Families London SW Nov-Dec 2020 issue 301 print

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South West

Christmas fairs • Illuminated trails • Boost your immune system Issue 301 November/December 2020


Helping children believe they can do anything Singing, dancing and acting classes for 4 - 18 year-olds

BATTERSEA 07956 288928 battersea@stagecoach.co.uk stagecoach.co.uk/battersea

NEW MALDEN 0208 540 7791 newmalden@stagecoach.co.uk stagecoach.co.uk/newmalden

FULHAM 07498 213142 fulham@stagecoach.co.uk stagecoach.co.uk/fulham

PUTNEY 020 8099 9861 putney@stagecoach.co.uk stagecoach.co.uk/putney WIMBLEDON 020 8946 3400 wimbledon@stagecoach.co.uk stagecoach.co.uk/wimbledon

Stagecoach Performing Arts is the trading name of Stagecoach Theatre Arts Limited. Stagecoach Theatre Arts schools are operated under franchise and are independently owned by their Principals. Stagecoach and Creative Courage For Life are registered trademarks of Stagecoach Theatre Arts Limited.

2 Families South West • November/December 2020


Indoor parties for winter This year of all years your child shouldn’t miss out on a fabulous birthday party! Just change a few things up and make the birthday different and memorable. What about breakfast in bed, a picnic lunch in the living room, dinner could be outside in a tent, around a campfire, or sitting in the car boot in a great outdoor location. The slightest difference will seem special and help make this challenging time more memorable, in a good way.

Here are some ideas from Families editors: Go to the theatre There are much fewer plays at the moment but there are some, see our What’s on section. Cooking up a storm Children of all ages will enjoy the mess, the creativity and the tasting involved when put in charge of cooking. kidsencuisine.com offer kits to order online like the bee pollen and chocolate cookies, coconut macaroon or lemon muffins. Go on a very special outing Make your child’s eyes twinkle by wandering through a canopy of stars and let him/her enjoy an amazing light show at the Treetop Walkway at Kew Gardens’ famous illuminated trail.

Bounce to a Trampoline Park FlipOut in Wandsworth has introduced Social bubble parties: intimate Covid compliant parties for 5 party guests and one supervising adult. www.flipout.co.uk Bushcraft party These are social distancing compliant parties of active and muddy fun for boys and girls from 5years. www.bushcraftparties.com 020 8959 9515. Zoom parties Of course it is not ideal but your child CAN have a great party. Choose from a virtual dancing party or a virtual music and games or even a science or arty one! Enlist the services of a

Order the birthday cake from a local company professional entertainer, who will make their day special. Remember to decorate your space and to provide a great cake! Why not have a Gymnastics based party? Little Gym offers private, fully supervised parties where you can enjoy exclusive use of the whole gym. The party is led by two qualified gymnastics instructors—children will have one hour to explore the gym during which the instructors will facilitate age-appropriate games and physical activity. Trust us, they’ll be busy! Little Gym use special gymnastics equipment as well as their parachute, balls and hoops. After an hour of fun and games in the gym, it’s time for birthday cake in the

Jack & Beyond provide beautiful handmade bespoke cakes for any occasion and for children’s birthdays. info@jackandbeyond.com.

special decorated party area. The party is private so your child and birthday guest will have 100% of the team’s attention. The best bit? They handle all the details and clean all the mess—you just show up with the children. Perfect for 1-12 years. The Little Gym Wandsworth and Fulham, Compass House, Riverside West, SW18 1DB wandsworthfulham.thelittlegym.eu 020 8874 6567

10% discount with code FAM10

Pappa Ciccia will deliver the pizza! Free delivery of delicious authentic Italian pizza and pasta “Kids voted our pizza as their favourite party food Gluten free and vegan options”

www.pappaciccia.com 4 Families South West • November/December 2020

PARTIES! Wonderfully fun musical parties for your under-5’s! Guitar-accompanied songs with actions, joining in, jumping and dancing, instruments, puppet and parachute! The perfect party for little ones. Call 020 8677 6871 info@blueberryplaysongs.co.uk www.blueberryplaysongs.co.uk


Ways to boost your Finding a way to manage our fear and anxiety to live a full life around the virus is extremely important for our own well being and creating a safe environment for our children to thrive can be challenging. Each person will cope with change in a different way and realistically the only thing that we can control is our own reactions. Fear reduces the body’s ability to have a healthy immune system, and here four specialists offer suggestions on how to boost your immune system.

Learn to stay centered

schools, corporate environments or midwives units to help people positively deal with their By Dominique Antiglio, Sophrologist, Author of issues, increase their confidence and prepare The Life Changing Power of Sophrology and them for important events. In France and BeSophro Switzerland, Sophrology is reimbursed by When we experience stress, we health insurance companies and often trigger several physiological prescribed by GPs and is now becoming “Sophrology is a reactions in our bodies, for a part of the wellbeing landscape in example we might get heart simple and effective the UK as a great alternative to palpitations or sweaty meditation. mental wellbeing practice palms. These changes in If you want to learn to combining breathing, relaxation, the body can also affect manage stress and sleep better gentle movement and the immune system, using Sophrology, BeSophro, a making us more prone visualisation. It’s a powerful tool leading Sophrology London to get ill from to positively deal with pressure Based clinic is launching a new infections and viruses. online course soon. For more and changes but also helps The good news is that information https://besupport restful sleep, decrease has mind and body are sophro.com/sophrologyconnected, we can use that anxiety and create the life courses-events-workshops/ connection to decrease the you want” impact of pressure and stress on our physiology. One of the ways we can protect ourselves as part of a healthy lifestyle is to learn to connect more with our body sensation and new ways to quickly bring balance in mind, body and emotion during stressful times or events. Staying centered under pressure helps parents to manage their own emotions such as irritability, fear or frustration and gives reassurance to children as they see how adults handle difficult situations. Parents often don’t have much spare time but they can complete a Sophrology session in 5-15 minutes and also practice on the go in many life situations. Sophrology has been used for over 50 years in Continental Europe notably in hospitals,

Love and laugh When we become parents caring for ourselves often gets put last and worrying about our children becomes our focus, but if we are not sleeping and live in a high state of anxiety our children will mirror this behaviour. Most communication happens without words and finding time to love and laugh with your children are key elements to reduce stress. Every family is unique and choosing your way to show love for each other could be via gentle exercise, reading, dancing, hugging, the list really is endless. But these activities increase oxytocin (the hormone of love) which creates internal warmth and reduces adrenaline and our fight or flight trigger. Social connection and finding your special tribe with similar values will provide a space to laugh and forget about the negative messages we keep hearing from the media—in all its forms, even if it’s for 1 or 2 hours. Finding your tribe (no toxic friends) creates a protective invisible shield around us and provides space to dump the negative energy and replace it with 6 Families South West • November/December 2020

warmth and laughter. We may need to socially distance but there are many positive stories to be shared during this time. Many people have reconnected with friends from their past, reached out to neighbours and bought a dog— these wonderful pets provide so much love, laughter, exercise and the opportunity to meet and chat to people you have never spoken to before. Keep a journal of the good things that happen every day, even if it is sitting down for 10 minutes with a cup of tea, carry out a body scan and ground yourself in the moment, looking out the window at the incredible seasonal changes that happen during Autumn. The winter is approaching with dark nights, but this is part of nature’s cycle of change, embrace it and snuggle down. Time for family rituals and games to be played. Consider both the written word and sketching in your journal or collecting leaves. Julie Morris, Therapeutic Counsellor with 10 years experience supporting new parents through, birth and early years www.nurtureyourtime.com familiesonline.co.uk

immune system ... De-stress with yoga By Nadia Raafat is a Senior Registered Yoga Teacher with over 15 years teaching experience. She teaches Yoga at Battersea Yoga Studio and online via her website at www.nadiaraafat.com One of the biggest challenges to a healthy immune system is stress. It's when we are working too hard, sleeping too little and harbouring too much long-term stress that our immunity breaks down. This is where yoga comes in. Yoga with its combined practice of body work, breath work and meditation floods the body with endorphins, “Yoga doesn't need reduces cortisol and clears to be Power Yoga, it can the whole body mind also be gentle nourishing system. Yoga postures and breath-work also and restorative. stimulate the Use the meditation aspect— and kappalabharti breaths are excellent for clearing mucus and cleansing the lymphatic system, integral to every good yoga lungs as well as building heat in the body. which cleanses the class whether within The yogis believe the abdominal centre body of toxins, movement or afterwards— is the centre for vitality and therefore the oxygenates all the centre for healing too. Any yoga programs to decongest the mind bodies organs with that targets the digestive tract will help targeted poses so that they and promote mental maintain good health. There are so many are functioning at their best, wellbeing” wonderful yogic practices for the abdomen from and conditions the lungs and the many twisting variations to core practices to respiratory tract. more specialist practices like Agni Sara. To prevent colds escalating yogis use the much Whatever your practice; a combination of loved neti pot—a sinus clearing devise (I use mine abdominal cleansing twists, chest clearing in the shower a few mornings per week) which is backbends and mind-calming forward bends preventative as well as remedial. If you have a combined with breath-work and meditation, sinus infection practicing inversions will help clear practiced 2-3 time week will support your the mucus build up. A strained throat will benefit body/mind system through the long dark days of from a shoulder stand or a plough pose— the autumn and winter seasons. especially the gentler yin versions, and bastrika

Gently does it Homeopathy can be an invaluable addition to your home medicine cabinet, especially during the winter months. Remedies for acute complaints are very effective and quick acting, and can be taken, by all of the family, safely, even during pregnancy. For chronic conditions it is best to arrange treatment with a qualified homeopath. For those of you new to homeopathy these are my top 6 remedies to support you and your family during the winter months, to help support the immune system and get on top of winter acutes: • ACONITE 30c: Take one hourly for three doses at the onset of cold or ‘flu symptoms. This is indicated if you have been caught out in the cold air and have become chilled and symptoms come on very suddenly.

• ARSENICUM ALBUM 30c: For addressing weakness and fatigue accompanying ‘flu symptoms. It is one of the most useful remedies in gastrointestinal ‘flu symptoms, to help with vomiting and diarrhoea. Take one dose hourly for three doses, and then every 3-4 hours until symptoms subside.


Staying strong and resilient through winter By Gus Grima, Nutritional Therapist, doTERRA wellness advocate www.bemarvellous.co.uk • Eat well, sleep well and stay hydrated. Eat lots of whole foods and veggies— including raw—be sure to use lots of garlic, fresh root ginger, green tea/extract, ground flaxseed. • Take cold showers or cold foot baths. Shown to boost certain white blood cells and other immune defences used to combat pathogens. • Boost your Vitamins C and D. Standard maintenance for Vitamin D is 2000iu daily. • Receive my 4-part Winter Wellness video series to your inbox (includes education on the use of doTERRA essential oils to support a resilient immune system): http://bit.ly/winterwellness-series

• BELLADONNA – For an acute high-grade fever that is very dry heat. Along with temperature, there may be a severe throbbing headache, sensitivity to noise, light, and touch. Belladonna 30C can be taken hourly to help support a patient during fever in the early stages of a virus. • BRYONIA – For a characteristically dry cough accompanied by pain in the lungs when coughing and fever. A cough that comes on after exposure to cold wind. • FERRUM PHOS 30c: For a dry spasmodic tickling cough with oppression or difficulty breathing. Take this after the ACONITE stage has passed for early cold and ‘flu symptoms 4 times daily. • PULSATILLA 30c: This remedy is indicated to treat a cold which has a characteristic copious green snot and rattly cough. It is great for teething infants to help remedy the pain of new teeth pushing through when it is accompanied by lots of congestion and coughing. This is indicated for children prone to asthmatic symptoms, who struggle with breathing during a cold. Candice is available for consultations via www.greendaisies.co.uk FamiliesSWLondon

The four of them have connected with four other wonderful women to create the Empowered Birthing Mother Summit to be held live on Facebook on 14/15 November raising funds for Doula UK Access Fund so all women can have support during birth. Please join us, all information available on Eventbrite and learn how to create a calm birth during The Time of Covid.

November/December 2020 • Families South West 7

Granard Primary School “Growing together; Achieving together”

A child’s first school is an important stepping stone into education. Granard is friendly, caring and inclusive. We nurture each child’s academic, sporting and music opportunities to enable them to succeed academically and socially. We provide a caring and nurturing environment for children from Nursery to Year 6 (age 3 — 11).

Come and find out about our excellent teaching, the support we offer and see our wonderful facilities, including our swimming pool. Please contact the school office on 0208 788 3606 to arrange a visit.

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Our Open Mornings are at 9.15 a.m. on: Wednesday 25th November Monday 14th December, Friday 8th January

Breakfast and After School Clubs available


Promotion Bonjour, I am Florence the founder of Kids En Cuisine, the only cookery school for children focused on natural, organic ingredients, aromatic herbs and spices since 2014 and in partnership with Planet Organic and Whole Food Market.


ear after year, I built my reputation on the quality of my menus and my unique way of teaching your children about healthy food. My team of professional chefs and I teach private classes in the comfort of your homes, in schools, in stores and give you many cooking tips. Interestingly, it wasn’t just children taking online cooking classes during the lockdown. Often I had entire families joining their children week after week to improve their cooking skills.

Kids En Cuisine is now back in the school clubs and continues to run private cooking classes. We also offer online birthday parties by delivering the cooking kits to your guests and you can also buy special Kids En Cuisine cooking utensils and my recipe book ‘Cook with Flo’ through our online boutique. Use the code FAMILIES to get 15% OFF my great recipe book 'Cook with Flo’. A great stocking filler!

Au revoir. Chef Flo.

I quickly adapted my business by offering online classes and delivering the ingredients to my little chef’s doorsteps. Behind the scenes, Planet Organic played an important role by supporting me and offering the organic ingredients to my clients who booked me. They helped me to maintain the high standards of Kids En Cuisine and my reputation as a chef. A big thank you to them!



November/December 2020 • Families South West 9



by Melissa Reynolds, one of our Roving Mums

Motherhood can be hard, and mums need to take advantage of anything they can to make it easier. Families has gathered what we think are 10 amazing apps to help you out during those early years of parenthood from feeding, to friends who get it, to even finding a good loo!

Milk Maid Any new mum knows that breast feeding on its own can be difficult, let alone adding pumping to the mix. Milk Maid eases a bit of the burden by taking care of the breast pumping details. You can record your pumping sessions, keep track of your inventory of fresh and frozen milk – as well as the location of your milk storage (home, office, mum’s house). The app also keeps track of bottles and bags by pumping date, includes a timer as well as left and right breast tracking. Data can be imported into a spreadsheet or email for sharing. Families Tip: While Milk Maid is focused on pumping, check out Mommy’s Milk or The Nursing Log for breastfeeding tracking too.

Peanut No matter what stage of life you’re in, Peanut has a group of supportive women who will totally get what you’re going through. Everyone needs a supportive woman or two in their corner, and users can find women close to them in all different situations: trying to conceive, pregnant, with a little one home, in nursery, being a working mum and more. Share your story and find that you’re not alone and there are indeed others in your village willing and waiting to help! Families Tip: New motherhood can bring about a sense of loneliness and isolation, Peanut can help you find other mums close to you to join your village. Take advantage!

Mom maps Find more than 28,000 fun locations for kids with Mom maps. In a strange place, it can be difficult to find what you need. Mom Maps uses your GPS to provide you with a selection of the places you need with kids in tow. From playgrounds to restaurants, to museums and indoor play areas, each location comes with

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photos, reviews and user ratings. Locations span across the US, UK and Paris. You can also let others know your experience by updating your Facebook and email with the app. Families Tip: Good places to eat and play can be hard to find, especially with kids. If you hit on a good one, be sure to bookmark it and spread the word!

Keepy Refrigerator door covered with artwork? Wall space rapidly disappearing? Keepy allows mums to avoid the recycling bag arguments and organize, save and share all of the artwork, awards and photos that come with childhood. Memories can be ordered in a timeline and can be enhanced with video and voice narration. Save not only photos but memories of trips, sporting events, even report cards. Keep memories of more than one child and delete them as you want. Be sure to share with whomever you want to.


Families Tip: Try saving your favourites into a digital album that can be printed out later. Your children will love looking at it in years to come!

Lullaby for babies Everyone needs a bit of help falling asleep sometimes, especially babies. Babies and toddlers love the soft, relaxing music that lullaby’s provide. Simply set the timer, pick your lullaby or run a slideshow of several. Choose from Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, the sound of waves or chirping birds. Be sure to set your device well away from any curious hands.


Families Tip: If these tunes don’t strike your little ones fancy, give White Noise For Baby, Relaxing Lullaby or Baby Sleep Sounds a try. Sweet dreams! And remember not to keep the phone next to baby’s head, but as far as posssible.


Bubble Wolf + Friends

Every parent knows what it’s like being stuck for a babysitter when you really need one. Bubble allows you to choose a verified and vetted sitter for whenever you need, for however long you need, all in one app. Simply choose the time and date you need, browse through the available sitters, their qualifications and reviews, then message, confirm and pay the £3.50 booking fee! It’s simple and easy and allows you to have some time alone knowing your children are well looked after. Families Tip: A good sitter can be hard to find. If you find one you really like who is good with your children then be sure to remember who they are and book them next time.

Wolf+Friends The parents of special needs children sometimes need special advice and support. Wolf+Friends brings special needs parents together with other caregivers and providers. Users can share stories, find support and connect with parents who face the same issues they face! Users can also connect with experts such as developmental and behavioural pediatricians, occupational therapists, feeding therapists and more. Virtual events are also offered regularly. While the app is only available in the US, they have recently launched their community on the mighty networks app and people anywhere can join at https://members.wolfandfriends.com. Families Tip: Having a special needs child can sometimes feel isolating. Wolf+Friends offers a community of people who know the issues you face as a parent and are here to help. Baby Sparks

The Wonder Weeks Based on the bestselling book of the same name, the app takes things a few steps further. With the app you can keep track of your baby’s “leap” in mental development and know when your baby is going to be in a fussy mood due to a leap. The app also lets you know when and what your baby’s next leap will be and how to both support and stimulate their development. Families Tip: Being a new mum can be scary, especially not knowing what those fussy times mean. The Wonder Weeks can help take some of that uncertainty away.

Baby Sparks You’ve fed them, you’ve changed them and they napped. Now what? Baby Sparks provides you with educational activities to do with your little one each day. The app will give you up to 11 age-appropriate activities each day that touch on different developmental categories such as gross motor skills, speech, etc. the activates look at different textures, rolling, object permanence and hitting a target, among many more. With Baby Sparks your calendar is full of great things to do! Families Tip: Why not make it a group activity? Invite a few mums you know with babies of a similar age and get your social needs met at the same time! Your baby will love the other baby interaction too.

NCT Babychange Baby changing facilities can be hard to find when you need them. With NCT Babychange you can find your nearest changing location, rate it on how clean and user friendly it is and add new facilities as you find them! The app uses GPS and Google Maps to find the locations closest to you, with blue dots indicating those in operation, amber dots are unverified and red dots are the choicest facilities. You can rate your experience, and leave a review when finished! Nature’s call has never been so easily answered! Families Tip: Now that you know how to find the changing station, don’t forget to keep your nappy bag stocked with supplies all the time. You never know when nature may call.

Being a mama is hard, feeling the best version of yourself shouldn't be. Be the strong, energised and confident mama you're meant to be in only 14 weeks with online fitness coaching. • Flexible workouts to suit you at home or in the gym • Your own postpartum personal trainer • Fitness solutions around your daily routine • Programme available to you anywhere in the world, with access by phone or laptop through our app. Apply to join our new programme today: www.londonfitnessmamas.com/apply



November/December 2020 • Families South West 11

Fabulous illuminated trails !

Go outdoors this winter and forget it all. Immerse yourselves in these amazing experiences. You will be treated to the most remarkable sights.

Glow 2020 at RHS Garden Wisley www.rhs.org.uk/wisleyglow From 21 November 2020 to 4 January 2021 Tickets non members adults £15 children £10. Tickets for Glow 2020 must be booked online in advance. Routes are fully accessible. The festive event at RHS Garden Wisley has been reimagined for 2020 with a new route, captivating lightshows and musical accompaniment designed by an in-house team

Leonardslee illuminated spectacular www.leonardsleegardens.co.uk From 4-6, 11-13, 17-22 December Adults £16, children £8, free entry for 2 years old and under. Leonardslee is open seven days a week from 9am to 5pm, with last entry 3:30pm. Café, shops and restaurant Visitors to Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens this Christmas will experience an ‘illuminated spectacular’, an after-dark winter light trail over three consecutive weekends in December. The gardens will be lit up with light displays and projections onto the historic mansion buildings and the lakes in the Grade I Listed Gardens, with live music and theatrical performances for all the family. Don’t miss the magical Christmas Moon floating above the lake, music theatre performances of bed-time lullabies collected from local mothers & across the world; large scale 3D video animation projections onto the gardens’ trees and buildings and the fierce winter wolves and mythical Leonardslee forest fire dragon.

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to highlight some of the garden’s best-loved sights. Twinkling lights draw visitors through the Pinetum, Seven Acres and Wisteria Walk, with spectacular moments en route and vibrant displays to be found both inside and outside the Glasshouse. There will also be warming drinks and tasty treats to enjoy from Taste of Wisley and the Wisley Shop will open for visitors to browse gift ideas for all the family.

Magical outdoor illuminated trail at Blenheim Palace Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PP Early booking is strongly advised. Tickets adult £19-£21.50, child £13-£15, and family £60-£68 (2 adults and 2 children). blenheimpalace.com 20 November 2020–3 January 2021 Following last year’s sell-out success, Christmas at Blenheim Palace returns to this historic UNESCO World Heritage Site with a host of stunning new installations along the one-mile trail. Don’t miss the Heart of Stars, a stunning, magical lighting effect scatters thousands of tiny refracted beams across the path leading to the Rose Garden immersing visitors within fantastical, swirling and changing patterns. Enjoy the popular Tunnel of Light, this majestic tunnel, adorned with over 100,000 pea-lights and almost 50 metres long, is stunning to look at from a distance or to immerse yourself in. See also page 23 for Kew Gardens illuminated trails. It is practically fully booked as we go to press.



How to inspire your child to write— and improve literacy I’m Clare, the teacher and private tutor behind CreativeHare. I started online tutoring because I know that inspiring children to write effortlessly improves literacy—leading to positive consequences across the board in school attainment. Ten years in the classroom has taught me that nurturing children in small, friendly groups not only brings out the best in each individual, but provides the most effective and impactful learning environment. CreativeHare offers term-time and holiday writing clubs, debating courses and poetry classes all designed to empower children to succeed.

confidence and learning with enjoyable educational after-school activities. Each course is taught by a qualified Primary School teacher and Private Tutor with each child given regular one-on-one attention whilst working within a small group.

Parents receive detailed feedback on their child’s progress. It is such a privilege to be a part of a child’s academic breakthrough so we work with young people of all abilities, from those with special educational needs, to those looking to be challenged at a higher level.

Invest in your child’s future, build confidence and watch them fly with CreativeHare. To book, visit www.creativehare.co.uk “Clare has an innate warmth, calm and kindness - perfect for setting any child at ease. She is clearly passionate about her subject and her wellplanned online writing classes inspired the same enthusiasm in my daughter. I was astonished to see my 7 year old emerge from a full hour of focused work, with pages of writing, full of excitement, enjoyment and pride in her work.” Parent, 2020.

Our courses: • Increase confidence and self esteem • Foster creativity • Develop analytical minds • Improve spelling, punctuation and grammar skills • Provide excellent experience for school entrance exams • Make learning fun Our imaginative and creative lessons are designed to ignite your child’s curiosity and increase their



November/December 2020 • Families South West 13

Need a space for a

class, course or a meeting room


14 Families South West • November/December 2020


Holiday activities over the Christmas period Perform Clapham South, Wimbledon, Chelsea, Kensington and more www.perform.org.uk 21-23 December Fantastic holiday course with the theme of Beauty and the Beast for 4-10yrs. 10am- 3pm. Book via the website.

Upbeat pop and rock holiday camps 07816 901396 www.upbeatmusiccourses.co.uk Multi-activity music camps, offering something for everyone for 4-12 yr olds. Try out new instruments, sing and dance, play in a band, write and record a song. Small courses that cater for each individual whether beginner or advanced. 18 years experience, bringing creative holiday fun to children. Join the BAND!

Naomi Martin Touch Typing Fulham www.nmtouchtyping.co.uk naomi@nmtouchtyping.co.uk Holiday touch typing courses weeks of 14-18th December and 21st-24th December. See website for more details - times and availability. £250 for the 5 day course, £200 for the 4 day course, sibling discounts available. Ages 7-18.

Et Patati Patata caroline@etpatatipatata.com 07966 893674 www.etpatatipatata.com 21 December-1 January French Christmas holiday. A daily routine, full of fascinating French content: 2.30 hours of French online, every day for 5 consecutive days.

Yellowbird Education

Santa at your door

Parsons Green Prep School, 1 Fulham Park Rd, Fulham SW6 4LJ Yellowbirdeducation.com 020 7731 0695 21-23 December Hugely popular educational workshops in Creative Writing, Interview Skills & Reasoning.

Call the Santa hotline 07969 121094 0208 959 1045 or email info@adamantsparties.co.uk www.adamantsparties.co.uk Why not arrange a magical visit from Santa on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or any other time? Santa will deliver presents. He will sing a few festive songs and nibble a mince pie or two. This is a Covid friendly experience.

Kids En Cuisine Award-winning, original, multi-sensory musical classes. Bubbles, costumes, massage, sensory textures and lights, puppets and more. Also deliver fabulous parties. Classes designed for each stage of your baby’s development. Baby bells: Newborn- sitting Beeps: Sitting- Standing Happy house: Toddler & siblings * Classes in Clapham, Battersea, Balham, Putney, Kew, Wandsworth, Fulham, Chelsea, Barnes, Sheen, Earlsfield, Southfields and Victoria. Kimmy@hartbeeps.com * Classes in Streatham, Wimbledon, Colliers Wood and Tooting Niamh@hartbeeps.com www.hartbeeps.com


info@kidsencuisine.com From 14 to 18 December £15 per day or £65 for the week Christmas menus (Starters, main dishes and desserts)

Lady Rothschild holiday houses estateoffice@ashton.ohllimited.com 01832 272264 www.ashtonestatecountryholidays.co.uk

Can’t go away? Discover the magic in the UK of Ashton Wold nr. Oundle—home to a series of luxury self-catering holiday houses. Each house is unique in style and character, decorated with both comfort and modernity in mind. Surrounded by wildflower meadows, rolling farmland and ecologically important woodlands it is not uncommon to spot an assortment of animals including deer, badgers, squirrels, foxes, rabbits and red kites. FamiliesSWLondon

Home from Home with Chilly Powder

Chilly Powder

For information about Chilly Powder chalets for summer and winter visit www.chillypowder.com Do you prefer winter or summer in the Alps… or both? Francesca, Paul and their three children live in Morzine in France all year round and have a good knowledge of Alpine traditions and the Morzine people. Having adapted their chalet holiday style over the years to suit the tastes of their regular guests, they offer the perfect ski and summer holidays for either families, couples or mixed groups in relaxing luxury, with fantastic food and outstanding facilities, with unrivalled in-house childcare facilities. For many returning guests Chilly Powder is considered a real home from home. Lady Rothschild holiday cottages Paint Pots

Paint Pots Festive Fun Paint Pots, St Mary The Boltons, The Boltons, London, SW10 9TB Book online at www.paintpotshouse.com 14-18 December Arts, crafts and music all with a seasonal twist. Children will craft their own festive gifts, have fun and make friends. 12-18mths: 9.45-11.45am, £45 18-26mths: 9.45-11.45am, £45 and 3-4pm, £20 (All 12-18mths & 18-26mths sessions are accompanied) 3-6yrs: 2-4pm, £45 (All 3-6 yrs sessions are unaccompanied)

Upbeat Music

Calling all young Scientists! Help us discover how babies & kids learn! We’re recruiting infants from birth to school age to take part in fun studies at the Birkbeck Babylab in central London. Our prime location is easy to reach and we refund travel expenses. We also have online studies you can do from the comfort of home www.cbcd.bbk.ac.uk/online-studies

020 7631 6258 babylab@bbk.ac.uk www.cbcd.bbk.ac.uk November/December 2020 • Families South West 15


Brand new family club in Putney now open for bookings! After the action, mum and dad can hit the cafe lounge for a light bite, healthy smoothie or a much deserved glass of wine, while children can explore and play in their stunning interactive play areas.

Opening January 2021

GetSetGo! have also created a dedicated co-working space that will allow parents to pursue their career without compromising parenthood - or facing the overwhelming guilt of trying to do it all!

Put simply, GetSetGo! will provide the ultimate space for the whole family to enjoy! putney@get-set-go.com www.get-set-go.com/club-putney


GetSetGo! is the vision of two mums, Claire and Alina, who have a shared goal to create the highest quality, most comprehensive leisure service for families in SW London.

Opening in January 2021, the GetSetGo! Club will offer a beautiful, clean (and covid-ready) space that has been carefully designed to be safe, enriching and multifunctional. And all without the membership fee usually associated with a club of this calibre.

GetSetGo! will offer a full programme of activities, from baby groups to teen fit, ‘mummy and me’ classes, dance, martial arts, swimming lessons and so much more for children; not forgetting the adult group sessions that will be offered before and after work.

brand new club for families is preparing to open its doors in Putney in the new year, with online bookings now open for swim, dance and a huge array of fitness classes.

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How many toys does a child need? By Andrew Campbell Toys have a way of taking over. Of course, it starts innocently enough. As a parent you love your child and you want to make them happy. But before you know it, you find yourself kneedeep in discarded Legos and naked Barbie dolls. The children are bored; the house is a mess; no one is happy! Toys are easy to come by these days. Equally, parents who cannot spend as much time with their children as they would like may try to occupy them with new toys or assuage their guilt with gifts. We may also feel a compulsion to buy our children things to show we love them, or equally powerfully, feel a desire for our children to have more than we did. The reality though is that most families have too many toys. And sadly, more toys actually equals less play. So why is this? Children are easily overwhelmed with choice, and a child who is unsure of what to play with often ends up playing with nothing at all. But the problem is even more fundamental. Our obsession with flashy plastic junk has taught our children to be passive participants in play. Instead of playing with toys, they expect to be amused by them. And they are… for about five seconds. Then it is back to the toy box. According to a study published in the journal Infant Behaviour and Development, an environment with fewer toys is better for children. The study observed thirty six toddlers. Some

were given four toys, and some sixteen. It was found that an abundance of toys actually reduced the quality of toddlers’ play. Fewer toys helped toddlers focus better and play more creatively. And it’s not just about the quantity of toys. The quality is also factor. Another study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that the best toys for constructive play are non-electronic ones: the ones that are simpler and support parents and children playing, pretending, and interacting together. More and more families are taking a ‘minimalist’ approach to toys - cutting back on the clutter and focusing on quality over quantity. With Christmas approaching, now may be a good time to consider this approach. There are lots of gifts that will give your child more long-lasting enjoyment than toys, and, in many cases, create memories that will be special to them in years to come. Take a look at our ideas below!

Instead of toys… One-on-one outings: your child chooses an activity to do with you like skating, dining out or bowling. Experiences: lots of possibilities including junior zoo experience, steam train journey, go-karting or a theme park.

Reclaiming your space 20 toy rule: ask your child to select 20 toys to keep. Store or give away others. Start slow: children often resist giving up toys. If the 20 toy rule doesn’t work, start with one thing first. Talk about giving/ donating and generosity. Prioritise binning the plastic junk, like Happy Meal-type toys! Start Rotating: A well-organised toy rotation reduces clutter and encourages children to play with more toys. The available toys change regularly, so there’s always something new. Display toys: Toys that can’t be seen go unused. Instead of themed areas where they are largely on display;

Magazine subscriptions: there are loads of great magazines for children from comics to specialist magazines covering everything from football to history. They will love regularly receiving one in the post! Memberships: if there’s a zoo, aquarium or museum in your area, gift your child a membership so they can attend regularly. Some sporting clubs have special junior membership categories. Binoculars or a telescope: throw in a guide to birds, wildlife or astronomy. Subscription boxes: whether it’s cooking, gardening or craft, the monthly delivery of creative goodies will keep on giving.

Request alternative: Ask friends and family to take your child on an outing, instead of buying toys. Request that grandparents keep toys they buy at their home for when your child visits;

Classes: whether it’s dance, drama, art or athletics, your child can enhance their skills doing something they love or want to learn.

4 gift rule: Try the 4 gift rule at Christmas or birthdays. There are four categories: something they want, need, go to/ experience, and read.

A small fruit tree to grow and nurture: a lovely long-term gift.



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18 Families South West • November/December 2020




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20 Families South West • November/December 2020


What’s On November/December 2020 It’s more important than ever to be local and SHOP local, so make a point of spending as much as you can where your heart is. These shows and Christmas fairs need your support.


CHRISTMAS MARKETS @giftsightfair 2-15 Nov Online. Luxury Hampers, Festive foods, Gourmet gifts & Stocking fillers. Award-winning oak smoked salmon, fish, meats & cheese, glazed hams, artisan treats and drinks cellar.

The Country Living Christmas Fair Live At the Business Design Centre in Islington, from 11-15 November.

@LoveWimbledon Christmas Market Live. 12 days of seasonal gifts and fabulous food, every weekend on The Piazza from 21 November until 20 December.

@sparklecraftfair Online. 22 Nov 6-8.30pm and 23 & 24 Nov from 10am-5pm. Your sparkling, arty crafty festive season starts here!

@Virtual Christmas market On Facebook. Take a look and support our small businesses. Until the 15th December.

santasgrotto.live Personalised call for each child who can chat live to Father Christmas in his virtual grotto. Parents, grandparents and up to 6 children can all share the magical experience together from anywhere in the world

@macmillanmerton with @brilliantlittlebrands Online. Fabulous one stop shop. Support the 100+ businesses listed. A wonderful alternative to the online giants. 10% of every sale for Macmillan Cancer.

@solocraftfair Online. 12 nights

My Christmas orchestral adventure Royal Albert Hall SW7 2AP www.royalalberthall.com December 13 Travel the world on an orchestral adventure to help Father Christmas find his map. Ice skate on frozen lakes, go on a sleigh ride and enjoy a white Christmas, all from the comfort of your seats. Share the joy of classical music with your little ones this holiday season.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Until 12 December 2020 www.flutetheatre.co.uk Flute Theatre pushes the boundaries of Shakespeare performance for audiences with autism and their families across the world, they return with a new series of online interactive performances.

Backyard cinema Capital Studios SW18 1ET www.backyardcinema.co.uk Get into the holiday spirit with some great outdoor cinema. Choose from Home Alone, The Grinch, Elf and more. Tickets go fast. Food and beverages for sale and social distancing rules apply.

Cookies that Count cookiesthatcount@gmail.com www.swfruitandveg.com Teach your little ones the value of giving. Every order of Cookies that Count comes with a personalized letter from Santa and your chosen charity, organization or school will receive 50% of the profits. The chocolate and cinnamon cookies are available beginning the second week of December. Enjoy!


@landmarkartfairs Live. The Festive Emporium will be opened every weekend commencing Friday 13 November to Sunday 6 December, 10.30am to 4.30pm. Entry £4. Booking is essential.

Chelsea Physics Garden Live! 28 November. 100 curated stands, showcasing the finest independent suppliers within the beautiful surroundings of the Garden as well as delicious food and drink. Booking essential, no walk-ups.

@duchyfairs Online. 21&22 November. Filled with super talented independent artists and makers and always lots of fun.

The Digital Craft Festival Online. 27-29 November. 150 exhibitors, a wealth of product launches, inspirational exhibits, workshops and demonstrations for everyone to enjoy for free at digitalcraftfestival.co.uk

Jingle bell blast Thames Rockets SE1 7AE www.thamesrockets.com Carol sing your way through a festively decorated London as you travel by super speedy speedboat. Get set to “fly” through Canary Wharf, sweep across the docklands before you zip on home.

of Christmas: each Monday night they are doing virtual shopping 7.309pm.

Food banks The number of children in poverty is set to reach five million this year. Make sure you donate to Foodbanks this year. You can either drop non-perishables at checkout points at your nearest Foobank, in bins in selected supermarkets or donate online www.bankuet.co.uk

Chessington garden centre will have a Christmas grotto. No details at time of going to press. Check website. www.chessingtongardencentre.co.u k/santachristmaswonderland2020

Support refugee women www.wearebreadandroses.com Bread and Roses is an awardwinning social enterprise on a mission to help women from refugee backgrounds flourish and build their lives in the UK through floristry training programmes. Pre-order your beautiful wreath from 1st November, deliveries to London postcodes between the 4th and 6th December. The wreaths will be made available in two sizes: medium £40 and large £65.

Wishing all our dear readers a very happy Christmas season! FamiliesSWLon

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22 Families South West • November/December 2020


What’s On November/December 2020

Christmas Holiday Events


Matilda the Musical Cambridge Theatre WC2H 9HU www.lwtheatres.co.uk Begins November 2020 Sit back and enjoy Roald Dahl’s beloved book come to life in musical form! The award-winning musical tells the story of an extraordinary little girl who dares to take a stand and change her destiny! Children under 3 years of age not admitted. Age 6 and up. £20

Stick Man Rose Theatre, KT1 1HL www.rosetheatre.org 10 December – 3 January Stick Man is back to delight fans of all ages for the holidays! What starts out as a morning jog becomes a series of misadventures for Stick Man! Stick around and see if he makes it home to his family for Christmas!

The Magic of Christmas ZSL London Zoo NW1 4RY www.zsl.org 5-24 December The zoo will be full of holiday cheer with Santa in his magical grotto, a fun, festive family trail to explore and the brand new Sensory Sweet Shop! Take a trip through the fantasy sweet shop then grab a treat to go.

Christmas kids tour The Original Tour SW1Y 5BL www.theoriginaltour.com Experience the magic of Christmas in London, all from the warm comfort of a tour bus! The 45 minute tour will take your and your little one past the best sights of London, with Christmas carols, stories and a lot of fun. A must to kick off everyone’s holiday time!

Christmas at Kew Kew Gardens, TW9 3AE www.kew.org 18 November to 3 January Kew Gardens’ famous illuminated trail is back this holiday season! Wander through a canopy of stars, neon-wrapped trees and an amazing light show at the Treetop Walkway. Enjoy street food, mulled wine and hot chocolate! Social distancing measures will be in place. 4pm to 10pm.

The Colour House Theatre Merton Abbey Mills SW19 4 Dec - 3 Jan 2021 Saturdays 11am, 1pm & 3pm. Sundays 1pm & 3pm. Weekdays 12pm & 2pm £12 (£10 conc) Cinderella. A brand new socially distanced musical pantomime. Tickets must be pre-booked online. £1.50 online booking fee


The Gruffalo and the Snowman Cadogan Hall SW1X 9DQ www.cadoganhall.com 21 December only Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s beloved book The Gruffalo comes alive with a narrator and orchestra. Each character is represented by a different instrument in the orchestra. The Snowman boasts a live symphony orchestra with 11-year-old soloist Alice Mackenzie singing Walking in the Air!

Tulleys drive -in Christmas Show Tulleys Farm, RH10 4PE www.tulleysfarm.com November 28 to December 24 During your drive through Tulleys fields enjoy the Father Christmas Story, gingerbread, teddy bears and letters to Santa! The Christmas Diner can also deliver food to your car 30 minutes prior. Tickets must be booked in advance. From £8.95

• Families London South West is part of Families Print Ltd, a franchise company. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. Families® is a registered trademark of LCMB Ltd, Remenham House, Regatta Place, Marlow Road, Bourne End, Bucks SL8 5TD. • The contents of Families London South West are fully protected by copyright and none of the editorial or photographic matter may be reproduced in any form without prior consent of Families London South West. • Designed and Printed by Ridgeway Press, Wilts. • Every care is taken in the preparation of this magazine, but Families SW, our distributors, the franchise company, Families Print Ltd and Lifecycle Marketing cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents, or any consequence thereof. • Paper used to print Families is from fully-managed sustainable sources.

To advertise: 020 8696 9680 | Editorial: editor@FamiliesSW.co.uk | News: news@FamiliesSW.co.uk Adverts/Artwork: adverts@FamiliesSW.co.uk | Events/Diary Dates/What’s On: whatson@FamiliesSW.co.uk Next Issue: Nov/Dec 2020 | ISSN 1354-9553. | All contents ©Families SW 2020.


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