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Edition 35 • Sep/Oct 2012

The local magazine for families with children 0-12 years




In this issue >How to encourage reading >Choosing after school clubs and classes >What's on – great family days out

Whole Sc School hool Open Da Day ayy

Saturday Satur daay 10th November No ovember 2012

Senior Sch School hool Entran Entrance nce Exam uk


Friday Frida ay 25th Jan January uaar y 2013

Please contact the sc school chool for for more more information infformation ormattion on 0161 794 1463.

Bridgewater School, Drywood d Hall, Worsley, Worsley, Manchester. Manchesterr.. M28 2WQ WQ

Covering: Altrincham, Trafford, Salford, Manchester, Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Didsbury, Stockport, Cheadle, Bramhall, and surrounding areas.

Welcome Build the Truce at IWM North

Hello! Well, what a fantastic couple of weeks of sport that was! We’ve found ourselves completely inspired by Team GB and seriously envious of the abdominal six packs sported by the ladies. So inspired and envious in fact, that we’ve headed out for a few tentative – and exhausting – jogs around the neighbourhood, and signed up for the Cycletta bike ride at Tatton Park in October. Not bad for a couple of ageing gals (one more ageing than the other, admittedly) who in all honesty would generally prefer to spend the precious few hours of spare time we have curled up on the couch with a good book and a tub of ice-cream or bar of chocolate. We believe that the Olympics really has done what it set out to do – and inspire the next generation, so this issue is perfectly timed in bringing you a feature on choosing after school activities, and a pretty comprehensive directory of clubs and classes in the region – not all of them sporting, but all of them geared to developing your child into the best that he/she can be. Long may the afterglow of Team GB's superb achievements and competitive sportsmanship last! And of course, as it’s the start of the new school year, our back to school feature covers how to encourage reading from an early age, as well as a must-read for all parents of left handed children. Wishing you all a good start to the academic year, and our thoughts are particularly with those whose children are starting out in Reception or Year 7 – a momentously proud moment for you all indeed. Till next time

Caryl Hall

Jayne Keep

In this issue 02: Welcome 03: Locally speaking 04: Back to school

Next issue: November/December 2012 Circulation: 25,000 copies of Families Manchester are available through nurseries, schools, libraries, selected shops and other points throughout Greater Manchester. If you would like free copies for your organisation, please let us know. Contact details: Families Manchester, PO Box 581, Macclesfield, SK10 9FN Tel: 01625 801 801 Editorial: Advertising/artwork: Events, diary dates, out & about:

12 Parents' place 16 Clubs & classes 21 What's on

Free books for schools Elena Cobb, a composer and a publisher who lives in Staffordshire has kindly agreed to link up with Families Manchester and donate 50 of her music books to local schools in the hope that she will help encourage the next generation of budding musicians. Schools have been chosen at random from those who currently distribute Families Magazine and delivered to the school this September as a thank you from us. Elena’s Higgledy Piggledy series books:

for piano with play-along CD, for alto sax with play-along CD and classical guitar ensemble are already hugely popular here in the UK, as far as in USA and even have fans in Hong Kong. "Elena Cobb’s Higgledy Piggledy Jazz books are a very useful resource for those of us teaching jazz to the young and not-so-young. Highly recommended." - Snake Davis, prolific Jazz musician, recording artist and educator For more information visit

Christmas is coming…

Their pricing structure is simple: the cost of the item on the shelf plus a paint-andtake, or a firing charge. Paint as many items as you like per person for a single glazing charge – so you can make gifts for your teacher, grandparents, friends, cat or dog. And their new loyalty scheme means that for every £10 spent, you’ll receive a stamp – six stamps and you get to paint a mug free! Why not plan a group booking to paint your Christmas gifts? Either at your chosen venue – or by appointment at the centre. One of their most popular gifts is a baby’s 1st hand and foot impression plaque – but because these take about 3 weeks to complete, it’s wise to book early. And, every weekend from 24 November, the infamous Santa train will be taking all the excited children to see Father Christmas in his Grotto. For train enquiries and group bookings, call 01625 872919.

Design: Paul Wilson Graphic Design, Congleton. Tel: 07743 111 694, Print: Bishops Printers, Walton Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO6 1TR Tel: 023 9233 4900 Families Manchester 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. We take every care preparing the magazine, but the publishers and distributors can’t be held responsible for the claims of advertisers, the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequences. @FamiliesManch

Cover photograph by: Jo Belfield Photography, Tytherington Tel: 01625 420621,

Dating back to the 9th century BC, an Olympic Games ‘Truce’ was created to enable athletes from Greece’s warring cities to travel and compete in safety. Reinstated at the 1992 Olympic Games, the truce continues to exist during Olympic and Paralympic Games today. Drawing on this theme, IWM (Imperial War Museums) launched the innovative learning initiative Build the Truce, which worked with eyewitnesses and educational and family

groups across the country to investigate the concepts of truce, conflict and resolution and their relevance in the 21st century. The Build the Truce displays, which opened over the summer at IWM North, show the interviews and insights collected throughout this project. Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: ‘The Inspire programme is ensuring the legacy of the 2012 Games starts now as projects like Build the Truce use the power of the Games to inspire change.’ Marking International Day of Peace on Friday 21 September, IWM North hosts a weekend (21 – 23 September) of activities and events exploring the notion of truce, including talks and film screenings, themed tours as well as creative family activities, storytelling and theatrical performances for visitors of all ages. 0161 836 4000 /

After a very successful Summer holiday, the busiest yet in the 17 years they have been open, Brookside Pottery at Brookside Garden Centre is now gearing up for the Christmas (yes, Christmas!) season. Last year, every weekend from September until last thing on Christmas Eve, customers were creating everything from a small bauble to a set of dinner plates!

Locally speaking Micro Scooters at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital

Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, the largest single-site children’s hospital in the UK, recently took delivery of a fleet of Micro Scooters designed for children from toddler age through to teens. The scooters will encourage children to exercise more regularly through play.

The scooters will be used in the Therapeutic and Specialised Play department’s outdoor play area within the hospital. Patients and siblings alike use this supervised area and they will be used by many children to keep them entertained, promote exercise and also for fresh air and physical stimulation. The hospital also received ribbons and accessories to decorate their new scooters, and is the latest in line to benefit from the Micro Scooters UK Scheme, which aims to work with every children’s hospital throughout the UK. See for more information.

Family Friendly Fun Headlines at Ramsbottom Festival 2012 Fri 14 – Sun 16 Sept 2012 This year’s Ramsbottom Festival has a line-up of family friendly fun from circus skills to music master classes, set against a backdrop of bands that include Inspiral Carpets and I Am Kloot. Tickets for the three-day event start from just £5 for over 6s (under 6s free). All the atmosphere of a festival, with a family friendly vibe is the promise, with the organisers aiming to create an event that will give children their first festival experience in a safe and relaxed environment.

Activities range from a toddler session by Disco Mum’s (Sunday only), life drawing of favourite characters, the storytelling talents of Richard O’Neil, to kids comedy performances. Plus, young talent appears on the Ladybird stage with performances from break-through bands Hollywood or Bust and The Rocket. There is also plenty to suit every age including Bury Art Collective’s mask making and grow your own workshops from Incredible Edible. All of the activities are free and suitable for a wide age range. To book tickets call 0844 8842920 or visit

Cycletta Cheshire – Tatton Park 7 October

A design fit for the Queen

Cycletta is a national series of women only charity bike rides – and you can take part at the Tatton Park event this October. With the support of Victoria Pendleton, the series aims to encourage more women to get on their bikes for fitness and fun, whilst also providing a new and exciting platform for women around the UK to raise significant sums of money for charity. Enter as a team or an individual, and anything you raise in sponsorship above your entrance fee can be donated to a charity of your choice. Victoria Pendleton and Catherine Wiggins (wife of Tour de France winner and Olympic Champion Bradley Wiggins) will be taking part, together with a celebrity team made up of Carla Kompany (wife of MCFC captain Vincent Kompany), Chantelle Tagoe (wife of footballer Emile Heskey) as well as soap stars Tina O’Brien and Helen Flannagan. It’s a great way to get out there with the girls, get fit and most importantly, raise money for charity. Visit to register.

Jubilee celebrations aren’t over yet! There’s still time for budding young designers aged between 5 and 18 to enter “Tea for the Jubilee” – a competition to produce an exclusive commemorative royal cup and saucer. Two winning designs will be re-created by a British Ceramic manufacturer, with three cups and saucers created from each winning design, one for the Queen, one for the winner and one to be displayed at the Potters’ Club in Stoke-on-Trent. Both of the winning designer’s schools will also receive a £2,500 prize fund, provided by the British Ceramic Confederation, to be spent on books and equipment in the design, technology, science or art departments, and the winner and his/her classmates will be given the opportunity to visit the factory where the unique gift is being produced. Closing date for the competition is Friday 28 September 2012 – call 01782 284616 or visit for more information.

Three year-old crowned British Champion at the Strider UK world cup

Wiggins arrives at Knowsley Keepers at Knowsley Safari Park are celebrating their latest arrival – a White Bearded Wildebeest calf affectionately called ‘Wiggins’ in honour of bike riding superstar Bradley Wiggins. Initial inspection by the park vet shows good progress and, as with most of the animals at the park, there will be no more interference other than general observation to ensure the best mother and baby bond is maintained. The baby wildebeest is the first calf born since new breeding bull Rufus arrived at the park in 2011. The White Bearded Wildebeest originates from the short grass plains and acacia savannah of Africa and their numbers have seen a rapid decline due to threats such as the spread of settlements and livestock, elimination of water sources, poaching for

meat and the effect of migration barriers, including man-made fences and roads. Jason Doherty, Rhino Section Keeper, comments: “The new bull, Rufus, arrived in 2011 to introduce a new bloodline of wildebeest at Knowsley Safari Park. The birth of this first calf so soon after his arrival is hopefully a sign of things to come, and we look forward to the herd increasing in number. Both mother and calf are doing very well.” The wildebeest herd are currently roaming on the 76 acre rhino section, the home of the important white rhino breeding programme.

Manchester hosted a groundbreaking new event recently, with over 120 two-to-five year-olds racing no-pedal balance bikes over the world class BMX track at the home of British Cycling, the National Cycling Centre, for the Strider UK World Cup. This was first ever event of its kind in the UK and from the overwhelming reaction of both the children and parents, it’s set to stay for many years to come. Ashton Heron (3) was crowned the overall British Champion, and will now be flown with his dad over to Sarasota, Florida, in October to represent Great Britain in the

Strider World Championships, the biggest global balance bike race in the world. Adrian, Ashton’s dad, who had brought him all the way from Nottingham to race said: “It was an incredible day of racing in a stunning venue - all of the kids just loved it! I can’t quite believe that we’re now off to America to race in the Strider World Championships. I’m not sure it has quite sunk in yet both for me or Ashton.” As a legacy to the 2012 Strider UK World Cup, Strider has announced an ongoing opportunity for Strider riders to join weekly Strider training and monthly races on the National Cycling Centre’s BMX track. Experts agree that it is counterproductive to teach a young child to rely on stabilisers when they first make the move to a twowheeler. It really doesn’t give them the chance to learn how to properly balance. To find out more about the Strider Cup balance bike series visit And for more information about Striders balance bikes, visit | Families Manchester 3

Back to school How to encourage reading Many of us know the value and enjoyment of reading. Good readers become better writers, better learners and well-rounded individuals. Taking an active part in helping your children become interested in reading is vital. Despite busy days, tired kids, limited time and many distractions, we outline five simple steps that can help. Step one Set up reading time every day

Step two – During reading time

• Decide when and where a reading session will take place, which fits into your household schedule, and keep it. 10 minutes is fine. • Encourage your child to read aloud. They don’t have to get every word right, and praise them often. If they are discouraged by their own reading, you read aloud. The pleasure of listening to you read can restore their enthusiasm. Offer to read every other sentence, page, chapter, and have conversations and discussions about the content. • Make it fun. Children love sound effects, different voices, pulling faces.

• Introduce the bookmark. Stop after a few pages and pick up where you left off at another time • Provide an accessible, special place for children to keep their own books • Use special incentives, e.g. an extra 5 minutes to finish a chapter, a promise to take them to see the film of the book, sticker charts and certificates • Notice what attracts your children's attention, even if it’s only pictures, and build on that interest. Gather more information on the same subject. • Listen to audio books (in the car too). These help develop visualisation, a critical pre-reading skill. • Let them choose their own books. Don’t worry if the books are too young or too easy, early reading success can came from several “non-traditional” sources such as comics. • Buy a special notebook and record all the books they have read, add their thoughts and a star rating.

Step three See the teacher and judge where they are • Find out what reading program the school follows, get to know the levels, and aim to supplement the program at home. • Prepare a timetable. Know what level your child is at and the next, with some idea of when it can be achieved. There is no race to be the first to read, it just puts things into context.

Step four Plan specific reading linked activities • Extend your child’s positive reading experiences, e.g. if they enjoyed reading about dinosaurs, visit the natural history museum. • Encourage activities that require reading, e.g. read a recipe, instructions, and directions, play games that require reading, use a reference book to look up something you have seen. • Visit the library and give your child their own library card. They can choose their own library book or listen in on story-time.

Step five – Be a role model • Let your children see you reading for pleasure. Read aloud everyday items menus, road signs, food labels. • Give books as gifts. • Leave books, magazines, and colourful catalogues around your home. • Write short notes for your child to read. Reading opens up new worlds to your children and gives them a chance to use their imaginations. There are many ways to encourage your child to read, and the best ways always include participation on your part.

© mickyso -

Books and Audio Follow a book as the audio book plays. Listen to a chapter, and then read it together. Turn on the TV subtitles Sub-titles on your TV or DVD help increase sight word vocabulary, whilst developing a sense of flow of written and spoken language Make your child the star of their own audio book Your child can read into a recorder, then follow the book together during playback. Everyone joins in Reserve thirty minutes each evening for family reading time. Each family member reads different material and then shares information about it, or take turns reading aloud from the same book. Support their learning Help ensure your child doesn’t get behind in reading material necessary for school subjects, ask for help with obtaining textbooks on CD ROM. Together identify unfamiliar words you come across and show your child how to look up the meanings of words. Children with specific learning difficulties and dyslexia could benefit from the PQ4R strategy ( m/od/instructionalmaterials/a/pq4rs trategy.htm)

Help your child get off to a flying start in the new term!

Research has found that at least two thirds of children fall behind in their studies over the summer holidays. This large gap in studying can leave a child feeling insecure in their ability, which in turn can lead to a lack of confidence during September.

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Helping reading for children with learning difficulties

The beginning of a new academic year is an ideal time to seek extra support. Explore Learning is a network of maths and English tuition centres for children aged 5 to 14, designed to improve knowledge, confidence and enjoyment of learning. With 63 centres located nationwide (locally in Altrincham, Cheadle Hulme and Heaton Park), they are the perfect way to help your child get off to a flying start in the new term. | Families Manchester 5

Back to school Supporting your left handed child 1 in 10 children are left handed, but many fail to get the support they need in the early years of their education. Experts say teachers aren’t given the proper training and schools don’t have the right resources. Sarah Butters is mum to a left handed daughter. She takes a look at some of the most common problems faced by left handers and some tips for helping them out. Messy handwriting

Elbow collision

The ‘right’ equipment

If you have a child who is left handed, chances are they haven’t been taught to write. Most are simply allowed to use their left hand. As the right handed parent of a left handed child I admit to having that same attitude. I now know that I was completely wrong. Left handers push the pen across the page, whereas their right handed friends will pull. This can lead to smudging and untidy work which in turn leads to anxiety on the part of the child. At an early stage a left handed child should be encouraged to master the correct handwriting position and paper placement to avoid problems as the writing assignments increase.

At some point your child will have to share a desk and if they’re left handed this can be a problem. “I always end up banging elbows” explains my 9 year old daughter. “That makes my writing messy.” You child should always be placed on the left hand side of a shared desk or next to another left hander. This gives them plenty of space to get their paper positioned correctly and avoid knocking elbows with a right handed neighbour.

Many left handed children learn the basics with the wrong equipment. Give a left handed child some right handed scissors and they’ll find the blade is upside down and so they can’t see the line they are cutting. It means the child has less control and think of themselves as messy. This can be a real problem in the Early Years. Check your school has left handed scissors to offer your child. Ambidextrous scissors don’t exist – trust me!


The paper should be rotated to 45 degrees with the hand and wrist below the writing. Any pen needs to be held in a strong 3 point grip. In Early Years this can be supported with a triangular bodied pencil or a moulded grip around a regular pencil. If your child can get into good habits from the start of their school life, they will avoid problems when they graduate to a fountain pen and longer writing assignments.

Hook grip Some left handers use a hooked grip to avoid the problem of smudging, and angle the pen in the same way a right hander would. This causes more problems than it solves. The hook grip becomes more uncomfortable the more you write. It leads to an over tight grip and aching hands which in turn lead to messy handwriting. The wrist should always be below the writing line. If your child is developing a hook grip, consider introducing a sloped surface to resolve the problem.

White boards They’re a teacher’s best friend but a left handers worst nightmare. White boards and chalk boards are a great learning tool in the modern classroom - pupils can get rid of mistakes easily without using endless pieces of paper. However, if you’re left handed you can end up erasing as you write. Good grip and placement of the board gives left handers half a chance. However, if your child isn’t completing white board work quickly or neatly enough, it may not be their fault.

Mirror writing I remember being hugely concerned when I discovered that my daughter had completed a Reception assignment using mirror writing. She had begun her words on the right hand side of the page and written from right to left. It’s common in left handed children and when you think about it, it makes sense. If they are sat next to a right hander, they are simply mirroring their work. Encourage them to start on the left hand side of the page by placing a coloured star in the margin as a reminder.

As they progress to writing, shiny barreled pens are to be avoided. Make sure whatever pen you choose has a good grip so it’s easy to hold even when hands get hot and tired. Left handed fountain pens are available from They’re worth the investment for older children as they have an angled nib.

Lack of understanding As a right hander, I never appreciated the challenges faced by my daughter. Until she mastered left handed writing, she was labelled untidy in her written work and lost enthusiasm for putting pen to paper. It wasn’t until I began researching this piece that I realise how much of her attitude is linked to the hand she writes with. The bad news is she’s had a more challenging time than her right handed pals. The good news is she’s in good company. Barack Obama, Leonardo Da Vinci and Bill Gates are all lefties. Now that’s not a bad club to be in!

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Keith Milsom campaigns for better support of left handed children in our schools and offers some advice about what to expect from your child’s school. “Despite decades of campaigning and a string of promises from government ministers and teacher training authorities, there is still virtually no guidance provided to teachers on helping left-handed children and no process for identifiying left-handers in schools. Ensure you talk to your child's teacher to make sure they know that he/she is lefthanded and may need assistance and advice. Ask your child’s teacher to talk YOU through the support they’re going to give it so you can be sure they really understand. If you’re concerned, refer them to the teacher guidance sheets available from The school should have left-handed scissors available and pens that will help left-handers write in the correct style. If children are left to their own devices it is very unlikely they will find writing and cutting out easy. Apart from the practical difficulties this can mean they are working more slowly than the rest of the class and lose some of confidence - especially if the teacher tells them off for "not doing it right”. Lefthanders can end up underperforming at school and having difficulty with written exams as a result of a lack of informed guidance at an early stage. It’s important parents keep the pressure on schools to support their left handed children.” USEFUL RESOURCES has some great left handed guidance sheets for parents and teachers. It’s also a super source of left handed equipment. is another great website with some top tips for parents looking to support their left handed child.


1:1 home tuition for KS1 & 2 children and pupils transitioning to year 7

Most ICT rooms are set up with the computer mouse on the right hand side of the keyboard. This gives left handed children an automatic disadvantage because they either need to move the mouse or attempt or use their right hand. Don’t presume the teacher knows your child is left handed. Be sure to let all the staff involved with your child know they’re a left hander and will need a different workstation set up.

Joyce Gbeleyi is an experienced school based tutor, based in Chorlton, trained to support children of diverse abilities. She specialises in one-to-one tuition of children aged 6 to 12 years, combining a back-to-basics approach with multisensory techniques. With over 13 years’ experience developing pupil confidence in both London and Manchester schools,

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she aims to show your child how tricky learning can still be fun! So, if your child struggles with any of the common problem areas like numeracy, literacy, reasoning, sequencing, timed tests and study skills, give Joyce a call on 0161 445 1818 or 07956 218990 to book a no obligation assessment in the comfort of your own home.

School news Bridgewater School - where individuals count Bridgewater School is a co-educational, independent day school for pupils aged between 3 and 18 years. Established as a boys' school in 1950 and having moved to its present, delightful, semi-rural setting soon afterwards, the school has since grown considerably - admitting girls and developing a sixth form. We draw pupils from the immediate locality, but also from a much wider area, well served as we are by the motorway network and by other major road links. Bridgewater is by design not a large school. This enables us to provide small classes and high levels of attention to the needs of individual pupils. We seek to maximise education attainment all through a child's development, not least in the years of external examinations at GCSE and A-Level. In addition to its academic goals Bridgewater seeks to retain the intimate atmosphere it has had since its inception. We greatly value our capacity to offer provision across the full age range, from the nursery years to university entrance, for families wanting this continuity of individual attention for their children. At the same time, however, pupils must look outward to the wider community and to the society in which they will live as adults. We see it as an integral part of Bridgewater’s

role to foster high standards of behaviour and self-discipline, as well as to develop an awareness of personal and social responsibility. Vital, too, are the many activities which take place outside the classroom – sport, music, drama clubs and societies, language exchange visits and outdoor activity breaks to name but a sample of the range available. Entrusting your child's education to a school is a very big decision. We are mindful of our responsibility to justify a parent’s decision to send their child to us, and of the need for that child's education to be a partnership between school and home. We aim, by the end of this partnership,to produce rounded, articulate young people who are well prepared for the challenges of adult and business life. The School governors, staff and pupils share a sense of excitement about Bridgewater’s future. The school has developed rapidly in recent years, with splendid new buildings and facilities and a considerable increase in pupil numbers. We have a commitment to continual development and improvement. If you have not yet visited us then may we recommend that you do so soon.We would be delighted to meet you and to show you how much Bridgewater School has to offer you and your child. 0161 794 1463 /

BRIDGEWATER B RIDGEW WATER SCHOOL SCHOOL Where individuals count Wee ar W aree an Independent School ffor or boys bo ys and girls aged 3 – 18 years, years,, located in a delightful semi-rurall Worsley. setting in Worsle W orsley. Br B id idgewater i a school is h l which hi h Bridgewater cher ishes the individuality of cherishes naturally the each child and it’ it’ss naturally rright ight choice ffor or so man children. manyy children. Whatev er your your child’s child’s talents and d interests we we can build build on Whatever those and help them to appreciat te their talents as w ell as appreciate well appreciating and applauding other r s. others. W elcome applications for for admission adm mission at any any time. time. Wee w welcome Whole School Open Day - Saturday 10th November 2012 Senior School Entrance Exam - Friday 25th January 2013

W wayys delighted to show show you you our genuinely genuinely caring caring Wee are al always and nnurturing ur turing en vironment. A broad brroad rrange ange of school bus bus environment. routes pro viding a saf fee and secure re environment environment to transport transpor t providing safe ]]SYVGLMPHXSERHJVSQWGLSSPEW[IPPEW¾I\MFPIFIJSVIERH SYVGLMPHXSERHJVSQWGLSSPEW       [IPPEW¾I\MFPIFIJ  JS SVIERH   care. after school care. For more For more information information please visit our ur website website www or call 0161 794 1463 to ar arrange range a personal tour. tourr.. Charity No 1105547 | Families Manchester 7

School news Withington Girls’ School Open Events

Prospective Junior, Senior and Sixth Form pupils and parents are warmly invited to come and have a look around the School at the upcoming Open Events. A Withington pupil will give you a tour of the School and be able to answer most questions. Visitors will also be able to speak to the teaching staff and a wealth of other information such as admissions and guidance on travel will also be available.

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Open Evening - Thursday 8 November - 4.30 to 6.30pm Open Morning - Saturday 10 November - 10am to 12 noon Sixth Form Open Evening - Thursday 15 November 6pm to 8pm This is a detailed information evening about subject options and life in the Withington Sixth Form for prospective Sixth Formers from other schools and for current Withington Year 11 pupils. 0161 224 1077 /

School news Children’s smiles confirm success of new Nursery pre-school class

Bolton School's new pre-school Nursery class for 3 and 4 year olds, which launched earlier in the year, has been a great success and is now firmly established as part of the school’s educational offering. The class is teacher led and runs from 9am – 3.15pm each day during termtime. Wrap-around care (before and after the class) is also available at the School from 7.30am – 6pm and during holiday periods for the three and four years olds attending the class. Parents can therefore opt for either full-time (51 weeks of the year) care or school term and times pre-school education.

Nursery Teacher, Mrs Karen Shaw, reflected: "The children currently attending the nursery class have settled extremely well. They are fast emerging as independent learners who are confident in their environment. Feedback from parents has been very positive and the smile on the children's faces as they arrive each morning confirms the class' success." The class helps prepare young children for the move to Infant School and whilst there is plenty of fun and play there are also more structured classes and a range of activities including attendance at Bolton School’s Infant School assemblies, ballet lessons and swimming lessons. This is the perfect choice for families who want to join the Bolton School Family at this earlier phase with the intention of their children remaining at Bolton School until they are 18 years old. Anyone wishing to learn more about enrolling their child in this class, can do so by calling the Nursery on 01204 432144 or emailing 01204 840201 /

St James children perform Shakespeare’s The Tempest – and the parents have a ball! As part of their annual summer concert, St James Independent School put on a production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It was a delightful performance, polished and professional for such young children, yet great fun and a credit to the hard-working teachers and staff. Who’d have thought Shakespeare could be so accessible to children as young as 5 – 11? Meanwhile, the parents and friends of St James enjoyed their annual fund-raising Ball at the Lowry Compass Suite just before the end of term. Themed on the Jubilee, this year the event included a (rather riotous) Royal Family quiz, a traditional meal, music and dancing as well as the auction of promises, with prizes ranging from a crystal bowl to a sumptuous holiday on the Maltese island of Gozo. St James is a highly regarded independent school in Stockport where the family atmosphere, stimulating curriculum and practice of inner quietness

produces confident, happy children. This careful balance between work, rest and play also allows the children to achieve their academic potential; all their current Year 6 leavers have been offered places in their chosen school and are wished the very best for the future. 0161 480 4586 / | Families Manchester 9

School news Manchester girls scoop a trophy in national maths competition our 6SD group is officially among the

Pupils from the Preparatory Department’s 6SD Form at Manchester High School for Girls recently triumphed in the national ‘On Your Marks 2012 Maths Challenge’ by scooping third place and beating thousands of maths enthusiasts across the country. Inspired by the 2012 Olympic Games, Mathletics and the e-Learning Foundation joined together to invite schools in the United Kingdom to participate in the online maths challenge.

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Nearly 20,000 children between the ages of five and sixteen took part in the competition. Miss Sue Diamond, Deputy Head of the Preparatory Department at Manchester High School for Girls, said: “We are absolutely thrilled at our girls’ success. Although only 10 or 11 years of age, the girls have demonstrated exceptional maths ability by scoring far higher than other children much older than them. I am delighted to be able to say that

very best in the country!” Jayne Warburton, CEO at 3P Learning, said: “We are delighted and very proud to have been part of this exciting challenge, and we would like to thank all the students who took part. The competition was fundamentally about changing the way young people perceive maths, putting it into an arena previously reserved for sport, and celebrating improvement as well as outstanding achievement. Our philosophy of the freedom to learn and the freedom to teach is about growing an aspirational and inclusive learning community. We believe that young people can love learning and start to improve their maths and numeracy skills.” Valerie Thompson, CEO at e-Learning Foundation said: “Technology and exciting learning materials are a powerful combination that can build young people’s confidence in and enjoyment of maths. We are particularly pleased that recognition was also given to the most improved students. It has been a privilege to see the exciting ways that maths education can be enhanced through the format of an on-line competition.” Pictured: Student Emma helped her form to gain vital points and snap up the bronze trophy. She was in the top 70 of all primary pupils nationally who took part in the competition. 0161 224 0447 /

School news

Bury Grammar

At the Bury Grammar Schools, our pupils thrive in our happy family atmosphere. We have high academic expectations and both boys and girls flourish in an atmosphere where good behaviour and courtesy are the norm. Our co-educational Infant School is for inquisitive children aged 3 – 7 years. In our Junior and Senior Schools (7 – 11 and

11 – 18 years) boys and girls are educated separately although there are many joint activities in music and drama. Excellent facilities support all aspects of our education and are shared in the Sixth form where students prepare for competitive university courses and beyond. We are proud of all our pupils and warmly invite prospective pupils and their parents to come into our schools to meet them.

School open events: Thursday 4 October 6.30pm – 9pm, Girls Senior School Saturday 6 October 10am – 2pm, Boys Junior and Senior Schools, Girls Junior and Senior Schools, Co-educational Infants

Grammar Schools

Come and join us at our Open Events Thursday 4 October 6.30pm – 9.00pm Girls Senior School 11 – 18 years

Saturday 6 October 10.00am – 2.00pm Boys School: Juniors 7 – 11 years Seniors 11 – 18 years Girls School: Juniors 7 – 11 years and Seniors 11-18 years Coeducational Infants 3 – 7 years Bury Grammar School Girls Bridge Road, Bury, Lancashire, BL9 0HH

Bury Grammar School Boys Tenterden Street, Bury, Lancashire BL9 0HN

Tel: General Enquiries: Web:

Tel: General Enquiries: Web:

0161 797 2808

0161 797 2700 | Families Manchester 11

Parents’ place “I am a mother trying to give my New book encourages children children first-hand experience of to learn to budget my own culture and country How to Budget With Your Money while raising them in Britain with Pocket Published by Dorling Kindersley ISBN 9780956946676 my British husband.” RRP £6.99

Meghan Fenn is an American mother married to a British man. They have three young children; all born in the UK and all have dual British and American citizenship. Raising children within a cross-cultural family is, at times, challenging and full of surprises. It is also wonderful, educational and extremely fascinating. In Meghan’s book, Bringing Up Brits: Expat Parents Raising Cross-Cultural Kids in Britain, she writes about her experience as an expat mother and also about other crosscultural families from all over the world who are raising their children in Britain. What’s it like raising a cross-cultural family in Britain today? Moving a young family or starting a family and raising children in a country not your own may be a common occurrence, but it does pose challenges in addition to the regular day-to-day trials and tribulations of parenting. Bringing Up Brits shows what life is like for non-British parents raising children in Britain today. Nearly a quarter of all births in Britain are

to foreign mothers - this is a significant part of the population and an important influence in our communities. “Reading Bringing Up Brits made me realise that I was not alone, this book is a very welcome companion to all of us expats finding our way as parents in a foreign country!” - Heidi Walker, American expat mother “You gain empathy very quickly for the situation 'we' foreigners are in, trying to adapt to this culture and nation” - Mi Bewick, Swedish expat mother Bringing Up Brits makes a great gift for your spouse or partner, friend or family member to show your support and understanding of their circumstance. The RRP is £14.99 but you can buy it directly from Meghan for just £12 (including P&P) from, where you can also learn more about the book, read the reviews, listen to podcasts and follow the blog. And why not share YOUR story with Meghan? Email her at

WIN WIN WIN We’ve got a copy of Bringing Up Brits: Expat Parents Raising CrossCultural Kids in Britain to give away to one lucky Families reader. Simply go to and enter now. Closing date for entries: Wednesday 31 October.

Support for Dads other children at home too. These Fathers Reaching Out is a support group for men whose wives or partners are suffering from postnatal depression. When a woman is suffering it can have a massive effect on their partners – men can find themselves having to carry out all the main duties at home whilst working, caring for their wife and their new born child, with sometimes

responsibilities can cause a lot of stress, but provides an outlet where men can express their feelings and emotions without being judged, and talk to others who have been in the same position. The focus of the site is to provide men with the support they need to cope at this difficult time.

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According to money expert Annie Chisambo, teaching a child how to budget with their pocket money can help them avoid getting into debt when they reach adulthood. “Most children start to receive their first pocket money when they’re about six or seven,” says Annie. “If handled well, and with the right resources, those early experiences of dealing with cash will teach them useful skills to help them manage their money when they eventually start work and earn wages. Kids are easily tempted to spend money on things they don’t need. Encouraging them to keep a written record of where their money goes will help them keep track of what they spend, save and share.” In addition to the book – How to Budget With Your Pocket Money –

children can find money tips, useful information, plus money themed puzzles and quizzes at Families editor Jayne says: "This is a great book for teaching budgeting from a young age; it keeps things simple but not at all dumbed down for children. The layout, colours and pictures make it fun to read and the quizzes help to check understanding along the way. I will certainly be working through this one with my children when they hit the pocket money phase. I am hopeful they will follow the sound advice on offer – Lily (6) has already saved her first £4 from the tooth fairy and is waiting for the rest!“

Parents’ place CBBC Interactive Tour

As one of her many trips out to fill the Summer holidays, Jayne Keep headed over to MediaCity UK to take an interactive tour behind the scenes of CBBC. Many of the popular CBBC programmes are made there, which means the children can get on the actual set of some of their favourite shows. “The first stop on our tour was the Blue Peter studio. My daughter Lily and her friend Abigail thought this was great; a little odd as the work of cameras and lighting makes it look so different on the TV but they loved it. Next we went off to the CBBC office where the children had chance to sit behind the big green desk and pretend they were presenters, using auto cues to introduce programmes while we watched them on a screen. Then it was off to Newsround where again there was the chance for the children to present, this time the news and weather. Again the children had a go with autocues and had a play with green screens. Our guides made sure that everyone had a

chance to get up and give something a try as the session went on. The 1½ hour tour was a really fun experience and so informative. We were given so many facts on what really goes on behind the scenes to create what we see at home on the TV. We had a peek at a few other bits of MediaCityUK as we went round such as rooms used for radio drama and BBC Sport which was buzzing as we visited mid Olympics! The tours are for children aged 6 to 11 due to the level of explanation involved, plus I think the children need to be pretty familiar with the programmes to be wowed by being on set. This meant I had to leave the younger kids with grandma, but that was for the best as I think Logan would have destroyed some valuable kit along the way! That’s probably why there’s a “no very small people” rule!” Tours take place on Saturdays and Sundays at 1.15pm, 1.30pm, 3.15pm and 3.30. For booking information visit /salford_cbbc

Calling all ladies to help raise vital funds for meningitis From fashion, to glitz and glamour, The Ultimate Ladies Charity Evening, in aid of the Meningitis Trust, is coming to Sale Masonic Hall, in south Manchester on Friday 21 September. Spoil yourself with some tempting treats, including handbags, jewellery, nice new nails, or a pamper session from one of many local traders. Plus, by indulging in these girly gifts you will be helping raise vital funds for people who are living with the impact of meningitis today. The event has been organised by Meningitis Trust supporter, Val Grantham Dykes, in partnership with Karen Steele from Steele and Co for Hair in Sale Moor. Val, who lost her little boy James to meningitis in 2001, has already raised

thousands of pounds for the Trust, through regular Coffee Break events and a classic Golf Event in 2006. As well as an array of spectacular stalls, there will be a fashion show, brought to you by Katie Jay Boutique, a hair and flower demonstration, a raffle, and a Clairvoyant to delight you with her tales of the future, plus much more. Tickets cost £15, which includes a buffet and evening entertainment. All monies raised through ticket sales, plus a portion of everything spent on the night, will go direct to the Trust. To order tickets call Val on 07805 822 941 or email,

Check out the new gift sets from banana lane, to get free postage just enter FAM2012 at checkout. | Families Manchester 13

Parents’ place Izzy Reviews ‘Miss Moo’ HappyHopperz® for stockists RRP: £44.99 HappyHopperz® is a collection of bright, inflatable animals, similar to a space hopper but with ears and horns to hold onto and feet to steady the bounce – making them much more toddler friendly than the traditional round space hopper. The team at HappyHopperz® has recently launched a new XL version aimed at children from 3 to 6 years and they sent the Families team one to try out... Izzy (3) yelped with excitement as she unwrapped the giant blue bull from the packaging. She almost instantly named it ‘Miss Moo’ and so that has been ‘her’ name ever since. Izzy adores hopping around the house and garden on Miss Moo. The Hopper is actually one of the most used toys in our house at the moment. She is even used as a seat for watching TV or eating a snack! All the children play with her, Logan (2) struggles as his legs are a little short (might have to buy him the smaller size then they can have HappyHopperz® races!), Lily (6) frequently has a bounce, and even I (age not to be disclosed) have been known to have a go! Highly recommended by us for garden and indoor fun.

Funky Swedish kids clothes label me&i wants you!

Are you ready to start a new career? Come to the Glo Family play centre in Cheadle, on Sunday 9 September (10am – 4pm) to find out about what me&i can offer you. me&i is coming to a living room near you and is on the hunt for fashion savvy representatives to become part of what is fast becoming the hottest trend in children’s clothing. If you love cool children’s clothes, enjoy getting out-and-about and meeting other like-minded mums and are looking for a new challenge that will allow you to combine working in fashion with family or other commitments, me&i is designed perfectly to fit your needs.

Leading Nanny agency throughout Cheshire and North West • A range of full and part-time childcare services including, nannies, live in/out, babysitting, maternity nannies, emergency care, mothers help, housekeepers & special needs nannies. • All candidates are thoroughly vetted, interviewed and reference checked • Home visits, to enable us to fully understand your requirements

Tel: 01925 768188 or 07766 290802 Email:

Achieving the difference...

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Audacious and innovative, Swedish brand me&i has taken Scandinavia by storm, selling exclusively via its dedicated network of personal shoppers. Passionate about the clothes and all mums themselves, me&i’s fabulously fashionable take on home party selling is a growing phenomenon in the UK. All me&i clothes are made in Europe by manufacturers who look after their workers properly and ensure that the dyeing and printing processes don’t damage the environment. The clothes are also Oko-tex labelled, guaranteeing they’re free from harmful chemicals. And, they are tried and tested with a panel of children for both comfort and looks. Join them at their recruitment day for the opportunity to see the lovely clothes up close and experience the quality first hand. Find out what it’s like being a me&i representative from people who are already doing it and why it’s becoming the family friendly career of choice for so many mums. For directions to Glo Family, visit or call 0844 800 7380.

WIN WIN WIN WIN Win the latest in kid cool from me&i To celebrate the launch of its latest collection, me&i is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a T-shirt! Incorporating great colours with cool, timeless prints, typical of me&i’s optimistic creativity, the autumn winter collection is the best yet. Fabrics are super-soft and the latest children’s range includes comfy leggings, fitted trousers, tunics and classic sweat jackets. This season also includes an extended range of me&i’s womenswear. Simply go to to enter. Closing date Wednesday 31 October.

Parents’ place 30 years of Dear Zoo This autumn we’re celebrating 30 years of Rod Campbell’s classic picture book Dear Zoo, which consistently features in the top selling children’s titles and lists of the classic/best children’s books. Over 5 million copies have been sold since it was published in 1982 (roughly one in five households in the UK have, or have had, a copy of Dear Zoo in them), and to celebrate, Macmillan Children’s Books is publishing Dear Zoo in Touch and Feel format for the first time, bringing the beloved story to glorious 3D life. With a different texture for every animal and brand-new artwork throughout, there’s a whole zoo full of fun to entertain and delight both newcomers and fans of this timeless story. RRP £9.99 Also launched this year is Dear Zoo Animal Shapes – the popular buggy book now available as a cased board book. Even

the very youngest of Dear Zoo fans will love turning the shaped pages of this sturdy board book to discover their favourite animals from the much loved story. RRP £5.99 And the Dear Zoo app for iPad – where children can interact with the animals as never before – is available for £1.99 at the App Store. Here at Families we love Dear Zoo; it's such a simple story that the little ones quickly learn and anticipate as they hear it again and again. Logan (2) and Isabella (3) love making animal noises as they discover who is behind the flaps in the classic book. Logan really likes the new Touch and Feel version (and cannot break this one as he has a tendency to do with lift the flap books!). The Animal Shapes version, is much simpler and great for younger babies and is available as a clip on buggy book for trips out.

Advertise in Families Manchester WIN WIN WIN

Call Jayne on: 01625 801801 or email

Here’s your chance to introduce Dear Zoo to your own children – one lucky Families reader will win a set of 5 books (2x buggy books, the classic Lift the Flap book, the new Touch and Feel and Animal Shapes versions), and 5 runners-up will win the classic Lift the Flap version. To enter go to Closing date for entries is Wednesday 31 October.

Be careful with music A new survey by Baby Sensory has discovered that many parents are unaware of the risks of playing music through headphones to their baby bump. The research by the baby development classes found that 89% of parents are unaware of the risks involved when playing music to their unborn child: that the amniotic fluid within the womb actually doubles the level of decibels a child hears from 60 to 120. Baby Sensory founder, Dr Lin Day says: “It is widely researched and publicised that playing music to an unborn child helps mother and child bond and assists with brain development, which I fully support. However, the problem with playing the headphones directly on the abdomen is that the amniotic fluid works as a conductor of sound and can amplify the music which causes it to be far louder for the baby. This can, in some circumstances, lead to hearing problems to the child from birth.” Find out more at | Families Manchester 15

Clubs & classes Consideration for special needs children • Consider your child’s interests, rather than their needs. Many regular activities can use technology or planning to help their participation, e.g. drama, athletics, cooking or academic. • Evaluate your child's stamina. Check they have the energy for an extracurricular activity. • Talk with the activity leaders about your child's unique medical and communication needs. Provide them with emergency contact information. • Make sure family downtime is a regular part of the schedule. Sometimes your family needs to have nothing to do — as a group.

Choosing after-school activities As the new school year starts, so does the time to choose after-school activities, but take a quick look and you will find a whole range of classes available, from Scouts to Ballet, from French to Karate. How can we know which ones are the best for our child, offer value for money, and critically, which ones they will enjoy? And how do we balance busy family life with quality family time? Elisabeth Dolton offers some guidance.

Remember the inclusion of children with special needs is beneficial to all. Special needs children achieve more, improve behaviour, and enhance motivation. Children without special needs learn from working cooperatively and grow in confidence through helping others.

© taniho -

After-school activities definitely offer value to your children. Reports indicate those who participate in after-school programs have better school attendance, higher grades and loftier aspirations. They’re less likely to get into trouble and are at lower risk of obesity. It is also a great opportunity for children to develop social and leadership skills. The benefits are there, but under which classes? Talk to your child and find out how they feel about the activity, and let them choose at least one club or activity themselves. Help them choose activities that reflect who they are and what they want to learn,

don’t impose your preferences. Explain that it’s important and fun to try new things, and remember switching activities is normal amongst children. Always check out the quality of an activity. Discipline-based activities that create a quality product over a period of time are great, e.g. putting on a play. Don’t think that high cost equals high quality; some activities like football are cheaper to run. Staff members should be professionals with skills and experience. Consider the mix of activities. The benefits of exercise are huge, so including a sport would be a good start. Extracurricular activities are ideal for children to explore

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and practice what it means to be a group leader, e.g. Brownies. If you are stuck between two similar activities, consider the usefulness, e.g. drum lessons might be cool, but the guitar might have wider applicability. Remember logistics. The afterschool programme affects you too. Avoid signing on to too many activities that leave you scrambling from one to the next. No one will have fun doing anything if it means arriving late, leaving early, and going without dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Look hard for places you can walk to; it reduces your carbon footprint while keeping you fit for free!

Finally, do build in some downtime. Children need to have independent play as well as the structured activities, so ensure time is built in for dinner, watching T.V. and relaxing. Leave some activities perhaps for the summer, when different interests can be tried, without the pressure of school demands. After-school activities can provide enrichment, adventure and variety. They can enhance knowledge and build character. Spend a bit more time choosing the right activity programme for your child and you will reap the benefits.

Clubs & classes Finding the balance for busy families As parents we want our children to take advantage of opportunities and have enriching experiences, whilst keeping on top of our own demands and duties. So it’s no surprise that families can often find themselves over-committing and running from one activity to another. An over-busy schedule impacts on us all. Parents feel pressured to maximize every opportunity for their children, and with less family time relationships can suffer. Too much structured activity can contribute to anxiety, stress, and even depression in children. Finding a balanced lifestyle is key. There are several signs of an overly busy family. Children become tired, overwhelmed and irritable as a result of no downtime, activities are being done out of habit or because everyone else is, or your children spend so much time in activities that you don’t know what else is going on in their lives. Back-to-school makes you think back-to-stress! If your family is overscheduled, ease the pressure by simplifying the daily routine. This is achievable in two ways cutting back on extracurricular activities, and getting more organized. Scale down extracurricular activities. Limit the number of activities you have in a week to one artistic, one athletic, and one social for example. Focus more on creating a manageable family schedule. As you cut down on outside activities, set aside dedicated time for the family to be together. If you feel it’s important to eat dinner together a few nights a week, or have a set time when you and your children can just chat, arrange the schedule to make it happen. Reserve time to play and hang out. Streamline household routines to make time at home more relaxed. Keep spaces that you use every day, like the kitchen counter, free of clutter. Keep things where you use them. After dinner, lay out breakfast, make lunches and gather everything needed for tomorrow’s activities. Have your children lay out their clothes before going to bed. Once you create some organisation in the house, it’s likely to spread. But almost contradictorily, let go of the idea of being a perfect parent and resist feeling guilty if the house is less than immaculate. Take a few minutes to relax after getting home; don’t immediately dive into meal preparation.

Finding a Balance - Top Tips for parents: • Listen to your children. If they appear fatigued, irritable or overwhelmed they may be over-scheduled. • Talk to your children. Find out which activities they love and which they could live without. • Ask yourself: "Does my child want to be involved in all these activities, or do I want them to be? Your best intentions may be adding to the pressure. • Don’t forget ‘me time’. Don’t sacrifice your own wellbeing. Find time to recharge and rejuvenate.

Consideration for special needs children The balancing act of keeping a busy family with special needs on track through school, therapy, doctor visits, and fun can be tough. • Focus on priorities, exploit resources for planning, and continually communicate as a family. • Provide a structured lifestyle – everyone benefits psychologically from predictability. Planning family schedules together goes a long way towards reinforcing disability independence. • Implement effective routines - getting dressed, loading the car, and eating meals can take substantially more time for children with disabilities. • Integrate flexibility into family schedules that allow opportunities to practice disability independence children can learn valuable benefits of teamwork and planning ahead to meet their goals. • Keep supplies handy. Portable containers for equipment and medications enable smooth transitions to the car and back for instance. With flexible diligence, parents of children with disabilities can lead families to a fulfilling and well-balanced life, where disability activities are just part of a reliable, reassuring family pattern. | Families Manchester 17

Clubs & classes LOCAL CLUBS & CLASSES DIRECTORY BABIES BabyCalm Classes in Altirincham, aimed at empowering new parents to raise their baby with confidence – calm their crying, avoid colic and aid restful sleep. Diane: 07882 970202 / Babywinks Singing, signing, rhymes, music, bubbles and more! For 4 ½ - 18months. In Chorlton, Bramhall, Swinton & Didsbury. Free trial session. 0161 432 3624 / Baby Massage Time Group or 1:1 courses in your own home or venues in and around Cheadle and Poynton. 07738 564666 / Baby Sensory Sensory development activities for babies. West Manchester – Clare: 07907 578 231 South Manchester – Kerry: 07841 126945 Stockport – Lindsay: 0759 091 6004 Birthlight Baby Yoga Classes in Hale and Sale. Baby Yoga – for ages 2 months to ±10 months. Moving Baby & Toddler Yoga – for older babies, from crawling or whenever ready to move on from baby yoga classes; toddlers and preschoolers up to age 4 07707 297316 / Sing and Sign Baby Signing Classes in Bolton. Caroline: 0161 408 2432 The Baby Massage Company Touch, Learn, Love. Learn the art of baby massage, meet other parents in your area & most importantly form a close bond with your baby. Understand, sooth, comfort and communicate with your baby through touch and sensory development. Baby massage is the perfect way for mums and dads to embrace their new arrival. Classes in Trafford and Stockport. 07866 468245 /

COOKING Cookie Tots & Kiddy Cook Unique kids cooking classes and parties exclusively designed for children aged 2 – 11. Hale & Altrincham – Nikki: 07976 619648 Stockport/East Cheshire – Mandy: 07411 560011 / Kayterfun Cookery session for little ones at Anchors Away indoor play centre, Stockport, on Fridays at 10.30 – 11.30am. No booking required. 0161 432 4020 /

DANCE Baby Ballet A movement to music programme for pre-school boys and girls from 6 months. Bury & Bolton – Miss Jayne 0161 280 3686 / Diddi Dance Funky dance classes for 2-4 year olds in Gatley, Didsbury, East Disbury, Burnage & Heaton Moor. Classes are designed to help your diddi ones enhance their co-ordination and rhythm and to nurture their natural love of movement in a structured yet relaxed 45 minute class. Lisa: 07966 542 985 /

Lesley Taylor School of Dance Ballet & Tap for girls and boys age 2+ in Sale (baby ballet & tap only), Cheadle, & Timperley. Free trial classes in Timplerley and Cheadle. 07702 808467 / 0161 483 1331 / Starlight Theatre School Ballet, Tap and Modern Theatre for children of all ages in Bramhall. Anna: 0161 747 4074 / Sunshine Studios Dance classes and courses from ballet to break dance. Bolton: 01204 548 872 Manchester City Centre: 0161 228 6814

©Samuel Borges

INDOOR ACTIVITY CENTRES Anchors Away, Stockport 3 different play zones, designed to provide a fun and safe environment for pre-walkers, toddlers and juniors. With free Little Superstars sessions on Thursdays (term time only) and cooking classes on Fridays. Parties also available. 0161 432 4020 / Anchor’s Away Play, Wythenshawe Boasting one of the most challenging play frames in the country for both young babies to toddlers and for children up to age 11. 0161 437 0665/ Antz in your Pantz, Timperley A safe and secure environment for ages 0 – 11. Main and toddler/pre-school climbing frames, baby play pen and free –play sports zone. Café for snacks and meals and comfy sofas or tables for grown-ups. Parties also available. Baby Play Café, Altrincham Ice Cream Parlour and Tea Room with safe indoor play area for little ones. 0161 929 1997 / Boomerang, Bury Play centre offering soft play, interactive and multi-sensory play areas. 0161 764 4842 / Curly Whirleez, Bolton Indoor play centre with a Gymnastics Room, Sports Lounge, Sports Court, Fitness for Kids, Yoga, Party Rooms and a Café. 01204 523 620 / Funtastic, Radcliffe, Bury Indoor centre run by local parents with an ultra-modern, totally unique, suspended multi use sport court, as well as climbing frame, dedicated area for younger children. 0161 425 8248 / Go Wild, Bury Indoor play centre in Bury town centre. 3 lane astraslide and helter skelter and more. Separate baby and toddler area. Head over Heels, Chorlton & Handforth Gated pre-school area as well as extreme play area for pre-schoolers and over 4s. Pre-school activities every week day morning in term time. Chorlton: 0161 881 4433 Handforth: 0161 485 2200

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Jungle Mayhem, Bury Soft play centre including a sports zone and coin operated electric Go Karts. Separate baby and toddler areas. Babyballet classes on Mondays and Twinkle Toes Ballet/Funky Feet Dance classes for ages 2+ on Fridays term time only.0161 724 7402 / Land of Play, Trafford Park Indoor play with indoor go-karting on a custom-built track. Separate toddler's play area and home-cooked food. 0161 872 9434 / Legoland® Discovery Centre Manchester Over 2 million LEGO bricks under one roof – share the LEGO world of colour, creativity and family entertainment. Indoor rides, miniland, climbing frame, 4D cinema. 0844 844 8181 / Mischief Makers, Rochdale A safe, friendly and fun environment catering for children from 0-11 years. Interactive 3 level themed play area. 01706 653 656 / Orangaround, Stockport Soft play and activity centre suitable for children up to the age of 8. 0161 477 8438 / Planet Play, Heywood, Rochdale 5,800 sq feet of play area with a 3 level play frame. Term time activities available. 01706 627 627 / Playfactore, Trafford State of the art giant play frame, interactive toddler play area, Laser Tag arena, electric go karts. 0844 824 6030 / Run of the Mill, Stockport Play structure designed to take into account all kinds of different fitness skills such as crawling, balancing, climbing, squeezing, rolling, running, jumping, calculating and sliding. Toddler Activity Sessions every weekday term time only. 0161 494 7137 / Zoom Play Centre, Stockport Play group sessions for babies and toddlers as well as Rhythm & Rhyme music/movement classes during term time. 0161 477 2225 /

LANGUAGE La Jolie Ronde HappyGoMonkey French is based on fun language learning using games, songs, puppets, dancing, role-play and other exciting activities. Classes run in schools, nurseries and open centres in central and South Manchester. Our programmes are available for babies to 11 year olds, the ideal age to begin learning languages. Contact Natalie Jensen: / 0161 224 9952. Twitter @lajolieronde_NJ Le Club Francais/El Club Español Fun language clubs for children age 4 – 11. Bolton, Oldham, Manchester – Chris: 01204 383488 Bury & Ramsbottom – Catherine: 0161 7230261

Talking Tots Fun, interactive classes that help your child communicate with confidence. These unique pre-school classes, which follow the developmental stages of language, are bursting with exciting activities and games designed to gently boost young children’s communication skills and social confidence. Classes are suitable for pre-schoolers from 12 months upwards. For classes in Cheadle and Hale contact Debbie on 07899 801186 or email For classes in the Heatons, Didsbury and Chorlton contact Siân on 07794 433179 or email /

MUSIC & SOCIAL Glo Family, Cheadle A totally new concept in play centres and a location for many classes from dancing and drama to baby massage and music. Daily craft sessions for your little ones and twice weekly “Toddler Time”. Classes also run for mums including pregnancy and post natal sessions. For full details of the extensive list of what’s on visit / 0844 800 7380 Jabberjacks A learning and fun activity pre-school class which helps develop social and physical skills for children aged between 6 months and 4 years old. Using a unique combination of puppets and traditional music, against a backdrop of drama and play, Jabberjacks ensures all activities delivered in their preschool classes are both stimulating and interactive. Parties for ages 2 – 7 also available. South Manchester (Urmston) – Clare: 07587 186284 North Manchester – Gaynor: 0161 7908080 Jo Jingles Music, singing and movement classes for babies and young children. Manchester North – Jo: 01706 212889 South Manchester – Jacqui: 01925 269136 Jittabugs Activities, exercises, music, songs and games to promote your child's movement, balance, and memory skills. Different music each week, from rock-n-roll to classical and Pop, make it as much fun for you as it is for your baby! For 3 month - 2 year olds, classes are entertaining, stimulating, and educational too. South Manchester.Karen: 0161 973 2656 / 07765 080 350 / JoJos Music Music and fun for parents & babies, toddlers & pre-schoolers aged 0-5 years in Culcheth, Stockport & Timperley 07803 205657 / Kiddiewinks / Babywinks Fun, interactive classes and parties for children from sitting to school age in Chorlton, Bramhall, Cheadle, Swinton and Didsbury. 0161 432 3624 / KidsRock Fun music classes for children aged 0 – 5 in Bury, Radcliffe, Rawtenstall, Bacup, Whitworth & Swinton. 07855 733308 /

Clubs & classes LOCAL CLUBS & CLASSES DIRECTORY Rhythm Time Early learning through music – for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Bolton, Chorley & Standish – Sally: 01204 326456 Elton Bury, Greenmount, Unsworth Bury – Janet: 07980 632033 North Cheshire – Jane: 01270 529224 South Manchester – Kimberley: 01625 533510 TinyTalk Baby signing and singing classes (0-18 months). Disley, Bramhall – Anita: 07914 088845 /

PERFORMING ARTS A.B. Academy Theatre School & Saturday Stage School Age 4 – 17 years. ACT, SING DANCE. Past pupils include Daniel Rigby BAFTA Best Actor. Adam Gillon (Liam in Benidorm). GCSE & A'Level Drama, Wednesday evening Piano, Singing Tuition. Fully qualified staff CRB checked. For prospectus phone 0161 429 7413 Helen O’Grady Drama Academy Bolton/Bury – Karen: 0845 874 0774 South Manchester – Gill: 0845 402 2060 Oldham/Rochdale – Wendy: 01706 810164 Preston/Swinton/Boothstown – Sarah: 01942 208431 / Pyjama Drama Drama, movement, music and play for children up to 7 years. Stockport & Cheshire East – Alison: 0844 504 5119 Trafford & Didsbury – Emma: 0844 504 5201 Stagecoach Theatre Arts School Performing arts for ages 4 – 18. Altrincham – Marion: 01925 222445 Bolton & Bury – Ruth: 0161 763 6161 Didsbury & Salford – Anne: 0161 789 1349 Oldham – Kate: 01204 301320 Stockport – Cathy: 0161 864 3974 Starlight Performing Arts Academy Drama, dance and music academy in Hazel Grove. Popstar parties and holiday clubs available. 0161 439 8009 / Theatre Tots A unique blend of drama, stories, songs, music, movement, puppets and fun for 0 to 5 year olds in Cheadle. Fun and action packed sessions compliment all key areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. Natalie: 07825 370214

SPORTS AND ACTIVITIES Beavers, Cubs & Scouts Greater Manchester North: Greater Manchester West: Greater Manchester East: Bush Babies Outdoor multi-sensory play sessions for children under 5 (babies included) in Westhoughton and Worsley. 01942 260545 / Tennis Tykes An educational tennis play and skills programme for children aged 2-5 years old. All classes are run by qualified and trained staff, use specially adapted equipment with personal achievement charts for every child. Classes in Bramhall, Didsbury, Hale, and Wilmslow. Caroline: 07843 342662 / Rainbows, Brownies & Guides 0800 1 69 59 01 /

Enjoy-a-Ball A fun sports programme that gradually develops skills such as concentration, coordination and confidence in a caring, positive and fun environment. Classes for children aged 3-9 years packed with fun activities and games are held in Chorlton, Didsbury and Bramhall. Holiday camps and birthday parties also available. Contact Sam on 07973 886783, Gymbabes/Tumble Tots/Gymbobs Classes to develop children's physical skills of agility, balance, co-ordination and climbing. Bramhall – Sue/Gill: 0161 456 6166 Sale, Didsbury & Hale – Jane: 07812 144450 Little Superstars Multi sports sessions in West & South Manchester / Cheshire Louise: 07904 344552 /


Football Active Soccer Soccer coaching for kids aged 4 - 12 and other services. Bury – Rashid: 0844 576 6899 Stockport – Kieran: 0844 822 6392 Little Kickers At Little Kickers, the focus is on fun, as football is used as a forum to instil a little extra confidence, co-ordination, control and sense of camaraderie. Classes run in four distinct age groups, to maximise involvement and development. Age groups range from just 18 months to 7 years. Classes in Didsbury, Sale, Altrincham, Lymm, Cheadle Bramhall, Urmston & Bowden. Alex: 0161 442 5713 / Little Sports Coaching Football coaching sessions for children aged 3 to 5 and school holiday programmes for ages 4 - 12. 0800 0321 806 / Play Football Weekly football coaching sessions for 5-9 year olds run by Bury F.C Community Trust. 0845 459 2000 / Stockport Eagles Junior Football Club Including Soccer Academy for ages 5 – 7 on Friday evenings. Paul: 07837 903056 /



Bolton Rugby Club Broughton Park Rugby Club Bury Rugby Club Didsbury Rugby Club Manchester Rugby Club Rochdale Rugby Club Sale Rugby Club Sedgley Park Tigers Rugby Club Trafford MV RFCC

Kumon Maths and English tuition across Greater Manchester. Chorlton – Jackie: 0161 434 4579 Didsbury – Donna: 0161 718 9313 Heaton Moore – Fiona: 0161 432 1721 Heywood – Anna: 01706 627874 Levenshulme – Sharron: 0161 225 4307 Prestwich – Susan: 0161 265 8259 Rochdale – Robin: 01706 759352 Urmston – Sharon: 0161 749 8177

Swimming Puddle Ducks Baby and Toddler Swimming Puddle Ducks provides unique baby, toddler pre-school swimming classes nationally and in the North West. Children can join our fun, friendly and structured classes at any age from birth to 5 years old. Call 01257 262622 for classes in East Lancashire or 07411 944566 for classes in and around Manchester or go to for more information. Water Babies Multi-award winning ASA approved programme which makes the most of your baby's natural affinity with water, enabling babies and toddlers to swim underwater as well as on the surface whilst teaching confidence and safety techniques. The progressive toddler course seamlessly aids your child's transition into mainstream swimming lessons. Water Babies, the start of something extraordinary. Classes available across South Manchester.0161 312 0048 /

Skating Nevada Roller Rink Roller skating events and lessons at Little Lever Community Leisure Centre, Bolton. Silver Blades Ice Skating rink in Altrincham offering skating sessions and lessons. 08700 85 29 29 /

Explore Learning Maths & English tuition centres for 5-14 year olds. Children become members and attend once or twice a week for sessions that last approximately 1¼ hours. Every centre is open 7 days a week, no advance booking necessary. Centres in Altrincham, Cheadle Hulme and Heaton Park. Altrincham: 0161 2410006 Cheadle Hulme: 0161 6698140 Heaton Park: 0161 6694839 Fleet Tutors One-toone tuition in prep school entry, 11+, common entrance exams, SATS, and for dyslexia/remedial help. Location: pupil’s home. 0845 644 5452 / JAG Tuition 1:1 home tuition for KS1 & 2 children and pupils transitioning to year 7 by an experienced school based tutor based in Chorlton. Back-to-basics approach combined with multi-sensory techniques. No obligation assessment in your home. Joyce: 0161 445 1818 or 07956 218990 PJW Education Private tuition in Urmston, Sale, Stretford, Trafford, Manchester, Salford and other Greater Manchester areas. Maths tuition up to GCSE, English Tuition, 11+ exam and other entrance exam tuition and also the key stage 2 SATs. 07946 912292 / | Families Manchester 19

Clubs & classes Local clubs & classes news Talking Tots has arrived in Didsbury

Kiddiwinks 5th birthday

Talking Tots South Manchester & Stockport launched at the end of last year and, following the success of classes in the Heatons, is now delighted to be offering classes in Didsbury and Chorlton. Talking Tots classes are bursting with fun, interactive activities designed to help pre-school children communicate with confidence. Its founders, Tracey Park and Lisa Houghton, used their experience as paediatric speech and language therapists to design a rich programme of activities that follow the natural stages of early language development and provide just the right combination of fun, excitement and learning. Talking Tots offers a three-year programme which uses a unique mix of games, songs, rhymes and interactive activities to gently boost children’s language and social skills. The classes are lots of fun and encourage toddlers to develop important skills that will give

Kiddiewinks, the entertainment experts for babies and toddlers, is celebrating its 5th birthday this year. The Manchester-based company, which runs classes and parties for the under-fives, was established in August 2007, by local entrepreneur Nuala Slim. The mum of three noticed that there was lack of good activities for the underfives and so used her experience to create a range of fun and educational classes. Kiddiewinks also provides entertainment for children’s parties, christenings and family gatherings. Since then the company has seen significant growth with weekly classes taking place throughout Manchester, Salford and Cheshire. Kiddiewinks has also been nominated for a series of industry awards since its inception. However, as the company has grown, so has its fanbase! Because of this the

company is now expanding its offering to cater for the over fives, as Kiddiewinks owner, Nuala explains: “As the business has grown, so have our loyal customers. Many of the babies who joined our classes five years ago are now at school, but they still want the Kiddiewinks experience. So, due to popular demand by parents, we are diversifying our party offering to include parties for older children. Themes for these will include; crazy capers disco parties, street dance parties and new for 2012, Olympic Sports parties!” To find out more please visit the Kiddiewinks website:

Little Kickers – new Didsbury class on Sundays

Diddi Dance funky preschool dance classes

Having run football classes for children aged 18 months to 7 years locally for nearly 5 years, Little Kickers has gone from strength to strength. But with children seemingly having more of a social/activity life than their parents, the demand for Sunday classes has grown enormously. So, as well as classes in Urmston and Bowdon, from September Little Kickers will be running classes in its East Didsbury venue at The Barlow High School from 9.30am. Spaces are available on a first come, first served basis by visiting or emailing Alex – Little Kickers also runs classes on a Saturday in West & East Didsbury, Sale, Altrincham, Lymm, Cheadle and Bramhall. Spaces are limited and children can start at anytime.

Diddi Dance offers preschool boys and girls aged 2– 4 years old 14 difference dance styles, from flamenco to Bollywood, hip hop to disco and everything in between, all set to original pop songs. The local classes in Burnage, East Didsbury, Didsbury and Gatley were launched by Mum Lisa Lawson in March this year and won the Netmums Silver award for Favourite Preschool Activity in Manchester just three months later. The newest Diddi Dance class begins in September in Heaton Moor. Please visit for further information. To book a free trial session, contact Lisa on 07966 542 985 or

Starlight Performing Arts Starlight’s mission is to encourage local pupils irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity, religion and ability to develop their full creative potential through music, dance and drama. On offer are: Starlight Stage School (3 hours) - Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays - an hour of singing, dancing and drama including LAMDA (speech and drama exams) and preparation for TV auditions. Music lessons - private or group lessons

them a head start in the classroom. “My son’s concentration and understanding have improved dramatically since he started Talking Tots” said one mum in the Heatons, “and he really loves the classes.” Talking Tots classes are held in the Heatons on Mondays and Didsbury/Chorlton on Thursdays and are suitable for pre-schoolers from 12 months upwards. For further information contact Siân on 07794 433179, email or visit in: piano/keyboard, guitar, bass, drums, ukulele, violin, saxophone and flute, or sing in a rock or pop/band including girlbands and boybands. Take exams in performance and theory or learn your favourite songs ready to perform on stage. Need a Night Out? Not got a babysitter? Starlight offer a Children's Film and Fun Club on Friday and Saturday evenings from 6pm-11pm, drop your child off for a fun packed evening of films and games. All staff fully qualified and CRB checked. £10 per child, sibling discount available. For further information, please contact Helen: 0161 4398009 or visit

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What’s on Britain’s top Choirs go head-to-head in Manchester

Choir of the Year (, the UK’s largest amateur singing competition, is holding its prestigious Category Finals featuring the UK’s top singing talent at the magnificent Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on 6 October. The singing spectacular includes singers of all ages from 8 to 80, with show stopping musical styles from Classical to Glee-style numbers which will have you on the edge of your seat waiting to find out which six of the sixteen singing groups will make it through to the Grand Final in London on 28 October. Children’s performances start at 2pm, Adult and Youth performances at 7pm. Tickets are on sale starting at £10 and can be bought from the Bridgewater Hall Box Office: 0844 907 9000 or

Hale and Altrincham Baby & Children’s Fair Brought to you by Juice Nurseries. An action-packed day of fun and activities including craft, music & face painting, plus exhibitors showcasing a diverse range of quality products and services. All this as well as a charity raffle and 'Good as New’ tombola, raising money for the Ronald McDonald House at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. Oh, and did we mention goody bags for the first 100 people through the door? See you there! Entrance: £2 for adults, children are FREE. All proceeds from the door, raffle and tombola will go to charity.

Russian State Ballet & Opera House® presents Swan Lake Classical ballet is transformed into a fairy-tale in what’s bound to be a magical experience for families and ballet enthusiasts in the run-up to Christmas. Book your tickets now the performances on 18 October at the Plaza Theatre, Stockport | Families Manchester 21

What’s on NCT Nearly New Sales

Sat 8 & Sun 9 Sept

Sat 22 Sept

Sat 6 & Sun 7 Oct

Bolton Steam Museum Working Steam Day 10am – 4pm. Free car parking on site and admission to the museum, although donations towards the cost of running the boiler would be appreciated. 01204 946490 /

Manchester Museum Big Saturday: Harvest Festival 11am – 4pm. Drop-in, free, all ages. Celebrate the Harvest Festival with a day of hands-on activities for all the family. Come and enjoy the Museum Allotment before it’s put to bed for the winter. 0161 275 2634 /

East Lancashire Railway Day out with Thomas™ 9am – 3.45pm. Grand opening ceremony by the Fat Controller at 9.45am. Adult £15, Child (3+) £7, Family (2 adults, 3 Children) £37 Ticket includes face painting, magic and circus shows, Thomas film screening, a ride on the little blue engine himself and more. 0161 764 7790 /

Sun 9 Sept

Top-quality baby and children’s clothes and equipment at bargain prices – straight from their loving owners.

Bolton & North West Manchester Sat 6 Oct, 12pm. Christ Church, Walmsley, Bolton, BL7 9SA. Oldham & Rochdale Sat 6 Oct, 1 – 3pm(Members entry 12.30pm) Hulme Grammar School, Chamber Road, Oldham, OL8 1RE. £1 entrance. 0844 243 6233 / Stockport Sat 20 October, 10.30am – 12pm Cheadle Hulme Methodist Church, Ramillies Avenue, Cheadle Hulme, SK8 7AL. £1 entrance. 0844 243 6282 / Chip and pin payments available. No pushchairs or shopping bags. Sellers: registration 21 September – 14 October. North Cheshire Sun 28 Oct, 12 – 4pm Thelwall Parish Hall, Thelwall New Road, All Saints Drive, Warrington, WA4 2SX. £1 entrance Sellers: name, address & tel to 0844 243 6221 / Manchester Trafford Sat 3 Nov, 10am – 12.30pm (Members entry 9.30am). Sale Grammar School, Marsland Road, Sale, M33 3NH Sellers: registration opens 3 Sept - £3 to register

Sat 8, 15, 22 & 29 Sep IWM North (Learning Studio) Open Studio: Slugs, Snails and Truce Time Tales 1-4pm, all ages. Marking International Day of Peace on 21 September. Call a truce, whatever your differences, and hear a slimy story of slug, snails and truce time tales. Find out what united the slugs and snails in this funny and inspiring tale of truce and make your own unique artwork inspired by the story. 0161 836 4000 /

Sat 8 Sept Heywood Fire Station Open Day 10am – 3pm. A fun day out for all the family. Free entry. All welcome. 0161 909 8627 / Hall i' th' Wood Museum, Bolton Tudor Games and Entertainment 1 – 3pm. Free family activities for all the family 01204 332211 / Bolton Central Library Professor Cortex’s Fantastic Sports Quiz 1pm – 3pm. Take part in this free quiz and wordsearch. 01204 332211 / Bury Art Museum Saturday art activities – Giant Origami 2 – 3.30pm, Ages 4-12. £2 per child. No booking required but places are limited. 0161 253 5878 /

Sale High School Kids Car Boot & Swap Shop 10am – 12pm

Fri 14 – Sun 16 Sept Ramsbottom Festival Family friendly fun from circus skills to music master classes, set against a backdrop of bands. All of the activities are free and suitable for a wide age range. Children’s tickets start at £5 for over 6s (under 6s free). 0844 8842920 /

Sat 15 Sept Octagon Theatre, Bolton Storytelling Playgrounds Ages 3 – 7, £4 (free adult place per child). Two performances 11am and 1pm. Inspired by Hairy Maclary – an interactive Storytelling Playground that will take you on an adventure with Hairy and his friends! 01204 520661 / Bury Art Museum Saturday art activities – Roman Mosaics 2 – 3.30pm, Ages 4-12. £2 per child. No booking required but places are limited. 0161 253 5878 / Manchester Cathedral Be a Chorister for a Day Ages 7 – 11, Free, Children must be accompanied. Limited places, booking essential. Workshops at 12 noon, to learn some of the music for choral evensong. The workshops are followed by lunch (bring your own) , a chance to have a go at the Cathedral Explorer Trail, try on some choristers robes and do some brass rubbing before taking part in a rehearsal with the full Cathedral Choir. Choral evensong at 3.30pm, sung jointly by the Cathedral Choir and those who are being a chorister for the day. 0161 833 2220 ext. 238 /

Tues 18 Sept Manchester Museum Baby Explorers 12.15 – 1.15pm & 1.45 – 2.45pm.Free, Dropin, babies and their carers. Sensory play and interactive story sessions for babies who aren’t walking yet. 0161 275 2634 /

Fri 21 – Sun 23 Sept Imperial War Museum North Build the Truce Mark International Day of Peace with a weekend of activities and events exploring the notion of truce, including talks and film screenings, themed tours as well as creative family activities, storytelling and theatrical performances for visitors of all ages. 0161 836 4000 /

Fri 21 Sept – Mon 8 Oct Manchester Manchester Food & Drink Festival 2012 The Festival takes over as much of the City Centre and surrounding districts of Greater Manchester as possible, with a huge programme of events taking place, both indoor and outdoor.

22 Families Manchester |

Bury Art Museum Saturday art activities – Sketchbooks 2 – 3.30pm, Ages 4-12. £2 per child. No booking required but places are limited. 0161 253 5878 / museumsandgalleries

Sun 23 Sept Salford Community Fire Station Open Day 11am – 4pm. A fun day out for all the family. Free entry. All welcome. 0161 608 9227 /

Fri 28 Sept Manchester Museum Magic Carpet: Fruit & veg 10.30 – 11.30am & 11.30am – 12.30pm Under 5s, Free but book from 21 Sept Storytelling and activity session for under 5s and their families/carers. 0161 275 2648 /

Sat 29 Sept Chester Zoo Run for the wild 2012 9am. Registration: Adults £10, Children £5 for children. Under 2s free. Annual family fun run takes runners and walkers around the zoo and covers approximately 5km. This year all money raised will help support the Black Rhino Conservation Programme. 01244 380280 / Bury Art Museum Saturday art activities – Matchstick Art 2 – 3.30pm, Ages 4-12. £2 per child. No booking required but places are limited. 0161 253 5878 /

Sun 30 Sept Longfield Suite, Prestwich Prestwich Food Festival – Harvest Festival 11am – 4pm. All things foody – a pop up restaurant hosted by Robert Owen Brown, local restaurants food sampling, food stalls, chef and food demonstrations and much, much more!

Tues 2, 16 & 30 Oct Manchester Museum Baby Explorers 12.15 – 1.15pm & 1.45 – 2.45pm. Free, Dropin, babies and their carers. Sensory play and interactive story sessions for babies who aren’t walking yet. 0161 275 2634 /

Sat 6 Oct Bury Art Museum Saturday art activities – Autumn Collage 2 – 3.30pm, Ages 4-12. £2 per child. No booking required but places are limited. 0161 253 5878 / The Met, Bury The Three Billy Pigs 1pm, Age 3+, £6. The new show from Noisy Oyster, blending two classic fairy tales The Three Little Pigs and The Three Billy Goats Gruff with beautifully crafted puppets, light hearted storytelling, live music and a little bit of ecoawareness. 0161 761 2216 /

Sun 7 Oct Churnet Valley Railway Folk Festival and Classic Cars A swansong to summer with folk music, Morris dancing and gleaming vehicles 01538 750755 / Kingsway School (lower site), Cheadle Kids Car Boot & Swap Shop 10am – 12pm Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum, Rochdale Open Day 01706 901227 / Manchester Museum & Whitworth Art Gallery Grand day out for grandparents 12 – 4pm (Museum), 1.30 – 3.30pm (Art Gallery) Free, Drop-in, all ages Are the grandchildren brimming with energy and you fancy having some fun with them? Bring the whole family and make an afternoon of it with fun free family activities. 0161 275 2634 /

Sat 13 Oct Octagon Theatre, Bolton Just Us Three and the Sea Ages 3 – 8 , £4 (free adult place per child) Two performances 11am and 1pm.. Sedrick the Seagull is lost in a forest with an injured wing how will he ever find his way home? Join real musicians, and enjoy the opportunity to get involved in storytelling, physical activities, songs and games. 01204 520661 / Manchester Museum Big Saturday: Dogs on Show 11am – 4pm. Drop-in (except walking tour), free (except walking tour), all ages. With live dogs in the courtyard and activities for all the family. Meet a Bloodhound, Bulldog, Borzoi, Collie, Pekinese and Irish Wolfhound. Including Barking Dogs Barkand Read – where children can read to dogs, DogDetective workshops (11.30am & 2.30pm) that explore the science of smell and crime investigation and a Dog Talk on Manchester Dogs (1.30pm) – the street dogs when Manchester was the rabies capital of the UK, the ace ratter Manchester terrier and the Lyme Hall mastiff. To top it all off, departing from the Whitworth Art Gallery is Walkies (1-4pm), a walking tour for dogs and their owners that sniffs around the buildings, parks and stories of this part of town (£5, 0161 275 2634 / Bury Art Museum Saturday art activities – Life Size Portraits 2 – 3.30pm, Ages 4-12. £2 per child. No booking required but places are limited. 0161 253 5878 /

Sat 13 & Sat 27 October Imperial War Museum North Open Studio: Doctors and Nurses 1 – 4pm, Age 5+, Free, drop in. Be inspired by the work of doctors, nurses and medical teams and make your own themed souvenir to take home and keep using a range of colourful resources. Get involved with dressing up, soft play and creative fun. 0161 836 4000 /

These listings are for guidance only – please check before you go To include your upcoming event in our listings, email

What’s on

Sat 13, Sat 27 & Wed 31 Oct

Thurs 25 Oct

Mon 29 Oct

Tues 30 Oct & Thurs 1 Nov

Imperial War Museum North What A Performance 11.15am, 12.15pm, 1.15pm, 2.15pm, Free, all ages See one of the specially commissioned family friendly performances dramatising stories of wartime adventure. Themed to the subject of frontline medicine. 0161 836 4000 /

Bury Art Museum Miniature Artworks 10.30am – 12pm, Ages 4-12. £2 per child. No booking required but places are limited. 0161 253 5878 /

Manchester Museum Meteorite day 11am – 4pm. Free Drop-in, all ages. Get your hands on pieces of space rock over 4 billion years old and examine moon rocks brought back by the Apollo astronauts. See what happens when meteorites hit the Earth. Do all this and discover how scientists at The University of Manchester are using meteorites to unravel the mysteries of our solar system. Part of Manchester Science Festival. 0161 275 2634 /

Dunham Massey Hall, Altrincham Family Rut Walks 11am – 12pm, 1 – 2pm, 3 – 4pm Bellows and battles; the autumn rituals of Dunham's deer revealed. Normal admission charges apply. Limited places, collect a timed token from the Ticket Office on the day. Suitable for children. 0161 941 1025 /

Sun 14 Oct Sale High School Kids Car Boot & Swap Shop 10am – 12pm

Sat 20 Oct

Fri 26 Oct Manchester Museum Magic Carpet: Cats & dogs 10.30 – 11.30am & 11.30am – 12.30pm. Free, under 5s (book from 19 Oct). Storytelling and activity session for under 5s and their families/carers. 0161 275 2648 /

Bury Art Museum Saturday art activities – Lantern Making (Bury Light Night) 2 – 3.30pm, Ages 4-12. £2 per child. No booking required but places are limited. 0161 253 5878 /

Sat 27 Oct

Bury Town Centre Bury Light Night 6pm. Venues and attractions across the town centre will open their doors and invite you to enjoy a wonderful mix of arts, light installations, music, performance, workshops, tours and much more.

Manchester Museum & Whitworth Hall Science spectacular! 11am – 2pm. Age 5+, Free Drop-in. A whistle-stop tour of research at The University of Manchester. Go on a journey through the heart, find out why lotus leaves don’t get wet and snuggle up to some unusual insects. Meet the scientists and engineers behind the research and take part in fun activities throughout the day. 0161 275 2634 /

Sat 20 – Wed 31 Oct Various locations in Whitefield Whitefield Halloween Festival 2012 A series of interactive workshops, educational talks and fun activities to cater for all ages. The main festival day will take place on 28 October, Hamilton Road Park, Whitefield (opposite the Police Station on Bury New Road). An opportunity for families to celebrate Halloween with their children in a safe environment.

Mon 22 – Fri 26 October Jodrell Bank Explore the Unexplained 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, Age 5+, Booking essential. Discover the world of weird science in these interactive science shows and see if you can find out if aliens really do exist. 01477 571766 /

Tues 23 Oct Bury Art Museum Doodle Disco 10.30am – 12pm, Ages 4-12. £2 per child. No booking required but places are limited. Part of The Big Draw. 0161 253 5878 /

Tues 23 & Wed 24 Oct The Met, Bury The Enormous Turnip 11am (Wed only) & 3pm, Age 2+, £8. Stuff and Nonsense return with their unswerving energy, eccentric puppetry and live music in this re-potted version of the world-famous children's story. 0161 761 2216 /

Wed 24 Oct Bury Transport Museum Ghost Trains, Kids Craft Workshops Drop-in craft workshop – get some practice in for the Halloween Ghost Trains by making your own spooky steam powered model! 0161 764 7790 / Touchstones, Rochdale Practical Printmaking 10.15 – 11.45am, Ages 7 – 12, Booking essential Join artist Alan Birch to make your own original print inspired by the exhibitions. 07106 926232 /

Churnet Valley Railway Ghost Train Thrills and family fun in this spooky night-time spectacular. Bookings taken from 1 Sept 01538 750755 /

Bury Art Museum Saturday art activities – Halloween Heads on Sticks 2 – 3.30pm, Ages 4-12. £2 per child. No booking required but places are limited. 0161 253 5878 /

Daily from Sat 27 Sept Imperial War Museum North Bumpty Bear 11.30am, under 5s, Free, drop in, meet underneath the Harrier Jump Jet. Take part in this new family friendly storytelling session about Bumpty Bear and his adventures around The Quays. Learn how friendship and first aid keep this clumsy character smiling. 0161 836 4000 /

Sat 27 & Sun 28 Oct Bury Transport Museum

Make a Monster Craft Workshop 4 – 7.30pm . Enjoy free entry into the Bury Transport Museum with your valid Halloween Ghost Train ticket and take part in this creepy craft workshop. Make your own monster friend to take with you while you ride the ghost train. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time, you don’t want to miss your train! 0161 764 7790 / East Lancashire Railway Halloween Ghost Trains Haunted steam trains, ghostly good times and spooky surprises!. Adult (16+) £11.50, Children (3+ and under 3 seated) £2, Under 3 (unseated) free! 0161 764 7790 /

Sun 28 Oct Manchester Museum Polar: Explore 1.30 & 2.30pm. Free, but booking required, Age 5+. Hear some of the best music ever written, combined with stunning footage from some of the world's best natural history film makers. Scientists will be on hand to help you explore the natural history of the beautiful, vital poles and to take you on a tour of the Living Worlds gallery to discover the polar animals. 0161 275 2648 /

Imperial War Museum North Science Busking 11.15am, 12.15pm, 1.15pm, 2.15pm, All ages Live science demonstrations exploring themes including perception and human biology. 0161 836 4000 /

Monday 29 Oct – Fri 2 Nov Manchester Museum Ancient Worlds Free drop-in, all ages. Explore the newly opened Ancient Worlds galleries and find out about technology used by the ancient peoples of Greece, Rome and Egypt, as well as discovering more about the scientific techniques used in Archaeology. 11am – 4pm: transform paper plates into Greek pottery style using techniques the ancient Greeks used. 1 – 3pm: For ages 7+. Unravel the mystery of the mummies using modern techniques and investigate scans and X-Rays of mummies and mummified animals. 0161 275 2634 / The Lowry A Wicked Play In A Week 10.30am – 3.30pm daily. Ages 8 – 11, £80 (£70 Salford residents). You may have heard the story of Sleeping Beauty before. A beautiful princess falls asleep to be awoken by her true love’s kiss, right? No, not this time…. let’s hear from the baddies for a change! This is your chance to put on a play in a week! There will be a performance for families and friends on Fri 2 Nov at 3pm. Half Term – Little Artists - Perfect Pets! 11am – 12.30pm daily. £3.50 (£1.74 Salford residents). Lowry's paintings are famous for them, Hairy Maclary is the story of one, but what's your perfect pet? Doodle and draw your perfect pet, experiment using pen and ink – just like in the Hairy Maclary books! Cut, stick and transform your drawings into an amazing puppet to take home and love. 0843 208 6000 /

Tues 30 & Wed 31 Oct Imperial War Museum North Open Studio: Busy Bodies 1 – 4pm, Age 5+, Free, drop in. Be inspired by the work of wartime doctors and nurses and learn to name parts of the human body and skeleton in this creative session. See true to life human x-rays and decorate your own cut out body shape to take home and keep. 0161 836 4000 /

Tues 30 – Thurs 1 Nov The Lowry Half Term Drama Drop In 11am – 12.30pm. £3.50 (£1.75 Salford residents) A special visit from Hairy Maclary and friends in the Lyric Theatre brings this favourite children’s book to life in fun-packed drama workshops filled with games and excitement for all the family. 0843 208 6000 /

Wed 31 Oct Lyme Park, Disley Terrifying Tales in the Cage 1pm, £3.50, Age 6+. Hear spooky stories told by a professional storyteller and make a horrifying Halloween mask. Meet at the Cage. 01663 762023 /

Wed 31 & Fri 2 Nov Manchester Museum Mummifying oranges 12.30 – 1.30pm & 2.30 – 3.30pm. Free, Age 11+, Book at the Museum on the day. Don your lab coats and roll up your sleeves for this hands-on workshop, where you will find out more about the ancient Egyptian mummification process as you mummify oranges. 0161 275 2634 /

Mon 29 & Tues 30 Oct Lyme Park, Disley Halloween Pumpkins 10am – 12pm, 1 – 3pm, £4, Age 6+ Carve a pumpkin lantern in the Timber Yard to scare the ghosts away. 01663 762023 /

Tues 30 Oct Manchester Museum Brainstorm: Sight and action 11am – 3pm. Drop-in, free, all ages. Find out how the eye and brain give us the ability to see. Explore how good your own sight is and what conditions can affect vision, and discover how closely vision, action and other senses such as hearing are linked in practical demonstrations. 0161 275 2634 / | Families Manchester 23

Families Manchester Issue 35 Sept - Oct 2012  
Families Manchester Issue 35 Sept - Oct 2012  

Families Manchester Magazine for September and October 2012