Page 1


South West March 2017

EASTER Activities FREE Activities Prep Schools Using a Nanny Most popular parties How to encourage independent thinking © Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children





Contents Did you


Local news


Families Top Five activities this month


You can now enter your own listings FOR FREE on Familiesonline.co.uk Once a week we pick events at random, which get pushed via our weekly ‘What’s On this week’ newsletter and on social media. Don't miss out!

Families SW|Issue 264

11 25 PREP SCHOOL FEATURE The Benefits of a Rich Music Curriculum How to foster Independent Thinking Open days listing An afternoon at the White House School Prep school and education news 27


WEBSITE: www.familiesonline.co.uk TEL: 020 8696 9680

CHILDCARE FEATURE Are you ready for 30 hours of free childcare? How to choose a childminder How to find the perfect nanny with the help of an agency Childcare news

EDITORIAL: editor@familiesSW.co.uk NEWS: news@familiesSW.co.uk ADVERTS/ARTWORK: adverts@familiesSW.co.uk

32-37 EASTER ACTIVITIES LISTINGS PART 1 Arts and craft, sports, music, drama, dance, days out and Easter eggs hunts!

EVENTS, DIARY DATES, WHAT’S ON: whatson@familiesSW.co.uk


FREE Activities

NEXT ISSUE: April 2017


To learn to communicate, infants need parents, not tablets

DEADLINE: Early March 2017 ISSN 1354-9553 | All content ©Families SW 2017 • ‘Families SW’ London, established in 1990, is part of Families Magazines Ltd, a franchise company. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. Families® is a registered trademark of Families Magazines Ltd, Remenham House, Regatta Place, Marlow Road, Bourne End, Bucks, SL8 5TD. • Printed by Ridgeway Press Ltd, Wiltshire • Designed by Shirley Trimmer • 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. • Paper used to print Families is from fully-managed sustainable sources.

42-45 PARTIES FEATURE Popular party themes From superhero to princesses and football parties! 46-47 Health: Protect your pelvic floor after birth 49

The little guide to little bilingual brains

51-55 What’s On Diary dates Events Babies and toddlers Theatre Art activities Museums & Exhibitions Special Needs

ADVERTISE IN OUR NEXT ISSUE Contact us on 020 8696 9680

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017

Find us on Facebook and Twitter FamiliesSW


NEWS BALLET AT THE LYRIC The New English Ballet Theatre comes to the Lyric Hammersmith this spring with new ballet classes for children aged 5-7 and 8-10. An

unmissable chance for your little ballerina to learn from industry professionals at only £8 per class. Classes take place on Saturday afternoons from 1pm, no experience necessary.

GO ON A MUDDY PUDDLE WALK FOR CHARITY This spring Peppa Pig teams up with the world’s leading children’s charity to launch a fundraiser like no other. Between 8 and 14 May nurseries, early years groups, families and children are encouraged to take part in a Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children. Organising a Muddy Puddle Walk is a great way for little ones to explore the world around them and jump in muddy puddles for a worthy cause. Sign up your nursery or family now at www.muddypuddlewalk.org to get your free Fundraising Pack, full of fundraising ideas and tips for great walks and activities – including free Peppa stickers and Save the Children balloons.

Find out more at www.lyric.co.uk, www.nebt.co.uk, call 020 8741 6850 to book


FEED THEIR IMAGINATION... WATCH THEIR IMAGINATION GROW Children from Jigsaw’s agency have been involved in exciting work on film and TV, and the Youth Theatre are getting ready for their upcoming performances at the Oxford House Theatre, London.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO EARN EXTRA MONEY? Capital Focus Groups are looking for people who enjoy giving their opinions and are willing to share their views on the products and services they use for many of the country’s largest companies and well-known products. It’s free, it’s fun and you will be financially rewarded as a thank you for taking part!

Spring is in the air, which means a new school term lies just around the corner… the ideal opportunity for your children to discover drama, singing and dance for the very first time. One thing is for certain: if you’re looking for an enjoyable extracurricular activity for your child this spring, then look no further than the performing arts.

Register now to earn extra money, by calling Liz on 07761128059 or e.dahlgren@btinternet.com

Visit www.jigsaw-arts.co.uk for more information, or call 0208 4474530 to book a two week trial.

LITTLE LEARNERS EXPAND Little Learners crèche is going from strength to strength: it was ranked ‘Outstanding’ in an Ofsted report following an inspection at the end of 2016, they also announced expansion with the opening of a new site in Balham. Launched in 2013, Little Learners is run by a team of dedicated childcare professionals, delivering structured play sessions to encourage children aged 15-30 months to develop pre-school skills in an engaging environment. Building on the success of its first crèche in Battersea, Little Learners opened its doors on Weir Road in Balham in January, offering sessional care. Both venues offer parents a simplified pay structure that includes affordable, flat fees for sessions, flexible terms and zero registration costs. They follow the principles of Dr Maria Montessori with activities carefully selected to promote creativity, logical thinking, social interaction, physical challenges (including yoga!), literacy and communication. 07941 103 860 info@claphamlearners.com www.claphamlearners.com


REGISTER NOW FOR WEAR A HAT DAY Did you know that Brain Tumour research is severely underfunded, with just 0.7% of national cancer research spending in the UK? Brain Tumour Research is asking families and schools across the UK to support Wear a Hat Day on 31 March. Whether you are hosting a coffee morning with friends or a hattastic event with your whole company, the first step is always the same register today www.braintumourresearch.org/wearahatday

March 2017 | 020 8696 9680 | Familiesonline.co.uk

NEWS SAVE ALPHABET NURSERY! Wandsworth Council is considering plans to redevelop Northcote library and Chatham Hall to provide a new state of the art library. However this would be at a cost of knocking down Chatham Hall and building 3 storey flats. Allison Mckenzie-Lewis has been the Head teacher at Alphabet Nursery School based at Chatham Hall for 27 years, which accommodates between 55-60 children within this community. As you can imagine they are all devastated and are against this proposal. A petition has been set up to stop the development, go here: http://bit.ly/2k2D9ls

SCHOOL CHILDREN ENCOURAGED TO CYCLE AND SCOOT Schools across South London are invited to join The Big Pedal 2017 a national challenge to get more young people cycling and scooting to school, backed by two times Olympic gold medallist Joanna Rowsell Shand. The Big Pedal 20- 31 March sees pupils, teachers and parents leave their cars at home and get on their bikes and scooters, with this year’s theme being ‘Around the world in 10 days’, so pupils can track their progress on a map of the world, learning about the countries and cities they pass through on their way. ‘The Big Pedal campaign is a fantastic way for kids to cycle together whilst learning about the rules of the road in a fun way,’ said Joanna Rowsell Shand. ‘I hope this year as many schools as possible will take part in the UK’s largest school cycling and scooting event.’ Sign up now at www.bigpedal.org.uk

COULD YOU BE A ROLE MODEL? LOCHINVAR RATED OUTSTANDING Congratulations to Lochinvar Pre-School Playhouse in Balham, which has been rated Outstanding by Ofsted in December 2016. Established over 40 years, they are registered for children 2-5 years, offering a safe and stimulating environment with quality care and education. Staff are qualified, committed and enthusiastic practitioners. They offer full and part time sessions and have an outside play environment. Ofsted said: ‘Staff make plans that are exceptionally precise and tailored to meet the needs of their key children’ and ‘Children’s behaviour is exceptional’. Excellent transport links. C/O Alderbrook School, Oldridge Road, Balham, SW12 8PP. 020 8675 5624 Lochinvarpre-schoolplayhouse@btconnect.com

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017

Wonderful local educators Role Models are expanding. Their resolution for 2017 is to meet rising demand for their Creative Childcare, Confidence & Resilience Courses, Leadership Programmes and Special Needs Camps, and this year they are also offering 1-2 week residential courses for 8-14 year old international students, delivering their Confidence & Resilience programme in the morning and fun activities in the afternoon (choose from musical theatre, art, football, tennis or outward bounds), plus some brilliant day excursions. Sign up now for their half-term Confidence & Resilience Taster Day on Feb 13th, as well as longer courses in the Easter and summer holidays, in Wimbledon and Chelsea. 020 3637 7107, info@rolemodels.me www.rolemodels.me





We provide a delightful environment for children from 2yrs of age. Offering the full Montessori curriculum with visiting teachers for Music, Dancing, Yoga, French, Drama, Sports & Gymnastics.

This session takes place from 3:30pm to 4:30pm for children from approximately 2yrs of age to attend with an adult.


0208 673 8037 102 Chestnut Grove Balham, London, SW12 8JJ

BEFORE & AFTER SCHOOL CARE We offer a drop-off and pick-up service to and from local schools, with breakfast club, help with homework and supper. Holiday school also offered.





THE TYRANNOSAUR CHRONICLES Royal Institution Albemarle Street, Mayfair W1S 4BS www.rigb.org 20 April

Tyrannosaurus is the most famous dinosaur in the world, with its six-ton weight and bone crushing bite, but how did the tyrannosaurs come to dominate their prehistoric world? Join palaeontologist Dr David Hone to find about the evolution, ecology and behaviour of this fascinating group of dinosaurs. Age 7+, 6pm.

© Plastiques Photography

T_Rex_cast - Daniel Schwen via Wikimedia

With Easter just around the corner, here are our top picks of activities for you and your family to enjoy during the holidays.

A young Wonderlab visitor is reflected inside the Infinity Boxes exhibit

INVESTIGATE THE NEW INTERACTIVE GALLERIES Science Museum Exhibition Road, South Kensington SW7 2DD www.sciencemuseum.org.uk Throughout March Don’t miss out on this fantastic new interactive gallery with live demonstrations and an Explainer-led experience revealing the beauty and wonder in the science and mathematics that shape our lives. Truly fascinating! £8/£6.

GIANT EASTER DUCK HUNT The London Wetlands Centre Queen Elizabeth, Barnes SW13 9WT www.wwt.org.uk 1-17 April Some of the Wetland Centre’s ducklings have gone missing, can you help them find them? They have disguised themselves as the ducks that live at the Centre, so follow the Easter duck trail around the reserve to discover where they are hiding. £1 per trail including a prize, plus admission to the Centre. Always lots of fun!

MOOMIN ADVENTURE ADVENTURES IN MOOMINLAND Southbank Centre Belvedere Road SE1 8XX www.southbankcentre.co.uk To 23 April Continuing on the Moominland theme, why not visit this immersive, interactive exhibition exploring the internationally-recognised stories of the Moomin family through the life of its author Tove Jansson? It finishes soon and has proved immensely popular so far. Age 7+, 10am-6pm, from £10.

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017

Kew Gardens TW9 3AB www.kew.org 1-17 April Experience the wonderful world of the Moomins this Easter. With the arrival of spring they will be coming out of hibernation and visiting the Gardens for all sorts of mischief and fun. Try and find them in and amongst Kew’s fascinating plants.




© Parkgate House


The benefits of a rich music curriculum The benefits of learning music have been extensively documented. Compelling evidence confirms it has a positive impact on children’s academic, social and personal development.

Early musical training develops the left hand side of the brain. It develops co-ordination, motor skills and strengthens memory. It can also encourage the recognition of patterns and structure and assists in the understanding of maths, particularly the concepts of proportion, fractions and division. Yet despite these academic advantages, music is often squeezed into – or even completely out of - a school timetable, due to the dual pressures of funding and scheduling.

AN ENDURING LOVE OF MUSIC However, if music is an integral part of the life of a school, it can allow musical ability to be identified and nurtured in each child. The principal aim of Parkgate House in Clapham is to support children in cultivating an enduring love of music within a supportive and encouraging environment. Generous curriculum time is dedicated to achieving this goal. Specialist lessons allow the children to explore and develop an interest in music from an early age and develop their own individual musical identity.

UPBEAT Combine this approach with an upbeat and supportive musical learning environment and the result has a profound effect on the pupil’s engagement and enjoyment. Close collaboration between teacher and pupil - as they jointly assess, monitor and evaluate musical progress – leads to empowered and independent children who take a resilient approach, not just towards their music but towards the rest of their studies.

DEVELOPING CONFIDENCE Confidence, both musical and personal, can develop through giving public performances or sitting music exams. And preparing for performances either as a soloist or as part of a group - is an important aspect of the music curriculum at Parkgate House. The children have even performed at prestigious venues such as The Cadogan Hall and The Barbican Centre.

HARMONY Playing in a group promotes collaboration and develops teamwork as the group has to reflect on their progress and performance. Group members also learn to support one another and, importantly, celebrate their shared successes. Jane O’Rourke, Head of Music at Parkgate House notes: ‘The enjoyment of making music together cannot be underestimated; working toward a common goal and acquiring the musicianship skills necessary to play with others is extremely valuable.’

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017

OPPORTUNITY As well as being offered individual instrumental and singing tuition, all Parkgate pupils have the chance to sing in a choir, play in a recorder ensemble, violin quartet, or the ukulele club. All musical contributions are valued. Some pupils, inspired to create their own bands, have staged their own performances – fully supported by the school. And pupils regularly get to hear professional musicians perform at both internal workshops and visits to concert venues such as the Royal Albert Hall.

CREATIVE CROSS OVER Throughout the year, cross-curricular links are made with the Art, Drama and English departments. Children collaborate to compose musical soundscapes for paintings or cultivate their creative writing skills by listening to, and analysing, the musical elements of a piece of music. The children also combine their drama and musical skills in the school’s annual musical theatre productions.

MUSICAL YOUTH Exposure to a wide range of musical styles and genres ensures that pupils expand their musical vocabulary and knowledge, learning not only about key composers and musicians, but the history of music. In addition to practical and performance elements, the curriculum includes listening and evaluating, as well as composing and improvising music. When faced with the challenge of improvisation, pupils learn to take risks and to persevere in unfamiliar territory. As a result, pupils feel more confident about experimenting and in doing so develop their creativity, sense of expression and independent musical style.

VIBRANT MUSICAL EXPERIENCES Jane O’Rourke observes: ‘When children feel that their ideas are valued and are comfortable to take such risks - viewing these as a natural part of their learning journey - they are more likely to develop a positive and resilient attitude to their learning. This inevitably leads to higher attainment levels. The vibrant musical experiences we offer at Parkgate allows us to fulfil our mission statement: Develop Confidence – Provide Opportunity – Realise Potential – in every single child.’ Parkgate House School 020 7350 2452 www.parkgate-school.co.uk





© The Hampshire School


Independent thinking – A lesson for life ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’ Chinese Proverb Encouraging independent learning in children can set them up not just for their education, but for life. The skills fostered by independent learning – the ability to problem solve, think creatively and respond resiliently - are all useful skills for the wider world. Think of Steve Jobs, founder of Apple or author, JK Rowling both of whom had to exhibit these traits before finding success. Independent learning doesn’t mean working alone, it means getting children to play a major role in their own learning. It encourages children to take risks, give it a go and never feel shame when they get it wrong. Children are able to employ a range of strategies to explore and find creative solutions to the challenges in front of them. And studies suggest that independent thinkers work to higher standards, are more motivated and have higher self-esteem than other children.

‘Spoon feeding, in the long run, teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.’

routinely used, comments: ‘The value is that when the children are presented with a blank piece of paper, they feel eager and ready to write, as their minds are alive with thoughts and ideas already discussed and explored in their activity lessons.’ In another approach, the teacher may challenge a pupil’s response to questions, forcing the student to define their answers more clearly and thereby reinforcing information.

THE TEACHER’S INPUT Mr Brennan describes a recent activity for Year Two children on ‘Water is Life’, which saw the children exploring the question ‘Why do we need water?’ The children sought answers from resources positioned at activity stations around the classroom. They were encouraged to collaborate within their teams and discuss the pros and cons of their responses. When these groups shared their findings with the class, the teacher was attentive to the answers so that they could reflect back any helpful points to the children, reinforce key vocabulary and highlight any higher-order thinking.

(E.M.Forster) Rather than teachers seeing the child as an empty vessel waiting to be passively filled with facts, independent learning encourages children to become active learners. The active learner mindset is also sometimes referred to as a ‘growth mindset’ which acknowledges that intelligence is not fixed, but can be developed. Instead of being fed information, children are encouraged to question what they are being told, work things out for themselves and set their own goals and targets. And these concepts are just as applicable to children from the early years to those in secondary school and beyond.

SO HOW DOES IT WORK? One independent learning strategy is for the teacher to set a question, encourage the children to discuss it in groups and to form their own opinions, before the teacher inputs again later on. This can be effective and insightful for both pupils and teachers. Donal Brennan, Headmaster at The Hampshire School where independent learning strategies are

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017

FAIL AGAIN. FAIL BETTER By way of an example of how independent learning fosters resilience, a Year 7 student at The Hampshire School was preparing a slide examining the structure of a plant cell. While other classmates achieved it on the first attempt, one particular student found the task more challenging. With the support of his classmates the student persevered, eventually succeeding on his fourth attempt. Mr Brennan concludes: “Independent learning encourages a ‘go get it’ philosophy, a positive mindset where children think: ‘I will not be scuppered in my attempt to make it work.’ They feel at ease with making mistakes.” To be released from the fear of failure is a lesson not just for children. As Winston Churchill observed: ‘Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.’ It is a great lesson for life. The Hampshire School, 020 7352 7077 www.thehampshireschoolchelsea.co.uk




Call to book your place now

The White House School

Compiled by Joanna Parry






4-13 Co-Ed Tours every weekday morning in term time, 8.30am booking required 020 7584 1331 www.hillhouseschool.co.uk

4-11 Co-Ed Open Mornings most Thursdays 9.15-10.30am by appointment 020 7924 3472 www.dolphinschool.org.uk


2.5-11 Co-Ed Open Mornings 8/3, 12/5 and 21/6 9.30-11am, or at other times by appointment 020 8877 0823 www.therocheschool.co.uk

6-11 Co-Ed Tours by appointment Please contact the school to find out more about their specialist teaching for dyslexic children 020 7720 8783 www.thedominie.co.uk

STREATHAM AND CLAPHAM PREP SCHOOL 3-11 Girls 7/3 9-10.45am 020 8674 6912 www.schs.gdst.net



SW6 FULHAM PREP SCHOOL 4-13 Co-Ed Pre-Prep Open Morning 23/3 9.15am, 10.15am and 11.15am call to book a place and time slot 7371 9911, Prep School tours by appointment only 020 7386 2444 www.fulhamprep.co.uk

PARSONS GREEN PREP 4-11 Co-Ed Midweek tours on Thursdays at 9am by appointment only 020 7371 9009 www.parsonsgreenprep.co.uk

11-16 Co-Ed Open Mornings 7/3 and 25/4 020 7228 3933 www.thameschristiancollege.org.uk

SW12 WHITE HOUSE PREP SCHOOL 4-11 Co-Ed 6/5 9.30-11.30am. Tours Tuesday mornings at 9.15am book in advance 020 8674 9514 www.whitehouseschool.com


4-11 Co-Ed Tours every week, book in advance 020 7736 4045 www.langfordprimary.org.uk

4-11 Co-Ed Open morning 22/3 9.45am and 11.45am, plus weekly school tours by appointment every Tuesday at 11.50am 020 8772 3504 www.waldorflondon.co.uk


SW19 KINGS COLLEGE SCHOOL 7-16 Boys, 16-18 Co-Ed 11+ Open Evening 12/6 6pm, 16+ Open Evening 14/6 6pm, Junior School Open Morning 23/6 9.30am 020 8255 5437 www.kcs.org.uk

THE STUDY PREP SCHOOL 4-11 Girls Open Morning 11/3 9.30am-12pm, plus tours on Tuesdays 9.20-10.30am 020 8947 6969 www.thestudyprep.co.uk

WILLINGTON IND PREP SCHOOL 4-13 Boys Open Day 22/3, plus tours of the school by appointment 020 8944 7020 www.willingtonschool.co.uk




(also known as Squirrels) SW19 4-7 Boys Tours of the school by appointment 020 8946 1001 www.wimbledoncommonprep.co.uk

2-11 Co-ed Prep 23/03 10-11.30am and Nursery 24/03 9.30-11am

4-11 Co-Ed 9/3 and 8/6 9am 020 8673 7573 www.hornsbyhouse.co.uk







3-13 Co-Ed Tours of main school on Wednesdays at 9am and of Early Years School on Mondays and Thursdays at 1.30pm 020 7352 7077 www.thehampshireschoolchelsea.co.uk

4-18 Co-Ed Regular tours during term time 020 8762 6321 www.harrodian.com


3-18 Co-Ed The Prep School 3/5 and 21/6 9.30am, The Senior School 10/5 5-7pm booking required 020 8876 9991 / 020 8392 5803 www.ibstockplaceschool.co.uk

2-10 Co-Ed Open Day 26/1 9.30am plus Open House every Wednesday and Thursday during term time 9.30-10.30am book in advance 020 7225 1277 www.stnicholasprep.co.uk

SW8 NEWTON PREP 4-11 Co-Ed Friday tours by appointment 910.30am 020 7720 4091 www.newtonprepschool.co.uk



THE NORWEGIAN SCHOOL Co-Ed 3-16 Open on 1/4. Tours of the school can be booked at any time 020 8947 6617 www.norwegianschool.org.uk

SE21 ROSEMEAD PREP SCHOOL 3-11yrs Co-ed Open Mornings 9.30-11am 26/1 & 8/3 020 8670 5865 www.rosemeadprepschool.org.uk




4-11 Girls 18/3 10.30am-12.30pm 020 8992 5189 www.falconsgirls.co.uk

4-11 Co-Ed Open Mornings 8/3, 4/5 and 13/6 9.15am 020 8846 9153 www.rpps.co.uk



STREATHAM AND CLAPHAM HIGH SCHOOL 11-18 Girls 10/3 9.15-11.30am 020 8677 8400 www.schs.gdst.net

PARAYHOUSE SCHOOL 4-11 Co-Ed Open Morning 7/3 at 10am 020 8741 1400 www.parayhouse.com

REDCLIFFE SCHOOL 3-11 Girls 3-8 Boys Tours Tuesdays and Thursdays during term time 9.30am booking required 020 7352 9247 www.redcliffeschool.com Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017




An afternoon at the White House School In November, The White House Prep School was named as one of the top 10 schools in London and 54th in the country by The Sunday Times. So we wanted to find out more... Q: Is the school’s commitment to smaller class sizes making the difference? A: The School recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, and for Founder and Principal, Mary McCahery, the year saw another highlight after being named one of the top 10 Schools in London by The Sunday Times. “The pupils were thrilled when we told them” says Mary and “felt an enormous sense of pride”. “It’s all down to the hard work of both pupils and staff” states Headmaster Daniel Cummings “but as important as National recognition can be, this has confirmed what we see throughout the school every day and we are all very proud to be part of such a wonderful school."

This approach to education is at the heart of the School but its dynamic nature means they can also be flexible to ‘pupil voice’ and emerging interests. Budding Zuckerbergs can now learn the basics of coding in the upgraded IT suite and via the adoption of a cloud-based curriculum, whilst those with a keen interest in engineering can join the Car Club which sees pupils race a self-built car at Goodwood racetrack. For the Kindergarten, the School has recently adopted an exciting Forest School approach to outdoor learning for ‘natural thinking’. Highlights for children include ‘Muddy Mondays’ and ‘Welly Wednesdays’.

Q: But how have you achieved this?

Q: Congratulations from Families!

A: The White House know that the pupils’ development throughout their time at the School is paramount to their achievements later on. From Kindergarten to Year 6, the School prides itself on choosing to be deliberately small in size with smaller class sizes ensuring that every child can be treated as an individual. This personalised teaching approach ensures an outstanding education (a fact which has been confirmed by both OFSTED and ISI) and allows teachers to find out what really excites and engages the children to help them excel.

A: Thank you. The Sunday Times recognition is reflected in the offers the pupils receive when they leave the School at 11+. Most go onto JAGS, Dulwich College, Alleyns and Emmanuel or top boarding schools, with over 30% of the children receiving scholarships to their preferred schools. What’s clear is that our school’s dedication to the children and their education is helping them to flourish, whilst ensuring the pupils are happy, confident and caring, and still excited and challenged at school.

24 Thornton Avenue, SW12 0LF, 020 8674 9514 www.woodentopsnurseries.com www.whitehouseschool.com

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017




GOING ‘SOFT’ HELPS STUDENTS GET A ‘CAN DO’ ATTITUDE New research has demonstrated the impact of soft skills such as control, commitment, challenge and confidence in promoting mental wellbeing. The research was conducted by leading psychometric test publisher AQR International for the Independent Schools Council (ISC) using the using a model which looks at important so-called ‘soft skills’. In the test, which defines mental toughness as the 'mindset that every person adopts in everything they do', nine and ten year old students (Year 5) at Sydenham High Junior School achieved a strong total score of 4.2. This is in line with the average across all ISC schools taking part and contrasts with the lower 3.94 recorded by state schools. It was also higher than the average score for all female pupils in the study (4.0). In addition, a number of students scored considerably above this, particularly for confidence, challenge and emotional control - some as high as 8-10. By performing at the top end of the scale, Sydenham High’s students show an exceptionally positive ‘can do attitude’; are more content and able to manage stress; more ambitious; more aspirational and prepared to take risks; more likely to persevere and achieve their goals in higher education and employment. According to the Head of Sydenham High Junior School, Claire Boyd, the school’s innovative Flourish and Fly programme helps: “We can’t predict what the future will hold for our students but we can prepare them with the skills – psychological as well as academic – that they will need to face that future head on.”

Exciting times: A new Boys’ Preparatory School is opening in Central London in September 2017. Eaton House Prep will be located at 2 Elvaston Place, London SW7 and will offer places for up to 20 boys each year with their first Year 4 class joining in September 2017. Eaton House Preparatory School will replicate the success of their existing Prep School at Eaton House The Manor with pupils benefiting from the very highest levels of prep school education and gaining admission at 13 + to leading London day, and boarding schools. Eaton House Preparatory School will be led by Mr Huw May, currently Headmaster at Eaton Mr Huw May House The Manor Pre-Preparatory School. A dynamic curriculum will ensure that all boys achieve their potential, empowering them to navigate successfully the next steps in their academic journey and beyond! As well as 8+ admission, a limited number of places will be available for admission at 7+ in September 2017 with guaranteed progression to the Prep School in September 2018. Head of Admissions Ms Jennifer McEnhill jmcenhill@eatonhouseschools.com


020 8557 7000 www.sydenhamhighschool.gdst.net The new purpose built library

THE STUDY OPENS ITS DOORS The Study Preparatory School, Wimbledon, is one of London’s leading prep schools for girls aged 4-11. Although academic rigour is at the heart of this successful school, its highly creative and nurturing ethos ensures that its girls enjoy a well-rounded and broad based education. Particularly strong in music, sport and the performing arts, the opportunities for the girls to showcase their talents and develop their skills are many, with specialist teaching from the start, a wide array of extracurricular clubs, and an individual approach to learning. Academic success stems from happy, confident and respectful girls who go on to some of the leading senior schools in the country. The Study’s 11+ success record is remarkable, with many offers and scholarships awarded each year; the total of scholarship offers over the last five years is an impressive 92. Come and see for yourself why The Study is such a special place at its forthcoming Open Morning on Saturday March 11 at between 9.30am and 12noon. 020 8947 6969 www.thestudyprep.co.uk

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017

WILLINGTON PREP NEWS Just a short walk from Wimbledon station, Willington Independent Preparatory School has a proud history of educating boys between the ages of 4-13 since 1885. The diverse and enriching curriculum offers the boys plenty of depth, academic rigour and creative opportunities. Small class sizes ensure each child is fully supported and catered for. Sport (played at the nearby playing fields) and music are an integral part of life at Willington. The ongoing building programme includes a climbing wall and purpose-built library and has already seen the launch of a new computing suite. Extra-curricular clubs range from fencing and judo to touch typing and orchestra and a comprehensive programme of educational visits and trips further enhance pupil life. At Willington, individual strengths are celebrated, effort is rewarded and self-worth fostered, cultivating a quiet confidence that develops little boys into exceptional young men. The School’s next Open Morning is Wednesday 22nd March. Call 020 8971 0452 or email admissions@willingtonschool.co.uk to book your place.


Est 1976 Ofsted registered and MEAB Accredited An independent nursery school for children 2 to 5 years

• EYFS and Montessori Method of teaching • MEAB inspected and accredited Montessori nurseries (the only ones in SW12) • Ballet, Drama, Football, French and Music classes • Morning, afternoon and full day sessions (term time only) • Summer Clubs Nightingale 1 Montessori: St Luke's Church Hall, 194 Ramsden Rd, SW12 8RQ. 07958 567210 Nightingale 2 Montessori: St Stephen's Church Hall, 35 Weir Rd, SW12 0NU. 07930 401769 Contact: info@nightingalemontessori.co.uk www.nightingalemontessori.co.uk Register early to avoid disappointment.



FREE TRIAL SESSION AT EXPLORE LEARNING We all know that the lead up to exam season can be a daunting time for child and parent. With phonics screening checks, teacher assessments, and SATs, you might often wonder how best to support your child. While there is no magic formula for exam success, there are many ways to help children feel prepared and confident about assessments.

Start early by planning ahead Revisiting a range of subject areas in manageable, weekly chunks can be much more beneficial to supporting memory, skills, and confidence than ‘cramming’.

Revising in your own way

ALLEYNS APPEARS IN SUNDAY TIMES PARENT POWER 2016 Congratulations to Alleyn’s Junior School, which appeared in the recent Sunday Times Parent Power 2016 supplement. The School made its way into the top ten of the ‘Top 100 Independent Prep Schools’ list, one of only three co-educational schools across the UK to do so. Alleyn’s Junior School Headmaster, Simon Severino, said “We pride ourselves on taking a holistic approach to the well-being and education of our boys and girls. Naturally we are pleased and proud of this result that is external validation of the academic standards that our children can achieve through hard work and the support of their teachers over the years. However, I am also clear that the sort of holistic education that we offer is so much more than just statistics. Happy boys and girls achieve high standards.” 020 8557 1500 www.alleyns.org.uk

Some children like visual representations and sticky notes around the house whereas others will respond better to conversations and answering questions aloud. Find a learning style and timetable that works for your child and create a plan to suit this.

Remain positive Be positive and praise them when you see them accomplish something great: hearing “you’ve done a fantastic job today!” will undoubtedly build their self-belief. Explore Learning offer tailored maths and English tuition from expert staff, and exam preparation workshops and parent information evenings throughout the year so that everyone feels confident at home. Centres in Fulham, Wandsworth and Nine Elms. To book your free trial session, visit www.explorelearning.co.uk/blog/exam-preparation-how-tosupport-your-child

Girls from Kensington Prep in Fulham enjoying the high tech Explore Floor



One of Parsons Green Prep School’s Year 2 teachers, Shalyn Barrie, recently travelled to Kampala in Uganda to visit a school for orphans and donate stationery and books to them. Maranatha High School in the district of Ggaba in Kampala does important work for vulnerable children, so Shalyn stuffed her rucksack with as much stationery and books donated by her Year 2 class as she could carry. The director was delighted with the new materials, which were soon being put to good use by the children. The two schools are now busy creating links between the Year 2 classes.

Kensington Prep School in Fulham now has some of the best facilities of any prep school in London, with the completion of an innovative £2.7m ‘Creating Spaces for Growing Minds’ building project. New spaces for learning include a high-tech Explore Floor, multi-media recording studio, Eco-Greenhouse and spacious classroom breakout spaces. The imaginative spaces give girls wonderful opportunities to experience independent learning, exploration and collaborative work. The new facilities have been designed to complement the girls’ excellent classroom-based learning and teaching in dedicated subject rooms including drama, IT, art and science. Parents love the regular podcasts girls are producing in the multi-media studio and there is also a green screen for video production. The school provides a rich curriculum, is academic and girls go on to the some of the top secondary schools. Its forward-thinking approach awakens girls’ curiosity and develops their creativity, collaborative skills, and courage to take risks.



Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017


THE STUDIO DAY NURSERY (Established 1987)

Montessori Teaching Method 8.00am to 7.00pm Full & Part-time Cooked Lunch & High Tea provided Boys & Girls Aged 2yrs-5yrs

93 Moore Park Road Fulham SW6 All enquires: 020 7736 9256 Principal: J.M.R. Williams, NNEB, RSH (Norlander).

0844 879 7189 www.likeminders.co.uk

All our applicants are personally interviewed and their references checked

 Nannies, Maternity Nurses, Housekeepers and Mother’s Helps  Permanent and Temporary  Residential, Daily, Full and Part-Time  Evening Babysitting Register

Tel: 020 8947 4666 Facebook: Wimbledon Nannies Twitter: @wimbledonannies


info@wimbledonnannies.co.uk www.wimbledonnannies.com 184 Copse Hill, SW20 0SP


Are you ready for 30 hours of free childcare? At the moment parents in England are entitled to the equivalent of 15 hours of childcare per week for 3 and 4-year olds. Depending on parental income, some 2-year olds also qualify. From September this provision is being doubled to the equivalent of 30 hours of free childcare per week. Read on to find out if you qualify and how the changes might affect your family.



The 30 hours of free childcare are only available to parents who work the equivalent of two days (more than 16 hours) per week and who earn less than £100,000.

As well as the prospect of extra charges, some nurseries may not be able to offer the additional hours at all, as many childcare providers fear they will struggle to provide the extra hours of free care without additional funding from the Government.

It is only available to families living in England and your child must be aged 3 or 4 when the scheme starts. The 30 hours provision does not apply to parents claiming for 2 year olds or those working less than 16 hours per week, although it looks like the current provision of 15 hours’ free childcare will still apply.

WHEN AND WHERE DOES IT START? The scheme is currently being piloted in eight local authority areas Wigan, Staffordshire, Swindon, Portsmouth, Northumberland, York, Newham and Hertfordshire. It is due to be launched across the rest of England in September 2017.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW? It is important to understand that the 30 free hours are only provided for 38 weeks of the year, not all 52. This is broadly equivalent to school term times and it works out to a total of 1,140 free hours per year (compared to 570 hours currently). The Government is encouraging childcare providers to offer the entitlement flexibly and extend the 1,140 hours over the whole year if possible. This would mean you would receive less than 30 hours of free childcare per week. While nurseries cannot charge for the 30 hours, some may start charging for ‘extras’ such as meals that they had previously provided for free.

Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of charity the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) told The Yorkshire Post: “Funding is not really adequate to deliver high quality care and providers are making less. Costs are increasing but the amount that childcare providers receive has stayed the same.” Writing in The Guardian, Neil Leitch, Chief Executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said: “The simple fact is that the 30-hour offer can only work if government funding actually covers the costs of delivering earlyyears places, something that the PLA’s Fair Future Funding campaign is calling on the government to ensure.”

OTHER CHANGES COMING IN 2017 …are you ready for these? There are a number of other changes being introduced in 2017. It was confirmed in the Autumn Statement that the National Living Wage would rise in April from £7.20 to £7.50 per hour. There have also been some changes to benefits. From April 2017 support provided through Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit will be limited to two children. This means that any subsequent children born after this date will not be eligible for further support.



How to choose a childminder There are many advantages to hiring a childminder as opposed to using commercial childcare such as a nursery. One of the main reasons is consistency; it is hugely positive to have the same person look after your child.

A childminder can also be flexible, particularly if parents work atypical hours. Socially there can be advantages as often there are several children, all of different ages, being looked after under the one roof, which can help to teach important skills as they interact together. For younger children, being looked after in a calm home environment can be preferable to a busy nursery, where it may be noisy and stressful.

HOW CAN YOU FIND A CHILDMINDER All childminders have to be registered and inspected by OFSTED in England or CSSIW in Wales, giving you peace of mind that they are carefully regulated. This means they are professional child carers who have undertaken training and professional development.

WHAT QUALIFICATIONS TO LOOK OUT FOR Childminders are required to follow the early years foundation stage (EYFS), which provides a structure of learning and care for children from birth to five years old. This ensures that they are trained to create a stimulating environment for your child.

They will also be expected to provide toys and activities suitable for the ages being looked after. Childminders must complete first aid training and a course that covers topics such as child nutrition, food hygiene and health and safety. Some childminders also complete extra courses to extend their skills. Every childminder must be checked by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), along with all adult members of their family who share their home. They will have their home properly inspected by an appropriate authority, such as OFSTED.

HOW TO MAKE THE DECISION It is common to request a trial period to make sure your child is happy with them. Ensure you visit the childminder so you can meet the childminder and see the kind of environment your little one will be exposed to. Ideally you should be able to visit as often as you need while you are making your decision, and ask as many questions as you like until you are satisfied.

Find out more about your childcare options from Families Online: www.familiesonline.co.uk/childcare


March 2017 | 020 8696 9680 | Familiesonline.co.uk


LIKEMINDERS OFFERING PERMAMENT NANNIES TOO We were pleased to hear that Like Minders, your favourite babysitting agency, has just added permanent nannies to their list of trusted services. They have some really lovely professional nannies ready to work, so do get in touch if you're looking for some help, both live in or live out. They will always match the nanny's experience and personality to your family's needs and requirements, plus you can interview each candidate, so that they can make sure that you are 100% happy with your new nanny. Their services also include babysitting, part time nannies, temporary nannies, emergency childcare and holiday nannies.

NEW BABY ROOM! The Working Mums Daycare & Pre-school in Battersea have a new baby room. They can now offer childcare from babies onwards. They offer a welcoming, warm, secure and caring environment, where children are able to experiment and have fun, take risks, learn from their experiences and grow in confidence. Please do book an appointment with the Nursery Manager Shelia Lanning to view the room. 020 7924 4204 www.workingmumsdaycare.co.uk

0844 879 7189 childcare@likeminders.co.uk www.likeminders.co.uk

GOOD NEWS FROM DOWN UNDER HEAVENLY NANNIES Local agency Heavenly Nannies has teamed up with a leading Nanny college in Australia whose graduate nannies are keen to gain 2 years overseas experience nannying in London. This, coupled with a successful partnership with a New Zealand nanny agency, means this popular local nanny agency can now offer more highly prized ‘Aussie & Kiwi’ Nannies and Junior Nannies. APNA accredited ‘Heavenly’ routinely places British nannies and nannies of all European nationalities but has seen a marked increase in demand for nannies from Commonwealth countries – possibly relating to Brexit. With thousands of successful placements behind them, the team at Heavenly can discuss your precise needs and find the best solution for your situation. You will find them friendly, professional and knowledgeable - and their fees refreshingly competitive. Nanny candidates must provide a portfolio of good references, DBS, ID and other supporting documents—all checked, and candidates are interviewed one or more times by the team. As ‘Experts in Childcare’ with years of experience, Heavenly can usually correctly determine a nanny’s ultimate suitability for your family and will guide you seamlessly through the recruitment process and beyond. Their helpful team vow to go out of their way to help you! 0333 800 8085 info@heavenlynannies.com www.heavenlynannies.com

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017

GENDER PAY GAP WIDENS FOR WOMEN WHEN THEY START A FAMILY The gender pay gap has halved for women in their 20s over the past couple of decades but it widens again once they have kids, according to a new study. The research, from think tank the Resolution Foundation, found that women born between 1946 and 1965 faced a pay gap of 16% during their 20s. This fell to 9% for women born between 1966 and 1980 and to 5% for those born between 1981 and 2000. This suggests that more young women are finding employment in higher paying roles and industries but pay inequality hits home again when they hit their 30s. According to the report, women born between 1981 and 2000 can expect a 9% pay gap by the time they reach 30, which is little different from the previous generation. Laura Gardiner, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Young women today face relatively little disadvantage in terms of their pay packets compared to what their parents' and grandparents' generation faced.” "But while many millennial women haven't experienced much of a pay gap yet, most probably will once they reach their 30s, when they start having children. What's more this pay penalty is big and long-lasting, and remains for younger generations despite the progress in early careers."


LITTLE ANGELS NURSERY SCHOOL A Traditional Teaching Nursery - Learning through Play We are an Ofsted rated 'Good' day care nursery school. We lay the foundation of learning where your child's interests form the base to develop their full potential. Our nursery is very homely and friendly, and staff are fully qualified with many years' experience in Early Years. Open all year round 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday except bank holidays and four weeks in a year. 15 hours weekly free sessions available for 2-4yrs. Please contact our office on 020 7274 8333. info@littleangelsbrixton.co.uk www.littleangelsbrixton.co.uk 50 Gresham Road, Brixton, SW9 7NL


Babies • SEN • Easter Listings part 2 If you want to be listed or advertise please contact us on editor@familiesSW.co.uk




How to find the perfect nanny with the help of an agency Employing a nanny to look after your child is one of the most important choices you will make. After all, this person will feed, nurture, comfort and play with your little one whilst you are not there. It needs to be the right person for you and your child. So how do you go about finding your own modern-day Mary Poppins? Be prepared - finding the best nanny for your family can take time and energy. You can advertise, ask friends and families for recommendations, use an online nanny service, or if it seems too daunting to do the search on your own, you can use an agency.

DOING IT YOURSELF If you have placed your own advert for a nanny position, then be prepared to sift through the responses you receive – sometimes upwards of twenty responses per position - to make your shortlist of nannies to interview. Applications need to be checked, references followed up and work experience verified. DBS checks (the new CRB check) must be done, driving licence checks made if your nanny is to use the car, and ensuring first aid qualifications are up to date.

USING AN AGENCY Using an agency speeds up this process because they act as a screening service to weed out applicants with poor job histories or references. The nannies on their books are already vetted and ready to work. A good agency will recognize the importance of not just a quick placement, but of ensuring compatibility between the nanny and the family. The agency should have considered your criteria in looking for a nanny and tailored their recommendations to suit your needs.

FINDING A GOOD MATCH Diana Keverian-Rand, co-founder of Nappy Valley Nannies based in South West London, explains that they meet all their nannies personally and aim to get to know them so that they can match their personality with a suitable family: ‘We treat our nannies as family. We pride ourselves on the relationships we build with our families as well as our nannies.’ Meeting your prospective nanny in person is crucial. Just like buying a house, employing a nanny is a very personal thing. What looks perfect on paper may not have the right ‘feel’ for you. Diana Keverian-Rand also

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017

points out that a CV does not always reflect a nanny accurately and this is where direct verbal references are important. ‘The family may be declining a nanny who is perfect for them!’

STAYING POWER Using a nanny who has signed up with a professional agency usually means they are a career nanny and not, say, a student from abroad who wants to travel and sees childcare as a temporary means of achieving this and who may move on just as your child has become attached to them. This also works in reverse. Nannies may be attracted to signing with an agency because the families using them are paying a fee and are therefore committed to employing a nanny on a long-term basis, thus avoiding the bête noire of nannies —having to look for a new role every six months.

WEIGHING UP THE COSTS It is worth bearing in mind that although using an agency can cost more than the other options, it does offer you a degree of protection. Nappy Valley Nannies for example, has a trial period of eight weeks, so that if your nanny isn’t working out as you’d hoped, they offer either a partial refund or will start a new search and replace the nanny free of charge. And as an additional benefit, you receive the ongoing advice or mediation an agency offers to smooth out any issues that may arise after a nanny is placed. Diana told us: “We are by far one of the most competitive agencies out there. We pride ourselves on the meticulous work we do, the relationship we build with our families as well as nannies and know that the best form of advertisement is referral be it from the families who we have helped or nannies who recommend us to fellow nannies as one of the most caring agencies to register with.” So, if you are time-poor, an agency could help you streamline your search, offer you support and make it as stress-free as possible to find, not just any nanny, but the perfect nanny for you. 020 8946 5320 www.NappyValleyNannies.co.uk





‘I made it myself’. Age 7-12, half day 10am-1pm or 1.45-4.45pm, £28, full day 10am-4.45pm, £56. Plus Young Designers club age 1318, 10-13 April, see website for details.


Sew Pretty Easter workshops

We took every care in preparing these entries but sometimes events are cancelled or times changed. Please double check event with the organiser to avoid disappointment. Compiled by Joanna Parry

ARTS AND CRAFTS EDDIE CATZ Putney, Wimbledon and Earlsfield First Floor, 68-70 Putney High Street SW15 1SF 42 Station Road SW19 2LP 279 Magdalen Road SW18 3NZ 020 3475 5268 www.eddiecatz.com Throughout Easter Holidays Holiday Workshops With three branches now in SW London, there will be plenty of Easter Camps to choose from. Prices usually include lunch and a free play at the venue. Eddie Catz appears in all venues twice a day to meet and greet the children.

THE CRAFTHOUSE 329 Upper Richmond Road West, East Sheen SW14 8QR 020 8487 2863 www.thecrafthouseuk.com 3-21 April Holiday Art Workshops Exciting art and craft and sewing workshops based on seasonal art. 10am-3pm daily, age 5-10, see website for details and to book.

THE CREATIVITY ROOM Venue TBC in Clapham area 07852 336 405 info@thecreativityroom.co.uk www.thecreativityroom.co.uk

March/April dates TBC Easter Workshop Exciting, creative workshops for children aged 5-10. Find out more at www.thecreativityroom.co.uk.

CUCKOO HIBOU 181 New Kings Road SW6 4SW 020 7731 5552 www.cuckoohibou.com 3-13 April Easter Cuckoo Club A multiactivity morning club with ballet, cookery class, music and arts and crafts. Age 2.5 to 6, 9.30am-12pm, £35 per morning / £160 for the week. Email to book on info@cuckoohibou.com

PLAY WITH PAINT PLAY WITH PAINT 07779 100 659 @paintwritenow www.paintwritenow.co.uk Workshops in Wimbledon for 6-11 year olds with Katherine Smith, Oxford Graduate. Fridays 10/3 and 7/4, 4.30pm5.30pm at Holy Trinity Church £20 per child, payment in advance to reserve place. The workshops are a space in which students can experiment and be playful with art, and in this way develop intuition as artists. Formal focuses will be colour and composition.

Venues in Chelsea 020 7385 5565, admin@clubpetitpierrot.co.uk www.clubpetitpierrot.co.uk 3-7 April French Easter Holiday Clubs Creative activities and fun projects such as arts and crafts, cooking, singing, dancing, sporty games, theatre and language games in French. 9am-3pm with half-day sessions also available, ages 3-5 and 6-8. Book early to avoid disappointment! 1 April Fun French Easter Session Storytelling, singing and dancing sessions, 9.45-10.15am (1-3 years), 10.30-11.15am (3-6 years) at lovely French bookshop Librairie La Page, 7 Harrington Road, SW7 3ES. Booking necessary.

NAOMI MARTIN TOUCH TYPING Sinclair House School, 59 Fulham High Street SW6 3JJ 07949 204553, www.nmtouchtyping.co.uk 27-31 March, 3-7 and 10-13 April Touch Typing Courses Touch typing courses for children aged 7+, classes are 90 minutes long, £250 for the week. Classes are mixed age and ability. Sibling discounts available.



Parsons Green Prep School, 1 Fulham Park Road, Fulham SW6 4LJ 020 7731 0695 / 07790 912318, hello@yellowbirdeducation.com www.yellowbirdeducation.com 29 March – 13 April Easter Creative Writing Workshops Exciting, creative workshops. 29-31 March at 10am2pm - £299, 3-7 April at 10am1.30pm - £369, 10-13 April at 10am-2pm - £339. Book online.

ET PATATI PATATA Thomas’ Academy, Parsons Green SW7 07966 893674, caroline@etpatatipatata.com www.etpatatipatata.com 3-7 April Fun French Day Camp Learn French without leaving London! 30 hours per week of French immersion led by an experienced native French teacher, 9am-3pm, ages 4-6, 7-10 and 12-16. A wide range of fun activities including Pop French Music, French cooking, French Art, Capoeira, Science Day, French Coding and more.

MUSIC AND DRAMA AMANDA’S ACTION CLUB Skylark Café, Wandsworth Common SW18 3RT 01895 623999, info@amandasactionclub.co.uk www.amandasactionclub.co.uk Throughout Easter Holidays Active Music Baby and Toddler Classes Fun and energetic, for little ones and older children too. £10 pay as you go, check website for times.

SEW PRETTY Wimbledon Park Road SW19 6PE 07714 252660, www.sewpretty.me.uk 3-13 April Easter Sewing Workshops Feeling creative? Want to become a fashion designer? Or maybe just wanting to try something different and be proud to say to your friends

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017

Learn French with Et Patati Patata while having fun!





EASTER CONFIDENCE & RESILIENCE COURSES Role Models are holding fun and unique Confidence & Resilience Courses for ages 8-12 from April 3-7th (10am – 3pm) at Chelsea Academy School & KCS Wimbledon School. The courses include teambuilding exercises, interview skills, debating & public speaking. They focus on developing a growth mindset and the key ‘soft’ skills required to thrive in different environments at school, at home and in life ahead. Cost is £390+VAT (including lunch).

Learn more: www.rolemodels.me 020 3637 7107.

CHELSEA QUAVERS The Hall of Remembrance, Flood Street SW3 5SY 07899 678 655 www.chelseaquavers.com 10-13 April Easter Music Workshops Includes body percussion, singing, musical activities, games, puzzles, improvisation and performance opportunities on a variety of instruments, combining to give every child an experience to remember. Singing, musical activities, games, puzzles, writing music and more. Age 4-12, 9am1pm, £75 per day; age 5-12, 9am4pm, £95 per day.


Chelsea Academy, Lots Road SW10 0AB www.chickenshed.org.uk 10-13 April Chickenshed Kensington and Chelsea Easter Holiday Project A great opportunity for children to develop their performance shills in drama, music, dance and singing. Create an original piece based on ideas and concepts from The Grimm Fairy Tales that family and friends will be invited to see at the end of the week. £100, 50% discount for siblings, 10am-4pm daily, age 6-11.

ALLSORTS DRAMA 020 8767 5298 or 020 8969 3249 www.allsortsdrama.com Several venues, see website for details & booking. Allsorts drama for children will be running their popular Easter drama workshops for ages 4-6 & 7-11yrs. The children will have fun with games, prop making and working towards a show that they will perform to family and friends on the last day. Term time classes for ages 4–16 in SW1, W11 and NW3. Free trial class for the summer term.

FUNKY MONKEY Keyboard Classes Streatham, Battersea, Herne Hill, Beckenham 01732 457100, mail@funkymonkey.info www.funkymonkey.info 3-14 April Funky Chicken

Tumble into Wonderland with Perform Drama Easter Music Workshops These Funky Chicken workshops are brilliant taster one or five day courses for 4-9 year olds. Carefully devised fun-packed, one day or week long courses - read, play and write notes C-A alongside learning basic keyboard technique. Wrap this around inspired activities including composition, artwork, singing and performance and you have the perfect course that little ones love. Booking early essential 10 places ONLY per course.

PERFORM DRAMA • Clapham South – St Francis Xavier College SW12 8EN • Kensington – Baden Powell House SW7 5JS 020 7255 9120 enquiries@perform.org.uk www.perform.org.uk/wonderland 10-12 April Alice in Wonderland Holiday Courses. Tumble into Wonderland this Easter holiday with an unforgettable treat for 4-7 year olds. Things get ‘curiouser and curiouser’ thanks to tea with The Mad Hatter, a game of imaginary flamingo croquet, and an amusing chat with The Cheshire

Cat. The course ends with a minimusical, complete with costumes, for family and friends to enjoy. 10am-3pm, £225 for 3 days, 25% sibling discount, book on 020 7255 9120.

SPARKS (formerly Studio Film School) Broomwood Hall School, Nightingale Lane SW12 8NR 3-5 April. Sparks Movie Making Course - Licenced to Thrill This Easter we’re making a spinetingling thriller movie to keep your audience on the edge of their seats! Members will develop skills in directing, camera operation, and acting too. With plenty going on behind and in front of the camera, members will come away with new skills and a thriller movie to be proud of! 9am - 3pm. To book, visit www.sparks-ignite.com, or call 020 7101 9329.

March 2017 | 020 8696 9680 | Familiesonline.co.uk


Battersea Northcote Lodge, 26 Bolingbroke Grove SW11 6EL 07956 288928, battersea@stagecoach.co.uk www.stagecoach.co.uk/battersea 11-12 April Easter Holiday Performing Arts Camp 3 days of fabulous musical theatre activities for ages 4-6, 9.30am-12.30pm and ages 7-16, 10am-4pm each day. Free performances at the end of the course. Brilliant all round confidence building and performing arts perfecting fun!

and mini gig also included. Receive a USB wristband with your MP3 on it – a perfect gift to send to friends and family. 10am-4pm, 4-12 years.

SPORT BATTERSEA SPORTS CENTRE Hope Street SW11 2DA 020 8871 8529, bsc@wandsworth.gov.uk www.wandsworth.gov.uk/bsc 3-7 April Holiday Fun Holiday sports, activities and fun, ages 6-13, £13 per day, drop in only, or £40 for the week, which is bookable.

THE STRINGS CLUB At the London Steiner School, 9 Weir Road, Balham, SW12 0LT 0121 296 9204 www.thestringsclub.org/easter-sw Award-winning Ofsted registered Holiday Camps offering range of high-quality musical experiences, specifically centred around stringed instruments including ukulele, violin, guitar and cello. A friendly, fun filled and inspiring musical adventure for 4-11 year olds. Camp runs for 2 weeks from 3rd of April. Quote FAMILIESSW2017 for up to 10% off for advance bookings for Holiday Camps and Term Time Courses. Book in advance to save more!

UPBEAT MUSIC Thomas’ Academy, Parsons Green SW6 07816 901396, upbeatmusic@btinternet.com www.upbeatmusiccourses.co.uk 3-7 April Easter Holiday Course Write a song, record it and then perform it. Singing, dance, guitars, drums


High-quality musical experiences with the Strings Club (and 10% off)

Enjoy a Sparks movie making course


CENTRAL LONDON GOLF CENTRE Burntwood Lane SW17 0AT www.clgc.co.uk 23 March - 21 April Junior Golf Camps The camps are for junior golfers of all ages and abilities, giving them the opportunity to receive coaching, participate in challenges and competitions and practice all areas of golf including a driving range, course and adventure putting course. Full day £45, half day £30, 9am-3pm.

FULHAM FC FOUNDATION Venues in Fulham 0870 442 5432, holidaycourses@fulhamfc.com www.fulhamfc.com Throughout Easter Holidays Holiday Courses Holiday courses for all abilities in a fun and challenging environment. 3-5yrs, 911am, 6-14 yrs, 9am-3pm, from £15 per day.

SWIMWAY 020 8871 3972 www.swimway.co.uk Courses in Balham, East Sheen, Kew Gardens, Putney, Wandsworth Common, Wimbledon and Kensington, from 3rd to 7th April (5 days) and 6th to 9th April (4 days). Swimway courses are extremely popular so best to book quickly.

WIGMORE TENNIS CLUB LITTLE GYM Smugglers Way SW18 1DB 020 8874 6567, wandsworth_fulham@thelittlegym.eu www.wandsworthfulham.thelittlegym.eu Throughout Easter Holidays Christmas Fun Don’t miss out on these ever popular camps at their Wandsworth gym. These 3-hour camps (OFSTED approved) for over 3s build new skills and develop confidence while the kids have loads of FUN. Call the team for specific timings.

43 Becmead Avenue, SW16 www.tenniscoaching.london A great little club with great teachers. Introduction to all the strokes in tennis, technical and tactical advice, and an opportunity to develop skills in a relaxed environment. For children 3-14yrs of all abilities. Either from 10am-12:30pm or from 10am-3pm, with the option of having extended hours in the morning and at end of the day. Sessions for tots aged 3-4 from 10-11am.

CHELSEA FC SOCCER SCHOOL Venues across SW London 020 7957 8220 londondevelopment@chelseafc.com / soccerschools@chelseafc.com www.chelseafc.com/foundation / www.chelseasoccerschools.co.uk Throughout Easter Holidays London Soccer School For boys and girls aged 4-13. Times vary according to course, from £30.

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017

Alpine French School offer a fantastic range of sporting activities


EASTER HOLIDAY LISTINGS PART 1  WIMBLEDON PARK WATERSPORTS Home Park Road SW19 7HX 020 8947 4894, www.merton.gov.uk/leisurerecreation-and-culture/active-kidsschool-holiday-courses 3-7 and 10-13 April Easter Holiday Courses Make new friends on this fun multiwatersports course based on both water and land, plus sailing courses for all abilities from novice to advanced. Age 8-16, 10am-4pm, 37 April £265, 10-13 April £220.

YOUNGSTARS Multi-Sports and Activity Camp Balham, Clapham, Parsons Green, Putney and Wimbledon 07749 343116, info@youngstars.co.uk www.young-stars.co.uk 3-13 April Easter Holiday Camps Plenty of fun, games and excitement whilst kids are introduced to all aspects of sports in an all inclusive and non-competitive environment. 310 years, times and prices vary.

SPECIAL EVENT FESTIVAL OF FUNK! The Bedford, Balham, SW12 9HD www.funkymoves.com Sunday 23rd April The popular family event was the talk of SW London when it launched in 2015, and with two years in the planning for this year’s festival, it is definitely returning



bigger and better than ever before! The afternoon is full of non-stop dance activities, including break dancing superheroes, workshops and free disco dancing, arts and crafts, baby play areas, pop up photo booths, giveaways, fully licensed bars in every room, luxury goodie bags and much, much more! From 2 -5pm. £15 for adults £10 for kids (under 16)

DAY CAMPS LITTLE HOUSE OF SCIENCE Imperial College, Coopers Arms Chelsea, Kensington United and Hollywood Arms, SW10 0800 092 1062 www.littlehouseofscience.com Little House of Science foster children’s curiosity and re-enforce STEM related subjects in a fun, project-based way. 11, 12 and 13th April: Aeronautics and Forces. 18, 19, 20th April Ladybugs & Echosystem. All workshops are 2h long, for 4-9 yrs. £45/child.

SUPERCAMPS Venues across SW London 01235 467300, www.supercamps.co.uk Throughout Easter Holidays Holiday Activity Camps The ultimate in fun and games with a wide range of non-stop activities. Early Years crews for 4 to 5 year olds ensures learning and development within a fun environment. The 6 to 9 year old crews can explore new activities

Have a go at golf with Central London Golf Centre and take on new challenges such as The Avengers School of Archery, Super Camps Driving School and Motor Mania. 10 to 12 year olds can come together in their very own common room as well as spend more time tackling activities in depth. Prices start from £38 per day.

SUMMER HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES ALPINE FRENCH SCHOOL juniors@alpinefrenchschool.com www.alpinefrenchschool.com/juniors French language summer camps: residential, day or family camp options available. Based in Morzine, just 1 hour from Geneva in the French Alps, improve your

language skills and try some great adventure activities at Alpine French School’s French Summer Camp. 9th July – 19th August, for children aged 6-17 years.

FARM BOCKETTS FARM Fetcham, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 9BS 01372 363764 www.bockettsfarm.co.uk 1-18th April Plenty of animals for you to see in the undercover barn plus goat milking, animal handling, pig racing, tractor rides, pony rides etc. You might be lucky and see baby animals being born! Easter Quiz Trail with chocolate treats! See website for timings.

March 2017 | 020 8696 9680 | Familiesonline.co.uk




©National Trust Images

The National Trust has teamed up with Cadbury to offer families across London the ultimate weekend with their ever-popular Easter Egg Hunts and plenty of fun along the way. Unleash your inner explorers through muddy woodlands, around mystical lakes, along nature trails and through spring gardens blooming with life. Please visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk for full details.

There are eight Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts to choose from across London, these two are local:

Morden Hall Park Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, 14 - 17 April, 10am - 5pm Morden Hall Park's favourite and busiest event of the year, where you'll search all across bridges, meadows and our new wetlands boardwalk for clues about different animal homes that will lead you to Bunny's secret stash of chocolate. Tell us the answer to all of the clues and you'll receive your delicious prize, a Cadbury chocolate Easter bunny. Price: £4 Easter Baskets, 10 – 13 April, 10am-12noon Make a green Easter basket in the garden centre and bring it with you to the Cadbury Egg Hunt. Price: £2 per basket.

STREET AND HIP HOP DANCE CLASSES FOR 6-12 YEAR OLDS Fresh, modern, exciting and exhilarating, Perform X dance classes are unique high-energy weekly sessions designed to boost children’s coordination, improve their concentration and give children a fun energetic way to develop physical skills, get fit and have fun. Combining energetic games, physical improvisations and exhilarating moves, these weekly sessions are not only great fun but are also guaranteed to get young hearts beating faster. And, with studies citing British children as being among the least active in the world, never before has it been so important to get children moving.

©National Trust Images

Perform X classes use original street and hip-hop music and are based around a specially designed curriculum. All class materials are produced by Perform and at the end of each term, there's a performance of a choreographed piece to a specially written track. FREE, no-obligation trial. Bookings can be made by calling 020 7255 9126 or by visiting www.perform.org.uk/x

Ham House and Garden, Richmond Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, 14 – 17 April, 10am – 5pm Help Bunny find hidden clues and answer questions along the way, and receive a scrumptious chocolate bunny prize to take home with you. Price: £3 (Normal admission prices apply). Easter holiday fun, Sat 1 – Thu 13 Apr 10am-5pm Come and play during the Easter break. There’ll be art activities, storytelling, spring trail and a range of 50 things activities. Normal admission prices apply.

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017





Feeling skint? There’s lots to do in London for free! Compiled by Joanna Parry Come along to this drop-in session for a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with some of their archaeological finds and learn more about the rich history of this ancient site. No booking necessary.


Many free family workshops at the British Library

Geffrye Museum 136 Kingsland Road, Hoxton E2 8EA www.geffrye-museum.org.uk Every Saturday in March Fun children’s activities including Quiz Desk, Feely Box and Backpacks. 12.30-4.30pm.




Bank of England Museum Bartholomew Lane EC2R 8AH www.bankofengland.co.uk/museum 3 - 13 April Join the hunt to find the hidden chicks and golden egg by following the trail around the Museum and then decorate an Easter animal mask or finger puppet to take home. There’s a chocolate egg for every child.

Foundling Museum 40 Brunswick Square WC1N 1AZ, www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk 4 April Play Photography Build an imaginative play area out of recycled household materials in this artist-led family workshop inspired by Child’s Play. Age 5+, sessions 10am, 1pm and 3pm. 7 April Knots and Ropes Learn how to tie knots and make your own skipping rope in this free family workshop. Age 5+, sessions 10am, 1pm and 3pm.

100 London Road SE23 3PQ www.horniman.ac.uk 4-7 April Easter Holidays: Spring is in the Air Decorate plant pots, make scented herb bags and create garden animals from clay. Age 11 and under, 10.30am-12.30pm and 2-4pm. 12 April Big Wednesdays: Spring A day of family activities in the Museum including art, performance and storytelling inspired by the start of spring. 11am-3.30pm. Drop in. 14 and 17 April A World of Stories - Good Friday and Easter Monday Their popular storytellers bring the collections alive with stories from around the world. 11am, 12.15pm, 2pm and 3.15pm, drop in. 15 and 16 April Horniman Easter Fair Find goodies in their special arts and crafts market, go on an Easter Egg trail, or venture through the rabbit hole.

FAMILY SATURDAYS Battersea Arts Centre Lavender Hill SW11 5TN www.bac.org.uk Final Saturday of the month Fun, free activities for ages 0-11, including face painting, music, toy and clothes swaps, plus older children and young people can get involved in their Homegrown programme. Includes The Bee’s Knees, a magical indoor play space for ages 0-5. 10am-1.30pm, free, (The Bee’s Knees is £3 per child).

PLAY ON WORDS British Library NW1 2DB www.bl.uk/whatson/events 25 March Play with words and performance in this creative family workshop. Gathering inspiration from across the British Library’s collection, explore how artists, writers and musicians have experimented with chance and random selection to make art, poetry and performance. 10.30am-12pm and 1-2.30pm, drop in, age 5-11.

FOOTBALL FOR WOMEN On Wandsworth Common (Bolingbroke side of the common, opposite Morella road) on Saturdays 12:15 - 13:15 or 14.00. To join email bfcmums@gmail.com Broomwood Football club is now offering football training sessions for women for all ages and ability in the community. Membership for the season 16/17 is free – funded by the Sports and Recreation Alliance’s prize money. It’s fun and better exercise then running apparently!

HANDS-ON ARCHAEOLOGY Fulham Palace Bishop’s Avenue SW6 6EA www.fulhampalace.org 19 March

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017

MUSEUM OF LONDON EC2Y 5HN www.museumoflondon.org.uk 19 March Digital Workshop Step into a Victorian photograph, make an animation of a prehistoric animal and explore contemporary London. Age 5+, 12.30-1.30pm, 2-3pm and 3.30-4.30pm, free. 11-12 March Family Festival - Families Find Out Investigate the Great Fire of London like never before with students from Imperial College London and get ready to be

inspired by science and technology in this extravaganza of activities in the galleries. All ages. Sundays in March Museum Explored Explore the galleries through fun, hands-on activities. 11am and 2pm. Plus, join a fun and engaging tour of the museum’s galleries, especially for families. Age 5+, 2-2.30pm. Saturdays in March Hands-on history Hear incredible London stories as you touch and hold real museum objects. Age 5+, 2-4pm. Wednesdays in March Little Moles Toddlers Group and Mini Moles Babies Group Fun, hands-on, creative sessions for toddlers, parents and carers. 3.30-4.30pm, book in advance. Plus sensory, hands-on, play-based activities for you and your baby to enjoy together, 11am-12pm.

MAGIC CARPET STORYTELLING The National Gallery Trafalgar Square WC2N 5DN www.nationalgallery.org.uk Every Sunday in March and April Fly away on a magic carpet, which comes to land in front of a different painting each week, and join Paul Rubinstein for a musical magic carpet storytelling. Age 2+, 10.30– 11am and 11.30am-12pm.

NCT MEET UP Gambado Chelsea, 7 Townmead Road SW6 2PY www.nct.org.uk/branches/kensington -chelsea Every Wednesday in March and April A great opportunity to meet other mums with babies under 1. 9.3011am, £1, show your NCT card to get in.

TOY LIBRARY Sure Start Roehampton Roehampton Centre, 166 Roehampton Lane SW15 4HR www.eastwood.wandsworth.sch.uk Tuesdays and Fridays in March and April Weekly sessions where children aged 0-5 years can play with educational toys to help their learning and listen to stories. No need to book.



To learn language, infants need parents, not tablets If you are one of those parents who splashed out on an educational app or DVD for your baby, hoping to transform them into the next Einstein, then read on. For a fascinating new study from New York University shows that the best learning tool for language development in infants isn’t on a screen, but through face to face time with their parents.

Contrary to popular belief, babies and infants don’t learn language from apps, television or videos—even those that come with the word ‘educational’ on them. When babies seem mesmerized by the sounds, shapes and movement on the screen, we mistake their focus for learning. But research shows they aren’t actually processing the language that accompanies the sounds and images.

STUDY A study compared two groups: the first group of mothers repeated words such as ‘flower’ ‘grass’ and ‘water’ regularly to their babies during their day. In the second group the mums were given a DVD of exactly the same words and pictures to play to their babies. Babies who had been exposed to the words by their mothers, had actually learned the words. The DVD babies however, had not.

SOCIAL INTERACTION Social interaction is such an important factor in language development, particularly of infants, because of the reactions and responsiveness between the parent (or caregiver) and the infant – something development psychologists call ‘synchrony’. This rapport—the smiling, speaking and gesturing back and forth between a parent and baby—are a critical factor in learning, but crucial for the baby on an emotional level too. Something an app would struggle to mimic.

REACTION AND CONTEXT For example, a baby might move towards a toy truck. The parent sees this and says the word ‘truck’ or describes what the baby is trying to do: ‘Are you trying to reach the truck?’ This helps the baby learn the words for the objects and the events in their world. As an app or DVD can’t work out what a child is looking at, it can’t react in the same way.

VOCAL CUES Nor can an app or DVD give the rich vocal cues that we as parents offer our babies. Our looks, gestures and changes in the pitch and tone of our voices can act like a spotlight in a play—focusing the babies attention on what is important: ‘Wow! Look! Here’s your cup!’ These richly responsive exchanges form the best building blocks of a baby’s growing vocabulary.

BUILDING VOCABULARY No one knows a child like a parent does. A parent knows that when he says ‘Ba’ when playing with a ball, he is trying to say ‘ball’ and can encourage him. Once a baby can say ‘ball’, the parent moves on to teach them other new words. And so a child’s vocabulary builds. Parents are also more likely to use a wider range of words to describe things such as colours and tastes, which again expands a child’s knowledge. Professor Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda who ran the research commented: ‘Parents employ an array of skills to help infants understand. No computer can know so well the infant who is watching the video – parents are better than any algorithm.’

Copyright INSERM study on the impact of television on children


Drawing of children aged 5-6 years having spent less than one hour of television a day

Drawing of children aged 5-6 years having spent more than three hours of television a day It appears it is not just language development that is adversely affected by too much screen time

INTENT Astonishingly, research has shown that babies can recognize that people have intentions and goals, but cannot recognize this in screen characters. Babies were shown a hand reaching for an object, but switching to take a second object. The babies became interested because they thought the person had preferred the first object. When the hand was replaced with a mechanical claw, the babies were disinterested in the outcome. It was the human aspect of the experiment that held meaning for the babies.

DADS, THE BRIDGE TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD Other research has showed that Dads have an important contribution to make to their infant’s language development. The research showed that as mums generally may spend more time with the baby, when the baby says ‘haa’, the mum understands the baby wants water. When Dad spends time with the baby he wouldn’t necessarily know this and so would ask the baby more questions. The result was that the baby eventually changed what he said to ‘water’ in order to be understood by Dad. By challenging their infants to express themselves more clearly to fit in, Dads ‘act as a bridge to the outside world.’

NOT ALL TECHNOLOGY IS BAD For those parents who fear that their children won’t grow up to be digital natives without early access to technology—rest assured. Research has also shown that a child’s computing technical skills won’t be adversely affected if they wait until the ages of three or four. And finally, for parents who travel or have grandparents who live far away from their children, there is some good screen news—video chat apps such as Skype can help with language learning. All the more reason then to call Grandad a bit more. It’s educational.

Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda is Professor of Developmental Psychology at New York University. Read the full unedited article in Child and Family Blog. www.childandfamilyblog.com

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017


| A place to meet, to learn and to inspire each other...|


Lydie Parties Children/Adults 07957 296 675 www.lydieparties.com Let’s get the party started!

WORKSHOPS • EVENTS • MEETINGS COURSES • CHILDREN’S PARTIES ACTIVITIES • EXHIBITIONS VENUE for Families–Children–Adults Need to hire a place for a one-off event, to run a course, a yoga class or for a private party?

Calling all baby Scientists! Help us discover how babies learn! Calling all infants from birth to 18 months to take part in fun studies at the Birkbeck Babylab in central London. We provide a black cab if you live within 5 miles of Birkbeck, or we refund any travel expenses. 020 7631 6258 babylab@bbk.ac.uk www.cbcd.bbk.ac.uk

Reliable Handyman • Garden maintenance and building work (fences, patios, sheds, etc..) • Jobs around the house (carpentry, painting, fitting furniture, etc…) • Upcycling furniture and Shabby Chic items available

£30/hour. Call Brian: 0774 513 6424

PAINTING & DECORATING Interior / Exterior Experienced, Reliable, Clean Fully Guaranteed / Insured FREE ADVICE & QUOTE John:- James & Lamont

020 8462 4646 - 07802 535695


The Living Room A new venue for meetings and events on the Furzedown/Streatham border. This small-scale venue is designed to provide homely, flexible space for events, workshops,etc... 19 Thrale Road, Furzedown, London, SW16 1NS info@TheLivingRoom.Place 020 8696 9680 Social media: @LivingRoomPlace


Eleven popular party themes There are few things that children enjoy more than their birthday party, but as a parent, it can be difficult to know how to meet their expectations. Whether you're trying to think of an original party idea, or are determined to keep up with the Joneses, here are eleven popular children party themes that are great for the little ones (and plenty of fun for you, too!).



Superhero-themed parties are becoming increasingly gender-friendly, with plenty of popular female superheroes. Whether it's Batman or Cat Woman, Superman or Supergirl, Green Lantern or Wonder Woman, Thor or Harley Quinn, there are superheroes galore to choose from. Always popular for fancy dress parties, this is perhaps the easiest choice to go for when picking a theme because there are so many costumes, decorations, and gift options available. You can focus on your child's favourite superhero, or make it a medley with a bunch of different ones.

A tried and tested classic theme is Disney. There are literally hundreds of Disney characters to choose from and, much like superheroes, this theme lends itself to either single character or film focus, or an array of all the different Disney darlings. It's also a great theme to choose for parties with both boys and girls in attendance. Keep an eye out for good deals when looking for party favours, as there is a lot of unofficial Disney merchandise available that won't break the bank!

PRINCESS A classic for little ones every where, the princess themed party is as popular with adults as it is with children. Big dresses, fancy shoes, beautifully quaffed hair, and tiaras. You can really go all out with this theme and get creative: turn a big chair into an elaborate throne, get a red carpet, and don't forget the royal party favours - child-sized clutches and dress-shaped bags make great goody bags! An elaborate princess castle cake is also a must-have for this theme.

TRY Action Station: They offer imaginative interactive storytelling

parties. Choose from mermaids, funky witches and wizards, fairies or princesses, pirates, knights or cowboys, spies or drama parties. Clowns, magicians, jugglers, circus skills experts, face painters, make- up artists and DJs also available. www.theactionstation.co.uk

TRY Bedazzled: Whether it be fairies saving the captured princess,

pirates searching for treasure, the children will feel like they visited a magical land and will be chatting about it long after the party finishes. www.bedazzledevents.org.uk

COOKERY Another unusual theme to try out is cookery parties. If your children enjoy baking, making pizza, or even trying their hand at something a little more complicated, this is for them. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes that will host children's parties and teach the children to cook. If not, you can get them all floppy hats, aprons, and rolling pins, and stage your own Master Chef tournament at home! TRY Kids en Cuisine: Choose from a variety of options like Smoothie

party, Pizza making or Biscuits party. Invitations, aprons chef hats and party bags included. www.kidsencuisine.com ORDER from Pappa Ciccia: They can deliver their authentic Italian pizzas to any venue or even to a park! www.pappaciccia.com

PIRATES Children absolutely love a good pirate party to make them go “arghhhh”. Party invitations can be really creative too. Simply make your own treasure map with “X marks the spot” and a pirate poem for good measure. Get the little ones to dress up as a pirate or their favourite character from a pirate film, Tinkerbell anyone?! TRY Gymboree Play & Music: They provide exclusive use of their

playroom and Reception Area and a teacher to lead activities based on a theme of your choice, tailored to your child’s interests. The theme could be anything that you wish. Lots of fun with zero clean up! www.gymboree-uk.com/Putney

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017





Children love putting on a costume, love make believe and role play: they can invent stories, invent characters and create a world of their own. Provide a trunk full of dressing up clothes, a few props like sunglasses, belts, hats etc and a place to play (under the trampoline, under a tree, in a darkened room etc) and leave them to it!

A birthday party without magic is like a 99 without the flake. Magic is part of children’s world, they adore magic and seeing their eyes light up with excitement and joy is priceless! TRY Richard Pinner:

Drawing on 25 years of personal experience, Richard’s shows are perfect for modern children, maintaining traditional birthday party values whilst using cutting edge magic. www.MagicAndLaughter.co.uk

TRY Stagecoach: Their Parties

are packed full of fun, lively party entertainment including dramatic Perform Parties games, fabulous songs and fun for everyone. Themed Parties (for ages 4-10yrs) or Murder Mysteries (for ages 11-16yrs). www.stagecoach.co.uk/parties TRY Perform Parties: Their parties are high energy, fun and totally

infectious. Choose a theme and watch the guests enjoy lots of lively games, songs and improvisations. www.perform.org.uk/parties

TRADITIONAL TEA PARTY Pretty florals and pastel colours are the key to this theme, so start by making invitations festooned with flowers cut from wrapping paper. Ask the children to dress up as if they are going for afternoon tea at a posh hotel. Girls can wear pretty dresses and boys can put on smart trousers and a shirt. This theme really suits all those old-fashioned party games like Pass the Parcel and Musical Chairs. Make some dainty sandwiches with the crusts cut off, with little cakes and serve them on vintage mismatched cups and saucers.

WITCHES AND WIZARDS The rise of Harry Potter has popularised witches and wizards to the point that most magical themed parties are now specifically Harry Potter Create your own mosaic with Prickly Poppy affairs. If you have a Potteraddict on your hands, this is definitely a good way to go, but don't shy away from this theme if your children aren't mad about the Potterverse. There's great fun to be had with witches and wizards, from Gandalf to Glinda, and Merlin to Witchfire. Wands, cauldrons, capes, and broomsticks are all must-haves. If you are going down the Harry Potter route, stage your own game of Quidditch - if not, magical duels, broomstick races and, of course, an actual magician will go down a storm!

FOOTBALL Not just for the boys, a football party is great to get boys and girls to play together. Ask the children to come dressed for a game of football - they can wear their school PE kit if they don’t have a football shirt. If you can, ask a coach from a local five aside team to come to the party to teach the children some new skills such as keepy-uppy. Round off with a friendly match. TRY Playball for a ball skills party: You can make use of all the Playball

TRY Lydie’s parties: Lydie offers

drills and equipment (big bouncy balls, hoops, bean bags, beacons, shapes, ropes). The children can do the activities and games according to a particular sport such as football, hockey, basketball, tennis, cricket or rugby etc. www.playballlondon.com

truly fabulous Fashion tea parties with a twist for glamour girls who enjoy having fun with fashion and all its accessories! www.lydieparties.com

TRY Adam Ants: In addition to magic, balloon modelling, puppets,


music, dancing, games, face painting, they also offer amazing disco/sports parties. www.adamantsparties.co.uk

Lydie is such FUN!

Messy but fun, arts & crafts parties are loved by all children—but not always by their parents! Kirsteen of Prickly Poppy told us: “I have always hated to throw anything away; believing that everything deserves a second chance. I love the whole process of putting broken pieces together to create something new and beautiful. My daughters would love to join in and started bringing friends from school to have a go. A wonderful atmosphere of artistic calm would ensue, I was in my element and from here Prickly Poppy Mosaic Parties were born. With us, children create something they can treasure for ever— something other than sweets, to remember the occasion. 07947 820 182 www.pricklypoppy.co.uk

GETTING THERE IN STYLE Fox Limousines are a chauffeur service offering stretch limousines and

wedding cars for every occasion. They have 8-13-14-16 seater vehicles, that come in pink and white to cover everything from Birthdays, School Proms, Cruises, Hen parties and weddings for older ladies. The children get soft drinks, balloons inside, the adults enjoy a bottle of bubbly and balloons inside. They have been serving Central London, Surrey, Kent, Sussex areas for over 18 years. 020 8406 3758 info@foxlimousines.co.uk www.foxlimousines.co.uk

TRY The Creation Station: Give your child a fun and inspiring arty

birthday party packed with hands on creative art and crafts activities to celebrate their special day and entertain all their friends in style. Relax as they provide all the fun and the party bags filled with treasured masterpieces too! www.thecreationstation.co.uk

Plenty more party related articles on www.familiesonline.co.uk, including parties on a budget, 10 party hacks for parents or help with throwing the best party.


March 2017 | 020 8696 9680 | Familiesonline.co.uk

Silly Millie the Clown Parties for 3-9 year olds Funny Magic Show, Puppet’s, Party Games, Silly Songs and Balloon Animals Call 020 7823 8329 - 07939 239397


FOX Limousines

Limousine hire for Children's Birthdays, School Proms, Tours White, Pink, Black Limousines Soft drinks and balloons for children's parties

T: 020 8406 3758 or 0844 856 5466 www.foxlimousines.co.uk info@foxlimousines.co.uk

PARTIES! Wonderfully fun musical parties for your under-5’s! Guitar-accompanied songs with actions, joining in, jumping and dancing, instruments, puppet and parachute! The perfect party for little ones. Call 020 8677 6871 info@blueberryplaysongs.co.uk www.blueberryplaysongs.co.uk


For enquiries please call 07566 219288 moniquet.slt@gmail.com www. moniquespeechtherapy.com 141b Kingston Road, London, SW19 1LJ

HELP US INCREASE OUR LIKES! We want to be in touch with you via Facebook Like Families SW London Magazine on Facebook and share our posts. After every share in March you will be entered into a prize draw to win £100! Every separate share enters your name into the prize draw. The more you share, the more chances you have to win! £100 Families SW London Magazine / @familiesSW




WIN £100


Protect your pelvic floor after birth After Camilla gave birth to her beautiful 3.9 kg girl, she went to see her doctor for the routine 6-weeks post-natal check who gave her the all clear, saying that she had healed well. A few weeks later, Camilla, keen to get back to shape, managed to squeeze in a jog between two breastfeeds. After 200m she felt something dragging in her pelvic floor but she thought, this must be normal. A few days later she went back to running, added a few abdominal crunches and that is when she realised something was not right. How embarrassing! She had wet herself! Jessica thought “this leakage must be part of being a new mum” and she kept running but her symptoms were not getting any better.



Jessica’s urine leakage whilst running, which could also be provoked by sneezing, coughing, laughing, jumping and high impact sports is called stress urine incontinence with loss of bladder control in response to increases in intra-abdominal pressure. Stress incontinence is related to weakness and loss of function of the pelvic floor muscle.

If you have or are at risk of pelvic floor problems, make sure you choose exercise that does not put stress on it such as: running, jumping, deep lunges, heavy weight lifting, boxing and high impact sports. Abdominal exercises such as sit ups, crunches or double leg lifts can really push down your pelvic floor.

Jessica is not alone! The facts are: 64% of women will suffer from incontinence after giving birth. But the good news is something can be done be done to control your bladder or bowels or prevent problems.

There are many SAFE PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES which incur less stress and downward pressure on your pelvic floor: low impact cardiovascular exercise such as walking, swimming, cycling and postnatal classes. Sometimes you just need to adapt the positions, the weights, the intensity and pace according to your progress.

Other common symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction are: prolapse (descent of organs), sexual pain (7.5% of women) and lack of sexual sensation.


If you present or are at risk of Pelvic floor dysfunction DON’T PUT UP WITH IT! If you are not sure if you are doing the right pelvic floor exercise or need advice seek help and advice from specialists such as women’s health physiotherapists

Some mothers can jog quite soon and some only after 12 months. Pregnancy (natural birth or Caesarean) is not only physically demanding but also puts a lot of stress on—and can sometimes damage—the pelvic floor, abdominals and nerves.


The pregnancy hormone Relaxin, which makes your muscles and ligaments soft and stretchy, can stay in your system for up to five months after birth. This explains why some mums get joint pain or find it difficult to strengthen muscles.

The MOT includes assessment of:

Rehabilitation after a sprained ankle, can take up to six months before returning to sports. Labour is a traumatism to the body! As for any injury, healing time and the phases of recovery should be respected to optimise full function and prevent future problems. We are all keen to get back to pre-pregnancy body but NO RUSH! LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!

Why not have a MOT Post-natal check performed by a women’s health physiotherapist?

• the strength and function of the pelvic floor muscles (manual vaginal assessment) • the healing and mobility of scars: C-section, perineal tears or episiotomy • the abdominals and abdominal separation (diastasis) • posture and pelvic alignment In addition, we can give advice on safe exercise and return to sport and discussion of treatment options if necessary.

Christine Julien-Laferrière is women’s health physiotherapist and pelvic health therapist for women, men and children. 40 Webbs Road, London SW11 6SF battersea@physio4all.com 020 7228 2141 www.physio4all.com

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017



The little guide to little bilingual brains Dr Evelyne Mercure

Infants and young children have an impressive capacity for learning languages. They are curious, very eager to communicate and their brains are designed for fast learning. There are several interesting advantages to raising bilingual children.

1 Learning two languages encourages children to think about languages. Bilingualism attracts children’s attention to language itself, making children more aware of the sounds, words and regularities in languages. This gives them a head start in school when learning phonics or grammar rules. 2 Bilingualism might make your child better at multi-tasking or listening to someone speaking in a noisy environment. When speaking one of their languages, bilinguals must inhibit the impulse to use words in their other language. To achieve this task, they activate parts of their brain involved in cognitive control. This extra practice at controlling their own thoughts may lead to a ‘bilingual advantage’ in certain cognitive tasks. 3 Mastering two languages will give children a better understanding of their family’s cultural background. The most unique aspects of a culture always risk getting lost in translation. For this reason, being bilingual helps children become ‘bicultural’, making them more aware of cultural differences and more likely to take part in two cultures. 4 Bilingualism does not cause language delays. Bilingual children usually learn two languages at the same pace as monolingual children are learning one. Every family and every child is different. There are a million different ways of raising bilingual children and the most important is to find a way that feels right for your family. Here are a few tips that can help making these decisions for your family. 1 Maximise face-to-face communication. From the first days of life, babies love making eye contact and hearing their loved ones speak, vocalise and sing. Face-to-face communication is the motor of language learning and early experience is key. Making sure you talk to your baby as much as possible, and you involve your child in as much conversation as possible will lead to better abilities in one, two or more languages.

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017

2 Have a plan. It is important to think about what ‘bilingualism’ means for your family. Would you like your child to have a basic understanding of another language? Are you hoping for your child to be fluent in two languages? Or read and write in two different languages? Make sure you provide plenty of experience for your child to achieve each of these goals. It might be a good idea to decide on a language to be used at home. One parent may decide to use one language when addressing their child, while the other parent will use a different language. Think of the language(s) you want to use when reading to your child or singing to them. The more exposure your child will get in one language, the more fluent they are likely to become in that language. 3 Keep it fun. Your child’s motivation to learn each of their languages will make a huge difference to their achievement. A child may find it unpleasant if they feel constantly tested and criticised when speaking. The main focus should be on what is being said and not how it is being said. 4 Find role models. One way of keeping their motivation up, may be to involve people who are not fluent in your child’s dominant language. This may encourage them to use a language they are less comfortable in. It will also show them that this language is spoken by people other than mum and/or dad. Children will also learn a lot from other children, especially older ones, cousins are great! They will want to speak like them and adopt their accent and expressions. Offering a bilingual environment to your child is a richness they will benefit from all their life. They may not only learn two languages, but also a new way of thinking about cultural diversity. Do not be afraid of making the most of their incredible language learning abilities!

Evelyne Mercure is currently an ESRC fellow at UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, investigating the impact of language experience on infants’ brain and cognitive development.



We take much care in preparing these What’s On pages, but please do double check with organiser before setting out as things change.

DIARY DATES Somerset House Strand WC2R 1LA www.somersethouse.org.uk 4 March Free Family Drop In Workshop: History, Mystery & Futures Foretold. Ever counted the kings and queens who once filled the former palace? Or seen the riverside arts and architecture shift and change? Explore the behind the scenes history of Somerset House in an afternoon of designed discovery. 2-3pm, ages 6-12.

Dulwich and District NCT Nearly New Sale St Faith's Community Centre, Red Post Hill, North Dulwich SE24 9JQ www.nct.org.uk 4 March Lots of fun family friendly activities as well as an opportunity to pick up some nearly new bargains, meet other parents and grab a slice of cake from the popup cafe. 10.15am-12.15pm, £1.50 entry for adults.

First Aid Courses Battersea 020 8133 8552 www.firstaidtraininglondon.co.uk info@firstaidtraininglondon.co.uk 18 March and 8 April Paediatric First Aid (1 day) £96 Discount code: Families.

Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses Brockwell Park SE24 0PA www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk 18 March Fun with Paper and Seeds In this hands-on workshop for children aged 5+ learn how to make your own recycled paper decorated with leaves and petals from the garden. Make a seed mat to take away and grow as the perfect mother's day gift. 10.30am12.30pm, £5

First Aid for Life Balham and Westminster www.firstaidforlife.org.uk 4 and 24 March, 1, 5 and 21 April


IF YOU ONLY DO ONE THING THIS MONTH… Museum of London EC2Y 5HN www.museumoflondon.org.uk To 17 April Fire! Fire! This is a truly amazing exhibition showing how London rose from the ashes of the Great Fire. 350 years ago one of the most infamous disasters struck the capital – today you can step into Pudding Lane and see what life was like for ordinary Londoners in the 17th century, before walking into the bakery where the fire started and seeing how the flames spread across the city. Experience the destruction through the eyes of people who were there at the time, explore the evidence for yourself and find out how the city rose from the ashes in this interactive exhibition. Throughout the exhibition the museum is also hosting a programme of fire-themed walks and tours, workshops, family activities and festival days, but it’s only on for another few weeks so make sure you don’t miss out. Tickets £4-8 children, £8-12 adults, buy in advance online to avoid the long queues! Firefighting equipment in Fire! Fire! The Emergency Course A 3hour course covering care of the unconscious baby and child as well as most commonly occurring injuries and illnesses such as choking, bleeding, breaks, bleeds, burns, head injury and febrile convulsions. 9.30am-12.30pm, £60/£65

Ham House www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hamhouse-and-garden Ham Street, Richmond-upon-Thames TW10 7RS 8, 15, 22, 29 March Ghost tours Reputed to be one of the most haunted houses in Britain, discover the ghostly tales scattered through the history of Ham House. Drinks and refreshments in the Orangery followed by an atmospheric afterhours ghost tour in the house and garden. £22, 7.30-9pm, age 12+

Where’s Wally? Walk for National Literacy Trust Clapham Common www.literacytrust.org.uk/support/fun draising_and_events/fun_run/wheres -wally-2017 19 March The every Families SW popular recommends Where's Wally? fun run is back. Choose between 5k or 10k for adults and 1k race for under 12s. From £9, family tickets available. Plus live music, free fun races, rides and food stalls. All proceeds

will help give disadvantaged children the literacy skills they need to succeed.

Royal Institution Albemarle Street, Mayfair W1S 4BS www.rigb.org 19 March and 29 April Family Masterclasses These workshops are aimed at children aged 7-11 with their families. 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30-3.30pm, includes Paper Folding, Problem Solving and Briefcase Breakout.

Tower of London St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london Selected Sundays to 2 April Twilight Tours The Tower’s Yeoman Warders give an exclusive twilight tour of the Tower. Take in world famous sights such as Traitor’s Gate, the scaffold site and the Bloody Tower, and be appalled and amazed by tales of prisoners and past residents. Suitable for over 12’s, £27.50 / £25 Historic Royal Palaces members.

Chelsea Physic Garden 66 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea SW3 4HS www.chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk 4 April Chocolate Tuesday Delve into the world of chocolate, create your own unique blend and taste some unusual flavours. During the day you’ll have the chance to look

(c) Museum of London


into the rich history, geography and science of chocolate. 10.30am3pm. 5-13 April Easter Activities Workshops and events over the Easter holidays include Art of the Garden, Lotions and Potions, The Wiggly Wild Show, Passion for Plants and much more. Ages and prices vary, see website for details.

Fulham Palace Bishop’s Avenue SW6 6EA www.fulhampalace.org 8 April Little Green Fingers Gardening Session Sow seeds in their specially prepared Little Green Fingers bed and explore how vegetables and flowers grow during this hands-on gardening workshop. 10.30am-12pm

Southbank Centre Belvedere Road SE1 8XX www.southbankcentre.co.uk To 23 April Adventures in Moominland The first major exhibition devoted to The Moomins: Adventures in Moominland. This brand new immersive experience explores the internationally-recognised stories of the Moomins through the life of its author Tove Jansson. Visitors to the exhibition will travel through seven different interactive worlds that explore the inspirations behind her much-loved stories. From £12

March 2017 | 020 8696 9680 | Familiesonline.co.uk



East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU www.hrp.org.uk/HamptonCourtPalace Selected Thursdays and Saturdays in March Tiny Explorers Explore and play in the Palace together. Discover the stories of Hampton Court Palace through music, movement, messy play and more. £6 per child, price includes up to two adults £5 per child for members. 10.30am – babies, 1pm – walkers, 2.30pm – walkers.

Do-re-mi Babies Concerts Barnes, Chelsea, Fulham, Wandsworth www.doremibabies.co.uk Dates throughout March and April Inspirational and fun classical concerts. Babies and toddlers are welcome to crawl, dance, sing, cry, nappy change and more, so you can relax and enjoy some

Morden Hall Park Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD www.nationaltrust.org.uk Every Monday in March and April Little Explorers Bring your little ones to enjoy crafts, outdoor activities, songs and stories. Little Explorers is a fun activity session for children aged 2-5, 10am, £2 per child, £1 siblings.

Fulham Palace Explorers

Kensington Palace

The Royal Albert Hall

Fulham Palace

Kensington Gore SW7 2AP www.royalalberthall.com Tuesdays and Wednesdays to 12 April Storytelling and Music Sessions A series of sessions for babies and toddlers aged 0-4, to encourage interaction between parents/carers and their little ones using musical instruments, singing, movement and stories. 10am and 11.30am, £5

Bishop’s Avenue SW6 6EA www.fulhampalace.org Mondays and Tuesdays in March and April The Palace Explorers Join the Palace Explorers, weekly parent/carer and toddler sessions for children aged 2-4. £4 per child, which includes a drink and healthy snack, booking essential. 9.30am10.30am

DRAMA The Cambridge Theatre Seven Dials, 32-34 Earlham Street WC2H 9HU www.uk.matildathemusical.com Throughout March Matilda The Musical Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, Matilda revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dares to change her destiny.

Colour House Theatre Watermill Way SW19 2RD www.colourhousetheatre.co.uk Saturdays and Sundays to 9 April Red Riding Hood Little Red Riding Hood is walking through the woods on her way to care for her poorly old Grandma. A fantastic traditional tale with a musical twist and lots of action and excitement. 2pm and 4pm, £12/£10 Saturdays and Sundays from 22 April Sleeping Beauty As the King and Queen celebrate the birth of their beautiful baby Princess Aurora, an evil Green Fairy casts a spell on the new-born, stating that when she reaches 16 years of age she will prick her finger on a spindle and die. 2pm and 4pm, £12/£10 Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017


Hampton Court Palace

wonderful music. £10 per adult, children free, tickets online or on the door. Dates vary depending on venue.

Foundling Museum 40 Brunswick Square WC1N 1AZ, www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk 16 March and 6 April Bach to Baby These classical concerts for babies and their families are performed by mother and pianist Miaomiao Yu, along with other internationallyrenowned musicians, bringing the past alive for little ones and their families. 10.30–11.30am, £12, children free.

W8 4PX www.hrp.org.uk/kensingtonpalace Selected Wednesdays and Saturdays in March Tiny Explorers Explore and play in the Palace together. Discover the stories of Kensington Palace through music, movement, messy play and more. £6 per child, price includes up to two adults £5 per child for members. 10.30am – babies, 1pm – walkers, 2.30pm – walkers.

Lyric Hammersmith One Lyric Square W6 0QL www.lyric.co.uk 4 March – 8 April Seventeen Seventeen is set in that time after the end of the last day of school, but just before everyone moves on. It’s about the cusp of adulthood, the cusp of complete change. Wise and a little bit sad, Seventeen turns our notions of adulthood and adolescence on their head. A cast of veteran actors play a group of seventeen year olds in this unique production. From £15

New Wimbledon Theatre The Broadway, SW19 1QG www.atgtickets.com/venues/newwimbledon-theatre 11-15 April The Red Shoes Matthew Bourne’s magical new adaptation of the legendary Powell and Pressburger film reunites the team who brought you New Adventures’ world-wide hit, Sleeping Beauty, with sumptuous designs by Lez Brotherston. From £16.50 24-29 April Grease He’s the one that you want! Tom Parker, from the UK’s top boy band The Wanted, is to star in his first ever theatrical role as bad boy Danny in Grease, the No.1 greatest musical. From £15




THE POLKA THEATRE 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SB www.polkatheatre.com Polka is one of the few theatres in the UK dedicated exclusively to young audiences aged 0 – 12. With a thriving creative learning programme, workshops, storytelling sessions and a welcoming café, playground and garden, there’s always space at Polka to play, laugh, discover and create. 3-5 March Mavis Sparkle With a feather duster in one hand and a few tricks up her sleeve, join Mavis on a journey north to see nature’s biggest light show. Age 4+, £12.50/£9

To Dream Again at Polka Theatre

10 March – 2 April To Dream Again Dreams meet reality in a new play inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Sophie’s world is changing, so she reaches out to her parents, Demetrius and Helena. Through her stories maybe she can help them recapture the moment when they were young and in love? Age 7-11, £13.50/£10

15-19 March Princess and the Pea Become part of this playful and comic story of a prince in search of a real princess, a clever queen, a tower of mattresses and of course a tiny pea. Hans Christian Andersen’s classic bedtime story is played out among sheets and blankets with puppets and projections. Age 3-7, £12.50/£9 24-26 March Wow Said the Owl A curious owl is determined to stay awake to see what day light brings. Despite the beauty of the daytime world, the nighttime stars are the most beautiful of all. Age 2-5, £12.50/£9 6 April – 14 May Sarah and Duck’s Big Top Birthday Sarah and Duck decide to hold a circus party for Scarf Lady in their garden, to celebrate her birthday. All their friends turn up to practice different routines and create a big top birthday to remember. Age 3-6, £15/£10

Omnibus Clapham

The Peacock Theatre

The Royal Albert Hall

Unicorn Theatre

1 Clapham Common Northside SW4 0QW www.omnibus-clapham.org Bright Sparks Link and Rex are like light and dark, left and right. Watch these two opposites get their wires crossed as they strive to find ways to work and play together. A playful, visually rich and delightfully humorous show that explores the beauty of difference. 11am and 2.30pm 9 April A Strange New Space A non-verbal one woman show for 3–7 year olds and their families, with physical theatre, beautiful hand-made puppets and original music by Matt Huxley. 11am2.30pm

WC2A 2HT www.sadlerswells.com/peacocktheatre To 11 March Mother Africa Get ready for a blast of sunshine as the global phenomenon Mother Africa brings its trademark mash-up of spectacular circus stunts and traditional African live music and dance to the West End.

Kensington Gore SW7 2AP www.royalalberthall.com 11 March Titanic Live Titanic Live returns to the Royal Albert Hall, following its sell-out world premiere in 2015, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the beloved blockbuster. 17 March Classical Spectacular Schools’ Matinee Back by popular demand, the Royal Albert Hall presents a special schools’ matinee performance of Raymond Gubbay’s Classical Spectacular.

147 Tooley Street, Southwark SE1 2HZ www.unicorntheatre.com 12 March – 10 April Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore Revelling in delightful innocence and glorious stupidity, Jeramee, Hartleby and Oooglemore is a surprising and surreal encounter with three people who have a lot to say but only three words with which to say it. Ages 3+, from £10

Puppet Theatre Barge Little Venice, Blomfield Road W9 2PF www.puppetbarge.com Saturdays and Sundays to 19 March The Red Balloon An all time favourite inspired by the Albert Lamorisse film. £8.50/£12

Sadler's Wells Rosebery Avenue EC1R www.sadlerswells.com 23 March – 1 April English National Ballet Sadler’s Wells Associate Company English National Ballet is back with another triple bill of masterpieces from the 20th century. 3-8 April New Adventures Matthew Bourne returns to his roots for his company’s 30th anniversary, featuring a programme of fun and witty pieces that launched his career, with designs by long-time collaborator Lez Brotherston.

MUSEUMS, GALLERIES & DAYS OUT Star Wars Identities Exhibition The 02 Arena, Peninsula Square SE10 0DX www.list.co.uk/event/654902-starwars-identities-exhibition Throughout March An exhibition exploring the concept of identity through characters from the Star Wars universe. Visitors are taken on an interactive quest and leave with a personalised Star Wars character of their very own. From £10

Unicorn Theatre The Velveteen Rabbit


March 2017 | 020 8696 9680 | Familiesonline.co.uk


www.wwt.org.uk Saturdays and Sundays to 19 March Spring Weekend Family Activities Spot the first signs of spring and see which birds have returned from their winter holiday in warmer climates. Enjoy a pond dipping session to see what minibeasts are about and get creative with nature crafts. Free with admission.

Spring weekend family activities at The Wetlands Centre

Charles Dickens Museum

Geffrye Museum

48 Doughty Street WC1N 2LX www.dickensmuseum.com 19 March The Housemaid’s Tour Step back in time to 1839…Dickens and his young family are preparing to leave for a journey to their ‘home from home’. But during their absence, the housemaid is up to no good. Discover the secrets of the esteemed young writer and his growing family. 10.15am, 11am and 11.45am, £15/£8 Last Sunday of every month Highlighting the Collection. Discover a unique set of Dickensian curiosities from a cheque signed by Dickens, to a beautiful dolls house, an engraved snuff box and even a collection of original props from The Invisible Woman. Drop-in object handling session.

136 Kingsland Road, E2 8EA www.geffrye-museum.org.uk 3 March Teenage Bedrooms: 'like a house inside of a house' Step inside the homes of 26 London teenagers to explore the meaning and significance of contemporary teenage bedrooms. Within the home the teenage bedroom can be a space apart, described by one participant in this study as ‘like a house inside of a house’.

Florence Nightingale Museum 2 Lambeth Palace Road SE1 7EW www.florence-nightingale.co.uk To 30 April The Age of the Beard: Putting on a Brave Face in Victorian Britain. This winter, the Florence Nightingale Museum attempts to unravel the astonishing appeal of mutton chops, goatees and the most flamboyant of moustaches with a photographic exhibition and season of special events dedicated to the Great British Beard.

Foundling Museum 40 Brunswick Square WC1N 1AZ, www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk 7 April Knots and Ropes Learn how to tie knots and make your own skipping rope in this free family workshop. Age 5+, sessions 10am, 1pm and 3pm, free.

Kensington Palace W8 4PX www.hrp.org.uk/kensingtonpalace 25 March Make History Workshop Get hands on with the palace’s creative workshops for families. Be inspired by a new palace story each month, and make a piece of the past by taking part in a range of exciting activities, from gardening and painting to chocolate making. 11.30am, 1.15pm and 2.45pm 25 March Time Explorer Station Explore the palace and discover its stories using themed activity bags, games, trails and make and takes. Pick up your choice of story adventure from the Time Explorer Station inside the palace. Ages 5-11

London Transport Museum Covent Garden Piazza WC2E 7BB www.ltmuseum.co.uk To 23 April Designology – Shaping London An exhibition celebrating the influence brilliant design has on our daily lives. Design lovers will be able to see early and modern examples of Tube maps.

The London Wetlands Centre Queen Elizabeth, SW13 9WT

Familiesonline.co.uk | 020 8696 9680 | March 2017


fun development night. Be the first people ever to try their newest toys. 7pm, from £10 10 April Explosive Food Find out about the incredible amount of energy contained in food in this deliciously interactive show packed with exciting chemistry and physics demonstrations. Age 7+, 2.30pm and 6pm

Morden Hall Park

Tower of London

Morden SM4 5JD www.nationaltrust.org.uk/mordenhall-park 24-25 March Mum’s the Word Shh, don’t tell mum, but you can plant a special present to take home for her for Mother’s Day at Morden Hall Park. £4 per child, 10am-12pm, 3-5pm

St Katharine's & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london To 13 April Life in the Medieval Palace Step back into 1299 and the palace of King Edward I and explore a world of chivalrous knights and beautiful ladies, troublesome lords and royal prisoners as the king and his court take up residence at the Tower of London. 11am-12.30pm and 1.303.30pm Throughout March and April Armoury in Action A new family friendly exhibition revealing the fascinating story of arms and the armoury at the Tower. From shooting arrows, assembling firearms to brandishing swords, a thousand years of history at the Tower of London will be brought to life in this exciting, hands-on experience. Selected dates in March The People’s Revolt Infiltrate the Tower of London after hours in this immersive, interactive experience. Feel what it’s like to be at the centre of a present day ‘Peasants’ Revolt’. Live the build-up through digital storytelling then blur the lines between history and reality as you storm the Tower and decide the fate of the nation. 6pm, 6.30pm, 7pm, 7.25pm and 7.50pm, from £20.50

Museum of London EC2Y 5HN www.museumoflondon.org.uk 18 March Great Fire Family Walk Visit the sites struck by the fire in this fun and interactive family walk. 11-11.45am, age 5+, £5-£7, book in advance.

National Maritime Museum Park Row, Greenwich SE10 9NF www.rmg.co.uk To 17 April Emma Hamilton - Seduction and Celebrity Largely remembered as the woman who captured the heart of the nation's hero, Admiral Horatio Nelson, Emma was an extraordinary woman in her own right. The exhibition traces her spectacular career from rags to riches and back again. £14/£6

Natural History Museum Cromwell Road SW7 5BD www.nhm.ac.uk Throughout March and April Wildlife Photographer of the Year Enjoy the world's best nature photography revealing the astonishing diversity of life on our planet, from urban foxes to mountain hares.

Royal Institution Albemarle Street, Mayfair W1S 4BS www.rigb.org 10 March Wi-Fi Wars Debug III: Revenge of the Bugs Future-tech videogaming comedy show WiFi Wars returns to the RI for another

V&A Museum of Childhood Cambridge Heath Road E2 9PA www.museumofchildhood.org.uk 25 March Magical Museum Sleepover Enjoy an evening of creative activities, a magical museum trail and storytelling, before settling down to a special night’s sleep in the company of fairies, puppets, dolls and trains. In the morning breakfast will be served on the Marble Floor of the Museum. 7pm–9am, £45, age 7-12




Drop In Family Sundays at the National Gallery

ART ACTIVITIES Foundling Museum 40 Brunswick Square WC1N 1AZ, www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk 4 April Play Photography Build an imaginative play area out of recycled household materials in this artist-led family workshop inspired by Child’s Play. Age 5+, sessions 10am, 1pm and 3pm, free.

Fulham Palace SW6 6EA www.fulhampalace.org 16 April Springtime at the Palace Celebrate all things springtime at this Easter Sunday activity day, with whimsical storytelling, an Easter trail, Georgian chocolate making

SPECIAL NEEDS Somerset House Strand WC2R 1LA www.somersethouse.org.uk 4 March Free Family Drop In Workshop: History, Mystery & Futures Foretold Ever counted the kings and queens who once filled the former palace? Or seen the riverside arts and architecture shift and change? Explore the behind the scenes history of Somerset House in an afternoon of designed discovery. 2-3pm, ages 6-12. Suitable for accompanied children with special needs.

Museum of London EC2Y 5HN www.museumoflondon.org.uk 4 March

workshops and a whole host of fun art and craft activities. Chocolate making workshops will be held at 11.30am and 1.30pm, £5 per person, booking essential. Storytelling and Easter trail are free, 11am-3pm, no booking necessary.

V&A Museum Cromwell Road SW7 2RL www.vam.ac.uk/families Throughout March Family Activities Pick up a family trail from the Information Desk and explore the museum through puzzles, drawing and observation. There are also hundreds of exciting hands-on exhibits containing plenty to touch and try out, plus regular activities and workshops for ages 7-12 FREE

Morning explorers (ASC friendly) Morning Explorers offers families with children who have an Autistic Spectrum Condition the opportunity to explore the museum while it is quiet. Discover fascinating objects and take part in relaxed family activities such as sensory rooms, self-directed trails and an arts and crafts session. Age under 13, 8.3010am, advanced booking required. FREE

Science Museum Exhibition Road, South Kensington SW7 2DD www.sciencemuseum.org.uk 11 March Early Birds Early Birds enables families with children who have an Autism Spectrum Condition to come along and enjoy the Museum free from the hustle and bustle of the general public. The Museum opens early at 8.30am,

National Portrait Gallery

The National Gallery

St Martin's Place WC2H 0HE www.npg.org.uk Every third Sunday Drop In Family Sundays Drop-in with children aged 3+ to take part in portrait-related events. FREE

Trafalgar Square WC2N 5DN www.nationalgallery.org.uk Every Sunday in March and April Family Sundays Art activities designed for families to enjoy and learn together, 11am and 2pm, age 5-11 FREE

To 23 April Picasso’s Portraits. Picasso's portraits epitomise the variety and innovation of his art. This major exhibition of over eighty works focuses on the artist's portrayal of family, friends and lovers and reveals his creative processes as he moved freely between drawing from life, humorous caricature and expressive painting from memory. FREE

The Wallace Collection Hertford House, Manchester Square W1U 3BN www.wallacecollection.org Throughout March Take a family multi-media tour and bring the exhibits to life. FREE

Tate Modern Bankside, SE1 9TG www.tate.org.uk Throughout March Family Friendly Art Activities A range of free arty and crafty workshops, see website for details. FREE

Tate Britain Millbank SW1 www.tate.org.uk/britain Throughout March Family Friendly Art Activities A range of free workshops and family trails, see website for details. Every weekend the free Art Trolley encourages children to imagine and create, make colourful collages and style a wonderful sculpture. FREE

Dulwich Picture Gallery Sir John Soane’s House 13 Lincoln's Inn Fields WC2A 3PB www.soane.org Third Saturday of every month Enjoy free drop-in activities for all ages. 1.30-4.40pm. FREE

and some of the interactive galleries remain available exclusively to booked Early Birds guests until 11.15am. As well as exploring some of the galleries you can enjoy a selection of fun workshops and exciting demonstrations. Email familyprogrammes@sciencemuse um.ac.uk to be added to the Early Birds mailing list, or call 020 7942 4000 to book. 18 March and 13 May Science Night Science night is a special sleepover for 7-11 year olds, open to all children but if the staff know that children with SEN are coming then they are able to plan appropriate activities for them. They can also give extra information beforehand such as pictures of staff for children to familiarise themselves with, visual stories, etc.

Gallery Road, Dulwich SE21 7AD www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk Throughout March Vanessa Bell 1879-1961 A major exhibition of works by modernist painter Vanessa Bell, a central figure of the Bloomsbury Group. From £7

Imperial War Museum Lambeth Road SE1 6HZ www.iwm.org.uk First Sunday of every month Audio-described Tours Experience the First World War Galleries through one of these live audio-description tours for blind and partially sighted visitors, ages 14+. 9.30am, booking essential on 020 7091 3157 or visitorenquiries@iwm.org.uk FREE

Gambado Chelsea 7 Station Court SW6 2PY www.gambado.com/centres/chelsea Dates in March and April Chelsea Autism Session Come and join these fantastic Chelsea Autism friendly indoor soft play sessions at Gambado! Children £5, includes 1 adult, extra adults £2.50, see website for details.

•If you have info, please send to whatson@FamiliesSW.co.uk 54

March 2017 | 020 8696 9680 | Familiesonline.co.uk


Profile for Families Magazine

Families London SW March 2017 Issue 264 lo-res  

Information things to do, What's On, etc... for parents in SW London. Other people welcome to read our magazine too!

Families London SW March 2017 Issue 264 lo-res  

Information things to do, What's On, etc... for parents in SW London. Other people welcome to read our magazine too!