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south east london

online edition

with working website links

Ruskin House School To Teach is to Touch a Life Forever

Private Day Care 3 Months – 5 Years Open 51 Weeks a Year 7am – 7pm


Saturday 8th September 2012 11am – 2pm We look forward to meeting you 48 Herne Hill, SE24 9QP

Tel: 020 7737 4317 r u s k i n h o u s e s c h o o l @ h o t m a i l . c o . u k





Junior School

Independent day school for boys and girls aged 4 –11 Townley Road, Dulwich, London SE22 8SU


Co-educational, academic excellence

Saturday 22 September 10am – 12.30pm, Thursday 8 November and Tuesday 20 November 1.30pm – 3.00pm The Headmaster will give a short talk, and visitors may look around the school. It is not necessary to book for Open Days. For further details please see our website We look forward to welcoming you to Alleyn’s Junior School.

Summer fun! 23 July – 31 August 10:00am – 4:30pm

A Golden Opportunity

Please email or call 020 8557 1519 to obtain a prospectus or for any other information.

Visit our exhibition to learn about the Bank of England and gold then make a gold-bar-shaped moneybox to take home. Enter our quiz competition with prizes to be won. There will be special lunchtime presentations about gold in the Museum cinema at 1:15pm.

Admission free 10am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Closed weekends and public holidays. Entrance in Bartholomew Lane, London EC2R 8AH. Tel: 020 7601 5545

The original and largest network of part-time performing arts schools in the world.

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For 4-16 year olds, after school and at weekends.

Nurturing and developing young people’s potential through dance, drama and singing.

C your local Stagecoach: Call B Blackheath 020 8417 0010 B Beckenham 020 3394 0810 Dulwich 0845 055 63 68 D Sydenham 020 8949 1116 S w g

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families south east - july / august 2012


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HERE COME THE long school holidays (cue a big yippee from children and school teachers across the country). The good news is that it gives us all the chance to join in with everything that’s going on this summer. Even if you don’t have Stratford tickets, there are plenty of fun, free and fascinating events in our What’s On guide, and the inspiration’s all there for more active play than school days allow. Parents who don’t share the luxury of six-plus weeks off should turn to page 6 for holiday schemes where experienced and admirably energetic staff lay on all manner of sporty, theatrical, crafty and fun activities for days on end - places go fast, so book yours soon. If you’re off on your hols; have a wonderful time! We’ll be back in September - enjoy the break. Robina Cowan, editor

IN THIS ISSUE 3-5 Local News and Views New drama classes in Greenwich; comedy for children; outdoor fun; a musical career; and the torch comes to southeast London

6-7 Summer Holiday Workshops Sports, daycamps, theatre arts and more supervised activities for the school holidays

8 Book Review Page Justine Crow’s guide to surviving the summer hols with a whole lot of books

9 Education News Open day dates; the importance of good school shoes and 10% off for Families readers

10-11 Summer Activities Free playday fun, the importance of sunshine; and our pick of what’s new

12 Mothers Mean Business Laura Sydonie tells us how she set up the awardwinning Theatre Tots drama company

13 Family Life Expert tips for divorcing parents, and the reality of parental leave plans

14-18 What’s On The fun starts here! Five pages of summer events, festivals, shows and family workshops

19 Luca and May make... The creative duo return with a ‘how to’ for cork boats

20 The Back Page Local business contacts to make your life easier

LocalNews email your news to

ildren h C r o f s ie it iv Act Perform comes to Greenwich London based Perform drama, dance and singing workshops started a class in January 2000 with three children. They now have 4000 children attending their workshops across London and are adding a new venue in Greenwich this September. Perform use a unique mix of drama, dance and singing specially formulated to bring out every child’s true potential. Classes are kept small to ensure lots of individual attention by their experienced actor/ teachers. They work exclusively with 4-8 and 8-12 year olds, developing the 4 Cs: Confidence, Communication, Co-ordination and Concentration. They don’t send children to auditions or castings, but focus on helping children develop their social skills while having the best fun of the week. Principal Lucy Quick says: “We are incredibly excited about opening new venues in southeast London from September. It’s a creative area, and we have already found some fantastic local people to lead the workshops.” The new classes will be in Greenwich on Thursdays. Perform is already in Blackheath, Dulwich and Bromley. For more information and to try a free class, call 0845 400 1277 or see

Comedy Cubs The Rosendale in West Dulwich will be putting huge smiles on little faces this summer. On Saturday 14 July, comedy trio ‘Spatula’ story-telling comedian Luke Capasso, Edinburgh-award winner Hayley Crossland and “one to watch” James Gill - will present ‘Comedy Cubs’, a one-hour show of funny sketches and interactive games aimed at two to nine year-olds. The show includes giggles and grins, musical statues, staring competitions and a wacky games. The Rosendale’s spacious gardens, complete with a specially designed play area, are ideal for running off post show excitement. The pub’s lunch menu includes child-sized bangers and mash, homemade fish fingers with peas or messy spaghetti followed by decorate-your-own fairy cakes for dessert. The Rosendale is at 65 Rosendale Road, West Dulwich SE21 8EZ, 020 8761 9008. Comedy Cubs runs from 1-2pm on 14 July, tickets £2.50 per person, bookable online at

Free little movers sessions Home-Start Southwark is running free drop in sessions for under 5s, filled with dancing, singing and imaginative play. Little Movers start at 10.15 and 11am every Friday including school holidays, at the Salvation Army Centre, 105 Lomond Grove, Camberwell SE5 7HN. For more information, call 020 7737 7720.

From Tip to Ship Front cover: Childrenswear from Crew Clothing, 0845 130 6250

Next issue out 7 September, copy deadline mid August Families South East PO Box 11591, London SE26 6WB 020 8699 7240 © Families South East. 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. Families South East 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.

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Almost 1000 children recently took part in a nationwide challenge to create a boat using only reclaimed materials and waste. From old babies’ vests used as sails, pillow stuffing made to look like steam, to netting fruit bags and lots of colourful packaging, the creations included replicas of Noah’s Ark, the Titanic and even a swan. The competition was organised by sustainability initiative Start Imagining, and winners include pupils from Archbishop Sumner School in Kennington. From Tip To Ship is now a splendid exhibition of the children’s recycled art, on display at the Discover Greenwich Centre until 15 July, and online at

july / august 2012 - families south east


East Dulwich osteopath achieves Olympic dream

The Great Outdoors The big push

Sydenham Arts Festival This year’s bigger and better festival returns from 1-15 July, bringing a feast of comedy, drama, family events and workshops to shops, bars and outdoor spaces across Sydenham. Events include an Edinburgh Festival preview, the Jungle Book in a park, art and photography exhibitions and more. See our What’s On listings for highlights, and for the full festival programme, drop into Kirkdale Books or go to

Buggies at the ready - NCT Greenwich has organised a Big Push to raise funds for the charity and is inviting families to join in. The event will take place on 14 July in Charlton Park from 10.30am-2pm, followed by a picnic with children’s entertainment. To sign up, go to The NCT has recently launched new breastfeeding support sessions for local mothers. They are on Fridays in Brockley and Lewisham and Tuesdays in Deptford. Details are on the branch website.

Horniman Gardens reopen Just in time for summer - the Horniman Gardens have reopened following a major £2.3m redevelopment. Garden designer and museum patron Joe Swift marked the opening of the gardens by planting the living roof of the brand new Gardens Pavilion building, which will host school groups, conferences and public performances. Other highlights include a new Animal Walk which will be home to alpacas, goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits and ferrets and a sound garden filled with immense musical instruments. As Joe Swift said: “The Horniman is a gem, inspiring and delighting generations of visitors. It’s a great space to escape to in the heart of the city.” The Horniman Museum and Gardens are open from 10.30am-5.30pm daily at 100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ. Admission is free and there’s plenty going on this summer - see our What’s On pages.

News for Grown Ups Lighting up Lewisham The Olympic Torch is on its epic journey around the UK, heading for the stadium in Stratford, where it will ignite the Opening Ceremony on 27 July. It will arrive in Greenwich Park on Saturday 21 July at around 7.21am before looping through Blackheath, Eltham and Woolwich towards East London. On Monday 23 July it will travel from Lewisham to Wandsworth, at these approximate times: • 7.20am The Trinity Laban • 8.55am Bromley • 10.35am Crystal Palace Park • 11.25am Croydon. To track the route, find the best public viewing spots and read about the torch bearers, go to


families south east - july / august 2012

Streatham School wins BP Award Streatham & Clapham High School (SCHS) is the winner of a BP Schools Link Award of £15,000 towards the development its Move and Discover initiative. The student-led project will pair trained SCHS gymnasts with younger girls and boys and less able and physically challenged children both from within the school and the local community. Workshops will teach and encourage basic gymnastic abilities and improve and strengthen mobility, particularly among those with movement and bone structure deficiencies. SCHS students organising and leading the workshops will hold British Gymnastics coaching and assistant coaches’ certificates. The initiative builds on SCHS’s proven record of excellence in gymnastics, with pupils progressing to very high levels and winning many medals in national competitions. SCHS already runs a local community gymnastics club based at the school. For more information, go to Move and Discover

Local osteopath Amberin Fur is getting ready for the biggest role of her life - working as part of the Central Medical Team at the Olympic Games. It is the first time osteopathy has been brought in as a core therapy for the Olympic athletes, so it’s a double honour for Amberin and the other osteopaths, who fought off tough competition from hundreds of the country’s top practitioners to be selected to be working alongside the very best sports care doctors, physiotherapists, chiropractors and sports massage practitioners. Their combined mission will be to heal, hone and prepare the athletes to give the performance of their lifetimes when they step up to the starting blocks - the culmination of decades of intense focus and commitment. Says Amberin: “It is an amazing honour to be selected for the Olympics especially when it is on home soil. To also have the opportunity to acquire knowledge working alongside very experienced colleagues and to offer my skills as an osteopath to both athletes and their support staff from around the World is a fantastic opportunity for any therapist.” For Amberin, the journey has also taken focus, commitment and determination. As a child, Amberin had dreamed of being an Olympic gymnast. “Sadly, I didn’t have what it took to be an elite gymnast,” she says. But after qualifying as an osteopath, she found a mentor in Jonathan Betser, the late chair of the Osteopathic Sports Care Association, who recruited Amberin to the British gymnastic therapeutic support team. It took well over a decade, but Betser’s and Amberin’s shared dream of having osteopathy included at the Olympics has finally been realised. Along the way, Amberin has set up a thriving complementary medical practice in East Dulwich, and her own private practice in the West End. She’s also managed to fit in a family - she has three young sons, and, with the help of her husband Mirza, manages her schedules to prioritise both family and work. She says: “Sometimes things align and you get to where you want to be. It is focus, hard work and if you know where you’re headed there’s more likelihood of getting there.”

Childcare scheme expands Hundreds of local two year-olds are set to benefit from an early rollout of the free nursery place scheme from September. Announcing the programme, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: “We’re revolutionising the early start our children get in life - there will be more free childcare, it will be higher quality, and it will be more flexible for parents. By getting things right from the off we’re making sure our youngsters are ready to learn when they start school so that they get the most out of their education.” Other changes offer greater flexibility for parents, by giving them the option to spread their free 15 nursery hours over two days rather than three, and extending opening hours from 8am-6pm, to 7am7pm. Many parents currently struggle to use their free childcare entitlement because it does not cover working hours. The move will particularly benefit mothers and fathers who work part time. Lambeth and Greenwich are two of ten areas across the UK which are trialling the changes from September. For more information, look up ‘parents’ at

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A new career with Caterpillar Music Caterpillar Music provide fun activity classes for babies and toddlers (established in 2001). Due to increased demand for classes, they are now expanding by opening an additional 100 locations in 2012, and are inviting more Class Leaders to open local classes. Would you like to set up your own fun Caterpillar Music business in your local area? With full training, flexible hours and potentially a very lucrative part time income, this could be a fun and rewarding new career. Some Class Leaders earn up to £300 per morning. Start up costs are low with a training fee of only £395 (limited offer) and various equipment packages are available. You need to have lots of enthusiasm and a genuine love of children (but do not need to be a musician or singer). Caterpillar Music Class Leaders come from a variety of backgrounds including teaching, theatre, medicine, law etc and many have come to Caterpillar Music for a complete career change after having their own children - one Class Leader, Alison Noble (a former lawyer), is even going to be an Olympic Torch Bearer this June, with all her Caterpillar Music children and families cheering her along! You can offer your own weekly Caterpillar Music

classes, and also choose to deliver sessions at nurseries, playgroups and children’s centres. You will have all the training and support you need, with an exclusive territory where only you can run classes. The next London training dates will take place in July and August. Best still - it’s an opportunity close to home which can fit around family life. Available locations include Greenwich, Blackheath, Dulwich, Herne Hill, Rotherhithe, Upper Norwood and surrounding areas. To find out more, go to or call 0870 199 9090.

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WIN an Easy2Name Off to School set Start the new school term with fully named kit, and ‘lost property’ is more likely to find its way home. We have five Easy2Name Off to School sets, free for Families readers. Each set is worth £18.90 and contains 30 waterproof stickers, 30 iron on name tapes, 1 set of shoe covers, 1 bag tag and 1 shoe bag. The full Easy2Name range can be seen at To enter the draw, simply send a postcard to Easy2Name School Give Away, Families SE, PO Box 11591, London SE26 6WB by 31 July. Please state clearly the name of your child and whether you require the shoe bag and labels in red, pink or blue. You can also enter online - go to and click ‘competitions’ in the toolbar.

Imagination for the Everyday Early years Drama

+ Weekly classes in Lee, Blackheath and Hither Green

+ Schools, nurseries and parties too! - 07801072776

Norwood Foodbank appeal For people on low incomes, a sudden crisis - redundancy, benefit delay or even an unexpected bill - can mean going hungry. Every day parents skip meals to feed their children and people are forced to choose between paying the rent and eating. Norwood & Brixton Foodbank provides emergency food and support to local people in crisis. Food is donated by the public through supermarket collections, churches, schools and coffee shops. It is then weighed, sorted, and stored ready to be given away. People in need can obtain vouchers to exchange for food from their GPs, social workers, teachers, faith leaders and other care professionals. When they take the voucher to the Foodbank they will be warmly welcomed, invited to have a coffee and a chat whilst the food is being prepared. As well as being given three days of food people are also given advice and referred to other agencies who can help. A number of local schools have already made one-off donations following assembly presentations by the foodbank, but the project needs continual support and has asked Families to put the word out - we’re happy to. Donations of non-perishable food can be taken to the distribution centres at St Luke’s Church, Knights Hill SE27 (open 10am-1pm Tuesdays and 10am-2pm Fridays), and St Paul’s Church in Ferndale Road SW9 (open 10.30am-1.30pm Tuesdays and 11am-2pm Saturdays). They also need volunteers to sort donated food ready for distribution, to give out food, to help out at a foodbank supermarket collection, and with fundraising. Gifts of food, time or funds help stop local people going hungry. For more information, email; call 07538 888415, or read more at

Please have your say! We’re running a quick reader survey to find out what you like most about Families magazine, and what you’d like more of. If you haven’t yet, there’s still time to enter in July. It’s quick and easy, and we have fantastic family games bundles to be won, worth over £100 each. Please go to or use this QR code on your smartphone.

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Successful ‘business mum’ is seeking 5 working partners to work part-time from home, alongside and without compromising family commitments or current career. If you have a supervisory, managerial, sales, marketing, recruitment or self-employed background or you wish to develop an extraordinary lifestyle, please call Skye Edwards

07973 749 846 july / august 2012 - families south east


Summer Holiday Workshops Arts, crafts and school support INTENSIVE TOUCH TYPING School holidays and weekends, YES TUITION and Training: call for venue details: 020 8858 9180, Learn a new skill with a touch typing courses run by YES. Children find them fun, and they work - most children are tapping away proficiently in just ten hours. Sessions can be booked to fit around other holiday commitments so children can progress at their own pace. Termtime classes also available.

the opportunity to sit Mock Tests in an examination environment at the end of the revision course. English writing skills on Tuesdays, Mathematics on Wednesdays, Verbal reasoning on Thursdays and Non verbal reasoning on Friday. All sessions run from 11am-3pm.


CREATIVE WRITING WITH INKHEAD 23-25 July, 13-15 and 20-22 August in BLACKHEATH and HERNE HILL, 07943 514408, Inkhead’s three day author-led story writing courses brings together all aspects of a story; developing a character; plotting a story; setting the scene; using dialogue; and developing conflict. Children look at the hero and anti-hero in books and why they help to create a good story. The aim is to show how writing is as much to do with using imagination and communicating ideas as it is about filling up a page with words. Ages 7-14 years, 10am-1pm each day.

11+ SUMMER REVISION 24 July - 17 August, THE EDUCATION CENTRE, 23 Lewisham High Street, London SE13 5AF, 020 8318 2106, Give your child more practice and a boost to their confidence with the Education Centre. The course is suitable for all grammar and independent school entrance exams. In a group setting pupils will engage with others, see how well they perform in comparison to others, and competition is encouraged. Exam and revision techniques, accuracy and time management skills are taught. Pupils will be given

CLUB FRANCAIS FUN 23-27 July and 30 July - 3 August in DULWICH, 020 8699 7665, email Indoor and outdoor games, cooking, arts and crafts, singing and drama - all in French! Ages 4-11, 10.30am-1.30pm each day.

CRAFTY COOKS HOLIDAY CLUB RHUBARB AND CUSTARD CAFE, Hither Green SE13 Five days of fun-filled, action-packed days of cooking and craft making for 4-11 year-olds. For details and bookings, call 07811 108 523 or email

ARTASTIC ART CLUB Mondays and Wednesdays, 23 July-29 August in EAST DULWICH, 07792549874, Jam-packed days with different art activities and fun party games. Ages 3-11, 9am-4pm each day, £27 per child.

23 July - 31 August in BLACKHEATH, 020 8269 1331, At Munchkins’ popular holiday workshops, children are kept busy making their own lunch or tea and a snack to eat at breaktime, plus lots of tasty goodies to take home and share, These action-packed workshops give 4-11 year olds a great opportunity to get messy, be creative and develop their cookery skills within a range of different themes. Courses can be booked by the half day or as a week-long course.

DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY WORKSHOPS DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY, Gallery Road, Dulwich Village SE21 7AD, 020 8299 8732, CONTEMPORARY CONSTRUCTIONS, 8-10 August. Be inspired by the giant Philip Haas installations in the gallery gardens and create your own sculptures with willow and other recycled materials. Ages 12-15 years, 10.30am-12.30pm, £30 for three days. TEXTILE MONSTERS, 29-31 August. Design and create your own monsters from colourful textiles. Learn the techniques of felt making, image transfer, simple stitching and fabric collage using a range of recycled fabrics, buttons and trimmings. Create small storybooks that make your characters come alive. Ages 6-8 years 10.30am-12.30pm, ages 9-11 years 2.30-4.30pm, £30 for three days.

Drama, dance and music STAGECOACH DULWICH SUMMER HOLIDAY WORKSHOP 23-26 July, ALLEYN’S SCHOOL, Townley Road, East Dulwich SE22, Stagecoach Dulwich will be running its annual Summer Workshop, offering four fun-filled days of dance, drama and singing that culminates in a performance to family and friends. Stagecoach workshops are always popular, with the team’s teachers working hard to ensure that the children have a fantastic week in a safe and secure environment. Ages 4-7 and 8-16. For bookings of information, call Jonny now on 020 8949 4116 or enrol at




30 July - 3 August DULWICH and BECKENHAM; 6-10 August in BROMLEY; 20-24 August in DULWICH, 0845 400 1277, Take a trip down the Yellow Brick Road to join Dorothy, the Scarecrow, The Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion for the adventure of a lifetime. Perform’s summer experience workshops are specially designed to stimulate creativity, confidence and communication skills. Together with a team of experienced young theatre

professionals, the children will combine live original music, inspirational dance and quick witted improvisation into a colourful mini performance on the final day. Ages 4-8 years, 2.30-4.30pm each day, £140 the five days. Weekly termtime classes are also available.

THE ANIMAL GAMES WITH THEATREBUGS 23-27 July in CLAPHAM and CHARLTON, 30 July - 3 August in WEST WICKHAM, 20-24 August in EAST DULWICH, HERNE HILL and BECKENHAM, 28-31 August in BLACKHEATH and GREENWICH, Squeaker the Mouse really wants to enter the Running Wheel Competition in the upcoming Animal Games. Silly William Wolf has other ideas; he wants Squeaker to just give up - oh dear! Luckily Rover the Dog and Princess Skip are standing in the wings to cheer Squeaker on. Can the boys and girls help too? Theatrebugs offer five fun filled days of acting, singing, dancing, dressing up and arts and crafts, and on the last day they hit the stage in a performance for family and friends. Ages 3 and a half to 8 years, £120, 10% sibling discount. For Beckenham, Clapham, East Dulwich, Herne Hill & West Wickham call 0800 975 5290 and for Greenwich areas call 020 8244 2036.

FREEDOM ACADEMY SUMMER SCHOOL 30 July - 24 August, 020 8244 4873, 07530 061 658, Following the success of previous Summer Schools, Freedom Academy are back with two brand new week long courses where 3-18 year-olds can dance, sing and act with professional actors and choreographers.

Sibling discounts are available for each course. GLEE SCHOOL, 30 July - 3 August in Sydenham, 6-10 August in Dulwich. Learn the harmonies, tunes and moves to all your favourite chart hits and finish with a spectacular performance at the end of the week. Ages 6-18, 9am-30.30pm, £150 per child. JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, 30 July - 3 August in Sydenham, 6-10 August in Dulwich, 13-17 August in East Dulwich. An all-singing, all dancing journey to Fairy Tale Land with Jack. Ages 3-5, £80 per child, sibling discount available. FILM SCHOOL, 20-24 August in East Dulwich. Lights, camera, action! Write, direct and star in your very own mini movie. Go out on location to film the scenes and end the week in style with a red carpet premier for family and friends. Ages 6-18, 9am-3.30pm, £150 per child.




Week long courses jammed full of acting, song and dance! To book your child’s place and for more information please contact us

TEL: 0208 244 4873


families south east - july / august 2012

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Sports and daycamps TENNIS-4-KIDS 30 July - 2 August and 6-9 August indoors at St Clements Church Hall EAST DULWICH, and 13-16 August outdoors at Forest Hill Methodist Church, 07877 391005, Mini sessions giving children lots of fun learning basic to advanced tennis skills. Small groups for ages 3, 4-5 and 6-8 years, £7.50 per session.

TENNIS IN SYDENHAM 23 July - 23 August, SYDENHAM LAWN TENNIS CLUB, Lawrie Park Road SE26 6ET,, email Four day group activities with professional coaches. Each session includes tennis coaching, games and other team events, with a mini tournament at the end of each week. Facilities are available for wet-weather activities if necessary. Beginners and improvers welcome. 9am-12noon for 7-10 year-olds, 1-4pm for 11-15 year-olds, £48 for all four days, one day £14. Book and pay online; or call Chris on 0773 993 6999 or Michael on 07956 995820.

SUPERCAMPS 23 July - 24 August, venues include BLACKHEATH, STREATHAM, PUTNEY, CROYDON and SIDCUP, 01235 832222, Supercamps have 15 years’ experience in running action packed programmes of sports, arts and crafts for 4-14 year-olds. As well as multi activity days, there are RAW Adventure camps for 8-14 year-olds, and ‘ passion for’ courses for 6-16 year-olds focusing on specific interests including stage, dance, food, invention and creativity. The programme is Ofsted registered and all staff are CRB cleared. You can book individual days or full weeks, take advantage of the free extended hours (8am-6pm) and pay with Childcare Vouchers. A Flexi-change option allows parents to change pre-booked dates with seven days’ notice. 9.20am-4.30pm each day, single days £38, four days £140, five days £174, sibling discounts and extended hours available.

CAMP BEAUMONT 9 July - 31 August, venues include BLACKHEATH and CROYDON, 01263 823000, Multi activity daycamps offering over 40 different activities including sports, games and crafts. Ages 3-17, day passes from £42, four days £140.

HOLIDAY DROP-OFF DULWICH COLLEGE SPORTS CLUB, Pond Cottages, Dulwich SE21 7LD, 07944 485 552, Multi sport daycamps for 4-14 year-olds, offering a wide variety of activities including swimming, football, rugby, athletics, team games, tennis, trampolining and much more. From £32.50 a day, £150 a week, sibling discounts available. 9am-4pm a day, extended days available.

BUZZ DAYCAMPS THE SPA at Beckenham, 24 Beckenham Road, Kent BR3 4PF, 020 8662 6835, Ofsted registered holiday day camps offering sports, arts & crafts, soft play and more. Ages 5-11 years, 8.30am-5.30pm, members £25 a day, non-members £25.85. Half and full days available, discounts for weekly bookings and siblings.

GLEE CLUB WITH STAGECOACH BECKENHAM 30 July - 2 August in BECKENHAM, 020 3394 0810, Four days of acting, singing and dance with a lively show for family and friends on the last day. Ages 4-16 years, 10am-4pm Monday to Wednesday, 10am-5.30pm on Thursday. Early Stage children can join in too with their own four day ‘Princess and the Pea’ workshop. Ages 4 -6 years, 9.30-12.15 Monday to Wednesday, 9.30-1pm on Thursday to include a show at the end.

LEARN YOUNG HAVE FUN Rally round for a smashing time. A fun filled introduction to tennis for 2-8 yr olds. Played indoors with small rackets, sponge balls and scaled-down court. Aids agility, co-ordination and balance. A positive introduction to tennis with lots of fun. Weekend and weekday sessions now available. For further details ring Gordon on 07877391005 or e-mail

FUNKY MONKEY KEYBOARD SUPERSTARS 30 July - 3 August in STOCKWELL, 6-10 August in DULWICH, 13-17 August in HERNE HILL, 0800 107 7949, The Keyboard Superstar workshop is a brilliant all-round scheme and ‘taster’ workshop for 5-8 year olds. Pupils learn to read, play and write notes C-A alongside learning keyboard technique and countless music-based activities including composition, artwork, singing and performance skills. The benefit of this relaxed, friendly course is your child can try making music for a week and, if they enjoy it, can take term classes. 10am-12.30pm Monday to Friday, course price £99.

ASHCROFT THEATRE SUMMER SCHOOL 6-10 and 13-17 August, FAIRFIELD HALLS, Park Lane, Croydon CR9 1DG, 020 8688 9291, Five days of acting, singing and dancing, taught by industry professionals from London’s West End and teachers from top London dance and theatre schools, with a final day showcase for family and friends. 9.30am-4.30pm a day, ages 6-16 years, £100 per week.


Sydenham SE26 6BL, A music course for string players of all abilities. Pupils play in small ensembles, lead by tutors and teachers who are experienced in chamber music. The course culminates in a concert where all groups perform the pieces they have been studying during the week. Ages 6-18 years, 10am12.30pm grades 1-5, 1.30-4.30pm grades 6-8, juniors £100, seniors £120, sibling discounts available.

IMAGINE MUSIC 30 July - 2 August, 6-10, 13-17 and 20-24 August, UPPER NORWOOD LIBRARY, Westow Hill SE19, 020 8766 6498, Four days of music making, percussion and dance. The groups will make up a song, perform and record all the parts together to make a music video using iPads and recording equipment. At the end, the project can be downloaded and admired at home. Ages 5-8 years 10am-1pm, ages 9-11 years 2-5pm, £96 a week includes use of all the equipment and a messenger bag to keep.

SUMMER HOLIDAY WORKSHOPS IN CREATIVE WRITING (Ages 7 to 14) at the Carnegie Library in Herne Hill and the Quaker Meeting Rooms in Blackheath | 07943 514408

Dates JULY 23rd, 24th & 25th AUGUST 13th, 14th & 15th AUGUST 20th, 21st & 22nd Time: 10 am to 1pm

Our Story Writing and Exam Busters courses are designed to develop a love of writing and show how to use language effectively. By the end of the course your child will have written at least one story and developed their powers of description, characterisation, dialogue and other aspects of the writer’s craft. Our workshops are taught by writers who love words and are TEWWMSREXIEFSYX½GXMSR

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july / august 2012 - families south east


The Bookseller Crow

is a fantastic, volume stuffed shop run by some of the most knowledgeable bookworms in the business. Call in for the feel of a real bookshop, or if you’re too busy, pick up the phone or point your mouse at their website for a fast mailorder service. Justine Crow recommends this month’s best titles. IT’S FESTIVAL SEASON season again and every year it gets easier and easier to find a field full of hedonism, whether it’s a local bash in the park or at one of the big brands with multiple stages and a gazillion bands you’ve never heard of. Our local Overground festival was fantastic, complete with food village, healing area and a phalanx of daft dads dancing in the moshpit by the swings and slides. But what I like best is the emphasis on creativity. Trees are wrapped up, there are ridiculous sculptures and whereas when we were growing up you were lucky if the main tent at the fete had duck-boards and bunting, now marquees are decked out with rugs and lanterns, wicker sofas and cocktail bars. And suddenly everyone’s an artist. At Camp Bestival kids swarm all over the iconic HI-DE-HI armed with brushes and paint. Faces are daubed, vehicles transformed. One year I found my children with a crowd that were painting two humans. No really. I tried not to be too alarmed - at least the pair being coated in emulsion had their pants on. STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST by Austin Kleon - Workman rrp £7.99. And it strikes me this is the ideal manual to encourage all ages to care less about conventional talent (he says, Validation is for Parking..) and have fun instead. It reads like the best parenting guide too with statements like Use Your Hands and, Write the Book You Want to Read. Climb Your Own Family Tree, Make Friends - Ignore Enemies.. See, you feel better already. Aim this at your toddler, aim it at your teen. Aim it at your inner parental torment, it’ll save on the vodka bill. ANHOLT’S ARTISTS ACTIVITY BOOK by Laurence Anholt Frances Lincoln rrp £9.99. This author has been inspiring kids to get arty for years though his style is a little more sedate. If giving the progeny free rein to decorate the house is a little too West Coast for you, they could make a ‘funky junk sculpture with Picasso’ or ‘Paint a portrait with Vincent Van Gogh’, make a paper mache maquette or smudge charcoal. I like the advice to see things like an alien. I find this also helps when trying to understand your child, coming as they do, from another planet. INTERNATIONAL RESCUE THUNDERBIRDS AGENTS’ TECHNICAL MANUAL - Haynes rrp £14.99. I absolutely love the way the Haynes people took their brand from the sunned Meccano shelving of the motorspares counter to being the last word in everything from bees to babies (whilst still being handy for a replacing a spark plug on a Reliant Robin). Like Dr Who, Supermarionation has generational legs and small ones today enjoy it just as much as we did - my boy wanted to be Virgil Tracy as badly as my brother, who is now forty-five. How weird is that. And you could even bone up and impress your husband by commenting in passing: “Good job Thunderbird 4 has a magnetic clamp craft-retrieval system, eh...?” THE ESSENTIAL CAMPING COOKBOOK by Nick Allen Simon & Schuster rrp £20.00. You are going to find this brave and sturdy tome useful whatever your plans this summer, whether three-day festival-ing or posing by a fancy boutique yurt, roughing it in the woods, or weeping silently amongst the flumes and bingo of a giant European site. Or even if you decide just to brazen out August in your London back garden. Because, as endorsed by the Scouts themselves, before you get down to the recipes by robust outdoorsy types like Bear Grylls and Peter Duncan for hot roast snapper or beef & fennel koftas, nettle soup and “cowboy dinner”, cue squeal of excitement, it shows you how to make a camp oven! Out of a cardboard box! The exclamation marks do not do justice to the genius you can display right here in the dirt in front of your real live family. And if the thought of cardboard proves too flammable for their nerves, you can make one out of a biscuit tin instead. And after you’ve eaten there are ideas for outdoor activities such as grass sledging and star-gazing and it even provides the lyrics to all the best campfire songs. Hey, come back!... TIGER WARS by Steve Backshall - Orion rrp £9.99. While we are in outdoorsy territory, if you think this fella on the inside

cover seems familiar, you’ll be right. This is the telly wildlife presenter and expedition nut’s first foray into the world of fiction in which he takes the reader on a vertiginous adventure in pursuit of the poster boy for endangered species. STANLEY’S STICK by John Hegley & Neal Layton - Hodder rrp £5.99. Once upon a time we babysat John Hegley’s dog. It wasn’t real. It was a prop we’d been asked to look after by his then publisher. But we treated it as if it was, just in case. Somewhere in the album there’s a photo of it sitting at our dining room table with a knife and fork and a napkin round its neck. I like to think the poet and performer would approve in his own laconic way. You can hear that same voice here, though possibly it is lighter with age. And the illustrations are damn near perfect depictions of Stockport station and the British seaside. THE YOGA OGRE by Peter Bently, Simon & Schuster rrp £5.99 is a pleasingly silly tale told in passable rhyme about an over-weight monster who decides to take up exercise - I am sooo partial to a story that mixes a mythical creature with the middle class. It takes one to know one afterall. PARROT CARROT by Jol & Kate Temple, illustrated by Jon Foye - Allen &Unwin rrp £7.99. All about wordplay and the idea of rhyme, this reminded me of the great Dr Seuss. And according to the flap, there’s an app. LONDON A COLOURFUL CITY by Dan Crisp - Egmont rrp £5.99. While London is currently flavour of the month, those band-wagon jumping publishers are coughing up counting books and board books and colouring books featuring the famous landmarks like stink. This tasteful one has a panorama for each colour plus a pull-out skyline. THE 3 DAY NANNY by Kathryn Mewes - Vermilion rrp £12.99. Man, this book is scary. This is the exact opposite of all I’ve said already. This professional nanny lady is one heckuva an organiser. Whatever your particular parenting problem is potty-training, sleep training, picky eating, tantrums - she does all the planning, lists and proscribing, so that you don’t have to. It’s cheaper than hiring Mary Poppins but unfortunately merely reading it made me feel like going for a nap afterwards. The sleep training worked then.. THE POLITICALLY INCORRECT PARENTING BOOK by Nigel Latta rrp £12.99. Same publisher, same parenting problems, completely different approach, though ultimately the solution remains remarkably similar. I guess I just found this one a great deal less daunting to read. It is all about the attitude, the supposed don’t-give-a-damn-ness of the guy. Where as the 3 day nanny above says: “Believe that your child is capable of conforming and he will,” he says: “You must never negotiate with terrorists. Never.” She recommends ten little pairs of knickers when potty training and a brisk “accidents happen” philosophy with eye-contact before an unhysterical clean up operation, while he prefers to make the kid wash the dirty underwear itself. Strangely neither advocate the method the Irish childminder employed with my eldest: “Sit on the toilet, get a sweetie.” Now that tips political correctness into a cocked hat. I was too shocked to argue. Besides, it worked. Instantly. The best thing about the festival season is the mess you can make. Meanwhile, while you are away, your house stays tidy and your cupboards full. Happily sitting in the dust, singing along to Mister Tumble, yelling and spilling things - and that’s just the adults - the prospect is both exhilarating and exhausting. And nothing quite beats a game of “Bogies” across a valley of pop-up tents at 8am. Especially when the three lads dressed as nuns in the tent next-door woke you and the baby at four with their drunken rendition of the hills are alive with the sound of music... BOGIES!!

The Bookseller Crow, 50 Westow St. Crystal Palace, London SE19 3AF Telephone: 020 8771 8831 email: 8

families south east - july / august 2012

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Education News

Open day dates The following independent schools are welcoming prospective parents and pupils for 2013 entry. Ruskin House School, 8 September, 48 Herne Hill SE24 9QP, 020 7737 4317, Alleyn’s Junior School, 22 September, 8 + 20 November, Townley Road, East Dulwich SE22 8SU, 020 8557 1519, Sydenham High School GDST, juniors 22 September, 3+9 October, 8+12 November, 15 Westow Hill SE26 6BL, 020 8557 7000 Senior school 19 September, 6+11 October, 9+13 November, 19 Westow Hill SE26 6BL, 020 8557 7000, Eltham College, Ages 7+ and 11+ Saturday 15 September. Grove Park Road, Mottingham, London SE9 4QF. 020 8857 1455,





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Best feet forward Even though we are looking down the barrel of the summer holidays there is always that niggling voice in the back of your mind that ‘back to school’ shoe shopping in only just around the corner. Children’s shoe experts, Start-rite, have come up with their top tips on what to look for in back to school shoes and how to take the strain out of shoe-shopping.

The shoes For all day comfort you need to make sure your child is wearing shoes that properly fit their feet. Children’s feet are as unique as their personalities and there’s no such thing as an ‘average’ foot. Shoes which come in only one width actually fit less than a third of children so it’s important to choose shoes which are available in whole and half sizes and offers the greatest choice of width fittings. Children’s feet grow in spurts so their footwear should be professionally checked for fit every six to eight weeks when they are toddling and every three to four months after that. Professional shoe-fitters provide free, no-obligation fit checks and will not recommend purchase of new shoes unless the child needs them. You should choose shoes with built-in space around the toes to give feet room to grow, but never be tempted to buy shoes in a larger size than your child needs so that they can ‘grow into them’. This is a false economy because shoes which don’t fit properly do not wear as well and, more importantly, they can damage children’s feet. Choose leather footwear because it provides the healthiest environment for growing feet. Children’s feet have as many sweat glands as an adult’s and we lose about an eggcup full of perspiration from our feet each day. Leather is breathable and allows vapour to escape through the surface of the shoe. Leather also conforms to the shape of the feet for maximum comfort, is hard wearing and easy to maintain. Start-rite uses only dyed-through leathers which keep their good looks even after scuffing. Shoe care is particularly important for shoes which are worn frequently. Regular cleaning and polishing actually helps to extend a shoe’s life as well as keeping them looking good. For maximum comfort, durability and grip, choose shoes with a good tread pattern on the sole. Check that the sole flexes easily across the widest part of shoe (which contains the ball of the foot). The sole shouldn’t be too heavy and thickness should be in proportion with the shoe size and the child’s height. Choose a shoe with an effective fastener across the instep so that your child doesn’t curl his toes to keep them on. Laces, buckles and velcro straps are best because they hold the feet securely and comfortably in the correct position in the shoe. Properly fitted slip-on shoes have to fit snugly to ensure they don’t fall off and this means they can’t incorporate growing room.

The shopping • Don’t leave it until the last minute. Shops will be busier at the end of the school holidays and they may have sold out of your chosen style or size. • If you are going to hit the shops go first thing in the morning. It will be quieter and that’s when your child is likely to be feeling freshest. • Allow enough time - it takes around half an hour for a child to be professionally measured and fitted for shoes. • For the best fit, take school socks with you for your child to wear when being fitted for shoes.

Shop locally For expert fitting and a good range of well made shoes, try Merlin Shoes in Crystal Palace, Biff in Dulwich Village, Parres in Blackheath, John Barnett in East Dulwich, and Gently Elephant in Brockley, For more advice on children’s foot care and footwear needs, for stockist information and to view Start-rite’s wide range of children’s footwear visit

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Kumon’s maths and English study programmes are tailored to your child’s individual needs, nurturing their independence and enthusiasm for learning. To unlock your child’s potential, contact your local Instructor for a Free Assessment:

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july / august 2012 - families south east


SummerActivities Playday 2012

Life is one big adventure and through outdoor play, children learn and develop key skills which are essential for helping them in life. From analysing risks and learning to make decisions for themselves, to building self-confidence and imagination, making time for children to play outdoors is important, and great fun. Playday is the national day to celebrate children’s play in the UK. This year’s is on Wednesday 1 August, when thousands of children and their families will be hosting or attending a Playday celebration. These will range from jubilee style street parties, festivals in parks or village greens and mass adventures, to meetings with family and friends to have a picnic or garden play date. For more information, to register an event or find one, go to

Funky swim hats Traditional latex and silicone swimming caps are very uncomfortable, especially for younger swimmers. The Swimdana is a funky, adjustable bandana style hat that protects against the hot sun, sea and chlorine and they look cool too. Choose from five colours, priced £6.50 each from

Let the sunshine in A recent survey in the UK showed that more than half of adults in the UK did not have enough vitamin D. In the winter and spring about one in six people has a severe deficiency and about nine in 10 adults in the UK of South Asian origin. The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are unclear and the problem can often be missed until it reaches severe levels, at which point it results in a condition known as rickets. What is also coming to light is the impact of insufficient vitamin D goes far beyond the problem of soft bones. New research is revealing the importance of vitamin D in protecting against many health problems, and insufficient levels of vitamin D is now being closely associated with asthma in children, depression (recent research by the University of Bristol); and two senior paediatric pathologists have discovered a vitamin D deficiency in a significant number of SIDS cases. We are all capable of producing vitamin D with suffient exposure to sunlight. During the summer, just 15 minutes in the sun without sunscreen in the early morning and late afternoon is enough for most light-skinned individuals to create an ample supply of vitamin D, and for skin with more pigment (melanin) up to 40 minutes. Of course sunscreens remain essential during the sun’s peak hours but in the meantime, it’s true when they say you should get out more!

What’sNew Your Baby app Dr Hilary Jones, Britain’s best known media medic, aims to relieve the stress of early motherhood and boost breastfeeding with his new iPhone and iPad App, Your baby 0-6 months, which is a follow up to his first Pregnancy and childbirth app. The information covers everything from diet and breastfeeding, through premature issues, early health problems, and crying, to the baby blues and postnatal depression. It includes 14 videos, including a step by step guide to successful breastfeeding and expressing, supported by Lansinoh, the award-winning brand dedicated to breastfeeding mothers. Dr Hilary Jones said: “As a dad of five kids myself, I know just how very special and exciting it is looking after a newborn baby, but also how anxious it can make you feel and just what a responsible job it really is. My app will answer most of those questions you really need to know when the chips are down, and there is no-one else around to help.” Dr Hilary Jones’ apps are £1.49 for iPhone and £2.49 for iPad, from or directly from the App Store.

A love of reading

Best beginnings: small wonders

Every child starting primary school in the 2012-2013 school year will be give two free books, thanks Booktrust in a joint venture with Pearson. This year’s books are The Tale of a Naughty Little Rabbit, published by Frederick Warne &Co, an imprint of Penguin Children’s, and Tim’s Din, from the Phonics Bug series by Pearson UK. In total 1.45 million books will be given to reception-aged children through Booktime, which aims to inspire a lifelong love of reading by encouraging families to have fun reading together. Each free book pack is a timely reminder of the continuing importance of sharing stories with children even when they have started school. What a treat!

A new DVD has been produced for parents of premature babies. Small Wonders provides insight, guidance, confidence and support from when they are first told they may be having a premature baby, through those first crucial hours after birth to their baby’s first birthday. The DVD has been produced by health charity Best Beginnings, who are working with six medical Royal Colleges, UNICEF and more than 15 other organisations in a national programme implemented by over 400 nurse, doctor and midwife ‘Champions’ within hospitals throughout the UK to help families of premature and sick babies in the UK The DVD is split into 12 films, each covering a different topic which parents can select individually, along with an information booklet where parents can record their thoughts and feelings as well as their own baby’s progress. In addition to being available for free in neonatal units across the UK, the Small Wonders DVD is £5 from Best Beginnings’ website

New twist on name tags As summer camps and new school uniforms hover on the horizon, we’re impressed by the ‘Attach-a-Tag’ labelling system which names children’s clothes quickly and easily without the use of a needle or iron. Attach-a-Tag is a labelling system which uses a ‘dolphin’ shaped applicator to attach a small button to clothing. Your child’s name is permanently etched onto the button and once it’s attached, it’s there until you chose to remove it (with the integral removal tool) and use it again. It’s not just for clothes you can label sleeping bags, pillows, wash bags - and they wash and tumble dry perfectly as well as withstanding heat from an iron. Attach-a-Tag can be purchased from good uniform shops and online at


families south east - july / august 2012

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Free play at home

Whether the su n is shining brightly or it’s bucketing do wn with rain, you can still enjoy long summer the ho 10 free and fu lidays. Here are n things you can do at home: 1. Using a bu cket of water an d big (wallpaper) brus hes, let your litt le ones paint the garden fence, wall or pa Simple and mes tio. s-free but grea t fun. Or take the paints outs foot/ finger paint ide and try hand/ ing on the large st paper you can find try the back of unused old wallpaper. Then get out the sprin kler hose to clean everyone off! 2. Set up a tre asure hunt with clues around the house.

Little Movers Movement & Dance for Under 5’s

plywood, cut to the size you re quire, and some blackboa rd paint, availab le from DIY or hardwa re stores. Onc e painted, the board can be fixed to your house wall, fence or sh ed. Keep chalk s in a waterproof box, ready for draw ing, writing, treasur e hunt maps, ins tructions, scoring


dance sessions

8. Rainy day activity? A small amount of screen time is useful for child ren and we know they love working and pl aying on the computer. The Reading Eg gs and Reading Eggs press program s are all about bringing out the best in each child using uniq ue worlds of int eractive reading and wr iting activities. Using promotional co de UKS24LNW you can trial the pr ograms for fre 3. A water fig e for an ht in the back ex te nd ed period of five we garden with tw teams - one gu eks. Simply o visit arding a base, and the others trying to , register your email addr get to the base ess and once and grab (their mission pl your account has be ans) en set up you can enter the code on yo 4. Games da ur parent dash y - challenge th board. e children to get through at 9. How abou least 10 board t wi nn ing some free games, ping pong sess stuff? Enter our onlin ions etc in the e competitions day for your opportunity to 5. Have a mov win prizes to ke ie afternoon wi ep your summer free, fre th popcorn and a good DV e, free! There ar D e theatre tickets, games , DVDs, books 6. Camp out: and more up for grabs. Go pitch a tent in to ww the garden, fill the paddling po and click ‘com .uk ol and sand pi petitions’ t, light the BBQ and mak in the toolbar. e some fruity co cktails. Then pretend yo u’re in an exotic 10. Make a co location and snigger at rk boat - we sh all the poor tra ow you how on page 19. ve lle stuck in airports rs or on motorwa ys. 50 more ideas: 7. An outdoo the National Tru r blackboard wi st’s interactive we bsite lists 50 th ll en co urage all sorts of games ings children sh and creativity. be ould do fo re they are 11 3⁄4. Yo All you need is a piece u can log in an of board, ideally off the ideas as d tick marine they do them, at www.50things.o

where children are encouraged to dance, sing and use their imaginations!

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Fit brains learn better Fast ForWord is a reading programme which is scientifically proven to increase reading by years. The programme is suited for 6-16 year-olds and is done at home or anywhere there is internet access. Raviv Practice London sees an average of a year’s reading gain in two to three months of work. On enrollment, children start with a free reading assessment. All consultations are also free and can be done in evenings at the weekends or remotely. For more information call Usha Patel on 07766 837 616 or email:

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july / august 2012 - families south east


Mothers Mean Business Laura Sydonie: Theatre Tots Laura Sydonie is a mother of two from Lee. She is also director of the award-winning Theatre Tots. FSE: When did you launch Theatre Tots? LS: “January 2008 when my eldest son was seven months old.” FSE: What did you do beforehand? LS: “My main job before theatre tots was performing and I was lucky enough to have some lovely jobs that took me all over the world and the UK. I ran a theatre company - SULIS Productions - that toured internationally for a few years and won a few awards for a couple of our shows. I also have always taught performing arts in schools, nurseries and theatre schools in the UK and abroad (Australia, American, Canada, Greece and France) and am very passionate about creative learning. I do a lot of talking about that now as a consultant for other companies! I have worked a lot for Bigfoot Arts Education, a wonderful education company for whom I taught for many years and still write programmes and curriculums and act as a consultant, assessor and trainer. No two weeks tend to be the same!” FSE: What was the inspiration for setting up Theatre Tots? LS: “Without sounding cheesy, having my first son was a very focusing and inspiring time. Time becomes a very precious thing when you become a parent and I wanted to maximise my time with him and have a career. I had previously toured a lot and so I needed a change that kept me home based. I saw a gap in the pre-school class market for drama based sessions in schools, nurseries and for parents/ carers, and it went from there!” FSE; How easy (or difficult) was it to get started? LS: “It was a lot of work to get started. It was just me and all our material is original so there was a lot of writing and composing to do before I even got to the point of marketing. I think the hardest thing is to have the confidence in what you are trying to do and trusting your instincts. I still don’t think I am very good at that now. One of the hardest things was how to sell ‘Theatre’ as a skill for younger children. Drama is a hard subject to ‘pin down’ and we are always thinking of succinct ways to explain what we do!” FSE: What does Theatre Tots do? LS: “We produce drama workshops, shows, books and resources for early years children and children with special educational needs. We work largely with everyday objects and situations to make sure our sessions are accessible to all. All our songs, stories and exercises are unique and original to theatre tots and written in line with the Early Years national curriculum. We also provide teacher and parent consultancy and training where we talk about how useful drama skills are in life - encouraging flexible thinking, problem solving, confidence and communication. These are particularly important in the early years. We are focused on process not product, and do not produce performances with the children. We focus on using drama and the performing arts as a life tool, developing a range of social skills in a fun way.”


families south east - july / august 2012

FSE: Is it just you, or are other people involved? LS: “I have a part time marketing assistant and 10 part time teachers/ performers. Everyone else (illustrators and assistants) we employ on an ad hoc basis. But the day to day is me. And most days I could do with being several people in several places (like most parents!) Which is a good problem to have!” FSE: We hear you’ve recently returned from China. How did it go? LS: “It was brilliant thank you. I am very pleased to say we have sold a licence to the IBest Educational Institute in Beijing. They will be rolling out theatre tots across China. In addition to that we are setting up a joint venture with them within which we will be in charge of all their drama work including a TV spin off, publishing our books and international teacher training and exchanges. I had an amazing adventure and am set to go back in the summer, hopefully with my boys.” FSE; Pre-school classes, live shows, book publishing, drama therapy - which gives you most satisfaction? LS: “I love the variety and all aspects of the company inform each other. I really enjoy meeting parents, teachers and nursery workers and building relationships with the children we teach. It’s fantastic to see the progression children can make. The shows are great fun and again it’s to see children enjoying a theatre experience in their school, local hall, garden, living room (our shows fit anywhere!). The books have been amazing to do. Most of our work is ‘live’, so hard to evaluate but the books are an opportunity to do just that. The therapy-based work is extremely rewarding and very challenging and I work alongside some fantastic teachers in this aspect of the company.” FSE: Do your children share your love of drama? LS: “They have both come to classes and meetings from birth so have had no choice in a way! My eldest loves to write and make up stories and has an idea that we will have a writing office together when he is grown up where we write theatre tots stories. The next story we are publishing he co-wrote with me so that may come true quite soon! Otherwise he would probably prefer a football any day! My youngest is very much into dressing up and entertaining anyone who will watch. They are both very honest judges and certainly aren’t shy in telling me when things aren’t up to scratch! FSE: How do you juggle the needs of family life with work? LS: “Depends on the day! My partner travels abroad a lot for work so each week is different in our family. Generally it works well as I can pick my own hours and the boys can largely come with me to sessions and meetings. There is a lot of working late into the night and getting up early to fit in office hours but I am delighted to be able to do the school run every day. I promised myself in the first year that if nothing else this would allow me to be there for my boys as

much as possible including the school run. And that’s a great feeling to have achieved. I also have really great family and friends and very understanding partner and children. I don’t think it’s possible to run your business without great back up. It’s a lifestyle and you have to put your own boundaries into place to make sure it all works.” FSE: Is there anything you know now that you wish you’d done differently when you were starting out with theatre tots? LS: “Lots! Yes, on a business side there are things I learnt the hard way for sure. But actually I think that’s also been when I have made the clearest decisions and most progress. I wish I hadn’t tried so hard to please everyone. You can’t and you probably shouldn’t try to otherwise you start to forget what you set out to do.” FSE: Do you have any tips for other mothers thinking of setting up on their own? LS: “Trust your instincts even when it doesn’t make complete sense - it’s your business. And take your time - you can set your own schedule and goals, so make sure it’s manageable and what you want to be doing. Don’t take things too personally or try to please everyone. Be honest and genuine, it’s OK to say no thank you. And get a really good accountant who you like!” FSE: When you have time off for yourself, what do you like to do? LS: “I love to travel with my family. We do a lot of cycling around London. And retreat to our allotment where we are quite bad but very enthusiastic at growing vegetables!” FSE: How can readers contact find out more? Call 0780 107 2776, see, or email

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Family Life

When parents divorce - do you have to go to court to sort out arrangements for the children? By Mandeep Clair

Not necessarily. There is no need to apply to the court for any kind of order setting out the arrangements if you and your husband/ wife are able to agree who the children will live with, the dates and times they are to see the other parent and other arrangements for them such as their schooling. If it is impossible to achieve an agreement, it may be appropriate for one parent to make an application to the court. Where a child is over the age of 16

It is open for either parent to make an application under the Children Act 1989 if there are serious issues regarding how the arrangements will work and ultimately, the court will decide on what should happen. The court will only really wish to be involved if it is in the best interests of the children and making an order is of positive benefit to them. Although there is a general principle that a delay in such court proceedings is detrimental, they can

years, it is only in exceptional circumstances

So how does it work?

What do I need to do? It is advisable for parents to jointly prepare a formal working agreement known as a Parenting Plan which details how the children will be cared for and supported. It can include anything that parents need to agree on about their children, such as where the children will live, how contact will work during term times, school holidays, birthdays and Mother’s and Father’s Days. Reaching a workable agreement without going to court can save you a lot of money in legal fees, time and distress, and it is better for your children. Although Parenting Plans are not legally binding, they should be helpful in avoiding misunderstandings and arguments between you.

About the author Mandeep Clair is an experienced family solicitor and mediator at southeast London solicitors Grant Saw. The practice offers friendly, professional family legal services including a free one hour consultation. For more help or information, call 020 8858 6971, email or go to

Parental leave plans

that a court would be willing to get involved.

When applying for the divorce, the court will require you to complete a form called Statement of Arrangements for Children (relating to children under the age of 16 years or under 18 years who are at school/ college or are training for a trade, profession or vocation). This sets out various details about them such as their living arrangements, their contact arrangements with the non-resident parent, education and health. In the vast majority of cases, there are no exceptional circumstances where the court needs to get involved any further in the arrangements,and it will not require the parents to attend court so that it can consider further what should be done to resolve any serious issues between them. When trying to agree the arrangements for the children, it is very important to put them first. Research shows that it is normally in a child’s best interests if they are raised by both parents as long as this is safe; children are clear about the arrangements for spending time with each parent; they are not exposed to sudden changes unless unavoidable; the parents support them to stay in touch with their extended family and close family friends.

nevertheless unfortunately be lengthy and take several months to resolve.

What if that doesn’t work?

- where do they leave you? By Sarah-Jane Butler

The Queen announced in May that her government would propose measures “to make parental leave more flexible so both parents may share parenting responsibility and balance work and family commitments”. It was a grand announcement but little information was provided on how such measures would work in practice and what difference it would actually make to parents. Parental leave is currently made up of several components: maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave. Maternity leave can be taken up to 52 weeks, paternity leave two weeks, adoption leave 52 weeks and parental leave up to 13 weeks, 26 if you have two children. The right to pay during that time differs according to each category. Under all four types, you are entitled to benefit from the same contractual rights, benefits and obligations while you are on leave. The only difference being that for parental leave and for part of your maternity and adoption leave you will not be paid. So what are the proposed changes and how will it affect us? According to the EU Parental Rights Directive, adopted in March 2010, the UK government had to increase parental leave from three to four months by March 2012. Despite this deadline, it was recently announced that this great extension of rights will be delayed until March 2013. In practice this makes

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very little difference as a very high proportion of employees do not exercise their rights to take existing parental leave because it is unpaid. In addition, the government wishes to reduce the default length of maternity leave from 26 to 18 weeks, with the remaining entitlement of up to 38 weeks able to be shared between both partners as they see fit. There would be nothing to stop parents taking their leave simultaneously, while parents could also request to take their leave in any number of blocks of any duration - although employers can refuse this. As great in theory as this proposal may be with the best of intentions in mind, it is unlikely to ever work. A recent survey concluded that only 17% of mothers thought their partner would be willing and able to take some of the shared leave in addition to their statutory two weeks’ paternity leave. Most (41%) thought they would not be able to afford it as a couple, while 14 % said their partner would not want to and 28% said that it would not be practical. What either measures do not tackle, and what was not mentioned in the Queen’s Speech, was how to implement real practical flexible working for parents to fit around their children and their childcare. Parents do not want increased leave or shared leave; they want a career that works with their children. This may not need a great announcement but it would make a great change.

About the author Sarah-Jane Butler is director of Parental Choice Limited - the ‘one stop shop’ to help you make the right decision on your childcare for your children. Read more at

july / august 2012 - families south east




What’sOn Find even more activities: then click What's On

Diary Dates for Grownups CHILDREN’S TABLE TOP SALE


7 July, St MICHAEL’S AND ALL SAINTS CHURCH, Pond Road, Blackheath SE3 Top quality second hand children’s and baby clothes, shoes, toys and equipment. There will also be children’s face painting, home made cakes, tea and coffee. Organised by Greenwich & Lewisham Twins Club Plus. 3-5pm, admission 50p.

Until 25 July, CANVAS & CREAM, 18 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3HF, 020 8699 9589, An exhibition and sale of work by local designers in the airy gallery space to the rear of Canvas & Cream’s dining rooms.

FRIENDS OF THE HORNIMAN ART EXHIBITION 14 + 15 July in the Conservatory, HORNIMAN MUSEUM, 100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23, The 21st annual art exhibition of The Friends of The Horniman will bring together paintings, prints and sculptures from south London’s art community. New and established artists will show and sell their most recent work, including framed and unframed works, cards and postcards. Visitors can also enter the raffle to win a piece of artwork. 10am-5pm Saturday, to 4.30pm Sunday, admission free.

NCT PARENTING COURSES GREENWICH and BLACKHEATH, London SE10, NCT Early Day courses cover issues such as coping with babies’ sleeping, feeding and crying patterns, in a friendly setting which offers the chance to meet other parents with 0-6 month-old babies. There is a charge for classes, with discounted rates for parents on low incomes. To book a place and ask about the next course, call Alison on 0844 243 6921 or email

Theatre, Shows and Music JAZZ, GROOVE AND FUNK: INTERACTIVE CONCERT 14 July, St JOSEPH’S CHURCH, 103 Pelton Road, Greenwich SE10 9AN, 07855 916496, A join-in concert for families with children of all ages, led by Henry, Anna & Tim from Boppin’ Bunnies, with the support of Jools Holland. As people arrive they are given an ‘instrument pack’ and at various points in the concert everyone plays with the performers, and sings together (hopefully in harmony!). Concert starts 10.30am, tickets £3 children, £5 adults on the door.

SOUTHBANK CENTRE Belvedere Road, London SE1 8PXX 0207 960 4200/ 0844 847 9910 The Festival of the World programme features treats for families this summer: THE MAGICIAN’S DAUGHTER, 14-19 July. A wonderful blend of puppetry, live music and song for this captivating story of the adventures of a young girl on a magical faraway island, written by Michael Rosen in association with The Royal Shakespeare Company. Tickets from £10. SLAP DASH GALAXY, 22-27 July. Two brothers flee their home planet on a quest across the universe. Witness an entire shadow puppet universe, made from bits of rubbish and promising a feast for the imagination. Some parts are a bit scary for children under seven. Tickets from £10. HANDA’S SURPRISE, 17 -26 August. Travel to Kenya and follow Handa as she journeys to see her best friend Akeyo in the next village. Physical performance, puppetry, live music and song combine to create an intimate, magical production with audience participation. Ages 2-5, tickets £7.50. THE BEE DETECTIVE, 31 August, 1+2 September. Part of When worker bees begin to disappear, Sophie will have to use all her deductive powers to solve the case and save the hive. This fun and intriguing honeybee murder mystery the audience to join the investigation and help the intrepid Sophie with her search. Ages 6+, tickets £6 children, £12 adults.

THE BOY WHO FELL INTO A BOOK 18-28 July, SOHO THEATRE, 21 Dean Street, London W1D 3NE, 020 7478 0100, A fantasy adventure, served up with magic and lashings of imagination, Alan Ayckbourn’s adventurous tale features a boy who wakes up to find himself living in the stories sitting on his bookshelf. From Grimm’s fairytales, to a wisecracking detective and some very unfriendly chessboard characters, our young hero must lead the stories if he is to ensure that everything ends happily ever after. Tickets from £10.

THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA 4 July - 2 September at the LYRIC THEATRE, 29 Shaftsbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES, 0844 412 4661,


families south east - july / august 2012


The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big, stripy tiger! Following on from the highly successful 2011 tour, the loveable tea-guzzling tiger appears in this delightful family show; packed with oodles of magic, sing-a-long songs and clumsy chaos! David Wood’s stunning stage adaptation of Judith Kerr’s picture book is fun for youngsters everywhere, and their grownups. Ages 3+.

PEPPA PIG’S TREASURE HUNT 21+22 July, NEW WIMBLEDON THEATRE, The Broadway, Wimbledon SE19 1QG, 0844 871 7646, A brand new show featuring true to life puppets, perfect singalong songs and a story to charm and delight all Peppa’s fans. Performances 10am, 1pm and 4pm. Tickets from £11.50 children, £13.50 adults.

HORRIBLE HISTORIES - BARMY BRITAIN Until 1 September, GARRICK THEATRE, 2 Charing Cross Road, London WC2 0HH, 08444 12 4662, British history is full of barmy people who did nasty things to each other. With blood, battles, murder and mayhem, the show explores stories from Roman, Tudor, Stuart, Georgian, Victorian and the wars, featuring famous figures such as Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Guy Fawkes, Florence Nightingale and General Earl Haig. Ages 6+, tickets from £10.

MATILDA THE MUSICAL Until 17 February 2013, CAMBRIDGE THEATRE, 32 Earlham Street WC2, 0844 412 4652, Roald Dahl’s much-loved classic comes alive in an award-winning musical. Tired of being teased by her couch potato parents and horrible teacher Miss Trunchball, little Matilda discovers that she has a very special gift and sets out to teach the grown-ups a lesson. Tickets from £20, child discounts available. Audio-described and captioned performances are available for some dates.

WAR HORSE NEW LONDON THEATRE, Drury Lane, London WC2, 0844 755 0017, Experience the emotional journey that charges through the battlefields of history straight to the hearts of audiences around the world. Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, War Horse is a powerfully moving and imaginative drama, filled with stirring music and magnificent artistry. Handspring Puppet Company brings breathing, galloping, full-scale horses to life on the stage. Ages 10+, tickets from £15.

POLKA THEATRE 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1SB 020 8543 4888 INSIDE OUT, 4 July - 25 August. Edie is an explorer - she travels to all sorts of fantastic places. James is an explorer too, but prefers to stay

indoors. They live in the same house, and like the same biscuits, but they’ve never ever met. Until today, that is. Ages 2-5, tickets £7 children, £9 adults. KID CARPET AND THE NOISY ANIMALS, 7 July. Follow the adventures of a charismatic singer and his animal band (made up of a gorilla, a bear and a badger) as they make friends, play games, contemplate the world and finally rock out at a grand dance contest. This lively and enchanting performance contains a unique mix of theatre, comedy animation and original live music. Ages 4-8, tickets £7 children, £9 adults. CHARLIE AND LOLA’S BEST BESTEST PLAY, 18 July - 25 August. Everyone’s favourite brother and sister, Charlie and Lola, are brought to life in a magical mix of puppets and music. 2-D and 3-D worlds collide in this play, adapted from some of the freshest and funniest episodes. Ages 3-7, tickets from £14.

PUTNEY ARTS THEATRE Ravenna Road, Putney SW15 6AW 020 8788 6943, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, 7+8 July. Shakespeare’s play will be staged under the trees of the picturesque 18th century Old Burial Ground located next to the Theatre. Bring picnics and blankets. Tickets from £7. ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, 12-14 July. With her heart set on becoming a Queen, Alice journeys through a game of chess, meeting talking flowers, noble knights, some unusual twins and even Humpty Dumpty. The second part of Lewis Caroll’s classic story is equally weird and wonderful. Tickets from £5.

THE COLOUR HOUSE THEATRE Merton Abbey Mills, Merantun Way, SW19 2RD 020 8542 5511, RAINY DAY BEAR, 18+19 August. The show is a fun interactive journey with lots of songs and dancing. It covers important educational areas such as days of the week and numbers, and is presented by Rah Rah Theatre Company. Ages 3-6, 2pm and 4pm, tickets from £7. KIDSFEST 2012, 27 August. A family day out packed with hands on workshops in art, crafts, pottery, drama, music, dancing, balloon modelling, DJ skills and drumming. There are soft play and storytelling areas, archaeological digging, relaxation sessions, fitness, rides, face painting and caricaturing. All these fun things together with visits from the animals at Dean City farm, the local Fire Brigade, the Police and St Johns Ambulance ensures a superb community feeling focusing entirely on Children. The main stage on the Bandstand is home to great musical entertainment with performances by children and special guests with talent competitions, giveaways and a few surprises thrown in. 11am5pm, free.

THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE Until 9 September, THREESIXTY THEATRE, Kensington Gardens (by Kensington Palace) Dial Walk, London W2 2UH, 0844 871 7627 This new adaptation of CS Lewis’s classic children novel is held in a specially designed theatre tent in Kensington Gardens, and combines puppetry and hi-tech multimedia, projecting the magic of Narnia with Imax-style video backdrops. Tickets from £25.

BBC PROMS 2012 13 July - 8 September. Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP 020 7589 8212 The world’s greatest classical music festival, part of the London 2012 Festival, the cultural celebrations of the Olympic Games. Up to 70 world-class concerts will be performed in the Royal Albert Hall and a series of chamber concerts will be held in the nearby Cadogan Hall.

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Events & Exhibitions

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SYDENHAM ARTS FESTIVAL 1- 15 July, VARIOUS VENUES in Sydenham SE26. Box office 020 8133 4431, A fortnight of comedy, drama, family events and workshops returns to Sydenham for the summer. Highlights include FAMILY FUN DAY, 1 July in Home Park. Music, dance, storytelling, free arts activities, children’s games, street performance, theatre, puppetry, walkabout acts, a funfair and food stalls offering great food from around the world. 1-6pm, entry free THE JUNGLE BOOK, 3-8 July on Albion Millenium Green SE26 4DB. An open-air production of Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale of Mowgli’s life in the jungle with Baloo the bear and Bagheera the pantha. Tickets free for under 2s, children £4, £8 adults. BIG DANCE PICNIC, 8 July. Enjoy a picnic in the Horniman Museum Gardens while watching and joining in with folk-themed, professional and community dance. Noon-4pm, free. WORD ON THE STREET, 14 July. A carnival of poetry on the pavement for passers-by of all ages, featuring a host of exciting poets including Dzifa Benson and resident poet Gale Burns. 11am-1pm on Sydenham Road. BIRD BOXING, 14 July. A new comedy which invites the audience to build their own bird boxes in a race against time. 3pm and 5pm in the Grow Mayow Community Garden, Mayow Park, free. FAIRY TALES FAMILY CONCERT, 15 July. Join Harmony Sinfonia for a musical journey through the magical world of fairy tales, including Tom Thumb, Beauty and the Beast, the wondrous world of Harry Potter and more. Young guests are invited to dress as their favourite fairy tale character. 3.30pm start at Sydenham School on Dartmouth Road. Tickets £1 for under 5s, £5 children, £8 adults.

FOREST FEST 2012 7 July, FOREST HILL BOYS’ SCHOOL, MAYOW ROAD, Forest Hill SE23 2XN, Inspired by the great Games, the theme for this year’s festival is the Olympic and Paralympic values of respect, excellence, friendship, courage, determination, inspiration and equality. The afternoon offers a jam-packed programme of live music, dance and drama performances from within the school together with other local schools and community groups. There will be workshops for all ages, an arts market area displaying a plethora of information and selling exquisite handcrafted goods, as well as a scrumptious array of food and refreshments. 12noon - 5pm, all welcome.

FAMILY EVENTS AT THE HORNIMAN HORNIMAN MUSEUM and gardens, 100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23, 020 8699 1872, Museum open 10.30am-5.30pm daily, general admission free, charges apply for special exhibitions and the aquarium. The museum’s music gallery and hands-on base, regular weekend and holiday drop-ins and workshops allow family visitors to explore the collection through arts and crafts, music, stories and hands-on sessions. All this within 16 acres of beautiful green space. Here are some highlights - see the museum website for full listings: BIG DANCE PICNIC, 8 July. A free dance event in the gardens in collaboration with Trinity Laban, with commissioned dance pieces, school performances, music and mass participation dance activities. Noon - 4pm. WALK ON THE WILD SIDE, 14 July. Explore the Nature Trail and pond in this session for families with children aged 6+. .12pm and 3pm starts, children £2, adults free. TORCH RELAY EVENT, 23 July. Join in a celebratory torch relay event for families, and watch a steel band finish off the celebrations in carnival style. 10am-12noon in the gardens, free. PLAY DAY! 1 August. Join in with the nationwide festival which celebrates the importance of playing outside. Play for all ages including making caterpillar puppets, hide and seek, dance and more in the Gardens. 11am-4pm, free. FAMILY THEATRE SHOWS, 7, 21 and 28 August. Free family theatre show with music at the bandstand. 12.30pm and 3pm starts. FALCONRY FLIGHT DISPLAY, 8 August. See birds of prey up close and in flight in the Gardens. 2pm and 3.15pm, free. INTO THE WILD, WILD WOODS, 14 August. Journey to Africa, Europe and native America and discover the secret wisdom of the trees through tales of natural wonder, accompanied by song and live accordion music. 12.30pm and 3pm at the bandstand, free. MUMMERS, MAYPOLES AND MILKMAIDS. Until 9 September. An exhibition of over 50 photographs depicting regional rituals from all over England. Costumed processions, symbolic dramatisations, traditional dances and fire ceremonies mark the changing seasons and celebrate nature’s bounty. Many of these customs claim an ancient origin such as traditions like Jack-in-the-Green, or have a pagan heritage like the Celtic festival of Beltane, and are kept alive today by local communities. Award-winning photographer Sara Hannant’s vibrant images offer a captivating and surprising glimpse of contemporary ‘Merrie England’. Free.

LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM, 39 Wellington Street, Covent Garden WC2E 7BB, 020 7379 6433, Museum open 10am-6pm Mondays to Thursdays and weekends, from 11am Fridays. Admission free for under 16s, £13 adults. Tickets are valid for 12 months’ unlimited admission.

V&A MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD, Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green E2 9PA, 020 8983 5200, This gem of a museum is fascinating for families with young children. The collection includes dolls, dolls’ houses, puppets, teddy bears, games, childcare, clothing, furniture and art and photography. Everyday drop-in activities include storytelling, arts and crafts, and trails. There’s dressing-up, role play and an under 3’s area, an indoor sandpit, and regular special events. If it’s sunny there’s an outdoor space to enjoy a picnic. Open 10am-5.45pm daily, admission free. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR PUNCH, 14 July - 9 December. The first recorded sighting in England of a Mr Punch puppet was made in 1662 in the Dairy of Samuel Pepys. As part of The Big Grin, a nationwide celebration of Mr Punch! SUMMER FESTIVAL, 29 July. The museum grounds will be buzzing with live music, dance, walkabout acts, art and crafts activities, designer stalls, food, face painting, rickshaw rides and games. 11.30am-4.30pm, free drop-in for all ages.

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july / august 2012 - families south east





DRAW YOUR WEAPONS. A colourful and dynamic exhibition exploring the history of the war comic, in partnership with leading publisher DC Thomson.


Find even more activities: then click What's On BEAUTIFUL GAMES, until 9 September. What makes an athlete successful? How does the latest technology help us to become faster and stronger; and where do we draw the line between fair play and downright cheating? As part of the exhibition, visitors young and old can get their own blood pumping with a white knuckle ride in a virtual skeleton bobsleigh, measure their reaction time with a ‘beat the clock’ test, and throw some moves on an electronic dance floor. MASCOTS OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES, until 28 October. A showcase of over 50 mascots from the last 44 years of summer and winter Olympic Games including the London 2012 mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville.

Science Museum makes sense of the science that shapes our lives, sparking curiosity, releasing creativity and changing the future by engaging people of all generations and backgrounds in science, engineering, medicine, technology, design and enterprise. Open daily 10am-6pm except 24-26 December. LAUNCHPAD SCIENCE SHOWS. The largest free interactive science gallery in the UK is packed with exhibits which allow visitors to launch a rocket, turn their head into a sound box and control a magnetic cloud. Ages 8-14, free. WHO AM I? Find out what makes you special through interactive activities which use the latest in brain science and genetics. Free.

BRITISH MUSEUM BRITISH MUSEUM, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG, 020 7323 8299, Open 10am-5.30pm daily, until 8.30pm Fridays, admission free. WINNING AT THE ANCIENT GAMES, until 9 September. Celebrate the London Olympics by following a victory trail around the collection to locate twelve star objects united by the theme of winning. The stops on the trail include iconic sculptures that have become synonymous with the Games of ancient Greece and Rome, including a stunning statue of a winning charioteer on special loan from Sicily, a mosaic showing Hercules, legendary founder of the Games, never previously exhibited, and of course, the 2012 Olympic Medals. The trail around the museum provides the opportunity to discover objects whose stories will tell you more about ancient Games in Greece and Rome, and in turn demonstrate how the same passion and aspirations remain unchanged in the modern Games. SHAKESPEARE STAGING THE WORLD, 19 July - 25 November. An exhibition which provides a unique insight into the emerging role of London as a world city as seen through the innovative perspective of Shakespeare’s plays. Admission free for accompanied under 16s, 16-18yrs £12, adults £14. MANGA COMIC WORKSHOP, 19 August. Create your own Japanese manga characters and comic book set in the Museum to print and take home. 11am and 2pm starts, ages 7+, free but booking advised.

BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM FUN BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R, 020 7601 5545, The Bank of England Museum tells the story of the Bank of England from its foundation in 1694 to its role today as the UK’s central bank. Examine intricately-designed banknotes, feel the weight of a genuine gold bar and see the pikes and muskets that were once used to defend the Bank. Children’s activity sheets provide fun for younger visitors. Open 10am-5pm Mondays to Fridays, admission free. A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY, 23 July - 31 August. Learn about the Bank of England and gold, then make a gold-bar-shaped moneybox to take home. Take part in the quiz competition with prizes to be won. 10am-4.30pm.

GEFFRYE MUSEUM EVENTS GEFFRYE MUSEUM, Kingsland Road E2 8EA, 020 7739 9893, Special workshops and quizzes inspire creativity and provide amusement for accompanied 5-11 year-olds on the first Saturday of each month and during school holidays. Places allocated 30 minutes in advance of each workshop. Museum open 10am-5pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, from noon Sundays.

CHURCHILL WAR ROOMS CHURCHILL WAR ROOMS, Clive Steps, King Charles Street SW1A, Visit the Churchill War Rooms, part of Imperial War Museums, to discover the original Cabinet War Rooms, the wartime bunker which sheltered Churchill and his staff during the Blitz. Explore the historic rooms to experience the secret history that lives on underground. Look through the lens of history into the Map Room where the books and charts have remained exactly where they were left when the door was locked in 1945. Discover the stories of those who worked underground as London was being bombed above them, and explore the life and legacy of Winston Churchill in the interactive Churchill Museum. Visitors receive a free sound guide to the 30 historic rooms on display as well as the new museum, all helping to bring the exciting story of Winston Churchill to life. Open 9.30am-6pm, last admission 5pm. Entry free for under 16s, £16.50 adults.

SCIENCE MUSEUM HIGHLIGHTS SCIENCE MUSEUM, Exhibition Road SW7 2DD, 0870 870 4868, Aiming to be the best place in the world for people to enjoy science, the


families south east - july / august 2012


NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, Cromwell Road SW7 5BD, 020 7942 5000, Dinosaurs, volcanoes, precious gems and creepy crawlies - discover the diversity of the natural world through the nation’s finest collection of natural history specimens. Fascinating exhibitions display up to 70 million plants, animals, fossils, rocks and minerals, with a hands-on education centre where you can meet real scientists at work. Museum open 10am-5.50pm, admission free. ANIMALS INSIDE OUT, Until 16 September. A new blockbuster exhibition explores the intricate biology and physiology of some of the world’s most spectacular creatures. The exhibition is the UK premiere from the team behind the famous Body Worlds shows and includes over 80 plastinate and blood vessel specimens, from goats and giraffe to octopuses and ostriches. Highlights include a 3.2 tonne Asian elephant plastinate, an adult gorilla plastinate, and a blood vessel plastinate specimen of a metre long shark. Admission free for under 3s, £6 children, £9 adults.

TOWER OF LONDON TOWER OF LONDON, EC3N 4AB, 0844 482 7777, Tower open 9am-5.30pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 10am Sundays and Mondays. Admission free for under 5s, children £10.45, adults £19.80; book for less online. FIT FOR A KING. Discover 500 years of spectacular arms and armour worn by kings and royal princes in this stunning exhibition on the first floor of the White Tower. Learn about the personalities, power and physical size of our nation’s kings, from the Tudors, and the notorious Henry VIII, to today’s royal family through the historic collection. POWER HOUSE. Discover the stories and personalities behind the major organisations of state, who took care of royal business behind the mighty Tower walls, from 1100 to the present day. The exhibition showcases the roles of the major organisations that provided the bedrock of England’s power throughout the centuries. ROYAL BEASTS. Find out about the Tower’s imperial Royal Menagerie. Founded during the reign of King John in the early 1200s, it became a regular feature of the Tower for over 600 years. Visitors can encounter a diverse cast of former Tower residents through arresting modern animal sculpture by artist Kendra Haste and new interactive sensory displays. The recently restored north wall walk and the never before opened Brick Tower will host some of the displays, including sights, sounds and smells of some of the animals.

NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM, Royal Hospital Road SW3 4HT, 020 7881 6606, The history of British land forces from 1485 to the present day, with costumes, paintings, artefacts and special displays telling the stories of men and women who served in British armies across the globe. Open 10am-5.30pm daily, admission free. WAR HORSE: FACT & FICTION, until 31 August. A hands-on exhibition exploring the true history behind the hugely popular ‘War Horse’ novel by Michael Morpugo. Free. JUBILEE: 60 YEARS OF THE SOVEREIGN AND HER SOLDIERS. An exhibition of items including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s original Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) uniform, Diamond Jubilee Medal, The Queen Elizabeth Cross awarded to next of kin, Timetable of Princess Elizabeth’s ATS activities, 1945 and also eye-witness account describing The Queen’s coronation. ACTIONS ZONES: VICTORIAN SOLDIERS. Quizzes, games and hands-on activities help you learn about life as a Victorian Soldier and the part they played in the shaping of Britain’s Empire. Free. KID’S ZONE. A play area where children can explore aspects of army life from camping to clothing, including a dedicated soft play space for babies, plus art and crafts, dressing-up costumes, books, interactive toys and panels, and a dedicated soft play space for babies.

CUMING MUSEUM, 151 Walworth Road SE17 1RY, 020 7525 2096, FAMILY CLUB, Thursdays. Explore and play with the Cuming explorers. 10am-11.15am for under 5s and their parents/ carers. CHARLES DICKENS: A SOUTHWARK CHILDHOOD, until 24 November. A family friendly exhibition celebrating 200 years since the birth of Charles Dickens, novelist and social reformer. It explores his experiences of the Borough area of Southwark during 1824 when his father was imprisoned for debt in the Marshalsea Prison. The exhibition is accompanied by a lively events programme for adults and families. Museum open 10am-5pm Tuesdays to Saturdays.

HMS BELFAST On the THAMES by Morgans Lane, Tooley Street SE1 2JH, Discover the exciting stories of those who served HMS Belfast; exploring the nine decks where sailors once hurried up and down its ladders, or take a look at the mess desk where her 950-strong crew ate and slept. Open 10am-6pm, admission free for under 16s, £13.50 adults. POINT ON A COMPASS, 7+8 July. Find out more about the countries, cultures and journeys HMS Belfast has taken whilst in service. All ages with parental supervision, 11am-12.30pm and 2-4pm TATTOO T-SHIRTS, 11-19 August. Get creative designing your own tattoo shapes on t-shirts and learn all about the traditions behind original naval tattoos. All ages with parental supervision, drop in 11am-12.30pm & 2pm-4pm. GUN TURRET EXPERIENCE. Immerse yourself in the new Gun Turret Experience, a chance to see what fighting at sea would have really been like. Overlooking the front of the ship, or Fo’c’sle, is the forward most of HMS Belfast’s Triple Gun Turrets. Lights, audio, videos and projections will recreate the experience, highlighting the hectic and cramped conditions that would have seen twenty-six men in this confined space at any one time. The guns are trained and elevated onto a target some 12.5 miles (20 kilometres) away in north-west London - the London Gateway Motorway Services Area on the M1 - a reminder of the awesome power of naval gunnery in the Second World War. Entry included in general admission price.

LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM, 39 Wellington Street, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB, 020 7379 6344, Museum open 10am-6pm Saturdays to Thursdays, from 11am Fridays. Admission free for under 16s; under 12s to be accompanied. ALL ABOARD! Let your under 6 ‘drive’ a scaled-down bus, train, tube or taxi , complete with passengers. They can also take control of the transport system, moving buses and trains around the museum’s miniature London. INTERCHANGE. The interactive area for 7-11 year-olds has replica costumes to try on, mystery objects to discover, and the chance to drive an Optare bus.

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE MUSEUM FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE MUSEUM, 2 Lambeth Palace Road, South Bank, London SE1, 020 7620 0347, Uncover the lady behind the legend at the brand new Florence Nightingale Museum on London’s South Bank. The museum presents a vivid retelling of her story and how modern nursing began. The museum’s unparalleled collection features highlights such as Florence’s pet little owl Athena as well as her lamp and medicine chest from the Crimean War. Engaging interactive exhibits as well as regular contemporary art exhibitions enhance the experience, visitors even use stethoscopes to hear the audio tour. Admission £4.80 child, £5.80 adults, £16 families.

IWM LONDON IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, Lambeth Road, London SE1, 020 7416 5000, Museum open daily 10am-6pm, admission free. Special exhibitions may charge an admission fee. A FAMILY IN WARTIME. Take a step back in time to the Second World War and experience life on the Home Front, through the eyes of one London family, the Allpress’. BUILD THE TRUCE, until October. An interactive display looking at the concepts of truce, conflict and resolution and how they are relevant to us in the twenty-first century. Build the Truce, part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, showcases for the first time films, interviews and insights collected as part of an IWM learning project. Free drop-in activities will run on 21+22 July and 25-31 August. MAKE DO AND MEND QUILT, 4-12 August. A free event linked to the Family in Wartime exhibition. 11am-1pm and 2-4pm.

CHILDREN AT THE V&A V&A MUSEUM, Cromwell Road SW7 2RL, 020 7942 2000,

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During any visit, families can pick up a trail from the Information Desk and explore the museum through puzzles, drawing and observation. Suitable for 7-12 year-olds. There are also hundreds of exciting hands-on exhibits containing plenty to touch and try out. Museum open 10am5.45pm daily, admission free Saturday BACK-PACKS. Pick up a back pack and explore the museum with fantastic jigsaws, stories, puzzles and games. 10.30am-5pm.

MUSEUM OF LONDON EVENTS MUSEUM OF LONDON, London Wall EC2Y 5HN, 020 7001 9844, Open daily 10am-6pm, admission free. Regular programmes of weekend and holiday events and workshops help visitors find out more about London’s history, covering events such as the Great Plague, Londoners’ jobs and occupations, and Roman life. ENTER A VICTORIAN PHOTOGRAPH, 15 July. Create fictional Victorian characters and their life stories, then using blue screen technology, dress up and enter a photograph from the time. Ages 5+, tickets allocated on arrival. INSPIRED BY CERAMICS, 21+ 22 July. Pots and other clay items have shaped London’s daily life from prehistoric times to today: from eating and drinking to transporting liquids, growing plants, making music and scientific experimentation. Join the Clayground Collective to see how these objects were made and learn to make your own based on items in the Museum’s collection. Ages 5+, tickets allocated on arrival. ARCHEOLOGICAL DETECTIVES, 15 August. What’s hidden in the earth beneath our feet? Help the museum team find out! Explore behind the scenes at the archaeological archive where you will see discoveries from the tiny to the huge; the ancient to the modern. Take home a souvenir from your visit too. Ages 7+, 11am-12.30pm and 2-3.30pm, £15, book first on 020 7001 9844. MINI OLYMPICS, 15+22 August. Celebrate the games coming to London by playing games together and then make your own winning medal to take home. A creative session for under 5s and their carers older siblings are welcome. Free tickets on application. AT HOME WITH THE QUEEN, until 28 October. To mark the Diamond Jubilee, ‘At Home with the Queen’ features Londoners photographed in their own homes with their cherished souvenirs of Queen Elizabeth II. It presents a unique glimpse of Londoners at home with ‘their’ Queen and gives a real sense of what she means to them. Royal commemorative souvenirs dating back to Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 from the Museum’s own collections are also be on display.

ROYAL MUSEUMS GREENWICH National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, Royal Observatory and Cutty Sark, Greenwich SE10, 020 8858 4422, The National Maritime Museum will be open throughout the Games but with some changes to opening hours. The Queen’s House will be closed 25 June - 21 September 2012. Cutty Sark’s usual opening hours are 10-17; opening times at the ship may vary throughout the Games, check latest information before visiting. See the website for more information on site closures and adjusted opening times ROYAL RIVER: POWER, PAGEANTRY AND THE THAMES, until 9 September at the National Maritime Museum. Magnificent gilded barges, liverymen in their finest uniforms, the splendour of lavish celebrations: the Thames is the ‘royal river’, used for centuries by British monarchs to involve the people in ceremony and festivities displaying their regal status. For hundreds of years this famous royal river has been host to the pageantry of coronations, processions of boats, and other events which helped tie people closer to the Crown and to London as Britain’s capital. ‘Royal River’ brings together nearly 400 beautiful, fascinating and often unique objects, including one of the largest-ever loans of Royal Collection objects to any museum. Created to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and guest-curated by historian David Starkey, the exhibition presents the historic Thames in all its glory, from British royal and City events to London’s famous watermen, and the river’s transformation after the notorious ‘Great Stink’. Family tickets from £14.50. CUTTY SARK. Explore four levels of the world’s famous 19th century tea clipper to take in the views from the main deck, steer at the ship’s wheel, meet the crew who worked on board, explore the various cargoes from wool to whiskey, and see how tea was loaded on board through interactive displays, props, information boards and animations. Family friendly events run at weekends and during school holidays. Open 10am-5pm Tuesdays to Sundays, admission £6.50 children, £12 adults, from £20 families. Bundled tickets are available with the other Royal Museum Greenwich attractions. 020 8858 2698. THE SECRET LIFE OF STARS. A spectacular show, narrated by Patrick Stewart, explores the fascinating life history of the stars, from the smallest red dwarf to the largest blue giant. Using state-of-the-art digital simulation, it charts the life of a star from birth to death and beyond, and looks at what impact this has on the universe around us. Ages 5+, tickets £4.50 chidden, £6.50 adults, £17.50 families. SPACE SAFARI, weekends and holiday weekdays at the Royal Observatory. Join teddy bear Ted for live music and rhyme as he

journeys throughout the solar system looking for the Great Bear in the sky in a show designed especially for younger children and presented by a real astronomer. Tickets £4.50 children, £6.50 adults, £17.50 families.

DISCOVER GREENWICH OLD ROYAL NAVAL COLLEGE (next to the Cutty Sark), Greenwich SE10, Unlock the history of Maritime Greenwich, through artefacts, artwork, film and stories of former lives to bring the past to life. A permanent exhibition takes visitors on a journey from the College’s Tudor beginnings, through its naval past, as the Royal Hospital for Seamen and Royal Navy Staff College, right up to the present day. Special objects, including personal items from Henry VIII’s palace, as well as fascinating stories from monarchs, admirals and architects help chart the historic town’s development. Activities for children and families play a significant part in the new destination, enabling families to maximise their visit to Maritime Greenwich and for children to explore and understand the history of the magnificent site. CUTTY SARK

SEA LIFE AQUARIUM SEA LIFE LONDON AQUARIUM, County Hall, Southbank SE1, 0871 663 1678, Explore the world’s rivers, oceans and reefs and come face to face with the life that inhabits them. Open 10am-7pm daily, admission from £12.96 children, £17.82 adults, family tickets available. BEHIND THE SCENES TOURS whisk visitors right into the heart of the aquarium to discover what it takes to keep everything running smoothly. You can see the dedicated aquarists at work on research and breeding programmes, caring for sick creatures and new arrivals, preparing food and monitoring the sophisticated water management systems. Tickets can be booked online or purchased on entry; £5 children, £7.50 adults. SHARK REEF ENCOUNTER features a stunning shoal of over twenty

magnificent creatures - including two impressive 2.8m long brown sharks and a ten strong group of sleek black tip reef Sharks. Visitors step onto a 5m long glass walkway and witness the unique spectacle of sharks swimming literally inches beneath their feet. Next, they come face to fin through the aquarium’s gigantic 19.6m by 12m pacific reef display where the striking creatures circle a dramatic shipwreck scene dominated by huge floor to ceiling Easter Island heads. On the upper level, the shark academy area has plenty of touchy feely, fun interactives telling fascinating shark stories - from their 450 million year evolution to the modern horrors of shark finning.



CHIDDINGSTONE CASTLE, Hill Hoath Road, near Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7AD, 01892 870347, Up to 20 servants are documented to have worked at Chiddingstone at one time in the past, including a cook, housemaids, nursery maids and footmen. The list of servants in 1881 is displayed in the Victorian Kitchen. By climbing a hidden spiral staircase, visitors can take a step back in time and enter the world of many of the servants who worked at the castle, including a kitchen maid and servant. Chiddingstone Castle is home to the collections of the late Denys Eyre Bower, an antiquarian and collector who lived at the castle between 1955 and 1977, leaving his collections at his death “for the enjoyment and learning of the Nation”. There are four main collections: Japanese, Egyptian, Stuart/ Jacobite and Buddhist; and miscellaneous objects such as paintings, clocks, furniture, books, prints, etc. Open 11am-5pm Sundays to Wednesdays, entry £4 children, £8 adults, £21.50 families.

30 June + 1 July, Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, Kent, 01797 362353, Visitors of all ages can meet, touch and give water to the nation’s favourite No.1 blue engine. Say hello to Sir Topham Hat and The Fat Controller and help organise jobs at the station. There will also be the opportunity to ride in a carriage pulled by one of the character engines. Trains depart at 10.35am, 11.35am, 12.35pm and 2.35pm, and go as far as New Romney. Tickets £9 children, £18 adults, £49 families. All day ‘RomneyRover’ tickets are also available, bookable in advance, online.

ART TRAIL: WEST NORWOOD CEMETERY Until 20 July, WEST NORWOOD CEMETERY, Norwood Road, London SE27 9JU, 07817 906204, Twenty six artists have created an exhibition of pieces within the historical cemetery using sculpture, film, ceramics and textiles. The artworks uncover aspects such as natural history, different cultural groups and themes of mourning, loss and afterlife. Exhibits include an animated film by Jo Lawrence glowing from inside a mausoleum, a celebration of Mrs Beeton by artist Sophie Herxheimer and a huge painted ship sculpture in the Greek section will all feature. Other pieces include a bus stop to the afterlife, a tree full of architectural bird boxes and a Victorian train/ rickshaw for visitor rides around the site. A specially designed free trail map by Okido guides visitors around the exhibits. Open daily until 4pm.

THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE 21-23 July, KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY, Tenterden Town Station, Station Road, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6HE, 01580 765155, Thomas the Tank Engine will be making a special appearance at Tenterden station with some of his friends including Sir Topham Hatt, The Fat Controller. There will be regular Annie & Clarabel rides at the station; children can help fill an engine’s boiler with water; there will be sing-along sessions and a special coal cake presentation for Thomas each day. Watch Punch & Judy shows and enjoy Uncle Myles and Billy the Magic Rabbit’s magic show and balloon modelling, try skittles and hoopla, ride a roundabaout and have your face painted. Tickets £10.50 children, £13.50 adults include a one hour ten minute train ride to Northiam station. Book first to avoid disappointment.

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STEAMING ALONG IN THE DOWNS 18+19 August, WEALD & DOWNLAND OPEN AIR MUSEUM, Singleton, near Chichester PO18 0EU, 01243-811348, The ever-popular Festival of Steam returns for its sixth successful year in the heart of the South Downs National Park. Exhibits include a steam powered fairground carousel, 20 full size road steam engines, road rollers, agricultural traction engines, road locomotives and motor tractors. There will also be around 30 accurate scale model engines which will rove around the site during the event. Steam motor cars, a steam gramophone and bicycle will also be on display, along with a range of model engines, model boats on the lake, and a couple of ride-on narrow gauge railways. Open 10.30am-5pm, admission free for under 4s, £5.40 children, £10 adults, £28 families.

LOLLIBOP FESTIVAL 17-19 August, REGENT’S PARK, 0844 248 5113, LolliBop is the biggest UK festival for children. It’s a magical land of endless fun for the under 10s and the best summer day out for families. Think all the thrills and excitement of a festival vibe but without the hassle of camping and long car journeys. Plus once you have paid your ticket price everything is FREE (apart from food, drinks and markets). The jam-packed programme of youngsters’ favourites includes performances by Dick and Dom, the ZingZillas and Shrek the Musical as headline acts, alongside live demonstrations, interactive workshops, a science zone, BMX stunt displays, mini discos and a live stage. Tickets £19.50 per day when booked ahead.

MORDEN HALL PARK Morden Hall Road, Morden, Surrey SM4 5JD FAMILY ACTIVITIES, until 1 September. Events for all the family on the first and third weekend of each month. The events are held near the Snuff Mill and normally run between 12noon-4pm. EXPLORERS PACKS AND TRIALS Available from the Second Hand Bookshop (a deposit is required) which contain themed activities around the park, with some tasks to complete.

july / august 2012 - families south east




MoreWhat’sOn Find even more activities: then click What's On THURSDAY HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES Family activities on Thursdays in school holidays at the Snuff Mill between 11am-3pm to try your hand at a range of hands-on activities linked to the history and wildlife of Morden Hall Park.

FAMILY TREASURE HUNTS VARIOUS VENUES, For a fun day out, follow a treasure hunt and explore a local area, unearthing hidden historical gems you might ordinarily walk right past. Hunt Fun has pre-prepared DIY treasure hunts in over 240 locations across the country in kit form including everything you need - directions, clues and a map. Local hunt maps cover Greenwich, Croydon, Southbank and the West End, in categories including families and friends, school outings, fundraising, group outings and more. Kits are ordered online, cost from £4.99 each and can include personalised hunt fun certificates for participants.

GREAT ST HELEN’S: SCULPTURE SPACE Until January 2013, GREAT ST HELEN’S, St Helen’s Square, City of London EC3, The City of London Corporation has installed works by internationally renowned artists including Michael Craig-Martin, Julian Opie, Thomas Houseago, Yayoi Kusama and Dan Graham, transforming Great St Helen’s in the City of London. The free public exhibition is accompanied by a rich programme of events run by Open-City that inhabit and animate the public spaces in and around Great St Helen’s, Undershaft and St Helen’s Square EC3.

WHAT THE BUTLER SAW Until 21 October, LEEDS CASTLE, Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL, 01622 767865, Discover the real stories of life at ‘the loveliest castle in the world’. Leeds Castle was a playground for the rich and famous, as Lady Baillie entertained high society at weekends in the run up to the Second World War. She was supported by over 30 servants in the castle who met the needs of the family and their guests. Discover how former owner Lady Baillie’s life in London society and her household in the country is mirrored in the current popular television dramatisations. Leeds Castle has plenty to entertain visitors, including falconry displays, hot air balloon flights, a land train, Go Ape! and beautiful grounds to explore. Grounds open 10am, castle opens 10.30am, admission £12.50 children, £19.75 adults. ‘Key to the Castle’ tickets are valid for one year from the date of purchase.

GO APE! TREETOP ADVENTURE VARIOUS VENUES including Leeds Castle , Bedgebury in Kent and Alice Holt near Farnham in Surrey, 0845 643 92 15, A dollop of breathtaking scenery; a smattering of tree-top wires, crossings and wind-in-your-face zip wires; finished off with a liberal dose of people in search of their inner Tarzan. Visitors are kitted out and given a safety briefing and training before heading into the forest canopy, free to swing in the trees. Admission from £15.

SOUTH LONDON’S BIG FUN RUN 8 September, Crystal Palace Park SE19, The Big Fun Runs are 5km untimed runs staged within scenic parks throughout the UK. They provide a relaxed atmosphere suitable for all the family, where you can accomplish your personal goals; whether you are raising money for a worthwhile cause close to your heart, remembering a loved one or keeping active. Start time 11am, after a Big Warm Up at 10.40am. Register online to sign up or choose a charity to support.


Art Activities




DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY, Gallery Road, Dulwich Village SE21 7AD, 020 8693 5254, Museum open 10am-5pm Tuesdays to Fridays, from 11am weekends and bank holidays. Listed activities free for families with a gallery ticket or £3 per child. ARTPLAY, first and last Sunday of each month. Creative drop-in workshops for adults and children, with a different activity each session. Make anything and everything from bunting to block printing and all things in between. 2-3.45pm. STORYBOOK, 15 and 22 July. An intergenerational workshop for children and adults. Work together to construct a book out of envelopes and luggage tags in this two course. Add to your creation with a range of hidden pockets then use drawing, printing and collage to create a story full of shared memories and ideas. 10.30am-12.30pm, £30 per participant for both days. PHILIP HASS: THE FOUR SEASONS, until 16 September. The gallery gardens are transformed with Philip Haas’ large-scale sculptures, inspired by Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s renaissance paintings of the four seasons. Flowers, ivy, moss, fungi, vegetables, fruit, trees, bark, branches, twigs have been recycled to form four vast human portraits, each representing an individual season. There is a children’s trail for the Philip Haas sculptures, and the gallery’s work with Avant Gardening will see Haas-themed sessions as part of Art in the Garden family drop-ins in August 2012. ANDY WARHOL: THE PORTFOLIOS, until 16 September. A burst of Pop Art zings through the gallery with the first UK showing of Andy Warhol: The Portfolios. Focusing on the period 1962-1984, the exhibition features 80 works including portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Muhammed Ali, the artist's self-portrait, still lifes, and ten Campbell's Soup can prints. Tickets £10, concs £5, children and Friends free.

JEWISH MUSEUM, Raymond Burton House, 129-131 Albert Street, Camden Town NW1 7NB, 020 7284 7324, The museum houses internationally acclaimed collections where visitors can explore Jewish culture, heritage and identity within the wider context of British history. Open 10am-5pm daily, Fridays to 2pm. Admission £3.50 children, £7.50 adults, £18 families.

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ART AT SIR JOHN SOANE’S HOUSE SIR JOHN SOANE’S MUSEUM, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields WC2A 3PB, 020 7440 4263, Tucked away in Lincoln’s Inn Fields at the heart of London, this magical, mysterious museum encourages young visitors to explore Soane’s treasures and develop new skills with specialist guidance. Sir John Soane (1753- 1737) was an inveterate collector, filling every nook and cranny of his beautiful home with items that fascinated him. From fossils to classical fragments from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome and from contemporary paintings to architectural models, drawings and literature, he intended that after his death both his house and its extraordinary contents should be used to educate and inspire. Free drop-in activities run on the third Saturday of every month, with activities for all ages and families can take part together from 1.30-4.40pm.

SOMERSET HOUSE FAMILY EVENTS SOMERSET HOUSE, Strand WC2, 020 7845 4600, Free family workshops run on Saturdays from 2-3.30pm. Tickets available from 1pm from the information desk. Children aged 6-12 years must be accompanied by an adult.

THE NATIONAL GALLERY TRAFALGAR SQUARE, WC2N 5DN, 020 7747 2894, Open daily 10am-6pm, Fridays to 9pm, admission free.

With over 2,300 paintings in the collection, there are hundreds of reasons to visit the gallery, along with free hands-on art workshops for families at weekends and during school holidays. No need to book, but places are limited and allocated on arrival up to one hour before the start. FAMILY SUNDAYS. Free hands-on art workshops at 11am and 2pm every Sunday, offering fun activities designed especially for families to enjoy and learn together. Free. MAGIC CARPET STORYTELLING. Fly away on the magic carpet, which comes to land in front of a different painting each Sunday. Ages 2-5 years, 10.30am and 11.30am starts. RELAY MIX, 8 July. Experiment with the art of relay drawing Try out different speeds, materials and shapes in collage competitions and family drawing events. JUMP FOR VICTORY, 15 July. Discover mythological characters, creatures and competitions and make a trophy to present at your very own games. BODIES IN MOTION, 22+29 July, 5 August. Explore the body in motion at these clothed life-drawing sessions.

FAMILIES AT THE TATE TATE BRITAIN, Millbank SW1, 020 7887 8888, Open daily 10am-5.50pm, and until 10pm the first Friday of the month. Family trails are available daily from the Information Desks and are free for 5yrs and under. Go on a journey around Tate Britain and post your discoveries into your ‘Post it’ box as you go. When you get home, open up the box and show your friends what you found. Or you could follow the ‘Join up’ trail: play the listening game, search for shapes, patterns and talking hands, and make your own sculptures. Every weekend the free Art Trolley encourages children to imagine and create, make colourful collages, style a wonderful sculpture or perhaps make a sketchbook and fill it with great ideas.

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and finally

Luca & Maya make...

cork boats

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july / august 2012 - families south east




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Families SE July-Aug 2012  
Families SE July-Aug 2012  

Families London southeast magazine for summer 2012