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Education Family Health Early Years New Year Resolutions

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January/February 2021


Familiesonline.co.uk January/February 1

Save the Date For Wear A Hat Day

Calling all families across the country: join us on Friday 26 March to take part in one of the UK’s biggest and most important brain tumour research fundraising and awareness-raising days. Join thousands of families and create entertaining hat-themed fundraising events to help find a cure for brain tumours. After a very challenging year, we know that Wear A Hat Day 2021 is perfectly timed to become a huge event, bringing hope and inspiring the nation like never before! Thanks to the brilliant charity partnership with Venture Studios, we’ve been gifted with inspirational and uplifting portraits of key worker families who, despite having their own devastating brain tumour stories, are determined to show the joy and positivity that is being involved in Wear A Hat Day. Register to take part.

Sign up today for your



Families urgently need a research breakthrough now www.wearahatday.org

#WearAHatDay | Together we will find a cure

Registered charity number 1153487 (England and Wales) SC046840 (Scotland). Company limited by guarantee number 08570737.

2 January/February

MARCH 2021

Photos by Venture Studios


©Venture Studios



In This Issue





New Year’s Resolutions for Kids


Activities: Crafts


Early Years


Outdoor Activities



We have the dark, chilly days of winter to get through and, despite the Christmas break, many of us are feeling battle-weary and fatigued. So it’s a great time to make some New Year’s resolutions that will get the family’s health back on track, mentally and physically. Check out our great health tips and ideas, as well as a fabulous ‘pull out’ New Year’s resolutions chart for kids on page 8.


Activities: Cooking

As we continue our 30th anniversary celebrations, there are lots of giveaways to come so be sure to sign up to receive free future issues of this magazine.

22 Family Life 24 Online Classes

Hang in there everyone – better times are coming!

Get in touch Families is a registered trademark of LCMB Ltd, Remenham House, Regatta Place, Marlow Road, Bourne End, Bucks SL8 5TD. The contents of this magazine are fully protected by copyright and none of the editorial or photographic matter may be reproduced in any form without prior consent of Families Print Ltd. Every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine but Families Print Ltd, its distributors, franchisees and LCMB Ltd cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents, or any consequences thereof.

Competition Winners Santa’s Lapland Holiday – Julia Cockwill Elfie’s Christmas Advent Letters Story Bundle Cheryl Davenport-Thomas Runners up: Loli Carballo, Rebecca Castle, Lisa Brennan, Claire Brown, Susan Turner

Families Magazine turns 30!

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Magazine January/February 3


Classic Free Audio Books for Kids A great way to introduce your child to these classic stories with no cost attached.

By Carlo Collodi. Ages 3+.

The Wind in the Willows

By Kenneth Grahame. Ages 6+.

When We Were Very Young

The Secret Garden

The Railway Children

Peter Pan

Adventures of Pinocchio

By Frances Hodgson Burnett. Ages 8+.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland By Lewis Carroll. Ages 4+.

4 January/February

By E. Nesbit. Ages 8+.

Aesop’s Fables Ages 4+.

By A.A. Milne. All ages.

By J.M. Barrie. Ages 8+.

The Swiss Family Robinson

By Johann David Wyss. Ages 7+. Familiesonline.co.uk


Books for Navigating Tricky Times

Encouraging Constant Learning

By Smriti Halls

By Dr Cath Bishop

A book can be a friend in lonely times, a delightful escape, a comfort blanket to wrap around us when the going gets tough. As a parent, sharing this understanding with your children is one of the best gifts you can give them. Find out how. READ MORE

“Who’s going to win?” From a young age, it seems natural to compare and compete with others. But, historically, what distinguished us from our ancestors was learning by cooperating, communicating and connecting. How can we help our children learn in this way? READ MORE

Getting Ready for SATs in 2021

How to Improve your Child’s Concentration

By Claire Winter

By Gail Hugman

Preparing for exams is a stressful time for everybody under normal circumstances. Added to this, children’s education has been severely disrupted by Covid with pupils estimated to be at least three months behind on their learning. So how to prepare children for SATs this year? READ MORE

If ever there was a time to help your child improve their learning skills, it’s now! Even without disrupted routines, many young children need help developing the skills of listening and concentration required in the classroom. Here’s how you can help your child. READ MORE


January/February 5


Learning Challenges for Kids From Bella Learning, these are open-ended, purposeful tasks, differentiated by age, that your child can do as part of home-schooling or at the weekend.

Challenge 1

Challenge 2

Challenge 3

Create a poster.

Create a rainbow collage.

Audit your toys.

Challenge 4

Challenge 5

Challenge 6

Celebrate a story.

Make a family tree.

Make a sunshine picture.

Challenge 7

Challenge 8

Challenge 9

Create an observation chart. 6 January/February

Interview a relative.

Make a treasure hunt.




4 3 %o y o j



in partnership with



Download + sign up to BEANSTALK, the newest member of the KidStart Family. The family app with one goal in mind, to make saving + investing easy for all!

And you’ll qualify for a 34% discount off your Reading Eggs + Mathseeds subscription. £46 for BEANSTALK members, usually £69.90.

Sign up now! Please note: capital as risk. As with any investment, the value can go down as well. Terms and conditions apply. Beanstalk is a trading name of KidStart Limited. KidStart Limited is authorised and regulated by Familiesonline.co.uk 7 January/February the Financial Conduct Authority. Our FCA number is 473606.

My New Year’s Resolutions!


This year I want to:

This year I need to:

This year I am going to start:

This year I am going to stop:

This year I am going to learn:



8 January/February



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Work flexible hours from home around your family!

Families Gloucestershire is the premium free magazine for parents of children ages 0 to 12 in Gloucestershire and it’s now looking for a new owner!

Become part of a growing, supportive network!

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Great competitions Autumn clubs and classes Family weekday suppers

If you are interested in: ● running your own

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Gloucestershire IN THIS ISSUE

Spring holiday special! Great ideas for a brilliant school break.

CONTACT US LEARN MORE Familiesonline.co.uk

Issue 2 January/February 2020

email: editor@familiescardiff.co.uk


January/February 9


Fabulous Crafts to Celebrate Chinese New Year 11-26 February

Easy Chinese Lantern

Egg Carton Dragon Dancing Puppet

Paper Dragon Slinkie

Dragon Mask

Chinese Lantern Suncatcher

Chinese Fan

Panda Paper Bag Puppet

Year of Ox Headband

Year of Ox Paper Plate

10 January/February



Get Moving with our Family Dance Party Playlist!

A-B-C, Easy as 1-2-3! ABCmouse.com

Happy Pharrell Williams (feat. Minions)

Can’t Stop the Feeling! Justin Timberlake

Gangnam Style PSY

Twist & Shout The Beatles

YMCA Village People

Dancing Queen ABBA

Who Let the Dogs Out Baha Men

Roar! Katy Perry


January/February 11


Best Nursery Rhymes & Action Songs for Pre-Schoolers

Little Peter Rabbit Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

Baby Shark

Finger Family Song

Little Bo Peep

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Little Miss Muffet

The Ants Go Marching

Itsy Bitsy Spider

12 January/February



The Benefits of Nursery and Things to Consider

The Lowdown on Potty Training

By Gabrielle Nash

By Andrew Campbell

Choosing good quality childcare is one of the most important decisions parents make. So whether you are assessing options for returning to work or considering part time childcare for your toddler, a nursery may be what you need. So what factors should you consider? READ MORE

There are various potty training methods and none of them are right or wrong! Each comes with advantages and disadvantages. So it’s important to consider what style is the best fit for your family. Slow and gentle, get it over quick or somewhere in between…. READ MORE

Working with Little Ones at Home

By Dr Sarah Mundy

Like me, you may be thinking that your multi-tasking skills were pushed to the limit before Covid! Working from home whilst looking after a preschooler isn’t easy so here are my tips on maximising your work time whilst still meeting your little one’s needs. READ MORE Familiesonline.co.uk

January/February 13


RSPB Bird-Related Garden Activities

Celebrate the Big Garden Birdwatch from 29 to 31 January!

Build a Bird Bath

Make a String Bird Go Bird Watching

Make a Flock of Fingers

Build a Bird Box

Go on an Indoor Scavenger Hunt

Play ‘Hungry birds’ Online

Make a Recycled Bird Feeder

Make a Speedy Bird Cake

14 January/February



Outside Activities Whatever the Winter Weather Rain


Float your boat. Make a boat and float it in a puddle or stream. Wet chalk art. Rain intensifies and blurs the colours of chalk for a spectacular effect. Make mud pies. Use old aluminium or plastic containers and have a bake off! Gauge the rain. Make a rain gauge with a plastic bottle and keep a log. Puddle jumping. Try jumping over, rather than in – who can jump the biggest? Collectathon. Gather some different sized containers outside and guess which will fill first.

Fly a kite. Make one from different materials and see which works best. Blow bubbles. Let the wind do the blowing and watch them swirl. Parachute play. Make a toy parachute using a handkerchief and toy figurine and throw up. Make wind chimes. Hang spoons, keys and beads from a coat hanger. Play Frisbee. Go somewhere with lots of space and let it rip! Make a wind sock. Attach streamers or ribbons to one end of a toilet roll holder and string to the other.


Break out the binoculars. Since leaves have fallen from trees, it’s a lot easier to spot birds and other creatures. Take a night hike. Using torches explore your neighbourhood during these dark early evenings. Build a campfire. Bring out hot chocolate and roast marshmallows and cook jacket potatoes in the embers. Go stargazing. Cold nights generally mean clear skies, perfect for watching stars. Hunt for treasure. Look for holly leaves, lichen, leaf skeletons, sticks, pinecones and acorns. Frost art. On a frosty morning, draw or write in the frost on the pavement


January/February 15


Kids’ Wellbeing Books All books can be purchased via Bookshop.org, an online bookshop with a mission to financially support local, independent bookshops.

First Emotions: How am I feeling?

Don’t Worry, Little Crab

The Worrysaurus

Mindful Kids

A gentle and simple A picture book working introduction to strong through anxiety and emotions for little ones. building courage.

A fun, reassuring tale about dealing with worries, by a bestselling author.

16 January/February

Ollie uses superpowers to overcome school bullies.

No Worries

50 creative mindfulness Interactive self-care games/exercises to activities for children help children find calm to find happiness, calm and relaxation. and confidence.

Mind Hug: The First Ruby’s Worry: A Story Big Bright Feelings A picture book Book adventure into mindfulness.

Ollie and His Superpowers

A perceptive and poignant story.

Worry Angels

Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers. Ages 8+. Familiesonline.co.uk


New Year Family Mental Health Resolutions

Five Tips for Feeling Fab in 2021

By Helen Spiers

By Karlin Sloan

On 1 January 2020, many of us made resolutions with no idea that a global catastrophe was imminent. The impact of the pandemic on our wellbeing is huge. So let’s use our 2021 resolutions to be kinder to ourselves and prioritise our family’s mental health. READ MORE

From the Covid-19 pandemic to the wave of economic loss, personal loneliness, isolation, and deep uncertainty about what’s in store, this is a time when even the toughest of us can find ourselves struggling. Here are some ideas to get you get back on track. READ MORE

Eating for Immunity By Claire Winter

Maintaining a balanced diet can be difficult in a world where unhealthy and processed foods are advertised frequently and are convenient. But during the pandemic, it is more important than ever to eat well and stay hydrated. How do you start off on the right foot? READ MORE Familiesonline.co.uk

January/February 17


Support Your Child’s Mental Health Help your child to understand how they are feeling and why with these free downloadable resources from PlanBee.

Feelings and Emotions Cards

These cards will get your child thinking and talking about feelings.

Design your Own Emotion Emojis

Your child can draw emojis that represent their feelings.

Worry Monster Activity Sheets

Help your child deal with their emotions. 18 January/February

Mood Tracker

Children can express emotions they are experiencing by colouring in an object.

Synonym Emotions Booklet

Identify words that are similar to emotions like angry, sad and happy.

Draw the Emotion

Feeling Check-in Cards

Emoji Emotion Faces Cards

Mindfulness Colouring Sheets

Challenge your children Check in with your to think about how different emotions are child and see what they are feeling. expressed facially.

Ask your child to talk about when they’ve felt these feelings.

Perfect to help young minds relax. Familiesonline.co.uk


Six Steps to Good Mental Health Help support your child’s mental health with these steps from PlanBee. Name emotions and feelings This helps your child develop a vocabulary to explain their feelings. Explain the physical sensations Help your child recognise how different emotions feel physically. Understand when/why Once your child can spot/name their emotions, help them understand the triggers. Help regulate Once they understand the source of an emotion, help them regulate. Keep everyone safe When feeling a big emotion, your

child’s brain doesn’t work in the same way as when they are calm. Help them stay safe and maintain boundaries. Once your child is calm, relate Listen, empathise and share similar experiences to help them understand their feelings and know you care.

Example of Steps 1-3

Example of Steps 4-6


Regulate/Keep Everyone Safe/ Relate

Name “I can see you are really angry.”

Regulate “Take a deep breath with me.”

Explain “Your face is scrunched up and your fists are clenched.

Keep Everyone Safe “I cannot let you hit me. If you need to get your anger out, try hitting this cushion.”

Understand “I am wondering if you are angry because someone didn’t let you play.”

Relate “Once I was so angry I wanted to throw things. Your grandad helped me calm down by giving me playdough to squeeze.”


January/February 19


Find ‘Me-Time’ and Achieve your Goals

Vegan Food for the Family – By Stealth!

By Carina Lawson

By Louise Palmer-Masterton

The pandemic arrived like a whirlwind, changing the way we live. Whilst it is still here, we have to make sure we and our families are motivated to stay on top of things and enjoy life as best we can. Here are some tips.

In my view, the way to win hearts and minds to veganism is by serving ridiculously delicious vegan food! But children can be notoriously difficult nuts to crack food wise and it helps to master the art of getting healthy food in by ‘stealth!’ READ MORE


Family Fitness By Claire Winter

It’s easy to use excuses like ‘too tired’ or ‘too busy’ to exercise. Exercising through the pandemic, with gyms and sports clubs often closed, is challenging. But regular exercise promotes physical and mental health in many ways. How can your family get fit this year? READ MORE 20 January/February



9 Best Pancake Recipes for Shrove Tuesday Experiment with some pancake-making on and around 16 February!

Banana Pancakes

Fluffy Black Forest Pancakes

Vegan Pancakes

Flourless Rainbow Pancakes

Upside-Down Pineapple Pancakes

Teddy Bear Pancakes

Mary Berry’s Easy Drop Scones

Easy Pancakes

Baby’s First Pancakes


January/February 21


Handling Co-Parenting Differences

The Guilty Parent Syndrome

By Rebecca Giraud and Bob Greig

By Dr Jan MacGregor Hepburn

Co-parenting is not easy, mistakes can and will be made but it’s the effort that we as parents put in that will really be of long-term benefit to our children. After all, loving our children is what we have in common with our ex-partner. READ MORE

As a parent, do you feel constantly guilty? About what you’ve said/done or not said/ done? If so, you’d be forgiven for thinking that guilt and parenting must be inextricably linked. And you would be right! BUT they don’t have to be….... READ MORE

Embracing your Inner Child

Special 15% Discount!

By Ed James, Mark and Nicky Taylor

Despite your intentions to parent your kids differently to the way you were parented, they probably view your parenting style in much the same way. But imagine the difference if you could combine the essential parts of adulthood and still be in touch with your inner child.... READ MORE 22 January/February

101 Questions Answered About Separating with Children has become an indispensable guide to divorce/ separation for parents. To mark the publication of the second edition, enjoy an exclusive 15% discount for Families readers from Only Mums and Only Dads. Use code FM10121 here. With legal help, tips and insights from professionals and parents, this book will save you time and money. Familiesonline.co.uk


The Impact of Covid-19 on Working Mums By Mandy Garner The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard for many individuals and groups, with working mums, particularly single working mums, being one of them. But the picture is complex. Women dominate in many of the most risky frontline sectors such as health, social care and education and in some of the hardest hit sectors such as hospitality and retail. Parttime jobs, traditionally done by women, have seen a precipitous fall, BUT women are less likely to be unemployed than men and many have gone into full-time roles. Then there is self-employment which has seen a big decline. A recent report from IPSE and Starling Bank showed women freelancers have been hardest hit financially by late payments of money owed to them and the associated mental impact and women-led businesses have suffered disproportionately. What is clear is that the impact of childcare problems during the pandemic has been most keenly felt by women, with countless studies, including our own surveys, showing women have been carrying most of the childcare/home schooling burden, despite dads increasing their input generally.

Our latest survey shows lockdown restrictions and school or year group closures are still causing huge challenges. READ MORE

Bella Learning Games

Fun educational games to download, print and play.

Reception, Year 1 & Year 2 Packs

Available Now!

For examples, tips and advice, find Bella Learning Games on Facebook and Instagram.

www.bellalearning.co.uk Familiesonline.co.uk

January/February 23


Live and Pre-Recorded Online Classes for Kids

Singing Hands

Live online baby/ toddler signing sessions.

Kidslingo LIVE

Mother Nature Little Gym at Home Science Online Club Online pre-recorded Live online science activity classes. Ages 4-12.

gymnastics based activities. Ages 4mths-12yrs.

Tots Play

SA Dance

Live online language classes. Ages 0-11.

Live online baby and toddler play classes.

Live online dance classes. Ages 2½+.

Teddies Online Music Club

La Jolie Ronde

Parrot Street Book Club

Pre-recorded online musical fun and arty ideas for under 5s. 24 January/February

Live online French and Spanish classes. Ages 5-11.

Monthly subscription book club. Ages 5-11. Familiesonline.co.uk


Live and Pre-Recorded Online Classes for Kids


The Place

Funky Moves

Live online language classes. Ages 0-12.

Live online dance classes. Ages 4-18.

Live online yoga and ballet classes. Ages 4-11.

Tiger Crane Kung Fu

Music Monsters

Smart Raspberry Cookery School

Live online martial arts classes. Ages 5+.

Go Sketch Club

Live online and prerecorded drawing and painting classes. Ages 7-12. Familiesonline.co.uk

Live online piano lessons. Ages 3-18.

Funky Monkeys Keyboard Classes Online pre-recorded tutorial programme. Ages 4-12.

Live online cookery classes. Ages 2+.

Bright Light Creative Writing Live online creative writing courses. Ages 6-11.

January/February 25

Profile for Families Magazine

Families Gloucestershire Jan/Feb 2021  

Survive winter lockdown with a Families issue that's full of colour and good cheer as well as plenty of tips and advice on keeping your fami...

Families Gloucestershire Jan/Feb 2021  

Survive winter lockdown with a Families issue that's full of colour and good cheer as well as plenty of tips and advice on keeping your fami...