Page 1

Thames Valley East January/February 2014 - Issue 70

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

please call Diana Page

01235 533362 07747 086518

The really useful magazine for parents of children between 0 and 12 Packed with information and fun things to do with the family in Maidenhead - Windsor - Marlow - Ascot - Slough - Egham

Birthday Party & Health Special

REDROOFS THEATRE SCHOOL 26 Bath Road Maidenhead SL6 4JT, and School Lane Littlewick Green SL6 3QY, and now at Novello Theatre nr Ascot SL5 9NE.

*** Redroofs Part-Time school offers an exciting choice of part-time evening and weekend classes for ages 2-18 years, productions and workshops now listed on our website. From baby ballet through to adults musical theatre, evening and Saturday morning and afternoon theatre school, acting schools, musical and acting productions dance, singing, acting and media classes for all abilities.

*** Redroofs is the place to learn from the very best in the business, to grow in confidence and to discover and achieve your child’s potential in a friendly atmosphere, in our own purpose built studios and two theatres. Musical theatre Saturday schools from ages 4-18, RAD ballet, ISTD tap and modern dance, Hip hop and street dance, Singing and creative drama, baby dance classes, Production classes, screen acting and audition skills. See our website for full timetable of evening and Saturday classes.

*** Redroofs Full-Time school co-ed academic and vocational for years 5-13 inclusive. Redroofs 6th form BTEC musical theatre and teacher training. Redroofs agency offers representation for all our pupils. Pupils are currently appearing in West End shows Matilda, Oliver, Public Enemy, in feature films, numerous TV and commercials, voice recordings.

Call us: 01628 674092 • Email us: Find us on Facebook and Twitter


FAMILIES Thames Valley East



in this

issue 3 News & Info 6 Clubs & Classes News 7 Education News It’s Party Time 8-9 How to hold a stress-free party 10-13 2014 Birthday Party Directory New Year, New You 14 Five ways to boost your fitness 15 Not just a walk in the park 16-17 Seven minutes to a leaner looking you Holidays 18-19 How to have a proper holiday when you are a parent 20 Glamping on the Isle of Wight at Tom's Eco Lodge 21 What's On 25 Competitions 26 Why Silliness rules at the dinner table! 27 Too stressed, Too Young 28 Ed's Reading Room 29 Coping with Postnatal Depression 30 Mums Who Mean Business 31 Classifieds web: tel: 01628 627586 fax: 08717 146 305 (calls cost 10p/min) e-mail: editor: Claire Winter circulation: 19,000 next issue: March/April 2014 due out: March 1, featuring: Under-5s Special and Easter copy/advertising deadline: February 1

Cover Photo: Lovelight Studios. email: or call: Sheridan Stone 07973 121737 or Victoria Baptiste 07958 722259. web: •

Watching my children grow up, it amazes me how they don’t hold on to things the same way adults do. They really live in the now and aren’t worried about what they did yesterday or what they are going to do tomorrow (unless there is a spelling test!). Slowing down and admiring the raindrops on a spider’s web can be the most fantastic thing, but I all too often say “hurry up” or “we are going to be late” and miss it. So my one and only New Year’s resolution is to slow down and enjoy what I have right now in this moment. Big thanks to Lovelight photography for our gorgeous cover and we have a great health special featuring Nordic Walking (I am a walking convert!) and our fabulous annual party directory. We also have another exciting development at Families HQ - we now have a searchable What’s On facility on our website, it's searchable by date and other criteria. So you can type in the day you want to do something and all the events in the local area will pop up. You can also search by age group – for activities suitable for babies, preschoolers, juniors, etc. – as well as by useful topics like days out, museums and galleries. Go to to check it out and if you have any events to publicise please email Wishing you a fantastic 2014!

Basil Brush backs local charity appeal TV Superstar, Basil Brush, is supporting the NSPCC’s new campaign to raise funds in Berkshire for it’s own ChildLine service, helping local schools to educate children about child abuse. The charity is calling on local people across the Thames Valley to get involved with fundraising activities and support their £500,000 appeal called Now I Know, which will help fund the ChildLine School Service in primary schools across Berkshire. The Now I Know appeal will put ChildLine in all of the 291 primary schools in Berkshire. Visiting 9 to 11 year olds, the team will help to educate children about abuse and how to protect themselves, using age appropriate assemblies and workshops.

NSPCC head of regional fundraising, Christian Morris said: ‘Imagine a generation of children who have the knowledge to prevent abuse we believe it's possible. And with your support, we can make it happen, one primary school at a time. We really hope that the people of Berkshire will get behind the Now I Know appeal to help fund that vital work in this area.’ To find out more about the Now I Know appeal and how you can get involved, contact Fiona Turner, fundraising manager via email or call 07748 321461.

Simon Mayo supports campaign to get boys reading

pen and start writing,’ says Simon Mayo, whose protagonist is a 14-year-old boy obsessed with science. ‘I wasn’t particularly interested in writing at school but I was hampered by being fantastically slow. When I started writing the first Itch book it was as a short story for my son, but then I was completely captivated by the plot and characters, and the story took over. If you can grab a child’s imagination in the same way, getting them to write about a hobby or something they really enjoy doing then the whole story writing world is open to them.’

Christmas might have passed, but give the gift of reading this New Year to your sons! Broadcaster Simon Mayo, author of the Itch series, is supporting a new drive to get boys reading and writing, as the National Literacy Trust research shows boys’ are half as likely to enjoy writing and reading than girls. The trust calls for a renewed focus both at school and at home on ways to get boys into writing. ‘It’s so important for boys to find a topic that interests them before they pick up a

Ascot 0845 055 6369 Bracknell Warfield 0845 055 6382 Henley, High Wycombe & Marlow 01494 533 203 Maidenhead 0118 930 5200 Staines 01483 235216 Windsor 0845 293 7207

Telephone: 01628 627 586


FAMILIES Thames Valley East


News & Info National Storytelling Week This February brings seven days of reading, sharing and listening to stories with the 14th Annual National Storytelling Week. From 1-8 February, schools, drama clubs and performance groups across the country will hold events to celebrate the joy of storytelling. Over the past decade National Storytelling Week has gone from strength to strength, with many areas of the community taking part in creating and enjoying storytelling. To find out more go to

New Pre-school and Baby room at Littlewick Green Montessori School! The new Peacock room is bright and spacious with excellent resources for ages 3-5 years. It has easy access to our large outdoor space, making it a perfect environment for the children to play, learn and grow. The Puffin class is warm and welcoming where babies have cosy spaces and stimulating resources to play and learn. The babies have access to the garden daily and go for lots of gentle walks around the village. To visit Littlewick Green Montessori School, telephone or email Miss Megan on: 01628828258 or

New services from Mummy’s Maid BrightSparks Education Centre in Marlow provides a range of tutoring services for children from ages 5 to 16. We are committed to ensuring that every child reaches their full potential in a happy and secure learning environment.

BrightSparks offers: • Weekly Maths and English tuition for ages 5 – 16 • Weekly 11+ and Common Entrance Exam tuition • Touch typing courses for all ages


FAMILIES Thames Valley East

You might already have heard about, or used, the services of local domestic goddesses Mummy’s Maid ( They provide housekeeping, cleaning and other practical support to busy families and stressed-out mums – whether you need a personal assistant for a few days, someone to organise workmen, or a hand in preparing for a holiday or the arrival of a new baby. From this January Mummy’s Maid will have a new logo and will be offering some new services: childcare (including one-off childcare), elderly companionship and illness support. All staff are fully vetted and given enhanced CRB checks. Services are offered with no lengthy contracts or yearly membership fees, so you can use them as and when the need arises. For more information or to book a free in-house consultation, call 0845 463 0075 or visit They also need more caring, reliable staff in this area so if you have experience with childcare, housekeeping, cleaning, as a personal assistant or in elderly care please send in your cv to



News & Info Graduate- led Montessori School and Day Nursery

Absolutely the best party ever A new party celebration service has been launched from some of the top leisure venues in the area. Absolutely Parties is a one-stop-shop for parties at all venues managed by Slough Community Leisure and Absolutely Leisure, including Absolutely Ice, Absolutely Karting, Absolutely Ten Pin and other children’s parties at Montem and Langley Leisure Centre’s. From birthdays to school events, Absolutely Parties’ expert event planners will be able to help the local community plan all their children’s celebrations, while parents simply put their feet up and enjoy the day!

The Oratory Montessori Day Nursery in Burnham is a well-established nursery, catering for children aged three months to five years of age. Their experienced and professional staff members provide a warm, caring and rich learning environment for the children. New manager Yamuna Jayasinghe has a degree in Child Development and Learning and a postgraduate qualification in Montessori teaching. Yamuna says, ‘I am really excited to be working at the nursery, we have recently been rated as 'Good' by Ofsted and we have also been awarded a five star rating for food and hygiene by the local authority. Brand new resources are also in place, providing the children with a stimulating and safe learning environment inside and outside the nursery.’ To find out more Please call on 01628 665621 or email to book a visit.

Local Family Law experts offer free consultation Alison Whistler and Martin Lambert are both experienced Family Law Solicitors working at B Legal Solicitors with offices based in Marlow, Henley-on-Thames, High Wycombe and Beaconsfield. Family Law covers all legal issues connected to relationship breakdown including divorce, separation, division of assets, property and pensions, spousal and child maintenance claims, child-centred disputes about contact and residence and dissolution of civil partnerships. Other areas include cohabitation, adoption, domestic violence and pre nuptial agreements.

Both Alison and Martin are committed to providing practical legal advice to clients and wherever possible attempt to negotiate, mediate or collaborate on behalf of clients rather than litigate. Divorce can be stressful and expensive but it doesn't have to be if you take specialist legal advice. They both offer new clients an initial free 30-minute consultation, so that clients are given legal and practical advice tailored to their individual circumstances. Call them now on 01628 477808 or email them at

OPEN DAY Fri 10th Jan 9.30am -11.30am and

2pm - 4pm

NEW Baby Signing and Cookery Club Children from 6 weeks to 5 years 7.30am - 6.15pm with French, Music and Swimming Lessons

Pre-school cooking classes coming to Winkfield - February 2014 **BOOK NOW** tel: 01344 526 451

Maths and English tuition for children Individualised tuition sessions for children with Special Needs Fun Interactive learning mapped to the National Curriculum Award winning software used in over 76,000 schools across Europe Childcare vouchers accepted

Book your FREE trial lesson now! Hounslow: 020 8581 1637 • Slough: 01753 569909 Email: • Website: Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Telephone: 01628 627 586


FAMILIES Thames Valley East


Clubs & Classes News Budding young cooks required

New creative art classes to start in Windsor Exciting news from Messy Monets, creative fun for kids. They are launching three new classes for under-5s in the Windsor area. The new sessions will be held on: Tuesdays at 10am – Little Cygnets Childrens Centre, Eton Wick C of E First School, Sheepcote Road, Eton Wick SL4 6JB. (starts with a free taster session on January 14) Thursdays 10am – Old Windsor Youth & Community Centre, Robin Willis Way, Old Windsor (starts with a free taster session on January 16) Fridays 10.30am – Firestation, St. Leonards Road, Windsor SL4 3BL. (starts January 10). The Maidenhead class continues to run on Mondays at 10am at Boyne Hill Cricket Club (classes start January 6). They will also be holding a drop in fun day during February half-term for children up to 11yrs – check out their website or Facebook page for further information.

Mini masterchefs offers engaging cooking classes for pre-school children in Winkfield. The classes encourage them to have fun whilst making delicious recipes that are brilliant for even the fussiest eaters! Children will learn about food through touching, tasting, experimenting and enjoying cooking in a happy, secure environment, promoting early years development along the way. During the hour-long class, every child will have their own tools and an apron as getting a little bit messy is considered part of the whole experience! They cook with a variety of fresh ingredients and talk about how they are grown and where they come from. For more information contact Jenn on 01344 526451 or email

Making music fun for mums, toddlers and babies Caroline Gayton and Jackie Faerber have been running fun and friendly Music with Mummy and Jolly Baby sessions in Ascot and Windsor for the last 14 years. Their music classes have a welcoming atmosphere and small group sizes that will allow your child to build their confidence. Jackie says, 'I think what has made our classes so popular is the size and regularity. Mums tell me all the time that our classes have helped them and their babies make some really good friends.' The sessions are well-structured and use beautiful music and exciting props to captivate the little ones, whilst also promoting social development and interaction. Sessions take place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays in Windsor and Sunningdale. Why not try a free taster session first? Please contact Jackie on 07981 127387 for classes in Windsor or Caroline on 07905 913376 for classes in Sunningdale.

New Triathalon Club for kids Evo Juniors is a new club to encourage children to take part in sporting activity in the disciplines of swimming, cycling and running. These three sports make up triathlon, and with most kids doing all three sports in some shape or form, its understandable why it is becoming so popular. Kevin Wallace, Chairman of Evo Tri Club says, “If you like to swim, cycle or run you’ll love triathlon! Whatever your child’s ability is, whether they are just beginning or are looking to really excel in triathlon, we have training sessions that are tailored to their needs” Windsor hosts one of the largest triathlons in the country and is the perfect location for Evo Juniors as they have special permission from the Crown Estate to coach cycling and Running in the Great Park where its safe from traffic. For a free trial or more info visit or call Kevin Wallace on 07780994772


FAMILIES Thames Valley East



Education News New school campus development in Maidenhead proposed by Claires Court

Maths and English tuition from Steps2Learn Steps2Learn is a tuition centre for children aged 5-11, recently opened in the heart of Slough. They offer fun and engaging tuition in Maths and English based on the national curriculum. Steps2Learn have a dedicated and enthusiastic team of tutors including qualified teachers and graduates dedicated to ensuring your child achieves their academic potential. Lessons combine advanced educational software used by 76,000 schools across Europe, with successful teaching methods based on thorough research. They also cater for children with Special Educational Needs and also offer tuition for the 11+. For more information and to book a free trial lesson please contact: or phone 01753 569 909 or visit the centre to have a chat. They are based upstairs inside the Tesco in Slough behind the checkout tills. Open from 3-7pm Monday to Friday, 105pm Saturday and 11-4pm on Sunday.

Ellington Primary expansion plans Plans are being considered to expand east Maidenhead school, Ellington Primary, from 30 to 60 per year group in September 2014. The £2m proposed plan means not only double the number of admissions, but also a brand new name and uniform, and new members of the governing body. The expansion would help to provide muchneeded school places to cater for housing growth in the local area - the housing developments at Boulters Meadow and potential future housing development on council-owned land at Ray Mill Road East. “The school staff and I are very excited about the prospect of a school that will be able to extend its welcoming and inclusive environment and high educational ideals to even more local children.’ Says Rehana Juna, headteacher. ‘Ellington is on the brink of a truly exciting new chapter that holds great opportunity for achievement and success.’

Telephone: 01628 627 586

Maidenhead-based independent school, Claires Court, is proposing the sale of its sites in College Avenue and Ray Mill Road East. This will fund a multi-million pound project to move all of its pupils, currently at three different sites, to new campus off Cannon Lane. The plans include the creation of a new hospital that will offer treatment for both NHS and private patients, 'significantly enhancing the provision of health services in the area'. Administrative Principal, Hugh Wilding, said: ‘[The plans] will allow the school to provide a quality learning environment with improved facilities for sport, the creative arts and academic study, whilst also providing much-needed additional school places and new healthcare facilities for Maidenhead and surrounding areas.’ The idea of a single campus at Ridgeway was considered as far back as the 1960s by Mr Wilding’s parents, David and Josephine Wilding. However it could be five years or more before the project reaches completion, following widespread consultation with staff, parents and the local community. Mr Wilding assured that, 'throughout this project we will maintain our core values of responsibility, respect, loyalty and integrity'.

Planning permission for new Oldfield Primary School A new home for Oldfield Primary School is to be built on the proposed Bray Road site, in east Maidenhead, subject to approval by the Secretary of State. The Maidenhead development control panel agreed unanimously at a special meeting to go ahead with the re-location and build, but as the new site is in the Green Belt the final approval has to be granted by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The decision had been deferred in order to get further information about water storage, alternative sites, traffic congestion and road safety, and the Green Belt. According to Cllr Phill Bicknell, cabinet member for children’s services: ‘The panel’s decision will enable more of our children to benefit from an education at this outstanding school – and in an attractive, purpose-built 21st century building.’ If the application is approved, the new £10m school will be completed in March 2014, and will accommodate 420 pupils.


At Herries, ...... every child is an individual and every child is known and loved. Come and visit us at our Open Mornings on 27th November and 29th January from 9.30 – 11.00am See our website for full details: Herries Preparatory School, Dean Lane, Cookham Dean, Berkshire SL6 9BD Tel: 01628 483350 Email:

FAMILIES Thames Valley East


It’s Party Time you Do total e H? hav BOS H S I SQU

Fun party games with meaning

Call Pete on 07721 422554 or 01628 821145, or email to:

• Kids Art Clubs • Pottery Painting • Adult Art Classes & Workshops • Corporate Meetings & Events • Parties 12‐6pm Tues‐Fri (after‐school parties & pottery painting!) 10am‐5pm Sat & School Hols

01628 821145

07721 422554

Bringing all the fun of the farm to your school, Home, Private Party, Family Funday or Fete, also providing beneficial therapeutic/sensory sessions for visits to Nursing Homes or Special Needs Activities.

The one about Birthday Parties Families’ new columnist, Natalie Trice, shares her pearls of wisdom about hosting a stress-free birthday celebration for your nearest and dearest.

Call Pete to discuss your requirements, and obtain prices

hen I read Martha Stewart describing birthday parties as being like road trips, that getting there is half the fun, I laughed. I learned this the hard way when I planned a surprise circus party for my son. There were going to be clowns and acrobats flying through a big top, whilst guests ate candy floss and had their faces painted. On paper it was perfect, but when I told the birthday boy he burst into tears and whispered that he didn’t want a circus party. The thing is, whilst social media bragging and peer pressure have upped the party stakes, if we go back to basics, all that matters is the birthday boy or girl has fun and feels special. Whether you rub your hands in delight at the thought of planning a party or reach for the wine bottle in despair, you can successfully keep a bunch of over-excited revelers, high on sugar, happy and entertained for two hours, you just need a PLAN.


ALL ABOUT THE THEME: Go with a theme your child likes, trust me on this. If they’re mad about Minecraft, how about a junkmodeling party? Rock ‘n’ roll parties with instruments and a stage are great for budding musicians, a cupcake decorating party is cute and a treasure hunt for pirates will keep children entertained for ages. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Whilst parties at home keep costs down, going for a church hall, leisure centre, pizza restaurant or bowling alley often means leaving the washing up and mess for someone else - BOOK IT! GUEST LIST: Whist it might be ‘PC’ to ask the entire class, extended family and Brownie pack, things can spiral out of control. Most children won’t think about putting noses out of joint, they just want the people they like at their party – end of. KEEP THEM BUSY: You can guarantee one irritating delightful guest will say your party was ‘rubbish’. Book an entertainer, have a disco, organise a karaoke competition and have a plan B, that way they will be busy from start to finish and too tired to complain when they are collected.


FAMILIES Thames Valley East



It’s Party Time

FAB FOOD: Be imaginative with food: ‘flying saucers’ (minibagels) and ‘moon rocks’ (rice crispy cakes) are loved by astronauts and telescope wraps are perfect for pirates. It you stick with pizzas and sandwiches make them star and heart-shaped and put out big bowls of snacks and fruit too, but no nuts. INVITE EXTRA HELP: Some parents read party as ‘kid free shopping time’. Be smart - ask some of them along, give them snacks and fizz and you’ll have a team of waitresses, peace keepers, toilet monitors and DJs for free. A PIECE OF CAKE: Whether you make it or buy it, cake is key. Once the candles have been blown out don’t just slice it up and squish it into party bags, serve it as dessert. If it is too good to share, pop fairy cakes into the party bags and keep it for later. PARTY BAGS: Speaking of party bags, not giving them out is pretty much social suicide. Funky, bright cellophane bags can be filled with pots of Play Doh, toy dinosaurs, hair clips or mini books and tied with a ribbon attached to a glitter filled balloon. If you want to do something a bit different, a cool alternative is a lucky dip, where each child picks a present and cupcake as they leave simple but effective. Finally, charge up your camera, relax and try to enjoy the party because these days don’t last forever. P.S. If you hire a female entertainer who dresses up as Spiderman at tea time be prepared for the kids to talk, and the Dads to look! Natalie Trice is a freelance journalist, writer and award-nominated blogger. She knows a thing or two about PR and social media too. She’s also a Mummy to two small boys, wife to Oliver and an owner of a cat and a dog.When she isn't writing or networking on Facebook, Natalie is an avid shopper, coffee drinker and collector of handbags and shoes.

Telephone: 01628 627 586


FAMILIES Thames Valley East


It’s Party Time

(when you ring please don’t forget to say you saw it in Families Thames Valley East).

Cupcake Decorating Parties Making Cupcake Decoration fun for children aged between 6 and 16 • 1 demonstrated themed cupcake • 3 free design cupcakes starting with piped buttercream swirls • 1 cupcake to eat decorated by Cakin' Faerie Each guest will receive a certificate of attendance and take home 4 vanilla cupcakes that they have decorated in a presentation box. All equipment is provided and demonstrated along with a selection of decorations and sprinkles. All that Cakin' Faerie asks is that you can provide sufficient tables and chairs for all of your guests.

10 Almond Road, Burnham, Bucks SL1 8HA

Tel: 01628 543963 or 07979 807553 Email:

Advertise for as little as £60 plus VAT.

Call: 01628 627586

ABSOLUTELY PARTIES is a one-stop-shop for parties at all venues managed by Slough Community Leisure and Absolutely Leisure, including Absolutely Ice, Absolutely Karting, Absolutely Ten Pin and other children’s parties at Montem and Langley Leisure Centre’s. Absolutely Parties’ expert event planners will be able to help the local community plan all their children’s celebrations, while parents simply put their feet up and enjoy the day! or call 08450 262 466 BASIL AND CREW. Mobile Farm, bring a mini mobile farmyard to your home or venue, complete with fencing, hutches and an assortment of animals, such as goats, sheep, ducks, chickens and Shetland ponies, for your party- involving pet handling, feeding and grooming. They also offer educational and fun school visits either full farm or ‘3 billy goat gruff’ day, nursing homes, special needs, fetes and fun days. 01628 821145 or 07721 422554. BEVERLEY GLOCK COOKERY SCHOOL. Cookery classes for children and adults run by food writer, author and broadcaster Beverley Glock plus Splat Cooking Parties. Call 0870 766 8290 or visit BIG ON BOUNCING. Hire a wide range of Bouncy castles, Slides, Go Karts, Softplay, Sumo Suits and Body Zorbs. Indoor and outdoor hire. Free delivery, set up and collection and free cancellation in bad weather. 01628 410736/07926 751243. BLOSSOM BALLET parties for 3 - 6 years 'A Magical Celebration' - Allow you inhibitions to disappear and join your child and her friends in enjoying the magical experience of a Blossom Ballet party. For more information, please contact Lucy on 07813084283 or

BRAY LAKE WATERSPORTS. Canoeing, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Dinghy Sailing and Windsurfing. Two hours of fun on the water for 815 year olds. Adults welcome too. They also have their own Live Combat Zone. BATTLEFIELD LIVE. This fast paced action game for anyone from 8yrs upwards uses advanced combat technology that uses none ballistic, infra red eye safe guns. Outdoor BBQ and picnic area also available for hire. 01628 638860. Why not try an animation or puppet-making party? At your party, BUSY BUTTONS Creative Studio can help you make an animation film with your friends or create puppets then stage a performance or make doll costumes and more. 612-year-olds further your interest by joining their animation club every Saturday to learn animation, filming, story interpretation, puppet and prop making for their animated version of THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS. 07952418212 www.busybuttons for more. CAKIN' FAERIE - Are you trying to decide a fun, interactive and memorable party for your child? A Cupcake Decorating Party ticks all of these boxes. Everything you need will be brought to your chosen venue, with 4 cupcakes for each guest to decorate, some safe and easy techniques with professional equipment will be demonstrated for them to follow. Maximum 8 guests aged 6 - 16. To book call: 01628 543963 or 07979 807553. CANDLE BY PARTIES– offer a wonderful opportunity to make hand-poured fragranced candles in individual melters, adding dyes and

JR Rugby is a rugby coaching specialist, which can offer: • After School Cubs in your child’s school • School Holiday Camps in your area • Birthday Party packages All our coaches are:

• CRB checked • RFU Qualified • First Aid Trained Whatever you choose JR Rugby for, you can be rest assured that your child will learn new or improve their skills in rugby in a fun, safe environment.

For more information please e-mail or call on 07809 222815 •


FAMILIES Thames Valley East



Make your party a roaring success by using our directory to find all the elements you need to host the perfect celebration

It’s Party Time fragrance oils. As the candles are setting children decorate candle holders and packaging with paint, glitter and pretty gems. Children take home a party bag filled with all the lovely candles they have made. Parties also available for adults plus company parties and team building workshops. Tel: 0777 1851435, COX GREEN LEISURE CENTRE. Bouncy Castle Parties and Sport Parties for children age 5+ and Go Karting parties for children aged 6-8 (max 15 children).You can also combine karting with another activity for up to 25 children. 01753 778599. CHARTERS LEISURE CENTRE. Design your own self-catering party with a choice of 60 minute activities including sport specific parties such as Football, Cricket, Rounders, Basketball, Uni-Hockey and Tag Rugby or Bouncy Castle! After the activities you then have 30 minutes in self-catering party rooms that you can decorate to your liking to cater for the children. All parties are supervised by fully qualified coaches who will take care of the children for the activity session. Charters Leisure Centre - 01344 628686. CHEEKY CHARLIES. One hour in the soft play area with one host and a visit from Cheeky Charlie, followed by use of a private room. Two options: Exclusive Hire for up to 30 children and Cheeky Time, or during public opening times for up to 20 children. Maximum age: 10. Magnet Leisure Centre, Maidenhead. 01628 685338 Get creative with fun filled sewing parties for 5-14 year olds with DHAGGA SEWING CLUB. You can choose to make a unique gift from a whole range of items including, bags, aprons, cushions, door hangers and much more, all material is provided. It will be an exciting 1.5 hours of making something special with your friends for the birthday girl or boy. For more information, please contact Anita on 07782253565 or EGHAM LEISURE CENTRE. Parties are available for children 2 - 12 years: Soft Play, Bouncy castle and mixed games or sports, Football. Soft Play Parties require parent/guardian supervision. Contact: or call Jill Callaby, Party Co-ordinator 01784 437695 EVREHAM SPORTS CENTRE. They offer a wide range of affordable, themed birthday party packages for kids under 16 years old - from trampolining to climbing. We also do all the prep and tidying up, so you can just relax and enjoy the day! T: 01753 672610

Telephone: 01628 627 586

FLUTTERBY PARTIES. Tailored to suit the wishes of boys and girls of all ages. 2 hours of fun with 3 party hosts. Traditional games, catwalks, dance shows, karaoke and prizes. They also do face painting, temporary tattoos, hair colour sprays and much, much more. Dressing up box for under-5’s! Call Zowie on 07812440297. FUNKY FACES for parties and corporate events. Professional make-up artistry provides facepainting and glitter tattoos for children aged 3 years and above and mini-makeovers for children aged 8 and above. Covers Bucks, Berks and surrounding areas. Contact by email: or phone 07976 671309. GENEVIEVE THE GALLERY. Paint-a-plate parties for all ages.You can also bring your own drink and food. T: 01784 430516; E-mail:; for enquiries GIGGLES PARTY SHOP supply Party Decorations, themed table to partyware. Balloons for all occasions, venue decor available to suit everyone's tastes and budgets. Party Bag Fillers. Contact 01628 530923 for more details go to or check out their Facebook page. The HANDS-ON ART STUDIO organises parties for groups of up to 20 guests, for all ages & occasions: children, families, Brownies, Hens, corporate office or teambuilding & more. Allinclusive prices: materials & equipment, professional guidance & instruction, glazing & firing of pottery items and decorations. They can also arrange catering for a truly hassle-free experience. Printable invitations available on the website. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more - see website or call Janet for more details: 01753 206265; HARTBEEPS specialises in big fun musical and play-based entertainment for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th birthdays. State-of-the-art music production, lighting effects (where possible), innovative props and puppetry, as well as finishing with a beautiful snuggle time. Throughout the Thames Valley region. Visit For Maidenhead, Windsor, Cookham, Burnham, Stoke Poges & Bracknell call Liz on 01628 639727 or 07985935662, email For Marlow ring Session Leader Kerraleigh Child 07866 656366 or email JR RUGBY offers party packages for up to 20 children. Their team of experienced rugby coaches


Making Music Magic! For babies & pre‐schoolers Maidenhead, Windsor, Cookham, Burnham, Stoke Poges & Bracknell Contact Liz 07985 935662, For Marlow Contact Kerraleigh Child 07866 656366,

FAMILIES Thames Valley East


It’s Party Time

“A Small, Friendly & Caring School” · High quality Montessori education for children aged 2 to 5 years · Free Montessori sessions for 3 to 5 year olds · Staff qualified to the highest Montessori & National Standards · A complete learning environment and a sound foundation for life

Contact: Georgina Pitchford 01628 676717

Thames Valley East Advertise for as little as £40 plus VAT.

Call: 01628 627586 to book now

will make sure your child has a memorable party experience with high energy, fun and exciting ruby games. Package includes 90 minute session with two rugby coaches, rugby related gift for the birthday boy or girl and invitations. To find out more call 07809 222815 or email; LITTLE KICKERS. The pre-school soccer club runs one-hour football parties with two coaches for up to 16 children. The price includes football coaching, party games, medals and a trophy for the birthday boy/girl. For parties in Maidenhead, Marlow, Henley and Bourne End call Ben on 01628 526584 and in Windsor, Langley, Eton and Ascot, call Sam on 07412 166686. LONGRIDGE. An outdoor activity centre based on the River Thames that provides action-packed parties with water themes. Parties can include any of Longridge water or land activities, such as raft building, climbing, giant orbs, go karts, bell boats and kayaking.Min age 8 years. Call 01628 483252 or email For a full list of Longridge activities visit the website THE LOOK OUT DISCOVERY CENTRE. The centre runs two hour parties (10-20 children) for 5-12 year olds. Party goers get to visit the Hands-on Science and Nature exhibition with a member of staff. The parties can be catered or self catered. Cost per head: £7.50 (self-catering), £12.15 (cold food) £12.85 (hot food). Go to for more information or phone 01344 354400. MAD ACADEMY. Themed or traditional highenergy music and dance parties for children 1-6 years. Songs, dances, games with props plus fantastic music, run by a party leader experienced in preschool music classes. (The grown-ups have fun too!). Emma 0118 979 2695 (Maidenhead/ Marlow/Charvil/Henley) or Kate: 01753 830162 (Ascot/Farnham Royal/Sunningdale/Windsor). MAGNET LEISURE CENTRE: Over 5’s, Norbet’s Bouncy kennel, Splash party – Saturday and Sundays. Over 6’s, Water Walkers – Max 12 children, Indoor Football, Multi sports, Trampolining, Inflatable obstacle course. Roller Disco Parties public max 15 children or Exclusive Roller Disco Party, over-5s, max 40 children. Premium Parties: Charlie’s Galleon Adventure, soft play area, plus two party hosts over 3’s max 30 children and Go Kids Karting Party, 3-9yrs, max 15 children, includes: 4 karts, 2 party hosts. T:01628 685333/685335.

Pamper parties for girls aged 5‐15yrs * * * *

Pretty Hands and Fairy Feet Fun face masks with friends Glitter tattoos Sparkly eyes & glitter lip gloss

A range of packages for your princess and her friends. Contact Clare: 07786 960148 or

MARY POPPINS ENTERTAINMENTS. Jean Purdy, based in Stoke Poges, offers a variety of children's parties for all ages, appearing in various guises, including Winnie the Rainbow Witch. One of the few female members of the Magic Circle, Jean offers Puppet Parade, the new puppet show and party for all ages, as well as a Hogwarts magic show, fire-eating, mini-disco, ventriloquism and balloon modelling. She can also be booked for professional magic and public speaking. Call 01753 663374 or 07811084328. MESSY MONETS – Creative parties for boys & girls aged 5+. Choose a theme and make, paint & create with your friends.Your own personal party plan with your choice of products – from 3D canvases, money boxes and much, much more. All items are taken home in a personalised party bag designed by each child. Contact Melissa on 07974 113434, or visit or Monets MINI ME! - Pamper parties for girls aged 5+. Girls can have fun manicures & Pedicures, glitter tattoos, make up (age appropriate). Packages for Mini's, Pre Teen's and Teens available & the birthday girl receives a goodie bag. Please contact Clare for further information on 07786 960148 or visit or MONTEM LEISURE CENTRE. Absolutely Ten Pin, bowling party, Absolutely Ice, ice skating party, Absolutely Combat, a live gaming experience. Absolutely Karting, karting parties for children as young as six. 08450 262 466. THE NOVELLO THEATRE Sunninghill, Ascot. SL5 9NE presents Cinderalla running from January 11-18. Adults £17.50, children £15.50. Discount for Groups of 15 or more. Also - Party Package (£ 2.50 extra per child) includes bringing your own box tea, meeting the actors and cutting your birthday cake on the stage. For bookings, groups or party package call 01344 620881. ODDS FARM PARK. Wooburn Common, nr Beaconsfield, Parties include entry to the farm, hire of a fully decorated party room, food and party bags. Afterschool parties are also available. 01628 520188. PERFORM PARTIES. High-energy parties combining drama, dance and singing with fun games, stories and improvisations. Party leaders arrive with colourful costumes, props and music to create a fantasy land with themes for all ages from 1–12 yrs, including Mermaids and Pirates, Superheroes, Fairytale Forest, Mamma Mia, High School Musical, Peppa Pig and In The Night Garden. 0845 400 1282,

Blossom Ballet For a FREE taster class or for further information please contact Lucy:


Blossom Ballet is about having lots of fun and making new friends. Classes throughout the week, including weekends, in Windsor, Birch Hill and Maidenhead.


FAMILIES Thames Valley East



RUGBYTOTS provide parties for children. The parties follow a slightly different approach from standard Rugbytots classes, placing even greater emphasis on play & party games for your child and their friends. If your child loves coming to Rugbytots classes, why not give them a party to remember. All the Rugbytots packages include: Rugbytots Invitations and a unique Rugbytots gift for the birthday child. For further information, contact or call 0845 3133259 THE SAMURAI FITNESS GROUP specialise in child martial arts and our parties are for 4+yrs. Content depends on the age group but may include jumping and flying kicks, shoulder rolls and flips. Held in your own home or at venue of your choice! Matt on 07828 534817, SHOWSTOPPER PARTIES: Fun-filled and action-packed Dance, Drama and Singing Parties for children of all ages. Showstopper brings you children's parties you will want to use again and again! Run by Mairi, a performer and children's Director for London's West End, for a truly outstanding and unique party. Themes include Mamma Mia, Perfect Popstar, Mini Musicals, Princess & Pirates ... and many more! Call Mairi on 07885150034 or visit SIMA'S ACTION KIDS. Entertainer Sima Stannage’s parties are structured, fun, fast-paced. Using toys, props and music appropriate to the age group. For under-6s: singing, dancing, party games, action stories and rhymes. For under-11s: dance parties with funky routines, singing and games. For 8-11 year olds, Sima's Disco-Bop & Karaoke parties. Party bags and face painting as additional extras. 07956 993439. SPECIAL OFFER: 10% discount on any new bookings made before 1st March 2014. SQUISHBOSH, isn’t just a fun name it is a word made up of qualities that the party entertainers look for in the children at the party (aged 5-10), which then forms the basis of the awards at the end of every party. Squishbosh is a fun sports event but with a twist, it’s a mix between, Total Wipeout, It’s a Knockout and more original sports games. All games must be played outside. Call Pete on 07721 422554 or 01628 821145. STAGECOACH PARTIES. Themed parties for up to 30 children with lots of singing, dancing and games. 2-hour parties for 4–6 yrs, 2.5hrs for 7–10 yrs. Invitations, prizes, balloons all included. Murder mystery parties for 11–16 yrs also available. Can also supply extras such as face painting and party bags. 01494 533203 (High Wycombe, Henley & Marlow), TWINKLE TOTS. Fun birthday ballet parties for 2 yr olds up. Get the opportunity to dance with professional ballerinas. Ballerina turns up at your party in a pink tutu. Themed parties tailored to your child's desires. Ballet themed party bags and even pointe shoe pinata's! Boys Peter Pan and Pirates parties also available. Call 07828 857061 or email Go online to look at testimonials and photos from previous customers: WINDSOR LEISURE CENTRE. Cheeky Charlies party – hour activity with 30 minutes in Party Tea Room. Play leader/ invitations included. Play zone: Under-5s, shared use max 15 children. Under-7s, sole use max 25 children. Bouncy Castle parties 5-7 years.Various Sports Parties 6-12 years.Art and crafts parties 6-10 years. Over-8s, Netball/Basketball. Buffet food can be provided. Selfcatering room hire £25. Wave Parties over-8s, swim/ hot meal max 15 children. Pool available for exclusive hire weekend evenings between 6.30-8.15pm. 01753 778599 WYCOMBE SPORTS CENTRE High Wycombe. Runs Party Mania parties – choose from indoor football, hockey, basketball, swimming, trampolining, football and rollerskating. Drinks, party bags, balloons and party leader included. 01494 688105.

It’s Party Time Dhaaga Creative Sewing Birthday Parties

Unique and Fun‐filled Sewing Birthday Parties for 7‐14 Year Olds! ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

Choose to make Cushions, Bags and Aprons. Make unique return gifts! Personalise with initials. 1.5 Hours of making something special with your friends. Get to use the sewing machine to finish your item. All material provided. Staff on hand to guide and help. Prices start from just £10 per person (minimum group of 8).

Sewing birthday parties are run by Dhaaga After School sewing club. More than 300 children enjoy sewing in our clubs every week. The parties can be held in your chosen venue.

Contact Anita on 077822 53565 or 01628 626012 Or:

To view the online version go to All details were checked and correct when we went to press in December 2013.

Telephone: 01628 627 586


FAMILIES Thames Valley East


New Year, New You Five ways to boost your fitness It’s that time of year when you’re trying to adhere to New Year’s Resolutions. It might be to lose weight or to improve your overall fitness. Personal trainer Tai Friedmann (pictured right) gives Families some great ideas on how to stay motivated and fit. ew Year's resolutions often fail because the goals aren’t S.M.A.R.T.: Set, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Are your goals S.M.A.R.T.? A S.M.A.R.T. goal could be to lose an inch off your waistline by the end of February.You should take your measurements at the start of your journey and at each milestone toward your goal end. In addition, if you don't want to fall at the first hurdle and see your resolutions quashed, you have to take your big goal and break it down into bite-size ones. Set yourself mini goals. For instance, by the end of month one, you might want to eliminate all sugar from your tea. By February, maybe your commitment to yourself remains a daily reminder, or maybe you’re starting to lose focus and things aren’t progressing as fast as you want them to. If you’re trying to lose weight or improve your fitness, the most effective way is to incorporate exercise as part of your daily life. Here are 5 easy ways:


2. Walk up the stairs instead of taking the escalator or the lift. Not only are you giving yourself a workout by increasing your heart rate, but you’re toning your bum and legs at the same time. If you drive to work, try and park as far away as possible so that you can walk the rest of the way.

1. Simple squats while waiting for the kettle to boil. Here’s how: a. Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help keep your balance. b. Sit back and down like you're sitting into an imaginary chair. Keep your head facing forward as your upper body bends forward a bit. Rather than allowing your back to round, let your lower back arch slightly as you descend. c. Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels. As Featured in Business Traveller

Get involved with Tai Total Fitness Boot Camp

Weight loss | Toning | Improving stamina | Nutrition advice All levels welcome | Men and women | One-to-one personal training also offered It’s great to work as part of a group to get motivated and push through fitness barriers you thought were insurmountable. 6 sessions for £55 and bookings are required in advance. All you need is an exercise mat and a bottle of water. Monday 10am 4 Marlow Road, Maidenhead Tuesday 8.15pm St Pirans School, Maidenhead

To find out more about Tai Total Fitness visit Call 07923 438 740 now or email


FAMILIES Thames Valley East

3. Remember you need to eat to lose weight, so try small, healthy meals regularly. Up the protein content and reduce the carbohydrates. Most people don’t get enough protein. Also drink plenty of water – 2 litres a day is optimum. 4. Keep a food and exercise diary. This will help you to keep focus, and reassess and re-challenge yourself. Keeping a food diary really helps you to see exactly what you’re eating and it can be a real eye opener. 5. After exercising, stretching is very important if you want to avoid injury for future fitness sessions and to keep you focused on your commitment. You could stretch your hamstrings, for instance, after brushing your teeth to make it habitual. a. Bring your left leg forward, heel down, keeping your leg straight. Bend the right knee as if sitting back, while supporting yourself with both hands on your right thigh. Repeat on the opposite side. Unlock your potential Tai Friedmann runs Tai Total Fitness and offers one to one personal training and boot camp classes in Maidenhead on Tuesday at 8.15pm. To find out more call Tai on 07923 438 740 or go to



New Year, New You Not just a walk in the park... You probably already know that walking is good for you... we certainly hear it a lot! So why aren't more people doing it? Rachel Streek gives Families the lowdown on why it’s so good for you.

pparently 88% of people hate the thought of going to the gym or running. It could be that people don’t consider walking a serious alternative exercise contender – but did you know that mild-mannered walking could be as good, if not better for you, than trying to develop a gym habit? A good walking programme might be just the thing you are looking for – and it won’t be just a walk in the park! Here are 3 reasons why a walking programme could help you get in fabulous shape in 2014 - and way beyond. Reason no 1: It’s easier to fit it into your busy schedule, often the biggest hurdle to regular exercise. It’s very easy to put off going for a run or going to the gym, there’s just so much to do.You need to change ALL your clothes and take a shower afterwards. With walking you just need good shoes or trainers and some comfortable clothes. You can put on gym gear if you like, but you really don’t have to, Catch up with a friend during a brisk hike rather than sitting down over a latte. Don’t make a big deal of it, just put your shoes by the door, and head out when you can. Reason no 2: It’s a total body workout, just as good as the gym or running You can get a great workout from your walk by using power walking technique and maintaining good form through out your walk. 1. Hold yourself tall with your chest up – like a soldier


you’ve tried it! I started Nordic Walking after a stretch of running injuries, replacing two of my weekly runs with walks. I have taken 30 seconds off my average running mile time and have had a year injury free. I am finding there is a lot to be said for concentrating on form as well as speed, and Nordic Walking has totally sorted my arms! I’m all for sharing the trails and pavements. Reason no 3: You can have adventures and really see your fitness progressing As a beginner you should be building towards a pace of 15 minutes a mile, covering around 3 miles in 45 minutes.You can get a pedometer or mobile app that will tell you how far and how fast you’re walking. Master power walking and you can hit a 10 minute mile! Add interval training to your walks to increase your speed. Walk faster to one lamppost, normal speed to the next, then speed it up again. This will make you faster week on week. Once a month, time yourself walking a mile as a benchmark – over time, you’ll be able to see how your speed and walking fitness has improved. There are probably lots of beautiful places to walk really close to your home. Ask a friend to go on some route-finding adventures. Websites like have routes in your area that other people have mapped and if you browse on Amazon there are lots of guidebooks for walkers and ramblers – I found a great one for the area around Maidenhead. If you want to add a new dimension to your exercise routine, you should try Nordic Walking! A growing sport in the UK, Nordic Walkers use poles to add an extra dimension, working the arms and back as well as the legs, burning more calories and getting a total body workout. Nordic Walking Poles cost from £45 and to get the most benefit you’ll probably want to be trained in the proper technique.Visit to find a local instructor. Some, like me, run weekly classes that cater for all levels, providing poles, advice, loads of fun and motivation. So all you need to kickstart that exercise resolution may be right outside your door. To find out more about Nordic Walking classes near Maidenhead – email

2. Pull your shoulder blades down your back, opening up your chest 3. Suck your stomach in (and hold it like that for the duration of the walk) 4. Keep your hips in neutral position - a very good walker I know describes it as trying to hold an imaginary credit card between your butt cheeks! 5.Your arms should be bent in a right angle, at the elbow. 6.Take shorter, faster strides as you start out and pump those arms!!! 7. Roll right through your feet, feel your toes spread out and push off from your big toe. As well as a cardio workout you can build in muscle strength and endurance exercises en route – try lunges and push-ups on park benches. Employ a personal trainer every couple of months to take you through a program, tell them what you are doing and have them design something for you. On the topic of weight loss - yes running burns more calories to a point, but if it’s not for you then you just won’t do it, no matter how good your intentions. Consistent regular exercise is what counts for fitness and weight loss, if that’s your goal. And as you master power walking you can top jogging pace, with considerably less impact on your joints. For runners out there - don’t knock it till


FUN + SAFE + CHALLENGING Classes for Children walking to 3 years plus. Enjoy participating with your child in our safe indoor environment with its exciting up-to-date play equpment, based within the Altwood School, Maidenhead. Every day at 10am from Wednesday to Saturday. Our programme has been developed through more than 30 years’ experience with young children and their parents. Gymtots will enable your child to gain confidence by expanding their physical ability, coordination and social skills, with your involvement and under the guidance of our experienced staff. Our advanced class for 3 to 4 years plus, without parent participation, on Wednesdays at 3pm, is more structured and builds upon the earlier classes.

Where your little ones will blossom into independent confident learners in a wonderful environment, cared for by dedicated and qualified practitioners.

Come and meet our team and see what makes Poppies Day Nurseries different.

Bourne End Marlow Beaconsfield 01628 521522 01628 487772 01494 677116

Telephone: 01628 627 586



07 957 223 124 for details FAMILIES Thames Valley East


New Year, New you 7 MINUTES TO A LEANER LOOKING YOU It’s that time of year again, when we take stock of our lives and decide to get fit and hopefully shed some pounds along the way. But busy lives mean that one of the biggest challenges is simply finding the time to exercise. Personal trainer Sarah El-Hawary from Go Figure tells Families how. he good news is that exercise does not have to take large amounts of time. Research has shown highintensity interval training (HITT) to provide many of the benefits of prolonged endurance training, but in much less time. These benefits include: an increase in levels of HGH (human growth hormone); a boost in metabolising fat; an increase in aerobic capacity and insulin sensitivity. It is widely believed that signs of aging are a result of decline in HGH. Increasing your HGH can improve energy levels, decrease total body fat, increase lean body mass, enhance skin thickness and elasticity, increase bone mineral density, lower cholesterol levels and improve mood and coping skills. HITT is not new to the fitness industry there have been several different types of short, intense routines around since the 1970s, but what’s changed is that there is now research to back-up the benefits of this type of training.


A recent article in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal details how you can perform a high intensity workout using nothing more than a chair, a wall and your own body weight. It lists 12 exercises performed in order for 30 seconds each, with a 10 – 15 second rest between them. Your whole workout only takes 7 minutes! ‘What’s the catch?’ I hear you ask. In order for the right intensity to be reached, on a scale of 1-10, you should be working at around 8. This for most people is when exercise produces that nauseating feeling – not pleasant! A good motivator, however, is to remind ourselves that the workout will be over in just 7 minutes. As with any new exercise program there are contraindications: for individuals with hypertension, the plank, wall sit and side plank are not recommended. These can be replaced with a dynamic exercise instead.

The following 7 Minute Exercise Regime alternates exercises that work large muscles in the upper body with those in the lower body. By alternating upper body to lower body muscle groups, it gives muscles a little more time to recover, which makes the order of the exercises important. Exercises should be performed in quick succession, for 30 seconds each with a 10 – 15 second rest between them, at an intensity of 8/10.

“Sarah has introduced me to and nurtured me through, post natal circuit classes, personal training, circuit classes, training for and running a half marathon and Pilates. She makes exercise safe, fun and fit for purpose. She spends a lot of time making sure she understands you and your needs, limits and physical state and works to push you safely to get you to a fitter and stronger place.” Sarah Nutbrown 2013

Go Figure offers a range of personal Training both on land and in the water, and a range of classes to suit all abilities and lifestyles. • Pilates 1 to 1 Personal Training • Pregnancy Pilates, Postnatal Pilates and General Pilates. Pilates is a total body conditioning regime that works by rebuilding strength, flexibility and improving your body’s posture at any stage of life.

• Let’s Go Mummy Buggy Class This is a buggy class focusing on exercises which will help rebuild and strengthen your body, helping you drop some of those extra baby pounds along the way.

• Pelvic Floor Course. Learn how to activate and strengthen your pelvic floor, and reduce your waist line in the process! Baby welcome For more information please visit or call Sarah on: 07938 588029


FAMILIES Thames Valley East



Sarah offers... • Personal Training • 1 to 1 Pilates • Pregnancy, Postnatal and general Pilates • Pelvic Floor Course and a Let’s Go Mummy Buggy Course. To find out more ring 07938 588029 or go to

1. Jumping Jacks

2. Wall/tree Sit

3. Push Up

4. Abdominal Crunch

5. Step Up on to a chair/bench

6. Squat

7. Tricep Dip

8. Plank

9. High knees running in place

10. Lunge

11. Push Up & Rotation

12. Side Plank

Eva Winter Osteopath BSc (Hons), DPO • Providing safe and effective hands-on treatment for adults, children and babies • The Marlow Clinic, 1st Floor Crown House, Crown Road, Marlow, SL7 2QG

For more information T: 01494 482028 E: W: Registered with the General Osteopathic Council, British Osteopathic Association and Alumni for Paediatric Osteopathy

Telephone: 01628 627 586


FAMILIES Thames Valley East


Holidays How to have a proper holiday when you’re parents By Joanna Moorhead Everything changes when you have children, and nothing more than your annual holiday. But there are still ways to feel as though you’ve had a break, says motherof-four Joanna Moorhead t’s still got the same name, but once you’ve got children your fortnight in the sun isn’t really a holiday any more. Not a holiday as you once knew it, anyway. Gone are the days when you could laze around a pool all day, with no bigger decision than how early in the day to have your first beer; gone, too, the days when you could party through the night and stay in bed until 11am if you wanted. No: once you have kids, what a holiday actually means is more work than usual, with a different backdrop. Why more? Well, there are new hazards to negotiate, especially if your children are tiny (windows they could fall out of, swimming pools they could fall into, the need to be on constant watch for different dangers). And, unlike at home, you don’t have your usual safety nets in place to make things easier: no childminder, no friends round the corner, no teenage babysitter down the street, no playgroup. What’s a time-starved couple, who still like the idea that a holiday might deliver them some time together à deux, some time alone to ruminate and read, and the occasional opportunity to try out


watersports or the spa, to do? The good news is, there are ways round the difficulties. The caveat is, none of them are problem-free. Solution number one:Take the grandparents The pros: They’re free! Grandparents are often willing to pay their own way on holiday (well, most do) – and some are even going to treat you quite a bit while you’re away. I’m joking, of course: grandparents are a costcutting way of making your holiday more like a holiday; but the main advantage of them is they genuinely love your children, and they’re going to enjoy being with them, and vice versa. The cons: Not everyone has a great relationship with their parents or parentsin-law. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself whether you’d have holidayed with them before you had kids. If the answer is absolutely not, maybe think again. Solution number two: Have a shared holiday with another family

The pros: You can’t get out as much once you’ve got kids, so taking friends means you’ve got built-in entertainment. If you’re self-catering, you’ll find you can get a better deal on a luxurious big property – your money goes further, in other words. And, of course, the big advantage is that your kids will have friends too. The cons: You thought you knew your friends but believe me – you’re going to know them a whole lot better once you’ve holidayed with them. And you might not like everything about them. In fact you’re almost guaranteed to have the odd quibble – and maybe an all-out row (especially over children and how you deal with them). Are you sure your friendship can stand it? Solution number three: Go somewhere with a kids’ club The Pros: A holiday with built-in childcare is ideal for families who don’t want to take extra people with them, but who really want some ‘me time’ and some ‘couple time’ as well as plenty of time with the children. A kids’ club will provide supervised activities for the children for part of the day or on some days of your holiday: usually, they’re organised by age group, and what the activities consist of

Spanish and French for children classes from age 3-5 and 5-11 In Windsor and Maidenhead Call: Marzena on 07718989950 or email


FAMILIES Thames Valley East



photo: © olesiabilkei -


will depend on the ages and stages of the children. A kids’ club has the added advantage of giving your children the opportunity to make new friends, and these friendships can spill out of the kids’ club to provide playmates for your children when you’re by the pool or on the beach as well. Kids’ clubs don’t have to add hugely to the expense of a holiday, especially if your children are past babyhood (clubs for infants invariably cost more because of the higher adult-to-child ratios). Many campsites, in Europe as well as in Britain, have excellently-run kids’ clubs, some on a drop-in basis, others bookable in advance (it’s important to be very clear about availability, because the last thing you want to do is book somewhere with a club and

find out when you arrive that there are no places left). If you’re looking for a holiday with a kids’ club, do as much research as you can into exactly what’s provided: the key ingredient is that your children enjoy the club, and want to go there. The Cons: Kids clubs can dictate what you do during the day because you have to fit round the hours that they run. Also, despite all the best-laid plans, your child may just not want to go and join in the organised fun. Solution number four: ask an expert. The pros: Use a great travel provider that is used to dealing with families. There are many travel companies that specialise in booking bespoke or package holidays for families. Let them know your interests and what you want from your holiday and most importantly your budget. Then sit back and

relax and let them do all the hard work. Local travel company, Move Mountains, say "We are parents of two young children, so we know what families need on holiday. Our expertise goes beyond what you can find on search engines and we will often be much better value. Not only do we try to be the most competitively priced in the market, but it is less time consuming and often cheaper than booking all of the different elements of the holiday yourself directly. " To find out more, go to or even better call 01753 463400. The Cons: Most travel companies have deals and areas that they specialise in, so the choices they offer you may be limited to the places they have expertise in (although that’s not really a bad thing!).

Other ideas: If you want a villa holiday try: Somewhere unusual to stay: Lots of families together: A single parent holiday: Holidays that are tried and tested:

Want a fabulous family holiday? Relax we’ve got it covered Meet the team, Hannah and Pascal, your Windsor travel experts! • Ski Holidays • Summer and winter sun • Super childcare • Competitive prices • Fully ATOL bonded

Tel: 01753 463 400

January offers, book now!

Telephone: 01628 627 586


FAMILIES Thames Valley East


Holiday Review

Glamping on the Isle of Wight at Tom’s Eco Lodge The trend for ‘glamping’ is hard to ignore, so here at Families we thought we’d jump on the bandwagon and give it a go. We wanted to go away as a family, before the depths of winter set in, so we opted for a quirky weekend break in the UK. Although ‘Glamping’ in October did seem like a bit of a mad idea, we thought we’d try it. I love the great outdoors, but I like my home comforts too, so to save time searching we took expert advice from Tabitha Symonds from Tabitha assured me that she could find us somewhere really unusual to stay that was comfortable, easy to get to for a long weekend and most importantly was fun for children (6-year-old twins and a 10-year-old). Our favourite of her suggestions was Tom’s Eco Lodge in the Isle of Wight. As soon as we looked at his website and watched a video of Tom taking a tour round his lodges and site, we knew that it would be the perfect place to stay for the weekend. I hadn’t been to the Isle of Wight since I was a child and I was excited as the children when we got on the ferry (Tom’s Eco Lodge has a preferential rate, which they send you once you book). It only took an hour to drive to Lymington and 40 minutes on the ferry to Yarmouth. Tom’s Eco Lodge is based on a farm under ten minutes away from Yarmouth. When you arrive you find you’re welcomed with a bottle of wine and a torch - what else could you need? Especially as we had forgotten to pack both items! Each safari-style lodge has a cosy logburning stove, a sofa, a kitchen with running water and beds with linen. They even have


FAMILIES Thames Valley East

electric blankets to keep off the chill as well as a loo and a shower. There are five lodges sleeping up to eight including one with its own hot tub available for hire! I can hear the shouts of outrage now, “that’s not even glamping”. Maybe that’s true, but I loved the combination of being out on the farm under canvas with a warm cosy bed, hot shower and stove to cook on! It also meant we only had to pack clothes, wellies and a bit of food. Even if you don’t bring any groceries, they have a great honesty larder. It’s stocked with local produce and lots of essentials like butter, milk and bread, alongside important non-essentials like fresh coffee, Prosecco, marshmallows and skewers, (for cooking on the fire). They also sell the ingredients for pizza, which you can make in a pizza oven in the communal area. Without a doubt the highlight for the children, apart from the glorious views and 500 cows that also share the farm, was the converted caravan with rescued battery hens in it, each with their own, named, door. I did

feel sorry for the group of Yogis who were also staying on site as my children patrolled the caravan like soldiers each morning. Every time an egg was laid, it was snatched away and proudly presented to us for breakfast. The constant patrol meant that five were gathered each morning (so we could all have one each) and also meant that they were exhausted by the time we left for a daytrip at 10am. The kids could run around the site quite safely and found secret paths, hammocks and swings to play on. We even managed to cook sausages and marshmallows on an open fire outside our lodge. It was fantastic being under the stars eating charred marshmallows and being watched by hundreds of cows! We also enjoyed visiting some of the other parts of the island, we took the obligatory trip to the Needles and took the chairlift down to Alum Bay. It is really touristy but the children loved all the shops and things to do. Having a National Trust membership is also useful as you get free entry into the Needles Old Battery, which is a great historic site to visit. The Isle of Wight is really easy to get to and a fun, safe place for kids. If you want to experience luxurious glamping, Tom’s Eco Lodge certainly fits the bill. To find out more go to One Off Places is a holiday accommodation website featuring over 1000 properties worldwide. Properties range from treehouses and windmills to manor houses and chateaux, to suit a variety of group sizes, locations, and budgets. For more information see



What’s On

Compiled by Trynke Casale Event times and dates to change. Please try and check that an event is still going ahead, before you set out.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Natural History Museum,Tring, until March 10.

Butterflies in the Glasshouse, RHS Garden, Wisley, January 18 - March 9.

Andy and Mike's Tick Tock Time Machine, Theatre Royal Windsor, Windsor, January 19.


Pre-viewing briefings every 30 minutes from 6.30pm until 9.30pm. Look through a telescope (if clear sky), guided by our friendly astronomers. Parking at Braywick Nurseries, or at BNC. Free entry. Doors open 6.15pm.Visit for full information. Saturday January 11 until Saturday January 18. CINDERELLA at the Novello Theatre, Sunninghill, Ascot. Performances: Saturdays at 3pm and 7pm; Monday to Friday’s at 10.30am. Fully professional adult cast together with many young stars from Redroofs Theatre School recently seen on Film, TV and West End Musicals. Tickets: adults £17.50, children £15.50; Students and Senior Citizens tickets £8.50 on day of performance only subject to availability. Tel: 01344 620881/01628 822982. Wednesday January 15. LUNCHTIME WILDLIFE WALK at Horseshoe Lake, off Mill Lane, Sandhurst. 12.30–1.30pm. Meet some of the visiting winter wildlife to Bracknell Forest and discover fascinating facts and folklore associated with evergreen plants. Meet at Horseshoe Lake car park. 01344 354441; Thursday January 16 to 19; and January 22 to 25. THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS, panto by the Quince Players, in the Cordes Hall, Sunninghill. The delightful tale of the riverbank in true pantomime style. Tickets: £10 each. Buy tickets via 01344 874200 or complete a ticket request form online, or visit Sapphire Estate Agents on Sunninghill High Street where our Box Office is open between 10am-1pm. Thursday January 16 to Saturday January 18. SNOW WHITE AND THE FAIRY TALE CREATURES at the Kenton Theatre, New Street, Henley-on-Thames. Performances at 7.15pm; also at 2pm on Saturday. Amateur production of the classic panto featuring Queen Cruella, the Ogre, Snow White of course, Nifty Shifty and Odd Job, Muddles, Donkey and the seven dwarfs.Tickets: adults £13, children £10, concession £11. For more information, see 01491 575698; During weekends and school holidays from Saturday January 18 to Monday May 5. THE BRAIN DRAIN SHOW at the Look Out Discovery Centre, Nine Mile Ride, Bracknell. Show times at 11am, 12noon, 2pm and 3.15pm, subject to numbers. Find out how the human brain works, including memory, imagination, and optical illusions. Test your reactions in special brain games. For ages 4+. Cost: £1.85 per person (in addition to main entrance price). 01344 354400;

Saturday January 18, Sunday January 19 and Saturday January 25. ALI BABA, a pantomime by the Forum Players, at the Community Centre, Wakeman Road, Bourne End. Performances at 2.30pm and 6.30pm (only at 2.30pm on the 19th). Tickets: adults £9, concessions £7, family £28 (2 adults + 2 children). Tickets available from Bourne End Library or by phone: 01628 523291. Saturday January 18 to Sunday March 9. BUTTERFLIES IN THE GLASSHOUSE at the RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey. See the exotic butterflies flying around the ‘jungle’ and learn all about them. Sculpture displays. Children can help create a giant butterfly willow sculpture on Saturday January 18 and Sunday January 19. Normal garden entry applies. For more information, visit Sunday January 19. ANDY AND MIKE’S TICK TOCK TIME MACHINE at the Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, Windsor. 11am & 2pm. Andy Day, star of Andy’s Wild Adventures (CBeebies) and BAFTA nominated BBC presenter, stars alongside comedy partner, Mike James. Their trademark infectious energy and their irrepressible sense of fun, promise to make the show a treat for the whole family. Suitable for anyone over three and their families. Tickets: £13/£15. 01753 853888; Saturday January 25. BRASS RUBBING DAY at the Wycombe Museum, Priory Avenue, High Wycombe. Drop-in activities between 10am-4pm. Choose from a wide range of replica brasses including medieval knights in armour, costumed ladies and Tudor monarchs and produce some beautiful brass rubbings to take home. Guidance and materials provided. Cost: £2 per child. 01494 421895; Saturday January 25 and Sunday January 26. BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH, nationwide wildlife survey. The world's largest wildlife survey fun. Big Garden Birdwatch has grown into fun for all the family. All you need to do is count the birds in your garden or a local park for one hour over the weekend of 25-26 January 2014 then tell us what you see. Find out all you need to know from Sunday January 26. HAZEL COPPICING at Whitegrove Copse. 11am-3pm. Meet at All Saints Rise, off Harvest Ride, Warfield, Bracknell. Join the site Ranger in cleaning and conserving this wildlife haven and take some free wood home. Suitable for all ages. Refreshments, gloves and tools will be provided. 01344 354441;

Weekends in January and February. WILD & WACKY ENTERTAINERS at Odds Farm Park, Wooburn Common Road, Wooburn Common, High Wycombe. Enjoy some magic and fun entertainment during your visit, with shows at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. 01628 520188; Daily throughout January and February. EXPLORING AND ORIENTEERING at Denham Country Park, Denham Court Drive, Denham. Come along to the Visitor Centre and pick up an explorer map of Denham Country Park, and follow the trail. Cost: £1. For ages 4+. Or pick up an orienteering map for £1 and have a go at the park’s orienteering course. Bring a compass, or buy or hire one. (£5 Refundable deposit for compass hire). For adults and children ages 8+. On rainy days, you can GET CRAFTY, anytime, all year round. Buy a themed craft bag from the Visitor Centre (£1-£3 each) and keep the kids busy. For ages 3-11. 01895 833375; Daily till Monday March 10. WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR at the Natural History Museum in Tring, Akeman Street, Tring, Hertfordshire. 10am–5pm (Mon-Sat); 2–5pm (Sun). Popular photographic exhibition returns with an incredible range of inspiring and thought-provoking images taken by talented photographers from around the world. Free entry. 020 7942 6171; Friday January 10. TRADITIONAL ORCHARD WASSAIL at Lily Hill Park, Lily Hill Road, Bracknell. 7–8.30pm. Wassailing is a very old English custom to celebrate and protect fruit trees and ensure a good harvest. Enjoy a simple revival of this tradition accompanied by melodeon music and a little tipple or two. Suitable for all. Bring some cider or apple juice along. 01344 354441; Fridays January 10, 17 and 24, Saturdays January 11, 18 and 25. MOTHER GOOSE, a panto by the Lane End Players at Lane End Village Hall, Lane End, near Marlow. Performances at 8pm on Fridays, 2pm and 7pm on Saturdays. Booking essential. 07706 426320; Saturday January 11. STAR GAZING LIVE in association with the BBC at the Braywick Nature Centre, Hibbert Road, Maidenhead. 6.30-9.30pm. In association with the BBC programme ‘A night of stargazing’.

Telephone: 01628 627 586


FAMILIES Thames Valley East


What’s On

Please email with any events.

Fiddler on the Roof, Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe, January 29 to February 1.

Snowdrop Walk, Waltham Place, Maidenhead, February 1.

Kidnapped,Theatre Royal Windsor, Windsor, February 10-12

Sunday January 26. MOZART BIRTHDAY LUNCHTIME CONCERT at Norden Farm, Altwood Road, Maidenhead. 11.45am. With the St John’s Chamber Orchestra, performing Mozart’s Concerto for flute and harp, his Piano Concerto no. 15 and some arias from Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro. Tickets: adults £15, under 16s £5. 01628 788997; Sunday January 26. RSPB BIG GARDEN BIRDWATCH at the River and Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley-on-Thames. 10.30am–3.30pm. The RSPB returns for another Big Garden Birdwatch. Lots of fun wildlife-related activities to enjoy, including making animal masks, dragonflies and bird feeders. The RSPB will be hanging up some feeders outside, full of tasty snacks for the birds to feast on. Look through their binoculars and see what you can spot. Make a note of what you see and add your results to the Big Garden Birdwatch. 50% discount on admission for RSPB members. Free with Admission. 01491 415600; Sunday January 26. THE JUBILEE TOUR (DORNEY), family friendly canoeing tour with Engage Watersports. Meet at Taplow Lake, Amerden Lane, Taplow, Maidenhead at 1pm if hiring equipment, at 1.15pm if using own equipment. Tour: 1.30-3.30pm. Cost: adults with own kit £25, with kit supplied £35; children (under 12) with own kit £18, with kit supplied £25. Minimum age: 8yrs. No previous canoeing experience is necessary to take part. For full details and to book, call 01628 671131 or visit Sunday January 26. CHILDREN’S CONCERT – AROUND THE WORLD; a Musical Journey Far and Wide, by the Wycombe Sinfonia Orchestra at John Hampden Grammar School, Marlow Hill, High Wycombe. 3.30pm. Colin Baker narrates the musical tale of “Tom Sawyer’s Saturday” by John Dankworth. Plus the ever popular children’s participation items. Tickets: adults £6.50 (£5 concessions), children £2.50, family (2 adults + 3 children) £15 (at door only). Available at the door, from High Wycombe Tourist Information Office in the Library at Eden Place or Swan Box Office: 01494 512000. Sunday January 26. MUMMY AND BABY MARKET - NEARLY NEW SALE at Court Garden House, Pound Lane, Marlow. Entrance is through the terrace behind the Sir Steve Redgrave statue. 10am-12noon. Entry: adults £1, children free; £10 for a sellers table - keep 100% profits on the day! 07919 576527;

Wednesday January 29 to Saturday February 1. FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, at the Wycombe Swan, St Mary Street, High Wycombe. 7.30pm; also at 2.30pm on Thursday and Saturday. One of the all-time Broadway classics, directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, the nation’s favourite Strictly Come Dancing judge and master of the musical stage, and starring actor, director and writer, Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky in the 70’s TV series Starsky & Hutch) in the lead role of Tevye. Tickets: from £26 to £39 (depending on day and time); concessions £2.50 off. 01494 512 000; Thursday January 30 to Saturday February 1, Friday February 7 and Saturday February 8. PANTO IN SNOWALOT by the Richings Players, at Iver Village Hall, High Street, Iver. Performances at 7.45pm, Saturdays also at 2.30pm. Tickets: £12, concessions £8. 01753 654550;

Sunday February 2. CARE OF HENRY, at South Hill Park, Ringmead, Bracknell. 1.30pm. By the Pied Piper Theatre Company. Adaptation of Anne Fine’s children’s book. Who will care for Hugo – and his dog Henry – while his mum is having a baby? Ideal for ages 4-8. Tickets: £7 each, family £22. 01344 484123; Wednesday February 5 to Saturday February 8. HORRIBLE HISTORIES BARMY BRITIAN at the Wycombe Swan, St Mary Street, High Wycombe. Performances at 7pm on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10.30am on Thursday and Friday; 1.30pm on Thursday and 2.30pm on Saturday. All new amazing 3D effects. Tickets: £14-£21; concessions £2 off; family ticket £60 (4 tickets) on top two price bands. 01494 512 000; Saturday February 8. ENTER THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF STORIES at the Wycombe Museum, Priory Avenue, High Wycombe. 2-4.30pm. Celebrating National Storytelling Week with free, drop-in storytelling sessions. An afternoon full of enchanting tales, interwoven with music, poetry and song. 01494 421895; Saturday February 8. CLIVEDEN REACH TOUR (COOKHAM), Family friendly canoeing tour with Engage Watersports starting from Boulters Lock, Maidenhead. Arrive at Boulters Lock car park for 9.30am if hiring equipment or 9.45am if using own equipment. Tour: 10am-12pm. Cost: adults with own kit £25, with kit supplied £35; children (under 12) with own kit £18, with kit supplied £25. Minimum age: 8yrs. No previous canoeing experience is necessary to take part. For full details and to book, call 01628 671131 or visit Sunday February 9. SNOWDROP SPECTACULAR at Runnymede, on the road between Old Windsor and Egham. 11am-12.30pm. Discover a spectular show of snowdrops and the remnants of the historic estate of Ankerwycke. Booking Essential on 0844 2491895. Meet at the Ankerwycke Farm turning area, Magna Carta Lane, Wraysbury. Field for car parking will only be open between 10.30am and 1pm on the day. Cost: adults £5, children £2.50. More Information via 01784 432891, Monday February 10 to Wednesday February 12. KIDNAPPED at the Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, Windsor. Highly imaginative re-telling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story perfect for young and old audiences alike. An adventure tale for all the family, packed full of physical storytelling and imagination. 01753 853888;

FEBRUARY Saturday February 1. SNOWDROP WALK at Waltham Place, Church Hill, White Waltham, Maidenhead. Join one of the gardeners for a guided walk and then finish with tea, coffee and cake. All walks start at the Ormandy Centre. Cost: adults £7, children £3 (5-16 years), under 5′s free. All walks leave promptly at 2pm so please allow a few minutes to find us. 01628 825517; Saturday February 1. CHINESE NEW YEAR PARADE in Maidenhead Town Centre. Celebrate the new year of the Horse (which officially starts on Friday January 31) and witness the spectacle of a traditional dragon and lion dance. Activities for all in the Nicholson’s Centre. For more info on exact times, visit nearer the time. Saturday February 1. POSTMAN PAT – IT’S SHOWTIME! at The Hexagon, Queen’s Walk, Reading. 1pm. Brand new, fun-filled, all-action show featuring everyone's favourite postman. Greendale is staging a Talent Show. Perfect for all 3-6 year olds. Tickets: adults £12.50, children £10.50, family £42. 0118 9606060; Saturday February 1. AQUATIC FIRST AID COURSE at Longridge ALF Village, Quarry Wood Road, Marlow.9am-5pm. Gain a basic level of knowledge and skill to render first aid in a range of emergency situations with a particular focus on water activities. To book or for more information: 0330 3030101;

Play sessions for under-5s at the Phoenix Gymnastics Club Have fun in this fully equipped gym with your kids. Sessions Monday: 10.30-11.30 Tuesday to Friday: 9.30 -10.30 & 11.00–12.00 Tuesday & Thursday: 1.00-2.00pm Cost just £3.50 per child (must be accompanied by adult)

Refreshments available Phoenix Gymnastics Club Unit 1, Water Oakley Farm, Maidenhead Road, Windsor Tel:01628 778881

Classes in Maidenhead & Marlow


FAMILIES Thames Valley East



What’s On

The Gruffalo Live on Stage!, Camberley Theatre, Surrey, February 15-16.

Half-Term Holiday Activity Days, Longridge, Marlow, February 15-23.

The Frog and the Princess, Norden Farm, Maidenhead, February 20-21.

Thursday February 13. TISSUE PAPER POLAR BEARS at the Natural History Museum, Akeman Street, Tring. 30-Minute workshops at 11am and 2pm. Suitable for the under 5s. Cost: £1.50, available on the day. 020 7942 6171;

Saturday February 15 to Thursday February 20. HALF-TERM WORKSHOPS at South Hill Park, Ringmead, Bracknell. PARENT AND CHILD CLAY WORKSHOP on Saturday 15th from 1.30-3.30pm. ARTS FACTORY for ages 4-11yrs on Monday 17th from 10am-12noon. HALF TERM CIRCUS SKILLS for ages 11-19yrs on Monday 17th from 1-5pm (Cost: £12). GAME WORLD for ages 11-15yrs on Wednesday 19th from 10am-4pm (£40). HALF TERM PLAY WITH CLAY for ages 7-12yrs on Thursday 20th from 10am-12pm. LEGO ANIMATION for ages 11-15yrs on Thursday 20th from 10am-4pm (Cost: £40). Booking required for all workshops. Cost (unless specified above): £18 (members £17). 01344 484123; Saturday February 15 to Sunday February 23. HALF TERM HOLIDAY ACTIVITY DAYS at Longridge ALF Village, Quarry Wood Road, Marlow. 8.45am to 4pm or 5.30pm. Come along for a whole day and challenge yourself with a range of fun filled activities. Cost: depending on activity, from £40. Or book a session at the centre’s new LASER MAZE. One of only three in the country. An exciting physical and mental challenge in a custom built game zone. On Monday February 17: FENCING ONE-DAY TASTER. Learn all the basic moves in fencing and find a new sporting passion. 10am-2pm. 0330 3030101; Saturday February 15 to Sunday February 23. EXPLORING AND ORIENTEERING at Denham Country Park, Denham Court Drive, Denham. Pick up an explorer map of Denham Country Park, and follow the trail. Cost: £1. For ages 4+. Or pick up an orienteering map for £1 and have a go at the park’s orienteering course. Bring a compass, or buy or hire one. (£5 Refundable deposit for compass hire). For adults and children ages 8+. On rainy days, you can GET CRAFTY, anytime, all year round. Buy a themed craft bag from the Visitor Centre (£1-£3 each) and keep the kids busy. For ages 3-11. 01895 833375; Saturday February 15 to Sunday February 23. HALF TERM FUN – CREATE A CREST at Hughenden, High Wycombe. 11am-4pm. Design and make your own family crest. Be inspired by Benjamin Disraeli's Coat of Arms and have a go at making one for you and your family. Free with normal admission. 01494 755565;

Saturday February 15 to Sunday February 23. KNIGHTS’ AND PRINCESSES’ WEEK at Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury. Fairy-tale fun at half term: craft activities at the Coach House - make your own sword, crown and tiara. Hunt around the gardens - see if you can find all the hidden shields. Drop-in sessions each day. Cost: £2 per child. 01296 653226, Sunday February 16. OLD MACDONALD HAD A FARM at The Hexagon, Queen’s Walk, Reading. 2.30pm. Some of Old MacDonald's animals have gone missing! Can you help a friendly scientist and his amazing time machine get them back for him? Magical medley of games, giggles and sing-along songs. Suitable for ages 4+. Tickets: adults £9.50, children U16 £8.50, family of four £32. 0118 9606060; Sunday February 16. BUSHCRAFT workshops at Hughenden, High Wycombe. 9am-12pm or 1-4pm. Join our Bushcraft expert for lessons in nature, including shelter building and fire lighting. Children welcome if accompanied by an adult. Booking essential. Cost: £25 per person. 0844 2491895. 01494 755573; Monday February 17. BIN MEN at South Hill Park, Ringmead, Bracknell. 2pm. A play with music for young children (5+) and their families; a story of recycling and transforming, told with live music, puppetry, a touch of Don Quixote and lots of fun. Tickets: adults £10, children £6.50, family £26.50. 01344 484123; Monday February 17 to Friday February 21. HALF TERM EVENTS AND SHOWS at Norden Farm, Altwood Road, Maidenhead. Monday to Wednesday: ART CLUB from 10am-4pm. Craft activities, messy materials and work on a group art project. For ages 8+yrs. Cost: £90 (£75 with Advantage Card). Monday: MAKE A PLAY IN A DAY from 10am-4pm. Create a show in just one day, led by Troublemaker Theatre Company. For ages 10-18yrs. Cost: £30 (£25 with Advantage Card). Monday: THE MUSICIANS OF BREMEN by Sea Legs Puppet Theatre at 11.30am and 2pm. Classic fairytale of friendship and courage. For ages 3+. Tuesday: OTIZ CANNELLONI’S THE HISTORY OF MAGIC (ABRIDGED) at 11.30am and 7pm. Genuine information about magic punctuated by delightful nonsense, with lots of joining in. A fun and unique show for everyone. Wednesday: THE BOGGLE at 11.30am and 2pm. Boggles don’t exist, do they? Storytelling, comedy, puppetry, object manipulation and an original soundscape. Suitable for ages 6+ years. Thursday and Friday: THE FROG AND THE PRINCESS by Norwich Puppet

HALF TERM Saturday February 15. BRINGING BACK THE 80S at the Windsor and Royal Borough Museum, Guildhall, High Street, Windsor. 11.30am-3.30pm. Remember Pacman, cassette tapes and when Neighbours came to the UK? Celebrate 80s fashion, music, technology and much more. Fun for all the family including arts and crafts, performances and food! Suitable for ages 4+. Free entry (£2 per adult without advantage card). 01628 685686; From Saturday February 15. WELLINGTON COUNTRY PARK REOPENS, Odiham Road, Riseley, near Reading. Opening times during February and March are 9.30am-4.30pm. Admission (low season): adults £7.50, children (3-15) £6.50, family (2+2) £25.50. 01189¬ 326444; Saturday February 15. SMALL ITEMS FAIR at the Macdonald Hotel, High Street, Windsor. 10am-5pm. Small Items Fair, with lots of unique and handmade little things, such as buttons, beads, knobs, brooches, small gifts, little dolls, etc. 077945 82267; Saturday February 15. RSPB BIG BIRD ACTIVITY DAY at the Wycombe Museum, Priory Avenue, High Wycombe. Drop-in anytime between 10.30am-4pm. Fun-filled day for adults and children with the RSPB. Make an apple feeder, dissect an owl pellet, and look through telescopes, plus lots more. 01494 421895; Saturday February 15 and Sunday February 16. THE GRUFFALO LIVE ON STAGE! at the Camberley Theatre, Knoll Road, Camberley, Surrey. 11am and 2pm. Musical stage adaptation of the popular picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Perfect family treat with plenty of songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged 3+ and their grown-ups. Tickets: £12 each, or £9.50 each for groups of 10 plus. 01276 707600;

Email us your events to

or to advertise email or call 01628 672586

Telephone: 01628 627 586


FAMILIES Thames Valley East


What’s On


Please email with any events.

Old Macdonald Had a Farm,The Hexagon, Reading, February 16

Youth production of Cats the Musical,Theatre Royal Windsor, Windsor, February 18-22.

Half-term Fun, Reme Museum of Technology, Reading, February 19-21.

Theatre at 11.30am and 2pm. A humorous puppetry retelling of the traditional Frog Prince tale by the Brothers Grimm. Suitable for ages 4+ years. Tickets for all family shows: £8.50, family (4 people) £31. 01628 788997; Monday February 17 to Friday February 21. HALF TERM ACTIVITIES at the Natural History Museum, Akeman Street, Tring. Monday, Wednesday and Friday: Attack and Defence, the Deadly Side of the Natural World. 45-Minute specimen handling workshops at 10.15am, 11am, 2.30pm and 3.15pm. Cost: £1.50, available on the day. Suitable for all ages. Tuesday and Thursday: Make a Bird Feeder. 30-Minute workshops at 10.15am, 11am, 2.30pm and 3.15pm. Suitable for over-fives. Cost: £2.50, available on the day. 020 7942 6171; Tuesday February 18. FEED THE BIRDS! At the Colne Valley Park Visitor Centre, Denham Country Park, Denham Court Drive, Denham. 11am-12.30pm. Bird-related craft activities. Try making your own bird feeders and nest material balls in the busy run up to Spring. Cost: £3 per child. Booking essential. 01895 833375; Tuesday February 18 to Thursday February 20. HALF TERM CRAFT WORKSHOPS AND ACTIVITIES at the River and Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley-on-Thames. Tuesday 18: MYSTERIOUS MOLE from 10.30am–12.30pm. What on earth does a mole get up to underground? For ages 4–7yrs; cost: £8.50. Wednesday 19. MODEL MOTOR MONEY BOX from 10.30am-12.30pm. For ages 7–11yrs; cost: £8.50. Thursday 20. VROOMM VROOMM! From 10.30am-4pm. Make, play and experiment with things that move in a fun-packed family day to accompany the Frazer Nash exhibition. Free with admission. Please book workshops in advance. General admission: adults £8, children 4+ £6, free for under 3s. Tickets give free admission for a whole year. 01491 415600; Tuesday February 18 to Thursday February 20. HALF TERM ACTIVITIES at the Wycombe Museum, Priory Avenue, High Wycombe. Tuesday and Thursday: UNICORNS, DRAGONS AND MORE! Sessions start at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm & 3.30pm, by timed tickets on the day (places are limited). Create a mythical creature. Cost: £2.50. Wednesday: POP-UPS AND MOVING MECHANICAL WORKSHOPS from 10am-12pm or 2-4pm, for ages 7+. Cost: £5. Create your own pop-up pages and moving pictures. 01494 421895; Tuesday February 18 to Friday February 21. HOLIDAY CERAMICS WORKSHOPS at Hands-On Art Adventures, St Lukes Road, Old Windsor. 10-11.30am. Explore a new technique each day: sculpting, coil pot, relief tiles and more. Cost: £12 per workshop, 4-session discount £44. Accompanying adults go half price. On Wednesday: POTTER’S WHEEL HOLIDAY WEDNESDAYS for adults and children. Price of £12 includes: 15-minute throwing tuition, decorate your pot ten days later, glazing & 2nd firing of your finished pot. First session at 12pm, last session 4.15pm. Book the Pottery Camp and the Potter’s Wheel for your child on the same day for only £20. Booking essential. 01753 206265; Tuesday February 18 to Friday February 21. HALF TERM ACTIVITIES AND WORKSHOPS at the Museum of English Rural Life, Redlands Road, Reading. Monday February 18: MERL FAMILY TOURS between 2.30-3pm. Free, drop-in. Fun, interactive 30-minute tour of the museum. Hear stories about what it was like to live and work in the countryside. Wednesday February 19: CLARICE CLIFF CERAMICS – workshops between 10am-12.30pm and 1.30-4pm. Workshop inspired by MERL’s current exhibition ‘Collecting the Countryside: 20th Century Rural Cultures’. Paint your own Clarice Cliff inspired ceramic plate. Drop in event. Cost: £3 per child. For ages 4+. Thursday February 20: METALLIC MARVELS – create your own piece of metal art. For ages 4+. Cost: £3 per child.

Booking essential. Friday February 21: PLASTER MICE – become a sculptor for the day. Make a plaster of paris mouse. For early years and above. Cost: £2 per child. Drop in event. 0118 378 8660; Tuesday February 18 to Saturday February 22. CATS THE MUSICAL at the Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, Windsor. Performances at 2.30pm (not on Tuesday) and 7.30pm. By the Theatre Academy.Youth production of this international smash-hit musical. Tickets: £11-£33. 01753 853 888; Wednesday February 19 to Friday February 21. CODES AND COMS – HALF TERM ACTIVITIES at the REME Museum of Technology, Isaac Newton Road, Arborfield, nr Reading. 11am-3.30pm. Activities throughout the museum, and a chance to explore secret codes and communication. Plus the museum’s popular Mini Assault Course will be open, run by real REME Soldiers! A change of clothes might be needed. Suitable for children aged 5-12. 0118 976 3375; Thursday February 20. PORTRAITS TO PEOPLE at the Royal Borough Museum, High Street, Windsor. 12-1.30pm & 2-3.30pm. Seek inspiration from the portraits on display and recreate model figures of your favourite historical character. For more information visit the museum website. Suitable for ages 4+. Cost: £2 per child with advantage card (£2.50 per child without), one accompanying adult free. 01628 685686; Thursday February 20. THE BIBLE SHOW – THE WORD OF GOD (ABRIDGED), by the Reduced Shakespeare Company at the Firestation Arts Centre, St Leonard’s Road, Windsor. 8pm. An affectionate, irreverent roller coaster ride from fig leaves to Final Judgment as the boys tackle some burning theological questions. Tickets: £16 each. 01753 866865; Thursday February 20. TREE TALES AND TRAILS at South Hill Park, Ringmead, Bracknell. 10.30-11.30am. Learn about the fabulous trees at South Hill Park; pick up some handy tips on identifying trees in winter and learn about their history, myths and folklore. Meet in the Courtyard in front of South Hill Park Arts Centre. 01344 354441; Thursday February 20. WILD ONES – BIRDS ARE BRILLIANT at Sandhurst Community Hall, Sandhurst Memorial Park,Yorktown Road, Sandhurst. 2–4pm. Explore the hedgerows for winter birds and then make your own model birds using wallpaper, clay and paint. Suitable for all ages. Cost: £4 for materials. 01344 354441;

Thursday February 20 and Friday February 21. FAMILY COOKERY SCHOOL at Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury. Create a selection of goodies with our team of chefs. The course will include lunch or afternoon tea, all cookery ingredients and a goody box to take home. Two sessions: 9.30am-1.30pm (with lunch) or 2-5.30pm (with afternoon tea). Maximum of 15 adults and 15 children for each session. Suitable for ages 7-11. Tickets: £20. 01296 653226; Saturday February 22. THE CASTLE AND COLLEGE TOUR, family friendly canoeing tour with Engage Watersports, starting from the Windsor Leisure Centre, Stovell Road, Windsor. Arrive at 10.30am at the slipway if hiring equipment, 10.45am if using own equipment. Tour: 11am-1pm. Cost: adults with own kit £25, with kit supplied £35; children (under 12) with own kit £18, with kit supplied £25. Minimum age: 8yrs. No previous canoeing experience is necessary to take part. For full details and to book, call 01628 671131 or visit Saturday February 22. A CAT AND HIS FISH, special creative creatures fair at the Macdonald Hotel, High Street, Windsor. 10am-5pm. Free entry and free chocolate. Lots of craft stalls. 077945 82267;; Sunday February 23. CELEBRATING WOODS DAY at Jocks Lane, Binfield Road, Bracknell. 10.30am–2.30pm. Enjoy a fantastic day in the woods with traditional woodland crafts, demonstrations and hands-on activities for all ages. Activities include wood turning, hurdle making, hedge laying, green chair making, Morris dancing, a family-friendly treasure trail, BBQ, miniature steam railway rides, green-gardening and wood products for sale. 01344 354441; Sunday February 23. GO WILD ABOUT NATURE at the Wycombe Museum, Priory Avenue, High Wycombe. 2.30-4pm. Different activities each month including crafts, investigations and discoveries. Cost: £4. Suitable for ages 6+. 01494 421895; Starting Monday February 24. HAND PRINT CLASS at Gilchrist Thomas Village Hall, Littlewick Green, Maidenhead. Six-week class every Monday morning learning how to make your own print. Create something beautiful, jam labels, cards to a picture for your wall using lino, wood and stencils. For more information: email or visit: or call 07866 355993.

FAMILIES Thames Valley East

For Little Kickers & Little Rugby classes in Maidenhead, Bourne End, Henley, Marlow & Stokenchurch. Call 01628 526 584 or email For Little Kickers classes in Ascot, Langley, Windsor & Eton call 07412 166 686 or email



Great Competitions with WIN A UNIQUE WORD ART FRAME

WIN A FAMILY WEEKEND TICKET TO A FESTIVAL Go to Elderflower Fields Festival - a fantastic family festival in Sussex (less than an hour from Brighton) on 23-26 May 2014. It will be a magical weekend of fun activities, eclectic music and great local food, designed especially for families with children in mind. There will be over 40 musical acts on two stages, sports and arts camps, urban wood activities, wildlife and environmental projects. Plus music theatre and dance workshops to go to. Free camping and parking is also included in the ticket price. One reader will get the chance to win a family ticket for two adults and two children. To find out more go to To enter just visit Closing date 7 February

Through The Dinky Fingerprint Company, you can create a unique and personalised typographic word art print packed full of the words that have special significance for your friends and family.You can use dates, times, places, names, words with special meaning, poetry or lyrics – the choice is completely yours. One lucky reader can win a a 14 inch x 11 inch white or black frame containing an A4 size print with all their own special memories. For more information call 01628 623 386 or visit To enter just visit www.familiestveast/competitions today. Closing date 7 February

Telephone: 01628 627 586

This prize is valid for 23rd - 26th May 2014 only. A family ticket is 2 x adult and 2 x children. Any group size welcome, though additional tickets must be purchased prior to the event. This prize has no cash value: tickets surplus to your group number cannot be redeemed as cash and tickets cannot be redeemed for nonattendance. The tickets include free standard camping, car parking and all the children’s activities including the Sports Camp, Arts Camp and Urban Woods. Go to for more information


FAMILIES Thames Valley East



Why silliness rules at the dinner table!

Most children go through a faddy eating stage at some point, Dr Lucy Russell explains how to deal with it. f you’d been watching my family (husband and two children, aged six and then aged two) in well-known pizza restaurant recently this is what you would have seen: three out of four of us, for the benefit of the little one, doing a silly dance involving clapping, swaying, high 5s and wiggling, every time he ate a mouthful of pizza; raucous cheering when he put a piece of cucumber in his mouth; and then me taking on the voices of pieces of pasta (a different silly voice for each one), begging to be allowed into the ‘party’ in my son’s tummy, to his absolute delight (he couldn’t get them in quick enough and had to be slowed down) – I forgot to be self-conscious; I was too busy laughing! As my son started out as a ‘selective’ eater, the strategies above have become a regular part of my repertoire, and he is now a great eater. Every parent would love their kids to be a ‘good’ eater, especially when visiting friends or relatives at Christmas. There’s nothing more frustrating than throwing away a meal that took ages to prepare or more embarrassing than having your child say ‘yuck’ when friends give your child their lunch.


In young children, faddy or selective eating is very common because in their young lives, there’s very little else that small children can be in control of, or assert their authority over. Dinner tables can become a battleground as beleaguered parents try desperately to provide their little ones with the basic nutrients. The first principle is to stay calm. If mealtimes become too stressful, children will associate food with this stress and won’ be able to relax around food. Try to create a relaxed atmosphere by introducing some fun and silliness (as described above!) where possible. Here are some more tips: 1. Give your children control over as many aspects of mealtimes as possible. For example, let them choose whether to use a bowl or a plate, and what colour or design. Consider placing the food in the middle of the table in serving bowls and letting them help themselves. For some reason, my children always eat a wider range of foods when I do this, because they feel in control. 2. Focus on the small positives, and ignore the negatives as much as you can.

Celebrate each tiny achievement, such as a child allowing mushrooms onto their plate where previously they couldn’t manage this. 3. Make a scrapbook with pictures of all the foods the child has tried. Review this regularly so that you can see and discuss their progress.Yur child will be eager to add to the scrapbook, which will in turn encourage them to try new things. Each new food tried gets a new picture in the scrapbook, and you could also give an extra reward each time this is achieved. 4. Make sure your child has lots of exposure to a wide variety of foods using all the senses: seeing what a fruit or vegetable feels like, trying delicious recipes with fragrant smells, and tasting different mixtures. If you think things have reached crisis point, a clinical psychologist (sometimes alongside a nutritionist) will be able to offer support. A clinical psychologist will look at the reasons behind the difficulties, and design a programme of intervention to address these. Dr Lucy Russell is the lead child psychologist at Everlief Child Psychology in West Wycombe. Everlief can be contacted on 01494 521332 or

v Do you frequently feel exasperated, stressed, or embarrassed by your child’s behaviour? v Do you often get irritated by your child? v Do you have to threaten and shout to get your child to cooperate? v Do you frequently argue with your partner about how to handle your child’s behaviour?

The next groups start w/c 20th January 2014 in Windsor & Maidenhead


FAMILIES Thames Valley East





ou probably won’t be surprised to hear that stress, anxiety and depression in children is on the increase. The Office of National Statistics has found that one in ten children now suffer from mental health problems, with children as young as five being treated for depression. Prolonged periods of stress can lead to depression, with about half the number of people diagnosed with depression being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. These shocking statistics indicate a major health problem for the future, unless something is done now to tackle stress in children. Stressful lives? It’s logical that our own increasingly stressful lives are affecting our parenting, and our children’s stress levels. Rising unemployment and financial problems can increase tension that children pick up on. Too many extra-curricular activities can leave little free time for children to relax and be children. School and social life can also create pressures that are overwhelming for children. NSPCC research found that academic worries were the biggest cause of stress for nearly 50% of children. More formal tests, along with the pressure on schools to perform in league tables, means that studying comes top of the stress list. Other common sources of childhood stress, like bullying, sibling rivalry or peer pressure are all fairly normal parts of growing up. However because children now have less time to relax, these ordinary problems can become magnified and harder for them to deal with.


Telephone: 01628 627 586

Spotting the signs Stress or anxiety in children can be difficult to spot. Signs can include a low mood, unhappiness, tearfulness or irritability not related to anything specific. Sleeping problems, clingy behaviour, stomach aches and headaches are also signals. Look for behaviour change, and trust your instinct. Erika Brodnock, a leading expert on raising happy, successful children says, “Don’t mistake your child’s behaviour for being naughty, when they may be feeling stressed and anxious.” Help them to develop healthy ways to cope with stress. Notice out loud. Tell your child when you see that something's bothering them and name it, “Do you feel angry with what happened?” or “You must have felt worried about that.” “Notice, it, own it, tame it,” Erika Brodnock explains, “once you can identify the emotion you can then manage it. Without this, things are significantly more difficult.” Once they can understand their feelings, explore together simple coping techniques – when they start to feel stressed, encourage them to ask for help. Be you! Look at your own moods, behaviours and energy levels. “We can all put a smile on our face at the end of a bad day but when the energy isn’t there your child will notice” says Erika Brodnock, “parents need to learn to manage their moods too!” Statistics that show 60-90% of what we learn is through non-verbal communication. Model the behaviour we want them to embrace when managing emotions.


Library photo

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that stress, anxiety and depression in children is on the increase. The Office of National Statistics has found that one in ten children now suffer from mental health problems, with children as young as five being treated for depression. Prolonged periods of stress can lead to depression, with about half the number of people diagnosed with depression being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. These shocking statistics indicate a major health problem for the future, unless something is done now to tackle stress in children.

Building stress-free kids Exercise, a nature walk, or dancing to music, will all naturally release those ‘feel-good’ endorphins that help to reduce stress. Eating well, drinking lots of water, a bedtime routine and set schedules so your child can rely on daily patterns, are all ways in which you can help. Erika Brodnock recommends a 15-minute ‘Golden Moment’ every day with your child, “this is an opportunity for the child to speak privately and confidentially with their parent, knowing they can say anything without criticism or complaint, which builds trust and strengthens bonds.” This can help to protect a young person against developing depression. Resist the urge to fix every problem for them and instead focus on helping your child grow into a problem-solver. Prepare your kids for future stresses by teaching healthy coping strategies so your child knows how to roll with life's ups and downs, put feelings into words, calm down when needed, and bounce back to try again. Thanks to Erika Brodnock, one of the UK's leading experts on the subject of raising happy, confident children, for her insights and information in compiling this article. She offers a wealth of knowledge and practical advice and has even produced an eBook that is free of charge for parents looking for practical information and techniques. For more information go to

FAMILIES Thames Valley East


Ed’s Reading Room Hi kids, parents, grandparents, teachers – and book lovers everywhere! I’m Ed and here is my New Year book selection for you to enjoy. The books are all available online and from good bookstores. Ed’s Reading Room is an exciting free online book and story club for primary children in homes and schools.

For Ages 5 to 7 years

For Ages 7 years plus

My Hamster is a Spy by Dave Lowe (Templar £5.99)

Claude on the Slopes by Alex T Smith (Hodder £7.99)

ED SAYS: ‘When Ben Jinks’ house is burgled his super-brainy hamster decides they need to do some surveillance – or at least snooping, like in their favourite television programme Spy Gang. Ben soon finds that spying isn’t as cool as he first thought. But they think that Ben’s scary teacher meeting the school bully’s brothers may be a good lead and the unusual pair hatch a plan to catch the criminals.

ED SAYS: ‘Claude, the most charming dog you could ever meet, and his best friend Sir Bobblysock are amazed to see a blanket of snow covering the street. They soon realise that they are going to have an exciting day with a snowball fight, sledging, building a snowman, skiing – oh… and causing an avalanche.

‘Will Ben be able to explain that his hamster is a genius and is able to talk? This is a very funny story for boys and girls to enjoy reading on their own or reading together.’

‘Curl up in the warmth and be amused by this super snowy story and laugh out loud at Claude’s latest hilarious adventure. This book with its fantastic illustrations is a delight from start to finish.’

Layla Queen of Hearts by Glenda Millard (Phoenix Yard Books £5.99)

Stay Where You Are and Then Leave by John Boyne (Doubleday £10.99)

ED SAYS: ‘Griffin Silk’s best friend Layla is like a gift to the Silk family after Griffin’s little sister Tishkin went out of their lives – and Layla delights in the time she spends with them all. For Seniors’ Day at school, Griffin says Layla can share his grandmother Nell but, much as she adores Nell, Layla longs for someone special of her own to invite. This is when Miss Amelie comes into their lives and brings something unique to the children.

ED SAYS: ‘The hard times and struggles of the First World War are seen through the eyes of young Alfie Summerfield whose father has gone to fight for his country. As time passes and with no more letters home, Alfie thinks his father must be on a secret mission. He by chance gets a lead as to where he might be and, troubled and bewildered, he is determined to find out what has happened to his father.

‘This is a wonderful tale about the power of friendship and a small but life changing miracle. The warm-hearted story is accompanied by lovely thoughtprovoking illustrations.’

‘This moving story is brilliantly written and will be appreciated not only by older children but also by adults. It is sure to linger in your heart and mind particularly as WW1 is commemorated this year.’

Ed’s Reading Room is part of, a DTI award-winning website. It was created by Maggie Humphreys, a teacher of more than 25 years, and Les Snowdon, who together are authors of several books on fitness walking and healthy eating. You are very welcome to contact Maggie on 01753 730019 or by email at


FAMILIES Thames Valley East



Bumps ‘n’ Babes Coping with Postnatal Depression Littlewick Green Montessori School

Postnatal depression is one of the last taboos. We do not talk about it and as mothers we are very good at appearing cheerful and in control when sometimes all is not at all well. Marie Hill from Family Focus, a local charity, tells Families about how to spot the signs and how to get help. According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists between 10 and 15 out of every 100 women become depressed after having a baby. We do not all have perceptive partners and so suffer in silence, but there is help available. Here are some indicators that all is not well (look honestly at these): • Feeling that things with your young baby or toddler are not as easy or enjoyable as you would have hoped? • Are you feeling tearful, stressed, isolated, strangely lonely, or even finding it hard to get out? • Have you had a low mood for a long period of time? • Are you irritable or emotional? • Do you suffer from panic attacks? • Have you found a lack of interest in your baby or yourself? • Do you skip meals and don’t get enough sleep? • Are you feeling a little low but may not feel like you have PND? • Have you spoken to your Health Visitor or GP, yet are still unsure about the way you are feeling? If this sounds like you or someone you know there is help available. They can go to your GP, Midwife or Health visitor for help and there are also groups locally that can also give support. There are also charities with helplines that can be called (see box below). The important thing is that you do seek help if you are feeling this way. There isn’t a single cause for PND. It was thought that one of the causes was an alteration in hormones after childbirth but a recent study has shown that that there wasn’t a difference in hormones with women suffering from PND and women who weren’t. According to PANDAS (Pre and Post Natal Depression Advice and Support) “it is more likely a result of the combination of life changing events such as childbirth, any previous situations or events. Looking after a newborn baby can be demanding, some cry more than others, which may mean they are more difficult to look after.”

Telephone: 01628 627 586

According to PANDAS, Some studies have shown that you are more likely to get depression if you have taken a long time to conceive your baby, have suffered from prenatal depression, if your partner has depression, if you previously had the ‘baby blues’, your baby is premature or sick, the pregnancy wasn’t planned, you’re not breastfeeding, or have had a stressful event in your life, like a bereavement. Things you can do: • Go to your GP for help, they may offer antidepressants or counselling or CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). • Let friends and family know how you are feeling and ask for help looking after the baby or help with domestic tasks. • Go to a support group or ring a helpline. Family Focus runs a free support group for mums who may be experiencing some degree of postnatal depression. They are a small group of people who use their direct experiences to try and help others overcome the struggles they are facing. Family Focus meets on Friday mornings at 10:15am at the Methodist Church Hall on Lent Rise Road, Burnham, Bucks, SL1 7BH. The aim of the sessions is to provide mums with a safe place to build support networks with other mums and to offer helpful techniques to assist in coping with the day to day challenges of motherhood. The sessions are free and a crèche is provided. (All volunteers are CRB/DBS checked.) They are open to all regardless of where you live but they only meet during term time because their volunteers also have children. To find out more contact Marie Hill CONFIDENTIALLY on 01628 667101 or email or ask your Health Visitor.

Tel: 01628 828258 Email: School Lane, Littlewick Green, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 3QY We are a well-established Montessori Nursery set in a once Victorian primary school at the heart of the picturesque village of Littlewick Green. Operating a 48/38 week year We take children aged 3 months ­ 5 years Open 8am­6pm Full days , school days and morning or afternoon sessions Covering the EYFS & Montessori curriculum Quality day care in a warm and friendly environment Large outdoor garden space

Music with Mummy Themed, fun music classes for children aged up to 5 years in small groups Jolly Babies – specially designed for babies under one year Jackie @ Windsor: 01344 301954 Caroline @ Ascot: 01753 850772

BOOK NOW for advertising in our March/April Issue - Due out March 1st email:

Other helpful sites; The Association for Postnatal Illness, 0207 386 0868 or 0207 386 0860 (24 Hr Answerphone), PANDAS, 0843 28 98 401 (helpline open 9am to 8pm), Depression Alliance, 0845 123 2320,


FAMILIES Thames Valley East


Mums Who Mean Business

Marlow’s nearly new sale - with a difference Marlow mum, Wendy North, has been organizing the Mummy& Baby market for the past 2 years, bringing together nearly-new baby clothes and local businesses all under one roof. Who are you and where do you live? I’m Wendy North, mum of one toddler, and I live in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Why did you set up the business/or why have you changed career? I set up The Mummy & Baby Market in February 2012. I am always looking for places to buy and sell baby and children’s items, after realising how quickly my son would grow out of clothes, shoes and equipment and cost me a fortune. I knew of companies around the UK that hold nearly new events in local schools or sport centre halls, and have great turnouts. In fact I have attended many myself – especially when I wanted to buy a second set of books, toys and highchair for him to have at his Granny’s house. What did you used to do? I am a self employed Events Manager for both event agencies and in-house brands in the UK. Most of my clients are corporate, and the events I organise couldn't be further

Quality Day Care for Ages 0-5 years Open all year 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday • Friendly and homely environment • Experienced and qualified staff • Covering the EYFS & Montessori curriculum • Excellent & Safe outdoor play area • Free funded sessions for 2-5 year olds • Childcare Vouchers accepted • Freshly cooked meals Our childcare philosophy is to promote a warm, safe and stimulating environment for every individual child so they develop a unique curiosity for knowledge and potential for learning.

For further information please call: 01628 665621 email:


FAMILIES Thames Valley East


from The Mummy and Baby Market ones! It's nice to be able to do something outside my day job, which uses my natural skills, but lets me tap into my parenting life and get to know the community. What inspired you to set up your business? I liked the idea of there being a regular event locally that combined shopping for nearly new items, hearing about products, services and activities in the area for my little one and I to do, which could also be an occasion to meet up with some parent friends. After much research I realised just how family-heavy the town was and that this would be a great opportunity to try and hold an event that can hopefully in time be well known and benefit the community. I decided to use Court Garden House in Marlow as the venue, as it was centrally located in the town, with parking, access for wheelchairs, prams and scooters, plus it is a smart property that would help create a relaxed and welcoming shopping experience for the customers. As I work in the event industry as a career, I knew the planning of The Mummy & Baby Market would not be a huge stress to my already busy lifestyle, but instead, a great way of using my skills to their best advantage. What are your plans for the future? Without being too insular, I'm keen to keep the business in Marlow and just enhance it as time goes on. By the very nature of families, it means there will always be new pregnancies, toddlers growing up, and families’ childcare needs evolving. With this in mind, I'm aware the customer base will grow and develop. I have already had such a great response from people I do and do not know – that I am confident in time, there is nothing stopping the events being the talk of the town, let my big ideas come to life and let the people of Marlow and surrounding areas benefit. To find out more go to


Classifieds Candle-making parties for children and grown-ups!

Tel: 07771 851435

Windsor couple’s business takes the stress out of organizing family holidays With a combined 35 years in the travel industry, Hannah and Pascal August now bring their expertise to organizing tailor-made family holidays. Who are you and where do you live? My name is Hannah August and I live in central Windsor, with my husband, Pascal and two boys, Mani and Luca. Why did you set up the business/or why have you changed career? I thought there was scope for a tour operator that would be a port of call for all families, and play an active role in helping them to design their ideal holidays. At Move Mountains we are interested in spending time working on each holiday itinerary, and also delivering a top quality service. I found that whenever we were trying to go on holiday we weren’t getting the answers from sales people and in fact were often given incorrect information regarding childcare amongst other things. I felt like I needed a holiday just to recover from the hard work involved in the endless online research and booking process! So I decided that there was room in the market for a family specialist for whom service would be key and where time would be spent really listening to the client to find the best possible holiday. What did you used to do? Having completed my BA (Hons) degree in Travel & Tourism, the majority of my career has been spent working for various wellknown travel companies whilst living in London. I started off in sales and worked my way into product and contracting. The highlight for me would have been my role managing the entire product and operations in North America for a wellknown ski company. I am also a trained primary school teacher and spent a few years teaching at the school that I attended as a child in Marlow.

Telephone: 01628 627 586

What inspired you to set up your business? My love for travel and my knowledge gained from working for other travel companies. My husband and I have a combined travel industry experience of 35 years, and we wanted to put it to good use. I felt that it shouldn’t be so difficult for families to find the right holiday and that we could deliver a much better service and literally ‘Move Mountains’ for people at a more competitive price than most other travel companies out there. Each family has their very own ‘Man Friday’ Assistant to fine-tune their holiday, both before and after they book. It saves them trawling through guidebooks, and even if we don’t have the answer, we will take the time to find out, for example, where the best snorkelling or tobogganing is or maybe o book a table in a restaurant. We find that many mums and dads appreciate being able to pick up the phone and talk to us at the weekend or in the evening, after having put the kids to bed. By setting up our own business the hope is to also have a much better family/ work life balance, based in Windsor. What are your plans for the future? We will be happy so long as we continue to get fantastic feedback from families that have travelled with us. We plan to maintain our high level of service offered though our ‘Man Friday’ and tailor made service. Move Mountains current main focus is on family ski holidays, as well as sun holidays in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. However, through client demand and our tailor made service we have started to expand into Asia, the Caribbean and Africa, where we have extensive knowledge. To find out more go to or even better call 01753 463 400.


HELP WANTED WORKING FROM HOME Our natural healthcare co. is expanding in Bucks and Berks. If you'd like to work from home flexibly around your kids and/or other commitments, full-time or parttime, we'd love to hear from you! Call Sarah today for more info

020 8133 8266

Thames Valley East

Call: 01628 627586 to advertise now FAMILIES Thames Valley East


Families Thames Valley East Issue 70 Jan-Feb 2014  
Families Thames Valley East Issue 70 Jan-Feb 2014  

Families Thames Valley East Magazine for Jan-Feb 2014