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The essential magazine for parents of children aged 0–teens

Issue 19: May - June 2014

Yes it ’s

free! LONDON–KENT BORDERS

the big fun

party issue Fantastic party ideas Something for the grown ups Competitions Out & about

Plus... News, ‘What’s on’ & much more inside!

For families the Bromley & Bexley boroughs, Dartford the surrounding areas of Kent Followliving us oninFacebook at Families London–Kent Borders & Magazine and on Twitter @familieslkb | 1


Let your kids drive in London. Now they can drive a Tube train, climb in a bus cab and lose themselves in our exploration zone. Better still, kids go free at London Transport Museum, Covent Garden.

EN P O OW

N

2 | May-June 2014 | www.familieslondonkent.co.uk | 020 8466 6977 | 07792 006546


in this party issue Issue 19: May - June 2014

4

Competitions News & views

6-7 Education 8-9 Something for the grown ups 10-11 Health & beauty 12-13 Party feature 14-15 Out & about

Follow us on Facebook at baby to communicateFamilies London–Kent Borders Help yourHelp babyyour to communicate speech with our award winning BEFORE BEFORE speech with our award winning Magazine and on Twitter MUSIC program. MUSIC program. @familieslkb Our unique musiccombine coursesaction combine action Our unique music courses andrhymes nursery rhymes with gestures songs andsongs nursery with gestures derived sign language. Editor: Mima Walia | 020 8466 6977 or 07792 derived from sign from language.

006546 | editor@familieslondonkent.co.uk Contact Karen 837 01689 Contact Karen 01689 905837 905What’s On Editor: Abbie Minnock e: singandsignbromley@gmail.com e: singandsignbromley@gmail.com Design: Toni Leo Classes in Bromley, Beckenham & Orpington Front cover: samanthataylorphotography.com Classes in Bromley, Beckenham & Orpington www.singandsign.com www.singandsign.com Printed by: Williams Press Ltd

Children love making things So why not have some creative fun with a Craft Party at Crafts Bee? Adult classes available include Sewing, Cake Decorating, Jewellery Making, Silk Painting, Stained Glass, Crochet and paper crafts. Gift Vouchers available.

© Families London–Kent Borders. We take every care preparing this magazine, but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequences. Any original materials submitted for publication are sent at owner’s own risk and, while every care is taken, neither Families London–Kent Borders nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage. Families London–Kent Borders is part of the Families® group, established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under license.

Hello and welcome to the May/ June issue. At long last summer is on the horizon and definitely on it’s way. We have a Party Special if you are planning one soon? Plus something extra for the big ones in this issue. Our Health and Beauty pages are full of ways of getting you back in to shape and getting ready for the summer months and make sure to check our Out & About pages as we have lots of exciting things to do over the next 2 months and still so much more online at www.familieslondonkent.co.uk. Don’t miss the competitions with fabulous prizes for you and your family and also clubs and a classes to keep the little one’s busy. Next issue out in July and hope we all have lots of sunshine until then.

Have fun!

www.craftsbee.com | 020 8650 7099

1st Floor, 247 High Street, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 1AB

Mima Walia, Editor 020 8466 6977 editor@familieslondonkent.co.uk

Follow us on Facebook at Families London–Kent Borders Magazine and on Twitter @familieslkb | 3


news & views Why dyslexics don’t need to fail... Is your child failing in class? Not understanding the work set? Suffering from poor memory? Low self-esteem? Struggling with frustration? Or very highly strung? Experiencing spelling issues? Reading and writing difficulties? If so, it may be that The Alison Lawson Dyslexia eye correction program can help. Inside lots of dyslexic’s is a hidden genius and the eye correction program helps to remove the barriers and unlock the genius, so your child can succeed. A mere 11 hours of treatment can see your child make significant strides ahead, very quickly. Students frequently report that they are jumping up levels in a wide variety of academic areas. Treatment is suitable for 4 years and upwards. Check the website for common signs and symptoms and read for yourself the numerous progress stories that clients have willingly shared. Complete the free online Pre-assessment Questionnaire and have a Therapists assess whether your child would benefit from treatment. The Alison Lawson Dyslexia Centre offers eye correction treatment for those with dyslexia. It is the only UK centre representing the widely acclaimed Australian treatment with over 22,000 persons treated.

To find out more please visit www.dyslexia-treatment.co.uk

Family Ice Cream Fun with Freezeez

NEW Instant Ice Cream Maker from the Worlds Apart Family Ice cream just got a little cooler thanks to Freezeez. This innovative new ice cream maker from Worlds Apart will make family fun easy freezy this summer. Kids can have their pick of their favourite character cone (Minnie Mouse, Spider-Man or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle) and then create their own unique flavour of ice cream in just two minutes! With no overnight preparation required Freezeez is an affordable and easy way to keep kids entertained and engaged at any time.    How does it work? Just grab their favourite ingredients from the fridge, pop them into the Freezeez cone, secure the character head and then, the fun bit… get shaking, letting the science do the rest. After only two minutes Freezeez magic will start to turn their chosen ingredients into delicious ice cream. Once they’ve made their very own ice cream creation they can get creative by adding tasty toppings and then tuck in with the Freezeez spoon. The great news is parents know exactly what goes into Freezeez and either cream or (for a super healthy option) yogurt can be used – it’s up to you and their imagination. Available Spider-Man, Minnie Mouse and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Freezeez, RRP £12.99  for ages 3 years+ | For all stockist details call 0800 389 8591 or visit www.worldsapart.com

competition time with Gambado! To celebrate the re-­opening of Gambado Beckenham they offering one lucky child the chance to WIN a Tiger Party for ten worth a whopping £119.50! Suitable for 1-­12 year olds the Tiger Party assigns you your very own Party Host, 80 minutes Free Play including bumper cars, slides & play frame, 40 minutes Party Celebration including hot & cold party buffet, unlimited sugar-­free juice & water, balloon modelling & party games, Gambado balloons, printable Invitations, thank you cards and last but not least a FREE gift for the birthday child! Gambado Beckenham boasts one of the largest play frames in Greater London in addition to dodgems and carousel which are included in the entry price. A host of fabulous parties are on offer for children from 1-­12 years old including LaserTag, NEW S.W.A.T (NERF parties), Make A Bear, Tiger Tots and the popular Tiger Party now with new party themes and loots bag.

To win just answer this simple question: How many minutes free play to you get at a Tiger Party? Please enter online: www.familieslondonkent.co.uk Terms & Conditions: This prize must be used within 12 months. The winner cannot transfer and there is no cash alternative. Gambado Beckenham, Natwest Sports Ground, Copers Cope Road, Beckenham, Kent BR3 1NZ. Only 10 minutes’ walk from New Beckenham mainline station and Lower Sydenham mainline station. FREE Car Parking facilities at site (limited spaces available).

Telephone 0208 662 6910 | Email beckenham@gambado.com www.gambado.com/beckenham | Open Monday-­Sunday 09.30-­18.30

4 | May-June 2014 | www.familieslondonkent.co.uk | 020 8466 6977 | 07792 006546


clubs & classes www.aquakids.co.uk Small classes held at Bromley High School. 3 years and upwards, teacher in the water.

Term time classes Tuesday, Wednesday & Sunday

Next crash course

Summer Intensive 28 July - 1 August, 9am - 10.30am limited places remaining. October Intensive Course check website for details mid June. Or email aquakids@me.com

Swimming Lessons that last a lifetime Visit our website www.aquakids.co.uk for blogs, testimonials and more information

red carpet rolled out for Pauline Quirke Academy students The Pauline Quirke Academy Chislehurst and Sidcup hosted their annual big cinema screening film festival at The Empire Bromley on Sun 23 March and it was a great turnout with over 250 students and parents. Students got to walk the red carpet like Hollywood movie stars, some even arriving in limo’s and all dressed to impress in Hollywood glamour. With over 20 films under their belt the students from the AM and PM academy got to watch themselves in action at the premiere. This was followed by an after show party and mini Oscar Awards ceremony plus student of the year awards at The Great Hall Bromley.

Please contact Heather Smith for a free taster at PQA: heather@pqacademy.com

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education news

mock test

benefits Book now with the No.1 Mock Test provider with 10 + and 11+ mock tests in Orpington and Bexley. The 11plus Mock Test by 11plus Ltd, is the leading gender specific mock test for girls and boys. By providing detailed feedback on all test papers, parents are able to identify and strengthen weak areas, thereby improving their child’s chances of gaining admission to the school of their choice. Thousands of children have benefited from our mock tests to date and we are delighted to have many returning parents.

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Dates: Tuesday 27 May 2014 Where: Crofton Halls, Crofton Road, Orpington BR6 8PR

Time: 1.30pm–3.30pm

Time: 1.30pm-5.30pm

Exam Fee: £15.00 per subject

Exam Fee: £12.50 per subject

Detailed Feedback Fee: £5.00

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FEEDBACK includes ✔ Detailed report on your child’s ✔ Strengths & weaknesses ✔Access to mock test questions & answers ✔ Your child’s answer papers returned

11+ VERBAL REASONING VOCABULARY FLASH CARDS Improve your verbal reasoning skills and achieve a higher 11+ score Cards specifically created from recognised 11+ material

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why book with us? Thousands of satisfied customers! • Optional detailed feedback given in all papers • Mock test answer papers returned* • Access to mock test questions and answers • Mock test answers explained • FREE 11+ checklist in all subjects

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• Mock test results within 1 week* • Quality questions by 11+ specialists • We run 10+, 11+ and Writing mock tests • Five different 11+ mock test papers* • The No.1 mock test provider!

If you would like to feature or advertise in the next issue please call Mima on 020 8466 6977

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or 07792 006546.

6 | May-June 2014 | www.familieslondonkent.co.uk | 020 8466 6977 | 07792 006546


education news

Should I choose a preparatory school for my child? Do they really offer more than a local primary school? The answer to both of these questions ‘Yes’. As their name suggests, the role of preparatory schools is to prepare your child for their entrance into senior education, so don’t be surprised to see a plethora of subjects on the curriculum. Your child will experience a well rounded education albeit in a nurturing environment. Classes are significantly smaller, allowing all pupils to progress. At the same time, this allows all staff to know their pupils and therefore offer a bespoke curriculum. Self confidence is encouraged and children are constantly motivated to enjoy and embrace all the opportunities that arise within this positive learning environment. The academic curriculum within a preparatory school is clearly of the utmost importance. Throughout your child’s time at their preparatory school, they will be prepared for the common entrance and scholarship tests and preparatory schools’ academic credentials are renowned. If the above isn’t enough to tempt you, consider the other aspects of a stimulating, all-round education. Your child will have the opportunity to experience a wide range of music, playing in an orchestra or participating in the choir. Let’s not forget the range of sporting events that your child can take part in. Children in a preparatory school experience a range of sports, including rugby, hockey, swimming and cricket, Should you choose a preparatory school for your child? Well, if you want to give them the best possible start in life, then the answer has to be yes. The investment will pay off as you see your child blossom into a well rounded, self confident, individual, ready to face the world! Amanda Carey, Head of English, Breaside Preparatory School, www.breaside.co.uk

BREASIDE PREPARATORY SCHOOL For boys and girls aged 2½-11 years

OPEN DAY

Wednesday 11th June 2014 - 1.30pm - 3.00pm Breaside is celebrating another year of outstanding results for pupils who have successfully passed exams for entry to highly selective Grammar Schools and Independent Schools across several boroughs. Destination Schools include St Olaves, Newstead Woods, Dartford, Wilmington, Chislehurst & Sidcup, Dulwich College, Trinity and Bromley High. If you are unable to attend our Open Day please make an appointment for a personal tour of the school. We will be delighted to welcome you to Breaside.

41 Orchard Road, Bromley, Kent BR1 2PR For more information please call 020 8460 0916 www.breaside.co.uk info@breaside.co.uk Follow us on Facebook at Families London–Kent Borders Magazine and on Twitter @familieslkb | 7


something for the

grown ups no time for Bookkeeping? Evelyn has been working in accounts for various companies since 1999 ranging from small companies to FTSE 100, she now runs eob bookkeeping services. eob bookkeeping can offer a flexible and tailored service to small/medium companies where we can come to you or receive work via e-mail which ever suits your needs, as well as liaise with your accountant for smoother running of your company. We work with you to give you the freedom to focus on growth and productivity. We offer all bookkeeping services from invoicing, credit control, accounts payable, VAT Returns, bank reconciliations through to payroll.

Please contact Evelyn to discuss your requirements on 07540 425 129 or eob@sky.com

need extra cash?

Families London-Kent Borders is looking for a part time delivery person to deliver magazines every 2 months, please call Mima on

020 8466 6977 or 07792 006546.

As recommended by

Kids’ uniform going astray?

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Snappy Tags take the pain out of clothes labelling Labelling clothes is such a chore, and so time-consuming! Not anymore! Snappy TagTM is the one-click way to label school uniforms, clothing and other items quickly and securely. No more sewing in labels or taking time ironing on adhesive tags that come off in the wash. Snappy Tags is similar to a small button and very simple to use. Say It Personally just laser etch the name you need onto the Snappy Tags. Using Permanent EtchRM laser processes they guarantee that the name won’t fade or wash off. So you always know who the garment belongs to.

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8 | May-June 2014 | www.familieslondonkent.co.uk | 020 8466 6977 | 07792 006546 As recommended by


something for the grown ups

Fancy becoming a swimming teacher?

IS YOUR FAMILY REALLY PROTECTED ONLINE?

Teaching, Training and Developing New and Competent Swimming Instructors and School Teachers We offer intensive courses over 4 weeks, weekends and day courses, allowing flexible learning for all. Starting July 10th - UKCC ASA Level 1 Teaching Aquatics. Suitable for 16 and over and a pre requisite for Level 2.

Try award-winning F-Secure SAFE free for 6 months and then just £59.99 a year. To cover three of your devices – PCs, Macs, Android Smartphones and Tablets. Just go to www.f-secure.com/SAFEFAMILIES and enter this coupon code KOGMO-JSWKF-PUXVB-PYYVR

Starting July 24th - UKCC ASA Level 2 Teaching Aquatics. Going to College or University? Earn while you Learn! Payment by instalments available for ASA UKCC courses. Eric Liddell Sports Centre, Eltham College, Grove Park Rd, Mottingham London SE9 4QF

Check the website for more info: www.aquabilityttc.co.uk e: admin@aquabilityttc.co.uk t: 07802 660516

Your chance to win Howards of Kent ‘Limoncello’ A Bromley company is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a bottle of their Limoncello. Howards of Kent, run by Claire Howard, are based in the borough of Bromley. They produce a range of flavoured vodkas, gins, brandies, rum and fruit liqueurs using handpicked raspberries, black currants, gooseberries, plums and rhubarb. Howards of Kent pick the fruit, seep it in alcohol, leave it alone for a long time and then taste it. Claire said ‘People love our drinks because they can taste the fruit and the Kent sunshine and they understand that to get a good flavour takes time, you just can’t hurry the making process’. Howards of Kent describe themselves as artisans because of the way they make their drinks, using traditional methods making flavour their paramount concern. As in addition to using Kent fruits, Howards of Kent also make a delicious Limoncello, Claire explains that this was the first they ever made and it is still their best seller. You can drink it neat or add it to Prosecco for a lovely fresh summer drink or add a good shot of  Limoncello to cranberry juice and top up with lemonade for a long cool summer drink. You can buy a bottle of Howards of Kent limoncello from Refreshers.theshoppad.com or find Howards of Kent at a local event near you this summer, details are on their website: www.howardsofkent.co.uk

To win a bottle of limoncello tell us your best suggestion for making a cool summer drink using Howards of Kent limoncello. Please enter online: www.familieslondonkent.co.uk

From toddlers to teenagers: keeping your children safe online Online protection is something which people know they should do, but often don’t know where to start. Many people in the UK are relying on built-in, traditional or free software which doesn’t have social networking and parental controls. Without these additional features, parents are leaving their children open to all that is bad about the Internet. We understand that many people are a bit lost when it comes to online protection, which is why we’ve compiled the advice below to give some guidance.

Whitelist sites for young children Many young children enjoy using the Internet, but they only want to view the same few sites over and over, such as CBeebies. Using the whitelist function, add in all the websites you are happy for them to view and block the rest. This way, they won’t stumble upon something which is not appropriate for their age.

Have ‘The Talk’ before letting your teenagers join social networking sites You need to set rules before letting your children enjoy social networking sites, like Facebook and Instagram. Every child is different, so this must come from you. Some parents want access to their child’s account, so they can check up on them at any time. Be warned, this can lead to your child setting up a second account in a different name. However, It is a good idea to only allow them to be ‘friends’ with people they know if real life. Whatever your approach, help them set their account up with privacy restrictions, so their profile is not public. You can use this free tool to test their Facebook profile. It will show what is public and explain how to change the settings accordingly.

Don’t forget their smartphones and tablets Most children have access to these devices now and the way they use them is no different to a computer, so they need to be protected too. Mobile security software is downloaded as an app or will come as part of the security software package you buy for your computer. Set up parental controls on these devices, just as you would for your computer. It is wise to set up a password for your children’s devices, so that they must come to you before downloading any app or in-app purchase. This will also mean you’ll avoid a nasty shock when the bill arrives.

Remember, the Internet is amazing! Your children just need a guiding hand to ensure they enjoy it safely. Try F-Secure SAFE FREE for six months and then just £59.99 each year. To cover three of your devices – PCs, Macs, Android smartphones and tablets – just go to: www.mysafe.f-secure.com/register/SAFEFAMILIES

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health & beauty Ismini Philips Pilates & wrap the Body Movement is now fat away in minutes on the high street! Ismini Phillips Pilates & Body Movement has now relocated to the Studio, High Street, Chislehurst, offering a variety of Pilates classes including Mother and Baby Pilates, High Intensity Interval Training Pilates, Booty Barre and general Pilates classes. The mother and baby class allows mother’s to get back into shape while being able to bring their baby with them. Babies accepted from birth up until crawling. You must be six weeks post natal if there were no complications with the birth to join this class, 12 weeks post natal following a C-section.  

Please call Ismini Phillips on 07711 906750 or email her at: ismini@isminiphilips.com for more information about this and the other classes offered.

Look your very best and feel confident with the Aloe Body Toning Kit.

It is designed to assist with the battle to trim, tone and tighten up the body. The kit helps minimise the bumpy texture of the skin due to cellulite around the hip and thigh regions, smoothing and flattening fat cells for a firmer look. Each Aloe Body Toning Kit contains an Aloe Body Toner for use with the roll of plastic wrap, an Aloe Body Conditioning Creme for topical, nonwrap use, Aloe Bath Gelee for an appealing, relaxing bath to soothe and smooth the skin, and a loofah for stimulating the skin during bathing. They take pride in this excellent product, so treat your body to what it deserves – select the ‘Forever’ way to a confident, slim new you!

Shape Up for Summer! Feel great with Rejuva Detox, a revolutionary weight-loss and health system We all know the key to a trim figure and a healthy lifestyle is diet and exercise. It sounds simple enough, but when work, life and a couple of large glasses of wine get in the way, we need a little guidance. The programme has helped many people improve energy levels and achieve average losses of 12-18 lbs and an impressive 19 inches over four weeks. Clients follow a guided Mediterranean meal plan rich in chicken, fish, lamb, quinoa and lentils (for vegetarians), brown and basmati rice, vegetables, fruit and luscious salads (you are aiming for 1,500-2,00 calories a day so you never go hungry!) Couple this with the revolutionary Rejuva Detox detoxifying machine and weight loss is vast, guaranteed and stays off! The machine, developed 14 years ago, replicates deep-tissue massage to encourage intestinal plaque to break down, aiding absorption, lymphatic drainage and toxin removal. Health’s Angels guarantees you’ll lose a dress size or 10-14 lbs, plus feel a notable difference in health and wellness. If not, they’ll give you free treatments to help you achieve your goals. Call now for a free consultation and health scan and mention families to enjoy a Free lymphatic drainage when you book a course www.healths-angels.com or call 01322 555600.

The Body Toning Kit includes: • Aloe Body Toner • Aloe Body Conditioning Creme • Aloe Bath Gelee • Loofah and plastic wrap To Order your kit email ruth@benaturalbewealthy.flppro.biz or call 07931 908 995 or visit www.benaturalbewealthy.flppro.biz

10 | May-June 2014 | www.familieslondonkent.co.uk | 020 8466 6977 | 07792 006546


health & beauty

Herbalife Herbalife is one of the biggest Health and Nutrition Companies in the World, they were established in 1980, currently operates in 80 countries, today people use their products to lose weight, increase weight, energy increase, sports nutrition, skin and hair nutrition. We all have good intentions when it comes to health and fitness but some days we need extra motivation. As your Personal Wellness Coach they will give you advice about good nutrition and the right products for you and your lifestyle. You can develop a personalised programme for you and help you on a one to one basis. Their weight management programme is design to help you lose weight and inches, you won’t feel hungry, you will have lots of energy and you will keep the weight off. They will be here to guide, inspire and motive you to achieve your goals.

need extra cash?

Families London-Kent Borders is looking for a part time delivery person to deliver magazines every 2 months, please call Mima on

020 8466 6977 or 07792 006546.

Ask about their 3 day trial and discover how great you feel on the trial and have the confidence to go on and hit your long term goal. Lose weight, Look Great and Feel Healthy.

For more information or for your Wellness Evaluation call Elsa on 0774 896 3828.

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time to party! smile at our

weekday offer! For just £100 you will have 1hr in the studio, you will all receive an album of 15 photographs, the birthday person will also receive a copy of the photographs on disc as well as an 8x6 enlargement. Offer for up to 6 people, additional guests charged at £16 each. Valid until 30th August 2014.

020 8331 5836 23 Wellington Parade, Blackfen Rd, Sidcup, Kent, DA15 9NB. info@smilepleasestudio.co.uk www.smilepleasestudio.co.uk

Party time with Smile Studio Magnificent photo parties! Gambado! Smile Please Photo Parties are lots of fun! A group of friends come to our studio ages 5 up to 99 where we take a selection of photographs with your friends having a good time. We do human pyramids, you get to walk the catwalk, use the wind machine, piggy backs and much, much more… You will come away feeling like a super model!!

Please see our advert for our Special Offer. Call now to book 020 8331 5836

www.smilepleasestudio.co.uk

With their unsurpassable facilities and indoor space birthday parties are hassle free at Gambado Beckenham which recently launched with the help of Perri and Jordan from Diversity! The magnificent new packages cater for children from 1-12 years old. Prices from £8.95 per child for 2 hours including party host, Gambado balloons, printable invitations, thank you cards and free gift for the birthday child. Private hire available. For enquiries and booking please visit online www.gambado.com or telephone our specialist party booking advisors Mon-Fri 10am-5pm on 0844 375 9494.

Crafts Bee!

Parties include handmade, personalised Party Invitations and take place in our spacious, bright studio. We will run the Craft Activity play some games and provide you with a Birthday Cake. Activities available include Polymer Clay, Beading, Glove Puppet Making and decorating a shoulder purse.

www.craftsbee.com | 020 8650 7099 1st Floor, 247 High Street, Beckenham Kent, BR3 1AB

12 | May-June 2014 | www.familieslondonkent.co.uk | 020 8466 6977 | 07792 006546


party time

fabulous parties at every age...

A birthday party is a ritual of childhood and an event that’s remembered forever. So the pressure is on – how do you ensure success and survival! Joanna Moorhead guides you through what’s best, age by age.

0-3 Birthday parties for tinies can be marvellous, memorable affairs, but they don’t need to be elaborate or to involve much expense or entertainment or special props. In essence, you’re catering for the grown-ups as much as for the children – because at this stage, the adults will definitely stay. Concentrate on creating a fun, easy, safe space for the children – a soft play space with plenty of toys strewn around is ideal. If you want something with a bit of a theme, how about a teddy bears’ picnic? Make sure everyone remembers to take their favourite cuddlies home at the end though, or there will be tears at bedtime! 4-6 At this stage parties can be a bit more ambitious and a time when it is well worth investing in a great entertainer: they are experts, know how to crowd control while producing shrieks and honest laughs. However don’t assume that to put on a great bash you need to spend lots of money. At this age children can have loads of fun without a big outlay. A party at home or in the local park can be huge fun; traditional party games will be popular, and if you want to push the boat out a bit consider investing in a bouncy castle; or if home really isn’t a possibility, a soft play centre will be hassle-free, if more expensive. Themed parties are great for this age group, and they actually make life simpler for the party organiser: a pirate theme is always popular, or sea creatures, or pick up on your child’s favourite book or TV programme. Dressing up is a big hit for this age group too.

7-9 Activities work a treat at this stage, whether you’re at home or in a church hall or at a park. For a popular and low-budget option, think about a baking party at home – weigh out all the ingredients before the children arrive, get them to mix and decorate them and then pop them in the oven to bake while you play a few party games (shortbread biscuits are easy peasy; have a range of cutters for exciting shapes).

10-12 Older children like going out to party. To keep the costs down, encourage a smaller number of guests – think about a trip to the seaside or to an exciting adventure playground they’ve not visited before, and remember that the journey can be as much fun as the activity at the end of it. If you don’t mind spending a bit more, a trip to a climbing wall, an ice rink, a bowling rink or a go-karting centre can be wonderful fun too.

The golden rules • Never have a party that lasts more than two hours • The younger the child, the fewer the guests • Party bags can be cheap as chips, thanks to charity and pound shops – but always have them, they’re hugely popular • Have a plan mapped out for what should happen when

Party food tips • Food doesn’t need to be complicated • It does need to include options – many children won’t eat ham/cheese/eggs/ grapes/pizza • Don’t overface guests with too much food • Putting cup cakes rather than slices of cake into party bags makes life easier

happy birthday Monkey Music! Monkey’ is celebrating ‘his’ 21st birthday this year. Nationally, they will be running their classes as parties for their customers across two weeks in June to say thank you and also to support a number of charities. Their UK charity is Nordorff Robbins, the music therapy charity and will also be supporting Demelza. Their ‘party classes’ will coincide with Demelza’s Go Dotty week, commencing 16th June. Monkey loves to party! Especially with other little monkey friends who join him singing, dancing, and playing musical party games. Monkey’s parties are great fun for children and babies of all ages. Each party is individually tailored to suit each separate occasion and always includes the birthday child’s favourite Monkey Music songs.

www.monkeymusic.co.uk

creative &

unforgettable

parties!

Imagine explosions of ideas, laughter, colour, taste, sparkles, paint, ribbons and excitement. Punk Me Up Buttercup guarantee a Birthday experience that is truly unforgettable… Whether it’s an intimate Birthday Tea for 5 or the whole class of 30, Punk Me Up Buttercup’s professional team will design unique activities to suit your child and take the hard work out of organising the event. Select from yummy menu choices handmade on the day by their Italian Chef and join them at their magical venue or yours! They offer extras like interactive invitations, luxury party bags, mini photo booth, airbrushed face painting and much, much, more… To claim your £20 discount on a party package TEXT parties to 07956 785661 and quote PMUBFMK

www.punkmeupbuttercup.com

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what’s on... Out & About Spa Valley Railway Events: Day out with Thomas: 10th, 11th, 17th and 18th of May The ever-popular Thomas the Tank Engine returns to the Spa Valley Railway in May 2014. Fat Controller’s Tea Party Why not join the Fat Controller on the final departure of each day from Tunbridge Wells (17.03) for a late afternoon Tea Party? Providing Thomas has been well behaved, this train is the only one scheduled to be hauled by Thomas himself. Children will each receive a party food box and have the chance to meet both Sir Topham Hatt himself and Thomas during the ten mile round trip. Tickets for the Tea Party are only available in advance and spaces are strictly limited. Prices for the Tea Party - £15 per child Please book tickets in advance via the website. Spa Valley Railway. West Station, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN2 5QY 01892 537 715 | www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk

Theatre Wind in the Willows Sunday 11th May Grahame’s unforgettable assembly of animals and humans are lovingly re-created with the Cat’s Grin trademarks of simplicity, wit and style. Fuelled by another original script that flows as confidently as the river it evokes, the three performers conjure up Mole, Ratty, Badger and Toad; the Wild Wooders Frightening Frank the Ferret, Sniggering Stan the Stoat and the Whining Chief Weasel; not to mention the key players in Toad’s Own Story - the Prison Guard’s Daughter, the Washerwoman, the Barge woman, the Car Driver, Policeman and Judge. 5yrs +: If you require a wheelchair seat please call the Box Office on 01892 678 678 Church Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1JP The Orchard Theatre : Charlie and Lola Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th May Charlie and Lola are completely excited to be back on stage with their Extremely New Play – and this time they’re bringing along Sizzles the Dog! If you liked Charlie and Lola’s Best Bestest Play, you will love this extra special, brand new show. Playful, funny and full of surprises, this extremely new play about friendship and adventures is a treat for everyone. This magical mix of puppets, live

action and music is based on the wellloved BBC series and characters created by Lauren Child. Fee-free booking for Premiere Card Members; Groups of 10+ please call 01322 220000. The Orchard Theatre, Home Gardens, Dartford, DA1 1ED.

Days out Bedgebury National Pinetum & forest Seasonal trails, family cycle trails (bikes for hire: 01580 879 694), horse riding (escorted hacks through the forest with Bedgebury Park Equestrian Centre: 01580 211 602) & Go Ape (www.goape.co.uk) Bedgebury Road, Goudhurst, near Cranbrook, Kent TN17 2SJ | 01580 879 820 www.forestry.gov.uk/bedgebury Riverhill Himalayan Gardens Riverhill House, Sevenoaks Kent TN15 0RR 01732 459777 www.riverhillgardens.co.uk Chartwell Family fun and frolics: 24 May to 1 June 2014, 11:00am to 4:00pm Price: Free event (normal admission charges apply) Children’s activities and trails in the woodland. Fun for all the family. Fathers Day lunch: 15 June 2014 12:00pm Price: Adult £25, Child £19 (9 years and under). Treat your Father on this most special of days to a delicious and traditional three course set Sunday lunch in the Mulberry Room. Mapleton Road, Westerham, Kent TN16 1PS, 01732 868381

Animal farms & zoo’s Bocketts Farm Park Young Street, Fetcham, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 9BS, 01372 363764 info@bockettsfarm.co.uk www.bockettsfarm.co.uk Colchester Zoo www.colchester-zoo.com See website for special half term events. Eagle Heights Wildlife Park Lullingstone Lane, Eynsford, Kent DA4 0JB, 01322 866 577 www.eagleheights.co.uk Check website for opening times and events information.

A Squash & a Squeeze Storytelling with Julia Donaldson Marvellous Monsters: 24 May - 1 June Julia Donaldson, author of children’s modern classics such as The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Princess Mirror-Belle and The Troll, has worked with Seven Stories National Centre for Children’s Books to bring these best-selling children’s captivating stories to life, allowing visitors to enter the imagination of this much loved author and discover how she inspires her readers with story, rhyme and rhythm. Families can share stories, cuddle the Gruffalo, crawl into the Squash and a Squeeze House, climb into Cave Baby’s cave and enjoy dressing up, looking in the funny mirrors. They can follow in Toddle Waddle’s footsteps, and even sing-a-long to her songs on Julia’s Jukebox or perform a play on the special stage! All tickets are valid for a year, giving families the opportunity to visit again and again. The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Chatham ME4 4TE.

Children’s nearly new sales Tuesday 6th May 2014 in partnership with St. Augustines Children’s Centre 10am -12 midday. Good pram access, some free parking, free entry. Belvedere Community Centre, Mitchell Close, Belvedere DA17 6AA. Monday 9th June 2014 10am - 12 midday. Good pram access, free parking, free entry. Hurst Community Centre, Hurst Road, Bexley DA5 3LH. Monday 16th June 2014 in partnership with West Street Children’s Centre 10am - 12 midday. Good pram access, free parking, free entry. Christ Church Hall, Victoria Road, entrance on Glebe Way, Erith DA8 3AN.

Museums & galleries Bromley Museum Free family club first Saturday of the month. Family events throughout the year. The Priory, Church Hill, Orpington BR6 0HH | 01689 873826 bromley.museum@bromley.gov.uk

14 | May-June 2014 | www.familieslondonkent.co.uk | 020 8466 6977 | 07792 006546


out & about

imagination new meet the animals experiences station at launching at ZSL London Transport London Zoo... Museum! www.ltmuseum.co.uk

This spring ZSL London Zoo is launching six incredible new Meet the Animals experiences, giving visitors the chance to get closer to their favourite animals than ever before. Hosted by ZSL’s expert zookeepers, these once-in-a-lifetime encounters will allow lucky ticket holders to go behind the scenes and connect with some of the world’s rarest and most remarkable creatures, making a great day out at the Zoo even more special. New experiences include Meet the Meerkats, Lions, Outback (kangaroos, emus and wallabies), Aardvarks, Rainforest (monkeys, sloths and armadillos) and Owls. These six new additions join Meet the Penguins, and Giraffes, as the Zoo’s exclusive VIP experiences.

Children can let their imaginations run wild at London Transport Museum. Filled with buses, trains, and taxis they can take the wheel, try their hand as a Tube driver on a special simulator and explore the vehicles of London’s past and present all year round. During May Half Term the Museum will come alive with family activities - including storytelling and make-and-take creative workshops. Between Monday 26 May – Friday 30 May storytime will be held from 11.00 and 14.00 where children can hear about Ole Bill – the very important bus who helped Britain in the First World War and meet Old Bill’s best friend – his driver Bob, and join them on their quest across Europe. As well as this make and take creative workshops will be held at 11.30 and 2.30 where children can design a bus badge featuring their own cartoon driver from clay and string. Further information about family workshops and activities is available at www.ltmuseum.co.uk children and young people aged 17 and under go free. Adult admission is £15.00 (£11.50 concessions) and tickets allow unlimited entry for a whole year.

Each experience will be a different adventure. Meet the Rainforest will involve hand-feeding the monkeys, while visitors who Meet the Aardvarks will be able to tickle their tummies, and those with a soft spot for meerkats will be in for a treat as the mischievous creatures scamper around their feet, all while learning more about these astounding animals. ZSL’s Head of Commercial Development, Kathryn England, said: “We’re so excited to be able to give visitors the chance to get up close and personal with some of our most popular residents at ZSL London Zoo. “At ZSL, we know that people love animals and want to feel connected with nature and the world around us, and these experiences encourage that, from meerkats to lions there’s something for everyone. Plus money raised from tickets booked supports our conservation projects around the world.”

The experiences will run all year round, prices start at £35 and tickets are available now online at

www.zsl.org/experiences

Kids go free!

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the

boathouse

Summer Ball

Saturday 5th July

Canape Reception, Live Singer, 3 Course Dinner & D.J. until late

Dress To Impress .

See more & Book online at

www.dansonboathouse.com

16 |

Danson Park, Danson Road, Bexleyheath, DA6 8HL 0208 304 5566 May-June 2014 | www.familieslondonkent.co.uk | 020 8466 6977 | 07792 006546


Families London-Kent Borders Edition 19