with MAC Artist Tutor. Part of MoonFest.

Little Artists Sat 27 July & Sat 31 Aug; 10.30am - 12pm

Tues 30 July, 11.30am - 3.30pm Blakesley Hall, Birmingham Make your own sun catcher. Drop in. blakesley

Summer Holiday Workshops FREE! Weds: 31 July & 21 Aug Barber Institute of Fine Arts No need to book, just turn up!

Kumon Open Event Sun 1 Sept, 11am - 5pm Bullring, Birmingham Find out about Kumon's maths and English study programmes for young children.

Quote FAMILIES BIRMINGHAM when booking!

Crafty Friday: Paper Stained Glass Windows

Electro-Etched Copper Keyrings Workshop

Fri 2 Aug, 11am - 2pm

Tue 20 Aug, 10am - 3pm

Weoley Castle, Birmingham Use a variety of materials to craft your own stained glass windows. Drop in. weoley

Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham Using a repurposed mobile phone charger, Electro-etch metal with your unique designs. Age 10 – 14 years.

Go Canoeing - Grand Union Tour

Indian Block Printing Workshop

Sat 3 Aug, 10am – 1.30pm

Weds 21 Aug, 10.30am-12noon

Starting point: Ackers Adventure The tour will give you a glimpse of industrial Birmingham from the water. Under 8’s FREE when accompanied by an adult.

The Core Theatre Studio, Solihull Learn the traditional craft of Indian block printing. Age 10+

Musical Instruments Craft Activity at Blakesley Hall

Fri 23 Aug, 11am – 2pm

Tues 6 Aug, 11.30am - 3.30pm Blakesley Hall, Birmingham Use a range of materials to create drums, maracas, panpipes, etc. Drop in. blakesley

Art Club - Wiry Wednesday Wed 7 Aug, 2.30-5.30pm The Core Theatre, Courtyard Gallery Swap PlayStations and iPads for Holiday Art Club this summer! Age 6+

Cardboard Treehouses Thurs 8 Aug, 10am - 3pm Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham Create a miniature treehouse out of cardboard and a paper garden art work. Age 6 - 11.

Tall Tales: Goldilocks Fri 9 Aug, 11am-12.15pm; 1pm2.15pm Aston Hall, Birmingham Explore Aston Hall via the classic story of Goldilocks. Age 3 – 8 years. aston"

Den Building Tues 13 Aug, 1pm-2pm & 2.30pm-3.30pm Blakesley Hall, Birmingham Build your own den with Blakesley’s den building kits. Pre-booking recommended. blakesley

Slime Workshop Weds 14 Aug, 11.15am, 12pm and 1pm Sarehole Mill, Birmingham Messy play at Sarehole. Make your very own gooey slime to take home! sarehole

Crafty Friday: Junk Dragons Fri 16 Aug, 11am – 2pm Weoley Castle, Birmingham Use a variety of materials to craft your own junk dragons then do the dragon trail around the ruins. Drop in. weoley

Crafty Friday: Bioblitz and Bugs Weoley Castle, Birmingham Have a go at making your own bird feeder. Drop in. weoley

Mini Kites Craft Activity Tues 27 Aug Blakesley Hall, Birmingham Have a go at making your own mini kite. Drop in. blakesley

Bio Blitz at Soho FREE! Weds 28 Aug,

11am – 3pm Soho House, Birmingham Become an ecologist for the day. Normal entry charges apply. soho

Teddy Bears Picnic Weds 28 Aug, 11am – 3pm Birmingham Botanical Gardens Plenty of fun for all the family at the annual Teddy Beats picnic. www.birminghambotanicalgardens.



What’s onN Big Family Festival 26 - 28 July Dunton Hall, Sutton Coldfield, B76 0BA Three days of great family fun, 100+ activities.



Solihull Summer Fest

Summer in Southside 2019 27 - 28 July Tudor Grange Park, Solihull Two days of street food, drink, fun fair and live music. 13 - 14 July Birmingham Hippodrome This year the Hippodrome’s FREE family festival goes intergalactic! FREE

Worcester Festival 2019 /film-festival/ 15 – 21 July An outdoor film festival. Simply bring a chair, choose a space to sit and enjoy! 10 – 26 August Various venues across Worcester. Some events FREE. Activities include town trails, cathedral trails, craft workshops, food and live music.


Insomnia 65 Gaming Festival 16 - 24 July Midlands Arts Centre A 9-day programme of moon inspired events, performances, screenings and activities. 23 – 26 August NEC Birmingham Insomnia returns to the NEC its biggest show yet! See your favourite YouTubers from across the globe, play some of the latest games, experience virtual reality, relive the past in the retro zone, and try a new level of gaming in the tabletop zone… plus so much more all under one roof!

Brindley Film Festival


Birmingham, Sandwell & Westside Jazz Festival 19 – 28 July 100 venues across the West Midlands 200+ jazz and blues performances, talks, workshops and film showings, nearly all admission is free. FREE

Simmer Down Festival 2019 Sun 21 July Handsworth Park, B20 2BY Free family music and arts festival. A celebration Birmingham’s proud rich cultural diversity.


Under 12s FREE!

Moseley Folk and Arts Festival 30 Aug – 1 Sept A 3-day celebration of folk and world music.


The Long Road Festival 6 - 8 Sept Lutterworth, Leicestershire Entertainment includes a range of Nashville-inspired activities including heritage crafts, vintage funfairs, wild swimming, and family yoga.

Kids Jewellery Workshop


Thurs 29 Aug, 1pm - 3pm Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham Design and create either a bracelet or pendant. Learn and use real jewellers’ techniques. jewellery

NEARLY NEW SALE Sat 28 Sept, 2pm – 4pm All Saints Centre, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7RA 1000s of nearly new quality toys, clothes and equipment for ages 0-12. BOOK A TABLE: @FunyardEvents @FunyardEvents




Interiors Antiques, Furnishings, Giftware, Wood Burner Stoves NEW: Shabby Chic, NEW: Haberdashery & Material Interests Tack, Animal Feed, Needlework & Bunting, Florist, Wood-turning, Beadz Galore Craft Supplies, Knitting Wool Food and Drink Licensed Restaurant, Chocolate Shop, Tea Rooms, Butcher & Veg Shop General Pyrography, Glitter Bottles, Salt Lamps & Crystals, Antiques, Art Gallery & Commissions Crafters Workshops, Knitting kits, Victoriana Fun The Children’s Farm, Pets Corner, Farm Parties, Bee Crafty B’day Parties, Painting, Disco & lots more

Craft JuFlyairs 21 18th Aug 15th Sept

Open all year (inc Bank Holidays) Tuesday to Sunday 10am-5pm Tel: 024 7639 4433 B4114 Nr Ansley, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 0QU Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield 21

Entertainment Pre-School Theatre Fun Every Thursday, term time only, 10.30am – 12 noon For age 2-4 years, £2 per child Birmingham Hippodrome Little ones learn to improvise, imagine and listen while having fun!

Treasure Island Wed 10 July, 7.30pm Birmingham Botanical Gardens A brand-new adaptation of everyone’s favourite swashbuckling pirate adventure. www.birminghambotanicalgardens

CBSO Notelets: A Small Person’s Guide to the Orchestra 12 & 13 July CBSO Centre, Birmingham Toddler-friendly mini-concert featuring the CBSO’s special miniorchestra for mini-people.

The Paper Moon by Tiny Light Wed 17 July Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham The Paper Moon is a gentle first adventure into theatre for very young children. Age 0 - 3 yrs

Quote FAMILIES BIRMINGHAM when booking!

Bach to Baby Family Concerts

music-making for young people.

NCO: Dream, Fantasy, Nightmare

20 July – 24 Aug

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant

Sun 18 Aug, 6:30pm

For 10% off tickets use code BRUM10 online Offer ends 30.09.19 Holy Trinity Parish Church, Sutton Coldfield, B72 1TF Saturdays 27 July, 24 August: 11am Solihull Methodist Church, Solihull, B91 1LG Saturdays 20 July, 10 August: 11am Friends Meeting House, B30 1JT Wednesday 21 August: 11am

Rastamouse & Da Easy Crew Sun 21 July, 11am & 3pm Town Hall, Sutton Coldfield A show filled with reggae riddims and lots of fun followed by a ‘meet and greet’.

Not Just William Sun 21 July, 3pm BlueOrange Theatre, Birmingham Young William goes on a simple errand which sends him on an enchanted journey.

NSSO 25th Anniversary Concert Sun 21 July, 4pm Symphony Hall, Birmingham Concert celebrating 25 years of

23 – 24 July The Core Theatre, Solihull Based on the classic children’s book series by David McKee. A celebration of individuality and laughter.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Wed 24 July, 7pm Birmingham Botanical Gardens Chapterhouse Theatre Company present Shakespeare’s best-loved romantic comedy, £16 (£11) www.birminghambotanicalgardens

Alice in Wonderland Thurs 25 July Birmingham Botanical Gardens A fantastical, larger-than-life musical brimming with nonsensical fun and excitement, £14 (£12) www.birminghambotanicalgardens

CBSO Youth Orchestra Academy Sun 28 July, 7pm Town Hall, Birmingham A performance from the finest players from the CBSO’s world-class Youth Orchestra, £22.50 (£6)

Gangsta Granny by David Walliams

The Young Actors Studio 5 day Course (age 8-16)

Tue 23-Wed 24 Jul £12.50

From Mon 29 Jul - Course £130

Sam & Mark LIVE! Wed 21 – Thu 22 Aug Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham Children’s TV royalty Sam and Mark, as seen on CBBC’s Big Friday WindUp and Copycats.

Elmer The Patchwork Elephant Wed 28 Aug Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham A celebration of individuality and the power of laughter!

Morgan and West: More Magic for Kids! Fri 30 Aug, 2pm The Core Theatre A marvellous show that is loved by both adults and children alike.

The Family Folk Show Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham Fun Folk Concerts for Big & Little Music Connoisseurs. Age 0 - 7

In the Night Garden Live

First Stages - What a Wonderful World

Birmingham Repertory Theatre Iggle Piggle and friends are beautifully brought to life with magical puppets and music.

Sat 14 Sept, 11.30am; 2pm

Treasure Island

Safari Adventure

Fri 2 Aug, 2.30pm The Core Theatre, Solihull Good family fun with sea shanty songs and audience participation, £6

Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham A colourful, vibrant, breath-taking, fast-moving extravaganza with extreme feats of bravery,£7.50

Birmingham Repertory Theatre A creative and beautiful journey through our universe.

Sun 15 Sept, 2pm - 3pm Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham Meet giraffes that laugh and monkeys going bananas at this roaring musical adventure. ALWAYS CHECK THE VENUE’S WEBSITE IN CASE OF CHANGES TO SCHEDULE

Outdoor Theatre - Gangsta Granny Weds 14 Aug, 3pm

Fri 30 Aug 2pm age 5+ £10

See website for full list of shows & events Box Office: 0121 704 6962

22 Families Birmingham, Solihull and Sutton Coldfield

Town Hall, Birmingham A heart-warming tale of friendship and loyalty interwoven with original songs, £13

Sat 14 Sept

Sun 4 Aug

Fri 2 Aug 2.30pm age 4+ £6 Features actors & summer school h l performers - see details above right

20 – 25 Aug

Brueton Park, Solihull A stage adaptation of this famous book. £12 (£11)

Circus Raj

Morgan & West MORE Magic!

Tabby McTat

31 July – 1 Aug

31 July - 4 Aug

Great fun, theatre skills & show finale in the Theatre. See website for full details.

£20.50 - £27.50 Town Hall, Birmingham Join the NCO’s Under-12 Orchestra for an inspiring performance.

Packwood House, Solihull A David Walliams favourite presented outdoors by Heartbreak productions, £7.50. d-house/whats-on/

23rd-26th august, nec n birmingham





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Profile for Families Magazine

Families Birmingham July-Aug 2019  

Families Birmingham July-Aug 2019