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Central Scotland’s really useful magazine for busy families of children age 0-12

Issue 23 July/Aug 2014

In this Issue

• Summer holidays feature • Back to school • Out and about

Kids go free voucher at Sea Life Aquarium

079302 64979

contents Central Scotland’s

really useful magazine

for busy families of

children age 0-12

FREE Issue 23 July/Aug 2014

Local news and views..............................................4 – 6

In this Issue

• Summer holidays feature • Back to school • Out and about

Welcome to the July/August summer issue of Families Central Scotland. We have a great summer feature packed with lots of ideas to keep the kids and you happy, busy and active this summer. Our back to school feature has an article on how to create a healthy dialogue with your child’s school, some tips on getting prepared for going back to school and we have a great internet safety article too! All this and our regular news and views, parent to parent and out and about. Hoping you have a sunny and fun Summer!!!! www.familiescentralscotla


Summer feature........................................................8 – 11 Back to school............................................................ 12-13

079302 64979

Internet safety.....................................................................14

Fiona & Louise the editors

Parent to parent................................................................15

In this issue Loch Lomond Sea Life Aquarium kids go free 15 In the Night Garden Live at Glasgow Queen’s Park £5 off 19

Out and about........................................................... 17-19 Circulation 12,000 copies delivered directly to nurseries, playgroups, health centres, libraries, leisure facilities as well as selected shops, cafes and schools. Please contact us if you wish to receive our media pack, detailing costs and sizes of adverts.

contact us To advertise with us or to have your event listed in our magazine email Bookings are now being taken for the September/October 2014 issue – deadline 1st August

Design - Gillian McKendrick of Lamb Designs

Find us on facebook and twitter @familiescentral and visit our new website for our what’s on, more articles and our directory.

Families Central Scotland is part of a larger group of magazines headed by Families SW London who are celebrating 20 years of publishing. All Franchised magazines are operated under licence. We take every care preparing this magazine but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequences. Any original materials are sent at the owners own risk and while every care is taken neither families nor its agents accept liability for loss or damage.

At Beaconhurst your child’s education is of Primary importance Our Primary school class provides unique building blocks for

your child to achieve, including: Our Primary 1 class provides unique • Fantasticcampusandaccessto building blocks for your child to Stirling University facilities • Guaranteed small class size. achieve, including: • A caring and stimulating • •


• • •• •

Subject specialist teaching including languages, science and music. environment Opportunities for individual development both academically and Subject specialist teaching At the recent HMIe inspection our personally. children were described as Opportunities for individual Excellent Outdoor Education Programme. “confidentwithoutbeingarrogant”. Quality structured sporting activities. development both academically and personally Find University out more atfacilities. our informal Fantastic campus and access to Stirling Parents Meeting – exclusively Excellent Education A caring Outdoor and stimulating environment. for J1 children (our Primary 1) Guaranteed small class sizes


Thursday 31described January atas 6pm. At astructured recent HMIe inspection our on children were Quality sporting “confident without being arrogant” Telephone: 01786 832146 activities Email:

Telephone the school to find out more on 01786 832146 email:

Call 01786 832


52 Kenilworth Road, Bridge of Allan FK9 4RR

Summer Reading Challenge 2014 Stirling, Falkirk and Clacks Libraries are taking part in the Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge again this year. The challenge will run from Saturday 21st June to Saturday 30th August. The theme this year is Mythical Maze, illustrated by award winning Sarah MacIntyre. Mythical Maze challenges children to find their way around a labyrinth filled with fantastical creatures from the world of legend and mythology. Collect stickers, win prizes and take part in activities along the way. Will your child be able to find their path to claim a mythical medal and become a Reading Legend this summer? Children can read whatever they like - fact books, joke books, picture books, audio books - just follow the trail to your library and have an a-maze-ing time this summer with the Mythical Maze Tesco Bank Summer Reading Challenge!

Off the Page Stirling Book Festival Now in our ninth year, Stirling Libraries’ Off the Page book festival has a full and exciting programme for adults, schools and children in 2014. The book festival runs from Saturday 13th to Saturday 20th September. The hugely popular Cathy Cassidy is appearing at the Tolbooth Theatre and Teri Terry, the winner of the recent RED Book Award for her novel, Slated, will be at St Ninians Library. There will be a scrumdidilyumptious 50th anniversary celebration of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Dunblane Library on Roald Dahl Day, and the hilarious Frank Rodgers will be popping in to Central Library. Bring your teddy along to one of the special Bookbug Sessions, or join us at Cambusbarron Community Centre for a Magical Unicorn Fun Day with Linda Chapman. For more information on Off the Page and details on how to buy tickets, please ask at any library for a programme, check out the website , or follow us on Twitter @StirlingLibs or Facebook

In the Night Garden Live In the Night Garden Live is an amazing musical theatre experience for all the family. Children’s favourite CBeebies’ stars - Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka and friends - are all brought beautifully to life on stage using full-size costumes, magical puppets, enchanting music and breathtaking projections. This year this delightful Summer classic for children will visit Queen’s Park Recreation Ground in Glasgow 30 August – 13 September. In the Night Garden Live takes place in its own all-weather, purpose-built inflatable showdome with many family-friendly facilities. This site-specific structure is a huge hit with children and parents and its immersive theatrical experience makes audiences feel they are actually entering the magical world of the TV show - In the Night Garden. Andrew Collier, Creative Director of Minor Entertainment said: “Parents tell us that children as young as a few months old engage with the live show. It’s a huge responsibility and enormous privilege to give so many children their first experience of live theatre.” For more info or to book tickets visit or call 0333 300 0023

Enrolling your child for swim classes... In addition to boosting your child’s self-confidence and providing a great form of fun and exercise, learning to swim is a vital survival skill. It’s important to understand too, that children don’t learn to swim in just a few lessons, it takes lots of time and plenty of practice. A good swim school should offer - small classes, structured, progressive, fun lessons, similar skill levels/age groups, qualified/ experienced instructors, quiet venues, preferably dedicated to swim lessons and limited, if any, artificial swimming aids. SwimVibe Limited is a new Stirling based swim school run by Tanya Fraser who has been teaching swimming for 24 years and has extensive knowledge and experience gained through successfully establishing and managing two large swim schools. SwimVibe offers classes for – Parent and Toddler, Toddler Weaning(transition from swimming with parent to swimming on own), Confidence/Learnto-Swim, Stroke Development/Technique and Intensive Holiday Programme/Water Safety. For more information call 01786 845864 or visit our website

Open everyday 10.00-5.30pm


families central scotland / issue 23

Summer sports camp

The University of Stirling children’s holiday programme starts on Monday 30 June 2014 and runs for six weeks. The popular sports camp takes on a Commonwealth theme this year. Children take part in different sports each day for a week: including swimming, football, tennis, trampoline, athletics and Commonwealth sports. There are quizzes and competitions. The camp culminates, on Friday afternoon, in a treasure hunt and award ceremony. There are sports specific sessions led by expert coaches in golf, tennis, kayaking and swimming. The intensive learn to swim classes will boost children’s confidence and fast-track their swimming development ready for school swimming or term time lessons. ParSystemGolf is a new junior golf coaching programme. Designed and led by PGA golf coach Tim Mitchell, this unique programme is developed and tailored to the child whether they are just starting out or keen to improve. To book a space contact Gannochy Sports Centre 01786 466900 For further details or email

We have a fantastic new website go have a look!

What is child abuse? Child abuse is when someone harms a child or young person. Abuse can be physical, emotional, or sexual, or can be as a result of neglect. Are you worried about a child? Please report your concerns to the child’s local authority – you may have important information that could help that child and their family. WithScotland provides a quick and easy postcode search facility on its website. This allows you to find contact details for the relevant local authority in Scotland where you can report your concerns. Don’t leave it to someone else For more information, visit


Arnhall Day Nursery Open Day : Friday, 26th September 2014! We have been established in the beautiful rural surroundings of the Keir Estate, on the outskirts of Dunblane, for 24 years and operate in partnership with Stirling Council. Graded ‘excellent’ in 7 areas by the Care Inspectorate, we follow Curriculum for Excellence and PreBirth to Three planning. Children from birth up to 5 years receive high quality childcare by qualified and fully trained staff; working closely with parents to ensure an excellent service is provided at all times. Nutritional meals are provided by our in-house chef enabling your child to experience a variety of homemade foods. Open all year round between 7.30am and 6.30pm, children who come to Arnhall will experience playtime in our fabulous gardens/outdoor classroom, enjoy woodland walks and Forest Schools. For further details or to arrange a visit please contact the Nursery direct on 01786 822391 or visit our updated website at

Little Stars Nursery

The Kidz Stop, Bo’ness and Linlithgow

The Kidz Stop has been looking after children in Bo’ness for over 10 years and now also in Linlithgow Bridge. Our staff team has been carefully chosen for their personality and commitment to children. As a partnership nursery with Falkirk Council, we offer funded places to 3-5 year olds and we are supported by a qualified teacher. Our Bo’ness nursery has a dedicated cook providing healthy meals, and our nursery gardens offer a variety of outdoor play opportunities and learning experiences. We have an Out of School Club with trips and outings covering all the school holidays. In 2010 and 2011 The Kidz Stop were voted runners up Nursery of the Year across Scotland by NDNA. Visit our website today at www. or call Caroline at Bo’ness on 01506 828007 or Pauleen at Linlithgow on 01506 239 295.

Babyccino Stirling

Little Stars Nursery is now able to offer pre-school funding after being awarded partnership with Stirling Council. The private nursery part of the Little Stars Group, with sister nurseries in Alloa/Falkirk/Govan and Hillington is set in 20 acres of parklands at the historic mansion Craigforth House next to the Prudential Campus, opposite the Castle Business Park and near the new Forth Valley College at Junction 10 off the M9. The nursery has a 100m gym trail, outdoor play area and even an outdoor classroom. Children spend as much time as they can outside with a base camp of tractor tyres where they can plan their day looking for mini beasts or climbing trees. The nursery has its own qualified teacher who follows Curriculum for Excellence guidelines and at a recent inspection was awarded very goods and excellents. We are now taking bookings for the new term: for more information call 01786 445552, email stirling@ or visit our website

Babyccino Stirling

Stirling has traditionally had a Breastfeeding group for many years. Its latest metamorphosis is to Babyccino Stirling. A social hub run by mums for A social hub in Stirling for breastfeeding mums breastfeeding mums and their babies. Come along for a coffee and a chat about breastfeeding, starting solids, sleep (or lack and of it!)babies and all Baby related topics. We sometimes even talk about topics not relating to babies! The group is vital to our community. For a coffee andto meet Mums breastfeeding many Mums it provides them with their first opportunity to breastfeed in public.Come It isalong alsoforwonderful beother amongst peers who have shared many of the same experiences, concerns and triumphs you do.If more assistance than Provide youryou baby require with the opportunity to socialise from an we early age can give, we can point you in the direction of the information you require or who can help you. Please find further information on our facebook page: Find out where to access the most up to date feeding information and resources

Pop in on a Friday morning between 10.30 - 12, @ The Mayfield Centre, St Ninians

     

  


families central scotland / issue 23




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Open day on Friday 26th September

Arnhall Nursery is a private day nursery that provides high quality childcare from birth up to 5 years • Graded Excellent in 7 areas by SCSWIS 2014 • Set in beautiful surroundings near Dunblane with ample parking • Open all year round from 7.30am to 6.30pm • All meals included - home cooked by our in-house chef • Fully qualifed & trained staff For further details or to arrange a visit please contact the Nursery direct


on 01786 822 391 Keir Estate, Dunblane FK15 9NU

The Stirling Arcade

Little Stars Stirling is now in partnership with Stirling Council for pre-school funding and now taking bookings for the new term. Where the stars of the future shine! STIRLING

Craigforth House, c/o Prudential Craigforth, Stirling FK9 4UE 01786 445552.

Also at ALLOA and FALKIRK see website for detail.

Babies to 5 years Pre Schoo l

Fund Avail ing able

The largest and still the best network of performing arts schools in the world. Nurturing and developing young people’s potential through dance, drama and singing. for 4-18 year olds, after school, at weekends and holiday workshops. For a prospectus, call Stagecoach Stirling now on: 0131 337 7774 or email:

STAGECOACH Summer 2014 Workshop 28th July to 1st August !! ENROL NOW !! Stagecoach Stirling is now taking bookings for the Summer term!

Let’s have fun this Summer Ping! Time to unplug and reconnect with your family


ummer is a great time to enjoy being together with your nearest and dearest. But for many families these days, even together time is dominated by mobile phones, iPads, TV and other devices. According to a recent survey, though, even kids themselves recognise the need to unplug and welcome the chance to ‘do something different’. Here are our top 20 ideas for what that ‘something different’ might be. 1. Sleep outdoors nothing says ‘summer’ like the chance to kip outside. If you can, find a campsite where you can go for a few days, but if you can’t get away put up a tent in the back garden. No tent? Borrow one. You’ll be amazed at the amount of fun kids can have with a few torches under canvas. Make sure they have lots of snacks – and don’t forget the singsongs! 2. Build a den - whether you do this indoors, in the garden, out in the woods or on the beach, you’ll have loads of fun. Joint tasks like making a den together bring out teamworking skills and help you see one another’s hidden strengths. Once the den is built, do something fun like having tea in it. 3. Go fruit picking - not only will you have a good time picking your favourite fruits and discovering new ones, you’ll also be setting up your next family project which will be making jams and chutneys or just a massive fruit salad to see you through the next few days, Briarlands is a great place to pick fruit. 4. Play a board game - this sounds so simple you can’t quite believe I’m recommending it! But a game like Monopoly or Cluedo, which children can play from a young age or can play in teams, is a genuinely bonding experience. Put those mobile phones and other devices way out of reach – yes, parents too – and concentrate on the game. And on one another. 5. Cook on a campfire - this is a perfect addon to your camping adventure. Get advice online about how to build your fire and what foods are best to cook on it (sausages, haloumi cheese, peppers, burgers are all easy peasy). 6. Go on a long bike ride if you’ve all got your own bikes you probably do this all the time. If not, it


families central scotland / issue 23

Joanna Moorhead





11. 12.


can be a really fabulous and different day out to hire bikes and follow a cycle trail. Pop into Cycle Hub, Stirling to check up on great family cycle routes! Ride a horse – some kids are pony-mad, but even those who don’t do regular lessons usually love at least the occasional chance to ride. Look up a riding school and see what they can offer in terms of a one-off experience, you might want a shot too!!! Reorganise your family photographs - these days, many families’ photographs remain in online galleries. They can be a great way of sharing pictures with relatives and friends – but there’s a huge amount of fun to be had from creating an old fashioned album together, when you relive past fun and remember what you enjoy most as a family. Borrow a dog for a weekend - if you have your own dog, this isn’t for you. But if you’re not a dog-owning family, having one on loan for a few days can be a hugely rewarding experience, so ask around friends who have dogs - would they like you to dog sit for a few days? Climb a big hill - this can be a mountain or a fairly small hill, depending on how old your children are. Enjoy helping one another to make the climb; your reward is the view from the top, and the picnic lunch you have up there! Have a treasure hunt – there are loads of different ways to run a treasure hunt, so read up on the different methods online. It’s all down to good planning! Have a snail race find some snails, and set up the course; place bets on which snail will win, and watch the action unfold. Go star-gazing - find a place where the sky is open, ideally away from too many artificial lights; do some research beforehand so you know what to look for, and when you get a clear evening, head off in search of the North Pole, Saturn and the Plough. Take a blanket with you so everyone can lie down and look up, which makes it more relaxing.

Let’s have fun this Summer •

14. Track wild animals – this is something that can be done in the countryside, the local park or your back garden. Your children are looking for signs that animals have been here: pawprints, claw marks, scuff marks and – most fascinating of all for most kids – poo! 15. Find your way with a map and compass – whether you’re in the town or the country, whether it’s somewhere you know or somewhere new to you, there’s loads to learn from this. It’s tricky to work out the compass points, so a good activity to do as a family: also great to familiarise children with maps and their usefulness. 16. Switch roles in the kitchen - if you’re usually the meal-maker, and the children are usually the table-setters, do things the other way round. Let the children plan, shop for and prepare the meal (depending on their ages, they may need some help) while you put together an excitingly-laid table. It’s always good in a family to do things a different way round…everyone learns, and there’s plenty of fun to be had. 17. Have a family talent show - this is a good one when you have another family or relatives visiting. Everyone has to do a turn; no wriggling out allowed, however shy the mums and dads are. Allow time for rehearsing, and have one person double up as a compere. Reciting a poem, singing a song, doing a mime, dancing, playing an instrument…everyone has a talent to share. 18. Make a family journal or scrap book - this can be a good project for a fixed amount of time, like a family holiday or a school holiday. Like a talent show, everyone needs to contribute something. Theme the book to the holiday you’re on or the season you’re in, and invite ideas on descriptions of where you are, reviews of local pubs or restaurants, accounts of days out or activities, book reviews or accounts of favourite ways to spend time together as a family. Writers can write, artists can draw. You’ll keep this book forever; it will be a snapshot of your family in a certain place, at a certain time. 19. Fly a kite - they’re cheap and easy to buy, or you can even make your own. Read up on tips about how to fly them on-line. There’s nothing better than seeing your kite soar into the air, knowing you’ve pulled together as a family to make it happen. 20. Learn a good card or magic trick – it takes practice but it’s enormous fun and if you get good at your trick, you really can surprise people (especially visitors). It’s part performance, part agility, part confidence – all useful skills for every child.

Free local things to do this Summer

Parks – there are loads of great parks in the local area. Callendar Park in Falkirk, Zetland Park in Grangemouth, Cochrane Park in Alva, Causewayhead Park and the Kings Park in Stirling. Why not pack up a picnic, phone a few friends and meet up.

Cycling – there are some lovely family friendly cycle paths around the central belt, go to our website to find our top family friendly routes.

Country Parks. We are so lucky to live on the doorstep of the Loch Lomond National Park and more locally we have Muiravonside Country Park, Gartmorn Dam, Beecraigs Country Park, Mugdock Country Park and Plean Country Park. There are places to walk, cycle, watch wildlife and look out for free ranger events suitable for all the family.

The Helix is a great space to walk, cycle, and explore.

Jupiter Wildlife Centre in Grangemouth has loads on offer over the summer from pond dipping to den building. There may be a small donation but the centre ranger is on hand to show you around

Callendar House is open throughout the summer, entrance to the house is free and the Georgian kitchen is open daily. There are demonstrations on every Thursday and arts and crafts workshops on every Wednesday and some workshops in the walled garden.

• Smith Gallery, Stirling - entrance is free and there is dressing up and brass rubbings for the kids, a fantastic garden to explore and a cafe to get a well deserved cup of tea! • Play in the Park and the Superbus will be coming to a park near you in the Stirling Council area throughout the summer holidays. These events are free and great fun. Email uk or phone 01786 233993 to get a programme of events and venues. •

Libraries. Don’t forget to join the summer reading challenge. This year’s theme is Mythical Maze. Pick up a leaflet at your local library and follow the challenge getting stickers and rewards along the way. Check out your local library for a programme of storytelling, competitions and arts and craft events. It’s all FREE!

Geocaching is a fun free way to go and explore your local countryside and look for hidden treasure.

Let’s have fun this Summer

Families Central Scotland’s top summer ideas – pull out and keep!

The Milk Barn

Loch Lomond Sea Life Aquarium

Briarlands Farm

Telling the story of a national hero at Scotland’s National Wallace Monument

The Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre – now open!

Holiday Fun at Callendar House

Come and enjoy a delicious homemade ice cream at the The Milk Barn. We have 18 different flavours on display. We also have soya ice cream for diabetics, dairy free sorbets and frozen yoghurt. All our ice cream is gluten free and egg free (unless cake or biscuit is in the added flavouring). The Milk Barn is situated on a working dairy farm and is very child friendly with indoor and outdoor play areas. Enjoy a fun, delicious day out for all the family and have a try at milking the fibre glass milking cow Glenda. We also serve sandwiches, baked potatoes, home baking etc. Open 10am to 5pm every day! Glen Farm, Glen Village, Falkirk, FK1 3AA Contact 01324 630703 or visit

We have exciting new things planned for summer 2014. As well as all your favourites, the bouncy pillows, huge play areas and cafe, we have new tractor and trailer rides so you can see behind the scenes of our working farm (£1 per person). We are introducing a new “Summer Holiday Pass” at £55 per family. This pass is valid from 28th June to 18th August. We are also offering another archery activity on the 11th July which is always a great experience for all! We are now selling our delicious strawberries and using them in our home baking! The strawberry tunnels are almost ready and we hope to open them in time for the summer holidays. Don’t forget we offer group visits for schools, nurseries, Brownies or whatever your group may be, as well as birthday parties. So whether you are with your family, friends or in a group you will have a great day out! Visit www.briarlandsfarm. or like our Facebook page to keep up to date!

700 years after the legendary battle, The National Trust for Scotland’s new Battle of Bannockburn experience puts you right at the heart of the action. Using cutting edge 3D technology you can learn about this crucial event in Scottish history and experience medieval combat like never before! In the Prepare for Battle room you will be right in the middle of the action surrounded by troops preparing for battle. You can see the weapons and learn all about the different people involved. Then pit your wits against fellow visitors in the virtual battlefield. Fantastic family fun as well as sneaking some learning into your family time this summer. Visit the battle field and round it off with a visit to the cafe and gift shop. The Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre is open 7 days a week. Tickets are limited and entry is by timed ticket. Visit


families central scotland / issue 23

The Moshi Monsters splash down at Loch Lomond SEA LIFE Aquarium and the Moshi Marine Force wants YOU! Join Katsuma, Poppet and Monstro City’s number one Moshling conservationist, Buster Bumblechops, on a mission to save our amazing marine creatures! With character Meet & Greets throughout the day, Missing Moshlings for you to find, Moshling Figure Swap Station for you to trade your Moshling’s and Busters Conservation Quiz where you can become a Conservation Hero, there will be fun and games for everyone to enjoy! For more details visit www.

Summer at the Monument is a great time to enjoy Stirling’s much-loved landmark, with walks in the woodlands, and regular performances by costumed actors, telling the tale of the warrior whose name has been celebrated for hundreds of years. The story of how the events of 1297 led to the Battle of Stirling Bridge and of how Wallace masterminded Scotland’s victory - is told through the fascinating exhibitions within the Monument, and of course at its heart is the legendary Wallace sword, symbolising the courage of ‘Scotland’s Braveheart’. Of course battles can be exhausting – so Legends Coffee House provides the ideal spot to relax afterwards for a well-earned break. Further information is available at and you can also keep in touch with what’s happening at NationalWallaceMonument

At Callendar House this summer there’s loads of FREE activities for you! Wednesdays from 2nd July to 6th August there will be drop-in art and craft activity 2-4pm (ages 5-12). And on Thursdays from 3rd July to 7th August 2-2.45pm Callendar House Kitchen Needs You! for WWI baking workshops (ages 5-12). On Saturday 19th July Marion Deuchars leads two family workshops themed ‘Let’s Make Art’ at 11am-12pm and 2-3pm (ages 6+). All activities are FREE and require an accompanying adult; tickets are required for ‘Callendar House Kitchen Needs You!’ and Marion Deuchars workshops. And we haven’t even mentioned the new museum activity backpacks for ages 5-12 helping you and your kids explore Callendar House (free with £5 deposit at reception). For full details visit www.

FREE Summer Fun at The Howgate

The Howgate Shopping Centre has FREE activities on throughout the summer holidays including an indoor beach (4th July to 18th August), Jo Jingles, face painting, puppet shows, animal workshops, Enjoya-Ball and lots more. Most events (except the beach) will be held in the Community Hub next to M&S. Little Paw are holding a special event on 26th July and 16th August. This is not a free event but Kids Club members will receive a 10% discount on all purchases. For dates, times and more information, follow us on Facebook or visit www.

Falkirk Bairns fest 2014

Bairnsfest 2014 will run from Tuesday 29th July – Saturday 2nd August and will offer an opportunity for all the family to get involved and celebrate this years Commonwealth Games. Throughout the week there will be lots going on at various locations across the town including storytelling, arts & craft workshops, face-painting, cultural exhibitions, BMX stunt displays, sports and games, all culminating in a fantastic Caribbean themed parade and street party on Saturday 2nd Aug. Come along and join in. Full information can be found at on Facebook/falkirk delivers or by calling 01324 611293. Also, on Wednesday 30th July, come along and see the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service in action throughout the day with many of their fabulous demonstrations including a car extrication and the ever popular fire dogs.

The Cardboardbox Cafe

Is the sun hiding again? Never mind; there’s a new café in Stirling city centre which isn’t just child friendly but child focused! The Cardboard Box offers a stimulating environment for parents and children alike. Whether meeting friends for an uninterrupted chat whilst the kids play happily, or looking for something constructive to do as a family, our activities are carefully chosen to spark the imagination and provide inspiration. We have role play, dressing up, a cosy reading corner with storysacks and lots more. The café also offers great coffee, home-made cakes and a range of snacks and light lunches. The Cardboard Box is a social enterprise, and not run for profit. Please note the café will be closed from 20th July- Tuesday 6th August. For more information, like us on Facebook Or visit our website

Let’s have fun this Summer

Little Paw

‘Stuff ’ your summer holidays full of fun with Little Paw Activity Den in The Stirling Arcade! You can build a bear or paint a ceramic from their bustling range; they always have plenty of teddy bears and ceramic animals to choose from, and with prices from £4.99 you will find something to keep everyone happy during the holidays! Little Paw also offers VIP birthday parties to keep the little ones entertained while they build a bear, or paint their very own ceramic with their friends. You can even include a lunch and birthday cake deal to make it even easier for you. Just drop them off and let Little Paw do the entertaining for a full 2 hours; but feel free to stay and enjoy the fun! This summer you can also have fun with their 7 week summer club – just check www. for details.

Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park

Set in 120 acres of beautiful woodland approximately 4 miles from Stirling on the A84, this is a “day out” that you don’t want to miss! The admission price includes the following attractions – drive through animal reserves, boat trip around Chimp Island, sea lion shows, bird of prey centre and daily demonstrations, Pets Farm, Lemur Land, Bug Land, keeper talks, adventure playground, pedal boats, flying fox and giant astraglide. There is a small charge for funfair/amusements, face painting, sand art and feeding for Pets Farm. You can eat in the restaurant, have a BBQ or bring a picnic and round off the day with a visit to the gift shop. Why not think about a Seasonal Membership, valid for 1 year from date of purchase – gives unlimited visits during the open season. Check out www. for more details.


Looking to catch How to Train Your Dragon 2 or Postman Pat? Then head for the Bo’ness Hippodrome www. venues/hippodrome and the Macrobert in Stirling for these and more family friendly films.

Back to School How to create a healthy dialogue with school


esearch shows that the better your relationship with your child’s school, the more they will enjoy learning and do well. However it’s often impossible to know what really goes on at school – children are not very forthcoming when it comes to recounting their day. If they do raise any issues, or if you sense something is amiss, it can be difficult to know how to broach the subject with school. As both a parent and a primary teacher, I know how hard it can be to strike the right balance. If you’re meeting a teacher outside of parents’ evening or classroom visits, it’s usually because there is a problem. These meetings can easily become tense, with both ‘sides’ on the defensive. Here are a few tips for successful communication: • Assume the best of your child’s teacher. They are trained professionals who understand the curriculum and child development. They ultimately want the same as you – a happy child who is learning. • Let teachers know if there are problems at home. You don’t have to go into graphic detail, just tell them if something’s happened which may affect your child’s behaviour. • Please don’t assume that your child always tells the truth! After all, teachers don’t automatically believe what your child tells them about home. • Remain calm and neutral. “Little Johnny came home rather upset about xxx, I wondered what your take on it is…”, rather than “Why did you shout at Little Johnny like that?” • Mediation. If you have issues with

by Sarah Hunter

a teacher’s conduct, and feel upset or angry, it’s best that an additional member of staff is present. Talk to the teacher first. Even negative feedback is appreciated. Going directly to the head is a bit like them phoning your boss whenever your child misbehaves! Remember that teachers are human. They sometimes make mistakes, so try to forgive them for it.

Helping out in school - Get an insight into how things are run and improve your relationship with the school by volunteering. Parent helper - Helping out in class can be fun and rewarding. Research shows that having a parent who volunteers improves a child’s experience of school. School trips - This one is great for ingratiating yourself. On what is invariably a stressful day, a responsible parent helping out can be a lifesaver! Use your expertise - Maybe there’s a school club that would fit your skill set or interests. If not, you could talk to the class or even do an assembly. One volcanologist parent at my son’s school did a legendary presentation including exploding volcanoes. Join the Parent Council - Fostering closer home-school links, the Parent Council usually organise the school’s fundraising projects, from fetes to family quiz nights. Run by committee they represent the views of all parents and play a role in the appointment of the Head Teacher and Depute Head Teacher.

Our top tips for a happy, healthy start to school: • Be positive – don’t let your own anxiety show • Talk to your child about what to expect at school • Prepare in advance and when the big day arrives keep calm, get up early and don’t rush • Shop together for school supplies – a new backpack and lunchbox is exciting • Ease into a school bedtime schedule – don’t let it be a shock the night before • Avoid separation anxiety - encourage your child to spend time with other people without you being there • Pack bags and lay out uniform the night before - sounds obvious but you’ll avoid a chaotic first morning • Hold back the tears - if you feel emotional keep it in until you leave the classroom, you won’t be alone!! • Don’t forget it will all be over soon – once your child is settled the whole thing will seem like a breeze!


families central scotland / issue 23

Back to School

Something Green For The Lunch Box? School packed lunches are traditionally wrapped in cling film, tin foil or plastic bags which end up in land fill sites - so what could be better than a Reusable Sandwich Wrap. Not only does it keep the sandwich or food fresh inside, but it also unfolds into a plate. Ideal for keeping your desk clean. No more worrying about toddlers eating food from the floor or dirty picnic tables. They’re perfect for toddler finger food, school or offices, packed lunches or picnics. The Wrapper can be used every day; just wipe down the plastic food side and an occasional rinse in the sink to get rid of any spill marks on the outside - all sealed up with a Velcro strip to keep it fresh..... INGENIOUS! LDPE Plastic lining conforms with EU Regulations 10/2011. For orders visit or phone 0141 954 4739 - Top Tips For Labelling Labels4Kids, sells personalised name labels worldwide via the website www.labels4kids. com Based in Stirling and run by Ann-Maree Morrison, Labels4Kids has years of experience in labelling. With 3 boys of her own, Ann-Maree has a number of tips for parents whose children are at school. 1. Label EVERYTHING from hair bands to swimming goggles… BECAUSE KIDS LOSE STUFF! 2. Better still, label it TWICE, once inside a pocket or on the care label, and once on the collar so there is NO DOUBT who things belong to. 3. There are brilliant stick on clothing labels, easy to use iron on labels and woven iron on labels from our range. See our Selection Packs for these combined with vinyl labels for hard surfaces, especially shoes, and bag tags too. 4. Cheap name tape just will not live up to the wash and neither do marker pens which fade. Belongings are too expensive to replace compared to the cost of good labels. 5. ORDER EARLY, waiting until August just adds to your stress. Check out the website at www. Labels4Kids can prevent lost property and wasted time and money buying new uniform or belongings.

Undetected eye conditions can disrupt your child’s education Eyes stop developing at the delicate age of eight, so it is essential for us as parents to protect our children’s eyes. Eye conditions are often undetected and as many as 1 in 5 will have an unnoticed eye condition - often caused by sitting too close to the television or holding reading books too near. Your child’s eyesight is precious and can determine how well they perform both inside and outside of school. Eye strain can not only trigger headaches and fatigue but may also cause long-term damage to their eye sight. Sadly, schools no longer hold regular eye screening for our children so we have made it a priority to offer a fun and relaxing environment for the whole family to come and have their eyes tested. Let’s teach our children the importance of healthy eyes by testing

them at least once every year and improve quality of sight for the next generation. Eye tests are completely free of charge in Scotland. Ochil Eyes, 105 High Street, Tillicoultry, 01259 752755. Call us or pop in and visit - we will be delighted to see you! www. or pages/Ochil-Eyes

Contact Gail 01259 211218


Internet Safety by With Scotland


ncreasing access to the internet at school and at home means that children and young people are spending more time online. While the internet provides extensive educational, entertainment and socialising opportunities, it also presents risks for children and young people. Often parents don’t feel as clued up as they should do with technology and feel that their children are more familiar with it than they are. How can you make sure your child is safe on-line if you don’t know how to set the boundaries and restrictions yourself? WithScotland is a national resource supporting professionals working with children and adults at risk of harm and abuse. We connect research with practice; exchange knowledge and ideas and coordinate activities across Child and Adult Protection Communities. Our website incorporates information for the general public as well as those who work with children and young people. Here, we have put together some hints and tips for parents helping their children negotiate online territory – something which can be daunting for even the most tech-savvy parents! For more information, please visit

Step one: set parental controls! Internet Service Providers (like Virgin media, Sky, BT) will all set parental controls if you ask them to. These can apply controls across all of the devices that access the internet through your home connection – such as laptops or games consoles. This will help to protect children when they are at home but not when they are elsewhere accessing the internet. Most computers, mobiles and games consoles now come with parental controls that can be applied. For example, within Windows and the Mac operating systems, there are parental controls that can be set for individual devices. This will help to protect children when they are using their phone/ laptop through someone else’s internet connection away from home.

Step two: know more so you can do more! Social networking sites offer children and young people opportunities to communicate with each other online, create and post content using a range of media and applications. New technologies enable children and young people to express themselves. The popularity of social networking sites such as YouTube and Facebook has led to the potential for individuals to share their views and talents with others, and as such can be important tools for self-expression. What can you do to help keep your child safe online? • Your role as a parent is crucial in working to help keep your child safe online. Always remember, the internet is a place where your children go – just like any other! • Ask your child the same questions when they go online as you would when they go out to play anywhere else – where are you going? when will you be back? who are you going with? what will you be doing when you get there?


families central scotland / issue 23

• Start a conversation with your child about what they do on the internet – show an interest and explain that if they see anything which makes them feel uncomfortable or they are unsure about, they can talk about it with you • Make sure children know not to give out any personal information • You can help your child make the right decisions - adhere to age restrictions on games • Talk to young people about the risk of sharing images of themselves and others • To keep your child safe, the mobile phones, games consoles, tablets and computers all need to have safety settings set on each device • Know what your child is doing online and that it is appropriate for their age • Make your child aware of CEOP - The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. If they feel uncomfortable voicing concerns to you, they can report them directly to CEOP.

What is Cyberbullying? Cyberbullying is bullying which takes place online (for example via email, instant messaging, online games and social networks) and through the use of mobile phones. Cyberbullying can include; Sending malicious or threatening text messages; Making malicious or threatening mobile phone calls; Taking embarrassing photographs and circulating them electronically; ‘Sexting’, or sending sexually explicit photographs or messages electronically, posting malicious, threatening or embarrassing comments and/or videos of children and young people; Using another person’s identity to bully someone else online. In 2011, respectme carried out a survey of 3,922 Scottish children and young people aged 8-19 and found that 16% said they had been cyberbullied; children who had experienced cyberbullying said that as a result they felt sad, upset, angry and ‘horrible’; 63% said they knew the cyberbully, and 40% of the time the bullying carried over to school.

More Information online-safety_wdh99554.html


i, my name is Briony Norris and I am all about having fun, whether it be messy play, learning about the environment, food or outdoor play - let’s just all have fun. I live in Bonnybridge in Falkirk with my three girls, Lucy (13) Charlotte (11) and Madison (4), soon to be 5. My business is twofold really, one is about learning through fun and the other is training anyone who is interested in Food Hygiene, Health and Safety or Nutrition. I am also keen to have fun parties with children which involve a fun based activity, which can include arts and crafts, games, sports day challenges and much more. If you want to know more then you can contact me at Find me on facebook or phone 07737 052668. Why you like living where you do? I like living in Bonnybridge as it is central to lots of amenities around and about. It has great walks and parks for the children to play in and we are only a 20 minute walk down the canal to the Falkirk Wheel, which is an amazing place for the children to play and have a picnic. Favourite park Our favourite park is hard to decide as we go to so many. My daughter Madison loves places with animals and we visit Muiravonside near Linlithgow quite regularly, where the children can play, we can walk the dogs and also look at animals. One of the best days we had out was at Deans Country Park in Glasgow, it was amazing with lots of things to do all day long and it was all free. Favourite children’s club/class Madison enjoyed music when she was little and went to Rhythm Time at Bonnybridge Parish Church, this is really good for the little ones. Charlotte loves to go horse riding at Dalnair Stables every week in Allandale and Margaret is brilliant with the children. Lucy loves her Air Cadets in Denny and is making lots of friends and learning new skills.

Favourite day out Our favourite day out again is hard to choose, lately we have enjoyed going to the cinema now Madison is old enough to sit and we find this very relaxing, then we all go out for tea at Nandos in Falkirk and this is extremely yummy. Proudest eco-friendly moment Being an Environmental Health Professional I am very passionate about the environment, so I am extremely eco friendly. We have been planting our own tomato seeds this year and can’t wait to eat them in the summer. We get all our own compost from the local refuse site and recycle all our food waste to make more. Parenting pet hates My parenting pet hate is doing all the ironing because the girls seem to change five times a day and I have no idea where all the washing and ironing comes from! No parent should be without No parent should be without tissues. All my children seem to have runny noses and colds whenever I do not have any in my pocket, hand bag or car. Favourite family holiday spot Loch Glen Water Park; it is quiet, but fun for the children with lots to do in the surrounding areas.

parent to parent

Most loved children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Most successful recipe/food The girls most favourite recipe is Mackerel Rissotto, they think it is really yummy as well as being healthy for you as it helps with developing your brain cells says Dr Madison.

Briony’s local recommendations Rhythm Time classes in Bonnybridge, Kilsyth and Cumbernauld, to find your local class visit Cinema – We have Cine World in Falkirk and The Vue in Stirling as well as The Bo’ness Hippodrome and the Macrobert in Stirling. Falkirk Wheel -

Best children DVD or TV programme The best DVD that we watched and laughed a lot throughout was Mr Poppers Penguins. This is because penguins are Madison’s favourite animal. Most played with toys Most played with toys are Madison’s dollies, Lucy loves her new stunt scooter and Charlotte likes her pink flicker.

Dalnair Stables – Allandale. Muiravonside Country Park muiravonside Air Cadets in Denny Nandos Falkirk 01324 621781



• • • • •

Experienced & professional childcare Caring family ethos Fresh healthy meals provided daily Situated in the heart of Bridge of Allan Catering for children aged 12 weeks to 5 years • Competitive rates for fulltime and part time sessions booked To arrange a visit please contact Angela Moore

t: 01786 474712 web: Bright Starts Nursery, 147 Henderson Street, Bridge of Allan FK9 4RJ

28th JUNE - 17th AUGUST

Terms & Conditions • This voucher entitles the holder to one FREE CHILD ENTRY provided that each voucher holder is accompanied by a separate full paying standard individual ticket. This voucher is not valid for use in conjunction with any other offer, concession or online/ call centre booking. This voucher has no cash value. This voucher is automatically void if sold, offered for sale or if any attempt or offer is made to transfer the voucher for value. • This voucher is valid at Loch Lomond SEA LIFE until 31st December 2014 CHECK OPENING DATES/ TIMES ON THE ATTRACTION WEBSITES. Exclusions: this voucher is not valid on the following dates: 25th Dec ’14. • This voucher remains the property of Merlin at all times and Merlin reserves the right to take possession of this voucher at any time. This voucher must be presented at the Attraction entrance & surrendered. • For full Terms and Conditions, incl. Attraction restrictions (which are an inherent part of this voucher), visit or call 0871 4232 190 (calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras). REF: FAMILIESJUNE14

Summer Activities at Falkirk Commmunity Trust

Swimming, Sports, Arts and Crafts, Days Out, Outdoor Activites, Helix park, The Kelpies and much more! Keep the kids busy during the Summer holidays, visit us online at -


Falkirk Community Trust gratefully acknowledges the support of Falkirk Council

Friday 27th June to Thursday 10th July (ex Tuesdays) How to Train Your Dragon 2 Bo’ness Hippodrome various times. Friday 27th June to Thursday 10th July (ex Mondays) How to Train Your Dragon 2 Macrobert various times. Saturday 28th June Pond Dipping in Muckhart Nature Park 2-4pm FREE. Have a closer look at the pond life. For details phone 01259 452675 or 01259 452528 Armed Forces Day in Stirling Join in this fantastic national event honouring the UK Armed Forces past and present, with entertainment and side shows. A great day out for all the family. Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th June Bannockburn Live 10am - 7pm. An enthralling two day event which includes gripping battle performances of the famous Battle of Bannockburn as well as a celebration of Scottish culture, food and drink. A weekend of celebration for all ages. www. Wednesday 2nd July Summer Holiday Craft Fun at Callendar House - Fingerprint Art Join us this summer for some fun crafting activities for primary school ages (plus their grownups!). All materials are provided and activities are free to drop into anytime between 2-4pm. Summer Craft Session at Meadowbank Library Join in the fun at our summer craft session for children aged 5 - 12 years phone 01324 503870 for information. Jupiter Wildlife Centre, Grangemouth – Make a Splash Explore the weird and watery world below the surface of the pond. Suitable for ages 5-10. Booking essential. Call 01324 486475 or email jupiterranger@ 2-4pm. Thursday 3rd July Craft Session at Larbert Library Fun, free and friendly craft session where we get creative and crafty. Suitable for ages 5-12. For tickets and information phone 01324 503590

Thursday 3rd 10th 17th and 24th 31st July and 7th August Callendar House Kitchen Needs You! The First World War has broken out over Europe and we need you! Come to Callendar House kitchen and help Cook bake cakes for the brave soldiers in Falkirk’s hospital to raise their spirits and fill their stomachs. This is a free ticketed event. Tickets can be booked via the Steeple Box Office (01324 506850).Suitable for ages 5-12, Children must be accompanied. Friday 4th July Marvellous Moths Join the Stirling countryside rangers at the Kings Park to learn about beautiful moths. Booking essential. Contact the rangers on countryside@ Friday 4th to Sunday 6th July Visible Fictions present The Spokesmen at Mugdock Country Park Get on your bike (well, our bike) for a theatre experience with a difference which will celebrate the great outdoors. This hilariously heart-warming tale will take you on a whirl wind tour of discovery. For a family audience over 8yrs. Bikes and helmets provided –the nature of the performance will require participants to cycle (on mostly flat terrain) outside, in stints of 5 mins over the course of an hour. Tickets can be bought from the Macrobert 01786 466666 or visit for information. Friday 4th July to Monday 18th August Indoor Beach at The Howgate Shopping Centre Falkirk Our indoor beach will keep your little ones entertained while you relax and watch them build sandcastles. Saturday 5th July Howie’s Kids Club - Song & Dance Factory A fun filled FREE 45 min show with song, dance and magic. Choose from 11am: Elsa (Frozen) and Spiderman or 2pm with Draculaura (Monster High) and Batman. Activities at the Community Hub next to M & S Activity Session at Larbert Library A fun, free and friendly treasure hunt and storytime for 4 - 7 year olds. For tickets and information phone 01324 503590. Doune and Dunblane Show Keir Mains, Dunblane www.

Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th July Spectacular Jousting at Linlithgow Palace For tickets and information phone 0131 668 8885. Sunday 6th July Little Seedlings Club at Dobbies – On the Trail of Summer Scents FREE 01786 458860. Fairies and Elves Day at The Helix Pop along and join us in the woods for crafts and storytelling. Suitable for children age under 5. Contact £3 Booking essential. 11-1pm. Jack and Jill Market at Cumbernauld 10.30am - 1pm. 40 stalls of quality, nearly-new baby & kids clothes, cots, toys, buggies, bikes and all the rest (0-9 yrs). Adults £1. Westerwood Hotel. Monday 7th July Nintendo Wii Competition at Meadowbank Library Suitable for ages 10-16. Phone 01324 503870 for details. Tuesday 8th July Crafty Kids at Larbert Library Fun, free and friendly crafty kids session for 3 - 5 year olds (and an adult). 10.30am and 2pm. Wednesday 9th July Howie’s Kids Club at The Howgate Shopping Centre– Jo Jingles Taster Session Join Jo Jingles for a FREE session of music singing and movement. Activities are at the Community Hub next to M & S Fingerprint Art in the Garden at Callendar House Use the garden as inspiration to create your very own fingerprint art. This is a free drop-in activity in Callendar Park’s Walled Garden, with each session lasting approximately 15 minutes. Suitable for ages 5-12. For details phone 01324 590900 Jupiter Wildlife Centre, Grangemouth – Honey I Shrunk the Kids Zoom in and explore the hidden world beneath your feet! Suitable for ages 5-10. Booking essential. Call 01324 486475 or email 2-4pm. Thursday 10th July Summer Craft Session at Bonnybridge Library Fun, free and friendly summer craft session for 5 – 12 year olds where we get creative and crafty. For details 01324 503295

out & about

Friday 11th July

Summer Craft Session at Falkirk Library Fun, free and friendly summer craft session for 5 – 12 year olds where we get creative and crafty. Saturday 12th July Postman Pat: The Movie (U) Bo’ness Hippodrome 11am. Alva Highland Games Sunday 13th July Postman Pat: The Movie (U) Bo’ness Hippodrome (Autism friendly screening) The Jack and Jill Market – Falkirk 10.30am - 1pm. 40 stalls of quality, nearly-new baby & kids clothes, cots, toys, buggies, bikes and all the rest (0-9 yrs). Adults £1 Grangemouth Sports Complex. Canine Capers at Herbertshire Castle Park, Dunnipace Doggy competitions, entertainment and local stalls. FREE 12-4pm. For information email michelle. Monday 14th July Myths and Legends at Larbert Library Come and hear some Greek, Viking and Roman stories and then dress up in a suitably legendary style! Free and suitable for ages 5-12. For details phone 01324 503590 2pm. Wednesday 16th July Summer Holiday Craft Fun at Callendar House - Toy Kaleidoscope Making Join us this summer for some fun crafting activities for primary school ages (plus their grown-ups!). All materials are provided and activities are free to drop into anytime between 2-4pm. Jupiter Wildlife Centre Grangemouth – Buzzing About Bees Find out why this amazing wee insect is so important and what you can do to give it a helping hand. Suitable for ages 5-10. Booking essential. Call 01324 486475 or email jupiterranger@ 2-4pm. Arty Crafty Join the Stirling countryside rangers to make art/ sculptors out of natural materials. Booking essential. Email the rangers on countryside@stirling.

out & about

aturday 1st September

Whilst every care has been taken to compile the Out and About section please remember that this magazine is printed weeks in advance of the event. Please call and check events with the venue to avoid any disappointment before setting out.

Friday 18th July

Howie’s Kids Club - Uncle Billy Uncle Billy will bring his one man show with puppets, Krafty Kat, magic tricks and circus skills. Activities are at the Community Hub next to M & S. www. Guided Walk at Bo’mains Meadow nr Bo’ness Booking is essential. Call 01324 486475 or email 2-3.30pm. Friday 18th to Thursday 24th July (ex Tue and Wed) Maleficent (PG) Bo’ness Hippodrome various times. Friday 18th to Tuesday 29th July Funny in Falkirk Saturday 19th July The King of Masks (PG) Bo’ness Hippodrome 11am Norman Mclaren Digital Animation Workshop and Screening at the Falkirk Town Hall FTH is delighted to host a celebratory day of screenings and workshops. Suitable for adults, families and anyone aged seven and over (children aged under 11 years must be accompanied).For tickets and information phone 01324 506850 Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th July Walk with Wallace at the Wallace Monument See how Stirling came to be the scene of William Wallace’s victorious encounter with the army of King Edward 1 and meet Scotland’s national hero in person. Join a 45 minute guided walk with costumed actors to enjoy a different view of the Battle of Stirling Bridge. www. Tours at 11am, 12noon 2pm and 3pm. Tuesday 22nd July Summer craft session at Bonnybridge and Falkirk Libraries 2pm. Fun, free and friendly summer craft session for 5 – 12 year olds. For details 01324 503295 Wednesday 23rd July Summer Holiday Craft Fun at Callendar House - Design a Bag Join us this summer for some fun crafting activities for primary school ages (plus their grown-


ups!). All materials are provided and activities are free to drop into anytime between 2-4pm. Jupiter Wildlife Centre, Grangemouth – Big Butterfly Count Jupiter is jam packed with butterflies on a nice day! Learn how to tell them apart and help us carry out our Big Butterfly Count. Suitable for ages 5-10. Booking essential. Call 01324 486475 or email 2-4pm. Thursday 24th July Mini Mountain Bikers Meet at Wallace High School Mini mountain biking fun with mountain bike tuition, handling skills, trail riding to get to know the trails, picnics and then a mini-enduro (timed lap of the trail). Suitable for ages 6+ Children must have their own helmet and bike. Contact the cyclehub@forthenvironmentlink. org for more information. Saturday 26th July Finding Nemo (U) Bo’ness Hippodrome 11am. Jupiter Wildlife Centre Grangemouth – Grasp the Nettle Spend the afternoon at Jupiter making nettle rope, drinking nettle tea and learning all about this amazing plant. Suitable for ages 5-10. Booking essential. Call 01324 486475 or email jupiterranger@ 2-4pm. Airth Highland Games Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th July Day Out with Thomas at Bo’ness Railway Sunday 27th July Finding Nemo (U) Bo’ness Hippodrome (Autism friendly screening) Cruise to the Falkirk Wheel Wednesday 30th July Vegetable Creatures at Callendar House Mr. Potato Head is the best known of all the vegetable creatures and now it’s your turn to make your own Mr or Mrs Vegetable, or a vegetable ‘thing’ to take home and care for. All materials are provided and activities are free to drop into anytime between 2-4pm with no booking required, activity lasts approximately 15 minutes. Children must be accompanied.01324 503770 Jupiter Wildlife Centre

families central scotland / issue 23

Grangemouth –Dragons and Damsels Find out more about some of Jupiter’s most beautiful and ferocious inhabitants. Suitable for ages 5-10. Booking essential. Call 01324 486475 or email 2-4pm. Junior Ranger Boot Camp at Callendar Park Do you love the outdoors? Are you an animal nut? Do you fancy yourself as the next Ray Mears or Bear Grylls. Then join the Falkirk rangers and learn how to build a fire, find and eat wild food and discover woodland secrets. Meet at the front of Callendar House. Booking essential. Contact the rangers on 01324 504950 or email rangers@

Tuesday 5th August Summer Craft Session at Bonnybridge Library Fun, free and friendly summer craft session for 5 – 12 year olds. For details 01324 503295 Wednesday 6th August Summer Holiday Craft Fun at Callendar House – Make a Wish Box Join us this summer for some fun crafting activities for primary school ages (plus their grownups!). All materials are provided and activities are free to drop into anytime between 2-4pm.

Wednesday 30th July and Wednesday 6th August

Craft Session at Larbert Library Fun, free and friendly craft session. Free Suitable for ages 5-12. For tickets and information phone 01324 503590.

Minibeast Safari Day at Plean Country Park Come along and have some fun and assist the Rangers on a Minibeast Safari, search out the different types of bugs in their own special habitats in the park, Booking essential. Email the rangers countryside@stirling. 10-12noon.

Jupiter Wildlife Centre Grangemouth – Camouflage Capers Investigate the secret world of camouflage and see how well you can blend in with your surroundings. Suitable for ages 5-10.Booking essential. Call 01324 486475 or email jupiterranger@ 2-4pm.

Dippin the Pond at Plean Country Park Come along and join the Rangers on a pond dip to find out about the amazing pond-dwellers. Booking essential. Email the rangers uk 1.30-3.30pm. Saturday 2nd August The Boot (U) Bo’ness Hippodrome 11am and 2.30pm. Where’s Wally Treasure Hunt at Larbert Library Drop in any time for a fun Where’s Wally Treasure Hunt around the library! FREE Saturday 2nd to 9th August Bairnsfest in Falkirk A week long street celebration of the culture and customs from all Falkirk Bairns. With music, dance, storytelling, food and arts and crafts from the many different cultures in the area. For further information contact Falkirk Delivers on 01324 611293 or falkirkdelivers Sunday 3rd August Bridge of Allan Highland Games Man at Arms Tour at Doune Castle A lively introduction to the world of the late medieval archer. Participants must be age 7+.124pm. Normal admission price applies.

Thursday 7th August Sing-a-long Frozen (PG) Bo’ness Hippodrome. Saturday 9th August Sing-a-long Frozen (PG) Bo’ness Hippodrome Pop Up Shop at Callendar House In association with the Park Gallery, the fantastic Pop-Up Shop returns this summer, showcasing some of the talent in the Falkirk area. 10.304pm. Chapter House Theatre Company present The Jungle Book at Hopetoun House For tickets please call the Hopetoun office on 0131 331 2451. Sunday 10th August The Jack and Jill Market Falkirk 10.30am - 1pm. 40 stalls of quality, nearly-new baby & kids clothes, cots, toys, buggies, bikes and all the rest (0-9 yrs). Adults £1 Grangemouth Sports Complex. Monday 11th August Crafty Kids at Larbert Library Fun, free and friendly crafty kids session for 3 - 5 year olds (and an adult). 10.30am. Common Wood Games at Callendar Park Join Under The Trees for fun and games. Booking essential. Contact jess@ 11-3pm.

Tuesday 12th August Forest School Fun at Callendar Park Join Under The Trees for fun and games. Booking essential. Contact 11-3pm. Wednesday 13th August Howie’s Kids Club at The Howgate Shopping Centre – Jo Jingles Taster Session Join Jo Jingles for a FREE session of music singing and movement. Activities are at the Community Hub next to M & S. www. Jupiter Wildlife Centre Grangemouth – Get Lost! Can you tackle our orienteering challenge without getting lost? This is a drop in event, arrive any time between 2 and 3 pm. Suitable ages 5-10. Booking essential. Call 01324 486475 or email 2-4pm. Master of the Night at Callendar Park Join Under The Trees for camp fire cooking and things that go bump in the night. Booking essential. Contact jess@ 4-7pm. Thursday 14th August Mini Mountain Bikers Meet at Mains Farm Trails, Thornhill Mini mountain biking fun with mountain bike tuition, handling skills, trail riding to get to know the trails, picnics and then a minienduro (timed lap of the trail). Suitable for ages 6+ Children must have their own helmet and bike. Contact the Friday 15th August Summer Craft Session at Falkirk Library Fun, free and friendly summer craft session for 5 – 12 year olds. The Fly by Nights at Riverside Park Want to know more about the bats that live in and around Stirling? Come and join us on a nice leisurely stroll, experience the bats of the Riverside in the company of local experts. Booking essential. Email the rangers 8-10pm. Night Hunters at Hopetoun House Booking essential. Call 0131 319 3956 or email ranger@hopetoun. 8-10pm. Saturday 16th August Ratatouille(U) Bo’ness Hippodrome 11am. Stirling Highland Games at Stirling Sports Village Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th August Walk with Wallace at the Wallace Monument See how Stirling came to be the scene of William Wallace’s

victorious encounter with the army of king Edward 1 and meet Scotland’s national hero in person. Join a 45 minute guided walk with costumed actors to enjoy a different view of the Battle of Stirling Bridge. www. Tours at 11am ,12noon 2pm and 3pm.

out & about Check out our new ‘what’s on’ guide on our website at

Babyccino Stirling

Sunday 17th August Gruffalo Picnic at The Helix Join Under the Trees to join in the hunt for the Gruffalo. Suitable for under 5’s. Booking essential. Contact jess@

A social hub in Stirling for breastfeeding mums and babies Come along for a coffee and meet other Mums Provide your baby with the opportunity to socialise from an early age

Saturday 23rd August

Find out where to access the most up to date feeding information and resources

Toy Story 3 (U) Bo’ness Hippodrome 11am. Jupiter Wildlife Centre Grangemouth –Wild Woods Spend the afternoon exploring the woods of Jupiter learn how to build a shelter, light a fire and spot wildlife before it spots you! Suitable for ages 5-10.Booking essential. Call 01324 486475 or email

Pop in on a Friday morning between 10.30 - 12, @ The Mayfield Centre, St Ninians


Saturday 30th August Pudsey the Dog: The Movie Bo’ness Hippodrome 11am. The Big Bug Hunt at The Helix Join Under The Trees to go on a bug hunt. Booking essential. Contact jess@


Queen’s Park 30 Aug - 13 Sep

The bigges t “ fam ily event

this summer!

- The Inde pendent

Saturday 30th August to Saturday 13th September

In the Night Garden Live at Queens Park Glasgow Step into the magical world of In the Night Garden and see Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy and Makka Pakka brought to life before your eyes with beautiful costumes, magical puppets, enchanting music and breathtaking projections. In the Night Garden Live takes place in its own purpose-built, family-friendly Showdome. With just 13 rows of seats, you’ll be close to the action wherever you sit and everyone gets a great view! For tickets and information visit

Watch the trailer and book online at

Sunday 31st August Renaissance Revelry at Linlithgow Palace Linlithgow Palace comes alive for the day through music, dance and drama. 12-4pm.

or call 0333 300 0016 (bkg fee)

Cruise to the Falkirk Wheel Saturday 13th to Saturday 20th September Off the Page Stirling Book Festival A week long series of events. Look out for the special childrens events including a celebration of Roald Dahl books and a Magical Unicorn Fun Day.

* Coupon worth £5 off orders over £60, or 5% off orders under £60 and e x p i re s 31 J ul y 2014. T& C s a p p l y, s e e w w w. N i g h t G a r d e n L i v e . c o m . I t N G c ha r a c t e r s a nd l ogo © 2007 a nd TM D H X - RD Wo rl d w i d e L i mi t e d .

Families Print Ad 2014_AW.indd 2

05/06/2014 1

Drive through Wild Animal Reserves, Boat Trips around Chimp Island, Sea Lion Shows, Bird of Prey Centre & Displays, Lemur Land, Pets Farm, Bug Land, Elephant Habitat, Adventure Playground with Pirate Ship, Giant Astraglide, Pedal Boats, Flying Fox, Fun Fair & Amusements, Restaurant, BBQ & Picnic areas. Free Parking. Open daily - 22nd March to 2nd November 2014 10am – 5.30pm, last admission 4.30pm



m r fro be e m l ab epte l i a S Av to ne Ju

Discover the life and legacy of Scotland’s National Hero

Sports Centre Summer Membership

The race is on to snap up our 4-week summer deal • Adult £40 Child £15 • All the family can play tennis, table-tennis, badminton, football, golf, athletics and enjoy the pool too • Adults can use the fitness centre

Abbey Craig, Hillfoots Road, STIRLING FK9 5LF Tel: (01786) 472140 1. left alligned

For full details of this and other summer family offers, visit the University Sports Centre.

01786 466900

The University of Stirling is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC 011159.

Families Central Scotland July August 2014  

Central Scotland’s really useful magazine for busy families of children age 0-12