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March/April 2012 issue 81

n T h a m es

, Ki agazine for families w of Richmond ngston, Elmbrid EE m ith y ge, Ho roughs The FR oung c o b e h t unslow hildren living in

ne and Spelthor

Give your child a head start at school!


The online reading program for children!


Register your child at and use this code: UKM23UPT Hurry, this great trial offer ends on 30th April 2012

YES, YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL! Successful ‘business mum’ is seeking 5 working partners to work part-time from home, alongside & without compromising family commitments or current career. If you have a supervisory, managerial, sales, marketing, recruitment or self-employed background, or you wish to develop an extraordinary lifestyle, 28/1/12


please call Diana Page 01235 533 362

Page 1

Confidence, Communication and Concentration Book your FREE Drama Class today

Watch your child’s self-esteem soar with Perform’s unique drama, dance and singing classes. Our Classes for weekly workshops will do wonders for their 4 – 8s and 8 – social, linguistic and physical development as Visit perform 12s. well as being the best fun they’ll have all week. to find your nearest venue. Clothes from Bow & Tie London

Image from


Book now fo r our


Alice in Wond onderful erland three day sp ring holid 0845 400 1284

ay courses! Regular updates for local families at

Bocketts Farm Park 31st Mar -15th Apr




N Lit Hoppi tle Small ngton An Villageimal !

FANTASTIC FAMILY FUN THIS SPRING! › 300 New Lambs due › Easter Egg Hunt Trail › NEW! Big Animal Barn open! › Meet the Tractor

PLUS Trampolines, animal handling, tractor rides, pig racing and pony rides daily!



£1 off full price farm entry per person (max 5 people) valid any day in March 2012. Only with this voucher.

TW8 TW9 TW11

Football training for under 5s who are nuts about football Get your midfield dynamo enjoying super-skills, fun & exercise

Reg charity no: 1093411


diagnosed with a


each year

CRB checked & FA qualified coaches


3 30


T A H A R 12 A E 20 W AY S D HELP UTHE brain tumour


£7 MILLION every year to fight brain tumours

Training sessions, courses & parties across London

NEW! Match Play for Under 8s Kumon’s maths and English study programmes work to build your child’s confidence and inspire a passion for learning. To unlock your child’s potential, contact your local Instructor for a Free Assessment: Cobham & Esher Hufrez Bharucha 01737 359812

Twickenham Tulika Jhingran 0560 330 9814

St Margarets Manjusha Malhotra 020 8737 3527

Weybridge Karen Asamoah 01932 423 144

GET INVOLVED – CALL: 01296 733011 2 020 7937 7965

Boost your child’s confidence

March-April 2012


Spring starts here

See page 9 for lots more about Bow & tie London

I always say springtime is when the year really kicks into gear and it’s been great fun putting together all the local info about events, activities and services for families in this issue. Great fun but tinged with sadness as this is my very last issue as editor of Families upon Thames. Thanks so much to all the advertisers, contributors, distributors and readers who have supported the magazine for the last 11 years. Since November, I have had the absolute pleasure of working with the new editor, Linda Stone, who will be embarking the job in earnest on 1st March, starting with the May/ June issue. Turn to page 10 to read her first piece and the beginning of an exciting new series in the magazine – Just for you. Linda has some amazing plans and I’m certain she will take Families upon Thames from strength to strength. So it’s goodbye from me … and a very big welcome to Linda.


Spring spelt out


News and views


Mums mean business

10 Just for you 11

Mother’s Day


Childcare at home

14 Local Easter ideas 16 Spring reads 17

School news

Until 29th February FRANCES LOATES, editor t: 01932 254584

18 Baby page

From 1st March LINDA STONE, editor t: 07530 283330

19 Meet the nappy guru

e: @FamiliesuponT

20 Coping with stress 21

What’s on

March-April 2012



Step into Spring S

is for Swishing - a great way to save the planet and have some fun. Become a Swishette by simply digging out your unwanted clothes, organising a get together with your friends, neighbours and family and swap your old ones for their ‘new’ ones. They think it’s such a good idea that Elmbridge council are organising a free event on 3rd March at St Christopher’s Church, Church Hall, Claygate Lane, Hinchley Wood, KT10 0AQ from 1.30 to 4pm. Take along 5 items to swap, meet others, have fun, help the environment... and leave with 5 items you want. For more about other events and how to plan your own Swish, check


is for Produce and growing your own in 2012. Now is the time to start planning and working in earnest on your family plot. But perhaps you are looking for inspiration and support over and above the tv programmes, magazines and

books which proliferate at this time of year? Hounslow Library will be hosting a Growing your own Produce event on 23rd March from 10am to 12 noon. All the materials, whether for gardens, windowsills or balconies will be provided. Take it home to watch it grow! This event is supported by Continental Landscapes. Places are limited and booking essential through Hounslow Library on 0845 456 2800.


is for Royalty and in this, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, Orleans House Gallery is hosting an exhibition exploring the local area’s royal connections through history, from palaces and parks to myths and memories. Bringing together historic artworks and artifacts with more recent reminiscences and memorabilia, local people have worked with the gallery to create this celebration of all things royal in Richmond. Entry to this exhibition is free and is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It runs from 31st March at Orleans House Gallery, Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DJ.

I Raised vegetable and herb bed from

is for the play I do Believe which you can go to see on 24th and 25th March at 7.30pm. With its magical twist, this piece of theatre will reveals that children still believe in fantasy and fairytales. Performed by a

Strawberry Hi

ll House photo

cast of 17 children and 3 adults, and complimented by historical images and classical music, this production is a charity premiere presented by an original cast from the Twickenham Theatre Workshop. The play is written by Katie Abbott. Proceeds go to Save the Children. Adults £10, children £8. Book tickets on 0845 230 0372. The venue is Langdon Down Centre, 2A Langdon Park, Teddington, TW11 9PS.


by Kilian O’Su


3 On 14th April there’s a session on Fairytale Storytelling and Crafts. Find out more about Strawberry Hill House and full details of these events at Strawberry Hill house is at 268 Waldegrave Road, Twickenham, TW1 4ST


is for getting your children’s creativity going with craft. Spelthorne runs a great Saturday morning craft club for children aged 5 to 11 with the opportunity to take part in art and craft activities, learn new skills and have fun. With guidance from staff the children will be able to make and create their own art and craft masterpieces. The Saturday Morning Craft Club is held at the Resource Centre, Staines Park, Commercial Road, Staines, TW18 2QJ There are two sessions: 5 to 7 year olds 10 to 11am 8 to 11 year olds 11.30am to 12.30pm The club runs during school term times. Places are available termly and must be pre-booked. Each session costs £4.80. For further information regarding dates or to book a place please contact Customer services on 01784 451499 or email

is for new places to visit. Our top venue this spring is Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham. Horace Walpole’s Gothic Castle has been recently restored, reopened in 2010 and has launched into 2012 with a host of great family events and activities. 3 On 20th March and running Families Upon Thames until 29th, a promenade play, The Sign of the Strawberry K 1/8 Page advert will take you on a ‘picturesque journey from dark to light’, starting in the library. Let Horace Twinkle Toes Ballet and the rest of the cast conduct you through the splendid Jessica Williams rooms of Strawberry Hill as 12 Court a taleWoburn of mystery and terror unfolds. Prepare for a night of Stanmore Road gothic thrills and chills which Richmond TW9cent 2DD culminates in a magnifi Ghosts’ Ball. For ages 11 and above. 07813 741there’s 189a papier 3 On 5th April mache masterclass for children with Maggie Hollingworth. 3 On 6th April, Strawberry Hill House is holding an Easter Egg Hunt. 3 On 11th April, there’s a workshop called Gothic Comic Lots more ideas for where, using Strawberry Hill local family fun in as inspiration, they will dress March and April on up and take photos to create a pages 14 to 15 and gothic comic with themselves pages 21 to 23. are the main character!

Chickens from

Our springtime ideas for local events and activities this March and april.

Twinkle Toes Ballet Enchanting & magical classes 18 months - 7 years

Children learn to dance through imaginative stories, using props, puppets & pictures. We aim to inspire & capture their wonderful neverending imagination!

Book a FREE taster class!

07813 741 189

RICHMOND - TWICKENHAM - KEW - EAST SHEEN Birthday Parties & Holiday Camps & Boys Only Ballet !


March-April 2012

news&views Movement warriors

Family fun along the river

Local Dad Karl has just set up a fantastic boys dance group called Movement Warriors. The classes are for boys from about 8 up and cover all dance styles, with an emphasis on street, hip hop, breaking and contemporary dance. Venues are in Molesey, Isleworth, and Long Ditton and run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays after school. Karl trained at Bird College and went on to have an amazing dance career which included touring Bolero with Sylvie Guillem, West End appearances in Cats, Song & Dance, Guys & Dolls, and Billy Elliot. Karl also danced in the movies of Cats and Phantom of the Opera. He now successfully co-owns, runs and teaches Diddi Dance with his partner Janine, as well as teaching for Marble Hill Dance Studio in St Margarets and Kidsdance in Twickenham, and is guest teacher for Millennium College of Performing Arts, Greenwich. Karl has long wanted to pass on his knowledge and passion for dance particularly to boys and is convinced that street/hip hop is going to take over the world! He would love to have lots of Movement Warrior Dance Crews all over town. Once the classes are up and running Karl has plans to get dance to boys who would not usually have any access or the opportunity to experience it. He hopes to take the classes into such areas/schools and maybe change someone’s life through introducing them to the power, freedom and possibilities of dance? For all queries and questions please call Karl on 07726 313057 or email ..........................................................

From tots to teens, aunties to grandparents, a river trip along the Thames is one sure way to satisfy the whole family with fun, relaxation and local interest. Between April to October, Turk Launches run 45 river trips daily between Richmond, Kingston and Hampton Court Palace. There is plenty to entertain you along the way with the cosmopolitan riversides, Teddington Lock and Eel Pie Island, and then hop off for a bite to eat at any of the local eateries along the route.

Healthy spring As we start to spend more time outside again, it is worth remembering that March and April can be chilly, wet and blustery making it a prime time for catching colds and flu. Rachel Green told us, ‘There are some great homeopathic remedies to deal with Springtime ailments, so worth seeking professional advice. Now is an optimum time to treat hayfever sufferers homeopathically; this being more effective than when the full symptoms kick in’. Her top tips? Eat plenty of seasonal veg, wrap up warm and go for a long walk to savour those first glimpses of Spring sunshine! Contact Rachel on 01932 840078.


There are toilets and a bar on board each boat plus a helpful crew is always on hand to assist with pushchairs or people who are less able. Bikes and dogs (on a lead) are welcome too! To view the tripping timetable please visit

New from Montessori

Out in March is a new book from Montessori called Learning Together: What Montessori can offer your family. It aims to help new parents unlock the massive potential of their child. It covers: � A fuller understanding of the potential of your child � Tools to unlock the potential � A set of ideas to try at home � How to prepare a child-friendly home to support independence The price is £5.99, more details at

Learning Together What Monte ssori can offer your family



Who are MOPS? Mums of pre-schoolers is a group which meets in central Richmond to provide fun for little ones and time out for mum. MOPS get together every fortnight, as a Friday morning activity for mums and their babies and pre-schoolers (0 to 4 years). Mums socialise, discuss parenting topics, enjoy crafts, coffee and cake, while children are entertained by experienced carers, with play, stories and song. The venue is Duke Street Church, Duke Street, Richmond, TW9 1DH, 020 8940 1551. For more details, contact Heidi at

Emma from Hartbeeps calling ‘Hello, my name is Emma and I am starting some wonderful new music classes shortly in East Molesey and Long Ditton for babies and pre-school children. I know there are lots of music classes around, but Hartbeeps is very different. Our classes are magical, encouraging playful interactions between parent and child. Can you imagine a class where make-believe, dressing up, puppets and light shows all take place to the backdrop of fun and funky original music? You can? Then Hartbeeps is for you! I trained as a classical violinist and pianist and have worked for years encouraging people who have never been involved with music to give it a go. The sensory benefits of music are huge and even tiny newborn babies can benefit from being exposed to

music at an early age. We offer classes for 3 different ages – Babybells, for babies from birth to sitting (around 4 months); Babybeeps, for babies from sitting to walking and Happy House from walking to pre-school. I am offering 3 trial classes for £10 (normal price £5.50 per session with discounts for siblings) so give me a call for details and come along and begin your first musical sound journey!’

Contact Emma on 07970 898436

March-April 2012

news&views Rainbow fun day

Easter eggstravaganza

14th March is Rainbow Nurseries’ annual Fun Day when they raise money for Cancer Research UK in memory of owner Julia Hunter’s husband who sadly died from cancer five years ago. The children at the three nurseries in Richmond and East Sheen will participate in fun sport and art activities with face painting, games, cooking and lunch, all organised by the staff. They can dress up in fancy dress or brightly coloured clothes. The children have great fun and look forward to welcoming their parents at the end of the session to join in. Parents take part in the event with a 2 hour sponsored walk or run in Richmond Park. It is an opportunity to mix and feel more involved with their children’s nursery. They return to the groups to join their children for lunch, cake sales, raffle and a silent auction. The target to raise this year is £14 000. Julia told us, ‘I hope that the article may reach future and ex Rainbow parents and they join us or donate on our fundraising page’.

From 31st March to 15th April there’s Eggstra fun to be had at Bocketts Farm with plenty to see and do. Lambing is the main highlight for most, with over 300 newborn lambs due. They’ll be cute chicks and cuddly bunnies to see in the animal handling sessions too. Children can also take part in the Easter Egg Hunt trail around the farm, with a yummy chocolate treat for everyone! What’s more, the new large animal barn will be opening, home to all the sheep, cows, pigs, llamas and greedy goats. With indoor and outdoor play plus pony rides, tractor rides, pig racing, gold panning, meet the tractor and more, you can be sure of a great day out for the whole family. ☛ See the money off voucher on page 2! Bocketts Farm Park is at Young Street, Leatherhead, KT22 9BS

Clothes Labelling made easy! Reusable Dry clean


Secure  Comfortable  Boil wash Iron proof  Quick apply  Small You provide name

A house makeover the planet-friendly way When you’re thinking about new furniture and products for your home, have you ever thought about visiting a reuse organisation? The Surrey Reuse Network offers a wide range of good quality items at affordable prices. Made up of a group of six charities, the network aims to find new homes for donated furniture and kitchen appliances, as well as offering training and employment opportunities and helping local families in need. Buying reusable furniture and kitchen appliances is great value, good for the environment and you might just find a hidden treasure.

You’ll find everything you need to make a house a home you could pick up antique style armchairs for £60, a 4 piece table and chairs for £70, a sideboard for £30 and a tall lamp for just £5. Whether you buy or donate goods you will be making green savings - buying reusable items saves them from going to landfill, which is both financially and environmentally costly. To find your own hidden treasure visit one of the six Surrey Reuse Network showrooms – the local one is in New Malden. All showrooms are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday; some projects also open Saturdays.

Clothes labelling made easy

We etch the name

We post

Order online at: email:

e em ch S h 01757 638926 ing cas ol aisxtra scho r nd e r us Fu rn ou ct ils E - ea or y onta deta E C or f f FR

or call

No sewing . No ironing . No markers An Independent Day School for boys aged 11-18 and girls 16-18 set in six acres close to the River Thames

Halliford School Shepperton

Visit or call 0800 082 0180 for more information and full address details.

Catch-a-balls now in Kingston A new balls skill class has set up in Kingston, ensuring an active start to 2012 for toddlers from 18 months and their carers. These Catch-a balls classes are at the Swinnerton Hall, Gibbon Road, on Monday mornings. During the sessions there are ball skills, including throwing and catching, movement skills, such as balancing and hopping and plenty of games to keep the most energetic of toddlers busy. Nowadays people are very aware of the value of an active lifestyle and sport plays a vital role in that. It has been shown that if children learn basic ball skills early

in life they can go onto enjoy a wide range of sports in adulthood. Catch-a-balls classes are suitable for girls and boys of all abilities from the time they start walking, up to school age. Heather Horler, Coaching Director for Catch-a-Balls developed the scheme and is delighted with how well the programme has been received locally. She comments, ‘As parents and carers, we’re always looking to find fun and exciting ways to engage with our children and these classes build essential skills in all children, irrespective of their physical ability through fun games and activities.’

Catch-a-Balls also have classes in Elmbridge, Thames Ditton, Richmond and Teddington. To book a FREE taster session, call 020 8398 3034 or visit


Thurs 1st March, Tues 6th March & Thurs 3rd May Tours 9.30, 11.30 & 2.30 by appointment

Please telephone the Registrar for more information: 01932 223593

Tel: 01932 223593 Fax: 01932 229781 Email: Registered Charity Number: 312090

March-April 2012

Halliford School Russell Road Shepperton Middlesex TW17 9HX


news&views What would you pay to wear a hat? On 30th March Brain Tumour Research and its member charities will be encouraging nurseries, schools, colleges, universities, public sector bodies and office workers to make a donation in order to nominate their ‘head’ to wear a silly hat for the day in aid of the charity’s annual Wear a Hat Day. The campaign aims to raise awareness regarding the prevalence of brain tumours and the need for vital research. Wear a Hat Day is an annual awareness day which encourages people to make donations to wear a hat to school or in the office. This year Brain Tumour Research is also encouraging students and workers nationwide to challenge their ‘head’ to wear a hat for the day. From sponsored silences to charity runs and office bake-offs, organisations around the country are being encouraged to raise money in any which way they see fit in order to sponsor their ‘head’ to wear a silly hat. Sue Farrington-Smith, Director of Brain Tumour Research, comments, ‘Brain Tumour Research receives less than 1% of national cancer research spending in the UK yet the deadly disease kills more children and people under the age of 40 than any other cancer. Wear a Hat Day is a fun way of increasing awareness and getting people raising money for an often overlooked form of cancer’. Brain Tumour Research has recruited the help of Kate Langrish-Smith, crowned ‘Young Hat Maker of the Year 2010’, to develop the official range of campaign hats. Instructions to make your own bespoke hat are available to download from the website

alongside another downloadable PDF which will allow you to create your own hat simply out of paper. These interactive features allow everyone to access and support the campaign and both DIY hats will be accompanied by an online instructions video. Philip Treacy, celebrity hat designer and patron to the charity, said, ‘Fashion is a feeling and a mood and therefore how better to express your passion and commitment to a subject such as brain tumour research than by wearing a fantastic hat? It immediately creates a statement and it doesn’t matter what the hat is or how much it costs; everybody who gets involved will feel a million dollars on the

day, whilst also raising much needed research funds and awareness.’ Philip has also contributed to the campaign by providing an image of a hat that he has designed for an exclusive badge that will be available as a limited edition. This badge will be available for purchase through the website, alongside this year’s wear a hat badges which will be launched for sale during March – Brain Tumour Awareness month. Brain Tumour Research represents the united campaign voice of the Brain Tumour Research group of 18 charities. Launched in 2009, the charity was established specifically to raise funds for brain tumour research.

To get involved, request your fundraising packs or for further background into Brain Tumour Research go to

Learning to read the fun way Reading Eggs is a highly interactive online programme that makes learning to read a fun and enjoyable experience for all involved. It was created as a unique online world where children learn to read. It supports each child’s learning by offering individual lessons that allow children to progress at their own rate. Children love the games, songs, golden eggs and other rewards which, along with feeling proud of their reading, really motivate children to keep exploring and learning. Over one million children across the world have already had the Reading Eggs experience and the programme is already being used by many teachers who incorporated the programme into their daily lesson. Children love working and playing on the computer and the programme


is all about bringing out the best in each child. The programme has been developed by a highly experienced team of educational teachers, writers and developers. It focuses on a core reading curriculum of phonics and sight words using skills and strategies essential for sustained reading success. It completely supports what children learn at school and will help to improve your child’s progress. With interactive animations, fun games, great songs and lots of rewards, Reading Eggs is a great place to learn to read. Children are highly motivated to return again and again. Reading Eggs now has 120 big lessons which have been developed for 3 to 7 year olds and a placement test at the start of the programme will ensure children start at the correct

level for them. The next stage of the programme, Reading Eggspress, is also now available for 8 to 13 year olds and includes lessons, games and activities covering comprehension and grammar. You too can be one of the 90% of parents who reported a noticeable improvement in their child’s reading skills after using the programme. Using promotional code UKM23UPT you can trial the site for free for an extended period of 5 weeks to see for yourself what the programme entails and why it has been so successful. Simply visit register your email address and once your account has been set up you can enter the code on your parent dashboard.

Happy Eggsploring! March-April 2012

mums mean business

The style sisters Sisters Farah Irfan-Khan and Rehana Saeed-Jaan from Hounslow tell us about their exciting new accessories business, Bow & Tie London. Who is your model?

Farah and Rehana

What are your backgrounds?

We have both lived in Hounslow all our lives and are both IT graduates. Rehana is currently working for the London Borough of Hounslow in IT and Farah is working for the NHS as a Project Manager.

When did you start up Bow & Tie London?

We started Bow & Tie London in October 2011 and launched the business with our first collection for Autumn/Winter 2011.

What gave you the idea?

We were both very creative and business minded from the very beginning. Farah had a strong love of fashion from a very early age. She took up many fashion courses and also entered a national fashion competition in which she was selected as a finalist by the legendary Zandra Rhodes. Rehana has at the same time been passionate about photography ever since the birth of her son in 2009. In 2011 we decided to combine our talents to create an online business which would focus on our two talents; fashion and photography, hence the birth of Bow & Tie London. For any fashion company photographs are key to selling the product so once we produce our collections (which are handmade by ourselves) we sit down and thoroughly think through how we will photograph each product. Our aim is to create a complete look from head to toe so that our customers are inspired to do the same.

Rehana’s two year old son is our model and his name is Muhammad Raafae Saeed-Jaan. He absolutely loves it and is a delight to photograph. He has constantly been photographed since he was born (literally every day) so he is very comfortable being in front of the camera and loves wearing the bow ties.

How are the roles separated out?

We share the same responsibility for most of the key areas of the business, such as producing the bow ties and ties. However we also have our own specialities, for example Farah is good at designing and finance; she created the business logo. Whereas Rehana take cares of the photography, editing and marketing side of the business.

What aspects do you both do?

We both select fabrics for the bow ties and ties and produce them together. We also plan the photo shoots together for each collection.

What do you do separately?

Editing of the photography is entirely done by Rehana, and Farah would normally do the designing for the business in terms of logos, branding, packaging, etc.

How has Bow & Tie been received?

Very well so far; people love the concept of enhancing their child’s outfit with an addition of a bow tie. We are also doing very well with our adult collections. We never expected the business to take off so well, so quickly and our customers are constantly leaving us positive and encouraging feedback.

Tell us about how the business supports charities.

We feel very strongly about charity and are blessed to have everything in life so we want to give back hence we donate 2.5% of every sale we make to the most needy at the time. For example our first donation went to the Disaster Emergency Committee to support their East Africa drought appeal in 2011.

Any plans for more accessories for boys?

Yes we currently have ties and bow ties for boys but in the future we would like to extend our range to waistcoats with matching bow ties and cravats.

What about a range for girls?

We have already had a few orders for


headbands for girls. We will definitely consider extending our range to girls in the future.

Please tell us more about your bespoke service.

We custom make orders for special occasions such as weddings and christenings. Customers can also customise any of the products that we have offer for example by changing the colour, fabric, style or size.

How do you source your fabrics?

Firstly we research on what types of fabrics are currently in fashion. We then try to source the fabrics from local businesses.

What advice would you give other local women setting up in business?

Many people dream of setting up their own business but only a few start their own venture. Our advice would be to stop dreaming and start doing. Every person has a unique skill or talent…you just need to realise this and exploit it. Never use lack of time as an excuse. Women especially tend to do this because work and family commitments. Even if you can spare one hour of your day it is more than enough at the beginning of any business. We work full-time, have families and other commitments but we have still managed to start up a business.

Is it easier/harder working with your sister?

It is definitely easier because we understand each other and have similar interests and ambitions.

Where do your online customers come from geographically?

We have almost covered each continent of the world! So far we have shipped our products to America, Canada, Australia, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Denmark and most recently Russia.

What are your plans for the future?

We have very big plans for the future including collections for the biggest events of 2012, the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. We have also started to design our first ever Spring/Summer and Wedding collections. We intend to create collections for every special occasion including Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We also plan to launch father and son matching gift sets and a newborn christening gift sets soon.

Farah and Rehanah’s Facebook page is called Bow & Tie London and currently they sell on Etsy, Folksy, eBay and ASOS, as well as through their new website 186 Fun with Music v2 A 2/13/04

ZUMBA FITNESS CLASSES IN HERSHAM Party yourself into shape Contact your licensed Zumba Instructor Harmandeep Toor 07838 025038 FIRST CLASS FREE March-April 2012 823 Harman A Mar12.indd 1

Pre-School Dance (2-3 yrs) Zumbatomic™ Dance Fitness (4-12 yrs) RAD Ballet (5+yrs) Street Dance (4-12yrs) Zumba® Contact Kate Broughton RAD RTS on 07957639460

Fun With Music! In Central Richmond

Music Classes for 1-5 Year Olds For more information, call:

020-8332-2275 04/02/2012 11:42 731 Kate's School of Dance A Mar12.indd 1

11/02/2012 09:05



spectacular summer just for you

Treat yourself on

Mother’s Day

LInda STOne reminds all mums to treat yourselves well – you are your child’s greatest asset.

Hydrotherapy, the basis of the spa concept, creates a relaxing, healthy experience through heat, massage and buoyancy. The benefits of hydrotherapy are both physical and psychological: = it speeds up the recovery process after exercise by easing muscle soreness = the massaging jets stimulate blood circulation and increase energy = buoyancy in warm water slows the pulse creating a state of relaxation = the release of endorphins counteracts the effects of stress Fangotherapy, the use of mud, peat and clay on the body, is particularly healing for the skin. These materials draw out its impurities and support its natural exfoliation process, soften its texture and restore its acid/alkaline balance. The fango procedures are a bit unusual, involving covering the body in thick and warm mud, but the effect is amazing and many spas offer this service. thalassotherapy, the use of seawater treatments, also has multiple benefits. Minerals in the seawater cleanse and open skin pores whilst the seaweed has antibiotic, antiviral and antibacterial properties which stimulate the immune system and improve sleep quality. These treatments include showers of warmed seawater (Vichy shower), application of algae paste or marine mud, and inhalation of sea fog.

Mother’s Day

18th March


It’s Mother’s Day on 18th March, a time when children traditionally show appreciation for mum, but also a time for mothers to reflect upon how deserving they are of this appreciation. An ideal time then for us at Families upon Thames to launch a regular feature which will emphasize the importance of ‘me time’ for both parents, and include lots of special activities and treats to help you make the most of it. Mother’s Day calls for some extra special ‘me time’ for mum and what could be better than a whole day of pampering and relaxation at a local spa? Most of us associate the word spa with relaxation but can spa treatments also genuinely improve our wellbeing? The answer is yes! Read on for a lowdown on some treatments and where to try them out.

Convinced? The next step may be to physically put this article into the hands of your husband, partner or children and say ‘Forget the flowers and the chocolates, what I would really like for Mother’s Day is….’ If that’s what it takes, then do it! Sometimes it’s necessary to help your family to help you.


Local spas to try The Thames Hotel, Staines or call 01784 463100 The Sanctuary, Richmond or call 020 8334 9999 The Himalayan Day Spa, Hounslow or call 020 8994 3495 The Spa at the Syon Park Hotel, Brentford 020 8380 1590 The Spa at the Runnymede Hotel, Egham 01784 220778/ 994 Virgin Active Health Club Spas, Richmond Road and The Bentall Centre, Kingston also in Twickenham Contact details for all three at

Many spa treatments are beneficial during pregnancy but remember to advise the spa of your situation so they can help you avoid any treatment that might not be suitable.

Yummy Mummy spa package at The Thames Club, Staines

The Thames Club in Staines offers a 2.5 hour spa package for mums and mums to be, which includes a manicure, pedicure, neck and shoulder massage and facial all for £130. The package includes full use of the wet facilities at the Club including use of the pool, steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi bath during your visit. You will also be entitled to a light, healthy lunch. For more information, spa opening times and to make a booking, visit email or call 01784 463100.

March-April 2012

Clothes by tu at Sainsburys

Once you become a parent, you are more likely to blow any extra cash on your child, than spend money on yourself. In addition, if you have given up ‘paid’ work for a while, you may feel guilty about spending money on yourself and pare your personal spending right back to the bone. Unfortunately, this attitude does your children a disservice. It’s been proven that parents who recognise and fulfill their own needs are less likely to be depressed, stressed or to suffer from low self esteem. What benefits children most is a relaxed, loving parent who values him or herself and you are more likely to be that parent if you prioritise your own needs equally with those of your children. Children learn by example and which of us would want our children to look at us and conclude that they should never do anything nice for themselves?


Mother’s Day LAURA WELSH reflects on what 18th March will mean to her this year.


other’s Day. That’s a whole load of commercial nonsense isn’t it? I suspect that thought goes through many a head in early March, if it is remembered at all, that is. In recent years it does seem as if Mother’s Day has become a juggernaut of commercialism with many shops offering special cards and gifts, and restaurants and cafes putting out signs advertising a ‘Mother’s Day Special’ 3 course meal with a free rose for the lucky mother. Maybe, though, we should take a moment to think about what the day actually signifies and how we could celebrate it properly? Mothering Sunday, to give it its proper title, has been in existence since Roman times with significance in both religious and traditional cultures. In the sixteenth century it was a day when people went to the mother church to honour the Virgin Mary, later becoming a day when domestic servants were given a day off to visit their mother Church, usually with their own mothers and other family members. It was often the only time when whole families could gather together, since on other days they were prevented by conflicting working hours, or, more usually, since holidays had not been invented yet, that was the only day in the year that they were allowed off! However, in modern times it is simply a day when we should stop to think about, and celebrate our mothers in all their forms, regardless of whether we speak to them every day on the phone or if they are tragically no longer with us. As a mother myself it has certainly given me a new insight into the relationship I have with my own mother, and the way in which this relationship has changed over the years. I often have conversations with friends about how worried we are that we are turning into our mothers and I often cringe when I think of how I behaved when I was a teenager! Over time though, I have come to appreciate the hard work and patience that she put into bringing our family up and when I see how she is happy to play tea parties for hours with my 3 year old daughter, or push a swing for what seem like days on end I do feel very proud that my children will grow up with such a close relationship to my own mother. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that daughters are better at remembering the occasion than sons though, and I have always taken the time to send my mum a card, with a handwritten note inside, and given her a call if I can’t manage to see her that day. In contrast, just after we got married I sent my mother-inlaw a card at the same time as one for my own mother, thinking nothing of it. She then rang me in raptures a few days later to tell me that this was the first such card she’d been sent in over 30 years! The perils of having 3 sons it would seem.... So with the 18th of March looming, how best can we celebrate our mothers in all their fabulous forms? What would my shopping list for a perfect Mothers Day look like? Well, a lie-in and breakfast in bed would of course be fabulous; as would a big bunch of flowers and a lovely family lunch with maybe both my mother and mother-in-law in attendance (we are fortunate as they get on March-April 2012

very well!) And of course, in a fantasy scenario something sparkly in a little box tied with ribbon would go down very well but now I’m getting carried away... In reality though just being with my family for the day, spending that dreaded phrase: ‘quality time’ together rather than the normal weekends we have in our hectic lives with one of us entertaining the children while the other catches up on some sleep/work/plays sport, etc. or running the children backwards and forth to various birthday parties, would be just perfect. And taking some time to think about my own mother, and making sure she is safe and well, as well as thanking her for everything she has done. My favourite Mother’s Day moment ever was when my first child, Connor was 2 and a half. There can be few moments as heart-warming as the sight of a chubby toddler running out of nursery clutching a daffodil in one hand, and a card with a picture of a fat lady with stick arms and legs and a big round nose in the other, shouting ‘Happy Mother’s Day Mummy!’ at the top of their lungs before planting a big kiss on your cheek. That’s what memories are made of.

Purple Flowers in Metal Bucket from Debenhams

extra Laura Welsh lives in Hampton Hill. Read her blog about family life at:



Childcare in the home

but whose? In part two of our childcare feature, SaRah-Jane BUTLeR and ann CLaRe cover home-based childcare. Parents faced with the vast range of childcare options these days have to tackle several fundamental issues when deciding upon the right childcare for their children. One of the essential questions is whether to have their children cared for in a nursery, which (as discussed in the January / February issue) cares for babies and young children on a large scale outside of the home environment, or by a nanny or childminder who provides care for babies and children in a home setting on a much more personal basis. When the time constraints of a job mean that using a nursery is just not practical or when parents prefer for their children to be cared for in a home environment, then choosing between a childminder or a nanny is the next big decision. However there are key differences so how can parents decide between the two? In the past childminders were often overlooked as an option but nowadays this is a profession with many childminders gaining high levels of qualification. They are able to provide a family approach to childcare, which is difficult for a day nursery to carry out. For instance the children can go the shops and the local playgrounds and also engage in domestic activities such as cooking and hanging out the washing,


all of which are great opportunities for learning and language development. Children essentially can get the social interaction from playing with a few other children, often from outside their family, as well as the comforts of a home environment. One good reason for choosing a childminder is one of continuity. As a child gets older they may access a pre-school or maintained nursery prior to starting mainstream schooling. These are usually half-day sessions and by continuing to use the services of a childminder to offer the wrap around care, parents are ensuring that their child has continuity of care. This continuity is important for the relationships/attachments that a child forms with carers other than their parents. A childminder can also continue to care for the child once they have started full-time school, where the school day is often shorter that a normal working day and where the holidays are longer. In addition to that a childminder is often a lot cheaper than employing a full time nanny, which will make a difference to the family’s finances. Choosing a childminder means that children from the same family can be cared for in the same environment and will often mix with other children from other families who are registered with

that childminder. It also means that children of different ages are playing and learning together just as they would if they were at home with their mother as the primary carer. Be aware however that childminders work from their own home and travel time will have to be built into your day to drop your children off and pick them up. Childminders also have relatively fixed hours so if you are held back at work, you will need to make alternative arrangements for your children to be collected. So if money is not a constraint but time is, the final remaining option is a nanny, either full or part time. A nanny provides one-to-one care for your children alone in their own familiar surroundings, namely your own home, enabling them to benefit from plenty of attention and stimulation throughout the day. The downside to such constant one-to-one care however is the potential lack of social interaction with other children if opportunities to mix with other children are not incorporated into your child’s day. Many nannies also study towards childcare qualifications. This means they are trained to create a safe and stimulating environment for your child to enjoy and thrive in. Just like childminders, nannies can provide a family approach which nurseries can’t. One of the biggest advantages to employing a nanny is that your childcare is very flexible. If you work and often have to stay late at short notice, having a nanny will mean your child is at home and in safe hands. And if you’re going to be really late home, you can be reassured that your nanny will feed your child and put him / her to bed without you having to worry about rushing home and collecting him/her. Although employing a nanny is expensive, it becomes more cost effective the more children that you have. An option to make it good value for money would be to

have a nanny share with another family or as your children get older to divide the week between a nanny and nursery, thereby providing your children with the social interaction that they require. Potentially the greatest negative aspect to using a nanny, aside from the cost, is that you will become the nanny’s employer. This means you will have to take on the legal responsibilities such as providing a written contract, paying tax, national insurance and providing holiday leave. There are companies who are able to take this burden off parents but a parent will have to be aware of their responsibilities and make sure that they are protected, for example, by putting adequate employer liability insurance in place. Using either a childminder or a nanny is a popular choice because of the special relationship that can be established between the parents and the childminder or nanny. This relationship is a very personal one and one which frequently extends beyond the child’s infancy. The childminder or nanny can become an important part of the family and the connection between your child and their childminder / nanny should never be underestimated. A good nanny or childminder is worth his / her weight in gold!

extra Sarah-Jane Butler and Ann Clare are founders of Parental Choice, the essential ‘one-stop shop’ to help you make the right decision on your childcare needs. Creating a Learning Environment for Babies and Toddlers, by Dr Ann Clare was published in February 2012 by Sage Publications. For more information on your childcare options, see the Parental Choice website: March-April 2012

spectacular summer childcare

Childcare the bonus factor If 18 years of organising childcare taught me anything at all, it’s this: you can pay someone to look after your kids, but you can’t pay someone to love them. So when and if someone comes along who actually does love your kids, hold onto them for all you’re worth because they are literally priceless in your family’s life. The wonderful carer who really did love my daughters was Linda, who looked after them (and sometimes me as well) for eight years. She arrived in our family’s life when my eldest child was two, and she stayed until the birth of my fourth. When she left, she said it was because she didn’t want to fall in love with another of my babies – because then it would be too hard to leave, and during the time she’d been working for us, she and her husband had moved further out of town. Across the years I reckon I’ve paid at least 20 different carers to look after my children – and I still occasionally have to find childcare for my youngest daughter, who is nine. I’ve searched for carers for tiny babies, and for older (and not always very easy) pre-schoolers. I’ve found nurseries for some of my children, and I’ve had au pairs from time to time. None of the carers in our family were as much a part of our team as Linda was, and none of them loved my children as much as she did (she still comes back to see them, several years on). So look for someone who makes your child happy, pure and simple. Someone your child looks forward to being with, and is happy to share his or her days with. Often parents are too ambitious in their hopes for a childcarer; ironically, this means they get a raw deal for their child. They want a carer who, as well as looking after their child, will also manage to make the beds and iron the laundry and leave the kitchen spotless at the end of the day. If you’ve been out at work since dawn and you’ve got another tough day

tomorrow, tidiness does matter – because in order to enjoy a bit of time with your child, you don’t want to have to start ploughing through the washing up. But expecting too much ‘round the edges’ from a carer means your child can miss out: because it’s that primary relationship between the nanny, or mother’s help, or childminder, that matters most. Interestingly, Ofsted recently came to the same conclusion. In recent years, the main thrust of an Ofsted check has been on safety issues, especially safeguarding ones. But under new plans, inspectors will concentrate instead on whether children feel loved and emotionally secure while they’re in the nursery or childminder’s home, and will look at children’s personal development, such as how ready they are to share and to take turns, and how well they engage with the other children around them. The plans are out for consultation until April, but they’ve already received a warm welcome – because they make perfect sense! I’d also say that – strangely enough – the carers the kids would have chosen were unfailingly the ones who were most successful in our family. The litmus test of a childcarer’s abilities is, at the end of the day, whether your child would choose to be with that person (assuming you aren’t available which, of course, you’re not). For this reason, it seems a bit odd to me that parents sometimes report feeling jealous of the feelings their child has for their childcarer. No carer is ever going to replace a parent, but surely the very best accolade for the choice you’ve made for your children is if your replacement is the next-best person in their life? Ideally, a carer should resemble a much-loved family member. So in my family, Linda was a ‘granny’ figure (although she was only ten years older than me, and a very glamorous granny when she first arrived, aged just 40); we’ve had Czech and Polish au pairs

Working together to make the best choice for you and your family. Parental Choice is the essential “one-stop shop” for your childcare needs and advice on your legal rights before, during and after pregnancy.

who have had a big-sisterly relationship with my daughters; and we’ve had carers in nurseries who have been like favourite aunties. And all in all, my daughters have laughed a lot, enjoyed their time and improved their social skills through their attachments and their relationships with the people who’ve cared for them. Like every working mother, I owe all these people a huge debt of gratitude: because we all need to know our kids are safe and happy in order to do our jobs. So, follow your instincts: find someone your child really likes being with, and a carer who clearly enjoys being with your child. If you’re very lucky, you may even find someone to love him, or her; and then you’ll truly have hit the jackpot.

Clothes by Heatons

In this personal account, JOanna MOORhead reveals the secret ingredient in childcare – and explains how Ofsted has caught on to it as well.

The sound of play Original musical classes for babies & children SUITABLE FROM BIRTH

4 Childcare options and the costs clearly presented 4 Advice on maternity and paternity employment rights 4 Advice on employing nannies

4 Bespoke nanny employment contracts and payroll services 4 Drafting flexible working proposals and guidance on flexible working

Take a look at our Nursery Search on our website to find the best nursery closest to you.

Enchanting Engaging Educational NEW Classes in Molesey, Thames Ditton & Hersham BOOK 3 TRIAL CLASSES for £10 Contact Emma Tel: 07970 898436 Email: Parental Choice: dedicated to helping you make the right choices for you and your family.

March-April 2012 824 Hartbeeps B Mar12.indd 1


11/02/2012 11:14


Eggstra holiday fun Easter treats from Marks & Spencer

Activities, holiday schemes and of course, Easter egg hunts, here’s our local guide to the Easter holidays. will be operating from 11am to 1pm and from 2 to 3.30pm (subject to weather). Take a trip in a vintage-style car up Test Hill or along the Members’ Banking of the old Race Track, courtesy of the Brooklands Volunteer Car Rides Team. Look out for Bertie the Brooklands Bear, who will be making guest appearances. There will be trails for children up to 12 years old and all the usual displays, including the Concorde Experience (extra charge applies), will be open. More details from 01932 857381 4th, 5th, 10th, 11th and 12th APRIL, Holiday Fun at Chertsey Museum, The Cedars, 33 Windsor Street, Chertsey, KT16 8AT, 11am to 12.30pm and 2 to 3.30pm. Holiday Fun activities include Jazz up a t-shirt and Make a mosaic coaster. £4.50 per child. Booking essential on 01932 565764

Easter fun 2nd to 5th APRIL, The Great Easter Egg and Spoon Challenge at Painshill Park, Portsmouth Road, Cobham, KT11 1JE, 12 noon to 4pm. Can you keep your egg while balancing on a stepping stone, or crawling through a tunnel? Join in the Great Easter Egg and Spoon Challenge and see if you can make it round all the obstacles without dropping your egg. This is an outdoor activity suitable for children from 2 up to 13 years old. Cost is included in the normal admission price. 2nd to 4th APRIL, Easter Activities at Claremont Gardens, Portsmouth Road, Esher, KT10 9JG. Fun activities in the Thatched Cottage, 11am to 1pm. £1.50 per craft. More information from 01372 467806 2nd to 6th, 10th to 13th Easter Holiday Activities at Brooklands Museum, Brooklands Road, Weybridge,
KT13 0QN. On weekdays during Easter (excluding bank holiday Monday 9th April), Brooklands Museum’s popular car rides

5 400 1284

Book a Perform workshop on 084

6th to 9th APRIL, Easter Egg Scamble at Snakes and Ladders, Syon Park, Brentford,TW8 8JF. On Easter Saturday children are invited to race around the playframe for hidden Easter Eggs. Plus throughout the Easter weekend they can earn a sweet treat by following the Easter Trail. 020 8847 0946 7th APRIL, Easter Bonnet Parade at Claremont Gardens, Portsmouth Road, Esher, KT11 9JG, 3pm. Get cracking at being creative and make your Easter bonnet to impress. Two prize categories, one for children and one for adults. Make or dust off your Easter bonnets and go to Claremont for an Easter bonnet parade. More details on 01372 467806,

Special schemes Want A BIT OF EVERYTHING?

2nd to 5th APRIL and 10th to 13th APRIL Elmbridge’s Shout! schemes offer one location multi activities or special themed days for courses such as sculpture, dance, sports and science. Bookings open 27th February. For full details, contact the Shout! Team on 01372474634 shout!holidayactivities 2nd to 5th APRIL and 10th to 13th APRIL, Multi Activity Day Camps from Camp Beaumont at Claremont Fan Court School, Portsmouth Road, Esher, KT10 9LY and Christ’s School, Queens Road, Richmond, TW10 6HW. More details at 2nd to 5th APRIL and 10th to 13th APRIL, Barracudas Day Camp at St Catherine’s School, Cross Deep, Twickenham, TW1 4QJ. Indoor pool, outdoor tennis and netball courts and a playing field. For ages 4½ to 16 years. Early booking advisable. More details at


Want outdoor adventure?

3rd, 4th, 11th and 12th APRIL, Wild Survival! Bush Craft for Kids at Painshill Park, Portsmouth Road, Cobham, KT11 1JE, 9am to 4pm. 3rd and 11th APRIL, An action packed day of tracking and orienteering treasure hunt. 4th and 12th APRIL, A day of den building in the woods. This Easter holidays kids between 8 and 13 years old can discover the secrets of Painshill and bushcraft with an expert team. Cost is £35 per day. Advanced booking is required. Call the Education Team on 01932 868113

Want drama? Perform workshops

2nd to 4th APRIL, The Russell Primary School, Petersham Road, Richmond, TW10 7AD, 10am to 12 noon. 11th to 13th APRIL, All Saints Western Village Hall, 1 Chestnut Avenue, Esher, KT10 8JL, 2.30 to 4.30pm. Follow Alice down the Rabbit Hole to Wonderland and chase the White Rabbit, have tea with a Mad Hatter or play croquet with The Queen of Hearts. Based on Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, children will share in this ageless fantasy and meet a host of strange and marvellous characters. Whether having a never ending tea party with the Mad Hatter, dancing the Lobster Quadrille, or growing to enormous heights with the languid caterpillar, the children are guaranteed to be captivated. With their golden key firmly grasped, pocket watch wound tight and flamingo croquet equipment at the ready, the five day courses are specially designed to stimulate the creativity, confidence and communication skills of 4 to 8 year olds. Together with a team of experienced young theatre professionals, the children will combine live original music, inspirational dance and quick-witted improvisation into a colourful mini performance on the final day. 0845 400 1284

Theatrebugs workshops

2nd to 4th APRIL, Claygate Youth Centre, Elm Road, Claygate, KT10 0EH, 9am to 12 noon. 2nd to 4th APRIL, St Mary’s Church, Church Street, Walton on Thames, KT12 2QS, 1.30 to 4.30pm. 3rd to 5th APRIL, Crossway Centre, St Stephen’s Church, 206 Richmond Rd, Twickenham TW1 2PD, 9am to 12 noon. 10th to 12th APRIL, YMCA Hawker Centre, Lower Ham Road, Kingston, KT2 5BH,1 to 4pm. 11th to 13th APRIL, St Andrew’s Church, Oakshade Road, Oxshott, KT22 0LE, 9am to 12 noon. For 3½ to 8 years. Meet Buzz the Bee, the busiest bee in all of Fuzzyway Forest! Buzz around with him to help Fairy Petal, Bounce the Bunny and even the Queen Bee herself! Will Buzz get all his jobs done before the Fuzzyway Festival? Maybe Bellows the Windmaker can help? March-April 2012


Book a workshop at Orleans House Gallery on 020 8831 6000

Book an outdoor adventure at Painshill Park on 01932 868113

Three fun-filled days of acting, dancing, singing, arts and crafts and dressing up. On day 3 they hit the stage. Fee £78; 20% Early Bug Discount available on selected courses. Places limited, early booking recommended. Snack and drink included; Youngest sibling receives a 10% discount! (T&Cs apply) For the Claygate, Oxshott and Walton courses, please contact: Hannah Mason, Theatrebugs Guildford on 01483 882244 / 07971 004134 For Kingston and Richmond courses contact Theatrebugs HQ on 0800 975 5290

WAnt ARtY Fun?

Orleans House Gallery at Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DJ, offers a range of fun, inspiring and creative activities to keep you busy creating. Visit their website to find out more about what is happening each day. Orleans House Gallery, has the following workshops planned: Coach House Club for 6 to 9 year olds 10am to 3pm. £25 per day. Please take a packed lunch. 3rd APRIL, A Royal History 4th APRIL, Palaces, Princes and Princesses 11th APRIL, Tiny Mammals 12th APRIL, Painting the Mind CH2 for 9 to 14 year olds 10am to 3pm. £25 per day. Please take along a packed lunch. 3rd APRIL, Royal History 4th APRIL, Palaces, Princes and Princesses 11th APRIL, Tiny Mammals 12th APRIL, Painting the Mind Half Day Techniques Workshops For 4 to 7 years, 10am to 12 noon. For 7 to 10 Years, 2 to 4pm, £10 per workshop

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March-April 2012

10th APRIL Photography Half Day Workshops for 4 to 5 year olds 10am to 12 noon or 2 to 4pm, £10 per workshop 13th APRIL, Plant a Seed Booking essential for all activities at Orleans House Gallery. Please call 020 8831 6000 or book online at

Easter egg hunts 5th APRIL, Meet the Easter Bunny at Orleans House Gallery, Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DJ, 2 to 3.30pm. cost £8.50 per child. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 6th and 7th APRIL, Easter Egg Hunt at Claremont Gardens, Portsmouth Road, Esher, KT10 9JG, 10.30am to 4.30pm. Fun and chocolate for all ages. Explore the garden and join in with the children’s Easter Egg Trail plus special activities for children including free face painting, play zone and storytelling. More information from 01372 467806 6th to 9th APRIL, Easter Egg Hunt at Ham House, Ham, TW10 7RS, 11am to 5pm. Activities for children and exciting garden trail (additional cost) with chocolate prizes. Four days of family fun. More information from 020 8940 1950,

Easter Eggstravaganza! Wednesday 11th April 2-4pm

The Winning Post, TW2 6LS *Live DJ*Lights*Bubbles*Dance Tuition Come along and join Dusty and the Dollies for a fabulous afernoon of Disco Fun!

uiseor For more Lo info to book tickets visit k

8th and 9th APRIL, Easter Egg Hunt at Osterley Park, Jersey Road, Isleworth, TW7 4RB. Follow the clues on an Easter trail in the park with a chocolate prize for every child (while stocks last). Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. More information from 020 8232 5050, For masses more events in March and April, see page 4 as well as our What’s On pages starting on page 21.

Hounslow Toy Library for children with disabilities


8th APRIL, Easter Egg Hunt at Kew Garden, RBG Kew, TW9 3AB. Join in the Easter Egg Hunt and seek out Buzzie Bee, Snap, Trap and Venus. These friendly characters from Climbers and Creepers, Kew’s indoor play

Dusty Does Disco

area, will be waiting around the Gardens for youngsters to pick up the tokens needed to collect a delicious Easter chocolate treat from the Easter Bunny. If you want to learn more about where chocolate comes from, why not join the chocolate themed family trail around the garden or take part in a chocolate workshop which will be available throughout the Easter Holidays? Tina Houlton, Head of Marketing at Kew says, ‘Easter at Kew is all about fun, family, learning and chocolate. Our hands-on sessions give youngsters the opportunity to explore the world of chocolate – from cocoa pods to delicious Easter eggs. And our traditional Easter Egg hunt is a fantastic way to start your Easter Sunday.’

2 x Part-time Practitioners See website for details or tel: 020 8569 5451


829 Hounslow Toy Lib A Mar12.indd 1

17/02/2012 07:24

Safe and effective treatment for all including newborns, pregnant mums and children. For further information or to make an appointment contact

Rachel Green BA Hons, Dip PHSH

01932 840078 / 07713 403622 825 Rachel Taylor A Mar12.indd 1


11/02/2012 09:32



on the farm

LUCY nOGUeRa brings books to life with her spring selection. My top tip this issue is to find ways to bring books to life as much as possible. In the spring, there are lots of books which would be lovely to introduce that reflect this time of year. Choose farm stories with new baby animals and chicks, trees, flowers and life cycles of butterflies or frogs. Link this to their everyday life by looking for new baby ducks when you go to the park or comment of the flowers starting to grow.

Inviting new members to join Little Stars

Little Stars Drama fun, Singing & 3 - movement 5 year olds for 3 - 5 -year olds 3.30 4.30 3.30 - 4.30

Theatre School

Theatre School Street Dance, Drama & 6 - 16Singing year olds 6 - 16 year olds 4.00 4.00-- 6.30 6.30

When: Mondays

United Reform Where: Church Hall The United Reform Church Hall Thames Ditton Speer Road, Thames Ditton, KT7 0PW

Book: FREE trial Monday 23rd April

Little 07907 477 135 07907 477 135 Rugby Free 2yrs-5th 87x60 23rd 13/10/09 trial Monday April 17:55

Page 1

All classes are led by recognised industry professionals. Performances at the end of term. Following the huge success of the Little Kickers football training programme for kids, here is another great idea we decided to run with. Little Rugby is a fun introduction to the sport and is non-contact, so it’s safe and friendly.

827 stage studio B Mar12.indd 1



Call 02030921313 01932 429602

819 Little Rugby A Jan11.indd 1

Then try growing some cress seeds, they are very cheap and easy to grow on some wet tissue paper. You can see the little seed crack and the tiny plant start to break out and unfurl. Tie this in with a book like I Really Wonder What Plant I’m Growing by Lauren Child and you can refer back to their seed growing and have some great conversations. Or read the book first and then go off and grow your own plant. There are no hard and fast rules, just go with what seems natural to you. Take a visit to a farm. Bocketts Farm and Odds Park Farm are very child friendly farms. They both allow you in springtime to bottle feed the lambs, as well as feeding lots of other animals. (Remember not to feed any animals if you are pregnant.) Whilst the memory is still strong, reinforce the associated language by talking about the experience at home. If possible take a photo so you can look at it as you talk, even if it’s just on your phone. Use interesting words to describe what the lamb was doing, like tugging and gulping. Ask how the lamb felt? Was it warm, soft, curly or wriggly? If you do visit a farm, go home and read a book that evening that has some of the animals in it. Take some photos and make your own book of animals! This is a fabulous way of getting your child’s attention - books are great and their own books with themselves in even better. Find any little animals you have around the house and get them out before or after you read the books. Name the animals, talk about which are the smallest, biggest, cutest and so on. Which one was like the one you saw? 20:19 There are many great animal books for young children. Match the animals to the pictures in the book, make it a fun game, choose an animal (one you know is in the book) and then turn the pages saying, is it on this page? Or is that a chicken? No, no yes! The book gives you the reason to talk about the animals, the talking and the toys make the books feel more real and help your child to retain the vocabulary you are introducing or reinforcing.

15/12/2011 07:54

Approved football training for kids aged 18 months to 7 years

Kingston 020 8286 6038

Weybridge 01932 847439

Where learning’s a ball

Lucy Noguera also runs a free online book club for grown ups, new members are always welcome. Lucy often has free books or special offers available too. twitter @brilliantbkclub

340 Little Kickers May11.indd LK Kingston Families Ad.indd 1

Everything Spring by Jill Esbaum (National Geographic Society, £3.99) This has the most beautiful pictures as you would expect from a book produced by The National Geographic. Lovely to show a book to children with pictures of animals as they really look. Quality picture books are obviously gorgeous too, but it’s really nice to have both so that they can see what the animals really look like, especially if they are unlikely to see the real thing! I Really Wonder What Plant I’m Growing by Lauren Child (Puffin, £6.99) This is part of the ever popular Charlie & Lola series. Perfect for introducing plants and seeds but in a book that is also familiar to them in terms of the characters and illustrations. noisy Farm by Rod Campbell (Campbell Books, £4.99) The always fabulous Rod Campbell wrote the classic board book, Dear Zoo! He also wrote Noisy Farm which is a lovely book to share with babies and toddlers. All your favourite farm animals making a noise. Prepare to sound very silly as you read this one! the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Puffin, £6.99) A classic story that ties in with the theme of spring beautifully. Life cycles of frogs, butterflies, chicks are always revisited in school so a head start through a story like this is perfect introduction. Mudpuddle Farm by Michael Morpurgo (Harper Collins, £7.99) Great series of books to capture the attention of the developing reader. Clear text with some illustrations to break up the pages. Fun stories about the antics of the farm animals.

For info about theatre trips or book packs, which include the books and detailed parents notes, please email with your children’s ages on and you will be added to the mailing list. 07973 314522 Lucy Noguera twitter@monsterscantalk

Richmond 020 3092 1313




23/04/2011 09:40 4/12/09 14:47:05

March-April 2012


Education news

JOanna PaRRY has a round up of the latest developments coming to a school near you.

From Autumn 2012 schools will face inspections without being given notice. Sir Michael Wilshaw, HM chief inspector, said the move was a ‘logical’ progression, adding that it was vital the public had confidence in inspections and that inspectors must see schools ‘as they really are in the corridors, classrooms and staffroom’. Interviewed by the Press Association, Sir Michael said the introduction of new guidelines offered a ‘good opportunity’ to cut the notice period given to all schools, not just those causing concern. This comes after new worries that some schools were using tactics such as sending less successful teachers and unruly pupils home when inspectors were visiting. The ‘great majority of schools conduct themselves properly’, Sir Michael said, but added that if there is any thought that a school is not, Ofsted must address it. However, school leaders revealed they had ‘real doubts’ that the move would improve inspections, raising concern that the change had been announced without consulting headteachers. Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: ‘We welcome moves to improve the effectiveness of inspection, but I have real doubts that no-notice inspection will accomplish this. An effective inspection system is based on mutual trust and respect, not the premise that schools are trying to “cheat” and need to be caught out.’ was vital the public had confidence in inspections and that inspectors must see schools ‘as they really are in the corridors, classrooms and staffroom’.

Raise limit of class sizes?

The government has been told to raise the limit on infant class sizes in primary schools after a report showing that Sefton council on Merseyside paid £274 000 to hire extra teachers to keep classes below the legal threshold. In 1998 the then Labour government legislated to limit infant classes for five- to seven- year olds to a maximum of 30 pupils, but some councils in London are now calling for this to be raised to 32 when it was revealed that Sefton council spent the cash on extra teachers for just 8 extra pupils during the past 2 years. ‘The problem is that the “30” class size limit for infant classes is completely rigid’, said Liberal Democrat councillor Simon Shaw in a report. ‘Surely, a bit of flexibility could be introduced? A common-sense solution is to change the law so that schools have the flexibility to go up to 32 children in an infant class, if they wish, but only so long as they have a qualified, full-time teaching assistant as well as a teacher.’ Liberal Democratcontrolled Sutton Council is asking for support from other London councils to urge Education Secretary Michael Gove to change the legislation, while a Department for Education spokesperson said the government’s position was unchanged: ‘The law remains clear that it is illegal for infant classes to exceed 30 pupils – no parent would want their child taught in a huge class.’ Government figures show that nearly half a million extra primary pupils in England will need places by 2015. 100220_CFCS_FamiliesonThamesMARCH87x85mm :Layout 1 31/01/2012 Clothes from

Schools face no-notice Ofsted inspections

An independent co-educational school for pupils aged 2 to 18 years

Equipping pupils for a changing world

Open Morning

Whole School - 10:00am - 12:30pm Introductory talk 10:00am Saturday 17 March 2012 For further information, tel: 01372 473624 or email:

Exceptional independent secondary school for boys & girls For enrolment and all inclusive fee details call 020 7228 3933 Thames Christian College, Wye Street, London SW11 2HB

March-April 2012 TCC6106 - Advert in Families, December 2011 V1.indd 1 09/12/2011 09:12

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baby page

Testing, testing DR EKO ZHANG explains the ways you can check that your unborn baby is healthy.


othing can guarantee a healthy baby, however, genetic testing can provide parents with information about their child’s genetic identity and detect hundreds of genetic mutations and chromosomal abnormalities. The first step in pre-natal testing is obtaining a sample of genetic material (DNA) from the unborn child. The oldest procedure for doing this is amniocentesis, which is usually performed from 15 weeks of pregnancy. Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is a newer alternative that is performed earlier in the course of development, between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy. Both amniocentesis and CVS procedures are usually straightforward and are performed under continuous ultrasound

What can genetic testing detect? ☛ Nearly all chromosomal disorders, including Down’s syndrome, trisomy 13, trisomy 18, and sex chromosome abnormalities (such as Turner syndrome and Klinefelter syndrome). Genetic testing is more than 99 percent accurate in diagnosing these conditions. ☛ Several hundred genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and Tay-Sachs disease. ☛ Neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly (during amniocentesis.) Unlike amniocentesis, CVS cannot detect neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. If you opt for CVS, we will offer you a blood screening test in your second trimester to determine whether you’re at increased risk for neural tube defects. Over the years, the safety of amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling has improved significantly, but it still carries a risk of miscarriage or infection. We know that you may associate the procedure with some apprehension and we therefore make every effort to help you feel safe and supported. During your appointment for the genetic screening process at our practice, you will discuss the procedure carefully with the consultant and address any questions you may have. The procedure itself may also takes place during this appointment. If, after discussion with the consultant, you decide not to go ahead with the procedure, we will only charge you for a normal appointment/consultation.

Zumba for you Local teacher HARMANDEEP TOOR tells us why Zumba is a great form of ante- and post-natal exercise. Zumba, the Latin-inspired, dance fitness class is great for pre or post- natal women because it: 3 Enables you to get back into shape after your baby is born

3 Helps to socialise and meet new mums and mums to be 3 Increases your energy levels 3 Reduces discomfort from constipation, cramps and backache

Your partner is welcome to accompany you. Please remember to bring your pregnancy notes along to the appointment. During the procedure the ultrasound will give a view of your baby in 3D. We will give you a 3D picture of the baby in one of our magnetic picture frames and/or store the pictures on a USB stick. The cost for amniocentesis or CVS is £550, including the laboratory work which is over £200. Richmond Practice offers access to a multi-disciplinary team of specialists and structured maternity care, tailored to your needs. Many mothers have told us how important it is to have continuity of care from consultants who they have confidence in. They want to be assisted in a comfortable and caring environment, where they are being given the time and support to make the most of this unique experience. It is often their wish for a midwife, whom they know, to support them for a time during the post-natal period too. You can access the programme at any stage of your pregnancy, or you may wish to continue arranging appointments with the Gynaecologist/Obstetrician for additional services to your NHS care. To make an appointment, email or call 020 8940 5009. Dr Eko Zhang MBBS, MSc, MRCOG, PhD is a private Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at Richmond Practice, Mount Ararat Road, (Corner of Paradise Road), Richmond, TW10 6PA

3 Helps you sleep, look and feel better 3 Reduces stress and pregnancy blues 3 Helps build and maintain good posture 3 Reduces the risk of gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia 3 Helps women to gain self-confidence and lead a healthy lifestyle After your 6 to 8 week post-natal check, mums can gradually step up their exercise regime after they get the go-ahead from their GP. Your Zumba teacher will need a letter from the GP to confirm all is well. You can attend the class 10 to 12 weeks after a C-Section. Again, a note from your GP will be needed. Harmandeep teaches Legs Bums and Tums every Tuesday at Beavors Lodge, Faulkners Road, Hersham, from 7 to 7.30pm. Cost is £4 per class or bring two friends and get your class for £3. There’s a Zumba classes from 7.30 to 8.30pm. Cost is £4.50 a class or book 10 classes for £35 and the first class is free. This class is highly beneficial for working the weaker muscles of your body to reduce joint and lower back problems plus toning exercises for working particular areas such as abdominal muscles, Legs and Gluteal muscles. There is also a cardiovascular training session for weight control and to improve lipid profile. For further information and to book a place please call 07838 025038 or email


March-April 2012

Clothes from Glow Maternity

vision to avoid any threat to your baby. This testing is offered to couples who are at an increased risk of having a Down’s syndrome baby, and if requested by couples themselves.

baby page

A day in the life of a

nappy guru

Local cloth nappy expert SaPPhIRe CLaRK, takes us though a day in her busy life.

Nappy bag: check. Oyster card: check. Toddler (times one): (hard to miss) check. Bus: missing, presumed late... ...Don’t you hate it when you wait for the bus for 20 minutes and then three come at once? At last: on the bus now and in the warm! Off to do some shopping in Richmond with little one (Roo) in tow. First stop, Marks & Spencer; need to use the baby changing room (and of course check out the sales!)… Code Brown: explosive nappy. The liner catches most of it which I flush down the toilet (where the poo is supposed to go, rather than into a landfill site which is where it normally ends up!) Luckily, I have my cloth wipes at hand to clean him up and make him all fresh again. In go the dirties to a wet bag, and on goes a clean, fluffy nappy. Get a couple of shirts in the sale for my hubby, resist buying the gorgeous dress. With another baby on the way I’m so relieved I used cloth nappies on Roo and don’t have to fork out £00s of pounds on disposables. My size 1 nappies, which I used on Roo just over a year ago, are all lined up in the drawer ready to use on the new bottom arriving in June. I worked out we saved over a £1000 by ‘going cloth,’ and I’ll save even more using the same nappies on baby number 2! (20p per ‘sposie nappy x 6000 nappy changes = £1200. Shocking, huh? Plus £200 saved on using cloth wipes vs ‘sposie ones, minus £250 spent on starting up in cloth and £96.74* on washing them for 2.5 years). Feel slightly relieved not to be struggling on and off bus with a bulky pack of ‘sposies. Leaves more space under my arm for bargains…


Home in time to give Roo his lunch and stick a wash on, far simpler than it used to be in my mum’s day! No soaking, boiling and poking nappies in a pot at 4am in the morning; just put the machine on a rinse and then at 40 to 60 degree wash, and line dry – all done every 2 days or so (which I do anyway for Roo’s clothes). Roo fed and put down for his nap. Sandwich and cuppa in hand. I’ve got 2 hours to jump on to the laptop and get some work done. I recently became a ‘Nappy Guru’ for the nappy company Fill Your Pants. As a cloth nappy guru for south-west London, I give mums (and mums-to-be) advice on which nappy system would suit their family best. I work with Richmond and Hounslow councils too, promoting the voucher (Hounslow) and cashback (Richmond) scheme they offer for borough residents - £50 per child towards the purchase of your cloth nappies. I’ve just put a fab trial pack together which you can purchase with your voucher or cashback. That means you can give cloth nappies a whirl before you buy, without spending a penny of your own money! Later when Roo is all tucked up in bed, it’s time for a quick dinner with my hubby and then I’m off out again to run my Nappuccino (Cloth nappy demo + coffee … what’s not to like?) which I run on the last Wednesday of the month from 7.30 to 9pm at late night café at The Leaf and Bean (on Duke Street, near Richmond Green). Sit down with my coffee and wait to meet some new mums and mums-to-be…

� Laundry Costs were adapted from those calculated by WEN. Washing Machine depreciation through laundering cloth nappies at a value of £25 over 2½ years. For a standard wash, the weight of washing powder used is 100gsms, however only half of this amount should be used when washing cloth nappies to avoid detergent build up, so 50gsms calculates at 10p per wash. The average number of nappy washes is 2.8 per week, over 130 weeks, or 364 washes. So 364 x 10p is a cost of £36.4. Most real nappy manufacturers recommend a washing temperature of 60°. In 2005, the average unit cost of electricity was 8.67p per kWh, so based on a B energy washing machine, a load of nappies washed at 60° and using 1.12 kWh, incurs a cost of 9.71p. For 364 washes over 2.5 years, the cost incurred is £35.34. All these factors considered, gives a total cost of £96.74 of laundering cloth nappies (without tumble drying them) for 2½ years.

Richmond cashback scheme: Hounslow voucher scheme: Surrey parents (Elmbridge and Spelthorne) can join a trial kit scheme: For Kingston’s monthly Nappuccino events and incentive scheme, check: To find out more, use any or all of the ways of getting in touch with Sapphire below: 07817 384075 Twitter @NappyGuruLondon Read Sapphire’s blog at Sima’s parties are structured energetic fun action-packed & set to music

Sima’s Action Kids parties for under 6’s Sima’s Dance parties for under 11’s Sima’s Disco-bop & karaoke parties for under 11’s contact Sima on 07956993439 or visit

March-April 2012


An introduction to the world of fitness and football for children ages 2 1/2 to 5 years


For children ages 5 to 8 years ALL CLASSES HELD INDOORS - FOOTBALL PARTIES AVAILABLE Call Andy for info and bookings on

07931 707720


parenting d aim to give yourself and partner at least one session of relaxation each per day, as it helps to reduce to progressive effects of stress.


The stress factor GaReTh ThOMaS asks what we can do to deal with the inevitable and sometime overwhelming stress which comes with being a parent. which can lead to increased irritability, reduced mental function, lowered energy and reduced immunity, which also considerably adds to stress levels that already may be present. Severe stress can lead to a withdrawal from society, loss of self care and even a variety of depressive states. These are just some of the signs that present in states of stress. Being able to recognise these in ourselves, partners and others can be an important step to acting to reduce the shortand long-term effects of stress on parents. A good stress reducing technique is to put some time aside for regular relaxation every day. In other words finding around fifteen to twenty minutes to go through some form of mental relaxation. This does not include watching tv or reading a book, but some way you can actively relax your physical body and mental processes. There are many examples on the internet. As a guideline maybe look at several and choose what feels right for you? Try to keep it simple. Or listen to a relaxation cd on a daily basis. Again there are many of these available. Aim to give yourself and partner at least one session of relaxation each per day, as it helps to reduce to progressive effects of stress. If you are a single parent then try and gain some help, so that you are able to do this for yourself. Physical exercise can also be an important.

extra Where to go for help

� Dr Gareth Thomas is a local parent, practicing dentist and stress therapist. He runs a stress therapy clinic in Richmond and has created a relaxation cd for daily use. Contact him on 07876 423 876 � Ask advice from your own general medical practitioner � Consult many of the parental helplines or self-help books available

Handmade watermelon baby hat from

Starting a family is a life-changing event. Apart from the obvious joy a new life adds to a family, there are also many new experiences, which can lead to added stresses for us as parents. It is unrealistic to believe that stress does not exist in parenting to some degree or another. It should be totally accepted and understood that a degree of stress is inevitably going to be experienced within a family. According to Holmes and Rahe’s Stress Scale, gaining a new family member is the fourteenth most stressful life experiences out of a list of 100 life experiences! So how do you deal with it? Out of the many definitions of stress states that, ‘Stress is the body’s physiological reaction to fearful emotions that are triggered by thoughts of being under pressure’. The signs may be divided into mild, moderate and severe. The early stages may present as a generalised low level of irritability and anxiety, triggered by a variety of situations, such as new experiences that challenge our sense of security. As stress builds we can also introduce our own coping mechanisms, one of these being increased alcohol intake. Stress has a tendency to compact and increase over time, which leads to more obvious signs of over sensitivity, such as irrational outbursts of anger or tears. One of the more common experiences in early parenting is sleep loss,

This is because it helps to break down some of the by products of stress as well as ground the thought processes, which may subsequently have an overall calming effect. Many of stress-related issues in parenting relate to not really knowing what to do in certain situations. We can tend to get stuck between our own upbringing and how we would like to raise our own children. Particularly with the first child, knowing what to do can be very daunting. Acknowledging this and seeking out professional help or advice can be a major breakthrough in reducing parental-related stress and tends to lead to a more enjoyable experience of family life. There are also many informative books available on all subjects that may arise at each stage. Sharing experiences are important aspects of learning and feeling supported in a community. Additionally, looking at how stress can be managed can be helpful, particularly when parents may perceive and experience stress differently, identifying individual factors can lead to an overall reduction of stress individually and collectively as a family unit. Above all try not to avoid looking at stress and its effects, by acknowledging how it may affect us all as parents and always being open to seek out professional help wherever necessary.


March-April 2012

what’s on

West London Spanish Dance School

Flamenco Dance

FUN INDOORS 3rd MARCH, Little Hollywood Family Fun at Elmbridge Museum, Church Street, Weybridge, KT13 8DE, 2 to 4pm. Discover how Hepworth Studios in Elmbridge played a significant role in movie history. Create your own moving images and clapper board to take home. Little Hollywood is part of a series of Family Fun days held at the Elmbridge Museum, Weybridge once a month, on a Saturday. Booking not necessary, but first come, first served, so arrive early to avoid disappointment. Children must be accompanied by an adult. A charge of £1.50 per child applies. More details on 01932 843573. 3rd MARCH, 15 Minutes of Fun making Cupcake Case Flowers at Chertsey Museum, The Cedars, 33 Windsor Street, Chertsey, KT16 8AT, 2 to 4pm. Free craft activity for families. 01932 565764 10th MARCH, Bug Hunt at Chertsey Museum, The Cedars, 33 Windsor Street, Chertsey, KT16 8AT, 11am to 12.30pm and 2 to 3.30pm. Booking essential on 01932 565764 25th MARCH and 29th APRIL, Family Discovery Days at Osterley House, Jersey Road, Isleworth, TW7 4RB, 1 to 4pm. A changing programme of activities on the last Sunday of the month; may include art, craft, storytelling or hands-on activities in the house and garden. More details on 020 8232 5050 29th MARCH, French Storytime at Osterley Library, Saint Mary’s Crescent, Isleworth, TW7 4NB, 11 to 11.30am. Special storytime in French. Sing some traditional French songs. For children aged 2+. Free event but booking required on 020 8560 4295. 3rd, 5th, 11th and 13th APRIL, Easter Family Workshops at Museum of Richmond, Old Town Hall, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond, TW9 1TP, 10am to 12 noon. Arts and craft activities. Call 020 8332 1141 for more information or visit 7th APRIL, 15 Minutes of Fun Easter Egg Painting at Chertsey Museum, The Cedars, 33 Windsor Street, Chertsey, KT16 8AT, 2 to 4pm. Free craft activity for families. 01932 565764

May Fairs, school fetes, outdoor fun and games ... Have your event listed here for FREE! simply email with full details by 1st April to be part of our May/June issue.

Join our popular classes at: Waldegrave School Dance Studio, Twickenham Wednesdays: Children 4.15pm Young Adult &Adult 6.00pm Beginners & Improvers

07833 195 361 Betty Cid


828 Lucy Sheather A Mar12.indd 1

16/02/2012 19:48

Ball skill classes for 18 months to 5 years Fun and interactive games 30 and 45 minute classes Balls, scarves, bean bags and balloons All instructors are CRB checked

To book your FREE class call

020 8398 3034 or Classes in: Kingston, Twickenham, Thames Ditton, Teddington, Molesey and Richmond

69 Basingfield Road, Thames Ditton, Surrey, KT7 0PB

Staines Preparatory School IAPS | Founded 1935 | Co-educational since 1941

5th and 12th APRIL, Osterley Craft Cart, 1 to 4pm. Visit the craft cart on the Front Lawn for trails and simple craft activities for families. More details on 020 8232 5050 11th APRIL, Dusty Does Disco - Easter Eggstravaganza at The Winning Post Function Room, Chertsey Road, Whitton, TW2 6LS, 2 to 4pm. Easter themed fun children’s disco with live DJ, lights, bubbles and great entertainment. 13th APRIL, Dickensian Richmond Family Workshop at Richmond Lending Library, Little Green, Richmond, TW9 1QL, 2pm. An object handling and art and craft activity. Call 020 8332 1141 for more information. 14th APRIL, Congratulations! Family Fun at Elmbridge Museum, Church Street Weybridge, KT13 8DE, 2 to 4pm. Our Surrey Heroes is the theme of this year’s Surrey Museums Month. Celebrate the achievements of some of Elmbridge’s past residents and make your own medal to wear home with pride. Part of a series of Family Fun days held at the Elmbridge Museum, Weybridge once a month, on a Saturday. Booking not necessary, but first come, first served, so arrive early to avoid disappointment. Children must be accompanied by an adult. A charge of £1.50 per child applies. More details on 01932 843573. 28th APRIL, Riverhouse Open Day, Manor Road, Walton, KT12 2PF, 10.30am to 4pm. Coffee, cake, bbq, Live music, open studio and workshops for everyone. All welcome. FREE admission. 10.30am to 12.30pm, Art and craft activities for all in the barn and studio. Coffee and cake in the cafe, 12.30 to 2pm bbq and live music. 2 to 4pm, Drama and dance workshops for all in the barn. Art in the studio, coffee, cake and craft in the café.

March-April 2012

Places available for September 2012

‘Have you ever considered an

Independent education for your child?’ Early registration advisable as we are operating a waiting list for some of our current year groups.

For assistance with fee planning and other fee information please contact the Bursar. Staines Preparatory School, 3 Gresham Road Staines, Middlesex. TW18 2BT

01784 450909 |


what’s on 5th MAY, Fun at Elmbridge Museum, Church Street Weybridge, KT13 8DE, 2 to 4pm. Plants come in all shapes, sizes, colours and textures. Explore the structure of plants and construct your own big botanical specimens using mixed media. Part of a series of Family Fun days held at the Elmbridge Museum, Weybridge once a month, on a Saturday. Booking not necessary, but first come, first served, so arrive early to avoid disappointment. Children must be accompanied by an adult. A charge of £1.50 per child applies. More details on 01932 843573. 5th MAY, 15 Minutes of Fun making Crocodile Peg Clips at Chertsey Museum, The Cedars, 33 Windsor Street, Chertsey, KT16 8AT, 2 to 4pm. Free craft activity for families. 01932 565764

MOTHER’S DAY 18th MARCH, Free entry to all mothers at Painshill Park, Portsmouth Road, Cobham, KT11 1JE. 01932 868113 18th MARCH, Mothers get in free at Claremont Gardens, Portsmouth Road, Esher, KT11 9JG. Contact 01372 467806 for more details. 18th MARCH, We Love Mums at Snakes and Ladders, Syon Park, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Mums can relax with a free tea or coffee while children have a blast in the play area. Mum will need a Facebook voucher which she can get from 1st March at 020 8847 0946



Pilates in Richmond and Twickenham Bumps, Babies, Beginners welcome

work SCENTSY! - Taking the UK by 18/08/2011 storm! Build the best business ever! All from home, with or without the kids, and on a shoestring. Visit or 707 Call 11+ Tuition 15/12/09 Cally on 07780 674741

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11/02/2012 and Mock Exam Paper Practice TIFFIN/GRAMMAR & Private School Entry

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Call 07530 283330 to advertise in our May/June issue


Surbiton Kingston Richmond Hampton Sheen Putney Wimbledon Sutton KS2: YEAR 4 - 6 (Tiffin, 11+ Common Entrance, Bursaries and Scholarships) Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Mathematics, English, Exam Practice, Interview Technique Highly Experienced Graduate Teacher, B.Sc (Hons), PGCE


TEL: 0208-390-6076 22

FUN OUTDOORS 10th MARCH, Signs of Spring Walk at Bedfont Lakes Country Park, Clockhouse Lane, Bedfont, TW14 8QA, 10am. Take a leisurely stroll by the lakes. See spring flowers, frogspawn and other signs that tell us that winter is finally over. £1 per child/concessions, £2 per adult. More details on 0845 456 2796 25th MARCH, Spring Walk at Hounslow Heath, 450 Staines Road, Hounslow, TW4 5AB, 11am. See the Heath as it bursts into blossom. Hear stonechats singing from the gorse bushes and observe other springtime sights. £1 per child/concession, £2 per adult, 0845 456 2796. 8th APRIL, Easter Eggstravaganza, Bunnies and Big Bouncy Castle at Merton Abbey Mills, Merantun Way, Wimbledon, SW19 2RD, 11.30am to 1.30pm. For ages 2 to 11 years. More details at 15th APRIL, Tree Tales at Osterley Park, Jersey Road, Isleworth, TW7 4RB, 2 to 3.30pm. If trees could talk, what would they tell us? Join the Warden for a walk in the park taking in some of Osterley’s rare and veteran trees. Adult £5, child £2.50. More on 020 8232 5050 21st APRIL, Family Farm Day at Claremont Gardens, Portsmouth Road, Esher, KT11 9JG, 1030a, to 5pm. A fun day for all the family with a large variety of farm animals. These may include sheep, lambs, piglets, ponies, goats, chickens and ducks to name but a few. Children will be able to learn about the animals and have an opportunity to stroke, groom, feed and milk the wide range of animals. More details on 01372 467806 21st APRIL, Whitton Fair, Whitton High Street Whitton, Twickenham, TW2. 07828 533436 27th APRIL, Bat Walk Horseshoe Clump car park, Portsmouth Road, Esher (opposite Blackhills), 8.15 to 9.45pm. Discover more about these fascinating creatures on a guided walk around The Ledges and River Mole. It’s hoped to see Daubenton’s bats and common pipistrelles. No need to book, just turn up. Take a torch. More details from 01372 474565 29th APRIL, Bluebell Walk in Osterley Park, Jersey Road, Isleworth, TW7 4RB, 1.30pm. Take a guided walk with one of the wardens 18:34through the Bluebell woods within the Garden. More details on 020 8232 5050,



3rd MARCH, Twickenham, Hounslow and District NCT Nearly New Sale, All Hallows Church Hall, Erncroft Way, Twickenham TW1, 10 to 11.30am. Admission £1.50, refreshments available. Parking in the 10:26Church hall car park. 10th MARCH, Weybridge, Oatlands and Addlestone Nearly New Sale, Addlestone Community Centre, Garfield Road, Addlestone, KT15 2NJ, 10 to 11.30am. £1 entry. 17th MARCH, Staines, Ashford and Egham NCT Nearly New Sale, Egham Leisure Centre Vicarage Lane, Egham, TW20 8NL, 10.30am to 12 noon. Fantastic bargains in nursery equipment, prams, babies’ and children’s clothes, toys, games, books and maternity wear. Free parking, coffee shop and soft play area within Leisure Centre. Entrance £1.50 per adult. 18th MARCH, Kingston NCT Nearly New Sale, Tolworth Recreation Centre, Fullers Way North, Tolworth, KT6 7LQ, 3 to 5pm. 21st APRIL, Chertsey NCT Nearly New Sale, The Chertsey Hall, Heriot Road, Chertsey KT16 9BU, 10.45am to 12.15pm.

March-April 2012

SHOWTIME 3rd MARCH, Lempen Puppet Theatre Company presents Ugly Beauty at Riverhouse Barn, Manor Road, Walton, KT12 2PF, 8pm. In the Kingdom of Rumours lives Princess Suzanna the Golden. She is rich and famous but not happy. But why is she so sad? And what in the world will make her happy? Only Melo, the unusual musician, has the gift to help her. A theatrical performance using acting, puppets, shadows and music for everyone from 5 to 105 years. Tickets £7 (£6 carpet seats). Book on 01932 253354. 4th MARCH, Horse and Bamboo presents Little Red Riding Hood at Watermans, 40 High Street, Brentford, TW8 0DS, 3pm. For ages 4+, lasts 55 minutes. A young girl, a hungry wolf, and a walk through the woods - it sounds like a recipe for disaster, but Red Riding Hood’s not scared… well maybe she’s a little bit scared. Horse and Bamboo present a gorgeously rendered re-telling of the classic girl-and-the-wolf tale. Exquisite visuals blend with pantomime-style silliness and spooky moments to create an enchanting piece of theatre. Ideal for all ages over 4. FREE post-show chat and chance to meet the puppets after the show, open to all ticket holders. (See photo above.) Book on 020 8232 1010 11th MARCH, Theatre of Widdershins presents The Elves and the Shoemaker at Watermans, 40 High Street, Brentford, TW8 0DS, 3pm. For ages 3 to 9 years, 50 minutes. Elvis Schumacher, cobbler and craftsman, has worked all his life creating the most beautiful footwear. But now he’s hit hard times…. Everyone’s buying boring shoes from the evil businessman, Bunyan Sole-less. Time is running out for Elvis. With one piece of leather left and Bunyan’s factory growing, can anyone help him? Inspired by the exquisite Ladybird Book, which all parents will remember, Theatre of Widdershins brings you another classic fable using magical puppets, intricate design, and original music. Book on 020 8232 1010 18th MARCH, PuppetLab present Funnybones at Watermans, 40 High Street, Brentford, TW8 0DS, 3pm. Meet three skeletons, Big, Little and Dog, as they go adventuring to find fun, frights and friendship. Spooky houses, dancing clocks, dinosaurs and skeleton pets all make an appearance as well as that darned Black Cat. Woof Woof. The Puppet Lab has been inspired by the popular books of Janet and Allan Ahlberg, as well as the Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations, to find the funny side of bones. Kim Bergsagel’s wonderful puppets burst with character and the set transforms into a multitude of spaces and places. Book on 020 8232 1010 24th MARCH, Image Musical Theatre presents The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Vera Fletcher Hall, 4, Embercourt Road, Thames Ditton, KT7 0LQ, 2.30pm. A family participation musical for ages 5 to 11 years. Tickets £6, book on 0844 884 8832 24th MARCH, Hand to Mouth Theatre presents Remember The Umbrella at Riverhouse Barn, Manor Road, Walton, KT12 2PF, 2 and 4pm. An original combination of storytelling and visual theatre using shadow puppetry, as well as live music and song and gentle audience participation, and is a one woman show for children by artist and musician Su Eaton. For more information and bookings visit or phone the box office on 01932 253354. 25th MARCH, Apples & Snakes in Association with Half Moon present A Roo in My Suitcase at Watermans, 40 High Street, Brentford, TW8 0DS, 3pm. For ages 3 to 6 years, 50 minutes. When Rosie Harris arrives in the UK from Down Under, she discovers she’s brought a suitcase full of stowaways! Kangaroos, koalas and other Australian animals join her as she tries to find where she really belongs. But will Rosie and her animal pals fit in? Can they make new friends, as they share amazing stories about wildlife, Aussie-style? Funny, quirky and cuddly as a bag of marsupials! Book on 020 8232 1010 March-April 2012

1st APRIL, Science Museum Live on Tour at Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond, TW9 1QJ. Unleash your inner Einstein with explosive fun for all the family! Experience spectacular science, dangerous demonstration and extraordinary experiments as the Science Museum takes to the stage with a fantastic live show. £13.50/£15.50. Book on 0844 871 7651 1st APRIL, Noisy Oyster presents The Three Billy Pigs at Watermans, 40 High Street, Brentford, TW8 0DS, 3pm. Once upon a time there were three little pigs who set off to build their dream houses in the green field on the other side of the river. But then these homes are put to the test by a misunderstood wolf who has a little bit of a problem. The Three Billy Pigs blends 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 eco-awareness in a pig style. Book on 020 8232 1010 15th APRIL, Kipper Tie present The Ugly Duckling, Watermans, 40 High Street, Brentford, TW8 0DS, 3pm. For ages 2+, 50 minutes. From the creators of The Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business, the tale of the unhappy duckling who grows into a beautiful swan. This new version is suitable for the whole family, this is theatre to enchant and delight all ages. Book on 020 8232 1010 21st APRIL, Children’s People Theatre presents There was an Old Lady at Riverhouse Barn, Manor Road, Walton, KT12 2PF, 11.30am and 2.30pm. There was an old lady who swallowed a fly, I don’t know why she swallowed a fly.... The People’s Theatre Company bring one of the world’s best loved nursery rhymes to life for the very first time. Presented by the team behind How The Koala Learnt To Hug and The Witch’s Bogey, this magical new show has been written especially for parents to enjoy with their children, so come and relive the delights of this most charming of tales with a feast of first class games, colourful animal characters and heart-warming family fun. The perfect treat for anyone aged 4 to 104. Tickets £8 (£6 carpet seats), Box office 01932 253354 22nd APRIL, Children’s People Theatre presents There was an Old Lady at Watermans, 40 High Street, Brentford, TW8 0DS, 3pm. Show details as above. Book on 020 8232 1010 29th APRIL, Krazy at Theatre presents Pied Piper at Watermans, 40 High Street, Brentford, TW8 0DS, 3pm. Puppets and people present this new version of the classic tale for ages 3 to 7 years. (See photo above.) Book on 020 8232 1010

FOR PARENTS 27th MARCH, LIVE, Business Design Centre, Islington, London, 9am to 4pm. 29th MARCH, Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust - foundation trust public meeting, Cole Court Centre, 150 London Road, Twickenham, TW1 1HD, 7 to 8pm. Find out more about plans to become a NHS foundation trust. 28th APRIL, St John’s Ambulance Save a Life Training at Sacred Heart Catholic Church Hall opposite Waitrose, Cobham, KT11 1AA and Xcel Leisure Centre, Waterside Drive, Walton, KT12 2JG,10am to 3pm. Just 30 minutes of FREE first aid training would give you the skills and confidence to step up and make a difference. Simple things can save a life. Contact Surrey SJA HQ on 01483 450000 opt 3 or go to for more details. See page 4 and pages 14 and 15 for more great things to do with your family this March and April.


Left to right: Pied Piper and Little Red Riding Hood at Watermans, Brentford on 29th April and 4th March

Please double check details of all events before leaving home as we compiled these listings in early February.




sunday 1 april st

Family Day

parade of hounds, sheep dogs and much more

Superb JumpS racing and charity race

Free entertainment including family farm and country shopping

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