Families Thames Valley West Leaving Lockdown Summer 2020

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Thames Valley West

Apollo Club SUMMER HOLIDAY CLUB 2020 Expected to run from 20 July • Ofsted-registered care for children aged 4-12 in Reading RG1 2TD • Government hygiene and distancing rules closely followed • Small bubbles of children

Image © PR Shots, Monsoon 2018


Secret summer learning Safe places to visit Staycation ideas

Contact us for more information on



Issue 108 July/August 2020


Families Thames Valley West is part of Families Print Ltd, a franchise company. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. Families is a registered trademark of LCMB Ltd, Remenham House, Regatta Place, Marlow Road, Bourne End, Bucks SL8 5TD. The contents of Families Thames Valley West are fully protected by copyright and none of the editorial or photographic matter may be reproduced in any form without prior consent of Families Thames Valley West. Every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, but the franchise company, Families Print Ltd and Lifecycle Marketing cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents, or any consequence thereof.

...endless ideas for families of young children in Henley • Reading • Wokingham • Bracknell • Newbury • West Berkshire Families® Thames Valley West • Issue 108 • July / August 2020 Visit us at www.familiesonline.co.uk

In this issue... 4

News and views

Hello from the editor


Drawing and colouring with Teddies Online

We’re slowly coming out of lockdown – and here is our summer issue to steer you safely through the holidays.


Win a family trip to Santa’s Lapland!



Many children have not been to school for some time. So this issue is packed full of fun activities to keep their brains engaged, as well as games, classes, summer camps, places to go and competitions.

12-14 Early years 15-19 Parenting

We’re also proud to present our first video feature, Mums in Lockdown, which we hope you enjoy.

20-22 Holidays 23



Places to go


Screen-free activities weekend


Sumer camps & courses


Give your child a social summer


Online classes




Best printable primary age games


Best Lego kits

Take care all,

32-33 Clubs and classes directory

Rachel x Find us on Facebook and Instagram

The Families team

To advertise: If you are reading this, so are your customers! We can help you reach an audience of over 47,000 parents in Reading, Henley, Newbury, Wokingham, Bracknell and West Berkshire. Give us a call on 07968 711937 or drop us a line at editor@familiestvw.co.uk to find out how we can help support your family friendly business!

Editor: Rachel Jones

To advertise here please call

Production: Ridgeway Press, 01256 300420 www.ridgewaypress.co.uk Next issue: Sept / Oct – back to school special, October half term, Halloween Booking deadline: 1st August

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07968 711937



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Families Thames Valley West • 3


Triumph for distanced sports day Children at Jubilee Day Nursery in Padworth, Berkshire, have celebrated their Sports Day in true spirit despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. The pre-school children (and their parents!) had plenty of fun taking part in a variety of traditional races, all whilst in their bubble groups. The event was held outside in the nursery’s 60 acres of private land to ensure physical distancing amongst parents, children and the staff. Emma Hirst, deputy manager at Jubilee Day Nursery said: “It was a lovely opportunity to

spend the time together in our bubble group, giving the children and parents the most wonderful sports day to remember. We were delighted we could still go ahead with the event under the circumstances and would like to say a huge well done to all of the children who took part.” Established since 1977, Jubilee Day Nursery provides exceptional childcare for children from three months to five years old. The nursery remained open throughout lockdown period, providing childcare for children of key workers, and reopened to all children on 1st June.

No-fault divorce: the law and the reality The long-awaited ‘no-fault’ divorce is on its way, thanks to the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020. This new Act of Parliament marks a major change for divorcing couples and their families. At a stroke, it sweeps away the five grounds for divorce, three of which require allocating blame. It replaces them with a single statement that “The marriage has broken down irretrievably.” As Justice Secretary & Lord Chancellor Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP said: “By sparing individuals the need to play the blame game, we are stripping out the needless antagonism this creates so families can better move on with their lives.” In my view, no-fault divorce is long overdue. It ends the destructive and derisive blame game that permanently damages already strained relationships and pushes families further apart. No-fault divorce will allow couples to separate whilst retaining a working relationship for

To advertise here please call

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Children’s clothes and gifts that are made to last

future co-parenting, child arrangements, financial settlements and family life in general. No-fault divorce is not a ‘quickie’ divorce. Under the new legislation, divorce will actually take longer. However, the no-fault divorce process will be fairer and more suitable to today’s society. A non-antagonistic approach reduces the emotional distress of divorce on children too, so often stuck in the middle between warring parents. Society needs a better way to treat divorcing couples and their families. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act forms the cornerstone of much-needed reform in divorce and a potentially less stressful experience for parents, children - and extended family too. Anne Leiper is a Director at LGFL Ltd, a boutique family law firm in Reading. Anne is offering readers of Families Thames Valley an initial online 1-hour consultation with 30 minutes included free, to discuss divorce, separation or any family law issues. https://bit.ly/1-hr-consult

Please tell advertisers you found them in Families

Thames Valley West littleoakclothing.co.uk

4 • Henley • Reading • Wokingham • Bracknell • Newbury • West Berkshire


n Keep an eye o ok Facebo our website & g details enin page for re-op 4


Baby & Toddler classes – book now! BOOKING NOW for classes in Compton, Thatcham, Pangbourne and Calcot

Rookie Lifeguard Course now on!


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Families Thames Valley West • 5


Download and print this great colouring sheet and enter our Teddies Online Music Club colouring competition!

Win a unique personalised print created by Teddies Online Music Club!


Choose between a farmyard animal and a train scene.


Just colour or paint the great colouring sheet on this page. Then email a scan or photo of your sheet to us, together with your name, post code, child’s age and choice of print. Closing date: 31 August 2020


6 • Henley • Reading • Wokingham • Bracknell • Newbury • West Berkshire





Secret Summer Learning Activities Our best ideas to keep your child’s brain ticking over all summer long.

Make a Video


Learn Chess

Develops creativity, promotes physical activity and communication skills.

Develops imagination and non-verbal communication skills.

Encourages critical thinking, planning ahead and reasoning.

Make a Miniature Book

Bake a Cake

Word Games for Families

Encourages creativity and an interest in literature.

Make a Soap Carving

Develops fine motor skills and creativity.

Develops maths and coordination.

Game of 50

Develops addition/ subtraction, logical thinking, strategy, perseverance.

8 • Henley • Reading • Wokingham • Bracknell • Newbury • West Berkshire

Improves listening, vocabulary, memory and attention.

Fruit & Vegetable Guessing Game

Develops memory and logical thinking. familiesonline.co.uk


School Work During the Holidays?

Supporting Secret Learning

By Murray Morrison

By Dr Amanda Gummer

When the whole of the summer term has felt like a halfway house between school and holidays, many families are beginning to wonder whether they should continue some element of school work through the summer break. So, what should the plan be?

We’ve all mashed up veggies and hidden them in pasta sauce. Well, the same can be done with learning! Hiding learning within play is a much less stressful way of helping children to keep learning whilst they are not at school, especially for reluctant students. READ MORE



Email: editor@families.co.uk • Tel: 07968 711937

Families Thames Valley West • 9


Sourcing Children’s Books over Summer Our guide to finding the right books for your child at the right price.

Book Trust Great Books Guide

100 best new books for children.

The Libby App

Free ebooks and audiobooks with your library membership.

Library E-Lending Love Reading4Kids

National Shelf Service

Daily book recommendations from professional librarians.

BorrowBox App

All libraries have e-lending services. Join remotely and enjoy.

UK’s number 1 book recommendation site for children’s books.

Borrow ebooks and audiobooks free from your library.


Oxfam Online Book Shop

World of Books

Free delivery. UK’s largest seller of Commission paid to 1000s of new/pre-loved pre-loved books online. your local independent books and audiobooks bookshop. available online. 10 • Henley • Reading • Wokingham • Bracknell • Newbury • West Berkshire



Preparing your Child to Start School

Return to School: How to Support your Child

Starting school for the first time is exciting - despite the pandemic. Remember that children starting school for the first time will not know that school routines are different to the past! So how can you best prepare your little one to start school?

Throughout the long, strange months of lockdown parents have provided continuity and a sense of reality for their children. Soon it will be time to get them back to school and parents can help their children through this transition in numerous ways.



Summer Reading Challenge 2020: Let’s Get Silly

What will School/Nursery be Like in September

By Beth Cadman

Over summer, there is often a dip in children’s reading levels. The Summer Reading Challenge encourages children aged 4-11 to read for pleasure and maintain their literacy levels. This year’s ‘Silly Squad’ theme places an emphasis on funny books.

While some nurseries and schools have already opened their doors post-lockdown, September is when it seems that we can expect all children to return. So what will the ‘new normal’ look like for parents and their children come the autumn?



By Gabrielle Lawrence


By Kairen Cullen

Email: editor@families.co.uk • Tel: 07968 711937

Families Thames Valley West • 11


Best Printable Early Years Activity Sheets Free printables to help your little one’s pre-school learning.

Learn About Numbers

Big Bird Number 6 Alphablocks A to Z Colouring Colouring

Family Card Game

Counting Sheet

Paint by Numbers

Bing Big Surprise Activities

Tracing Ace Learn to Draw

Maisy Dinner Doodle Mat

12 • Henley • Reading • Wokingham • Bracknell • Newbury • West Berkshire



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Nursery at Home Activities for under 5s that are easy to do at home and mirror the range of play experiences offered at nursery.

Make a Mermaid Tail

Make Sparkly Playdough

Make a Magic Garden

Make Crab Handprints

Car Name Game

Make Tractor Tyre Printing Pictures

Enjoy Songs and Action Rhymes

Make an Under the Sea Water Tray

Enjoy Dressing Up Role Play

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Best Printable Early Years Activity Sheets Perfect for a rest during a walk, cycle ride or on a family picnic and great for rainy days at home.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea Dot to Dot

Love Monster’s Maze

Peppa Pig Activity Pack

Dinosaur Roar! Spot the Difference

Postman Pat Office set

PJ Masks Moon Maze

Charlie and Lola Activity Book

Paddington Activity Pack

Frozen Activity Sheets


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Families Thames Valley West • 15


How to Motivate Your Child to do Anything There is a long summer ahead…. and for many families, this is just an extension of a long spring at home with no school attendance and precious little by way of entertainment. Many children are fractious, bored, lonely, discontented and anxious. It’s no wonder many are struggling to concentrate, focus and motivate themselves to do very much at all. In order to get your child up and moving this summer and avoid a case of terminal boredom, your child needs a few projects and goals that will give them a sense of achievement and productivity. These could be anything from practising times tables, having a day of screen free time every week, reading a book, doing some daily exercise or tidying their room. You may even challenge them to complete some of the projects in this magazine! For little ones, some

more specific goals for positive behaviour might be appropriate. Decide what you think might work for your child and, if they are older, discuss and agree this with them. Consider an appropriate motivator for your child. This doesn’t have to be (and, in fact, shouldn’t always be) money and it’s best to avoid sugary treats as rewards too. But it may be that you offer to pay for something your child really needs if they achieve their goal. It’s fun to give an older child a few different projects and goals with points they can earn for each, with the aim of reaching a total number of points and a bigger reward. Remember to give praise generously for the effort your child goes to, even if they don’t quite achieve all their goals. You can find lots of reward ideas from simple/low cost to more involved on the next page.

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Rewards to Motivate Your Child Simple/Low Cost • Pick a movie – anything goes if it’s age appropriate! • Cook their favourite dinner. • A later bed time. • Read an extra bed time story. • 30 minutes of extra screen time (not appropriate if you are trying to get them off a screen!) • One to one time with mum or dad doing exactly what they want. • Stickers.

More Involved • A picnic in the park. • Choosing a family activity. • An outdoor playdate with friends (activity ideas page 23) • Time with your phone to take some photos. Then get them printed. • Camp in the garden. • A family sports activity • Visit the beach. • Go for a family bike ride.

Costs Money • Give your child your loose change – every day for a week! T&Cs apply

• Earn art materials for creative fun. • Earn a small item which promotes physical activity. Football, hula hoop or frisbee… • Increase their pocket money. • Paint a feature wall in their room in their favourite colour. • Let your child choose the next family outing. • Buy them their favourite magazine, or an app they want. familiesonline.co.uk


Email: editor@families.co.uk • Tel: 07968 711937

Families Thames Valley West • 17


Mums in Lockdown Four mums and Families magazine Editors tell us how lockdown has been for them. How have they juggled work, parenting, home schooling and life – and survived intact?

Caroline Roope is Editor of Families Solent East magazine. She lives in Hampshire with her husband and two sons. Watch Caroline’s lockdown video.

Laura Macaulay is Editor of Families North Yorkshire and Families Newcastle magazine. She is mum of two boys and lives in Yorkshire. Watch Laura’s lockdown video.

Katy Stollery is Editor of Families Fife and Tayside in Scotland. She just started running her business at the start of lockdown! She is the mum of two girls and lives in Fife. Watch Katy’s lockdown video.

Claire Bottomley is Editor of Families Leeds & West Yorkshire magazine. She is mum of three children ages 2 to 11 – two boys and a girl - and lives in Leeds. Watch Claire’s lockdown video.

18 • Henley • Reading • Wokingham • Bracknell • Newbury • West Berkshire



Talking to our Children about Racism

Helping your Child Cope with Nightmares

Last month saw an unprecedented outpouring of movements throughout the world advocating an end to racial inequality. Children certainly have questions about the stories they hear, see and read, so how do we talk to them positively and openly about race? Download A Parent’s Guide to Black Lives Matter.

Many children have more underlying worries than usual right now. These are often kept at bay by the routines, occupations and pleasures of the day, only to surface at night in the form of scary nightmares. Our friends at Fegans share their top tips for coping with your child’s nightmares.

Developing your Baby’s Sense of Humour

Worried about your Child’s Weight?

Watching your baby’s sense of humour develop is incredibly rewarding. Babies are born ready to laugh, but did you know that having a sense of humour is a learned quality that can actually be developed in babies and children?

Lockdown has significantly impacted children’s health, with a trend of weight gain resulting from confinement at home. Here are some useful tips from Need2KnowBooks for parents wanting to control weight gain in their children There’s a book offer at the end of the article too! READ MORE

By Andrew Campbell

READ MORE familiesonline.co.uk

By Shelley Goffe-Caldeira

Email: editor@families.co.uk • Tel: 07968 711937

Families Thames Valley West • 19


Beat the crowd staycation ideas Please check the latest Government guidance before you book.

Canal Boat Holiday

Eco-Friendly Tree House

Rustic Woodland Shack

Hobbit Inspired Pod

Explore the UK’s rivers/ Luxury woodland break canals. From £725 a in Devon. From £1,390 a week (family of 4). week.

Retro Airstream Caravan

Go retro in Suffolk. From £66 a night (min 2-nights).

Idyllic Shepherd’s Hut

Get off the grid in Yorkshire. From £125 a night.

Pod living in Suffolk. From £710 a week (family of 4).

Northumberland’s beaches. From £180 for 2 nights (family of 4).

Gorgeous Highland Cottage

New Forest Cottage

Stunning St Ives Hideaway

Wild Scotland! From £1,990 a week (inc daily catering).

Forest and beach. From Secret tunnel to beach! £949 a week (July). From £164 a night Sleeps 4. (min 3-nights).

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Staycation Survival Guide Check for the latest government travel advice. The rules are different in Scotland, Wales and Ireland, so make sure you check the details for the country you are visiting. Consider insurance. New policies no longer cover coronavirus-caused cancellations. If you have pre-booked insurance or an annual policy, the FCO has currently advised against all non-essential travel, which invalidates your insurance. It seems likely that the FCO position will change with regard to those countries with which the UK establishes air bridges but check your insurance T&Cs before you book/travel. Check the cancellation policy for any holiday you book. Will your deposit be refunded if another lockdown happens or if travel restrictions are not lifted? Lower your expectations. There will be fewer places open and some form of social distancing is likely to still be in place. Embrace nature and spending time with your family and think of all the money you are saving towards next year’s holiday!

Budget Staycation Ideas Lodge in the grounds of the Thomas Lord Inn, Hampshire. Private facilities/meals to your room. Farmstay UK 700 farms offering camping, B&B and SC. Birdholme Glamping in Notts. Stilted safari lodges in acres of space! Forest Holidays Log cabins/ tree houses in 10 forest locations across UK. Camp Too - retro VW campers + modern motorhomes. Various UK pick-up points. Tent Share. Rent a tent so you don’t have to buy camping gear! Canopy & Stars - reconnect with nature! Glamping to shepherd huts. familiesonline.co.uk

Email: editor@families.co.uk • Tel: 07968 711937

Families Thames Valley West • 21


Family Tour of the UK No holiday? Take your family on a virtual tour of the UK’s most famous places.


Roman Baths

Edinburgh Castle

Interactive 360º tour + live view from inside the monument.

Virtual ‘walkthrough’ of Bath’s Roman baths.

Stunning aerial view of the building and city.

Tower of London

Giant’s Causeway 360º tour of this spectacular landmark.

Hadrian’s Wall

A 360º view of the world’s largest Roman artefact.

Buckingham Palace

The Shard

Dover Castle

Interactive 360º tour of the building and grounds.

Tour THE most famous Royal Palace.

View London from the tallest building in Europe.

22 • Henley • Reading • Wokingham • Bracknell • Newbury • West Berkshire

360º tour of the castle on top of the white cliffs. familiesonline.co.uk


Avoiding Home Working Hell…. By Mandy Garner Working from home is the nirvana parents have been waiting for, right? Well, maybe, but NOT when combined with looking after children full time. Here are some tips on successfully working from home as the school holidays and exhaustion kick in. Manage expectations - not just those of your employer, but your own and those of your family. Creating a routine that allows you to work can help everybody. For instance, some quiet time after lunch when your children know that you will be making phone calls. Ask your manager if you can work around your childcare responsibilities, perhaps in the evenings or at weekends, tag teaming with your partner, if you have one. Or consider reducing your hours if this is affordable, and explore this with your employer. As with flexible working negotiations, if you spell out the issues, explain how you are trying to tackle them and suggest potential workable solutions, managers are more likely to listen. The right set up - it’s not just about the hours you can work. You need the right long term setup, given fears of commuting and familiesonline.co.uk

a second wave of infection. Can your employer help with technical support and ergonomics? It’s sensible to have a back-up if your laptop goes down or to have someone you can call with technical issues. This is far less stressful and time-consuming than trying to work things out for yourself from YouTube tutorials. You also need the right workspace and furniture. There are reports of increased back pain as a result of people working from sofas or beds during lockdown. Ask your employer for support - it’s a health and safety issue - and for help with work-related phone/internet bills if they don’t provide phones and laptops. READ MORE

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Places to Go this Summer These places are opening many outside spaces and gardens (and possibly some inside ones too). Find out what is open near you.

National Trust

English Heritage

Legoland UK

Woodland Trust

WWT Wetland Centres

Forestry England

Zoos and Wildlife Parks

National Parks UK

Go Ape Adventures

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Screen-Free Activities Weekend

No more Netflix binging - mix and match ideas for a 48 hour family digital detox.

Morning – 1 hour Make brunch for all the family. Rediscover paper. Make amazing origami. Puzzle it out. Try crosswords/ Sudoku together. Morning – 2 hours Mess about on the water. Try SUP paddling or canoeing. Reconnect with nature. Do the RSPB Wild Challenge. All morning Construct a fort in the garden or house. Create a family scrapbook with memorabilia of all kinds! Evening – 1 hour Make books. Just gather art and craft supplies. Try a night walk. Pack torches, snacks, raincoats and go on an adventure. Evening – 2 hours Go stargazing. Spot planets and constellations! Play charades. Young and old love this classic game. All evening Have a movie-athon. Check out ideas here. Camp out. Set up the tent, cook sausages and yummy S’mores. familiesonline.co.uk

Afternoon – 1 hour Board no more. Play a board game or bingo. Print off cards here. Afternoon – 2 hours Create a herb garden. In pots, the garden or on a windowsill! Be treasure hunters. Set up a trail with treasure at the end. All afternoon Get arty. Pack a picnic, art supplies and enjoy nature. Strike a pose. Family photo shoot with an SLR/Polaroid camera.

All Day Build a go-kart. Then test it out! Develop circus skills. Learn juggling, tightrope walking and magic! Visit the seaside. Head to one of Britain’s best seaside towns. French Day. Begin with croissants, learn the lingo and cook some French cuisine. Build a garden labyrinth. Gather materials to make a cool labyrinth that you can walk round. Be Kind. Post some fun letters/ cards to friends/relatives. Create care packages for vulnerable people.

Email: editor@families.co.uk • Tel: 07968 711937

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Live and Virtual Kids’ Summer Camps and Courses

Chelsea Young Writers

Online streamed creative writing courses. Ages 6-12.

Sparks Filmmaking Courses Action-packed online course. Ages 9-18.

Camp Beaumont Summer Camps Live multi-activity camps. Ages 3-16.


Kings Camps

Live 3/5 day performing arts courses. Ages 4-10.

Live multi-activity camps for ages 5-17.


Little House of Science

Online classes from Harry Potter to coding. Ages 4-18.

Firetech Courses

Online tech for ages 9-17. 20% off with code Families20.

26 • Henley • Reading • Wokingham • Bracknell • Newbury • West Berkshire

Online video science camps. Ages 3-11.

The Strings Club Camps

Live & online music/ craft camps. Ages 3-11. familiesonline.co.uk


Give your Child a Social Summer Outdoor activity ideas for groups of children. Make sure you check the latest government guidance and BYO equipment!

Mini Olympics Discus – use frisbees or paper plates. Shot Put – use bean bags or tennis balls. Hurdles – use cardboard boxes. Simple Gymnastic Displays – handstands/cartwheels. Running Races – of all lengths! Long Jump – use tape measure and award points. Ball Archery – throwing a ball at a target or containers. Shooting - with nerf guns on a target.

Sports Gala Football Penalty Shoot Outs – 10 attempts, 10 points per goal. Mini Golf – use cups for holes. Darts – use magnetic/Nerf darts. Swingball Tournament. Quoits – with hula hoops and garden stakes. Skittles – half fill drink bottles for pins. Bowls – get closest to the small ball. Balloon Tennis using rope for a net. familiesonline.co.uk

Picnic Party What’s the time Mr Wolf? Simon says.... Bingo – download cards or make your own. Charades. Dance festival – mix up the music to test the best movers. Treasure hunt. Limbo – using a rope who can get the lowest. Fun Races – sack/egg & spoon/ ball between knees/bean bag on head.

Park & Pavement Play Hopscotch. Chalk Art Contest. Noughts & Crosses. Pavement Obstacle Course. Jumping Game – mark out lines. Tree Rubbings – who can make the most rubbings? Painting with Water – old paint rollers/brushes with soapy water. Skipping.

Email: editor@families.co.uk • Tel: 07968 711937

Families Thames Valley West • 27


Best Online Classes for All Ages Are your children missing their regular classes and activities? Try these instead!

Family Dance Workshops

Teddies Music Club Online

Online Science Club

Funky Monkey Keyboard Classes at Home

Sadler Well’s fun family Lively music and art for dance workshops for 2 pre-schoolers. to 6 years.

Live classes with Mother Nature Science.

The Strings Club Ukele/guitar/violin classes for ages 3+. FREE session!

Self-guided, fun tutorials (5-8yrs).

The Little Gym at Home

Little Kickers Football for Kids

Easy, fun football classes with a warm up, games, and goals.

Virtual Kids Martial Arts

Online classes to burn off excess energy.

Little STEAMers

Play-based science/ engineering classes for Fitness sessions for ages 2-4. primary and pre-school children.

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Struggling to Get Your Child to Do Music Practice?

Win an Online Song Writing Course! Songwriting4Kids teaches children ages 8-13 how to write songs. The selfguided instruction WIN! videos cover reading and writing music as well as basic rhythms and lyrics. Perfect for kids who are new to music as well as those who already play an instrument! First prize: Level 1 & 2 worth £135.99. Second prize: Level 1 worth £79.99. Enter here with name & postcode by 15 August 2020.

By Ruth Seodi

Having to constantly push your child to practise their music becomes tiresome and often leads to fall outs. Here are four ways in which you can turn practising from a chore to a pleasure for your child. READ MORE. WATCH VIDEO.

Ten Cooking Skills for Every Child to Master T&Cs apply

ENTER HERE There’s no doubt parents will need a bank of fresh, childfriendly activities to get through the summer holidays. Why not add cooking to the list? It’s fun, educational and most children enjoy it. Here are ten cooking skills for children to master this summer. READ MORE. familiesonline.co.uk

Email: editor@families.co.uk • Tel: 07968 711937

Families Thames Valley West • 29


Best Printable Primary Age Games Free printables to help your child keep busy and learning.


Develops strategy, logical thinking and concentration.

Country Word Search

Find 20 countries amongst the letters.

Alphabet Scattegories

Find a word for each letter!

The Mystery of the Missing Pirate Treasure

Car Bingo

Great for alphabet recognition.

Practises maths and problem solving.

Colouring Picnic

Read the sentences to colour the picture.

Premier League Football Facts

Solve the sums to complete the football facts.

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ABC Trace & Colour

Trace the letter and colour in the drawing.

Harry Potter Word Scramble Figure out what Harry is saying.



Best Lego Kits for Rainy Days The ideal creative indoor activity for any age.

Duplo My First Bricks Box of Fun

Classic Creative Brick Box

Boost Creative Toolbox Robotics

Great starter kit. Ages 18mths+.

Endless building opportunities. Ages 4+.

Build/code interactive motorised robots. Ages 7-12.

World Animals

Creator Mighty Dinosaurs

Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall

Great introductory set inc. toy animals and people. Ages 2+.

Trolls Poppy’s Pod Playhouse including mini figures/ accessories. Ages 4+.


3 dinosaurs in 1 set. Ages 7-12.

Friends Stephanie’s Gymnastics

Build gymnastic equipment. Ages 6+. Email: editor@families.co.uk • Tel: 07968 711937

Includes 10 mini figures. Ages 9+.

Captain Marvel Toy Jet

Perfect for Marvel fans. Ages 7+. Families Thames Valley West • 31

CLUBS & CLASSES DIRECTORY Many clubs and classes are currently not running due to the need for social distancing. However, here are a list of the regular out of school activities that will be resuming in the near future. In the meantime, several of the businesses are offering virtual classes and fun at-home activities on their social media pages or websites – do check them out. Developmental classes

brain-training programme, designed to bring out the genius in every child. Activities are aimed at 0-6 year olds, and improve concentration, memory skills, general knowledge, musical ability and more. Hour-long classes take place in Reading once a week, with parents accompanying their children. For more information and to book: www.shichidauk.com, contact@shichidauk.com, 07774 523660

Master Builders Club Brick Building Workshops for Children Master Builders Club is a LEGO® lover's paradise! Our weekend and holiday workshops, after school clubs, birthday parties and nursery/primary school events are designed to provide children with an exciting and captivating experience. Our fun workshops start with a short story which our Master Builders “bring to life” through the LEGO® models they build. We provide 1000’s of LEGO® bricks in a calm and supportive environment along with the imaginative stimulus to transform a room into a world of creativity. If you are passionate about providing engaging and stimulating play opportunities that nurture your child's mind, then Master Builders Club is for you! To book your LEGO® fan a place or to find out more about our events then please go to: www.masterbuildersclub.co.uk

a unique and exciting markmaking class, designed to help babies, toddlers and preschoolers learn to write through play. Fun and engaging one-hour sessions develop pre-writing motor skills, as well physical and social skills. Each session includes messy play, paint, play dough, sand, scribbling, movement and dance – all in a safe environment. Term-time sessions run in Reading and Caversham on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, and there are also special events in the school holidays. Little Learners also offers birthday parties. More info at www.littlelearnersuk.com or call Jalpa on 07474 368173.

BilinguaSing Wokingham – award-winning bilingual sensory music & movement classes with Spanish or French singing for babies (from 1 month), toddlers and preschool children. BilinguaSing is a unique class for parents and little ones to learn Spanish or French together in a fun and engaging way. Familiar nursery rhymes and songs are learned in both English and Spanish or French and are accompanied by a variety of fun movements and lovely props. Classes suitable for complete beginners to native speakers in Wokingham, Winnersh, Bracknell & surrounding areas. First taster class is FREE! Private sessions also available in nurseries, pre-schools and primary schools to support the EYFS, KS1 and KS2 learning objectives. Call Kate on 07810 751645, kate@bilinguasing.com, www.bilinguasing.com

Portuguese Language Club – offering tuition to help you talk fluently in Portuguese, but we don’t stop there. For us, it’s all about you and ensuring that you enjoy your stay with us whilst also making sure that your Portuguese language skills are vastly improved. We offer a range of services to suit all needs; including one-to-one and group lessons, in-school clubs, holiday Portuguese and GSCE and A Level tuition. Based in Tilehurst, Berkshire. Contact Maria on 07427630331, 0118 942 4591, info@portugueselanguageclub.co.uk, www.portugueselanguageclub.co.uk

SwimKidz – runs small group classes within warm pools to provide a swimming program which starts from birth through to approximately ten years. The structured plans are fun and progressive ensuring children enjoy learning to swim. With each instructor teaching within the water, children learn to swim independently from a young age. As an accredited Swim England and Swim Teachers Association swim school, you can be confident that we provide children an aquatic journey in a safe, caring and nurturing environment. Contact us at E:havefun@swimkidz.co.uk T:01635 777888 M:0750 005 6623 or visit our website for more information www.swimkidz.co.uk

Gym, sport and swimming didi rugby – devised to get young children (aged 18 months to six years) active, and to teach them new skills while having fun in a safe environment. Classes running in various venues across West Berkshire and Reading. Contact donna.clark@didirugby.com to book a free taster session near you. www.didirugby.com Bulmershe Gymnastics Club – based at a purpose-built gym in Woodley, run gymnastics classes for all ages including Leap Frogs for walkers to five years lead by qualified coaches. www.bulmershegymnastics.co.uk GR Swimming Schools – children’s swimming lessons from 3yrs in Newbury, Thatcham, & Pangbourne. Places for nonswimmers through to advanced academy levels. Also holiday crash courses in swimming, diving and coming soon SYNCHRO!! Uniquely structured lessons, following Swim England Award Scheme. 01635 34862 www.swimlessons.co.uk

32 • Henley • Reading • Wokingham • Bracknell • Newbury • West Berkshire

Turtle Tots – baby and toddler swimming lessons in Reading and Wokingham. The programme is gentle and progressive, offering a fantastic opportunity for some special bonding time with your little one. Classes are baby-led, focus on the health and wellbeing of babies and children alike, and use songs and nursery rhymes to create a relaxed atmosphere. Contact littleturtle@turtletots.com or 07810 864810



Music & dance

The Dance Zone a fun and friendly dance school that offers Ballroom, Latin American, Freestyle and Street dance classes for adults and children from the age of 3 in the Wokingham and Winnersh areas. www.thedancezone.co.uk, info@thedancezone.co.uk, 07789 175439.

individual and group classes run by Alexander Clarke, B.Mus (Hons), M.A. Inspiring students, fulfilling aspirations. Learn guitar in your school or home, Inspire Guitar School is a Berkshire based music service that offers tuition in Acoustic, Classical, Electric, Bass and Ukelele. The benefits of learning to play a musical instrument cannot be overstated. Learning to play helps with confidence, mindfulness and creativity. Flexible style to suit the student and fulfil their aspirations. 0118 9375 9185, 07414 675 858, www.inspireguitar.co.uk, alex@inspireguitar.co.uk Monkey Music – fun music classes from 3months-4yrs with action songs and rhymes, music and movement, percussion instruments and musical games. Classes in Newbury, Thatcham, Mortimer, Henley and Upper Basildon. 01635 860 959, www.monkeymusic.co.uk


diddi dance - funky pre-school dance classes for girls and boys. Award winning, high energy sessions explore 16 different styles set to original, age-appropriate music. Classes improve gross motor skills, rhythm, co-ordination, confidence, creativity and social skills with dancing games, fun exercises, action songs and a host of props. Lessons are aligned to the EYFS and are structured yet relaxed. Nursery workshops and parties too! Free trial available. Classes run every day throughout Reading & Wokingham. Call Andrea on 07719 878789, or email andrea.bickford@diddidance.com Street Feet Dance® - helps children aged 3-11 to get dramatically more confident through Street Dance in Reading. Book a 2-week free trial in Caversham, Tilehurst, Woodley or Woosehill now at www.streetfeetdance.co.uk and discover how we have helped over 1,000 children raise their selfesteem and develop their selfbelief through dance. Starmaker Stage School – a Saturday stage school based in Woodley that offers drama, dance and singing tuition, allowing younger children to explore their creative side without pressure. The experience of performance aids with public speaking, presentation skills and self-discipline. Saturday sessions run from 9.30-11.45am (Mini Stars for 4-6 years) and 11.45am-3pm (Young Stars for 7-12 years). To book a free trial, please email Sue at stageschool@starmaker.org.uk and quote this advert.

children to the performing arts. Local branches in Wokingham, Henley, Reading, Bracknell, Marlow and Newbury. www.stagecoach.co.uk Perform weekly drama, dance and singing classes – confidence building fun for 4-12s. A unique mix of drama games, dance and singing specially developed to bring out every child's true potential. Classes are kept small to ensure lots of individual attention. Go to perform.org.uk/try to book a FREE class. Venues: Reading, Wokingham, Goring, Newbury, Crowthorne and Twyford T: 020 7255 9120 / enquiries@perform.org.uk, www.perform.org.uk Berzerk Productions – LAMDA examination classes, unique Drama Factory workshops, musical theatre and production opportunities for 6-19 years in Tilehurst, Woodley, Spencers Wood, Caversham, Reading, Pangbourne and Woodcote. Trial class free. 07863 734 830, www.berzerkproductions.com

Award-winning after-school drama classes for kids who love to ACT! Burghfield, Tilehurst, Lower Earley, Mortimer and Wokingham. High-energy classes mean that students never get bored, can't wait to get to class and develop confidence, creativity and focus. Free trial class and a Pay-As-You-Go option for infants. Ages 5+. Full listing of available classes, prices and venues at: https:// stageability.class4kids.co.uk Come and join the fun! Email: jackie@berkshire. stageability.co.uk M: 07721 565898 T: 0118 933 3791

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Drama & Theatre Arts Steppin Out Stars of Tomorrow – fun, energetic classes for 3½ to 18yrs. Dance, drama and singing, tap, street dance, pop styles, musical theatre. Regular classes in Wargrave, Wokingham and Woodley, plus summer classes. Call Shelley on 07970 034 488, or email shelley@steppinoutstars.co.uk, www.steppinoutstars.co.uk

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Stagecoach Theatre Arts School – dance, drama and singing classes for 4-18 years that build confidence and teach skills. Early Years classes for 4-6 years designed to introduce young

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