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south east london

Summer Holiday Workshops

online edition g

- now booking

Gardening with Children

with workin website links

- messy fun among the seedlings

Mothers Mean Business

The Pointer School (Blackheath)

A Prep, Pre-Prep & Nursery School for boys & girls between the ages of 3 and 11 • First Class examination results • Organic food • Breakfast club and after school care (8am-6pm) • Christian Evangelical in ethos • Numerous extra-curricular clubs (36 in total, from fencing to horse riding)

• Large variety of outdoor and PE activities • ‘The Brazilian Kickers’ teach football the Brazilian way • Holiday club (Christmas, Easter and Summer and Half-Term)

OFSTED: “OUTSTANDING IN ALL AREAS“ Telephone: 020 8293 1331

See OFSTED reports on our website


Founded by Muriel & Della Pointer in 1951



JUNE 2013


families south east - june 2013

At the end of May, I bought a string of pretty solar lights to hang in the apple tree (they were on offer). “Place the solar panel in direct sunlight for two days to charge the battery fully before first use”, it says. Ha Ha! You can’t fault my optimism, though some more vitamin D supplements might have been a better investment. Still, we’re undaunted because there’s a feast of family treats coming up this month, from the bigger and better Sydenham Arts Festival to Jewellery Week in Greenwich Market, and plenty of cracking theatre productions to enjoy. Robina Cowan, editor

News&Views email your news to

ildren h C r o f s ie it iv Act

IN THIS ISSUE 3-5 Local News and Views It’s party time with Diddi Dance and Theatrebugs, Effra EYC is growing, Kids Week returns to London, and a special offer on Fathers’ Day socks

6-7 Education News Do summer-born children suffer at school? Steps to help your child read, a call for inschool reading volunteers, and upcoming Open Day dates

8 Raising Girls Helping girls find their soul and spark, with psychologist and Steve Biddulph

9 Diet and ADHD How hyperactivity is linked to junk food, additives and allergies - and what to do about it

10-11 Holiday Workshops Sports, theatre workshops and daycamps to enliven the summer holidays - booking now

12 Mothers Mean Business How Audrey Antoine-Hunt launched Bilingüebabies to introduce Spanish to preschoolers; and tips for home-based businesses

13 Book Review Page Justine Crow’s blog and a book review, all rolled into one colourful page

14-17 What’s On Families’ pick of summer shows, events and days out

18 What’s New Best of British Fathers’ Day gifts, baby sleep workshops, help for bedwetters and hayfever sufferers

19 Gardening With Children Margarine tubs and egg boxes at the ready - little green fingers get growing

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

Front cover: Boyswear from TU at Sainsbury’s,

spring/ summer 2013 Next Issue out: 28 June, copy deadline 10 June Families South East - 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.

Diddi dance party Diddi dance are celebrating their tenth birthday with a special party - and everyone’s invited! The ‘do’ is booked for 22 June at the Telegraph Hill Centre, from 3-5pm. Tickets are £10 each or £15 for two siblings, and all profits will go to the charity Children First Lewisham. Perfect entertainment for 1-7 year-olds with a parent, the afternoon will be filled with diddi dancing, a party tea, and raffles to win fantastic prizes including two tickets for Billy Eliot, two tickets to see Chatty Man, signed celebrity photos and free family photography sessions. Places are limited - to book a place, email Anne-Marie

Effra expands early years facilities Effra Early Years Centre is expanding its services to meet local demand. Situated between Herne Hill and Brixton, the centre is very popular with local parents and young children. Within walking distance of the current site, new indoor and outdoor stay and play sessions offer the opportunity to meet and socialise with other families in the area. There will be Baby Rhyme Time sessions for parents with babies aged 0-12 months, and for 3-8 year-olds, French songs and rhymes, dance and movement, bake and take, and photography. There is a fully equipped sensory room where children with special needs can engage, explore and develop their different senses and skills. Both individual and small group sessions will be available. The new facilities also provide the perfect venue for birthday parties and will soon be available for hire. “With so many families with young children in the area it is great that we can now offer something for everyone with the choice of so many different activities” said Ann Hitchins, head of the Centre. To find out more, email, call 020 7733 8425, or see

Drop-in tennis, in Sydenham Sydenham Tennis Club has introduced weekly drop-in sessions for 9-12 year-olds every Wednesday after school during term-time. All sessions are supervised by a qualified coach and are suitable for children who have played tennis before and are able to rally. There’s no need to book. There are more drop-in tennis sessions for juniors aged 12+ on Saturday mornings throughout the year; supervised by a coach and suitable for youngsters who have played tennis before and are able to rally. All children’s sessions are free for members, and £5 for non-members. The club also offers ‘Improve and Play’ drop-ins for adults every Thursday evening from 7-9pm, which consists of an hour with a coach and an hour’s social play, suitable for improvers. £7 for members and £11 for non-members. Sydenham Tennis Club on Lawrie Park Road SE26 6ET,, 020 8778 4217.

june 2013 - families south east


Kids Week in London

Theatrebugs parties

The annual London theatre initiative Kids Week ( has announced an exciting line-up of 34 shows offering free tickets and activities for children and families from 1 until 31 August 2013. Now in its 16th year and run by the Society of London Theatre, Kids Week is all about encouraging young people to experience the magic of live theatre. Children aged 16 or under can go free to participating shows when accompanied by an adult paying full price. Up to two extra children’s tickets can be purchased at half price. The shows taking part in Kids Week 2013 include Billy Elliot the Musical, Brainiac Live, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, Dinosaur Zoo, Disney’s The Lion King, Horrible Histories - Barmy Britain, Matilda the Musical, War Horse, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt and We Will Rock You. Kids Week also has a fantastic range of free activities and events, many new ones and others back by popular demand! Lucky children can try their hand at ballet with Billy Elliot or tap dance with Top Hat and learn classic pop songs with the cast of Let It Be and Jersey Boys. Little ones can enjoy pre-historic puppetry with Dinosaur Zoo and, for older children who are feeling brave, there’s the opportunity to take part in an interactive workshop to explore the classic ghost story The Woman In Black. Tickets go on sale on Tuesday 18 June at and by telephone 0844 248 5151, supported by Ticketmaster with no booking or postage fees.

Theatrebugs offers a full range of imaginative party packages for babies and children from two to eight years. The interactive fun filled journeys are crammed with tasks to be completed, characters to become and different worlds to explore. They are jam packed with storytelling, imaginative play, drama games and good old fashioned fun! Hot off the block are brand new ‘BabyBug Parties!’, which are magical sensory adventures for babies, walkers and their grown-ups: bursting with song, rhyme, puppets, sensory props, bouncy beats and an enchanting interactive puppet story. Suitable from birth to two years. For Greenwich area enquiries contact Bina on 0753 180 4242 or email, and for all other areas, contact the girls at BUG HQ on 0800 975 5290 or email READER OFFER: To celebrate the launch, Bug HQ is delighted to offer Families readers 15% off a BabyBug Party booked in June and July 2013. Enter code “TummyTime” when you book.

wn Ups o r G r o f s w e N Charlton mummies Local mother Katrin Bain set up Charlton Mummies as a Facebook group offering local support to other parents. Member Yasmin told us: “We exchange advice not only about children but on a wide variety of topics from reliable workmen to Neighbourhood Watch issues and events in the area. We meet up for social evenings regularly and it has really transformed a lot of families’ lives, for example we have been able to meet other parents with children at schools our children will be attending.” On 15 June, Charlton Mummies are holding their first nearly new sale to raise funds for Charlton Toy Library and welcome more people to join their merry band. On sale will be books, games and toys, maternity to childrenswear and accessories. Plus facepainting, cakes and cream teas. 10.30am-12.30pm, £1 entry at Charlton Assembly Rooms - all welcome! Find Charlton Mummies on Facebook, or email for more information.

Your round? If you know southeast London like the back of your hand, have a car and free time to spare once a month, by joining Families’ delivery team you could earn some money. Each round covers about 80 local shops, nurseries, schools and libraries at the beginning of each month, and can be completed within school hours. Interested? Please email your phone number to with any questions you have.


families south east - june 2013

Young person of the year Sixth-form student Lucy Weatherstone from Streatham & Clapham High School (SCHS) won the Overcoming Adversity award at the Wandsworth Young Person of the Year awards on 14 May. Lucy is profoundly deaf and has a cochlear implant. In a ceremony which honoured a range of young people throughout Wandsworth, the Mayor, Counsellor Adrian Knowles, and Counsellor Angela Graham paid tribute to Lucy’s involvement in life at SCHS, her sporting accomplishments both in and out of school, her work to increase awareness of deafness in local schools, and her success in receiving a range of offers from some of the UK’s top universities. Lucy is intending to take up an offer to read Biological Sciences at Leeds after putting the finishing touches to her preparation for her A-Level examinations. Assistant Head Master and Head of Sixth Form, Mr Oliver Hogben says: “We are so proud of Lucy at Streatham & Clapham High School and know that this award was richly deserved; it marks the culmination of an excellent contribution to our school and the wider community”.

A song and dance at Bromley High School Bromley High School were delighted to welcome senior Marjorie McClure dancers to the school to work with the Year 7 dance group and perform an inspirational partnership piece. “It was lovely to be able to welcome pupils and staff for this partnership performance. Our girls loved dancing with their new friends, and I know that they learnt much from the experience. We look forward to continuing work with the group in the future” said Louse Simpson, Head. The partnership followed on from earlier involvement, when Bromley High pupils performed at the Marjorie McClure Specialist School in Chislehurst as part of their Annual Schools’ Dance festival. Bromley High School GDST is holding Year 5 taster days for prospective pupils on 13 and 20 June. For more information, email or call 020 8781 7000.

Glitter in Greenwich Visitors to Greenwich are invited to follow a glittering Treasure Trail through the town this month, solving clues from the past through to the modern day. Participants are in with a chance to win a truly priceless prize that promises to match the treasure-theme. Jewellery Week is running from 7-16 June, with 30 independent designer maker jewellers showcased in Greenwich Market on Saturday 15 June. Delve through the stunning jewellery and the smattering of vintage beauties and accessory designers. Children will also get a chance to design a piece of jewellery through a competition launched with Beadoir, the Greenwich based bead and designer jewellery shop. Under 12s just have to design and draw a piece of jewellery and hand it into the shop. The winner will get their design made!

Childminder West Norwood SE27

* OFSTED Registered * Open Mon – Fr 8am to 6pm * Childminding service for children from 0-8 years old * Bilingual English – Italian * E-mail to arrange a visit: * or visit my Facebook page: Childminder SE27 London

Childcare drama Hiring a nanny or an au pair can be a great solution to finding help with childcare. But, with the cost of living sky-high, parents are all too often forced to cut corners and might be rushed into hiring someone who is unsuitable for them. TV company Betty is developing a factual drama about childcare which will highlight some of the issues faced by parents. The producers are keen to hear people’s stories that could be used to form the factual drama script. Your contribution would be in confidence and you would not be identified in the programme. Interested parents, nannies or au pairs can find out more by contacting Saskia in confidence on 0771 5111997 or emailing

Socking it to daddy According to leading gentlemen’s sock retailer, many dads have been left laughing off any number of practical jokes from their children. Some report injury to both body and dignity as their offspring take revenge for missed pocket money or regular parental punishments. Maybe they can have a day off for Fathers’ Day, which is 16 June this year. “We’ve heard some right old horror stories,” said Mark Hall, Gentleman Creation Officer of, “and half of them wouldn’t have been out of place on a particularly harrowing edition of You’ve Been Framed.” Among the stories told to •

Mike said: “My six and seven-year-olds spread map pins all over the floor on my side of the bed while I was asleep. Then they sneaked outside and rang the doorbell. We laughed about it, eventually.”

David confessed: “My daughter drew all over my face while I was asleep the night before I was due to fly out to the US. I got up at 5am, dressed in the dark, and didn’t know anything was wrong until I got strange looks from passport control at Heathrow.”

Colin: “I’ve got three teenage kids. I still haven’t worked out who sabotaged my lunch box. Shaving foam sandwiches and - here’s the master stroke - dried pasta pushed into a banana were not welcome after a hard morning’s labouring.” (For the uninitiated, dried pasta in a banana eventually softens and resembles a worm when bitten and is a guaranteed horrific practical joke).

“That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” said Hall, “Our little survey found all kinds of stuff that dads all over the country are saving up for their wedding reception speeches.” - Sold dad’s stamp collection at school - Used his collection of vinyl records as frisbees - Put underwear in his briefcase to take to work - Stole beer from the fridge and held it to ransom until pocket money was paid. But the very worst came from a customer called Ron: “They’re still living at home aged 40. Help.” “If that’s not reason enough to give your dad a day off this Fathers Day, I don’t know what is,” said Hall. “Just get him a nice pair of socks and leave the poor chap alone”. is a sock subscription service for discerning gentleman. Based in the UK, they provide high quality socks for men that are delivered monthly, every three or six months. They also offer free etiquette and style tips to gentlemen. Subscriptions start from £5.99. READER OFFER: Families readers can claim a special 10% off for Father’s day. Simply place your order before 17 June and enter ‘dadsocksFSE’ at the checkout.

june 2013 - families south east


education news

How to encourage reading Many of us know the value and enjoyment of reading. Good readers become better writers, better learners and well rounded individuals. Taking an active part in helping your children become interested in reading is vital. Despite busy days, tired kids, limited time and many distractions, we outline five simple steps that can help. 1 Set up reading time every day • Decide when and where a reading session will take place, which fits into your household schedule, and keep it. 10 minutes is fine. • Encourage your child to read aloud. They don’t have to get every word right, and praise them often. If they are discouraged by their own reading, you read aloud. The pleasure of listening to you read can restore their enthusiasm. Offer to read every other sentence, page, chapter, and have conversations and discussions about the content. • Make it fun. Children love sound effects, different voices, pulling faces.

By Elisabeth Dolton 2 During reading time • Introduce the bookmark. Stop after a few pages and pick up where you left off at another time. • Provide an accessible, special place for children to keep their own books. • Use special incentives, eg an extra five minutes to finish a chapter, a promise to take them to see the film of the book, sticker charts and certificates. • Notice what attracts your children’s attention, even if it’s only pictures, and build on that interest. Gather more information on the same subject. • Listen to audio books (in the car too). These help develop visualisation, a critical pre-reading skill. • Let them choose their own books. Don’t worry the books are too young or too easy, early reading success can came from several ‘non-traditional’ sources such as comics. • Buy a special notebook and record all the books they have read, add their thoughts and a star rating. 3 See the teacher and judge where they are • Find out which reading programme the school follows, get to know the levels, and aim to supplement the programme at home.

Summer-born children ‘at a disadvantage’ It’s the same old concern from parents with children with summer birthdays and now another study proves that it is true. Researchers at London University’s Institute of Education have found that children who are young for their year are at a disadvantage in most primary schools, and are also likely to be put in the lowest sets, if their classes are streamed, than children born in the autumn. In fact, children born in August are more than twice as likely to be in the lowest set as those born in September. The study reveals that by the age of seven, some 30% of summer-born children were in the lowest set compared with just 10% of those with September birthdays. Researchers also claimed that grouping children into lower sets at a young age can damage their self-confidence, harm their development and restrict academic opportunities, adding that the use of streaming early on in primary school was “hasty and potentially premature”, suggesting the practice should be left for secondary school. “Evidence suggests that if a pupil is informed (explicitly or implicitly) through their academic placement that they are more or less able, this will influence their subsequent behaviours,” said Tammy Campbell, the report’s author, “and they will enact the role assigned, performing at a relatively higher or relatively lower level.” The study comes after the Institute of Fiscal Studies last Boo year published research ky Boocla our showing that children with k yss clas our s summer birthdays are more likely to underachieve at Spanish classes for children and parents school and miss out on places Join us for fun, energy packed and culturally rich at top universities. Spanish for Spanish classes where classes children from 6 months • Having said that, 10 years old come toand speakparents and learn Spanish children inenergy a friendly environment. Join us for fun, packed and culturally rich Spanish classes Families' editor was a where children from 6 months - 10 years old come to speak and NEW Dulwich Park: learn class Spanishinside in a friendly environment. summer baby who could Francis Peek Centre Thursdays 3.45pm read before she started NEW class inside Dulwich Park: (children 6 months to 5 years old) Francis Peek Centre Fridays 2 pm school (thanks to her Quote: fortoa5free (children‘FSE’ 6 months years trial! old) Quote: ‘FSE Xmas’ for a free trial! mother). And how about FREE weekend Spanish workshops for children weekend Spanish workshops for children IbericaFREE Restaurant Canary Wharf 1 to 4 pm Nelson Mandela, Barak Iberica Restaurant Canary Wharf 12 to 3 pm (for families eating at the restaurant only) (for families eating at the restaurant only) Obama, J K Rowling and Telephone : 020 7386 0376/07734 900221 Telephone : 020 7386 0376/07734 900221 Stephen Fry? Yup - all have Email : Email : birthdays in July or August.

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families south east - june 2013

• Prepare a timetable. Know what level your child is at and the next, with some idea of when it can be achieved. There is no race to be the first to read, it just puts things into context. 4 Plan specific reading linked activities • Extend your child’s positive reading experiences, for example if they enjoyed reading about dinosaurs, visit the Natural History Museum and have fun trying to read the Latin names. • Encourage activities that require reading: read a recipe, instructions, and directions, play games that require reading, use a reference book to look up something you have seen. • Visit the library and give your child their own library card. They can choose their own library book or listen in on story-time. 5 Be a role model • Let your children see you reading for pleasure. Read aloud everyday items - menus, road signs, food labels. • Give books as gifts. • Leave books, magazines, and colourful catalogues around your home. • Write short notes for your child to read.

Volunteer readers wanted Do you have a passion for reading? Can you spare two afternoons per week during school term time and commit for at least one year? Beanstalk is a national literacy charity that recruits, vets, trains and supports volunteers to work in primary schools with children who have fallen behind with their reading. Last year one in eight children left primary school without reaching the standard expected of them. That has knock on effects for them in secondary school and in the work place, but, with individual support, children’s reading skills can improve dramatically. The London South East branch of Beanstalk works in 66 schools across southeast London with 117 reading helpers supporting 173 children. Beanstalk volunteer manager Rosie Agnew said: “We are looking for volunteers from all areas of southeast London but we are especially keen to hear from people interested in working in schools in Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham and Greenwich.” Beanstalk reading helpers come from all walks of life, including parents and the recently retired. They volunteer for many different reasons but they’re united by a love of reading and a commitment to helping children to read, grow and succeed. Each Beanstalk reading helper works with three children and sees each child for two 30 minute sessions a week, during term-time, for a whole year. Together, they read, play games and talk. With Beanstalk’s support the child’s approach to learning and enjoying reading is often transformed. If you would like to know more about the scheme and the training you will receive, call Rosie Agnew on 0845 450 0310 or 0203 176 4380, or e-mail:

• Reading opens up new worlds to your children and gives them a chance to use their imaginations. • There are many ways to encourage your child to read, and the best ways always include participation on your part.

a place to grow, a place to excel

an independent day school for girls aged 3 to 18 years

Think ahead and enjoy a smooth 11+ transition. Join us in Year 4 and guarantee your place at Senior School

© mickyso -

Helping children with learning difficulties • Books and Audio - follow a book as the audio book plays. Listen to a chapter, and then read it together • Turn on the TV subtitles - they help increase sight word vocabulary, and develop a sense of flow of written and spoken language • Make your child the star of their own audio book your child can read into a recorder, then follow the book together during playback • Everyone joins in reserve thirty minutes each evening for family reading time. • Each family member reads different material and then shares information about it, or take turns reading aloud from the same book.

Blackheath High School

Y3 Girls’ Taster Day

Thurs 27 June 9:15am-1:15pm Junior School: Wemyss Road, SE3 0TF Senior School: Vanbrugh Park, SE3 7AG 020 8852 1537

Support their learning • Help ensure your child doesn’t get behind in reading material necessary for school subjects, ask for help with obtaining textbooks on CD ROM. • Together identify unfamiliar words you come across and show your child how to look up the meanings of words. • Children with specific learning difficulties and dyslexia could benefit from the PQ4R strategy - search online for explanations and how to use it with your child.

Open day dates For more dates and listings, see our What’s On open days guide at Newton Prep School 12 June, 020 7720 4091, Blackheath High School GDST 27 June, Y3 taster day, Juniors 020 8852 1537, Seniors 020 8853 2929, Oakfield Preparatory School 18 June, 020 8670 4206, Virgo Fidelis Prep School 19 June, 020 8653 2169, Rosemead Preparatory School 20 June, 020 8670 5865, Sydenham High School GDST 26 June, Juniors 020 8557 7000. Seniors 020 8557 7000, Streatham + Clapham High School GDST 21 September, Juniors 020 8674 6912. 28 September, Seniors 020 8677 8400, Alleyn’s School 21 September, Juniors, 28 September, 12 October, 6 November, Seniors, 020 8557 1519, Bromley High School GDST 28 September, 020 8781, 7000, James Allen’s Girls’ School 26 September, 5 October, 12 November, 020 8693 1181, St Dunstan’s College 19 September, 2+3 October, Juniors, 5 October + 16 November, Seniors, 020 8516 7200,


Home-Start Southwark is recruiting volunteers for our FREE training course starting in June 2013 Can you give a family in need of support a shoulder to lean on? All it takes is a few spare hours a week. You can be of any age, the only qualification you need is knowing what it feels like to be a parent. For more information call us on

020 7737 7720

Home-Start Southwark, Albrighton Community Centre, 37 Albrighton Road, London SE22 8AH Reg. Charity No. 1107413 E:

What’s in it for you? • Receive vast experience and in depth knowledge of working with families • Be part of a friendly, caring organisation and make friends • Have a job reference after volunteering for 6 months • Feel that you are doing something important and worthwhile • Out of pocket travel expenses paid • On-going training (Domestic Violence, Safeguarding & Child Protection, Mental Health, Personality Disorder, Nutrition, Equality & Diversity) And much more...

june 2013 - families south east


family life

Raising Girls By Joanna Moorhead

A few years ago, psychologist Steve Biddulph was advising parents of boys on how to raise them to avoid a battery of difficulties. This year he returned with a formula for how to raise girls. Joanna Moorhead, a mother of four daughters, asked him what matters most. The day after I gave birth to our fourth daughter, my husband was involved in a puzzling exchange with our neighbour. The baby had been born at home overnight, so the neighbour was keen to hear the news over the garden fence. “It’s another girl,” announced my husband excitedly. “Oh,” said the neighbour, looking downcast. “And are you very disappointed?” Gary and I enjoyed telling the story, and we enjoy telling it to this day, because disappointment was truly the very last emotion we felt when our lovely little Catriona arrived to join her big sisters Rosie, Elinor and Miranda. Raising boys may, for all I know, be every bit as exciting and fun-filled as raising girls; but the truth is, I know nothing about it. I’m sure it’s similar, but I’m sure there are also ways in which it’s different: and the point is that, by the time Catriona was born, I was already quite certain that bringing up girls was a fabulous task to be taking centre-stage in my life. So, from the moment the line went blue on my pregnancy test, I was secretly hoping for another daughter. And when she finally landed, Gary and I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Fast-forward ten years, and it’s still every bit as wonderful now as it was back then. But the last few years have brought a few scary moments and, explains psychologist Steve Biddulph, I’m certainly not the only parent of daughters to have discovered that. Fifteen years ago, Biddulph leapt to fame when his ground-breaking book Raising Boys tackled the difficulties that were making life tough for parents of boys - rising rates of ADHD, aggressive behaviour, teenage drinking.

Back then, he says, “girls were doing just fine”. But no longer. “It all started to change about five years ago. We began to see a sudden and marked plunge in girls’ mental health. Problems such as eating disorders and self-harm, which once had been extremely rare, were now happening in every classroom and every street. And more than this, the average girl was stressed and depressed in a way she hadn’t been before.”?

What the onslaught is all about, says Biddulph, is the fact that advertisers have fixed their beady eyes on our pre-teen daughters: they’ve realised that little girls are extremely malleable from a marketing point of view, and they’ve gone all-out to sell them not only pink-clad dolls and sex-typed toys, but also sexualised clothes (long, long before any little girl should be thinking about looking attractive to the opposite sex) and pre-adolescent make-up.

So Biddulph is back with a book aimed at parents with girls. And the message he wants to give us is that, from their earliest times, we need to bomb-proof them from what he calls “a world that seems bent on poisoning their confidence and trashing their lives”.

Biddulph’s advice is simple Avoid all sex-stereotyped toys and products like the plague. From her earliest days, think not about what material possessions you are giving your daughter: instead, concentrate on how you’re making her feel. From birth to two, he explains, all that really matters to a baby girl is that she feels safe and loved. In a world where the arrival of a little girl is often seen as an invitation to start showering her with possessions - cute outfits, a pretty bedroom - he advocates forgetting all about what she has (especially if it’s of the ‘girly’ variety) and concentrating entirely on how welcome, and wanted, and loved she is in your life. The deep-rooted confidence that brings will, he promises, be something she carries with her right through her life. From two to five, a little girl starts feeling interested in the world around her: now, she needs to be introduced to the world as an exciting and fascinating place, a place full of adventures. From five to ten it’s all about people skills - what she most needs to discover, says Biddulph, is that while her feelings are very important indeed, other people’s feelings matter too. With the coming of puberty, a girl’s thoughts shift towards what Biddulph calls ‘finding her soul’: if she is helped and encouraged to find what he calls her ‘spark’, some passion or interest that she cares deeply about and is willing to invest her time in, that will help her to find fulfilment through her entire life. It’s an empowering message: best of all, for parents like me, is Biddulph’s conviction that the family and the adults surrounding a girl are the most important elements in helping light the fire that will burn through all her days. If girlhood has sometimes seemed scary, Biddulph reminds us that it’s exciting and enriching - and guides us through the skills that will help us help our daughters, time after time.

Read more Steve Biddulph’s Raising Girls is published by HarperCollins, rrp £12.99.


families south east - june 2013

Every seventh child

Seven clues to a calmer child - likely suspects in ADHD After her youngest child was born, Sally Bunday learned to live without sleep. For years, Miles slept for just three hours a night, and when he was awake he was irritable, clumsy and so distracted that he could only concentrate for a few minutes. Doctors claimed Miles’ attention deficit was due to some sort of brain imbalance but Sally thought there might be another reason, particularly as her son had other strange symptoms: he was always thirsty, he suffered from constant headaches, runny noses and stomach aches and his hearing was often poor. So Sally decided to do some investigating and eventually discovered the Feingold Diet, which treats hyperactivity in children as largely a reaction to food additives and other allergies. Within four days of Miles starting the diet, every one of his symptoms disappeared.

showing that hyperactive children put on an additive-free diet had significant behavioural improvement. Beware tartrazine, carmoisine, ponceau 4R and sodium benzoate. Put your child on a diet free of processed food and see what happens.

Support group

Clue No 4: Eliminate much of the white stuff Studies have found that the combination of sugar and starch in the absence of substantial protein (a combination found, for example, in children’s sugary breakfast cereals) increased deviant behaviour in normal children. Hyperactive children may benefit from a high-protein, low-carb, sugar-free diet. The real issue may be that children overloading on carbohydrates are invariably taking in a good deal of processed sugar.

Sally went on to found the Hyperactive Children’s Support Group which has helped thousands of families investigate and find the source of their child’s ADHD ( After observing that many children suffered from excessive thirst and dry skin, she was the first to propose that children with ADHD might be deficient in essential fatty acids (EFAs). Although medicine classifies hyperactive attention-deficit in children as a ‘brain disorder’, most cases of hyperactivity or attention-deficit are nothing less than an environmental or dietary assault, with foods containing artificial colours and flavours mainly responsible. If you are faced with a hyperactive child and a doctor poised to write out a prescription, first try a bit of detective work, ideally with a trained nutritional practitioner, to find out what is lacking in your child’s diet and what they might be getting too much of.

Seven suspects Here are your seven biggest suspects. Following these clues will almost certainly lead you to a calmer child. Clue 1: Suspect allergies or food sensitivities Various studies, including one by Great Ormond Street Hospital, have discovered that the rise in ADHD cases is mainly down to food sensitivities. The foods children react to most include wheat, dairy products, chocolate and oranges. Also at fault are foods containing salicylates; aspirin-like substances found in many fruits and vegetables, as well as sugar, corn, beef and egg. Among your suspects don’t forget environmental allergens such as cat hair, house dust and pollen. Clue 2: Junk food and additives Junk food and additives have been suspected for many years of causing hyperactivity, with studies

Medicine generally classifies ADHD as a ‘brain disorder or imbalance’, variously blamed on genes, faulty thyroid, a bad prenatal start or even binge-drinking. If that’s the case, we’re getting more dysfunctional by the day. In the US an estimated one in every seven American children under the age of 18 is regularly given a stimulant such as Ritalin to treat their ADHD, a figure so high that even the World Health Organization has urged a more cautious approach. In fact, any child who has trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviour and being ‘overly active’ will probably be labelled as ADHD and prescribed a drug. The UK is catching up fast; its drug use increased by 21 times during the 1990s and there is no sign of this acceleration slowing today.

Clue No 3: Investigate a lack of ‘good’ fats An EFA deficiency is also a major factor in ADHD. Some essential fatty acids play a major role in the workings of the brain and eye, while others are crucial for normal brain development. Deficiencies in omega-3 fats have been linked to visual and mental problems. Add several portions of fish (or flaxseed or purslane, which both contain omega-3s) to your child’s diet and consider adding omega-3 complex supplements.

The pill approach The detective work needed to isolate the cause of your child’s hyperactivity might seem daunting compared with the medical solution of taking Ritalin, but the drug has been linked to restricted growth, anorexia, psychosis, insomnia, paranoia, hallucinations, epilepsy-like seizures, stroke and even death. Up to 10 per cent of children taking the drugs develop Tourette’s syndrome, which includes facial and bodily tics. It only works during the day to control symptoms, so parents have to wrestle with full-fledged monstrous behaviour in the morning and later in the evening as their children spiral out of control. Using brainimaging techniques, US researchers have concluded that Ritalin exerts the same effect on the brain as cocaine. And it still doesn’t seem to work. A study which tracked 485 children revealed that those still taking a stimulant drug at the end of two years showed the same levels of inattention and hyperactivity as those who had never taken a drug.

Clue No 5: Zero in on your child’s gut bugs Many children with learning difficulties have ‘bad’ bacteria, clostridium, in their gut. Probiotic bacteria, the ‘good-guy’ gut bacteria in live yoghurt and other supplements given to autistic children can improve their behaviour and concentration. Clue No 6: Probe for environmental poisons One reason for the increased incidence of ADHD may be environmental. Your first suspects are pesticides, especially organophosphates, which are present in non-organically grown food. Also investigate whether your child is being exposed to environmental pollutants such as lead, mercury and PCBs, which can affect developing brains. PCBs are found in hydraulic oils and lubricants, electrical equipment such as switches and circuit breakers, plastic toys, fire retardants, paints and varnishes. ADHD children may also have higher than normal levels of perfluorinated chemicals which are used in food packaging. Steer clear of ‘diet’ foods like diet coke, which are laden with the artificial sweetener aspartame. Your child can also take in heavy metals from tap water, processed foods and toiletries. Go unprocessed, use eco-toiletries and filter your water - and limit your child’s exposure to plastic toys. Clue No 7: Isolate dietary deficiencies Hyperactive children are often low in zinc and B vitamins, and magnesium. Deficiencies in nutrients adversely affect your child’s mental capacity and can cause behavioural disorders. Studies have shown that adding B6 and magnesium can help to calm ADHD children. Add a quality multivitamin/mineral supplement to your child’s daily regime along with extra EFAs, zinc (10 mg/day) and magnesium (100 mg/day).

Read more For the complete version of this article, including lists of ‘suspect’ foods, go to

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june 2013 - families south east


Summer Holiday Workshops and Daycamps The summer holidays will soon be upon us, and there’s fun to be had. Sports coaches, stage performers, writers and singers are all planning workshops to teach children new skills and make new friends. Our listings are also online, where we’ll be updating them as we hear of new sessions, so check out What’s On at “I AM THE STARLIGHT” WITH STAGECOACH


5-9 August in Dulwich, 020 8949 4116, Five fun-filled days of dance, drama and singing with a free presentation on the last day for family and friends to enjoy. The children meet for the first time on the Monday morning and are encouraged to make lots of new friends. They have a full schedule of rehearsals so that no one can get bored and by Friday its show time! This year’s participants will stage “I Am The Starlight!” Stagecoach Dulwich’s own version of the West End Hit “Starlight Express”. The final performance will take place in the Great Hall at Alleyns School, complete with costumes, professional lighting and sound equipment. It will be fast and furious but promises to be lots of fun! Ages 4-7 and 8-16 years. You do not have to be a regular Stagecoach student to attend and no previous experience is required.

29 July - 2 August in BECKENHAM and DULWICH, 12 - 16 August in BLACKHEATH, 19 - 23 August in DULWICH, 0845 400 1277, This summer let your child join Aladdin, Jasmine and The Genie on a thrilling five day adventure based on the classic children’s story “Aladdin”. Together with a team of experienced theatre professionals, the children will combine live original music, inspirational dance and quick witted improvisation and colourful costumes into a mini performance on the final day. Exclusively for 4-8 year olds, Perform Summer Experiences are five day courses specially designed to encourage creativity, confidence and communication skills as well as being a kaleidoscope of fun.

Funky Monkey

On day five there’s a stage performance for family and friends. Ages 31⁄2 to 7 years, £120 per child includes a snack and drink. 10% sibling discount available.

INTENSIVE TOUCH TYPING School holidays and termtime classes in SYDENHAM, 020 7515 1707, 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.




29 July - 23 August, SYDENHAM, FOREST HILL and EAST DULWICH, 020 8244 4873, ROOM ON A BROOM. Join the witch as she flies through the skies meeting lots of new friends along the way, in an all singing, all dancing five-day adventure. Ages 3-6. WE’RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT. Young explorers will be taken on a magical bear hunt full of sensory fun, songs and games over five days. Ages 3-6. CAMP ROCK. Get ready to sing and dance like never before with songs, scenes and routines in a rocking five day musical workshop. Ages 7-14. FILM SCHOOL. Professional actors and directors will teach children to write, direct and star in their own film, then shoot it on location. Five day workshop, ages 7-18.

29 July - 2 August in EAST DULWICH and CLAPHAM. 5 - 9 August in HERNE HILL, BICKLEY and WEST WICKHAM. 0800 9755 290, 22-26 July in BLACKHEATH and GREENWICH, 19-12 August in BLACKHEATH and CHARLTON, 27-30 August in GREENWICH and LEE, 07531 804242,, Perry Pirate parks his pirate ship on top of the Sula Sea Fairy’s house how very silly! Luckily the tiniest fish in the ocean, Kefraiyu uses all his energy to help out and with a little help from Crabby Crab they manage to push the boat away. To reward him for his bravery the Queen of the Sea turns this tiny fish into the first ever whale! But can she do it before Perry Pirate comes back? Theatrebugs’ summer workshop offers five fun filled days of acting, singing, dancing, dressing up and arts and crafts.


29 July - 2 August in DULWICH, 07976 873 161, Act Drama is excited to be expanding to the Dulwich area, bringing a brand new Summer Drama week for 5-15 year-olds. Be a part of their fantastic play James and the Giant Peach; wow your family and friends, laugh all week long and make new best friends! Rehearse and perform a play in a week with professional actors in high energy, fun and inspiring classes.

CREATIVE WRITING WITH INKHEAD July and August dates in HERNE HILL, LEE and BRIXTON, 07943 514408, Inkhead’s three day creative writing courses start with an actor who helps create characters to ignite children’s imaginations and get them writing stories using the key ingredients - plot, description, character and dialogue. The story writing courses show how to plot stories, develop

We’re Going On A

Bear Hunt




families south east


To book your child’s place and for more information please contact us

TEL: 0208 244 4873

EAST DULWICH june 2013









characters and decide where to start the story, and includes one to one feedback. Age ranges 7-14 years.

FUNKY MONKEY KEYBOARD FUN 22 July - 9 August in HERNE HILL, STREATHAM and DULWICH, 0800 107 7949, Let Funky Monkey introduce your little one to reading, writing and playing music! The summer workshops are a chance to meet new friends, learn a new skill, expand their minds and start them on an amazing musical journey. Term class trials also booking. ONE HIT WONDERS are one day workshops for beginners to try out the keyboard and make music the Funky Monkey way, with keyboard games, quizzes, famous tunes and a workbook to take home at the end. 10am-2pm, ages 4-8, £30 per child includes all equipment and a mid morning snack, £25 for siblings. KEYBOARD SUPERSTARS. The Keyboard Superstar workshop is a brilliant all-round scheme and ‘taster’ workshop for 5-8 year olds. In five days, 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 £119, £109 sibling discount.

ARTASTIC ART CLUB 10 July - 30 August in DULWICH and BECKENHAM, 07792549874, Jam-packed days with different art activities and fun party games. Ages 3-11, 9am-4pm each day, £32.50 per child.

TENNIS-4-KIDS 29 July - 15 August in EAST DULWICH and WEST DULWICH, 07877 391005, Rally round for a smashing time learning to play tennis with other children. Tennis-4-Kids run mini sessions giving children lots of fun learning basic to advanced skills. Small groups for ages 21⁄2 to 6 years indoors, and 6-8 years outdoors.

SUPERCAMPS 22 July - 30 August, venues include BLACKHEATH, STREATHAM, PUTNEY, and CROYDON, 01235 832222, Supercamps have 16 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. Single days £40, four days £128, five days £160, sibling discounts and extended hours available.

SE LONDON TENNIS CAMPS 23 July - 23 August, SYDENHAM LAWN TENNIS CLUB, Lawrie Park Road SE26 6ET,, email Four day group activities with professional coaches in weekly blocks. 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.

SUMMER FILM SHOOT 29 July - 2 August in BALHAM, 0845 533 3763, Five action-packed days of filmmaking to keep young stars fully entertained as they learn lots of new creative and production skills. There’s a new theme to explore and plenty to do as members make their very own movie ready to share at the annual Red Carpet Cinema Premiere. Ages 7-10, 11-13 and 13-16, 10am-4pm, £235 includes tickets to cinema premiere.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, COMEDY! 27-28 August in BALHAM, 0845 533 3763, A laugh-a-minute workshop, an ideal challenge for young filmmakers this summer. They’ll explore different comedy styles and produce a DVD of funny short films inspired by legendary screen comedians including the Monty Python team and Charlie Chaplin. Ages 7-11 and 11-14, 10am-4pm, £135 includes DVD.

SHOOTING STARS 27-28 August in BALHAM, 0845 533 3763, Perfect for very young filmmakers, this stimulating workshop is programmed to combine engaging camera activities with drama, art and music to inspire little ones and develop all-round confidence and creativity. Ages 4-7, 9.30am-12.30pm, £110 includes DVD.

m r Tery e m Sum Holida s & kshop Worw booking no

june 2013 - families south east


Mothers Mean Business

Bilingüebabies Audrey Antoine-Hart is a mother of two children who lives in Brockley. In 2012 she set up Bilingüebabies to introduce Spanish

FSE: Have you always been a language teacher or did you have a different job before? I had spent my whole career working in the Public sector either in HR, Policy or as a Project Manager on the Buildings Schools for the Future (BSF) and Schools PFI programme. It was this role that led me into schools, it was inevitable that I would be a teacher as it was an idea that I had held since 2004. FSE: Why did you decide to set up the language classes? I love Spanish, as a child my father would play music from South America. My heritage is Hispanic though I was not raised bilingual. I spent my university life in Spain, studying, working and travelling. I have a bilingual degree, the Spanish degree endorsed by the Cámara de comercio, Madrid (University of Complutense). As I was not able to return to Spain with my family, I really didn’t want my children to lose the advantages of being raised in a bilingual environment. Bilingüebabies has pushed me to keep going! FSE: How easy (or difficult) was it to get started? It was a little daunting and a leap of faith. When starting the classes I didn’t know of anyone else doing something similar locally (no one to copy!). I had a room hired, some flyers printed and away I went. I have made mistakes along the way and my classes are totally different from when I started I am still learning! FSE: Did you start Bilingüebabies on your own or are other people involved? I am the sole founder. No one else is involved yet; I would like to branch out and offer other languages one day and grow the business. However I also have a young family but am doing something I really enjoy and am able to make the school runs most days. FSE: Is Bilingüebabies only for bilingual children, or can non-Spanish speakers join in? We welcome all ages (0-5) and nationalities. I started this to help other families expose their

© Anthony Jones

to preschoolers

children to Spanish, but it’s not a prerequisite to come to our classes. Studies show that the earlier a child is exposed to another language the easier it is for them to pick it up and acquire another. I have clients who have stated that their child’s English has improved as a result of learning Spanish with me. Unfortunately there are many myths surrounding Bilingualism and people cite confusion as being the biggest reasons for not teaching their children another language. 70% of the world is bilingual so it is certainly not unusual to learn two languages at birth or slightly later. FSE: What happens in a typical weekly class? We have a core range of games and songs, introductions, and greetings. The children get rather used to the structure and if I miss something out they will often tell me! I interweave a theme into games, parachute activities, dance, movement, music (craft and homework for the older children), and a story. The children learn how to interact with me and others, take turns, tidy up and have fun using Spanish. It is great that some of the parents are learning Spanish with their children, so they can support their learning at home. The more involved the parent is in class, the more attentive the child will be and more learning will take place. FSE: What else do you offer? I work with local nurseries offering interactive, multisensory Spanish classes. I will be offering a workshop at the annual Spanish dance festival in Lewisham. I write blogs on the subject of Bilingualism, teaching your child a language as a non-native, multiculturalism and mixed race issues. I also tutor interactively all ages right up to GCSE and A level students. I now freelance for the Horniman Museum as an Early Years tutor, and have been running family-friendly bilingual sessions linked to the Amazon Adventure exhibition.

FSE: Are your own children bilingual? My eldest is doing well, I didn’t have the courage to raise him bilingual from the beginning and as I always thought I would return to Spain I put it off. My youngest has had a Spanish au pair since he was one, at home I only speak to him in Spanish, following the ‘one parent, one language’ (OPOL method). It’s not going to be easy as bilingualism is not a given even if you are native but I am determined hopefully one day they will thank me! FSE: When you have time off for yourself, what do you like to do? A very rare treat indeed, I spend time with my friends and family, get a local coffee or go for a run. I am a morning person and getting time out enables me to be creative, compose songs and ideas for class. I enjoy going to talks on bilingualism, hearing plans of new bilingual schools, and meeting like-minded individuals. FSE: Do you have a favourite shop/ cafe or park in southeast London? Crystal Palace Park is fantastic, but I do love Hilly Fields especially since they remodelled it and we have a cafe. Ultimate favourites are toddler friendly like Deli Nene and the Dish and the Spoon for great food and space. FSE: How can readers find out more? Check my website for class details and locations or email me I’m on Twitter @bilinguebabies, and Facebook/bilinguebabies too.

Setting up on your own? Research reveals that over three quarters of British mothers who don’t work for themselves would like to do so. What should you consider before embarking on a home-based business? • Firstly, one of the drawbacks of homeworking is isolation. If you are a good self motivator this will not be a problem, but isolation can be hard to deal with. The solution is to use social networking to get regular online contact with people working in related fields to your business and make contact with local business groups and general business support groups


families south east - june 2013

• Secondly, get out and about. Use social networking to arrange face to face meetings • Thirdly, ensure you have childcare in place. It is very difficult to work when trying to look after children • Fourthly, keep your work station separate from family life. If possible, install a second business-only phone line or you could use a virtual office assistant. Also ensure you have a good broadband connection and back-up if your computer goes down • Lastly, plan your hours. One danger of

homeworking is overwork. Make sure you get enough rest and don’t burn out. The Southeast London Mumpreneurs Network is a great source of support and inspiration. Members find new business, develop confidence, share experiences and ideas and find new business, at monthly meetings and expert-led events. See our What’s On listings and read more at

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. Over the years, having worn and still wearing various hats - eyebrow pinching latex, moth-eaten shopkeeper’s boater, TA’s emergency scrunchie, clerical frown, writer’s visor and parental black pointy one – it is no wonder context gets a bit blurred and I find myself giving out swimming advice in the bookshop say, and reading recommendations from the water. So it was with twisted pleasure on noticing a mum rootling though her toddler’s hair poolside the other week whilst I was bouncing up and down in the shallow end yelling “Find your springs!” with some reluctant littleys that I admitted I was the co-author of a book on the subject of headlice infestation.* Once she’d looked left and right, and realised I was indeed addressing her (and hastily pushed the kid’s head away), we had an intermittently splashy conversation about combing versus chemicals. Then somebody else tapped me on the wetsuit & asked if I could recommend anything for Father’s Day. Like that too, was an affliction. MADE BY DAD by Scott Bedford - Workman rrp £12.99, Have no fear! I may have been momentarily stuck for a suggestion (perhaps overcome by chlorine fumes, or maybe even context..) but the father of my children has been busy parking this gem beneath the noses of our weary, buggy-pushing female customers anxious to show their appreciation for the male role in family life, instead of merely resorting to a hastily wrapped bottle of own brand whisky (which he’d only go and sob into anyway). Boasting ‘blueprints for making cool stuff’ this really is the ideal device for ensuring daddy spends quality time with the offspring on his special day, as well as using up the contents of the recycling trug. Together they can make robots, volcanoes and, er, a very splendid spaghetti and marshmallow tower. It’s got ‘bloke’ stamped all over it! DON’T YOU DARE by Sharky & George - Egmont rrp £12.99. In a similar vein but concentrating on the outdoor rather than indoor, here we have more prime dad distractions like dam building, stealth tips for secret agent work (naturally), “extreme” boules and, um, bottom darts. It does say on the back - ‘adult supervision required’ – so it might be wise to pack grandma or the au pair off with them too. (PS weren’t Sharky and George “crime-busters of the sea” back in the 90s? Now that’s an earworm you didn’t know you needed…) VADER’S LITTLE PRINCESS by Jeffrey Brown Chronicle rrp £9.99. A sister companion to last year’s hit, Darth Vader & Son, with yet more galactic cartoon riffing, this is the PERFECT father’s day present, believe me, and I have never forgotten the ‘new man’ at the till who tetchily asked the tiddler in his arms that was burbling absently “Mama, mama” over and over: “Who’s a Jedi Warrior?” and the babe snapped out of it to reply solemnly: “Dada..” By crikey that dad was pleased with himself. CRAFT BEER WORLD by Mark Dredge - Dog ‘n Bone rrp £16.99. Before you accuse me of shamelessly stereotyping, I am a BIG fan of the amber nectar. However, should junior choose to furnish his papa with this marvellous guide to the “finest beers known to man”, the Brownie points that mama will gain by proxy will be numerous.. THE ROUGH GUIDE TO VINTAGE LONDON - rrp £9.99. As if by magic! A clever little guide appears featuring the pick of the markets as well as the best vintage outlets on our increasingly trendy side of the river in which to spend those multitudinous Brownie points!! THE FASHION BOOK by Marie Vendittelli, illustrated by Sophie Griotto - Buster rrp £12.99. And on the subject of stereotyping - and we all know the highest earners in design are fellas – it does strike me, looking inside these hip and flowing pages, that this is indeed shamelessly

aimed at girls; amid the activities, advice & fashion house facts all the template silhouettes for trying out designs are most definitely female. And they are all kinda slender too… Along with my chlorine dipped fright-wig, I’m not famous for my sartorial elegance - “Haw-haw! Didn’t recognise you with yer clothes on,” say those waggish dads when they bump into me in the bookshop and realise I taught their five year old backstroke. FLIP FASHION, illustrated by Lucille Clerc, LK rrp £9.95 is much more my bag and a brilliant way of indulging in fashion fantasy by mixing and matching and mis-matching (my signature look) styles Distressed Grunge Adventurous Cadet says it all really. THE JUNIOR GOURMET by Elizabeth Long - The Five Mile Press rrp £9.99. We are often asked to recommend cook books for children of different ages - from the wieldy USBORNE FIRST COOKBOOK, rrp £12.99 to anything by Sam Stern for your braver cheffette - but this is a slightly different kettle of fish featuring accessible recipes from around the world and includes some decidedly grown-up techniques, like using a pestle & mortar, grating zest and caramelising. Personally, the sooner kids get the hang of de-bearding mussels, the better. Dr SEUSS TELL THE TIME - The Five Mile Press rrp £6.99. An ingeniously simple clock and sticker concept brought to us by the wizard of learning. I know some people hate the good doctor but he has influenced children’s literacy and numeracy for more than fifty years so I think the whacky rhyming method might be considered a success. At seven, I was a late-comer to the science of time and I’ve been trying to catch up ever since. Sorry everyone. IT’S A LITTLE BOOK by Lane Smith - Macmillan £5.99. The original was a cracker with its delightfully baffled response to the digital revolution and now it has been shrunk and put in nappies in a chewable, chuckable board book version. Try doing that with an e-reader. AT OUR HOUSE by Isabel Minhos Martins & Madalena Matoso - Tate rrp £7.99. It begins: “At our house we have 6 heads, each one thinking unique thoughts,” and goes on rather extraordinarily to count all the fingers and thumbs and even bladders lining up for the bathroom in the morning, finally noting the vast numbers of freckles and bones and hairs and just about everything else countable. What a great way to get a grip of the concept of numbers. Me, I’d also throw in how many empty loo roll holders I pick up off the bathroom floor every week. Cue my best shouty voice: “I was not born for this!!” The boundaries were blurred again this week when I used my best teacher’s shouty voice by mistake on my way to a quiet swim. On finding a knot of prep school girls mucking about in the changing rooms while their teacher, Miss Honey no less, demurely tucked ringlets into rubber hats, I barked impulsively “Girls!” and they slithered out of the lockers in shocked silence. Miss Honey tried to apologise but I would have none of it, though I’d probably feel different if I paying those fees. But my outburst now ensured that twenty pairs of defiant little eyes watched my every move as I pulled out my towel and costume only to discover they were still sopping wet from last week and I was forced to put them on in front of an audience. “Sometimes mum,” said Trasha when I told her about it afterwards, “it’s best to leave your work at home.” Ever the wise witch, eh? *whispers: THE LITTLE BOOK OF NITS, Bloomsbury £7.99.

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

june 2013 - families south east







Millar. Follow a trail designed by Okido to seek out sculptures, ceramics, sound, textiles, photography and poetry. There will be a live evening event on 6 July, an open day including a programme of artists’ talks on 7 July, and a Grand Picnic on 21 July.

Find even more activities: then click What's On

29 June, GREENWICH PARK SE10 8QY,, Take a 5km walk around Greenwich Park and help to improve maternal health for women in the world’s poorest communities. The event is organised by Health Poverty Action, who hope to raise awareness of the 340,000 women who die each year in pregnancy and childbirth, and raise funds to help save lives in some of the world’s poorest countries. It is a solidarity walk with mothers across the world who have to walk long distances to receive healthcare. 10am start, entry £15 plus fundraising for adults, £5 children. Register online for a fundraising pack.


Diary Dates for Grown Ups YOGA FOR BEGINNERS Thursdays from 13 June, DEVONSHIRE NATURE RESERVE, 170-172 Devonshire Road, Forest Hill SE23 3TQ, 07903 588 318, email, Welcome summer by enjoying yoga surrounded by the beauty of nature. Iyengar teacher Amanda is running a six week course for beginners, anyone returning to yoga or those who would like to go over the basics. Thursday evenings, 7.30-8.45, bring your own mat. £54 for the course, book first.

DIABETES SUPPORT GROUP MEETING 14 June, InSpire, The Crypt, St PETER’S CHURCH, Liverpool Grove, Walworth SE17 2HH, 07885 065923, Diabetes UK Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark Family Support Group are holding a summer meeting with guest speaker Chris Cheyette, author of ‘Carbs and Cals’. Meet other families with diabetes, learn more about carb counting from the leading expert, and stay for tea and biscuits. 7-9pm, rsvp by email:


15 June, 6 + 20 July in BECKENHAM, 020 8658 0820, Alexander Technique teacher Jill Payne is running workshops to explain and demonstrate how the technique can bring great improvements from people suffering from tension-based problems such as chronic back, neck or shoulder pain. Mostly seated, this small group workshop includes explanation, simple activities and demonstration of the hands-on work. Book first.

SE LONDON MUMPRENEURS NETWORK 20 June, COTE Restaurant, Blackheath SE3 0TL, email, An informal and friendly monthly networking meeting, offering practical business support from other like minded business mums over coffee and pastries. Brainstorm your business ideas and make new connections. 10am-12noon, £15 to trial the group; book first.

CURIOUS 22 June - 28 July, WEST NORWOOD CEMETERY, One of London’s ‘magnificent seven’ cemeteries, West Norwood Cemetery plays host to works by 22 different artists, curated by Jane

THE ARCHES OPEN STUDIO EVENT 29 + 30 June, THE ARCHES STUDIO, Blenheim Grove, Peckham SE15 4QL, Meet local artists in their own workplaces, discuss their working practices and view a range of new and ongoing works for sale, in a relaxed and family-friendly environment. Visitors will be greeted by a wide range of works from the fields of ceramics, sculpture, fine art and print-making, for sale to suit a range of budgets as well as delicious snacks and refreshments throughout the weekend.

LIFE COACHING GROUP Tuesdays in DULWICH VILLAGE and HERNE HILL, Fridays in WEST and EAST DULWICH, 0775 369 9232, email Refresh and support your life, loves, work and goals in a friendly, informal coaching get-together. £8 per person.

Theatre, Shows and Music IN THE NIGHT GARDEN LIVE 6-22 June, O2 Live Quarter, Peninsula Square, Greenwich SE10 0DX, 0333 300 0023, The world’s only live production of In The Night Garden Live is an amazing musical theatre experience for all the family. Children’s favourite CBeebies’ stars - Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka and friends - are all brought beautifully to life on stage using full-size costumes, magical puppets, enchanting music and breath-taking projections. The show takes place in its own all-weather, purpose-built inflatable showdome with many family-friendly facilities. This site-specific structure is a huge hit with children and parents and its immersive theatrical experience makes audiences feel they are actually entering the magical world of the TV show In the Night Garden. Performances 10am, 12noon, 2pm and 4pm, tickets from £12.50.

SWAN LAKE IN-THE-ROUND 12-23 June, ROYAL ALBERT HALL, Kensington Gore SW7 2AP, 020 7838 3100, Experience a magnificent choreographic kaleidoscope as this unrivalled spectacle comes to life in the centre of the Royal Albert Hall. From

lakeside seats to the top of the Hall, this ‘in-the-round’ production of the world’s favourite ballet combines sensational scale, potent drama and touching intimacy. As the Swan Princess Odette’s tragedy is played out by a misty lake the sinister Rothbart is master of his domain. Odette is devastatingly betrayed by Prince Siegfried who has been deceived by Rothbart, but eventually the power of true love must triumph over evil. Tickets from £19.

CHARLIE AND LOLA’S EXTREMELY NEW PLAY Until 17 August, POLKA THEATRE, 140 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1B, 020 8543 4888, Enter a magical journey through the seasons, as Charlie and Lola discover that everything is different and not the same. What will happen when Lola and her best friend Lotta absolutely promise to look after Sizzles the dog? And follow Charlie and his best friend Marv on a Pirate Squidbones adventure! Playful, funny and full of surprises, this extremely new play about friendship and adventures promises to be a treat for everyone. Based on the well loved BBC series and

characters created by Lauren Child. Suitable for ages 7+, tickets from £10.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY From 25 June, THEATRE ROYAL, Drury Lane WC2B 5JF, 0844 858 8877, Five golden tickets are hidden beneath the wrappers of Mr Willy Wonka’s delicious chocolate bars - five golden tickets which will change the lives of those who find them. The winning children are invited through the gates of Mr Wonka’s Chocolate factory to see all the secrets and magic inside, and to meet Mr Wonka and his staff of Oompa-Loompas. For Charlie Bucket, a poor boy living within sight of the factory, winning the fifth and final golden ticket is just the beginning of an unforgettable adventure. Featuring ingenious stagecraft, the wonder of Roald Dahl’s original story is brought to life in a spectacular musical starring Douglas Hodge. Tickets from £25.

GRANDPA IN MY POCKET 26-29 June, Ashcroft Theatre, FAIRFIELD HALLS, Park Lane, Croydon CR9 1DG, 020 8688 9291,

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CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, A brand new story in which Sunnysands pirate Horatio Heave Ho takes Jason and Jemima on a pirate adventure in search of treasure. The Cbeebies TV series is on stage for the first time to entertain young families. Tickets from £12.50.

WE’RE ALL GOING ON A BEAR HUNT 3 July - Sept, LYRIC THEATRE, Shaftsbury Avenue W1D 7ES, 0844 482 9678, Join the intrepid family of adventurers and their musical dog through the swish swashy grass, the splishy splashy river and the squwelchy mud, in search of a bear. Michael Rosen’s book bursts to life onstage with music, laughter, songs, rhythms and repetitions; with puppetry, paints, water and mud, not to mention a bear - we’re not scared! Tickets from £14.

SLAPDASH GALAXY 9 June, GREENWICH THEATRE, Crooms Hill SE10 8ES, 020 8858 7755, The tale of Sam and Junior, two brothers who must flee


their war torn planet and embark on an epic journey across the galaxy. Buckle in and tear open your imagination for this year’s new shadow puppet epic about two brothers who battle the bad guys and find strength in each other, at warp speed. Ages 7+, 1.30pm and 5pm, tickets £7.50 children, £12.50 adults.


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ASTON’S STONES 18-23 June, UNICORN THEATRE, 147 Tooley Street SE1 2HZ, 020 7645 0560, Some stones are big and some are small. One is sad and another one feels cold. All are in need of someone to care for them. When Aston starts bringing stones home, his patient and understanding parents don’t mind. But after a while they start to worry - how many stones can one household look after? This is a story about how easy it is to love and the ability to see the value in the smallest of things, from Swedish theatre-makers Theater Pero. For under 5s. Tickets £10 children, £16 adults. CONCRETE CREATURES, 22-23 June. A free foyer event after the noon and 2pm performances of Aston’s Stones. Decorate your stone and take home a friend.

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Events & Attractions BRIXTON WINDMILL TOURS BRIXTON WINDMILL, West end of Blenheim Gardens, off Brixton Hill SW2 5EU, 020 7926 6056, Windmills were once a familiar feature of London’s landscape and the most powerful machines of the pre-industrial world. Built in 1817, Brixton Windmill is a tangible reminder to all Londoners of the close links that the capital had with agriculture and food production. GUIDED TOUR, 8, 9 + 23 June. Take a tour of the original wind-powered machinery and find out about how it was once used to make stoneground flour, while hearing the fascinating story of the Ashby family. Because of space restrictions, each tour is limited to three adults plus guide or two adults and two children plus guide, and needs booking first online. PARADE AND FESTIVAL, 22 June. The Friends of Windmill Gardens in collaboration with Veolia and Lambeth Council invite all to the annual Brixton Windmill Parade and Festival. Dress up as a Cake, Pudding or Pie and take part in the parade from Windrush Square, Brixton to Windmill Gardens to enjoy live music, dancing, arts, crafts activities and a performance by the Brixton Windmill Theatre Company and much more! Refreshments and food is available too or bring a picnic. 1-6pm, open to all ages.

SYDENHAM ARTS FESTIVAL 29 June - 14 July, VARIOUS VENUES in and around SE26, 020 3659 0551, Now in its fifth year, SAF has a fantastic line-up of over 90 events guaranteeing something for everyone: live music, free film showings, theatre, a family day in the park, literary events, comedy nights, an artists’ trail in open homes and studios, dance workshops, opera and much more. Highlights include the family fun day in Home Park on 30 June, launchpad performances by 13-19 year-olds at the TNG Youth Centre on 6 July, Benjamin Zephaniah at Sydenham High School on 13 July, and Edwardian Wacky Races in Mayow Park.

SUMMER FAIR 29 June, CHARLES DICKENS PRIMARY SCHOOL, Toulmin Street SE1 1AF, Join the family fun at the Summer Fair at Charles Dickens Primary School. There will be lots of great activities available including a barbeque, craft activities, face painting and a famously fabulous raffle. Noon-3pm, all welcome, entry free.

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. AMAZON ADVENTURE, until November. Experience the world’s largest and most biologically diverse river with its extraordinary animals, exotic plants and fascinating cultures, with unusual creatures including mysterious pink dolphins, piranhas and anacondas, live rays and tetra fish. Discover the environmental dangers facing the Amazon and its inhabitants such as overfishing, poaching and logging. Fittingly, the displays and audio are bilingual English/ Spanish. Admission free for accompanied under 3s, £3 children, £6 adults, £15 families.

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CAMDEN FAMILY FUN DAY 15 June, CORAM’S FIELD, 93 Guildford Street WC1N 1DN, 020 3108 2052, The Grant Museum of Zoology are packing up their specimens and heading out for the day to Coram’s Field. Join them and other organisations from around Camden for a fun packed family day with dressing up, storytelling and arts and crafts. The Grant Museum’s stall will have amazing animals and hands-on activities. 10am-5pm, free.

LIFE AND DEATH: POMPEII AND HERCULANEUM Until 29 September, BRITISH MUSEUM, Great Russell Street WC1B 3DG, 020 7323 8181, Preserved under ash, Pompeii and Herculaneum lay buried for just over 1,600 years, their rediscovery providing an unparalleled glimpse into the daily life of the Roman Empire. From the bustling street to the intimate spaces of a Roman home, this major exhibition portrays the heart of people’s lives in the two cities. Open 10am-7pm daily, to 8.30pm Fridays. Admission £15 adults, prebooking recommended.

LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM, 39 Wellington Street, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB, 020 7379 6344, From buses to tubes, original posters to workers and travellers’ stories, London Transport Museum explores the heritage of London and its transport system. Open 10am-6pm Saturdays to Thursdays, from 11am Fridays. Admission free for under 16s; under 12s to be accompanied.

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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 10am-5.45pm 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.

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

V&A MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD 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.

BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM 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 10am5pm Mondays to Fridays, admission free.

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, The Churchill War Rooms were originally the Cabinet War Rooms, created in 1938 as underground storage areas for the Office of Works Building in Whitehall. They were soon converted to house the central core of government and to become a temporary military information centre serving the Prime Minister and the Chiefs of Staff of the air, naval and land forces. Visitors can hear the first-hand personal accounts of those who worked in the Cabinet War Rooms during the war. Learn what life and conditions were like underground and experiencing the authenticity and emotional resonance of walking through the corridors where Churchill made history. Open 9.30am-6pm, admission free for under 16s, £15.95 adults.

SCIENCE MUSEUM SCIENCE MUSEUM, Exhibition Road SW7 2DD, 0870 870 4868, The 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.

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. EXTINCTION: NOT THE END OF THE WORLD? Until 8 September. Go beyond dodos and dinosaurs to explore the crucial role extinction plays in the evolution of life. The exhibition combines astonishing images, real specimens and interactive installations to bring to life species that disappeared long ago. Exploring the latest scientific findings, it also looks at today’s endangered species and asks whether conservation can save them. Admission £4.50 children, £9 adults, £24 families. SENSATIONAL BUTTERFLIES, until 15 September. From chomping caterpillars to beautiful butterflies, the Natural History Museum comes alive for summer. Dive into a tropical butterfly house to take on butterfly challenges, try out fun games and exciting activities as you discover one of the planet’s most amazing life cycles. Experience the magic of walking among hundreds of free-flying tropical butterflies and come face to


families south east - june 2013

face with a huge variety of these incredible and beautiful creatures. Admission £4.

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

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, £14.50 adults. 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. Entry included in general admission price. SLANG AT SEA, 22-23 June. Have a go at ‘Jack-speak’, and learn the origin of navy slang and popular expressions from life at sea. Delve deeper to discover objects and stories of the crew on board HMS Belfast. Impress your family and friends by mastering seafaring phrases - identify your Port from your Starboard side and find out what it means to be in the rattle. 11am-12.30pm and 2-4pm, free drop-in.

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.

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

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.

MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS, West India Quay E14, 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.

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.

ROYAL MUSEUMS GREENWICH National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, Royal Observatory and Cutty Sark, Greenwich SE10, 020 8858 4422, Royal Museums Greenwich holds the world’s largest maritime collection. It is housed in historic buildings forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site and incorporates the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the 17th-century Queen’s House, and Cutty Sark. The Museums works to illustrate for everyone the importance of the sea, ships, time and the stars and their relationship with people, and is also a major centre of education and research. Open 10am-5pm daily. General admission is free; some buildings, special exhibitions and events have an admission fee. EXPLORE SATURDAYS. Meet a character from the past and take part in an exciting performance that brings maritime history to life. Suitable for ages 6+. Noon, 1, 2 and 3pm start, free. DISCOVER SUNDAYS. Be inspired by the museum’s galleries and take part in free design, craft, illustration and music workshops designed for families. Suitable for all ages. 11.30am-1.30pm and 2-5pm, free. PLAY TUESDAYS. Young children can have fun with their families as they explore the museum through making, music, dance and drama. 10.30 and 11.30am, 1 and 2pm, suitable for under 5s; collect a ticket from the admissions desk. 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 children, £6.50 adults, £17.50 families. SPACE SAFARI, weekends and holiday weekdays. 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 Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomer. Tickets £4.50 children, £6.50 adults, £17.50 families.

CUTTY SARK CUTTY SARK, King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9HT, 020 8858 2698, The world famous 19th century tea clipper offers visitors four levels to explore. Take in the views from the main deck and 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. EXPLORE SATURDAYS. Meet a character from the past and take part in an exciting performance that brings maritime history to life. Suitable for ages 6+. Noon, 1, 2 and 3pm start, free with admission ticket.

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VIEW FROM THE SHARD THE SHARD, London Bridge SE1 9RN, 08444 997111, Renzo Piano’s iconic London landmark offers viewing galleries, restaurants, a hotel and residential apartments. The View from the Shard is the highest


viewing point in Western Europe and nearly twice as high as any other view in London, providing visitors with a multi-sensory experience and exhilarating views for 40 miles across London from floors 68, 69 and 72. Open from 9am to 10pm daily. Tickets from £29.95, book first.

The Great Outdoors CHIDDINGSTONE CASTLE CHIDDINGSTONE CASTLE, Hill Hoath Road, near Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7AD, 01892 870347, Chiddingstone is a unique and unspoilt castle which houses outstanding collections of Egyptian and Buddhist artefacts, Japanese armour and beautiful Jacobean paintings. The 25 acre grounds include a lake, a magnificent woodland and pretty gardens with nature trails to follow. EGYPTIAN DAY on 14 April is a fun day for the whole family to visit the castle and learn of the mysteries of Ancient Egypt. Open 11am-5pm from 29 March - 30 October, Sundays to Wednesdays and bank holidays. Admission free for under 5s, £4 for 5-13 year-olds, £8 adults, £21.50 families. FATHERS’ DAY, 16 June. Events aimed at the dad in the family will include local Larkin’s Ale to enjoy and a chance to have a go at building a camp in the woods - help will be on hand for this task. Or why not try and beat your Dad at a game of croquet or cricket on the lawn with the stunning castle as a backdrop?

FATHER’S DAY ON A STEAM TRAIN 16 June, KENT & EAST SUSSEX RAILWAY, Station Road, Tenderden, Kent TN30 6HE, 01580 765155, The railway has a memorable day planned for dads which includes a return journey from Tenterden to Bodiam on one of the railway’s lovingly preserved steam trains with a choice of either a generous homemade ploughman’s lunch or a delicious afternoon cream tea for all to enjoy. This will be served to your reserved table and includes a bottle of the Railway’s very own beer, ‘Dad’s Delight’ (soft drink option available), together with a K&ESR glass tankard and a packet of man-sized chocolate buttons to enjoy at home. Ticket prices £24.50 dads, £10 children, £42 families, book first.

BODIAM CASTLE BODIAM CASTLE, near Robertsbridge, East Sussex TN32 5UA, 01580 830 196, Surrounded by charming Sussex countryside, Bodiam’s medieval ruins offer a vast history which visitors of all ages can enjoy. Among the many historical features is the original wooden portcullis, which is on display in the gatehouse, the ‘murder holes’ and the Castle’s impressive battlements,

which remain virtually intact. Visitors can also climb the spiral staircases to the tops of the towers, where unrivalled views of the surrounding estate and Rother Valley await. Open 10.30am-5pm daily, admission £3.70 children, £7.40 adults, £18.50 families. THE GREAT CAKE BAKE, 8+9 June. A fantastic opportunity for budding bakers to enter their very own seasonal English cake, with the chance to receive a trophy and goody bag, and have you cake named after you and recreated for sale in the Tea Room for the whole of July. There are two categories - one for adults and one for under 14 year-olds. Cake entries can be taken to the Wharf Tea Room between 10.30am and 4pm on Saturday, and between 10.30am and 2pm on Sunday June 9. BACK TO NATURE, 29+30 June. Celebrate National lnsect Week with a variety of family-friendly events including the chance to meet bats and catch a live ‘wild world’ show with Jo and Leigh Holmes from the CITV series. 11am-4pm.

PENSHURST PLACE PENSHURST PLACE & GARDENS, Penshurst, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 8DG, 01892 870307, Set in the beautiful Weald of Kent, Penshurst Place and the Estate have stood on the banks of the river Medway since the 14th century, when the awe-inspiring medieval Baron’s Hall was built as a country retreat for the Lord Mayor of London, Sir John de Pulteney. Alongside the unique and stunning Baron’s Hall, built in 1341, the house has a series of staterooms containing an impressive collection of portraits, tapestries, furniture, porcelain and armour. In addition, visitors can enjoy a reminder of bygone childhoods in the Toy Museum, a delight for all ages. The enchanting formal gardens were laid out in Elizabethan times and have remained remarkably true to their early design. Open 10.30am-6pm, admission £6 children, £10 adults, family tickets available. HANDS ON HISTORY, 16 June. Enjoy Father’s Day by playing Dad’s Dominos and treat your dad to a handmade card, or better still present him with a special handmade award. Craft activities for children in the Education Room from 12 noon-4pm. Special lunchtime menus in the Garden Restaurant.

Art Activities FAMILY ARTS IN DULWICH 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.

THE WALLACE COLLECTION THE WALLACE COLLECTION, Hertford House, Manchester Square W1U 3BN, 020 7563 9500, The Wallace Collection displays wonderful works of art collected in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the first four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, the son of the 4th Marquess, in their main London townhouse. Family multi-media tours and trails bring the exhibits to life for younger visitors. Open 10am-5pm daily, admission free. FAMILY PUBLIC TOUR, 15 June. An exciting, creative, thrilling and interactive journey with young curators from St. Vincent’s Primary School. Explore the collection through new eyes and handle objects as they guide you through its intriguing corridors and magnificent rooms. Ages 5+, 2.30pm free drop-in. THE LITTLE DRAW, 7 July. A free drop-in workshop for all ages with artist Zoe Scammell, who creates detailed drawings of the grotesque beasts and monsters of the natural world. 1.30-4.30pm.

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.

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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 2885, 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.

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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Our fun & educational group keyboard lessons are a fantastic way to start making music Inspiring reception classes, 4-5 years Action-packed junior classes, 5-8 years SUMMER HOLIDAY COURSES BOOKING NOW! 0800 107 7949 Funky Monkey Keyboard Classes... ‘bringing music to children’

june 2013 - families south east


What’sNew Daddy loves cooking How about this jolly Airfix London apron as a Fathers’ Day present? Just the job when he’s firing up the barbecue in the back garden, at a pocket moneyfriendly £22. Or a hand painted pirate mug, £19.99. Both are from the new southeast London based British Is Best. Despite the name, the company is run by a young Italian couple who have such a passion for all Things Made in Britain that they decided to give something back by bringing together a selection of the best from British manufacturers. The company is a treasure trove of brilliant accessories for adults, baby, home and garden products, plus a collection of wellbeing products, all sourced from within our shores. Credit cards at the ready - have a browse and be proud to buy British at

Baby Sleep Workshops To the batmobile... When our son was younger, he went through a phase of only answering to ‘Batman’ rather than his given name, which was tricky for his teachers - he loves this carseat. The Kids Embrace Batman car seat is a fun and stylish stage 1-2-3, high-back booster seat. It has an integral 5 point harness to secure children from approximately 9 months - 12 years and even comes with a removable cape - essential for little superheroes on longer journeys. The seat is strong yet lightweight which makes it easy and convenient to transfer between cars; rrp £89.99 from Halfords, Toys R us and The range also includes Dora The Explorer and SpongeBob Square Pants.

Have an adventure There’s nothing quite like fresh air, exercise and family time, and you can’t beat the fun you can have in the Great Outdoors. However, sometimes convincing your children can be a bit of a struggle, so the National Trust have come up with 50 Things To Do Before You’re 113⁄4 to encourage them to get mucky, discover their wild side and enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer. Check out the website, where you can interact with your very own virtual Outdoors Explorer - keep track o f activities, earn rewards, get top tips for each adventure, unlock cool games, earn badges, collect certificates and discover some secret challenges. You could camp out in the wild, build a den, go star gazing, hunt for fossils, set up a snail race, explore a cave and much, much more.

Family health Help for bedwetters It is estimated that in the UK, over half a million children between five and 16 years old regularly wet the bed. For over a third of them, this means missing out on sleepovers and other trips away, showing the significant impact of bedwetting on a child’s social life. Yet 34% of parents have never sought help for the condition. UnderJams and childhood incontinence charity ERIC have joined forces to help parents and children sleep easier at night by offering information and practical tips to help their child combat the problem, plus emotional support. UnderJams are discreet pyjama pants which provide children with the privacy and protection they need if they tend to wet the bed. Visit for facts, further information and resources.

Summer sneezes When airborne allergens such as pollens and spores come into contact with the body, they can trigger sneezing, blocked and stuffy noses, watery, itchy eyes and a general feeling of being unwell. Yup it’s hayfever - one of the most common allergic reactions which affects up to one in five people at some point in their lives. Recommended by doctors, Stérimar Nasal Hygiene is a natural sea water nasal spray which quickly and effectively cleans and clears pollen from the nose, removing the actual cause of hayfever to help prevent and relieve symptoms in the first instance. Containing natural minerals and trace elements from sea water, Stérimar Nasal Hygiene has the same salt content as the cells in the human body making it extremely gentle and suitable for use as


families south east - june 2013

aby You & your b

often as required allowing sufferers to enjoy the outdoor activities summer brings. 100% natural, drug, steroid and preservative free, Stérimar is safe to be used on children from three months plus, during pregnancy or where the choice of medication may be restricted. Without any side effects or drug interaction, it can be used in conjunction with any medication if required. It is available from Boots and most pharmacies, rrp £6.63 for 100ml and £4.07 for a pocket sized 50ml spray. Read more at

With 60% of nine month old babies still regularly waking at night it is no wonder that so many new parents suffer from sleep exhaustion. To date common advice given by the likes of Gina Ford, Supernanny, the recent Bedtime Live television programme and even our own NHS has been to train the baby using some form of behavioural technique. Often these techniques can cause trauma to both parent and baby and research shows that whilst providing seemingly quick results, the results are not long lasting. Parenting expert Sarah Ockwell-Smith is author of BabyCalm: A Guide for Calmer Babies and Happier Parents. A well known critic of sleep training techniques such as ‘controlled crying’ and ‘rapid return’, Sarah is famed for her evidence based gentle alternatives. Now parents can benefit from Sarah’s knowledge with a 120 strong team of BabyCalm teachers offering the workshops over the next four months across the UK. The new three-hour BabyCalm Sleep Workshop is suitable for all parents of three to 12 month old babies, and costs only £35. There are BabyCalm teachers in Bermondsey, Bromley, Streatham and Chislehurst. For more information, email or visit

Baby get-togethers We’re often asked at Families if we know of any local activities for parents and babies. Well, yes. Here are some of our favourites: GYMBOREE play classes for pre-mobile babies with songs, movement, signing, puppets, fibre optics and more. Herne Hill and Crystal Palace, 020 8123 8423, READER OFFER - Quote ‘Families magazine’ for 10% off your first month’s membership. PERFORM and PERFORM PLUS, Londonwide, ages 3 months to 12 years, 0845 400 1277, LATINO BAMBINO Salsa for mothers with babies from six weeks, plus musical dance classes for 1-4 year-olds. Blackheath and Rotherhithe, 07961 838349, MONKEY MUSIC 3 months to 4 years across southeast London. 020 8699 0977, BEA’S BABY MUSIC babies to 6 years, West Norwood 020 8670 9378, TIPPEE TOES, babies to 3 years, Dulwich, 0790 361 8432, TALKING TOTS, 12 months to preschoolers, Forest Hill and Dulwich, 07967 126 148, Beckenham and Bromley 07504 166 107,

Get going with growing! - gardening with children As we meander to and from school each day, we’ve been admiring the tree blossom and watching neighbours’ gardens spring back into life - finally. With summer eventually making itself known, what better time to encourage your children to explore their environment and discover the wonderful world of gardening. Involving children in gardening can be a great and fun experience for everyone regardless of age. Children can become surprisingly engrossed in planting and caring for flowers - even those with shorter attention spans. Most can’t get enough of the anticipation and excitement of waiting for a seed to sprout or a plant to grow, even making mud pies, and all children find pleasure in a patch of soil they can call their own. Imagine sparking the green fingers of little children, as you point out the wonder of the natural environment around them. And what better way to learn about photosynthesis by watching it happen in front of your eyes! Show your child the magic of Mother Nature.

Getting started Growing plants doesn’t require a huge garden or allotment; in fact, it can actually be beneficial to start out with smaller spaces such as a window box or a restricted area. Just ensure that the allocated area gets enough sunlight and start with a small, manageable project. It needn’t cost a lot of money either - you don’t need to buy anything special or fancy, and if you grow your own fruit and veg then you’ll ultimately be making a saving. Start with margarine tubs, yoghurt pots, and any other small containers you might find lying around the house. Instead of fancy trays with separate sections, you’ll find just as much use in empty egg cartons. A lollypop stick can make a great plant label and can be used when dipping out seedlings. A water pistol instead of a watering can - who would have thought watering the plants could be so much fun!

Opportunity to learn There is so much for children to learn. Explain to the younger ones that the seeds have popped underground and covered up to sleep, helping them understand that they need to be gentle with them and treat them with care. Make sure they know to water regularly and then sit back and watch it grow. You don’t have to be green fingered yourself, gardening opens up a whole host of great experiments and different ways of looking at things, almost like having your own laboratory in your kitchen. A good idea to show how plants need time, sunshine and water, is to grow three separate pots of cress. Place one in sunlight with plenty of water, one in a dark cupboard with plenty of water, and one in sunlight with no water. The difference will be there to see.

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Inspire their senses leaves, and look for bugs. Once they get in the garden and explore, in time they will want to take care of the plants they have learned to love and really gain pleasure along the way.

We all have a particular fondness for plants which stimulate our senses and children are no different; point out plants with soft leaves and bright flowers, aromatic herbs, scented flowers, grasses and leaves that rustle when blown. These can be particularly beneficial for children with special needs and requirements. Plants attract wildlife, which can be hugely exciting. Wildflowers attract bees and butterflies, and watch out for the insects. All of them have a purpose in the garden, for example hedgehogs and toads eat the slugs and snails, and worms create holes in the soil.

Read more

Children love to eat anything they have grown themselves, just try with peas, cabbage and lettuce. Sheer pride will lend a flavour never to be forgotten. They will realise that whenever they eat yummy fruit and vegetables that someone had to grow them and that we can all grow our own fresh foods.

We recommend: • The Family Kitchen Garden by Karen Liebreich, Jutta Wagner and Annette Wendland, Frances Lincoln Books, rrp £16.99

Prepare for mess! Gardening isn’t a clean business but it’s lots of fun and easy enough for children to get to grips with. So peel your children away from the TV and explore the garden - touch the flowers, feel the

• The Playground Potting Shed by Dominic Murphy, Guardian Books rrp £14.99.


june 2013 - families south east


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