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IN THIS ISSUE
What’s On Education Kids’ Parties Travel Issue 77 May/June 2022
Familiesonline.co.uk Families Cheshire 1
SCAN TO ACTIVATE
GETACTIVE WITH BRIO LEISURE! Try us for FREE with a 7 DAY PASS w Dive in the pool, sweat it out in the gym or kick start your day in one of our fitness classes! To activate your pass visit brioleisure.org/activate
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Sat 21 - Sun 22 May
01298 72190 buxtonoperahouse.org.uk www.peppapiglive.com #peppapiglive Peppa Pig ©  ABD Ltd/Ent. One UK Ltd
7DP Cheshire Families QTR Pg 2022 v2.indd 1
STOCKPORT GRAMMAR SCHOOL An independent school for children ages 3-18 years
Assistance with fees available at 11+ and 16+ (means tested), academic and music scholarships FOUNDED IN 1487
Come and spend a day in the Senior School - Year 5 Taster Days 26th May, 27th May and 14th June Book online Senior and Junior School day tours available Extensive school bus routes including Sale, Altrincham and Hale
SGS Inspires Tel: 0161 456 9000 2 Families Cheshire
Highest Inspection Rating of “Excellent”
Welcome So much to look forward to in May and June, including two bank holidays, one of them extra-long! Yippee!
Contact us Editor Linda Stone firstname.lastname@example.org 020 8241 0423 Sales Carla Finlayson email@example.com 07734 690020 Printed by Buxton Press Design Rebecca Carr
In this issue 4. 5. 8. 10. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.
Classes & clubs Education What’s On Travel Health Parenting Food Parties Activities
Warm sunny days are on the horizon so start planning some local family adventures with our What’s On guide, as well as exploring the outdoors closer to home with our Adventures at Home feature. If you have a child transitioning to secondary school, now is also the time to start thinking about preparation. Find tips and advice in our Education section. Did your child miss a birthday party or two during the pandemic? If you’re searching for inspiration for a big bang occasion this year, then keep reading for this year’s hottest party trends and make it a party to remember. Finally, in this issue, we have cute and cuddly Care Bears to give away! Apply for these colourful companions for your child to fall in love with at familiesmag. co.uk/go. By doing so, you’ll also ensure you receive our digital magazine straight to your inbox with lots more content and goodies on offer.
Linda January/February competition winners
Congratulations to all our winners. You can find a list at https://bit.ly/compwinnersJF Families is a registered trademark of LCMB Ltd, Remenham House, Regatta Place, Marlow Road, Bourne End, Bucks SL8 5TD. The contents of this magazine are fully protected by copyright and none of the editorial or photographic matter may be reproduced in any form without prior consent of Families Print Ltd. Every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine but Families Print Ltd, its distributors, franchisees and LCMB Ltd cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents, or any consequences thereof.
Get fit and have fun with Brio Leisure!
Matilda JR at Platform 3 Summer School
Brio Leisure offers seven gyms, six pools and over three hundred and fifty fitness classes, all available to book online or in-centre so you can have some fun getting your fitness fix.
The summer school consists of a fabulous fortnight during which children ages 9 to 16 rehearse and perform Roald Dahl’s Matilda JR. It runs from Monday 1 August to Friday 12 August at the Pavilion Arts Centre in Buxton.
It’s easy to put your health first when you can visit your local Brio Leisure centre and enjoy a FREE seven-day pass.
You can now take a dip in the pool, work out in the gym or jump into a fitness class for a whole week for FREE! Take advantage of Brio’s exclusive limited time offer by visiting www.brioleisure.org/activate and use code FCMAY22 to enjoy your FREE seven-day pass. As well as getting the whole family fit, Brio understands how hard it is to keep the whole family entertained and they have got you covered! Find out what is on stage at Northwich Memorial Court or Ellesmere Port Civic Hall at www.brioentertainment.org. From exciting education shows to musical theatre, Brio Entertainment host a variety of exciting shows for you and your little ones to choose from.
This summer holidays, children looking for some fun are invited to join Platform 3’s first ever summer school!
Wickedly funny, Matilda JR celebrates children as individuals, encourages them to support one another and acknowledges they have the right to be ‘a little bit naughty.’ Places are priced at £220 per child and the summer school will conclude with two public performances on Friday 12 August at 4pm and 7pm. To book your child a place call the Box Office on 01298 72190 or online at www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk. This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe). All authorised performance materials are also supplied by MTI Europe (www.mtishows.co.uk). Families Cheshire 3
Lessons to learn before you’re 10 By Gail Hugman We live in a world where it’s easy to become overwhelmed. So teaching young children to make good use of their working memory, exercise self-control and get organised will really help them develop the skills they need to succeed in life. These key skills underpin everything we do in life and it takes just a few minutes a day to boost them so your child learns more effectively and confidently. What’s more, growing these skills can be fun! Developed by experts who understand how children’s brains develop and form, try these starter activities to set your child off on the right path.
school, your brain will remember it better if you sort the information first. You’ll be able to remember names, countries, lists, linked facts and even do magic tricks by remembering a bunch of playing cards in order - how cool is that?’
Play Kim’s Game.
Ask your child to tell you really quietly what colour socks they are wearing. Then ask them to tell you again as LOUDLY as possible (it may not be such fun for you, but they will love it!) Each time they whisper or shout, give feedback to their brain by telling them ‘that’s great whispering, can it be quieter?’ or ‘excellent LOUD voice, is that the loudest you’ve got?’
To set up, gather ten objects together on a tray. Give your child one to two timed minutes to look at the objects, then cover them up. Depending on age and ability, ask them to tell, draw or write which ones they remember. As they progress, add more objects or give them less time to remember them. There are ways help brains recall objects; the trick is to make links and spot patterns. Give them these tips: To start with, count how many objects you’ll have to remember. Look to see if any can be linked together, by colour or by material, such as all plastic or all wood, by shape or by use; eg knife and fork go together, tools together, toys together.
Do this exercise a few times and congratulate your child on their self-control. Tell them that taking charge from the inside is a very grown up thing to do. Decide one thing you’d like your child to get under control. For example, it may be to resist the impulse to call out in class. Or leave their desk when they should be sitting quietly. Make it a positive.
Older children ages 7+ might be able to order the objects in a sequence or a story.
Explain to your child that you’d like them to focus on this one thing every day for a week. Remind them each day, ask how they got on and praise their progress. In this way, you’ll support their effort to control their impulses.
The more children play the game, the better they will get at recalling the objects. Why not see for yourself and play along too! Keep a tally so they can track their improvement and praise them for being clever. Explain that this is more than just a fun challenge, it’s all about teaching their brain to have a really good memory.
Gail Hugman is the bestselling author of 100 Things to Learn Before You’re 10. A children’s life coach, she owns and runs Human at Core (www.humanatcore.com), which helps parents motivate and engage their children in developing a bright future and provides science-based online personal development courses for children and parents.
You can say: ‘When your teacher shows you something in
Organising time is a great skill, but children first need to grasp how long things actually take. Our ‘just a minute’ might take five or ten minutes and young brains may understandably be fooled into thinking only a minute has passed. Have fun using a timer to count how many of the following things they can do in one minute: hops, writing their name neatly, reading words out loud, starting a colouring-in page. Show them a timetable of their day with blocks of playtime in which they can plan their own fun.
Good habits created early on pay dividends in later life! Help your child put together a homework kit so all the stationery they need is at hand before they start working. Teach your child to get ready the night before, setting out tomorrow’s clothes and any extra kit they will need. Time homework. If it’s supposed to be thirty minutes, don’t spend longer on it. If your child is not finishing on time, either the teacher needs to know or they need to focus more effectively.
4 Families Cheshire
A parent’s guide to secondary school transition
By Lisa Wander and Catherine Loble
The move from primary to secondary school is a major change for children. Most see this as an exciting next stage in their school journey but, for some, the change can make them feel anxious and uncertain. And all this at an age when children are already going through many physical and emotional changes ahead of adolescence. Bringing up children is a slow, staggered process of detachment, from the moment they learn to crawl to the moment they finally leave home. When a child starts secondary school, with a mobile phone and travel card, it’s easy to see impending adulthood in the paraphernalia of independence as the detachment process begins. Our role is to give our children roots and wings. Roots to know where home is and wings to fly away. The roots begin to form during early years education; secondary school is the place where children start to grow their wings. Whilst most children will have a positive secondary school start and will embrace the new experiences on offer, research has found that the shift to secondary school can be stressful for about one in four children and that nearly three quarters of parents are anxious themselves. Our input at this stage is crucial and our role as parents is to be our child’s sounding board, establishing an open relationship in which they feel valued, respected and connected. By adopting this non-judgemental response, our children are more likely to
Before your child starts Exploring Recognise and talk about their primary school highlights and achievements - and things they may miss. Find out what they are looking forward to at their new school, addressing worries and concerns. Connecting Look at the new school website with your child and take part in any induction events. Help your child think about how to approach new people and start conversations. Find other children on the new school route to travel with. Empower your child Encourage your child to take more responsibility at home to build their confidence and independence. Support steps towards independence: allow them to walk home alone in their final term (if practical), meet a friend locally or run an errand for you. Notice when your child does something well and praise them. Organisation is key to success Help your child plan out their journey and do a few trial runs together. Make sure you have all the uniform and equipment ready in time. Plan a suitable space and time for daily homework. Familiesonline.co.uk
keep talking to us as they get older. Finally, while we may no longer be at the school gates, our involvement continues to be crucial to both our children’s emotional wellbeing and academic success. There are still many opportunities to stay involved: by joining the PTA, becoming part of a class WhatsApp group and getting to know the school and what support it offers. Talk to your children about their day but possibly not the moment they walk through the door - a snack and a drink often help to ease the way into a pleasant chat. The key to a healthy ongoing relationship is to keep the communication going. Remember that you are your child’s emotional coach. Lisa and Catherine are co-founders of Emparenting (www.emparenting.co.uk), supporting children, parents and families with the insights, skills and tools needed to nurture the development and well-being of the next generation.
University success at Stockport Grammar Stockport Grammar School’s Upper Sixth students have received offers from leading universities, including six from Oxford and Cambridge. Aspiring medics Jessica Horsford and Isobel Gardner both hold offers from the University of Cambridge, while Harry Brown has already received medical school offers. Talented mathematicians Yicheng Xia and Nicholas Othen have both received offers to read Mathematics at Oxford. In the arts, humanities and social sciences, Lauren Hedley has an offer to study Economics at Cambridge and Zoe Shah, an offer to study English at Oxford. SGS’ strength in musicianship is reflected by Daniel Vincent’s offer to study Music at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM). Sixth Form tutor, UCAS Adviser and Extension Coordinator, Carrie Stevenson said: ‘Applying for Oxford and Cambridge is challenging. I’d like to commend the SGS pupils who submitted applications this year for their positive and resilient attitudes.’ More information at www.stockportgrammar.co.uk Families Cheshire 5
Starting school? Managing school lunches By Emma Lewry
School lunches have come a long way since cold custard and blancmange. If your child is starting school this year and you want to prep them for the experience, here are a few things to consider. School dining halls can be busy places and children might need to carry their food to a table. Practise at home by using a tray and some real or play food. Explain to your child that at school they might need to use a tray too. Talk to them about what the hall might be like; lots of tables and chairs where children eat lunch together, lots of grown-ups to help and, although it might be noisy, it will be because everyone is chatting about their fun morning at school. Will they like the food? I’ve seen with my own eyes that when there’s no pressure from adults watching their every move, children are more likely to try what their peers are eating. Families are often surprised to hear their children have tucked into things like couscous or ragu at school when at home they would rather starve themselves than even touch a vegetable! Very often children will eat well at school and be brave enough to try something new. If you have a child who is choosy, it can be helpful to explore different tastes at home alongside their tried and tested favourites, exposing them to more options before launching into school lunches.
It’s also useful to explain that food may look and taste different from the home version. If lasagne is their favourite and the school version is packed with veggies, it might not be what they were expecting. Show how foods can be made in different ways by trying out some new recipe variations at home to mix things up. If you’re unsure about whether to give school lunches a go in Reception, ask the school for a menu and check which options your child might like. All in all school lunches are a great choice, so consider taking the leap and ordering them at least for the first few weeks. I’m pretty sure you won’t look back! Emma Lewry is an Early Years teacher, headteacher and mother of two. Emma co-owns Every Day’s a School Day (www.edasd.co.uk) which guides families through starting school with courses, groups and a school starter’s planner available from Amazon.
Four reasons to opt for school lunches
Preparing for secondary school lunches
NOT having to make a packed lunch every day!
Most secondary schools have a canteen-style lunch option often with more choices than at primary school. Prepare by exploring similar venues like cafes; ask your child to look at the options on the menu and let you know what they might choose if it was lunch at school.
They’re free for all children in Reception, Years 1 and 2 in England. They’re healthy. The days of greasy chicken dippers and chips with every meal are long gone. School food now has to pass strict regulations which ensure healthy, nutrient-packed ingredients with a range of different fruits and vegetables included. School meal providers work extremely hard to ensure lunch options are healthy and tasty. So if healthy is what you’re after, school lunches tick the box. Choosing school lunches also means your child has a hot meal each day; this takes the pressure off needing a fancy dinner when they get home. They’re an opportunity to try something new, including new flavours and foods which can then become tasty new favourites. The more adventurous you are at home in the run up to starting school, the more open your child will be to new menus. Finally, you’d be surprised how unfussy they can be when they’re hungry! 6 Families Cheshire
Discuss with them how to choose a good balance of foods to give them energy and fill them up. Explain how a range of foods across the week will give them a balance of nutrition. You could also practise working out how much items cost; children may have a card to use with a set amount of money for the week or a set amount each day, so budgeting is a great skill to practise. Hopefully lunch times will be a social opportunity and your child will be able to meet up with friends to enjoy their lunch together. Encourage them to organise who to eat lunch with in advance, especially in the first few days, so they can tackle the new system together.
CLASSES & CLUBS
An hour of daily exercise for your child By Andrew Campbell
In order to develop healthily and maintain a healthy weight, children require a minimum of sixty minutes a day of exercise. But research shows that the number of children actually getting this amount of exercise each day drops by forty percent as they move through primary school. In 2020, before the pandemic, just under a quarter of boys and fewer girls met the national recommended level of daily activity. Additionally, one in five children started primary school overweight or obese, with this ratio rising to more than a third by the time they moved on to secondary school. A survey from Public Health England (PHE) and Disney which looked at the effects of physical activity on children’s emotional wellbeing, found: •
being active made the majority of children ages 5 to 11 feel happier, more confident and more sociable, according to their parents;
nearly all children said they liked being active;
the main motivations for kids to be more active were having friends to join in with the activity and having more sports or activities they liked to choose from;
children’s overall happiness declines with age; sixty four percent children ages 5 to 6 said they always feel happy, compared to just forty eight percent of 11 year olds.
The survey identified the main barriers to physical activity, revealing that the worry of ‘not being very good’ was one of the most common. This worry increases with age. Parents are being urged to try new sports and physical activities locally, whether at their local park, leisure centre or via a popular sport or activity group in an effort to help children get more of the sixty minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity they need each day for healthy development and to maintain a healthy weight. Why not try some clubs and classes in your local area? As part of its campaign to assist children to engage in enough physical activity, a national 10 Minute Shake Ups programme run by PHE offers fun, ten minute activities for kids, featuring their favourite Disney characters and shows as inspiration. For more information, visit www.nhs.uk/10-minute-shake-up
Meet your local rugby class
Meet your local performing arts class
Back in 2005, Max Webb, a rugby-playing parent was trying to find a pre-school rugby class for his three young boys...but, at that time, there was nothing of that kind around.
Razzamataz Theatre School in Chester offers exceptional training in dance, drama and singing for children ages 2 to 18 with exciting opportunities to perform. It believes that every student should have the opportunity to be energetic, gain confidence, make friends and have fun in a safe environment.
It quickly became clear that he wasn’t the only parent looking for a rugby play programme for younger children and that what he’d spotted was a very exciting gap in the child development sector. Seizing the opportunity to start his own business – and fulfil his wish of involving his boys in rugby at a fun and accessible level, Max founded Rugbytots. In North East Cheshire, Rugbytots is owned by Andrew Wright with classes offered in six locations in Widnes, St Helens, Golborne and Warrington. Andrew warmly invites parents and children to join his exciting programme of skills, drills, family and fun! If you work in a school or nursery or want a fun birthday party for your child, Andrew offers those too. Find out more by calling 0345 313 9675, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rugbytots.co.uk
Razzamataz Chester offers a FREE taster session with classes based at Upton High School, Chester, CH2 1NN. So if you’re your child wants to get involved in performing arts in a fresh and vibrant atmosphere, Razzamataz is the place! Join Razzamataz’ Encanto inspired summer school running 15 to 19 August 10am to 1pm (ages 4 to 7) and 10am to 4pm (Mon to Thurs) and 10am to 1pm (Fri) (ages 8 to 16). During this week, children will be singing, dancing, acting, making props and performing a small presentation to parents on the final day. Book before 31st May for a 10% discount! 20% discount on second and third child for summer school and 50% for main school. Call 07749 173231, email email@example.com or visit www.chester.razzamataz.co.uk Families Cheshire 7
What’s On All listings are correct at the time of publication. Please check with the venue before you visit in case anything has changed. Daily until Sat 4 Jun Beauty and the Beast at Palace Theatre Disney classic brought to life on stage like never before. www.manchestertheatres.com Thurs 5–Sun 8 May Gandeys Circus at Arclid, near Sandbach An international cast of over thirty artistes, come together to wow audiences. www.gandeyscircus.com Sat 7 May Horrible Histories Live On Stage at The Stockport Plaza From the horrible Henries to the end of evil Elizabeth, hear the legends about the torturing Tudors. www.stockportplaza.co.uk Royal May Day at Knutsford Enjoy the parade, fair and many other festivities. www.knutsford-royal-mayday. co.uk Every Sat from 7 May Italian Storytelling at the Storyhouse Chester Listen to stories in Italian with Daniela. www.storyhouse.com Sat & Sun 7-8 May We Touch, We Play, We Dance at The Lowry Four dancers dance, inviting babies and children to join them. www.thelowry.com
Wed 18 May–Sun 22 May Shrek the Musical at Northwich Memorial Court This hilarious and spectacular production turns the world of fairy tales upside down in an all-singing, all-dancing, must-see musical comedy. Join Shrek and friends in an irresistible mix of adventure, laughter and romance, guaranteed to delight audiences of all ages! www.brioentertainment.org Sat 21 May Exciting Science at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall This brand new, exciting and educational show will amaze and astound as it puts the “exciting” back into science. So, stand clear and prepare for action, as this show is full of wiz, bang, pop…. and splurt! 2pm. Ages 4+. www.brioentertainment.org Pride on the Plaza on Waterside Plaza Free outdoor celebration with family friendly activities. www.watersidearts.org Alderley Edge Village Fair Family fun, live music, parade, fair, entertainment, food & more. www.facebook.com/the. alderley.edge.may.fair Lymm May Queen Traditional summer fete with family fun including stalls, rides and attractions. www.lymmmayqueen.co.uk
Sun 8 May Big Fish Little Fish at Cargo Manchester Award-winning, Glastonbury Festival performing, family rave sensation. www.bigfishlittlefishevents.com
Sat & Sun 21-22 May Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever at Buxton Opera House Brand new Peppa Pig live show packed full of songs, games and laughter. www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk
Flip’s Magic Circus Show at Wythenshaw Forum Jam packed with magical illusions, crazy circus skills and puzzling tricks. www.wythenshaweforum.co.uk
Sun 22 May Plastic Drastic Fantastic at The Lowry A new dance show exploring our complex relationship with all things plastic. www.thelowry.com
Funtopia at Northwich Children’s festival, filled with high energy inflatables and activities. www.facebook.com/funtopiauk Sun 15 May Family Festival at Reaseheath College A fantastic day out at this annual family festival which has been held at the college for almost forty years. www.reaseheath.ac.uk Sun 15 May & Sun 19 Jun Discover Tree Climbing at Capesthorne Hall Fantastic experience for anyone 6+ to safely ascend into the canopy of a tree. www.capesthorne.com 8 Families Cheshire
Funtopia at Ellesmere Port Children’s festival, filled with high energy inflatables and activities. www.facebook.com/funtopiauk
ComedySportz at Waterside Arts Centre For ages 10+, all ages, all action, all improvised, competitive comedy show. www.watersidearts.org
Fri 3 Jun The Sonos Family Show at The Lowry A traditional circus double act with a unique and modern twist. www.thelowry.com
Sat 28 May–Sun 5 Jun The Topsy-Turvy Tea Party at Tatton Park An interactive story walk taking you to some of the garden’s historic beauty spots. www.tattonpark.org.uk
Fri 3 Jun–Fri 4 Jun Royal Crafts at Grosvenor Museum, Chester Explore what it’s like to be a royal for the day. www.grosvenormuseum. westcheshiremuseums.co.uk
Kids Rule at Beeston Castle Celebrate the Platinum Jubilee with costumed storytellers, hands-on activities and fresh-air family fun. www.english-heritage.org.uk
Sat 4 Jun Twirlywoo’s Live at the Garrick Theatre, Altrincham The funny, loveable Twirlywoos are brought to life on stage with beautifully inventive puppetry. www.altrinchamgarrick.co.uk
Sat & Sun 28-29 May Zog and the Flying Doctors at The Lowry Zog and his crew are flying back to the stage with a brand-new adventure. www.thelowry.com Tue 31 May Milkshake Live at the Stockport Plaza Brand-new show with plenty of laughter and audience interaction. www.stockportplaza.co.uk Thu 2 June Exciting Science at Northwich Memorial Court This brand new, exciting and educational show will amaze and astound as it puts the “exciting” back into science. So, stand clear and prepare for action, as this show is full of wiz, bang, pop…. and splurt! 11am and 2pm. Ages 4+. www.brioentertainment.org
Sat & Sun 28-29 May Zog and the Flying Doctors at The Lowry Zog and his crew are flying back to the stage with a brand-new adventure. www.thelowry.com
Tue 31 May–Thu 2 Jun Medieval Merriment at Grosvenor Museum, Chester Explore the medieval world, including parchment writing, scented tuzzy muzzys and tiles. www.grosvenormuseum. westcheshiremuseums.co.uk
Sat 28 May & Sat 25 Jun ComedySportz 4 Tots at Waterside Arts Centre For ages 0 to 6. Plenty of silly songs, stories and games and audience participation. www.watersidearts.org
Thu 2 Jun – Sun 5 Jun Dino Farm at Reddish Vale Farm, Stockport UK’s largest and most realistic walking dinosaurs are coming to Reddish Vale Farm. www.reddishvalefarm.co.uk
Shavington Village Festival BBQ, dog show, fairground and more. www.svfc.info Sun 5 Jun & Sun 3 Jul Kids Car Boot at Cheadle Established in 2009, this popular monthly car boot event also raises funds for Barnardos. www.kidscarboot.co.uk Fri 10 Jun–Sat 11 Jun The Gruffalo at Parr Hall, Warrington Songs, laughs and monstrous fun in the much-loved show. Ages 3+. www.parrhall.culturewarrington. org Sat 11 Jun Discover Tree Climbing at Arley Hall & Gardens Experience a unique activity within the canopy of some fantastic trees. Ages 6+. www.arleyhallandgardens.com Chester Regatta Come along and watch the oldest regatta in the world on the River Dee. www.chesterregatta.org Thu 16 Jun–Sun 19 Jun Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival A packed programme of family attractions. www.middlewichfabfestival. co.uk
WHAT’S ON Thu 16 Jun–Sun 26 Jun Gandeys Circus at Ellesmere Port An international cast of over thirty artistes, come together to wow audiences. www.gandeyscircus.com Sat & Sun 18-19 Jun Dads go Free at Gulliver’s World Warrington Dads go FREE on Father’s Day Weekend when with at least one full paying person. www.gulliversworldresort.co.uk DogFest at Tatton Park Have-a-go-activities, fun dog show, big dog walk, dog displays, festival food and drink. www.dog-fest.co.uk/cheshire Sun 19 Jun Fireman Sam at The Lowry All singing, dancing, actionpacked show. www.thelowry.com Awful Auntie at Walkden Gardens Awful Auntie by David Walliams, adapted for the outdoor stage by Heartbreak Productions, is a truly thrilling tale. www.watersidearts.org Sat 21 & Sun 22 Jun The Royal Cheshire County Show Get up close to a range of farm animals, taste local produce stunning birds of prey soar and try your hand at archery, clay shooting and fly casting and
more. www.royalcheshireshow.org Mon 23 Jun–Sun 3 Jul Lymm Festival Annual celebration of the arts with major international performers and local talent covering music, literature, dance and comedy. www.lymmfestival.org.uk Sat 25 Jun Bunbury Village Day Traditional village fair goes medieval this year. www.bunburyvillage.info Goostrey Rose Festival Large float procession through village then a fun packed day of activities, stalls and events. www.goostreyrosefestival.co.uk Jurassic Earth at Tatton Park Life-like dinosaurs in an interactive and exciting storytelling show. www.tattonparkpopupfestival. co.uk In the Night Garden Live at The Lowry You’ll see all your favourite characters beautifully brought to life. www.thelowry.com A Fright in the Museum at the Stockport Plaza Hilarious comedy slapstick adventure for all the family. www.stockportplaza.co.uk
Sun 26 Jun Disney: An Orchestral Rendition at RNCM Be whisked away to enchanted lands as music from your favourite films fills the Concert Hall. www.rncm.ac.uk Mamma Mia the Party at Tatton Park For the dancing queens & kings to assemble to celebrate the best of ABBA. www.tattonparkpopupfestival. co.uk Thu 30 Jun Sun 3 July Stockton Heath Festival Art exhibition, theatre and live music, dog show, art and craft & much more. www.stocktonheathfestival.co.uk Sat 2 Jul The Greatest Family Show at Tatton Park A jam-packed live stage production show to delight children of all ages. www.tattonparkpopupfestival. co.uk Neston Village Fair Showcasing local organisations with lots of entertainment, attractions, good food and drink. www.facebook.com/NestonVillage-Fair Sun 3 Jul Wilmslow Community Show A showground full of fun things to do and see, fun fair, garden
games, donkey rides and loads more. www.wilmslowshow.co.uk Sun 3 Jul & Fri 8 Jul The Greatest Show: Reimagined at Tatton Park Spectacular performers and thrilling circus acts will present an amazing theatrical show. www.tattonparkpopupfestival. co.uk Wed 6 Jul–Sat 9 Jul The Wizard of Oz at Northwich Memorial Court Vale Royal Musical Theatre return with a classic tale that will bring joy to adults and children alike. www.brioentertainment.org Sun 10 Jul Holmes Chapel Village Fair Games, rides, BBQ, stalls, raffles, tombolas, displays & entertainment. www.facebook.com/ HCVillageFair Milkshake Live at Waterside Arts Centre Brand-new show has plenty of laughter, audience interaction. www.watersidearts.org Don’t forget to say you saw these in
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Vacation staycations It’s not always easy to know whether the holiday destination you’ve found online is truly as family-friendly as it claims. So, to offer you some recommendations that have been tested and rated in this regard, Families asked the experts at Tested by Tots for their suggestions for your next family break. Here’s what they’ve come up with. Sandy Balls Holiday Village, New Forest, Hampshire
Catgill Farm, Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire
Nestled in the beautiful New Forest, Sandy Balls Holiday Village by Away Resorts won the Holiday Resorts category of the Tested by Tots Staycation Awards 2021. With excellent facilities, bars and restaurants, it has activities for all ages including soft play, bike hire, archery, crafts and alpaca walks. Great location, great staff, great service and something for everyone.
This charming family-run campsite is ideally located for Bolton Abbey and local tea rooms and pubs. Choose from camping, bell tent glamping or timber pods, with an on-site coffee shop, regular shop, BBQ and fire pits (with pizza ovens) for hire, plus electric hook up and WiFi.
www.catgillfarm.co.uk Forest Holidays, Cropton, North Yorkshire
Cherry Tree Farm Camping, Croyde, North Devon
Beautiful cabins in peaceful woodland with a beach nearby. Bookable activities include horse riding, archery, cycling and forest ranger activities. The kids will love being outdoors, whether in the forest or play area; and there’s even the option to bring the dog.
Awarded Best Campsite in the Staycation Awards 2021, this spacious site is spread over several well-kept camping fields and sits only three hundred metres from the beach. Amenities include on-site wetsuit and board hire, ice block exchange, small device charge station, showers, numerous toilets, tuck shop and even a Sri Lankan food truck.
Sandylands Holiday Park, Ayrshire, Scotland
Drayton Cottage, Bembridge, Isle of Wight
No top picks should be without a Parkdean resort! Sandylands is in a beautiful location for outdoor exploring and comes with excellent facilities: adventure playground, indoor swimming and toddler pools, arcade and kids’ club, plus a range of organised activities. Cosy accommodation with plenty for everyone to do.
This ‘home from home’ cottage won the Best Holiday Lets category in the Staycation Awards 2021. Easy walking distance to the beach and close to local amenities, the cottage is geared for families looking to relax and explore the island. It has a secure garden with seating and BBQ and bike storage.
Ham Bottom, Somerset These self-catering lodges are perfectly designed for families: open plan with big kitchen tables, en-suites to every bedroom and kitted out with children’s equipment. Each property also comes with a trampoline, slide and climbing frame, football goals, indoor heated pool, sauna, hot tub and BBQ shack. It’s a paradise for families set in beautiful countryside. www.groupstays.co.uk
Holiday Inn Kenilworth, Warwick A comfortable hotel in a great location to explore the attractions in and around Warwick. It’s great value, as are most of the Holiday Inn hotels: under 17s stay for free if in their parents’ room and up to four children can eat free if they’re under 12. Free parking and WiFi add great value to a city break. www.ihg.com/holidayinn
Tested by Tots takes the stress out of travelling with children. It recommends only products and services that it has checked out and agrees are child-friendly. All this and hints and tips on holidaying with children, including holiday packing checklists at www.testedbytots.com 10 Families Cheshire
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IN THIS ISSUE
Activities Tips/Advice Days Out
Families Cheshire 11
Keeping children’s teeth healthy By Dr Attari
Dental decay has become one of the main reasons for hospital admission among children in recent years, with forty thousand children ages 1 to 14 admitted in 2019. Many of those needed dental extractions under general anaesthetic. This isn’t surprising when around a quarter of 5-year-olds have tooth decay. But tooth decay is preventable with good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups from an early age. Children who are used to the dental setting are more at ease and find it easier to return and have their oral health monitored throughout their lives. Here are our top tips for healthy teeth: Babies Clean your baby’s mouth with a soft, clean cloth even before the baby teeth start to come through, moving to a soft finger brush or handheld brush once the teeth start to erupt. Once your baby’s teeth are coming through, don’t give them a bottle of milk before bed. Formula and, later, cow’s milk can cause dental decay if pooled around the teeth at night. Once all twenty baby teeth have erupted, teeth should be brushed, in a circular motion, on all the tooth surfaces, not forgetting the gumline. When to brush Brush teeth twice per day, ideally after breakfast and before bed but avoid brushing young children’s teeth just before bedtime – they are less likely to co-operate when tired. Toothpaste, floss and brushes Always use fluoride toothpaste. In older children, fluoride mouthwash should be used at a different time to brushing. Interdental cleaning with floss is useful where the teeth are not well-spaced. Use of electric toothbrushes should be avoided until children are around age 12. When used, the brush head should be placed at a forty-five-degree angle at the junction of gum and tooth. Hold the brush for three to five seconds on every tooth surface. Avoid using battery-operated electric toothbrushes; use
Preventing Bad Breath
rechargeable toothbrushes or stick to manual brushing. Assisting children Help your child with brushing and flossing up to the age of 9. By this age, they should have good enough manual dexterity to clean their teeth independently. After night-time brushing, avoid children snacking or drinking anything apart from water. Toothpaste should be spat out after brushing but don’t rinse mouth with water as this actually washes away the fluoride. Finally, remember, a visit to the dentist isn’t just for when you’re in pain - routine check-ups can prevent the pain occurring in the first place! Dr Attari works at Weymouth Street Paediatric Dental Care in London. For more information, visit www.wpddentistry.co.uk
Diet and oral hygiene A balanced diet is vital for a child’s oral health and it’s important to eat varied foods and minimise snacking. Sugary foods result in an acid-attack on teeth. It’s not the quantity but the frequency of eating sugar that causes decay. Remember that fruit juices and dried fruit are two of the main causes of dental decay – they are not healthier than refined sugars. Get some ideas and recommendations on snacks for kids from the NHS Change4Life website and app at www.teethteam.org. uk
Win a Great British WIN! Map of Wonders Let the adventures begin! Families has teamed up with ST&G to offer ten lucky readers their very own Great British Map of Wonders.
A combination of good oral hygiene, diet and routine dental visits from a young age can reduce the likelihood of children needing any dental treatment but can also help avoid bad breath. Other tips include: Good brushing and interdental cleaning; Tongue scrapers which can help reduce bacteria on the tongue; Probiotics which restore the balance of bacteria in the gut, combined with good oral hygiene. 12 Families Cheshire
There are so many amazing adventure-filled things to do here in Britain, that it’s hard to take them all in without a ginormous map! For children ages 6+, this map includes 1000 of the most fun things to do and places to visit around Britain, with great games to play, boxes to tick, notes to fill in and a huge colouring map. Find and explore amazing animals, awesome activities, brilliant beaches, thrilling quests, super-fun festivals, funny place names and legendary places. For more information, visit www.marvellousmaps.com
To enter, visit familiesmag.co.uk/go Closing date: 20 June. T&Cs at https://bit.ly/MapofWonders
Why every tween should start a business By Jemma Z Smith
As anyone who has watched the feelgood series Sweet Magnolias on Netflix will know, starting a lemonade stand in your tweens can bind friends for life. But is it seriously worth encouraging your child to start their own business or is it just a big hassle? Let’s explore the point of a child starting their own business. Why can it be useful. The first good reason is to explore an alternative career. In school we may be presented with a somewhat narrow range of career options. Starting a business can open your tween’s eyes to other careers, such as PR, web design or virtual assistant. They may not discover what they want to do until after they have left school, but, equally, trying their hand at something at a young age can give them an idea of what they enjoy and what they are good at. It can also give them a wider appreciation of what careers, roles and jobs are out there. The second benefit is that starting a business helps your tween to know their worth and to appreciate others. It can sometimes seem like being a tween is full of juxtapositions. People trust you to do more, yet you aren’t an adult. You know some things but still not as much as your parents. Starting a business allows a tween to take control but also to appreciate that they need other people’s contributions to grow and develop. This helps them to realise why companies need more than just founders and how teamwork is important in
business and the world of work. Finally, money. We all need it and as your child starts and progresses through secondary school, the list of their wants and needs can grow exponentially. Having their own source of money can be a great source of pride for many teens and tweens, whilst also reducing the pressure on you. It can also help teens and tweens put the cost of purchases into perspective. Do they really need that new video gaming console. How many hours of work will they need to put in to get it? Over the last five years I have worked with many teenage entrepreneurs. I have helped tweens and teens to set up social enterprises, sell clothing online, create photography exhibitions and more. My students have loved the experience but they have also learned valuable lessons. Jemma Zoe Smith is Director of The Education Hotel (www.educationhotel.co.uk).
Money and time
Does your tween want to start their own business but they aren’t sure what to start with?
Starting up a business takes a lot of time!
Well Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is any business! You will need to make sure that your offspring starts small with a business that can be run from home, with little investment needed. They have time to grow to bigger and better things as they get older. Encourage your child to think of a simple, easy to run business idea. For instance, a business that designs customised trainers could be small and inexpensive if your tweens’ friends bring their cheap trainers to them to customise. On the other hand, it could be complex and expensive if your youngster wants to purchase and customise expensive branded trainers and then sell them. For more advice, suggest your tween check out the government website for advice for young entrepreneurs at https://bit.ly/ YoungEntrepreneursAdvice. Or if your child is interested in selling craft items, check out Etsy as they support tweens and teens and even have a specific teen business section at https:// etsy.me/3HXZDyN
Depending on your tween’s business idea, you will need to help them to flesh out a business plan, arrange a way for customers to contact them and help them to navigate pricing. The amount of time needed makes it a great project to start in the school holidays. Remember that whilst tweens may need your help to set up, they should look to run the business themselves. Perhaps they could eventually hire their friends to help? You also may need to contribute a small amount of money to your tween to ensure that they can afford to develop a product or even set up a website for their new business. This can be a great lesson in financing. Perhaps you could loan the money with interest or purchase shares in their business, meaning that you would always get a proportion of their profit? There is lots that your tween can learn from just understanding this concept!
Families Cheshire 13
FOOD © Puffpuff Ministry
Exploring different cultures through food By Fola Williams Food! Such an important part of life, isn’t it? Are you a family of foodies who are interested in exploring culture through food? Here are some ideas to get you started on exploring the tastes and culture of Africa.
Specialist businesses are a great way to try a delectable selection of Africaninspired condiments, food and drink. DVees www.dvees.com Providing a luxurious taste of West Africa, DVees offers carefully crafted food and drink products that either take you down memory lane or introduce the unique and vibrant flavours of West Africa to you. Their signature mocktail DVees chapman is simply to die for, with perfectly combined ingredients that bring nothing but absolute refreshment.
For a window into colourful food prep ideas, Instagram has some inspirational bloggers and creators showcasing a variety of authentic cultural dishes, as well as African lifestyle. These are some of my favourites: Yemisi @sisi_yemmie
Ronke Edoho @9jafoodie
Yemisi delights followers with incredible plating and flavour combinations, as well as general lifestyle content. You can download her menu planner to organise and simplify your life for less than £10. Even better, follow her to a local Lagosian market as she shops for ingredients on her YouTube channel.
Follow Ronke Edoho for recipes and meal inspiration. She also runs @loseitnigerian for a more healthconscious view of cooking Nigerian food.
For the green-fingered, follow jollofcode and see how to grow Nigerian vegetables and spices such as okra, ata rodo (scotch bonnet peppers) and garden egg, which you’ll be pleased to hear is not an actual egg but a vegetable that can be either eaten raw or used to make stew!
Zoe runs live cooking workshops on @ghanakitchen where you enjoy an immersive experience in cooking Ghanaian food. Her shop, though momentarily closed, sells amazing spice blends that provide a wholesome introduction to authentic West African flavours.
Subscribe You could also try food subscription boxes from a different culture. Cook with Pika (www.cookwithpika. co.uk) makes it super easy to cook Nigerian by including several ingredients in the right proportions as well as simple recipes and cooking instructions in their boxes. They also have delicious vegetarian alternatives to some of our traditional dishes.
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Puffpuff Ministry www.puffpuffministry.co.uk The puff puff connoisseurs make puffy dough balls aka puff puff, like doughnuts but better! With flavours and toppings such as Oreo, Kinder Bueno and Lotus Biscoff syrup, they’re the perfect snack or dessert to follow a good hearty meal. Alhaji Suya www.alhajisuya.com If you can handle the heat, the spicy meat snack known as suya, is often grilled with a blend of spices over an open fire giving it a distinct smoky flavour that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Suya can be made with different meats (beef, chicken or lamb) based on preference and is often served with a blend of dry peppers, onions and tomato slices.
Food Festivals Keep an eye for any African Food Festivals in your area. They are a great way to sample a wide variety of African food and drink as well as some music! Failing that, the world food aisle at the supermarket might just unearth some gems which can be used to cook meals following simple recipes online.
Fola Williams is proprietor of Sheni and Teni (www.sheniandteni.com) which offers diverse books, toys and games for kids. Familiesonline.co.uk
2022 children’s party trends By Claire Winter Many of us have missed celebrating important birthday parties and milestones with family and friends during the pandemic. With restrictions lifted and the summer months upon us, things are looking up at last! Did someone say party? Here’s how to party like it’s 2022.
The pandemic drove us outside and having a party in the garden or going to an outdoor venue still appeals to many parents. A huge outdoor picnic and good old-fashioned games like tug-of-war, quoits or skittles always go down a treat. Pack bats and balls and you’re ready for rounders. It’s a party with no crumbs and more space to let off steam! Alternatively, parties at venues like Go Ape are an easy option and the children will love to monkey around in the trees.
Grazing platters may look fabulous but some delicious goodies in individual recyclable cardboard boxes are simple to serve, create less waste and can be eaten anywhere. A firm favourite is a cream tea in a box! You can also outsource food to a party organiser or caterer. Or, instead of having one large statement cake, why not offer a fabulous display of cupcakes and mini desserts? It will look gorgeous and the kids (and parents) will love it.
Retro gaming parties
Sleepover in style
If you have a gaming fan in the house, why not hire a gaming company to take them back to the eighties? Pac-Man and many of the old-school favourites will fascinate and intrigue them. There are also loads of great VR games that you can hire for the day too.
For an extra special sleepover if you have the garden space, consider hiring a bell tent or teepee. One for the older children - decorate with fairy lights, set up mini Bluetooth speakers and let the fun begin! Just don’t expect too much sleeping....
Whether they are dried or fresh, flowers have made a huge comeback. Scatter rose petals on the party table or freeze them in ice cubes. Create a huge bouquet as a centrepiece or if you are going all out, hire a flower wall. Perfect for tweens!
Call in the experts
The party bag
A seasoned magician or entertainer will provide the fun crowd control you’re after. Younger kids love the games, banter and dancing while you sit back watching the fun.
Give small meaningful gifts instead of plastic. It’s just not the done thing any more to fill party bags with sweets and land-filler plastic tat. A few popular (more eco-friendly) alternative ideas could be a book, a packet of wildflower seeds or a jar of make-at-home cookie mix.
Take a full-on trip down the traditional route. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple. Two hours of games like pass the parcel, musical statues, a treasure hunt and a spot of dancing before tea still do very nicely, thank you.
Instagrammable installations If you’re all about the ‘gram and other social media shares, you can hire amazing balloon displays, giant LED numbers and neon signs for the party. Do be conscious of sharing pictures of your party-goers as not all parents are comfortable with their children on social media.
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Adventures at home By Zoe Lake I’m a big fan of planning fun-filled family adventures at home for weekends and holidays. Here are some of our favourites, which can be easily adjusted if the weather does not behave. All the activities can be tailored to children and adults of all ages, adding a little magic to precious family time.
Garden music festival Dig out your tent, drag out your blankets and cushions, power up the radio and set up camp. Spend the day listening to music in the comfort of your own garden. Homemade ribbon wristbands and VIP lanyards allow unlimited access to the snack cupboard, fruity mocktails and ultimately, the lavatory - without needing to queue!
Twenty four hours without electricity Challenging the family to go without electricity is great fun. Not only does it encourage you to get creative with your time, it also opens up the broader topic of eco-living and which small changes can be made at home. Activities for the day might include painting, poetry, games, bird watching, cooking over an open flame and sleeping outside.
Stargazing Our favourite way to stargaze is in an old inflatable pool, patched with duct tape and filled with duvets! It keeps the chill out whilst we snuggle down and watch for the first star to appear amidst the myths and legends. Look out for the Big Bear, the Pegasus and Draco the dragon, which snakes across our sky.
Village fetes are often a washout but you can schedule yours when there’s glorious sunshine! String up your bunting, bake some scones, set up a raffle and a lucky dip (from old goody bag items), provide an (unplugged) microphone for announcements, hold a pet show, even set up a Pimms’ tent (no judgement here).
Our annual garden Olympics is one of our favourite days of the year. Open with a (tissue paper) Olympic flame and homemade hanging flags, followed by competitive rounds of egg and spoon, sack races, hula hooping, bean bag throwing and swing ball. Keep score on a chalkboard and finish with salt dough medals at an elaborate award ceremony.
Find out who you share your garden with, using a nature guide to help with identification. Or encourage a few new residents with a log pile house for insects, hanging feeders for birds, a compost heap for worms, upturned pots for frogs and a colourful flowerbed for bees and butterflies. Keep an illustrated journal of what you all see.
Spend a bit of time asking relatives about their own adventures, jotting them down as you go. If the weather is a bit rubbish, this is the perfect excuse to scour old family albums full of photos of when they were young. And if the weather is kind, ask them to take you around their old haunts, perhaps to where they grew up.
A reading nook is a wonderful place to spend a lazy afternoon. Set up a den or a teepee and make it cosy inside. Fill a basket with books and make the most of little ones curled up in your lap for story time. Or even have a go at writing your own story together.
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Zoe Lake’s book Adventures at Home (Pimpernel Press) is available at all good book shops and at www.zoe-lake.co.uk Familiesonline.co.uk