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FREE ISSUE 64 January February 2011

Email -

Tel. 0131 622 0405



What’sInside... 3–4 5–7 8 9

News and Views Clubs and Classes News Independent School News Motivating Children By Frances Byatt-Smith, The Parent Centre

10 – 11 Holiday 2011 – Whatever your budget 12 – 13 New Year Health, Fitness and Well-being. 14 – 15 The Position of Cohabitees By Morna Coutts, Morton Fraser


New Year – New Job By Pauline Dickson, Dickson Lewis


Space to Grow By Oliver Chapman, Oliver Chapman Architects

18 – 25 The 2011 Great Big Birthday Party Guide 26 – 31 Out and About

Next issue – March/April 2011 Pregnancy and Baby, Easter Camps and much more! Booking deadline January 31st Call 0131 622 0405 Email: Have you checked out our website? • More fantastic and useful articles, local directories and competitions • View this magazine online or download a pdf • Join the forums to get in touch with other local parents. • Register with the site to enter competitions and get the most from the site! Contact Sarah Adair, Editor 0131 622 0405 PO Box 23802, Edinburgh EH7 4XL

Cover Information Little Sunflowers Numbers T-shirt Striped numbers t-shirt, featuring a big number across the front. Available in several colours. Perfect for a birthday present!. Sizes 1-6 years Price: £15.99

The National Childbirth Trust Edinburgh South Nearly New Sale Saturday 29th January 2011. Quality baby/children’s clothes, toys, books, nursery equipment & maternity wear. Coffees, teas and home baking. NCT members early entry 9.45am. (Become a member at Craiglockhart Parish Church, EH14 1HS (Craiglockhart Drive North) 10.00am-11.45am Admission by donation. Online registration for sellers at Other enquires: 0844 2436124 or

Montessori Teacher Training Early Years Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy 15 month course taught in 5 blocks. April 2011 – June 2012 This is a course for anyone interested in child development and the ways in which children learn. Former students have included nursery nurses, graphic designers and career mums. Whether you are a nursery practitioner wishing to enhance your practice, a parent looking to develop your home environment, an aspiring Montessori teacher or are just thinking of a change in career, this course provides a stimulating and inspirational foundation that springboards you into the world of the child. Taught in 6 weekly blocks during school holidays, with essay and project work to complete in between, the course is suitable for people from many walks of life. This qualification has been accredited by SQA at SCQF level 8 with 49 Credit Points. For an information pack contact us at

Real Nappies, Real Savings Have you ever dared to think about the ongoing cost of your nappies? Paying for bumper packs of disposables can easily be seen as a necessary spend but more and more parents are doing the maths, and realising that using real nappies represents huge savings, even when the cost of home washing is included. Modern real nappies are very different from the old terry towelling kind – they are easy to use with poppers or Velcro so no pins or complicating folding is necessary, are available in lots of funky designs and colours, and are very reliable. And of course, by using real nappies, you will save up to 6,000 disposables per baby being sent to landfill – a huge reduction in your family’s household waste.

Newington Community Toy Library A group of mums and volunteers have worked hard to set up Newington Community Toy Library. On Wednesday 26th January 2011 they aim to launch a full lending service to families in the South Edinburgh area between 9:30-11:30am at The King’s Hall, 41a South Clerk Street. The aim is to reach families in the local area who would benefit from borrowing interesting and high quality toys, whilst providing a warm and welcoming environment for carers of children aged 0-5years every Wednesday morning (term-time only).Contact us at to find out more about the project.

The Real Nappy Project offers incentives to parents wanting to try real nappies, and also offers free expert advice and ongoing support at venues across the city. For further information, or to apply for an incentive: Please call 0131 555 4010 or email:

Balgreen Playgroup Open Day (Balgreen Bowling Club, off Pansy Walk). Open Mon - Thurs 9.00 - 11.30. (spaces available) We are a fun and motivated group, led by 2 professional staff, for 2 - 3 year olds. Come along and visit us on Wednesday 26th January, toys for kids, coffee for mums! A great way of allowing your child to interact whilst you meet new people. For further information contact us on 0131 313 5097/07972 352 591

February Holiday Club 14th - 18th February

Dance classes for both boys and girls from 11⁄2 yrs upwards.

Ballet: Tap: Modern: Jazz Branches in Balgreen and Craiglockhart. NEW-TINY TWINKLES! 18mths - 3yrs



news&views Kindermusik is an internationally acclaimed music and movement programme for children newborn to 7 years old. Kindermusik with Elllie classes start in January. Book a place for a FREE Demo class. Contact Ellie your Kindermusik educator: 07962678561

Learning to read can be easy and fun! ABC Reading Eggs is a unique online world where children learn to read. It supports each child’s learning by offering individual, one-on-one lessons that allow children to progress at their own rate. It makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids, with great online reading games, stories, songs and activities, which along with feeling proud of their reading, really motivate children to keep exploring and learning. The program has been developed by a highly experienced team of educational teachers, writers and developers. The ABC Reading Eggs program focuses on a core reading curriculum of phonics and sight words using skills and strategies essential for sustained reading success. It completely supports what children learn at school and will help to improve your child’s results at school. Suitable for children aged 3-7 years with different activities for different ages and abilities. The playroom section is designed especially for 3-4 year olds, then for 5yrs+ your child can build on the reading skills they have been introduced to at school. 98% of teachers who have used the programme recommend it and 90% of parents have seen a noticeable improvement in reading skills. Reading Eggs also develops key skills in spelling, vocabulary and grammar.

Families readers will receive a free four week trial! Visit to register your child and quote UKF57AME.

Overcoming anxieties, behaviour& nurturing self resilience. Individual sessions & workshops 07837930714

The Voice of a City

Happy times for local nurseries

5 February 3pm, Usher Hall. In early February, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra stages a family concert for all ages. The hour-long concert includes the late Edward Harper’s The Voice of a City, a musical portrait of Edinburgh: the One o’Clock Gun goes off with a bang as he brings the streets alive, populating them with many of the city’s most celebrated residents: John Knox, Miss Jean Brodie, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sean Connery. The Voice of a City includes a choir of primary school children (Voice Academy) gathered from a number of Edinburgh schools and an adult community chorus recruited from Edinburgh residents across the city. The performance will take place at the Usher Hall on 5 February (3pm) and is designated as the Lord Provost’s People’s Concert, celebrating Edinburgh’s creativity and the refurbishment of the Usher Hall. Preceding the concert, the Usher Hall hosts City of Literature’s Family Day (10am - 3pm); a day of fun for all the family, exploring the musical and literary aspects of The Voice of a City concert. There will be storytelling, workshops, activities, live music and face painting. For more information, please visit or

Brilliant Butterflies and a Successful appointment at Strawberry Hill mean happy times for local nurseries. The staff, children and families at Butterflies Nursery, located in Musselburgh, are celebrating receiving a positive report from inspectors the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care. The nursery was inspected in November with inspectors commenting on the excellent use of talking and thinking floor books, really positive interaction between staff and children and the flexible care routines that successfully meet individual children’s needs. At sister setting Strawberry Hill Nursery, in the Newington area of Edinburgh, staff, children and families are enjoying getting to know the newly appointed Nursery Manager, Caroline Hope. Caroline has eighteen years experience in the childcare field, from practitioner to manager and is trained to Early Years Specialist status. Commenting on her new role Caroline said “My aim is to lead the staff on a journey where their experience in working alongside me inspires them to further develop themselves in the childcare field. Mostly, I would like to create pictures of happy lifetime memories for the parents and children who attend. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for the warm welcome received and the support from the management team.”

Little Angels Little Angels is a healthy, educational, safe and fun environment for your kids to spend time: a home from home experience run by Natalie in the popular residential area of Joppa in the East of Edinburgh. Ages 0-8 full or part time. Opening times 7.45am-6.00pm. After school care available from St Johns Primary School. Pick up & drop off Service Available. School holidays available. Snacks provided. Breakfast lunch & dinner on request. First Aider “Your child or children would have the enjoyment of a large dedicated play room in my sunny home. There’s plenty to keep your child entertained and happy at Little Angels. What do we have? Well what don’t we have: from educational indoor /outdoor toys to music and reading zones” Tel 0131 669 9830. mobile 07814 717 525 Artistic Director Julie Mitchell, LRAD, ARAD, AISTD Examiner of The Royal Academy of Dance

EDINBURGH DANCE ACADEMY Branches throughout Edinburgh and East Lothian

EDINBURGH DANCE ACADEMY Edinburgh's Premier Dance School * Ballet * Jazz * Modern * Tap * Drama * Singing A caring environment where pupils achieve their highest potential. See us in the Pantomime at The Kings Theatre.


0131 337 3402 4-6 Coltbridge Ave, Edinburgh, EH12 6AH


clubs&classesnews Dynam-nic Dance

Edinburgh Leisure

Dynam-nic Dance is run by professional dancer and choreographer, Nicky Pyrah. With our motto "let’s discover the joy of dance" Dynam-nic is proud to provide safe, professional and fun filled dance classes for both boys and girls of all ages. After a successful first term at our branch in Balgreen on a Friday, we are launching a new Saturday venue in Craiglockhart. Saturday classes include, Twinkle Toes (3 & 4yrs) Pre-Primary (5 & 6yrs) and our very first TINY TWINKLES! This class is designed especially for children from the age of 18months to 3 years. Young children love the freedom of space and listening to rhythms. With parents, grandma’s, aunties or uncles all encouraged to join in (one only per week!), we will use natural movement to encourage body awareness, the beginnings of good posture and learn basic dance steps. Using excellent facilities at Craiglockhart Tennis centre, Saturday mornings will now be filled with pointed toes, tip tap rhythms and jazz hands!

Edinburgh Leisure has all the tuition you need to develop your swimming skills, and if you wish we'll have you swimming like a fish... well, almost!

Friday classes at Balgreen also include Dynam-nic Lowers (7-11yrs) and Dynam-nic Highers (12yrs+) Places are limited, book for the new term now! Call Nicky for your free taster class. For more information on any of our Balgreen or Craiglockhart classes, contact Nicky on 07545551271 or visit

CookingMania At CookingMania you can spend time in a real kitchen, with real food and cook yourself a real meal! You don’t need to know how to cook like a pro, but you do want to spend time having fun in our kitchen, and learn how to make some fantastic meals. Next term we will be running a Friday After School Session. We will run two sessions every Friday (1:00pm-2:30pm) & (4pm-5:30pm) so no matter when you finish school you will be able to come and join us for one of the sessions! Each Session Priced £17.00 Give us a call or an email to book some sessions and remember to ask about group booking and termly booking discounts! We’ll see you in the kitchen!! 1/2 North West Circus Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6ST 0131 220 2040

Whether you’re learning to swim, improving your technique, swimming for fitness or simply swimming for fun, make sure you make a splash with Edinburgh Leisure. As the city’s biggest health and leisure club, over 8,000 children, young people and adults take part in our swimming classes every week in 9 swimming pools across the city. So whether you're taking to the water for the first time, or developing your swimming skills to the level of your favourite pet fish, then we've got the coaching course for you. From adult & baby classes, through beginners’ lessons, improvers and on to stroke development our programme is all delivered within a fun and safe environment by our team of qualified coaches, ensuring you’re ready to take on a life of water based fun. Our structured programme of classes for babies and toddlers are suitable for those 4 months old and above – immunisation is recommended but is not a requirement – so even the tiniest of tots can start developing their water wings. Babies love the water and the pool provides a hugely stimulating and, let’s not forget, great fun environment for both adult and child. Edinburgh Leisure’s classes run in line with the school terms, the next session will start from the 4th of January 2011, but you can book in at any time. Feeling ready to make a splash? Check all of our course times at, or give us a call for more information.

Monkey Music Monkey Music Edinburgh North is delighted to be expanding classes in Comely Bank on a Monday morning and Stockbridge on a Tuesday afternoon and Saturday morning. Classes are also available in Murrayfield, Corstorphine, Dalry, Cramond and a new venue in EH11 which will be launched early 2011! The classes are fun, challenging and original and lead by teachers who sing and makes full use of the 30-minute sessions to captivate children with a combination of catchy music, percussion instruments, visual props and lots of energy. To attend a complimentary trial session, at anytime during the term please contact or 0131 260 9667 for further information.



Dance For All Dance For All, established in 1985, continues to nurture pupils to achieve above and beyond their potential with accredited dance classes: RAD Ballet, SDS Flamenco, ISTD Tap & Modern, Jazz & Street, Boys Only and regular dance clubs in the school holidays. Dance For All has become known as Scotland's premier dance college, offering a diverse range of children's, teen & adult classes alongside their full-time Professional Stage Dance & Teacher Training Course. Our website has testimonials, timetables, picture galleries and much more: or give us a call to register on 0131 226 5533.

The popular football programme for children Ages 6 months - 5 years Venues in Edinburgh and East Lothian. Book your free trial and/or block booking now! SOCATOTS BIRTHDAY PARTIES FOR AGES 1-5

call Socatots on 07923 005534 or

Clarinet Lessons 1st lesson free Individual tuition from age 10 upwards. Adult beginners and returners also welcome. Friendly, experienced teacher.

For fun, and/or exams. Home visits arranged. Music theory tuition also available.

Fulfil your musical potential! Karen Mitchell MA, ALCM, LLCM(TD) 0131 555 0467 07932 094768

Artistic Director: Ms K. Sara J. Wood BA (HONS), RAD RTS, Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance

From 2 years to Adults Studio locations: Stevenson College Edinburgh Ratho EICA, Cardrona Nr.Peebles 07723 589 280



Feis Dhun Eideann

Ravivworks - Help to Learn with a Raviv Method practitioner. Dyslexia and other associated learning difficulties can affect children and adults in many different ways. Many adults will create coping strategies to help them but life can go by in a bit of a blur. Some children struggle at school, can become the victim of bullying and have no self-confidence. Past clients of Ravivworks have expressed their thoughts on the Raviv method and how it has helped in their lives: “Improved concentration, definite improvement with reading - his schoolteachers are amazed he can read so well, and handwriting is much smaller and neater, we are delighted. Our son is willing to tackle new things and is more interested in his surrounding life. He has come in from the dark. (10 year old). “Football skills have greatly improved, homework is now done by himself-we are no longer needed! Starting High school has been a dream, whereas before Raviv we were all dreading it, our son is coping with the increased workload, more organised and doing better than we could have imagined – brilliant” (11 year old). The Raviv Method is a multi sensory approach to overcoming difficulties - dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, ADHD, memory and organisational skills. The programme is focused and effective, it involves fun based exercises suited to the age and ability of the client, from 6 to 70 year olds. Over a period of 4 to 6 months, with a 1:1 session for one hour per week, supported with a few daily exercises at home, the client will improve their reading, writing, and mathematics skills, increase self-esteem, confidence and continue to learn and develop. Jane W Oliver is a Raviv practitioner based in Edinburgh and Galashiels. For more information on the Raviv method contact Jane on 07512311317,e-mail or visit

Feis Dhun Eideann Main Feis 2011 - February 14th to 17th @ Kaimes School, Lasswade Road, Edinburgh. The Main Feis is a fun packed 4 day event during the February Holidays. Participants in p4 and up can come all day for 4 days and get to choose 3 different activities from a wide range including: Fiddle, Guitar, Accordion, Chanter/Bagpipes, Whistle, Clarsach, Percussion, Group Work, Gaelic Singing , Step Dance, Drama, Arts & Crafts and Shinty . There’s also the chance for the non Gaelic Speakers to learn a bit of Gaelic through fun activities and for the Gaelic speakers to have fun using Gaelic through games and sometimes a wee bit of drama! As usual we’ll be having a great line up of tutors with lots of experience of teaching and the ability to inspire participants .Families come to our Feis from all over Edinburgh and sometimes beyond and many come back again year after year. We also have Cleas is Ceol for the p1-3 age group where they attend for half days and get the chance to try clàrsach, Gaelic Singing, percussion and step dancing. On the Wednesday evening we always have a Family Ceilidh where parents can join their children to dance the evening away to music provided by our wonderful group of tutors. This is always a fun event with the chance to meet the other families and share a dance and a glass of wine! For more information email Gillian MacDonald on: Or phone: 07514 386925. Our application form will also be available to download on Feisean nan Gaidheal’s website in both English and Gaelic. . Go to the ‘Feisean’ section and click on ‘Feis Dhun Eideann’. Our regular Saturday Classes start again on Saturday 26th February 2011.

Dance Base

Continuing to support children to overcome anxieties, behavioural issues and nurture self resilience through our individual sessions and workshops. Exam session approaching- consider registering for Mind Matters to help in exam preparation. Can be delivered 1-1 or small group by arrangement. Calm Minds – a course for parents to manage their stress and in turn that of their children –register now for February 2011. Visit Tel 07837930714

Dance Base, National Centre for Dance in the Grassmarket and now at Thomas Morton Hall, Leith has a programme of classes for everyone aged one and up. Toddlers can dance with their parents and school age dancers can join the Mini Dance Academy and try out lots of different styles in one term. All Dance Base classes are non-competitive; it’s not about grades and exams but having fun with people the same age as you. You won’t find ballet, tap or modern here; Dance Base specialises in kids Street & Hip Hop and Breakdance. Find out more online at or call 0131 225 5525 for advice.

Kids NLP Scotland

clubs&classesnews Explore Learning Explore Learning is a network of learning centres for children aged 4-14, where children become members and attend regularly once or twice a week. Explore tutors create individual courses to inspire children to develop into confident, successful individuals with the knowledge and skills to succeed in life. Over 500 children regularly attend our Edinburgh centres to gain knowledge and enthusiasm from our team of fantastic tutors. A Free Consultation is offered to all families interested in the tutoring service provided by Explore Learning centres. Explore Learning also runs an extensive, free schools programme in Edinburgh and currently works with over 30 local schools. Recently, several schools took part in the National Young Mathematicians’ Award 2010. On Tuesday 7th December, five schools from across the United Kingdom took part in the Grand Final of the National Young Mathematicians’ Award. The competition is the result of a partnership between Explore Learning and the NRICH Project at the University of Cambridge to find the most talented group of primary mathematicians across the UK. We would like to congratulate Fettes Preparatory School for qualifying for this prestigious event as one of the top five teams in the UK.

Kb-Insights: Helping Children Succeed. Kb-Insights offers interventions to support the learning and development of children and young people. Recent research conducted by Dr Suzanne Zeedyk a senior lecturer in Development Psychology takes a closer look at how children’s motoric development affects their ability to read, write and learn. Motoric development influences cognition and for many parents they are completely unaware of the impact of societal practices – the way we transport children (buggies and car seats) can be very restrictive to their child’s development. Lack of ‘floor time’ to explore their environment another element. It is not that parents are neglectful they have not been informed of the how it impacts on learning at a later stage. If your child is having difficulty with reading and writing, concentration, becomes easily frustrated, has poor coordination and fine motor skills, generally underachieving despite good intellectual abilities, give Karen a call. 07837930714. She is a Neuro Developmental Therapist specialising in looking behind the symptoms of learning and behaviour identified by the school or parent to identify and address the source of the problem. Karen also provides training for Nurseries or schools and talks for parents in these settings.

Kindermusik with Ellie Kindermusik is an internationally acclaimed music and movement programme which complements children's development from newborn to 7 years old. Through its high quality materials and age appropriate programmes, Kindermusik provides the foundation for all musical learning where children and their families engage in an exciting learning process. The Kindermusik Experience The Kindermusik programmes specifically focus on children's different developmental stages. All programmes and activities are based on the latest research in music and child development. In Kindermusik with Ellie you will find classes for children 0-18 months, 1½ - 3 years old, 3-5 years old and 5-7 years old, where each child's development and learning are encouraged in a safe environment. Parents also benefit from the Kindermusik experience! By taking part in the class, Kindermusik gives you the opportunity to spend quality time with your child, share experiences in a fun and creative way and strengthen your bonding. Kindermusik with Ellie term: 24 January – 26 June FREE Demo week: 10-15 January 2011 Monday classes: Yoga Room Friday classes: Polwarth Church Contact Ellie to book early and receive a discount or come along to one of the FREE classes. 079 62678561 For more information visit Ellie’s website: Also on Facebook: Kindermusik with Ellie

Swimeasy Come to our specialist SwimBabies lessons and allow your baby to benefit from taking part in an exciting aquatic activity programme under the instruction of competent teachers with specialised knowledge. Encourage your baby’s natural curiosity for learning by developing and progressing their water skills during their early years. SwimBabies offer lessons at various venues throughout Edinburgh and Linlithgow where the water is warm and safe. Join us on our journey from the beginning. SwimBabies is the start of an exciting water experience that progresses on through our programme of swimming lessons for SwimTots (2 and 3 year olds), Pre-school Infants, Non Swimmers and Beginners, Progressive - Learners and Improvers, Stroke Development Stages and Pre-Competition/ Fitness. Remember learning to swim through early aquatic participation gives your baby a skill that will last for the whole of their life! To Book Call Us Now On 0131 466 0764 or 01506 516220


INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS what you need to know about ENTRANCE ASSESSMENTS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN Understanding each individual child’s educational needs

Induction Days

Don’t be put off by the myth that young children undergo an ordeal to gain a place at an independent school! It's simply not true. The schools have to assess young children to be sure that they can meet each individual child’s educational needs and to determine how those needs can best be met. Be assured, the schools understand that parents, especially those of very young children (P1-3), are often anxious about entrance tests, so they will make every effort to put you at ease and to make the assessment as much fun as possible for your child. Toys are used to gain an understanding of each child’s grasp of basic concepts and assessments are done in such a way that most young children aren’t aware that they are being tested. To them, it’s just play!

If your child is offered a place, he or she is likely to be invited to attend an induction day, designed to calm any nerves. Induction days are often held in June, prior to the summer holiday. The format will vary from school to school and also be determined by your child's age and stage. Usually, children are asked not to wear school uniforms, to encourage new and existing pupils to mix. New pupils are assigned a ‘buddy’ and activities are organised to break the ice and provide some fun.

Timescales Most independent schools organise entrance assessments between January and March. Specific dates, which vary from school to school, are allocated for different age groups of children, so please check the dates with individual schools. Links to schools' websites can be found at where you can search for schools alphabetically, by type of school (e.g. Junior/Preparatory) or by geographic location.

And finally... Although independent schools prefer to receive applications by late December, they will accommodate applications later, provided places are available. Be aware though that many schools are likely to have waiting lists, particularly for P1. Further information can be found in a leaflet called “Independent Schools: a guide to the Admissions Process” at Enquiries can be made to Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) on 0131 220 2106 or to any individual school directly.

Fettes Prep Wins Charity Community Challenge Dedicated students at Fettes Prep School have just been awarded the first ever Macmillan Cancer Support Community Challenge for Edinburgh Schools. The students of T Form came out on top by raising an amazing £810 for the local cancer charity at the Coffee Morning they held in September. This is an annual event for Fettes Prep and eagerly anticipated by all the children who devise new ways of getting people to part with their money for charity! The students turned the school hall into a top class coffee shop where pupils served parents, relatives and friends some tasty treats and endless tea and coffee while providing musical entertainment. To add to the fun and excitement of the day they raffled off some very special cakes which helped them nearly double their previous total. Mr Edwards, Headmaster of Fettes Prep said: “We’re delighted to have won this challenge. Our T Form were responsible for arranging everything for our Coffee Morning along with their teacher, Mrs Heuston. Everyone had a great day and we’re already thinking about how to make things go with a swing in 2011. It’s great to raise money for such a worthwhile cause too.”


Motivating Children otivating children to improve their behaviour, complete their homework or stick at it when the sport or instrument they were so keen to try has become more difficult than they anticipated requires understanding and creative ideas. When children are gripped by intense feelings of ‘can’t do’ or disappointment about the way things are working out it becomes difficult for them to focus. With help from their parents they can work through their emotional challenges and become motivated to keep trying instead of giving up. In other words parents can become their child’s emotional coach.


Psychologist Professor John Gottman suggests that for parents to become their child’s emotional coach they should use the opportunities of difficult emotions to explore the true nature of those feelings and how to work them out constructively. Parents can do this by: • Avoiding rushing in to dismiss the child’s difficulty or criticise the behaviour or the mistakes made but instead finding time to talk with the child about what it is they are finding difficult, how they feel about it and what they think might help to improve the situation. • Help a child with homework but never do homework for a child. Encourage the child to tackle the difficult homework or task first while he/she has the most energy. Ask questions to find out where the difficulty lies and assist the child in working out together how to tackle the problem. Asking questions and listening carefully can help children solve their own problems instead of stepping in and taking over which can increase the child’s feeling of helplessness. • Focus on your child’s strengths, for example, talk first about what he/she did well and then talk about what can be improved. It is also important to notice improvements and to mention them to the child. Learning new skills takes time and mistakes are inevitable so it is important that children are given the time to learn at their own pace. Other suggestions for motivating children and rewarding them in different situations are: Help your child to find role models such as famous people, sports people, musicians, and people from history, family members or ancestors who have persisted in spite of challenges. You could also look for biographies for children at the library and read and discuss them together. You could ask questions like ‘what did the person do to continue when it was difficult’? Or ‘what would have happened if they did not stick at it’? You can always tell your child what you do when you find something difficult to do but be careful not to compare yourself or the person you are talking or reading about to your child.

Use a topic that interests them to inspire and reward them. Think up ways to incorporate a specific favourite topic into difficult activities. For example, to encourage them with their reading look for topics on their favourite subject. If they hate writing get them to write about their passion. When they have finished a task they find difficult or their homework you could give them as a reward about 15 minutes on the computer finding information about their favourite topic. Helping a child to choose a goal to work on at home can help motivation on other difficult tasks. Children can choose goals to help them become more independent, for example getting ready for school or doing chores. Talk together about a specific goal and how it can be accomplished. Decide on small rewards that take into account improvement and persistence. Star charts or sticker charts made up by the child with the help of a parent can be motivational for some children. Rewards that go together can be used when children are working towards big goals that take time to accomplish and can be very motivating. Parents often promise a reward at the end of the goal but by adding in daily rewards can keep the child interested and motivated. Book sets or toy sets with a number of different pieces that make up a complete set are good as children can pick the item they want from the set and see the other things they are working towards. Focus the rewards on your child by using photos to create a poster of them doing something well. Make up certificates you can put up for ‘Excellent Work Today’ or to highlight a job well done. Children love to see themselves personally rewarded in this way. Natural consequences and choices can also be used. When children help make a snack, they get to eat it. When they put on their coat, they get to go outside. This same concept can also be used for the more difficult skills. Frances Byatt-Smith, The Parent Centre



liday 2011

We all need a holiday, but how are we going to manage it in the harsh new economics of the year into which we’re headed? Joanna Moorhead shares some ideas on how to do make it work – whatever your budget (and even if you’ve no budget whatsoever!) Helping Children to Succeed Obstacles to learning? Various interventions available Call Karen 07837930714

It’s that time of the year when our thoughts invariably turn, as we shiver in grey, cold Scotland, to warmer climes and sun-kissed beaches. The kind of places we hope to end up in a few months’ time, when it’s summer once again, and we’re getting away from it all for those magical two weeks we call our annual holiday. Of course holidays with kids are always tricky...and one of the trickiest aspects of all is always financing them. And this year more than usual, finding the money to pay for a holiday is, for thousands of families, going to be harder than ever. But chins up – we’re not giving up! There are still ways to do it...and for those who do have some money to spend, the bargains are likely to be hotter than ever. Houseswap: The world falls into two camps on houseswapping. There are those who swear by it, who’ve stayed in the best villas around the world because of it; and there are those who can’t think of anything worse than having to leave their house pristine for another family when they go away, and who fear being palmed off with some hovel while its owners live it up in their luxury pad. The truth about houseswapping is that it IS hard might not be paying for your accommodation, but you need to go to a lot of trouble beforehand to make sure you a) have the perfect swap and b) that your own house is properly organised for the incoming family. Top tips from seasoned swappers are to find a family that’s as much like you as possible, and to ask lots of questions and look at lots of photos of the place you’re going to. Also, don’t rule out swaps with friends or relatives – these can be easier to organise, and you can top and tail them with some together-time with your mates as you overlap at one or both homes.



musical play (pre-school and P1) workshops (P2), musicianship, violin, viola, cello recorder, chamber music, choirs, orchestras AGES 3 TO 17 JAMES GILLESPIE’S HIGH SCHOOL “They’ve enjoyed the lessons enormously and the house is full of music now”

Jean Murray, B.Mus, Director 0131 226 3392 EYM is a Registered Scottish Charity No. SCO33153

Wildcamping: it ain’t for everyone, but those who love ‘real’ camping say they really, really adore it. What it means is camping in the remote wilds – not on campsites (where you have to pay), but in the absolute back of beyond, where there’s no infrastructure at all. For more information, see Work for your keep! Working holidays, in fact, aren’t usually free – but they are very, very cheap. The National Trust, for example, has holidays from £90 a week including food and hostel-type accommodation. No previous experience is necessary, as you’ll be led by trained volunteer leaders and staff. The trust says it’s a great opportunity for families, especially those with older children, to spend time together as a’ll be involved in ‘team activities’ and you’ll be helping to improve the environment. Children must be at least eight years old. For more information, see


In general, you get what you pay for with holiday spending. But it is possible to make your money go further – you just have to work out a strategy, and stick to it. Bargain-hunt: There are bargains around on the holiday front this year...and as usual, the trick is either to book well ahead, or to wait until the very last minute (and if your income is looking dodgy at the moment, the late-booking option could be the best). Holiday with another family. This can make your outlay a lot cheaper, because the costs will be divided in two. If you’re holidaying with another family, the cheapest thing to do is either to stay in the UK or somewhere else by ferry, since that’s the cheapest way to travel. Look for bargains like La Blanchere in the Vendee region of France – it’s a four-bed farmhouse set in a two-acre garden with a games barn and an aboveground swimming pool. It’s available for just £700 a week in high season – so for two families sharing, that’s quite a bargain. For more information, see 25places.shtml The aim of is to provide a “one-stop” shop to find suitable accommodation that welcomes families and helps mums and dad to actually enjoy their holidays rather than worry about the kids, the packing, the facilities on holiday, the hassle etc. etc. It can be very daunting holidaying as a family and if you get the wrong place, it can be a disaster. “My ideal holiday has something for the kids to do, somewhere for them to play, preferably a catering service so I am not always having to cook but also allowing the flexibility of self catering so the kids can have what they want when they want it, a dishwasher, washing machine, TV and DVD for obvious reasons, and either a kids club or babysitting so I can actually spend some time with my husband – a luxury that is always hard to have with a young family” says Lucilla, founder of

- W

Whatever your budget The kids have fun and Parents can relax and enjoy the peace. This is what La Garenne is all about. Specialising in family holidays in the Charente Maritime region of France. There are 6 stylish gites fully equipped for a fantastic family holiday. All the charm and beauty has been kept in this 16th Century fortified farm with beautiful exposed charentaise stone walls and oak beams through out. What makes this place so special is the setup of all the gites and the safety with in the walled garden. Each of the gites have a patio facing the communal walled garden with toys, fully fenced swimming pool, climbing tree, tree swings, slides and trampoline. There is also a small heated toddler and baby pool. The children have freedom to run around and have fun while parents have a chance to relax and enjoy the sun, a book, good food etc. There are lots of activities at La Garenne such as kids club for the over 3’s, pottery painting classes and welcome BBQ. You can also book babysitting if you want to go out. Arrivals meal can be ordered making your travel much easier and 3 evenings a week you can order a delicious 3 course meal. This is a treat as you can enjoy a delicious meal, while the children play in the garden or are safely tucked up in bed. The weather is warm through out May – October as this region is the second sunniest in France. If you don’t fancy driving airports near by are Poitiers, La Rochelle, Cognac and Bordeaux. Flybe and Jet2 both fly to these destinations from £50 all inclusive Discounts are available on some weeks in May, June and September. Please quote Families when requesting. For more details please contact Dorte on or visit

We are looking for caring, responsible families living in central, south or west Edinburgh to host 1-4 teenage pupils (12-18 yrs old ) for 2-3 weeks, July/Aug. Our pupils are mostly European. Generous remuneration. No packed lunches. Based in Southwest Edinburgh, Colinton Road. Please ring Julie Darling for more information: email: 0131 440 3301 British Council accredited, Member EnglishUK-Scotland

Cruise kids! Having "road tested" cruise holidays best suited to families with 9 year old daughter Ellie, Gary Donaldson decided to set up "Cruise Kids" ( ABTA registered) to help families who have never cruised before choose the best ships for family holidays. "We have some of the best family ships designed especially for families in the Med. such as Disney and Norwegian Epic next summer with superb facilities for both kids and parents alike." Kids can meet their heroes such as Spongebob Squarepants, Dora or their favourite Disney characters. For older ones a chance to meet iCarly stars, try the surfpark, water flumes, bowling, ice-skating or join in with teen clubs. The big news for kids is the one-off Nickelodeon cruise on July 24th sailing from Barcelona with Spongebob, Dora & iCarly stars onboard. It's going to be kids heaven with character breakfasts, Slime-Time Live, Nick Live poolside and Nickelodeon parties all week long! Gary has a special offer for Families readers booking this cruise of free soft drinks all week long for kids, and for mums & dads a free bottle of fizzy wine and a meal in the speciality Italian restaurant onboard. He also has 20 free giant Spongebob Cruise posters to give way to the first 20 people who enquire about a cruise and answer the question: "What kind of creature is Patrick?" correctly. Contact Gary Donaldson at Cruise Kids on 0131 443 0766 to make your next holiday the best yet!

Superb gite complex in France...

...specialising in family holidays. Parents it is time to relax and enjoy the sun. We have thought of it all for you: • Enclosed large pool and heated toddler pool • Babysitting evening and day time (qualified staff) • Kids club ( 3’s +), pottery painting classes • Under 5’s garden play blanket with toys, games and books • Arrivals meal and 3 course cuisine • All equipment available • Playground in walled safe garden For further information visit email:


New Year Health, Fitness and Well-being The Pilates Place The Pilates Place boasts a staff of fitness professionals who are not only trained in Body Control Pilates but also the Pilates Therapy Method, having varied experience in dance, movement, yoga and body therapies, so that they can best understand how to fine tune Pilates Fitness programming for clients who want to build a better body. The Pilates Method was devised by Joseph Pilates over ninety years ago. “Through knowledge of the body lies the key in discovering ones strengths and weaknesses.” Joseph Pilates Power Plate Pilates creates a balance of dormant muscles to overused muscles improving the ease Power Plate is resistance training whereby you are working against a far greater load – of motion in the joints whilst strengthening you at the same time (Core Strength) Pilates gravity! has long been recognised by Medical Practitioners, Physiotherapists and Osteopaths as Whilst doing a wide variety of different exercises and session types on a vibrating surface, a safe form of exercise to aid back injuries and is not an age restrictive workout. your muscles contract between 30 – 40 times per second, forcing you to engage 95% Pilates can be the answer to many people’s ailments and many Pilates instructors are muscle fibre, as opposed to 65% in traditional forms of training. This in turn, builds lean qualified to teach pre/post natal, Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, MS clients, the list goes on… muscle, speeds up your metabolism and burns excess fat even when you’re resting. Matwork Pilates is a group class with a maximum of 12 people to one tutor. The class Whilst Power Plate sessions at studioEH1 are intense, they are for all ages and abilities. lasts for one hour, using small portable pieces of equipment to enhance the workout. There are two key options firstly, one to one Personal Training for faster results or SemiClasses usually run in a block of six weeks, depending on school term times. Personal Training, where one Personal Trainer delivers a whole body work out to a maximum of 4 clients at a time. Each session is tailored to your ability and adaptations The Pilates Place are offering Families Edinburgh readers 20%off January can easily be made to work around any old injuries. It is a safe and effective environment, Matwork Bookings. Offer ends January 31st 2011. Quote Families Pilates with minimal impact on ligaments and tendons, through which amazing results can be Discount when booking or take in the cut off slip from their advert. achieved. The Power Plate sessions continually test your body’s responses to create tone, strength, 3 Queen Charlotte Lane, Top Floor, Edinburgh, EH6 6AY. Tel: 0131 555 6423 flexibility and mobility quickly and efficiently, leaving you with more time to enjoy showing email: it all off! New Post Natal Personal Training course, available in Blocks of 12 or 24 Bella Yoga No matter what type of birth you have had, your Pelvic Floor will have weakened and the “Blissful, beautiful beginnings,” that’s what Lisa Black of Bella Yoga, promises to all chances are a degree of nerve damage will have occurred. What we need to do is Edinburgh mums to be, who visit her new, boutique yoga studio in Trinity. “Pregnancy is reconnect the damaged nerves. Power Plate® and the Post Natal period are ideal an extraordinary time in a women’s life but the physical and emotional transformations partners for this and for those who are time poor but want effective exercise and she experiences can be overwhelming” says Lisa. She believes that Pre-natal yoga is neurological stimulus without harsh impact and complicated movements. studioEH1 the perfect partner to support expectant mothers through this wondrous period. provides the perfect intimate environment for getting back into shape when time is Bella Yoga gently supports and nurtures your pregnant body, and helps you prepare for precious...and you can bring the baby! the birth of your baby with greater confidence, ease and calm. Lisa is especially 8b Rutland Square, Edinburgh EH1 2AS. Tel 0131 229 8605 interested in strengthening the loving connection between you and your baby through 31 Albany Street, Edinburgh EH1 3QN. Tel 0131 558 3688 beautiful baby bonding meditations. Your first visit to the Pre-natal Yoga class or any of the other classes offered including, Mums and Bubs, Kid’s and Women’s yoga is free!

Edinburgh Psychology Centre

Edinburgh Psychology Centre can help you bounce back. The highly qualified practitioners at the Edinburgh Psychology Centre (a First Psychology centre) offer counselling, cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT), relationship/couples counselling and family therapy to clients - young and old - who need help to bounce back. The centre's friendly professionals have many years' experience helping individuals, couples and families with a variety of issues including: anxiety/phobia, low mood/depression, trauma, abuse, eating/body image issues, anger, relationship problems, bereavement and much more. The centre, with its flexible appointment times, has helped many hundreds of clients since 2001, when it was set up by Dr Ewan Gillon, a chartered psychologist, registered with the Health Professions Council. It is still a psychology-led centre today, but experienced practitioners now also include: psychologists, counsellor/psychotherapists (including family therapists), CBT therapists, relationship therapists and psychological coaches. The accessible location near the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh city centre is convenient for those travelling by train, bus or car. For those further afield, consultations are also available in Glasgow and the Borders. For more details see or call 0131-668-1440.


Whether you are new to yoga or an experienced practitioner, whether you are new to motherhood or an experienced mum, you can enjoy yoga at Bella Yoga. Visit or e-mail Tel - 07581354472 or become a facebook friend of ‘Bella Yoga (Trinity, Edinburgh)’.

Tay to Tweed Hypnotherapy Charles works with individuals to help them make the changes they want to have in their life so that whatever it is that concerns them they can be more effective in their life, in their chosen sport or at work. Very often a sense of low self esteem or low levels of confidence underlie many of the things that trouble us. These can be addressed and successful change brought about from just a few sessions. He teaches self hypnosis so that you can continue to support yourself at home. Where appropriate he offers a CD which is usually free of charge. You can contact Charles on: 07973 829 874 07973 829 874 or at: Also please see:

Zesty energy tips from At this time of year in particular we can all be feeling a bit sluggish and lacking in zest and energy so here are some quick tips to try to make a few simple changes to your diet that can rectify this. Try out the Real Foods Super Smoothie for a quick vitamin blast.

Choose colour Fruit and vegetables come in a rainbow of colours – yellow, orange, red, blue, purple, black, green…these indicate their different nutrients and vitamins. So choose a wide range of different colours for your health. And don’t forget brown. Switching to wholemeal bread, brown rice and pasta will cut out simple carbohydrates giving you energy for longer.

Try the alternatives If you’re regularly feeling sluggish or bloated, try a week of substituting caffeine, dairy or wheat with delicious, healthy alternatives e.g. herbal teas, decaf coffee, wheat-free breads or soya, rice, oat and almond milks.

5 a day – seeds and nuts count too Make sure that you add plenty of pulses and whole grains to your daily diet. You can buy ready milled seed mixtures that can be added to your cereal, porridge or smoothie in the morning. Seeds, nuts, pulses and beans all count towards your 5 a day, essential for a healthy body and mind. There are dozens of varieties and variety is the key to a healthy diet – and life!

Superfoods Superfoods contain an extraordinarily high amount of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids – they boost the immune system and can help fight diseases. Superfoods include bee pollen, hemp, Acai berries, goji berries, wheatgrass, Barley grass, raw cacao, spirulina, Maca root and kelp. Many come in juice, powder or dried form and Real Foods stock most of them in bulk at low prices – ask Real Foods staff for advice on which Superfoods to try.

Real Foods Super Smoothie Forget 5 a day, try five in a minute. This is the framework for all kinds of super smoothies. Delicious, fun and packed with antioxidants and vitamins. Must Include 2 Bananas 3 Portions of fruit of your choice. 250ml Milk (or Soya milk / Rice dream) Extras • 1-1⁄2 Teaspoon of a Natural Essence of your choice (good ones are, almond, vanilla, lemon, orange, peppermint, chocolate) • 3-6 Tablespoons of Yogurt (Plain or Fruity) – will help thicken the smoothie. • A couple of shakes of Cinnamon or Cocoa powder which provide some of the highest ORAC foods (oxygen radical absorbance capacity). That means they are powerful antioxidants and help neutralise free radicals and provide all the associated benefits of this. • 1-2 Tablespoons of Lecithin Granules - Lecithin is an emulsifier and is available in powdered/granulated form as a supplement. It makes the smoothie really thick and creamy, especially if you have added yoghurt, it also makes it slower to digest so it will fill you up for longer, great for those who are on a slimming mission. Every cell in the body needs it and you will quickly notice the memory benefits of lecithin (definitely worth taking for exams). Blend till the granules have dissolved, this may take a minute or two. Serves Two

Basic Smoothie Blend the fruit in a blender first, this helps to get it really purified. Take as long as the fruit needs to purify, soft fruit will not take longer than 60 seconds. If you add the milk first the fruit will not be as smooth. The best Smoothie fruits should be soft like bananas, pears, berries, grapes, strawberries, etc apples also work well. Citrus Fruits don’t go well with the milk. Add the Milk and blend some more.... That’s it! Real Foods have thousands of healthy, nutritious products, helpful advice and daily special offers in their two central Edinburgh shops open 7 days a week. Many products are available online and there are lots of free recipes and health advice too at 37 Broughton Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3JU / tel: 0131 557 1911 8 Brougham Street, Tollcross, EH3 9JH / tel: 0131 228 1201 email: •


You and the Law the Position of When Ed Miliband won the Labour Party leadership contest last autumn, the media had a field day, not least because one of Ed’s rivals for the position had been his older brother David. However, the press also made much of Ed’s domestic arrangements, and, in particular, the fact that he and Justine, his long term partner and the mother of his two young children, live together but are not married.

Yet Ed and Justine are hardly alone - official statistics show that cohabiting couples with, and without, children are now the fastest growing family type in the UK. In the ten years to 2006, the number of cohabiting couples in the UK increased by more than 60% to 2.3million, and the number of dependent children living in cohabiting couple families to 1.49 million, almost 12% of the total number of dependent children in the UK.

The Myth of the Common Law Marriage Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing in Scotland as “common law marriage”. A couple who have been living together, even for many years, do not enjoy the same legal status as those who are legally married or in a civil partnership. Cohabitees have no obligation to support one another financially during their relationship, and there are no automatic rights to property, pensions or other assets in the event of separation or death. However, the position is slowly improving, and new laws introduced in 2006 now provide cohabiting couples in Scotland with some rights and responsibilities.


The 2006 Changes Since 2006, if you live together with another person as if you are spouses or civil partners, certain presumptions will apply to property acquired during the course of your relationship. Items of furniture, for example, will be presumed to be owned in equal shares, unless this can be proved not to be the case. No such presumption will apply to the family home, however, so that ownership of it will continue to be determined by what is shown on the title deeds, even if the underlying position is different. If you and your partner separate, it will be open to either of you to apply to the sheriff court (within one year of the termination of the relationship) for financial support from the other in the form of a lump sum payment (but not an ongoing allowance), if it can be shown that the party making the application was financially disadvantaged by the relationship, whilst the other gained an economic advantage. The usual scenario will be where one partner has given up work or scaled back work commitments to hold the fort on the home front, allowing the other to focus on developing his or her career. On the death of either partner, the survivor can also now apply to the sheriff court for a discretionary financial payment from the estate, but only if the deceased died without a Will. Such a claim must be brought within six months of the death, and may have to compete with claims by the deceased’s children if there are any, and perhaps even an estranged spouse. Only in very limited circumstances is the surviving partner likely to be awarded anything like what he or she may feel is required or deserved, and the discovery of a perhaps long forgotten Will, which bequeaths the deceased’s estate to others, will leave the survivor with nothing, even if this was never intended. It can be seen then, that the 2006 provisions, whilst helpful in some respects, can still

– Cohabitees

leave cohabitees financially vulnerable in the event of their relationship ending. Moreover, going to court can be costly, time consuming, and emotionally draining at what is already a difficult time, and until more applications for financial support on separation or death are dealt with by the courts, it will be impossible to predict with any certainty what the outcome of a claim will be. There are no guarantees, and so for anyone concerned about how to better protect their position, and that of their partner, the sensible advice will be to enter into a cohabitation agreement.

Taking Control Similar to a prenuptial agreement for those about to marry, and not just the preserve of the rich and famous, a cohabitation agreement will record what your intentions are in the event of you and your partner separating, and can even regulate matters between you meantime. By putting your intentions in writing, you will be taking control of your position, reducing the potential for dispute and uncertainty in the future, and providing protection for both of you in the event of the relationship breaking down. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to cohabitation agreements, however, as a general guide, the following matters can be addressed: • How the family home is to be owned. Sometimes, although both parties will be contributing to the deposit/mortgage payments, title will have been taken in the name of only one of the parties. Conversely, title may be in joint names, but one of the parties may have met all, or the majority of, the costs. Whatever the scenario, the cohabitation agreement can set out the contributions made by each of you, and/or the respective ownership shares which you are to have in the property. It can also provide for one of you having the right to buy out the other’s share in the event of a separation, and can even act as a record of the arrangements for paying the mortgage or meeting the costs of improvements whilst things are still going well. • How other significant assets acquired both before and during the relationship are to be owned. Are there, for example, inherited or gifted assets which are not to be treated as part of the joint “pot”? • How you intend to support each other financially, both in the course of the relationship, and in the event of it breaking down. This will be particularly relevant if one of you has given up or reduced work to bring up the children, or simply to support the other in pursuing his or her career.

• If there are children , the arrangements to be made for their care in the event of a separation, and how the costs of their upbringing are to be met. Whatever matters you wish to cover, it is important that they are addressed at a time when the two of you are getting along and able to agree what should happen. Ideally, this would be at the start of your cohabitation, bearing in mind that you can revisit the agreement as your relationship develops and circumstances change. And a word of caution – whilst it may be tempting to deal with the agreement yourselves, thus avoiding lawyers fees, there are certain legal formalities which need to be complied with to minimise the possibility of the courts being able to interfere with the agreed arrangements in the future. It is therefore crucial that you take proper legal advice at the outset. The peace of mind which you will have in knowing that everything has been set up properly will mean that this is money well spent.

Wills and Nominations Cohabitation agreements will generally only deal with financial matters during, and on the breakdown of, the relationship. It will be important, then, for each of you also to have up to date wills which make suitable provision for the survivor, and any children you have. You should also ensure that any pension benefits and life cover you have are appropriately nominated, and again, consulting a solicitor on these matters will ensure that the arrangements are made correctly. In summary, getting your affairs in order so that the worst case scenario is provided for, will leave you free to relax and enjoy the here and now. Then the only cohabitation issue keeping you awake at night should be your partner’s snoring! Morna Coutts is a senior associate with Morton Fraser LLP specialising in succession planning, asset protection and tax mitigation. She is also mum to Rowan (5) and Euan (3), and stepmum to Cameron (15). For further advice on any matter highlighted in this article, please contact Morna on 0131 247 1089 or


It’s a new day, it’s a new year, it’s a new job and we’re feeling good…

Baby it’s cold outside

Or are we? Traditionally we take stock after the bells strike 12 on the previous year. With renewed enthusiasm, we make new plans and goals to put in place for the year ahead. Looking at our work life balance and cash flow sits fairly high on this priority list, particularly when you have a young family to organise and support.

NICOLA BAIRD suggests ways to make the rooms you and the kids use most snug and draught-proof

So what does 2011 hold in store for us? Well the last few years have been challenging for many to say the least and unfortunately, although there is light at the end of the tunnel, it would seem we still have a bit of a journey ahead to reach it. When juggling family life and the increasing strains work commitments are putting us under, understanding your skills and the current job market can make changing jobs or going back to work after a career break far less stressful. There are jobs! With the right skills and approach to the market, 2011 could be a very lucrative and exciting time for some. Be prepared to wait…. the recruitment process now takes longer than it has previously. This is mainly due to employers taking their time to make sure they get the best fit for not only the job but also their organisation. However, it does mean that there are great long term opportunities available now, which have proved to be sparse over the last couple of years. We are starting to see a bigger upturn in people moving jobs rather than sitting tight and this means the job market is becoming more fluid again. The recession has changed the way many employers think about how they should resource their businesses and this has resulted in facilitating a far more flexible approach. Great news when you are juggling family life. A full-time position can now be adequately managed either by working from home or a shorter working week (i.e. working full time hours in 4 days). There has also been a huge upturn in the amount of professional jobs becoming available on a part-time basis. We now recruit far more financial controller, book-keeper and credit control positions on a part-time basis than ever before. So where are all the jobs then? Well, not necessarily in the papers and on the job boards! Statistics have shown that during the last few years, the majority of new jobs filled are being done so by word of mouth and not through advertising. When an organisation advertises for positions in this market, they can be inundated with responses, some of which are not even relevant which makes for an administrative headache. It is no wonder that if they are told about someone appropriate, they will follow it up and in most cases look no further.

A course for women returning to work Are you looking to get back to work after a break? If you want to feel confident about relaunching your career, develop your computer skills and update your CV and interview technique, then The PCT Partnership's 'Women Returning to Work' course is for you. The course will also re-introduce you to today's working environment and give you guidance and support in finding work. The 16 week course is funded by Skills Development Scotland and is free if you live in Edinburgh and the Lothians and have been away from work for 13 weeks or more. We’ll be starting our next course in February 2011.

For information call The PCT Partnership on 0131 622 6240 or email


Many organisations use a bounty system that offers their employees money if they recommend a successful applicant, so this could be doing everyone a favour! The main thing is to get word out that you are looking for new opportunities and stick to your guns on what will work for your family life. Employers know that if someone has high job satisfaction that they are likely to be doing a good job, so getting an opportunity that works for you is a win-win for everyone. Research organisations that you would like to work in, whether it’s because they are in the right location or they share your values. Whatever the reason, you can make sure you are in the right place at the right time when they are looking for new staff. You may be surprised to find out you already know someone who works there. Social networking is making the world a much smaller place and is opening a whole new world for recruitment. Many busy mums I speak to are relying on Facebook as a welcome lifeline to keep in touch with family and friends. Don’t be afraid to ask them to help you find new opportunities as it might also help them if they get a cash reward! So when making your New Year resolutions, make a list of what you need to have a happy, healthy and prosperous year and speak to people to make it happen. This just could be a great year. Pauline Dickson is the Managing Director of Dickson Lewis, a specialist Accountancy Recruitment company and is also Director of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals (IRP) for Central Scotland as well as being mum to Connor (6) and Charlotte (4)! Pauline regularly runs Career Solutions Workshops for the Department for Work and Pensions designed to assist jobseekers in all aspects of current recruitment processes. If you would like more details on this or to chat about market opportunities available to you within Accountancy, call 0131 200 6006 or e-mail

If you’re working from home, or spend a lot of time there with little children then organise your winter den in the sunniest (south or south-west facing) room and make insulation a priority. In a top flat or house you can lay insulation material thickly over your attic floor (buy cheaply from a hardware store). Then sort out the draughts. Try using well-fitting, thick layers of curtains over sash windows if you’re not ready to replace single glazed windows. There are lots more ideas like this in George Marshall’s Carbon Detox.

Quick fix • Draw curtains at dusk. • If the curtain rail is strong enough sew, staple or use safety pins to fix up secondhand curtains (found at charity shops, car boot sales etc) behind your own curtains. • Shut doors! Turn your efforts to hunt out draughts into a game with the kids. Explain it costs money to heat space. “Money that could be spent on treats” is one way to motivate your assistants, whose mission it is to find all the ways heat escapes from each room.

Quix fix • Using the simplest of tools – tape measure, tacks and hammers secure foam or rubber draught proof strips to the sides and base of doors etc. • Add a rug or two over gappy floorboards or try a winter layout by moving large pieces of furniture so they sit on top of leaky spots. • Fit a portiere rod so that you can put up a door curtain blocking front/back door draughts. Finish off by making a long snakey door stop (1.5m x 15cm material sleeve stuffed with clothes/sand/crumpled newspaper). “People with young children are at home more so they need more energy-efficient homes so that they can actually afford to keep warm.” Andrew (energy consultant), 55, dad of Ella, 9 Nicola Baird is mum of two girls. Her book Homemade Kids: thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children is published by Vermilion, £10.99. Also have a look at the blog on

“Bed Box” Photographer Dan Welldon

SPACE to grow into s the prospect of moving house becomes ever more daunting, more families are looking for ways to make the most of the home they already have. With the cost of building labour declining and houses stagnating for months on the property market; now is a good the time to re-imagine and reinvent our homes.


As life progresses, the demands on a home will change; more bed space is needed for a new child, an elderly relative moves in, teenagers need more space of their own. Those people following the growing ‘lifetime homes’ movement understand that homes must be designed to be adaptable to families’ changing circumstances. Moving house is an upheaval, disrupts established social connections and may uproot children from schools and friendship groups. By working with the homes we’ve got and bringing in professional expertise to explore all the options available, an old home can be transformed into a new one without a removal van in sight. Grandparents George and Maggie Ross moved back into Maggie's childhood home in Edinburgh's southside. “It's a special house with lots of memories and I love being back. The house needed altering so that we could get more connection with the garden. We also wanted to make changes so that we could welcome our children and grandchildren when they come to stay”. The Ross's altered the lower ground floor of their Listed building, fitting a wetroom shower next to the spare bedrooms, and a utility room as well as taking a wall down between two rooms on the upper ground floor to make a large family kitchen dining area with a window seat. The kitchen overlooks a new, award winning, oak terrace and staircase leading to a stone garden terrace and access to the lower ground floor. “We feel that the house layout now works really well for us.”

all these expenses at the first meeting and lay all these costs out for you in their initial letter. They also indicate when payments are likely to be required and to whom so that you can plan your project’s cashflow.” “Having a team of experienced construction professionals who understand your family’s priorities takes away the stress of a building project and lets you get on with family life. The team here is small and approachable and has helped many families with all range of budgets find ways to make more from the home they already have. Understanding the demands of a family life is key to getting a design right. Even meetings are arranged flexibly around times that suit their clients’ busy lives.” To contact Oliver Chapman Architects, visit They are based at Schop, 36 St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SX 0131 477 4513

The process of getting a design built needn’t be daunting but its worth remembering that there’s a lot of work done by an architect before the builders move in. “That’s when the cameras start rolling on TV shows like Grand Designs” says Oliver Chapman, Oliver Chapman Architects “but we’ll have steered a project through cost checks, planning permission, perhaps listed building consent, building warrant and competitive tendering before that”. It’s no surprise perhaps that a city as attractive as Edinburgh has some of the most comprehensive rules on developing your home. But recently implemented changes to the planning permission procedure are intended to speed up application for householders and the guidance the department produces helps minimize the likelihood of being turned down. Along with getting a proposal that you like and one that will get planning permission, getting a scheme that’s within your budget is another hurdle that needs addressing right at the start. Being realistic about the overall cost means understanding where the hidden expenses lurk and where the risks lie that might knock you off track. According to Oliver, homeowners should budget for an Architect and an Engineer as well as VAT which applies to fees and building costs (unless your altering a Listed building in which case, parts of the costs can be zero rated). He said “We will explain


How Many More sleeps

until your child’s birthday? Dance anD DraMa Parties shimmy 'n' shine – Belly Dance Birthday Parties

rocking rascals

2 Hour Fun for girls aged 9 years+ For a truly unique birthday party your daughter aged 9yrs plus could learn belly dancing to a choreographed dance routine to Turkish music (English songs also an option). From the comfort of your own home – a Shimmy’n’ Shine Belly Dance Party Package includes two hours of fun with two short breaks, a performance by Zena herself to get the girls in the mood and of course the choreographed dance routine. Girls will dress up in vibrant colour coin belts, sparking bangles, stunning body gems and each girl will receive her own dazzling Glitter Tattoo. This is a fun and energetic party that will leave your girls shimmying all the way home!!! You supply the girls and I will provide an unforgettable party!!! To make this party a memorable one, the Birthday Girl receives her very own Belly Dance Performance DVD with a photo of all her friends to keep as a memento of her spectacular party!!! If you would like a Shimmy 'N' Shine party please contact Zena on 0774 626 0326 or email, Website:

Rocking Rascals themed parties have all the fun of our children’s discos but with lots of extra exciting features thrown in to make them the best parties for 4 to 8 year olds in Central Scotland. You provide the venue and we will provide the invitations, 2 party entertainers, glitter, crafts, music, disco lights and lots of dressing up clothes, birthday buffet and tableware. The party begins with a mini makeover just to get us all in the party mood, and then we will groove away on the dance floor and play some fun games also. When we need a break we will move to the Birthday Buffet table and get our energy back for the big finale – the fashion parade/dance show. Party packages start at £10.00 per child. We are the perfect treat for birthdays, and an excellent helper at weddings, fun days and corporate entertainment For more details, or to book your party, call Emma on 07818 687066 or email

stagecoach themed Parties - 0845 052 9474 ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

Dance A Story and Dance Moves are both imaginative and active. In a Dance A Story party, experienced teacher Adele Reynolds will invent a story especially for the birthday person, which she then leads the children through using a mixture of action, dance, and drama, with lots of exciting music. A Dance Moves party involves creating our own dance routine to a favourite piece of music. Adele responds to the children's own ideas in both parties. An optional half hour of party games follows after you've eaten. Suitable for any number, dependent on space, at home, or in a hall. For ages 3-10, boys and girls. Cost £65 for Dance A Story/Dance Moves £90 for Dance A Story / Dance Moves and Games. Call - 01592 840062


Dance a story, and Dance Moves

the Drama studio – themed children’s Parties Pick a theme and a drama teacher will organise your party. We can include drama sketches, story making, games, music, dancing, quizzes and much more. Some of our most popular themes are – Medieval, Space, Pirates, Witches and Wizards, Fairies, Jungle and Pop Stars – or we are happy to design a party around your child’s special interests. Prices start from £80 + VAT. Any numbers can be catered for, ages 3 and upwards. Call 0131 453 3284

sparkle arts Parties For more details, or to book your party, call 07717 706 778 or email


Cramond Kirk Hall Rooms All Sizes for Parties & Events

Call 0131 312 6911 or 07979 795331


ome parents love planning and hosting children’s parties, while others are deeply relieved it’s only once a year. There’s absolutely no shame in bringing in the professionals to help with your party and hiring a venue is great too as the mess is kept out of your home, and there’s more space for all that energy to bounce around in! Here is your jam packed and completely up to date 2011 Birthday Party Guide to help you on the way to giving your child a very special day.


You can also see this guide and loads of successful party suggestions we’ve gathered from parents at entertainers anD Halls Beano the clown

Fantoosh Face art

In my clowning, I use magic, music, juggling and balloon modeling. My shows are in one or two hours, for the under 5s or the over 5s. Children become the magicians, everybody participates, each child gets a balloon. The birthday boy gets a motorcycle with five balloons and the birthday girl a Tweety Bird on a perch. With the under 5s, we play two songs on the guitar, do magic with a puppet and finish with the balloons. In the two hour show, we play games after the magic and balloons. I also have a show for toddlers. I also have a theatre show and a street show, which is in the Festival every year. As seen on GMTV and Nickelodeon. I am a member of Equity and Clowns International and have a CRB check. Tel: 07948-070 569 Website: (without www)

It may say “Lynn Fraser” on her birth certificate, but she’s Fantoosh. She’s 100% designer, 100% craftswoman, 100% mammie and 0% mathematician. She’s equally at home at a wedding reception, christening or a five-year-old’s birthday party. You’ll find her merrily painting away; creating happy - and beautiful - faces. Not that the faces aren’t beautiful to begin with, of course. She simply gilds the Lily. And the Lorna. And the Lewis. Face painting is obviously perfect for children’s parties. And Fantoosh’s party fees starts at an attractive £70 for two hours painting. (time enough to paint the faces at most birthday bashes). But why let the kids have all the fun? How about Fantoosh doing something fabulous for the hens at a hen night? Or something completely unexpected at a wedding reception? Lynn’s sense of fun is infectious and as a trained designer and artist, she brings a different approach to face painting. Her work really is face art. Based in East Lothian, Lynn is a friendly and professional artist who loves to leave her canvases smiling. Visit her on Facebook at Fantoosh Face Art 07775 861075

Cramond Kirk Hall is an excellent venue for all sorts of functions, especially children’s parties. Rooms are available for quiet receptions or wild ceilidhs, baptismal parties or functions celebrating a retirement, formal or casual but most commonly used to celebrate a youngster’s birthday. There is loads of space to burn off energy or to erect a bouncy castle in the Main Hall or have a more formal do in the luxurious Millennium Room. A commercial kitchen is available for the catering, crockery and cutlery is on site and there are loads of tables and chairs. Cramond Kirk Hall is easily accessed by bus and has a large car park for those who drive and is beside Cramond Village, River Almond and the Firth of Forth’s foreshore. Please contact Anthony Vennelle on 312 6911, 07979 795331 or to discuss your requirements.

Flotsam and Jetsam Puppeteer and storyteller Ailie Finlay will come to your party wearing her famous ‘story dress’ covered in pockets. Watch as the delightful little home-made puppets and props come tumbling out of the pockets with all their stories and songs. Meet Little Red Riding Hood, a woolly mouse, a naughty chicken and Polly putting the kettle on! Lots of joining-in and special surprises for the birthday child. Gentle, fun, cosy entertainment especially aimed at the under-5’s. Visit our website at: or call Ailie on 07813 705 840.

stina sparkles entertainments Offers a range of services for your party or event. We can provide DJ, Face Painting, Glitter Tattoos, Balloon Modelling and Horror Make Up. Each can be booked separately or choose our special 2h package from £145! Call 07724814117 or for details. Fully insured, police checked and highly recommended on 'netmums'.

raymondo Bongo Real magic, puppets and balloon modelling. Call 01501 731191



cramond Kirk Hall



Full Party Package 2 hours £145!

Free Taster Session

WONDERFUL CAKES FOR ALL OCCASIONS (we also provide wheat, gluten, dairy, egg and nut free)

LOW IN SUGAR NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVOURINGS phone maggi on 07706 379114 or email



Birthday Party Guide creative Parties angel Designs – Beading parties We offer jewellery-making parties where children are shown how to make their very own beaded jewellery such as bracelets or necklaces. Children love choosing from our range of beads of all shapes, sizes and colours. Imagine how proud they’ll be to show you what they’ve made. And they get to take their creation home in a box which they’ve decorated. Plus they leave with a party bag. Little Angels parties are perfect for birthdays. Parties are suitable for children aged 5 years plus. A minimum of 6 children is required for each party. We hold the party in your home or we can travel to a venue of your choice. Classes are adjusted according to the level of the group and their interests. Children of all ages can enjoy our jewellery making parties. So for a stress free party contact either Justine 07933764731 or Lynn 07877149487 for more details or visit us

the ceramic experience

Ocean Drive, Leith – 0131 554 4455

cooking Mania Cookery Parties at CookingMania. Bake your Cake & Eat It! Looking for a new way to celebrate your kid’s birthday party? Look no further. At CookingMania we offer a fun and unique way to celebrate your little chefs big day. Children love making their own food, just as much as they love eating it! We offer packages to suit anyone from aged 6 to 18. A variety of menus are available to choose from, or we can tailor the menu to suit; whether your son wants a ‘Mexican Fiesta’ or your daughter prefers ‘Death by Chocolate’ we can help you out. Our parties last for 2 hours. Call us for more information CookingMania 1-2 North West Circus Place, Edinburgh EH3 6ST 0131 220 2040

Doodles Doodles offers a great party package in its Marchmont studio. Acrylic painted pottery such as miniature animals, picture frames and other ornaments can be taken home the same day at a cost of £10 per head. Items which need to be food safe, such as mugs or plates cost £11 per head and will be ready for collection or postage after 3 days. Doodles provides sweets and juice and parents may bring other party food and a birthday cake. Up to 25 children can be accommodated in the studio. Doodles is really a perfect destination for children of any age to come and party (from 1 upwards) Doodles host lots of 30th, 40th, 50th and even 90th Birthday parties for adults too!! You can also customise your party to suit your budget, for example they could all paint a door plaque or hand print tile for £6 a head. We are always happy to discuss your party ideas with you. We can also offer a take home party in a box kit. 29 Marchmont Crescent, Edinburgh, EH9 1HQ. 0131 229 1399

the imagination Workshop Fun and original craft parties for children. There’s something to suit girls and boys of all ages -create a clock, decopatch an elephant, become a princess or a pirate, make a charm bracelet and much, much more! Prices start at £10 per head. Open seven days. Have your party in the workshop or let us come to you – we cover all Edinburgh and the Lothians., 136 Marchmont Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1AQ. 0131 466 0148

Honey Pot ceramics Be amazed at what you can do... Looking for something different? - then why not book one of our fun parties: You can either: • Paint Pottery – we have a wide selection of items available • Make your own Soap, Bath Bombs, Shower Gel, Lip Balm or Lip Gloss – simply choose your fragrances and colour and add glitters to make them extra special or • Make your own jewellery, including charm or pretty stringy bracelets. If you can’t decide what to do, then we even offer the opportunity for you to ‘mix and match’ to suit your requirements – just ask us for details. The birthday boy/girl also receives a special ceramic party plate which all their friends sign, to take away on their special day. We hope to see you soon Telephone: 0131- 333-6348 For further details:

Kiss the Fish Come along to Kiss the Fish Studios for a truly creative birthday party which guarantees that each child goes home with their very own masterpiece. Decopatch: Choose from a huge range of animals or a fabulous treasure box to decorate with paints, funky decopatch papers, glitter and more … prices start from £9 per person and parties last around 1½ - 2 hours Mosaics: For ages 10 and over, how about a mosaic party? We’ll show you how to cut the tiles and turn them into a work of art. Prices start from £11 per person Clay Modelling: In conjunction with Making Pottery, learn how to sculpt an animal or trinket box out of clay and paint with under glaze – items will be fired and ready for collection one week later. Prices from £12 per person. Suitable for ages 7 upwards Felt-making: Learn how to make a little felt purse or bag using the wet-felting technique – great fun ! £12 per person. Suitable for ages 7 upwards If you have a party idea of your own just contact us and we’ll do our best to accommodate you – how about a paint your own portrait party ? We can host parties for up to 16 in our sunny, spacious studio in Stockbridge. Although we are unable to provide food, you are most welcome to bring along your own snacks and drinks to the studio – call us on 0131 332 8912 for more details. 9 Dean Park Street, Stockbridge, EH4 1JN. 0131 332 8912

Potter around parties Potter Around is a pottery painting and craft studio in Kirknewton. Children will love our specially decorated party room in a countryside setting and adults will love our relaxed homely atmosphere. We run a variety of arts and crafts parties both in the studio and on a mobile basis. Let us hold a themed pottery painting party for you such as fairies, mermaids, animals, pizza or afternoon tea. Children can paint and take that day or paint and leave their goodies to be glazed and fired. We also run Arty Parties where budding Picassos can paint on canvas or Crafty Parties where children can make jewellery and other crafts. We will also ensure the birthday child has a special memento of their day. Prices range from £8 to £15 per head. Suitable for ages 3 up and for 6 to 35 children. Let us arrange the catering or bring your own. We have lots of music to make the party go with a bang. Parents can stay and paint in a separate room. Whatever party you choose, we promise to make it perfect. Potter Around, Overton Farm, Kirknewton, EH27 8AH. 01506 238961. See for details.


Birthday Party Guide

It’s my Birthday

I’m 5 this year So as a wee thank you to all my playmates, I’d like to give you a £50 Voucher to use on the day of your Birthday (only when booking a party for 10 children or more).

so we can have lots and lots of fun together on your special day.

Molly’s Play Centre

Top Floor, Ocean Terminal, Ocean Drive EH6 6JJ

0131 554 0102 21 FAMILIES EDINBURGH ISSUE 64

contact: Aileen Finlay

0131 662 9834

SHIMMY ‘N’ SHINE BELLY DANCE BIRTHDAY PARTIES 2 Hour fun for girls aged 9yrs+ Why not party in style with this unique experience. Bring home – a flavour of the east with the most talked about dance craze. Shimmy N Shine Belly Dance Party package includes - a choreographed dance routine to Turkish music (English songs also an option). Girls will dress up in vibrant colour coin belts, various dance accessories and each will receive a dazzling Glitter Tattoo. This party is guaranteed to leave your girls shimmying all the way home...!!!! Plus the birthday girl receives her own Belly Dance Performance DVD/Photo of all her friends.

To book please contact Zena on 0774 626 0326 Email:, Website:

Beano the Clown Magic, Balloons, Songs & Games -5s & +5s, 1hr & 2 hr,

Tel: 07948-070 569 Web:



Birthday Party Guide Musical Parties Jo Jingles children’s Parties We offer fun parties for children age 5 and under at your home or a venue of your choice. Our lively parties include action songs, two musical instruments for every child to play, songs with a parachute, bubbles and other props. Programs can be tailored to fit in with your party theme. Call Joanne 0131 443 4196(West Edinburgh) or Susan 0131 620 3282 (East Edinburgh) or Fiona (Fife) 0131 339 9597 or Leigh 01875 616607 (East Lothian)

Monkey Music The innovative and entertaining pre-school music group in Edinburgh, offers parties for babies and children up to 4 years. Every party is individually tailored to suit each separate occasion and always includes the same magical musical ingredients such as singing, dancing and playing percussion instruments. Your Monkey Music party leader will make sure that everyone has a really special day to remember! An hour of musical fun costs £85.00. (Edinburgh South) 0131 669 6004 (Edinburgh North/West) 0131 260 9667

soFt Play clown around – soft Play and trampoline centre Parties are our speciality, with a party zone all of your own. Disco lights and music, bubble machine and a great fun atmosphere will ensure that your event is something that the kids will remember for a long, long time. 1 hour play and 45 minutes in the party room for meal - £6.50 per head cold buffet £7.50 per head for hot meal. Party bags optional £1.40. Bring your own cake. Suitable for ages up to 10 years – minimum 10 children. Soft play available for under 3’s. Staff monitoring at all times but parental supervision is still requested. Not exclusive use of centre unless specifically booked – ask for details. Open 7 days 10am – 5.45pm. (last entry 4.45pm) 109 Restalrig Road, Edinburgh, EH6 7NY. Call - 0131 553 7676

Monkey Bizness Fountainpark, Dundee Street, Edinburgh 0131 257 4412

Molly’s Play centre Party Time at Molly’s Play Centre choose from regular Soft play, Exclusive hire Soft play or Exclusive hire Laser Storm party Soft Play Parties run on the hour from 10am through to 4pm, during normal opening hours and last around 1.75 hours with a minimum number of children being 10 to a maximum of 40. The cost of our out of hours Exclusive Hire party, includes the optional use of our Laser Storm guns. They are available at 10am on a Sunday and 6pm and 7pm Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Exclusive Hire parties offer families and friends the opportunity to enjoy a more private party experience with the added bonus that adults are allowed to join in the fun on the play equipment. Included in all style of parties, is party food, soft drinks, ice cream, invites and table ware. Ocean Terminal (top floor), Leith. 0131 554 0102

time twisters For a Perfect Party, whatever the occasion, TimeTwisters is the “Greatest Fun in History”. Our parties have been carefully designed to excite and delight guests of all ages and will leave everyone with magical memories to cherish. Our range of party packages have been carefully created to give a brilliant balance of fantastic fun, excellent exercise and fantastic food. A typical party includes an exciting hour of the best play and adventure, followed by exclusive use of one of our atmospheric Egyptian themed party rooms. Our party team is always on-hand to help ensure every aspect of your party goes according to plan, with dedicated party helpers to make sure that everything goes smoothly on the day. In the party room, each child will be served a tasty and healthy 3-course party meal served from our award-winning kitchen. Telephone TimeTwisters on 0131 308 2464 for availability or e-mail . Details of the range of party packages and a downloadable booking form can be found on the TimeTwisters Website at:

sPorts/active Parties David lloyd leisure Newhaven Harbour – 0131 554 5000 or Glasgow Road Corstorphine – 0131 316 2300

enjoyleisure A birthday celebration should always be one to remember, so make it an active celebration with enjoyleisure! enjoyleisure offers a variety of energetic party options across our six sports centres in East Lothian. Create a splash by having a pool party! Choose from one of our five swimming pools, including Dunbar Leisure Pool complete with flume and wave machine. Or for the ultimate pool party you can hire an aqua run (a giant inflatable island which sits on the water)! If you’d rather keep dry, we can offer bouncy castle or trampolining parties, as well as a wide variety of indoor and outdoor sporting activities. For younger children you can hire our soft play areas, including Musselburgh Sports Centres’ Jamboree. Our party options are suitable for children from 2 years right up to teenagers, and with a range of catering packages available, enjoyleisure guarantees to deliver a birthday celebration packed full of active fun! For more information visit

Party time with edinburgh leisure Organising parties for the little ones is always a big job. That special day only comes once a year, so it needs to be perfect. With 15 party venues to choose from, including leisure centres, leisure pools, five-a-side football pitches, golf courses, soft play areas and our sailing school and not forgetting the world’s largest indoor climbing arena! Why not choose from one of our many pre-planned packages or let us help you organise your own tailor made party? Whether it s a full party package you are looking for or you simply want to hire a room, we can help you make it a day to remember. For more information please visit

it's Party time with little Kicks! Celebrate your child's birthday with us! It's fantastic fun; it's healthy, too, and we guarantee every child leaves with a huge smile and a shiny medal. Take to the sidelines while our qualified soccer coaches ensure your child and their friends enjoy a party to remember! You take care of the drinks and party snacks and leave the excitement and sports equipment to us. Call our Party Hotline 01506 881709 or email

Midlothian snowsports centre

Hillend, Biggar Road – 0131 445 4433

rugbytots Rugbytots offer a party experience for children aged between 3.5 - 7yrs. Our parties involve a range of games to ensure all children (not just those with a like for rugby), have a most enjoyable experience. We start with a very active and fun group warm up, which is followed by games and activities which have been designed to ensure mass participation and enjoyment. Our parties are approximately 45-60 minutes long, and we strive to ensure the kids leave with a smile. All Rugbytot parties will be taken by an experienced coach. Cost of a Rugbytots party start from £75. Please email for more details. Call - 0845 3133252

socatots edinburgh Fab Socatots parties for children ages 3-5 years old. We can visit you at a suitable leisure centre, church hall or community centre! Most parents combine Socatots parties with some party food afterwards so venues should be able to cater for this too. Socatots parties consist of an hour of specially designed Socatots fun football related party games for 3-5 year olds. Children who attend socatots classes receive £10 off any socatots party package when booking. We have a number of packages to suit your child’s birthday party needs. A standard Socatots party is for ten children: 1 hour party with birthday card. Cost £50 To add extra children to a Socatots party it costs £3 per child. A maximum of 20 children can attend a Socatots party. Due to the age of the children parent assistance with the smooth running of the party is required, the more parents who stay to help the merrier. A Socatots strip and/or ball can be added to the cost of the above options. To book a Socatots kids party for 3-5 year olds or a football party coach for 5-12 year olds please email Call 07923 005534

sumotastic, children's sumo Wrestling Parties or Hire Put on your Sumo Suit and let the fun commence! Bounce and bash off your friends and cheer each other on. Children take part in a knock out Competition dressed in a padded Sumo Suit until the winning Sumo is crowned with his medal. Lots of fun in a safe controlled environment with your own referee in full Japanese costume. These parties suit children from 6 to 12 years of age and we can accommodate up to 16 children. A large area is required due to the size of the sumo rings .We normally use 2 rings for 16 children to add to the team spirit of the event. You can either hire the suits and run the party yourself or we can run it for you. Adult suits also available. For more information and prices call Viv on 01875 340377 or


Birthday Party Guide

Dance a Story Parties Creative, Inspired and Unique to you £90/£65

Tel: 01592 840062 23 FAMILIES EDINBURGH ISSUE 64

Looking for a new way to celebrate your kids birthday party? Look no further. At CookingMania we offer a fun and unique way to celebrate your little chefs big day. Children love making their own food, just as much as they love eating it! We offer packages to suit anyone from aged 6+. A variety of menus are available to choose from, or we can tailor the menu to suit; whether your son wants a ‘Mexican Fiesta’ or your daughter prefers ‘Death by Chocolate’ we can help you out. Our parties last for 2 hours; depending on the theme and menu. Call us for more information




Birthday Party Guide outDoor, aniMals anD iceBurGs almond valley Heritage centre Acres of fun and leave the tidying up to us! The birthday package costs only £ 8.50 per child for a minimum of 10 children. This includes a supply of birthday invitations, admission to Almond Valley and Mill Farm with free admission for all adults helping at the party, exclusive use of a party room for 2 hours with tape/CD player and party CDs and a choice of traditional or healthy eating birthday tea. Also tractor and trailer ride, disposable tableware, hooters, helium balloons and a badge plus a soft play session in "Morag's Meadow". We can also supply goody boxes for the children @ £ 3.00 each and various catering options for adults too, from a flask or tea/coffee to a cold buffet. Free parking and easily accessed off M8. Millfield, Livingston, EH54 7AR. Call – 01506 414 957

Dynamic earth 0131 523 1200

edinburgh Zoo 0131 314 0336

Gorgie city Farm 0131 337 4202

PHotoGraPHy Klaklak The photography team at Klaklak now offers Birthday Party Photo Shoots for girls. It’s an experience that the party girl and guests will remember forever. Girls just love dressing up and being girly each girl attending the photo shoot will experience the excitement of being in front of the camera with Zsofi our highly acclaimed and award winning children's photographer in our professional Edinburgh studio. There's even a wind machine! To find out more, visit or phone the studio on 0131 346 8415. Your photo shoot party includes: • Award winning female photographer in our professional studio for up to 2 hours • Advanced post production editing • 2 complimentary 8x6" photographs in a strut mount for the birthday girl • 1 complimentary 5x7" group photograph in a strut mount for each birthday guest • All images from the photo shoot displayed on a private website gallery

• Opportunity to purchase further images at a discounted rate of £20 each • All you need to provide is food, soft drinks and a cake • All of this included for the birthday girl and up to 5 guests • For additional guests it is only £20 each including their complimentary group photograph, up to a maximum of 8 guests Photo Shoot Party Price = £150.00


Birthday Party Guide Heavenly tiers Joanna creates hand made bespoke cakes and sugar-craft for all occasions. Serving the Scottish Borders, Edinburgh and the Lothians. Joanna Jarvis has been creating cakes for family and friends for three years prior to establishing her home based cake decoration business in Lasswade, Midlothian. All cakes are hand made and for a heavenly taste we use quality ingredients including butter and free-range eggs. Our children’s cakes can be designed based on a theme, favourite character or toy. Themed cup cakes and mini cakes are also a heavenly alternative or addition to a large cake. For further information please contact Joanna on: (0131) 663 8596 or visit

the smart stork – the one place to go for all your party needs. The Smart Stork is a little treasure trove for traditional toys and gifts, nestled in busy Bruntsfield. You will find everything you need for your special children’s party in their dedicated party area. They have carefully selected a good range of party invites, tableware, party bags, party bag fillers, small gifts and thank you cards, or they can even help you create a pirate, fairy or jungle themed party, whichever takes your fancy! See their extensive range of party bag fillers from their pick and mixed section where they have a large number of traditional gifts from under a £1. Their friendly and helpful staff are always on hand to provide some inspiration or help you choose the right gift for any party. They have traditional and educational toys and gifts ranging from £5 to £15 for boys and girls from birth to ten years. If it’s too cold to venture out then give them a call with your order or shop on line from the comfort of your home and collect in store or have them delivered. The Smart Stork, 165b Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh EH10 4DG Tel: 0131 629 9424

orrganic cakes Maggi can make and supply themed birthday cakes from £30. She is also offering a fantastic deal for a themed cake and party bag filler (cup cake or biscuit) from £40 (minimum 10 people). Delivery is included. Orrganic cakes can offer wheat free/gluten free/ egg, dairy and nut free cakes. Take the hassle out of a stressful time – just contact Maggi through her website


caKes, FooD anD Party BaGs rosie’s Kitchen Rosie Hansen, owner of Rosie’s Kitchen in Corstorphine is an expert when it comes to party food for the big day. She offered Families Edinburgh readers a few tips for party organizing mums and dads. • Check whether any of your little party goers have any special dietary needs. From vegetarianism to nut or gluten allergies, you really need to make sure that there’s something fun for each child to eat and enjoy. • Finger-sized food is normally best as kids love to snack on tiny morsels. Have some fun with sandwiches by cutting them into shapes, or cook up some delicious mini morsels such as sticky sausages or cheesy sticks. • We’re all careful what our children eat but remember that this is a special occasion so its usually ok to allow some sweet treats that children’s wouldn’t normally have on an everyday basis. At Rosie’s Kitchen, the most popular sweet treats include everything from scrumptious mini-muffins and delicious magic wands – crispy breadsticks dipped in chocolate and topped with sprinkles, to fruit and marshmallow kebabs and crunchy krispie cakes. • Think about how your table will look as you plan your menu as the sight of a birthday tea-table spread with colourful party treats really lights up the kids’ eyes. And if you’re worried about clearing up, another idea is to serve up an individual party box for each child. The ones we offer at Rosie’s Kitchen are packed with tasty treats for each little guest and when the party’s over, they can be easily cleared away and popped straight into the recycling bin – no mess, no fuss. We’ve even got a special offer on them until the end of February. • The birthday cake is usually the centerpiece of the table, although we’re finding that lots of our customers are opting for individual cupcakes instead. Children love them and they can be beautifully presented in the middle of the table and then handed out to each child. If you still want a traditional cake, then there are lots of options in the shops, but at Rosie’s Kitchen, we believe that home-made is always best. There are plenty of ideas in magazines, cookbooks and on the internet so think about a theme your child will love, such as their favourite activity, TV or film character, type it into a search engine and then get creative in the kitchen. Alternatively bake a simple sponge or chocolate cake and decorate it with your child’s favourite sweets or special indoor sparklers. But if the thought of cooking up a party gets too much, Rosie’s Kitchen will be more than happy to help. We offer egg-free cakes and cakes for children with nut allergies too. We also have some great suggestions for feeding the grown-ups at the party. Check out our facebook page or our website at



If you have any events you would like listed free in this section please email them to

All these events and more can be found on our Until Sun 3 April 2011 Shining Lights. The story of Scotland’s lighthouses National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh Free National Galleries of Scotland Free Trails for Children and Families Catherine Rayner and James Mayhew, award winning writers and illustrators for children have designed two free trails to help you explore the gallery in a really fun way. Collect from the information desk at the National Gallery Complex every day.

Wednesday 12 January RBGE Show and Tell: Science Team 1.30 pm - 3.00 pm. 8+, Free, Atrium, John Hope Gateway Join our scientists to hear more about the work of RBGE’s Science team. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR. Tel: 0131 552 7171.

Daily till January 9th Another World Exhibition Free Family Trails. Exhibition entrance: Adults £7/£5; Children 12 and under free. Fun activity packs available - which become your own Surrealist artwork - to help explore the Another World exhibition at the Dean Gallery. Collect at the entrance and ask at the shop for a pencil case. Dean Gallery, Belford Road. Sunday 9 January Alba Puppet Show. Hawthornden Court. 12:45, 13:45, 14:45 (20 mins) Free. Round off the holidays with some family fun from Alba adventures. Learn the story of the Black Douglas, meet Hamish the Highlander and hear the tale of the last bear in Scotland. National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh

12 – 15 January Cinderella. Scottish Ballet, Scotland’s National Ballet Company is delighted to offer audiences another chance to see Ashley Page’s critically acclaimed production of Cinderella, one of the Company’s most successful productions. A fantastic feast of classical and modern choreography that is as original and witty as it is visually striking, Cinderella comes to Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, from 12-15 January. Box office 0131 529 6000. Thursday 13 January Story Space 11am (50mins), £6 per child, Age 2-5 A new year extravaganza of tales for tots, with lots of participation. Singing and dancing optional; having fun essential! With Lea Taylor. Accompanying adult free. Scottish Storytelling Centre | 43-45 High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1SR Sunday 9 January, 2-4 pm Portrait Detectives (Ages 3-12) New free pilot activity for all the family inspired by the Portrait of the Nation at the National Gallery exhibition. Come along and have fun with your detective kit solving the mysteries to be found in these fascinating paintings about Scotland’s people and places. Supported by the Friends of the National Galleries of Scotland. National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound. Sunday 9 January Winter into Spring 12.30 pm - 3.30 pm 5+, Free, Real Life Science Studio, John Hope Gateway. Even at this early time of the year there are a few plants flowering. Come and find out more about what controls seasonal changes in plants and how and why we monitor these changes in the Garden. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR. Tel: 0131 552 7171.

Come and make music in the February Holidays! 4 day event with classes in Traditional Music, Gaelic Singing, Step Dance, Arts and Crafts, Drama and Shinty. Some instruments are available to hire. At Kaimes School, Lasswade Road, Edinburgh Ages 8 to 18 years (£75/4 days Ages 5 to 8 (Half days £45) For more details contact Gillian MacDonald on Tel: 07514 386925 email:


Saturday 15 January Remembered Remedies (and 19th February) 10.00 am - 12.00 noon. All ages, Free, Atrium, John Hope Gateway. Do you remember collecting hips and haws during the War? Ethnomedica volunteers will be on hand to collect your family's memories of using plants as simple remedies. Come and hear some of the stories that we have already collected. The archived stories will form a valuable record of how plants in Scotland have been used that will in future be made available online. With Ethnomedica. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR. Tel: 0131 552 7171. Sunday 16 January, 2-4pm Bags of Art (Ages 3-12) Collect a bag of activities from the art station to help your family explore the collection and create your own artworks. Supported by the Friends of the National Galleries of Scotland. Gallery of Modern Art, Belford Road.

While every care has been taken to compile the OUT AND ABOUT section please remember that this magazine is printed weeks ahead of the events. PLEASE call and check events with the venue to avoid any disappointment before setting out.

website Sunday 16 January Talking Trees Storytelling 2.00 pm - 3.00 pm. 5+, Free, Patrick Geddes Room, John Hope Gateway Celebrate the 2011 International Year of Forests by coming along to listen to special tree tales from the Talking Trees Storytellers. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR. Tel: 0131 552 7171. Sunday 16 & Monday 17 January Box of Delights This compilation of award winning shorts has been specially selected by the British Animation Awards (BAA) and is sure to delight children, families and young animation lovers everywhere. Celebrating the diversity of animation, A Box Of Delights features outstanding short films that have enchanted audiences all over the world. FILMHOUSE 88 Lothian Road Edinburgh, Box Office 0131 228 2688.

Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 January Australian Nature with Royal Botanic Gardens. Come along to the various drop-in activities to find out more about Australian animals and plants. Supported by the Association of Scottish Philatelic Societies. 12.30pm – 3.30pm. Activities at Edinburgh Zoo on Sat 22 Jan Activities at Royal Botanic Gardens on Sun 23 Jan Free with Zoo admission. To book tickets phone 0131 314 0350 or book online at Sunday 23 January Australian Nature 12.30 pm - 3.30 pm. 5+, Free, Real Life Science Studio, John Hope Gateway Australian National Day is on 26 January. Find out more about Australian animals and plants with experts from Edinburgh Zoo and the Botanics. Don’t miss our sister Australian Nature event at the Zoo on Saturday 22nd January. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR. Tel: 0131 552 7171.

Thursday 20 January, Nappuccino, 2.15pm - 3.30pm, Nappuccinos – are informal, free sessions where parents can pop in for a cuppa and a chat about nappies and see the various real nappy options on offer. Parents will be able to speak to others currently using real nappies for practical advice and information. Please note you can drop-in anytime between the sessions hours. Blackhall Library, 56 Hillhouse Road, Edinburgh, EH4 5EG. Saturday 22 January Trees in Winter 12.30 pm - 3.30 pm. 5+, Free, Real Life Science Studio, John Hope Gateway . Come and discover how you can tell the difference between trees even when they have no leaves in winter. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR. Tel: 0131 552 7171. Sunday 23 January Wee Stories Theatre presents: Oor Rabbie. Hawthornden Court, 12:30, 14:30 (1hr). Free. Join acclaimed folk musician Wendy Weatherby and storyteller Andy Cannon for an original theatrical performance celebrating the life of Robert Burns. Discover the history of the famous bard through his best-known works in this fun family show. National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh

Monday 24 January, Real Nappy Information Session, 5.30pm 6.30pm. Hear about and see some of the different types of nappies available and view the trial packs and lending kits available. Free practical advice St John’s Hospital, Parentcraft Room (Next to OPD3), West Lothian. Please note that space is limited. Please email or call 0131 555 4010 to reserve your place. Tuesday 25 January Tiny Tales: Burns An exciting morning of Scottish fairytales for your young ones with a guest appearance by Robert Burns and his mouse! With Sylvia Troon. Age 6 mths to 3 yrs, accompanying adult free. 10am & 11.30am (40mins), £5 per child. Scottish Storytelling Centre | 43-45 High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1SR Wednesday 26 January, Nappuccino, 10am - 11.30am, Brunton Theatre Bistro, Musselburgh, East Lothian, EH21 6AA. Thursday 27 January, Nappuccino, 10am - 11.30am, Duncan Place Resource Centre, Duncan Place (just of Duke St, Leith), Edinburgh, EH6 8HW Saturday 29th January The NCT Edinburgh South Nearly New Sale Quality baby/children’s clothes, toys, books, nursery equipment & maternity wear Coffees, teas and home baking. NCT members early entry 9.45am. Become a member at Craiglockhart Parish Church, EH14 1HS (Craiglockhart Drive North) 10.00am-11.45am. Admission by donation.

Gracemount Leisure Centre Saturday Mornings R.A.D.Ballet Modern Jazz From 3yrs

Come and BounCe around at edinBurgh’s

neWest trampoline, aCtivity & party Centre

unit 2-3, 109 restalrig road, edinburgh eh6 7ny tel: 0131 553 7676

To enrol please phone Main Studios at Portobello

Tel:0131 669 9073 E-mail: 27 FAMILIES EDINBURGH ISSUE 64

All these events and more can be found on our Saturday 29 - Sunday 30 January Big Garden Birdwatch 12.30 pm - 3.30 pm. All Ages, Free, Real Life Science Studio, John Hope Gateway. Come along to the Botanics today and the RSPB will tell you how you can be a record breaker, by taking part in Big Garden Birdwatch – the biggest bird survey in the world! Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR. Tel: 0131 552 7171.

Saturday 5 February, 2.30pm (1hr), £4/£3, 7+. Chinese New Year stories. A storytelling spectacular for Chinese New Year. Marion Kenny, accompanied by Chinese harp, takes on 'The Dragon and the Warlord' and "Kwang-Su and the Jaws of Death" based on versions by Thomas Bloor and Malachy Doyle. This event is copromoted with the Barrington Stoke story series for enthusing readers, including those with dyslexia challenges. Scottish Storytelling Centre | 43-45 High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1SR Sunday 6 February 2-4pm Art Cart (Ages 3-12) Free activities for all the family, inspired each month by different works from the collection or exhibitions. Supported by the Friends of the National Galleries of Scotland. National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound. Saturday 12 – Sat 19 February, 10am-6pm, Mon-Sat, Free. The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry vividly tells the story of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 from Bonnie Prince Charlie's arrival, to his invasion of England. The creation of the Tapestry has been co-ordinated by the Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust, a Scottish charity which aims to preserve and interpret the rich heritage the 1745 Rising has left for Scotland. They commissioned the artist Andrew Crummy to design the one metre long panels which, when embroidered by the volunteers, would then come together to create this massive piece of work. The result is a stunning array of bright colours and lively illustrations, recording the people, places, and communities involved in the ’45. Scottish Storytelling Centre | 43-45 High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1SR

Sunday 30 & 31 January Pooh's Heffalump Story An amusing, beautifully drawn film, taken from the stories of AA Milne and centred on the budding friendship between Roo, son of Kanga, and Lumpy, a baby heffalump. FILMHOUSE 88 Lothian Road Edinburgh, Box Office 0131 228 2688 Saturday 5 February The Voice of a City, 3pm, The Scottish Chamber Orchestra stages a family concert for all ages at the Usher Hall. The hour-long concert includes the late Edward Harper’s The Voice of a City, a musical portrait of Edinburgh: the One o’Clock Gun goes off with a bang as he brings the streets alive, populating them with many of the city’s most celebrated residents: John Knox, Miss Jean Brodie, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sean Connery. Preceding the concert, the Usher Hall hosts City of Literature’s Family Day (10am - 3pm); a day of fun for all the family, exploring the musical and literary aspects of The Voice of a City concert. There will be storytelling, workshops, activities, live music and face painting. For more information, please visit or Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 February Chinese New Year. Hawthornden Court, 12:00 – 16:00 (Drop-in). Free. Join us to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit with colourful celebrations and a chance to make your own Chinese dragon to take home. National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh Saturday 5 - Sunday 6 February Champion Tree Treasure Hunt 12.30 pm - 3.30 pm. 5+, Free, Real Life Science Studio, John Hope Gateway. The Garden’s tree collection includes many ‘Champion’ trees which are the largest of their kind. Use the names of some of the Champions to locate the treasure. With Martyn Dickson, RBGE Arboriculturist. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR. Tel: 0131 552 7171.


Saturday 12 February Fantastic Forests 12.30 pm - 3.30 pm 5+, Free, Real Life Science Studio, John Hope Gateway Meet scientists working for Forest Research (Forestry Commission) and also staff from Forestry Commission Scotland to discover what our trees, woodlands and forests have to offer. Enjoy opportunities to get involved. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR. Tel: 0131 552 7171. Sunday 13 – Monday 14 February Message in a Bottle Hawthornden Court. 12:00 – 16:00. Free (drop-in) Living in a lighthouse? Marooned on a deserted island? How will you get a heartfelt message to your loved one this Valentines Day? In a bottle of course! Come and make your own message in a bottle gift to take away and give to someone special. National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh

website Sunday 13 & Monday 14 February Toy Story 3 In 1995, the original Toy Story revolutionised animated filmmaking. 1999 brought Toy Story 2, which confirmed the place of this most inventive franchise within movie history and all of our hearts. Now Toy Story is back! With brand new characters alongside the old favourites – who have been abandoned at a daycare centre, and must secure their escape . FILMHOUSE 88 Lothian Road Edinburgh, Box Office 0131 228 2688

Sunday 13 February 2-4pm Portrait Detectives (Ages 3-12) New free pilot activity for all the family inspired by the Portrait of the Nation at the National Gallery exhibition. Come along and have fun with your detective kit solving the mysteries to be found in these fascinating paintings about Scotland’s people and places. Supported by the Friends of the National Galleries of Scotland. National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound. Monday 14 February- Free Family Valentine’s Fun at the Education Cabin Fall in love with recycling at our Valentine’s themed family day at Edinburgh’s largest community recycling centre and: Make Valentine cards and presents for your loved ones from recycled materials. Take a closer look at the amazing beasties that live in your compost heap. Find out what happens to your recycling and take part in games, activities and much more. Drop in on Monday 14 February from 11am-3pm at Seafield Community Recycling Centre, Fillyside Road, Edinburgh EH7 6RD. For more information contact the City of Edinburgh Council’s Waste Education Officer, telephone 0131 469 5070 or e-mail Tuesday 15 – Wednesday 16 February Marvellous Maps 12:00 – 16:00 (drop-in) Old sea maps are full of beautiful illustrations of lighthouses, ships, mermaids, whirlpools and sea monsters! Come and make your own antique-style treasure map to guide you safely home through troubled waters. National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh Thursday 17 – Friday 18 February Lighthouse DIY 12:00 – 16:00 (drop-in) Back by popular demand! Come and make your own plastic bottle lighthouse, inspired by our Shining Lights exhibition. All materials provided but please BYOB if you can! National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh

Fun and educational computer lessons for children of all ages during school term-time and holidays


All these events and more can be found on our website Thursday 17 February, Info Stall, 10.30am -12.30pm, Pop by and see the real nappy options on offer, ask any questions that you like and find out about the projects incentives. Penicuik Centre, Carlops Road, Penicuik, Midlothian, EH26 9EP Thursday 17 February, 11am (50mins), £6 per child, Age 2-5 Story Space Adventure tales of the sea and the wonderful creatures who swim its waters. With Alasdair Taylor. Accompanying adult free. Scottish Storytelling Centre | 43-45 High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1SR Friday 18 February, 11am-4pm, Free, All ages Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry Tales. Free Drop in stories and fun related to the Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry with Tim Porteus and The Pans Tellers. Scottish Storytelling Centre | 43-45 High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1SR Saturday 19 February Willow Wall Hangings 10.30 am – 12.30 pm or 1.30 pm – 3.30 pm Make stunning wall hangings inspired by the paintings, books and photographs in the exhibition. Collage with papers and conjure up the patterns, shapes and colours of the Highland landscape. Numbers are strictly limited, so advance booking is essential. Entrance to Window to the West and Spirit of Air, and all related workshops and lectures are free of charge. For booking and further information contact Margaret Findlay in Learning and Access on 0131 529 3963 or City Art Centre, 2 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DE

25 – 27 February

Thomas and Friends Live! On Stage

This all new 90-minute musical adventure is packed with audience sing-a-longs, high energy dancing and thrilling adventures. When Thomas makes a big mistake, all the engines on the Island of Sodor must work together to prepare for the exciting event under the Big Top and Thomas must prove he's a really useful engine once again. In this fun filled family show, Percy, James, Gordon and of course Thomas join The Fat Controller and the townspeople from the Island of Sodor to welcome a colourful cast of circus performers in an engaging story that demonstrates the importance of friendship and cooperation. Edinburgh Playhouse, 18-22 Greenside Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3AA

Saturday 19 - Sunday 20 February Disease Detectives 12.30 pm - 3.30 pm. 5+, Free, Real Life Science Studio, John Hope Gateway There is an amazing variety of bugs and beasties that can infect living things and cause disease. Join us to investigate a disease outbreak and discover how scientists spot the culprits and tackle the problem. With the Moredun Research Institute. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR. Tel: 0131 552 7171. Sunday 20 February 2-4pm Bags of Art (Ages 3-12) Collect a bag of activities from the art station to help your family explore the collection and create your own artworks. Supported by the Friends of the National Galleries of Scotland. Gallery of Modern Art, Belford Road. Sunday 20 February Talking Trees Storytelling 2.00 pm - 3.00 pm. 5+, Free, Patrick Geddes Room, John Hope Gateway. Meet the Talking Trees Storytellers for their monthly session of stories of trees and travellers, magic and marvels. Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh EH3 5LR. Tel: 0131 552 7171. Tuesday 22 February, 10am & 11.30am (40mins), £5 per child, Age 6 months to 3 years. Tiny Tales. Rosie Mapplebeck takes the little ones on a magical journey of animal discovery with a Noah’s Ark themed exploration of tales for tots. Accompanying adult free. Scottish Storytelling Centre | 43-45 High Street | Edinburgh | EH1 1SR Thursday 24 February, Nappuccino, 10am - 11.30am, Duncan Place Resource Centre, Duncan Place (just of Duke St, Leith), Edinburgh, EH6 8HW

Edinburgh East - Jo - 01875 819966

Morningside, Marchmont, Haddington, Fairmilehead

Edinburgh West - April - 0131 336 1234

Monday 28 February, Nappuccino, 10:30 - 11:30am, St Michael’s Cross House, Linlithgow, West Lothian, EH49 7AL. Monday 28 February Real Nappy Information Session, 5.30pm 6.30pm, in the Changeworks Offices, 1 Carmichael Place, Edinburgh, EH6 5PH (off Newhaven Road, opposite Ashley Place - look for the flags at the new Westpoint flats). Please note that space is limited. Please email or call 0131 555 4010 to reserve your place.

Classes Monday to Saturday

Trinity, Murrayfield, Livingston, Cramond, Ravelston, Corstorphine


Sunday 27 & Monday 28 February The Adventures of Robin Hood The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) is one of the greatest, most colorful costume dramas, swashbucklers, and romantically-tinged adventure films in film history. When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army. FILMHOUSE 88 Lothian Road Edinburgh, Box Office 0131 228 2688

Edinburgh/Lothians 0131 228 1144 Fife 01383 62 45 99 Central 0845 643 2823


Copyright Š Families Magazine 2000. We take every care preparing this magazine, but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequence. Colour transparencies and any other original materials submitted for publication are sent at owner’s risk and, while every care is taken, neither Families Edinburgh nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage. Families Edinburgh is part of the Families group, established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. Copyright Š on all artwork designed by Families shall remain with Families or contributor.

Families Edinburgh 64 Jan/Feb 2011  

Families Edinburgh magazine for January and February 2011

Families Edinburgh 64 Jan/Feb 2011  

Families Edinburgh magazine for January and February 2011