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Issue No. 44 May/June 2012

Time to party! Celebrate the Jubilee Win a weekend at Feather Down Farms Win tickets to Butterfly World Fill in our Reader Survey for a chance to win a Mattel games bundle

The Herts magazine with the information young families want


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From your Editor…

In this issue:

Are you ready to party? I am. We’ve put together a massive party feature for you, and our

News & Views: 3 Party Feature: 6 Summer Education: 13 Competitions: 16 Reader’s Survey: 17 Jubilee Jubilation: 18 What’s On: 19

advertisers are ready and waiting to make your child’s birthday the best ever! Before we know it the summer holidays will have arrived and it’s never too early to plan. So, to keep your kids on their toes see our Summer Education section and find out how they can not only keep up but accelerate their learning. In June the whole country will be celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and we are no exception, with a patriotic face painting guide and lots of Queenly facts to discover - plus, local Jubilee events in What's On. Lastly, we want to know what you think of us – honestly, we do! Please fill in our Reader Survey either online or use a pen and post it back to us. We’ll be very grateful and you will be entered into our prize draw.

Next Issue: Summer camps & activities July/August copy deadline: 1st June

Shelley Where are we? Baldock, Bishops Stortford, Borehamwood, Chorleywood, Harpenden, Hatfield, Hemel Hempstead, Hertford, Hitchin, Kings Langley, Knebworth, Letchworth, Radlett, St Albans, Stevenage, Ware, Welwyn GC. Pick it up from cafes, playgroups, nurseries, schools, activity groups, selected shops, surgeries, leisure centres and libraries. Get in touch to request copies for your venue.

Don’t miss a copy. Families Herts by post for just £9.30 for 6 issues (1 year) or £18 for 12 issues (2 years). Call or email for a subscription form. Families Herts, PO Box 434, Pinner, HA5 9AH Tel/Fax: 020 8428 6384 editor@familiesherts.co.uk www.familiesherts.co.uk

Front cover image details: Dresses from £18, Shoes from £5. All by F&F Childrenswear Spring/ Summer collection. Stockists: Tesco www.tesco.com/clothing

News & Views Woodland trails for children with life-limiting conditions Faith Woodlands Communities, have designed a number of beautiful woodland trails for the children at Keech Hospice Care. The routes have been designed with the aim of increasing awareness of nature and spirituality as well as offering a space to focus the mind, to relax, to learn and just have some fun. The children will be enjoying the new pathways at Keech’s own site and at Maulden and Braningham Woods. Jennie Collier, Children’s Day Care Co-ordinator at Keech Hospice Care said: “We are thrilled that we have been able to work with Faith Woodlands Communities as the children love spending time outdoors. The trail at Keech has also helped many of the parents who are able to see the trees planted in memory, leaving a legacy of their loved ones behind.” Keech Hospice Care offers support to children with life-limiting conditions across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes, helping them to enjoy the highest quality of life.

To find out more go to www.keech.org.uk or www.faithwoodlands.org.uk

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News & Views Get your running shoes on … Grove House Midnight Walk

Summer Reading Challenge: inspiring children to read Libraries across the county are getting ready to introduce children to an imagination paradise that will keep them reading throughout the school summer holidays. Children will be encouraged to read six, or more, books of their choice during the holidays with collectable incentives and rewards, plus a certificate, or medal for every child who completes the Challenge. Children can sign up at their local library from the end of June onwards. An interactive Story Lab website (www.story-lab.org.uk) will open in June, enabling children to talk about their favourite books with top authors and illustrators. Follow the Summer Reading Challenge on Facebook: www.facebook.com/#!/ SummerReadingChallengeUK

There’s still time to enter the 6th annual Grove House Midnight Walk to be held on 16th June. Starting and finishing at Westminster Lodge, St Albans, walkers have the choice of a 5 mile or 10 mile route; both walks start at 10pm. Whilst the funds raised from the event go to support a very serious cause, the event itself is far from serious. With men and boys wearing dresses and fancy dress joining women in tutus, flashing ears and pink wigs, the event always involves fun and laughter. There are prizes for the teams and individuals who raise the most money as well

as prizes for the best dressed team and best dressed man! To register your place visit www. midnightwalk.org or call 01727 731002.

Lee Valley Family Fun Run This annual Family Fun Run is on Sunday 20th May starting at 10am. Entering the 10km run costs £10 and the Fun Run costs £5; all are welcome to join. This is a chance to take part in a great event for all ages and abilities. The route goes through the scenic pathways of River Lee Country Park. For more information and to book call 08456 770 600 or go to www.visitleevalley.org.uk.

New checks for children After a pilot scheme last year, new phonics tests are to be introduced to Year 1 pupils this summer. The phonics screening check is a short assessment to confirm whether children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard, and will apply to pupils in maintained schools, academies and free schools. The test will take place between 18 and 22 June 2012, with the aim of identifying children who need extra help and who can then be given support by their school to improve their reading skills. According to the Department of Education, the check will comprise a list of 40 words and non-words or nonsense words, which a child will read one-to-one with a teacher. Word from the D of E is that the tests will not be daunting, but are there to check that children at the end of Year 1 have the foundations they need to learn to read, such as skills for blending sounds into words and the phonic knowledge of recognising the sounds for basic letters and letter combinations. Find out more www.education.gov.uk/schools/ teachingandlearning/pedagogy/phonics.

Busy Bees busy fundraising This March saw a culmination of a year of fund raising when children, staff and parents at twenty-two Busy Bees nurseries based in their East/South East Region, were proud to be able to hand over a cheque for £15,000 to the Help For Heroes charity. The presentation was hosted at the Mardley Hill Busy Bees nursery which had raised a whopping £2,100. Collecting the cheque on behalf of Help for Heroes was Sophie Parry, daughter of founders, Bryn and Emma Parry. Sophie said: “My parents just wanted to raise money for wounded servicemen and women. Today, thanks to thousands of people and companies such as Busy Bees, we’ve now raised over £128 million – but we have to keep going because our soldiers will be injured forever – it’s not a quick fix – we need to ensure they have the help they need for the

Web World MyKids2YourKids.co.uk allows parents, grandparents, family, friends, carers and children to buy and sell all that ‘stuff’ kids grow out of in their school years. This easy to use website offers the choice of opting to donate sale profits to your child’s school. Beyondtheschoolrun.com aims to provide a portal for parents seeking school-hours based opportunities. The idea is to help parents find the inspiration to get back into the workplace,

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L-R: Amanda Zienkowicz , Sophie Parry , Susie McCormack, Laura Jacques, Fabian Jacques, Gracie Broughton, Roshen Pain

rest of their lives. Busy Bees: www.busybees.com Help for Heroes: www.helpforheroes.org.uk.

develop a career for the first time or simply get involved with their own community or beyond. childrenscancerrecovery.org.uk: With 10 children a day being diagnosed with cancer and many having to spend long periods of time in hospital, the new website from the Children’s Cancer Recovery Project will offer advice and support to parents and families. The site has practical advice, information and details about financial grants.

For inclusion in News & Views pages please ring 020 8428 6384 or email editor@familiesherts.co.uk


Schools Festival at White Water Centre Five schools from across Hertfordshire - Yavneh College (Borehamwood), Watling View School (St Albans), The Noble School (Stevenage), John Warner School (Broxbourne) and Chauncy School (Ware) have tackled the fast-flowing rapids at Lee Valley White Water Centre.

Students from Yavneh College

Pupils experienced a taste of London 2012 as a part of the centre’s second ‘Schools Festival’. Their skills were tested as they rafted the same white water that the world’s best athletes will face in a few weeks time. Seb Coe, Chair of the London Olympic Organising Committee said: “The Festival has been a fantastic way to bring the Olympic Games and the excitement of canoeing to the young people of Hertfordshire.” Lee Valley White Water Centre will host the five day canoe slalom event in front of 60,000 fans between 29th July and 2nd August. The centre will also host the Olympic Torch Relay on 7 July.

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Party Feature

T 

hink of your child’s birthday and what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Already? What are we going to do this year? Whatever you think, instead of racking your brains thinking for the latest party ideas, what about actually doing some things the same as you did last year? Build simple birthday traditions that you all know about, look forward to, and that create memories that last a lifetime. This is the stuff of magic moments! We have collected 12 fabulous traditions that can make your children’s birthdays special every year.

Birthday Traditions

– 12 ways to create magical moments By Elisabeth Dolton

Inexpensive and clever ways to make the most of a child’s birthday by creating some fun traditions to make a child’s birthday a special day to remember

1. Big-Day Countdown Make the approach to their birthday important. Hang a garland of seven envelopes, each with a small daily goodie, leading up to the grand finale. 2. Decorate and Titivate The night before your child’s birthday sneak into their room and decorate it with a special sign wishing them a Happy Birthday. Blow up balloons and put birthday wishes all over the house. 3. Bake a cake Make a birthday cake instead of buying one. Your child will appreciate even a simple cake made from a mix. Get your child to pick out what they want their birthday cake to look like, a rocket, princess castle, favourite animal, etc. 4. Have a special meal Have breakfast in bed awakened by the whole family singing happy birthday. Create a beautiful tea party to enjoy the finger sandwiches and tea. Let the birthday child pick the dinner menu however crazy their wishes. 5. Have a ‘birthday’ plate Have a special plate that each child uses for meals on their birthday. The same could be done for a birthday eggcup, a special seat at the table, or hat they have to wear all day. 6. Opening presents Hide presents around the house and provide clues to help your child find them. Follow a ribbon to their first gift, or unroll string all around the house that takes them to their presents. 7. Celebrate them growing up Create a photo banner of your child’s annual photographs. Take a family photo on the same settee every year put them in a scrapbook that you add to every year. Ask them their favourite colour, ice-cream, hobby, etc., note them down and do this on every birthday.

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8. Capture the moment Get out the camcorder and interview your child about the special things they have done that year, include props like their award-winning science project that year, their sports trophies, the self-portrait they did of themselves, etc.

bracelet or commemorative coin collection each year.

9. Special family events Do the same walk every year, have dinner at the same place, go sledging, have a picnic on the beach. Do activities that are typical of what you are like as a family, e.g. if you are a musical family, hold a concert, if you are outdoorsy plan a boat trip.

12. Remind them of how special they are A simple way is give each member of the family a birthday candle, then pass around a small dessert. Each person puts in their candle and tells the birthday girl/boy something they love about them. They pass the dessert to the next person, who does the same until everyone has added their candle, light the candles and sing Happy Birthday.

10. Annual additions Plant a tree or flowers that bloom annually around your child’s birthday. Ask grandparents to add to a charm

11. Tell a Tale Let the birthday child stay up a little later after the other children have gone to bed and tell them about the day they were born, and how you felt when they arrived.


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Party Feature 5 ways to make sure birthdays remain special for special children Since traditions are often visual and repeated, most children with special needs will really appreciate and learn to love these birthday traditions. To help ensure their special day, here are a few extra watchouts... Watch what they eat It’s easy to let slip strict dietary requirements during a day of celebration. For children with allergies and even for vegetarians, let your party host know in advance and make appropriate plans.

Avoid overload Don’t overwhelm with too many guests, lights, games, candles, music and presents.

Decorate simply, put on a relaxing CD, and provide a quiet place where the child can go if s/he wants to. 

Prepare them Let your special needs child know in advance what to expect.  Explain the plan of the day. Let them sit where they are comfortable and if out; provide them with an exit strategy. Give your child a signal they can use with you if they need to leave a place or situation. 

Keep the day low key Treat the birthday as just another day, an important day, but not one that’s too busy. Let your special needs child, and all your children, plan the day so that it’s kept special and unique.

8 ideas for low cost going home gifts Great parties don’t have to end with expensive loot bags. Here’s 8 simple ways to end the party in style without stretching the budget. 1. Brown paper bags with the child’s name in big writing and decorated with stickers are very effective. 2. Bake cookies or other treats and package them in cellophane tied with ribbon. 3. Let the birthday person create their own toys using clay, paint, beads and buttons. 4. Get cardboard picture frames and slip in a note about where the party pictures have been uploaded online.

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5. Do something arty during the party and let the guests take their handiwork home - cheap plates or bowls can be decorated with ceramic paint, a strip of wood decorated with their initial, etc. 6. To last a little longer, give seeds to plant in the garden or a cookie cutter that’s related to the party theme. 7. Buy enough bouncy balls for each guest, scatter them about your lawn before the party. The balls are a great decoration and each guest gets to take one home. 8. Print off free colouring sheets of favourite characters from the internet, and burn a CD of the birthday person’s favourite songs.


www.facadebodyart.co.uk www.julieteve.co.uk

How to choose a Face Painter By Glyn Goodwin member of FACE • Make sure that the painter uses clean equipment and professional face paints which meet the relevant skin regulations. • A professional painter will not paint anyone who has any open cuts, sores or fresh bruising, a cold sore or conjunctivitis or any other obvious or known infection or skin condition. • Most professional painters will use a clean sponge for each child to avoid passing any bacteria from child to child. • Always use a painter who is covered by Public Liability Insurance. • Do not select purely on price. An insured, experienced, trained face painter will work with speed and accuracy completing more faces in less time with more satisfied children as a result. • If you have not seen the painter's work, or been recommended by someone who has, ask to see examples of their work or take a look at their website. This will give a good idea of their standard of work and their experience. • If the painter is a member of FACE (the international face painting association) so much the better. All FACE members have to pass a test to join, and are monitored every year to make sure their standards are maintained. For more information go to www.facepaint.co.uk www.fantasticfacesfacepainting.co.uk The Dos and Don’ts of BIRTHDAY PARTIES Contributed by Sarah Butters DO plan early DON’T let your child decide the guest list DO consider a joint party DON’T be afraid to chase late replies DO check for allergies DON’T over cater DO consider your party date DON’T invite too many children DON’T obsess over '5 a day' DO party bags DON’T make it too long DO enjoy it!

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Party Feature Adam Ants Parties Adam Ants has over 20 years’ experience in the party business and a reputation for creating memorable children’s parties. Adam Ants provide costumed entertainers for either one or two hours. Parties include music, dancing and games, magic tricks, balloon modelling and puppetry. For older children there are disco parties with games and prizes. Plus, they offer ‘Be My Bear’ parties where the children can make their very own soft toy and Olympic sports parties complete with medals and trophies. Also available: table and chair hire, face painters and more. 020 8959 1045 info@adamantsparties.co.uk www.adamantsparties.co.uk

As one of the country’s leading female entertainers, Auntie Julie uses magic, circus skills, dance and games to give your child a party to remember. Member of The Magic Circle.   Fully insured and with enhanced CRB cert. Can also supply face painters and party bags. 01923 720040 www.auntiejulie.com

Caterpillar Music

Relax knowing Your Child's Party is in Good Hands at Celtic Harmony's Legendary Kidz Parties, packed with hands-on fun and lead by experienced Outdoor Party Hosts! From King Arthur & Guinevere to Robin Hood & Maid Marian there's a theme for every age. Let us organise your best party ever. www.celticharmony.org/parties 01438 718543

Cinnamon Square At its lovely Rickmansworth café Cinnamon Square offer baking parties for children of five years and up. Children enjoy hands-on baking and fun experiments like discovering why and how bread rises. They also sell KiddieKraft baking kits which are a practical alternative to party bags. The kits contain everything you need to make a range of cakes and cookies. Personalised free and delivered nationally, £3.50 per kit. 01923 778353 www.cinnamonsquare.com

Façade Face Painting & Glitter/Airbrush Tattoo Parties Special children deserve special surprises! The newest trend is for sparkling Glitter Tattoos – perfect and safe for boys or girls of all ages (Teens, Mums and Dads!) Equally popular are realistic looking Airbrush Temporary Tattoos created by Paul – with many fashionable designs that can last up to a week. Juliet (FACE member) of Façade Face Painting has been making children smile for over 20 years creating original, top quality, award-winning face painting designs. Façade are giving Families Herts readers 15% off midweek parties just quote FH012. To book your party or special event, contact Juliet or Paul. 01442 400786 www.facadebodyart.co.uk www.julieteve.co.uk

Andrew Burden’s Magic Show Andrew Burden is a highly experienced performer who specialises in Children’s magical entertainment. Party options include: a 1 hour Magical Fun Show, a 2 hour Full Party with games, dances and competitions plus Magical Fun Show. Charlie, Andrew’s live magical rabbit, can also be part of the fun. All Andrew’s shows are covered by public liability insurance and have been fully CRB checked.  01707 884498 www.childrensmagicman.com

Artskool Academy ArtsKool Kids Parties design and deliver arty parties for ages 2-102! Parties can be hosted at home or in a hall. Choose a predesigned party theme: Under the Sea, Ballet, Cars, Horses, Jungle Animals, Fairies, Eygyptians are just a few that are available. Or, Artskool Kids can design a bespoke party based on your own theme. Every child leaves with at least one piece of quality art. The cost includes free invite design, arty fun, music and Pass the ‘Arty’ Parcel with prizes. A 1 hour party costs £8 per child or 2 hours costs £12 per child. Minimum booking of ten children for either option. 07890 575 828 www.artskool–kids.com.

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Caterpillar Music parties are suitable for babies and children up to 5 years. We combine songs, puppet entertainment and simple party games to create an amazing party experience that even the youngest child will love. We can tailor our range of party packages to your requirements. Themes include pirates, the jungle, the seaside and more besides. We always include the birthday child's favourite songs. We use live and recorded music, fantastic puppets and percussion instruments for every child to use plus a present for the birthday child. Children will have fun with the parachute, twirly ribbons and bubbles. Over 3s can choose a face painting option. 01727 753413 anna.fryer@caterpillarmusic.com www.caterpillarmusic.com

Celtic Harmony

Fantastic Faces Dinky Dancers Dinky Dancers parties are a fantastic mixture of games, dance, singing and P.E. activities. Tailored to suit your child’s party theme, i.e. Pirates, Fairies, Peppa Pig, Zing Zillas. Their amazing action packed parties start from £75. 01438 831281 www.dinkydancers.com/parties

Drama Llamas Drama Llamas brings a delightful engaging focus to children’s parties. We’ll calm the children with an original story before leading them through a magical, fun-filled adventure using games, activities and props based around the story they’ve just heard. Drama Llamas will give your child a day to remember! dramallamas.co.uk info@dramallamas.co.uk 07718 828697

Fantastic Faces by Glyn has over 26 years experience. Glyn works her magic at any event, large or small and her work is raved about long after the event. With public liability insurance, approved products, and membership of FACE- the highest standards are guaranteed. Glyn also offers training classes and Gestational painting. www.fantasticfacesfacepainting. co.uk enquiries@facepaintingbyglyn. co.uk 01582 764360

Funwithdecopatch Run by teacher, Jennifer Frederiksen, Fun with Decopatch brings craft parties to your venue. Children, from aged four, love sticking coloured papers on to a choice of keepsakes eg treasure boxes or cute animals. Materials are child friendly and it is great fun and absorbing. Children bring home something unique and special. 07703118002 www.funwithdecopatch.co.uk


Go Kart Krazy Great fun, action-packed parties for ages 4–10. Racing electric go-karts inside an inflatable circuit. Parties tailored to suit the age of the children. All drivers receive a quality medal and certificate. Suitable for indoors or outside, parties or school fetes. 0845 330 8896, www.gokartkrazy.co.uk.

Glamour Parties at Sharkey's Cuts for Kids

themselves. The birthday girl gets a framed group photo signed by all her friends. Introductory price is £17.50 per girl (min 12 max 45 per party). 01923 856780 Radlett@sharkeyscutsforkids.com www.sharkeyscutsforkids.com

Little Cookies Parties take place in our special “Glamour Girl” dressing room. Each little star is pampered with a pretty hairstyle, basic makeup and a nail mini-cure. The birthday girl and her guests can choose from an array of beautiful dress-up clothes to put on an exciting fashion show. Our two hour party also includes: Kinect Dance Off & Karaoke, Invitations, food and drinks (bring your own cake). Each girl gets a photo of

Little Cookies offer parties for 3-9 year olds where the children cook and eat their own party tea. Parties for those aged 10 plus involve the preparation and cooking of their very own lunch or dinner party. All the ingredients, utensils and know how is provided. 01727 839444 www.little-cookies.co.uk

Say you saw it in

Mill Green Museum & Mill It’s party time at our wonderful working watermill!  Choose from Make a Pizza, Little Red Hen (storybook themed craft activities), Roman Soldiers (make your own Sword and Shield) and Victorian Time Travellers (Victorian wash day and toy making), plus gardens for outdoor play, party games and food. Cost £15 per child, minimum charge £150. www.welhat.gov.uk/museum   01707 357850.

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Party Feature Mini Makeover Parties at Amwell Studio

Parties at Hawthorne Cinema & RollerCity

Will make your Daughter’s Birthday an extra special one. Suitable for children aged 5-11 years the parties include: Full use of the Studio & Salon for 2 hours; A little sparkly make-up (maybe a bit more for the older models); some curls; the birthday girl can bring two outfits; a mini photo shot of the girls all together and some individual photos too; Photos uploaded online for family and friends to see; a designed magazine front cover using the image of your choice – that extra special keep sake!; bring as many diamonds, fairy wings & Tiaras as their little arms can carry for a truly memorable birthday 01992 445644 - Emma

Want to celebrate an occasion?  Then join us at The Hawthorne Cinema & RollerCity for a unique party whatever your age!  Choose a film from our Family programme and 25 children and 5 adults get seats for the show plus the use of a party room to decorate however you like, for £160. Check the films at www.hawthornetheatre.co.uk, and phone the box office to book. Or want some rollicking rolling fun? From as little as £150, 60 people can party for 90 mins. We have a selection of party types to suit every taste, so get picking! Book online – www.rollercity.co.uk. Hawthorne Cinema & RollerCity  Campus West, Welwyn Garden City 01707 357117 www.rollercity.co.uk www.hawthornetheatre.co.uk

Mini Medallists Mini Medallists provide sporty parties for children aged 4-11. Rather than put our own salesy spin on things here’s what one mother said about her son’s 6th birthday party: “As we were leaving the hall that evening, he proclaimed “Mum, that was the best birthday EVER!” The children were well supervised, entertained, and they loved the challenge and competition of the activities. The certificates and mini prize giving was a really nice touch, and the trophies gave them something to aim for. A real benefit … was to meet you and talk through the plan of the party beforehand… and give my son the control of choosing the games and contributing ideas.” 07989 434788 www.mini-medallists.co.uk

Party Strings specialises in children’s party supplies. Stocking over 100 party themes with a large selection of party supplies, tableware, cake accessories, party bag fillers, pre filled party bags, party games, balloons, decorations and piñatas. Next day delivery available. Useful party directory, displaying local party services to you nationwide. www.partystrings.co.uk 01923 720376

Fun with Decopatch Call Jennifer: 0770 3118 002 www.funwithdecopatch.co.uk

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Starday Parties are tailored to each age group (start from age 7). The standard package is for 12 people (including host) but more can be added (max. 16). The party child chooses two songs from the song list. During the two hour party there is time to practice the chosen songs and then record them. All the guests are given a CD of the recording at the end of the party and the host gets a DVD too. Invitations are provided. Tailor made packages are also offered. 07738 475246 01923 801635 www.starday.co.uk

Toddler’s dance and music parties Fun parties (and classes), using songs the children know. Action songs, dancing games, instruments and lots of exciting props to put on a real show. Run by, Lisa, who is professionally trained and a mum of two under 5s. Up to 20 children for one hour - £60. 07961 170731 lisaburstow@yahoo.co.uk

Trish & Tricks Trisha is not only a children’s magician and ventriloquist but also a trained and accomplished performer. At her parties, Trisha includes a mini disco, games, competitions with prizes and can also perform Balloon Modelling. Trisha entertains for children of all ages at Birthday Parties, Fetes, Christenings, Nurseries, Schools etc. and can also provide party bags. Trisha is CRB checked and a member of Equity. 01438 714855 07740 093623 www.trishandtricks.com

Tumble Tent

Perform Parties

Creative parties for ages 4 & over. Decorate and take home fab keepsake. All materials supplied.

join in and really get involved with the lively games and songs. Your child’s party will be the talk of the playground. Go online to see a recording of a typical Perform party. 0845 400 1272 www.perform.org.uk/parties/

Based around one of their colourful themes (Mamma Mia, High School Musical, Mermaids & Pirates, Superheroes, Fairytale Forest, Peppa Pig, In the Night Garden) Perform Parties are high energy, fun and infectious. Kids

The Sound Cube The Sound Cube offers two party options, one for between 9-16 guests, and one for up to 8 guests. During the 2 hour party the group is recorded singing their chosen track in a professional recording studio by a sound engineer. All guests will receive a CD of the recording within a week of the party. A DVD mini-movie of the performance is also included (two for the larger groups and one for the smaller groups). Drinks and snacks are provided. Take your own birthday cake. 01923 222654 www.thesoundcube.co.uk

Indoor Soft Play Centre and Party Venue for children under 6 years old. Many party extras: Face-painting, Balloon Modelling, Photographer, Adult food. All you need with no mess so you relax and enjoy your child’s party with them! From only £5.50 per child! Also, our affordable Soft Play Hire Out is ideal for Birthday Parties, Weddings, Fund Raising Events, Christenings, etc. 01462 483322 tumbletent@hotmail.co.uk 12/13 The Gallery, The Wynd, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 3BL

Wildchild Parties Wildchild Parties are unusual and fun, with a choice of indoor or outdoor activities. There’s archery, climbing, skateboarding or off-road driving. You can go on a dinosaur hunt, share a topsecret assignment, or even take on the pirates and search for hidden treasure or become wild fashion designers. Parties are suitable for ages 6 to 16 years depending on the activity. 0845 3717099 www.wildchildactivities.com


Summer Education Reading around this summer Some children take to reading like ducks to water but others find the process of learning to read much harder. On occasion, even with good teaching at school and parental support at home the child still struggles. In these circumstances you may be searching around for a fresh approach. Here, Florence Gardam of the Centre 4 Excellence explains the benefits of The Fast ForWord Reading programme. The Fast ForWord Reading programme, developed in the United States by Scientific Learning Co, is based upon the organic way the human brain learns. The discovery that our brain and the nervous system will respond to training just as our muscles respond to physical exercise has lead to the creation of this novel approach to teaching reading. Research in the fields of Neuroscience and education has identified four major cognitive skills that are needed for reading and learning: memory, attention, processing and sequencing. The interactive games and activities of this programme aim to develop these cognitive skills. Often it is when the child moves into secondary education, where the majority of information is taught verbally, that underdeveloped auditory skills become obvious. The child can start to flounder, struggle to keep up and become frustrated.

What does the programme do? The programme focuses on auditory recognition, sound letter comprehension, phonological awareness, beginning word recognition and following instructions. With the emphasis on fun, it is an interactive computer programme that uses neurocognitive techniques to train the brain. The programme does require a small commitment from the child of around half an hour daily for five days a week. The programme automatically adapts to the individual’s skill level and responses, which maintains challenge and motivation. The programme is linked to a centre in America via the internet and so every click the child makes sends the information to a centre in America where the results are analysed. Parents,

Gabriel Bouabci (7) with his Certificate for com pleting the Language to Reading programme.

practitioners and teachers are then provided with a detailed report indicating the child’s weaknesses and their progress.

How does the programme help? It improves listening skills and focus in a noisy background. A student will work on over 50,000 exercises during the course, which provides the frequency, intensity and repetition essential to develop their reading and listening skills. The programme is time-motivated, and the child can earn points, encouraging them to beat their daily score. The Fast ForWord programmes of language and reading will benefit all mainstream children and young and talented students from 4-16 years of age. The reading modules concentrate on spelling, grammar and comprehension. The language modules are specifically designed to help children who are struggling with reading and need to develop pre-reading language and auditory skills. Children with Dyslexia, Auditory processing, ASD, Aspergers, Attention Deficite Disorder (ADD) and English as a Foreign Language can all benefit. It is a great programme to work on during the summer break and you can continue to work on it even when you are on holiday. With the Fast ForWord programme children can gain 1 to 2 years in as little as 8 to 12 weeks. The programme provides a reading assessment, which will indicate your child’s level relative to their age group. To book an assessment please call Florence Gardam on 07919 067343

What parents say: Lisa from St Albans is delighted with her 13 year old son’s progress: “Within a four month period he has achieved a Head Teachers’ commendation for improved focus and work in English and he has increased his English grade by two levels, in less than a school term. Luke’s English grade went from 5c in July to 5a in November." Eleanor from Welwyn Garden City, who’s 8 year old has ADD said: “We went to Great Ormond Street to check my son’s auditory skills after we completed the first module of Fast ForWord. He has gone up from 5th centile to 16th centile for hearing with a background noise (he is now within the normal range)."

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Summer Education

Help your child accelerate in maths this summer With the summer holidays just around the corner children are looking forward to the freedom of playing and having fun outside. But, as we’ve been hearing recently the long summer break can lead to some children slipping backwards by the time the new term begins. To provide some structure and to help them keep up with their maths and accelerate their learning during the summer Abacus Maths Learning will continue to run classes for most of the summer holidays for families with primary school children of all abilities and ages (home schooled children are also welcome). The Abacus course promotes maths for children’s right and left brain development. The course aims to help children consolidate their arithmetic foundation and also focuses on developing their cognitive skills and creative thinking with the use of the abacus and other relevant visualisation tools.

Japanese children using the soroban

The soroban abacus, a counting frame with beads which has been used in Japan from the 1800s, and in China from the Middle Ages, is, today, an educational instrument used to aid millions of children around the world to learn maths, especially in Japan, China, Singapore, India, countries where children excel in maths. Recent studies suggest that learning a musical instrument enhances concentration and pattern recognition, which can help children accelerate their learning in maths, science, and art. The abacus taught in the Abacus Maths Learning course works in a similar way requiring the finger dexterity of left and right hands, handeye coordination, visualisation, pattern recognition, concentration and attention. The course takes full advantage of this instrument as a tool to develop children’s arithmetic and numeracy skills while also cultivating their mind, cognitive skills, and creativity. A typical class starts with children warming up with special abacus flash cards, recalling aloud number bonds and times tables against their stop watches. Many parents are amazed how quickly their young children learn the number facts and times tables in a few lessons. Even 5-6 years olds are encouraged to master all the 1-10 times tables, using a special visualisation method. After the warm-ups with the flash cards, the teacher calls out numbers for children to add up quickly on the abacus, to train their visual, auditory processing, and fine motor skills. After this active listening exercise, each child works on their course books and worksheets to learn the abacus operations and mental arithmetic, tailored to the child’s current ability and level. They are also frequently tested on the meanings and applications of what they have learnt (e.g. representing times tables with objects). The mother of one five year old said: “I am amazed at how quickly my son has progressed. He now knows all his times tables and is confident doing double digit arithmetic in his head.” Enrolment is on a rolling basis, and Abacus Maths are now accepting new students. Contact Abacus Maths Learning for a non obligatory introductory session, and to inquire about holiday and regular classes. www.abacusmaths.info / 01442 800 808 / contact@abacusmaths.info.

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Competitions Win a family ticket to Butterfly World

Win a Baby Jake DVD

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Butterfly World, St Albans, home to thousands of beautiful butterflies, incredible insects and phenomenal flowers has sprung into life again and has a season packed full of exciting events and activities for visitors of all ages.  Children can run wild in the Natural Play Area complete with willow tunnels, slides and climbing frames, experience a bug’s life in the Insect Study Centre where hissing cockroaches, stick insects and African snails live while everyone can learn about the extraordinary life-cycle of the butterfly all set in 27 acres of spectacular wildflower meadows thriving with insect, bird and wildlife. The 2012 season marks Butterfly World’s final phase of development. In Autumn 2013 the project, backed by Sir David Attenborough and David Bellamy, will become the biggest butterfly experience, conservation and education centre in the world complete with rainforest, 10,000 tropical butterflies, Mayan ruins, caves, streams and walkways housed in a 100m biome. www.butterflyworldproject.com For your chance to win one of five family tickets go to www.familiesherts.co.uk. Closing date: 22nd June

Nine month old Baby Jake is an enchanting baby who is delighting 2–6 year olds who watch him on CBeebies. Baby Jake is a mixture of live action and 2D photographic animation. The series is narrated by Baby Jake’s six-year-old brother Isaac, who can understand Jake’s giggles and gurgles and opens the door to a magical world where Baby Jake sings, dances and baby-talks with his animal friends Pengy Quin, Sydney the Monkey, Nibbles the Rabbit, the Hamsternauts and Toot Toot the tractor. Baby Jake’s debut DVD entitled Going on an Adventure includes seven fun stories to enjoy. It can also be purchased as a digital download. DVD RRP: £10.20. Duration: 75 minutes approx For your chance to win one of six Baby Jake DVDs go to www.familiesherts.co.uk. Closing date: 22nd June


Reader Survey How much do you really love us? - and be honest! Many readers have told us Families is the only local publication they read - thank you! However, we don’t want to rest on our laurels. We want to know what you think - what you like, and what you’d like more - or less of. Please fill in and return our questionnaire for a chance to win these fabulous prizes!

We have 5 family games bundles to be won from Mattel - each worth over £100. Games to include Scrabble Original, Scrabble Junior, Pictionary, UNO, Angry Birds board game and the new Chameleon Crunch active learning game for kids.

It should take no more than 2 minutes to fill in!

1. How much of each issue do you read? All of it from cover to cover More than half Just the articles which catch my eye

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2. Which element is the MOST USEFUL OF ALL (tick max two) Articles List of holiday activities Lists of clubs and classes What‘s On in your area Children’s party venues & entertainers Adverts Local news

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3. How often do you contact advertisers you’ve seen in Families Herts? Often Occasionally Never

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4. Which advertiser type have you contacted after seeing them in Families Herts? Nursery School Children’s activity club Nanny/Au Pair/babysitting agency Health practitioner/therapist Party supplier Parenting course Photographer Private tutor Holiday/family hotel Cleaner/hairdresser/gardener

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5. Online how do you find most of your family-related information? (about local nurseries, schools, clubs and classes, local news and events etc) Tick all relevant to you. I mostly use FamiliesOnline I never use FamiliesOnline I mostly Google randomly I mostly visit other sites such as

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………………………………………………...................... 6. In your opinion which category of information do you find the hardest to find online? A really good searchable list of what’s on events in my area

Specific parenting articles

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Children’s activity classes Local nurseries and schools Local plumbers, carpenters etc More news about my area To chat to local mums Book/product/restaurant reviews by other mums To sell my unwanted stuff

7. Tick any that applies to you

I own a smart phone, i-pad or plan to buy one soon I use a ‘What’s on’ app If so, which one do you like and use?

30 something 40 something 50 something

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9. How would you describe Families? ................................................................................... ................................................................................... ................................................................................... Any other comments?

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Thank you for your time. If you would like to be entered in the prize draw, don’t forget to include your email address and post code. My e-mail: ................................................................

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I have and use a Twitter account

20 something

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Other........................................................................

I have and use a Facebook account

8. Which age group are you in?

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My postcode: ........................................................... Please return your completed survey by 30th June to Families Herts Magazine, PO Box 434, Pinner, HA5 9AH. Winners will be notified directly. One prize each family. Editor’s decision is final, no cash alternative. If you prefer to enter online follow this link http:// www.surveymonkey.com/ s/7JSTGQB Data will be treated in confidence and details will NOT be passed on to a third party.

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Jubilee Jubilation! Let’s celebrate the Jubilee! It’s time to hang up the bunting, wave your Union Jacks and start celebrating The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. If you want to organise a street party there’s lots of advice on ‘the big lunch’ website (www. thebiglunch.com). Go to the What’s On pages for local Herts events. If you are planning a trip into London we’ve included some of the main events below and you can find more at www.familiesonline.co.uk/jubilee.

Sunday 3rd June Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant See the Queen lead a flotilla of 1000 boats from across the UK, Commonwealth and the rest of the world. Steam boats, tall ships, cruisers, kayaks, Dunkirk little ships and Dragon boats – the flotilla will be the largest fleet of ships to assemble on the Thames in 350 years, continuing a royal tradition which dates back to Anne Boleyn’s coronation. The Pageant will begin in Putney and culminate at Tower Bridge. www.thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org

Ten Queenly Facts: 1. The Queen was born Princess Elizabeth of York on 21 April 1926 in Mayfair, London. 2. On 6 February 1952 while in Kenya, Princess Elizabeth received the news of her father’s death and her own accession to the throne. The tour was abandoned and Princess Elizabeth flew back to Britain as Queen and moved into Buckingham Palace. 3. The Coronation took place in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953. The ceremony was broadcast on radio around the world and was televised for the very first time.

Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd June Jubilee Family Festival Hyde Park, W2 2UH Hosted by Sainsbury's, this two-day festival will culminate in a finale on both days comprising of Disney songs and characters. Plus equestrian events, death-defying motorbike stunts and kids' television characters. With giant screens covering the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday, the festival will showcase Britain throughout the decades. Opening times: 10.30am-7pm Prices: £20 (Adults), £12.50 (Under 16s), £52 (Family) 0844 847 1661

Monday 4th June BBC Concert at the Palace Buckingham Palace, SW1A 1AA Join in the fun at the Diamond Jubilee Concert with artists including Elton John, Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and Annie Lennox. Don’t worry if you didn’t get a ticket – there’s room for 500,000 people in St James's and Green Parks and the Mall to watch on giant screens. www.bbc.co.uk/diamondjubilee

Monday 4th June Diamond Jubilee Beacons Tower Of London, EC3N 4AB A network of 2,012 Beacons will be lit throughout the UK and Commonwealth, including beacons on the battlements of The Tower of London, St. James’s Palace and Lambeth Palace. Beacon lighting times will be available from www.diamondjubileebeacons. co.uk from 6th May but will be between 22:00 and 22:30 on the evening of 4th June.

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www.roblingph

otography.com

8. The Queen has made a Christmas Broadcast to the Commonwealth every year of her reign except 1969 – making her 50th Christmas Broadcast in 2002; in 2004 The Queen issued her first separate broadcast for members of the British Armed Forces; and in 2006 it was available for the first time as a podcast. 9. The Queen has owned more than 30 corgis during her reign – starting with Susan who was a present for her 18th birthday – and currently has three, Monty, Willow and Holly. 10. Queen Victoria was the last and only British monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee, when she was 78 in 1897. The Queen, who will be aged 85 on Accession Day in 2012, will be the oldest monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee.

Jubilee Face Painting Step by Step Get in the spirit of things by painting your children’s faces. Just grab some red, white and blue face paints and follow the steps below (we used Snazaroo Union Jack Face Painting Kit, £4.99, www.snazaroo.com).

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4. The Queen is the second longest-serving British monarch. Only five other kings and queens in British history have reigned for 50 years or more: Victoria (63 years); George III (59 years); Henry III (56 years); Edward III (50 years); and James VI of Scotland (James I of England) (57 years). 5. Since her first official overseas visit to South Africa in 1947, overseas visits have become one of The Queen’s most important duties; and in 60 years, she has undertaken 261 official overseas visits to 116 different countries. Her Majesty has visited Australia 16 times, Canada 22 times, Jamaica 6 times and New Zealand 10 times. 6. The Queen has been to countries which no other British monarch has ever visited, including the first State visits by a reigning monarch to China in 1986, Russia in1994, Brunei and Malaysia in 1998, and Korea in 1999. 7. The first Royal walkabout took place in 1970 during a visit to Australia and New Zealand by The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, who wanted to meet as many people as possible, not just officials and dignitaries.

Using a damp sponge and white face paint, sketch out the white areas – no need to be exactly accurate as you can paint the other colours over it once it’s dry.

2. With royal blue paint and a brush, draw the outlines of the triangular areas and fill in using the sponge or the brush.

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Using bright red paint and a brush, fill in the central cross and then carefully paint the fine diagonal lines.

For something a little less ‘in yer’ face’ go for a small Union Jack painted on the cheek.. See page 9 for more face painting advice


What's On THEATRE ALBAN ARENA Civic Centre, St Albans, AL1 3LD 01727 844488 www.alban-arena.co.uk The Sound of Music 30 Apr-5 May – 7.30pm 2 & 5 May – 2pm Sing along. Science Museum Live 19 May – 2 & 7pm 20 May – 2pm Science, dangerous demonstrations and experiments. Annie 31 May-2 June – 7.30pm 2 June – 2pm The heart-warming tale of Annie and her adventures. Journey to Joy 10 June – 5pm African celebratory rituals. With Drumming, Dancing, Magic and Feats of Acrobatics. The Gruffalo – Live on Stage! 19 June – 2 & 4.30pm 20 June – 11am & 2pm Songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged 3+. BROXBOURNE CIVIC HALL High Street, Hoddesden, EN11 8BE 01992 441946 www.broxbourne.gov.uk Tiddler and other Tales 4 May – 1.30pm Live music, songs, puppets and colourful characters. Ages 3+ Tickets: £10, groups of 10+ £8.50 Science Museum Live! 16 May – 7pm 17 May – 1pm Science, dangerous demonstrations and experiments.

Fireman Sam Live 7 June – 1 & 3.30pm Station Officer Steel has booked a surprise guest star and Naughty Norman is determined to find out who. Tickets: Adult £12, Child £10, Family £42 (4) GORDON CRAIG THEATRE Stevenage Arts & Leisure Centre, Lytton Way, Stevenage, Herts SG1 1LZ 08700 131030 HONK! 2-5 May – 7.30pm 5 May – 2.30pm A musical adaptation of ‘The Ugly Duckling’. Tickets: £16, Concs £14.50, Family £55 (4) Little Red Riding Hood/Three Little Pigs 7 May – 6pm Ballet Cymru bring to life these stories; with stunning costumes, choreography and laugh-out-loud humour. Tickets: £18, £17, £16, Concs £2 off, Family £58 The Tempest 8 May – 7.45pm Ballet Cymru perform Shakespeare’s play as a full length ballet. Tickets: £18, £17, £16, Concs £2 off Buy both Ballet Cymru productions and save £2 per ticket, call 01438 363200 for tickets. Magical Extravaganza on Ice 9 May – 7.45pm 10 May – 5pm & 8pm Be transported to a world of icy enchantment. Tickets: £18.50, Concs £17, Family £68

High School Musical 7-9 June – 7.30pm 9 June – 2.30pm Disney Channel’s smash hit musical. Tickets: £13.50 & £12, Concs £11 Bob the Builder 10 June – 1pm & 3.30pm Tickets: £13, £11 ShangHi: Cirque Du Ciel 12-14 June – 7.45pm All the excitement of traditional and modern Chinese circus. Tickets: £23.50, Family £80 Harpenden Public Halls Southdown Road, Harpenden, Al5 1PD 01582 767 525 www.harpendenpublichalls.co.uk The Woman Who Swallowed a Fly 13 May - 2pm There was an old woman who swallowed a fly. I don’t know why she swallowed a fly... Tickets: £10/£8 Wheels On The Bus 26 May -1pm & 4pm 27t May -10am & 1pm Sing-a-long family fun! Climb aboard Buster the big red bus and meet all of his friends as they embark on a magical adventure! Tickets: £10/£6 Little Howards Big Show 23 June -2.30pm The nations’ favourite humancartoon double act: Big Howard and Little Howard return are back! Tickets: £10/£8

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Mike & Andy's Big Box Of Bananas 30 June - 2.30pm Andy Day, star of Andy's Wild Adventures (on CBeebies in 2012), brings his humour to this high energy, fast-paced children’s comedy. Tickets: £10/£8 The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark 3 July - 11am & 3.30pm Join Plop, the baby barn owl as he journeys into the night-time world - it's going to be a hoot! Tickets: £8/£6 HAWTHORNE THEATRE Campus West, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6BX 01707 357117 www.welhat.gov.uk/campuswest Fireman Sam: Pontypandy Rocks! 5 May – 1 & 3.30pm Pontypandy hosts its first music festival! The Snail and the Whale 13 May – 2.30pm A tiny snail longs to see the world. Ages 4+ HERTFORD THEATRE The Wash, Hertford, SG14 1PS 01992 531500 www.hertfordtheatre.com The Snail & The Whale 5 May – 11am & 3pm A tiny snail longs to see the world. Ages 4+. Tickets: £11, Concs £9, Family ticket £38 Arabian Nights 16-19 May Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Sinbad the Sailor and more. Tickets: £11.50, Concs £9.50

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What's On Andy & Mike's ... Big Box of Bananas! 2 June – 11am & 2pm What’s in this talented duo's mysterious box? Tickets: £12, Concs £10, Family £40 Hertford Symphony Orchestra - Musical Olympiad 24 June – 3.30pm Tickets: £12, Child £6, Family £30 Oliver 28-30 June A RARE Musical Youth Theatre production. Tickets: £13, Concs £11 LETCHWORTH ARTS CENTRE 2 The Arcade, Letchworth Garden City SG6 3EW The Elves and the Shoemaker 13 May No one makes shoes like an elf. Ages 3+ THE OLD TOWN HALL THEATRE High Street, Hemel Hempstead HP1 3AE 01442 228091 www.oldtownhall.co.uk Old Mother Hubbard 19 May – 2.30pm Old Mother Hubbard, her dog and the cupboard … but was the cupboard bare? Cinema Yogi Bear (U) 26 May – 11am Tickets: £2 THE RADLETT CENTRE 1 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, WD7 8HL 01923 859291 www.radlettcentre.co.uk The Selfish Crocodile 6 June – 11.30am & 1.30pm A brave mouse helps the crocodile with a toothache. Ages 3-7. Tickets: £7 TRESTLE ARTS BASE Russet Drive, St Albans, AL4 0JQ 01727 850950 www.trestle.org.uk Pinocchio 6 May – 2.30pm A puppet’s quest to become a real boy. Tickets: Adult £10, Concs £8, £32 Family This is A That 3 June – 2.30pm A father and daughter let their imaginations run away with them. Ages 4+ Tickets: Adult £10, Concs £8, Family £32

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Penguin 24 June – 11.30am How can Ben make Penguin speak? Tickets: Adult £10, Concs £8, Family £32

HALF TERM FUN & WORKSHOPS CATHEDRAL AND ABBEY CHURCH OF ST ALBAN Sumpter Yard St Albans AL1 1BY 01727 890280 www.stalbanscathedral.org Family Discovery Morning: We Are Going on a Journey 7 June – 10.30am-12.30pm Find out why St Albans has been chosen as one of the world’s centres of Green Pilgrimage? Ages 3-11. Free BIRCHWOOD LEISURE CENTRE PLAYSCHEME Longmead, Hatfield, AL10 0AN 01727 270772/3; 01707 262023 (bookings) www.hatfield-herts.gov.uk School Holidays– 8.30am-6pm Bouncy Castle, Badminton, Karaoke, Face Painting, Netball, Arts & Crafts, Cooking, Football, Hatfield Kids Funzone. Ages 4-12. Cost: Hatfield Resident -£12/day, Non-Resident -£16/day CAMP GOSLING Gosling Sports Park, Stanborough Road, Welwyn Garden City, 01707 331056 www.goslingsports.co.uk School holidays – 9am-3.30pm Multi activity sessions: Tennis, athletics, football, trampolining and more. Junior Base Camp (4- 7 yrs), Base Camp (8-9 yrs), Sports Academy (10-15 yrs). Early drop off and late pick up facility: 8am - 6pm at extra cost. Daily: Members £23.50, Non Members £28.50 HATFIELD SWIM CENTRE Lemsford Road, Hatfield, Herts, AL10 0EB Tel: 01707 276276 Fun Sessions Sat and school holidays 1.303pm Energetic, fun sessions with inflatables and floats. Ages 8-15 £3.20.

PLAY IN THE PARKS ROADSHOW For info: Beth Tyler on 01727 827 667 ext 228 or beth.tyler@leisureconnection.co.uk 7 June – 9am-5.30pm 1 day only at 8 parks to promote all our summer holidays activities. 5-12 yrs old, children under 8 must be supervised by an adult. Free

PLACES TO GO ADEYFIELD ADVENTURE PLAYGROUND Turner Hill, Adeyfield, Hemel Hempstead, AP2 4LD 01442 242852 paul.banks@dacorum.gov.uk Term time: Mon-Fri 3.306.30pm, Sat-Sun 1-5pm School Holidays: Mon-Fri 9.30am-5.30pm, closed weekends and bank holidays Arts & crafts, cooking, sports, free play, a pool table, table tennis and computer games. Outside: area with wooden play structures; football pitch; zip wire and nest swing. 6-12 years; under 6s must be accompanied by an adult. Free CELTIC HARMONY CAMP Brickendon Lane Brickendon nr Hertford SG13 8NY Beltane Games Festival Bank Holiday Monday 7 May, 10am-5pm Join the festivities for the start of summer with a taster of Celtic Games, live Music, Fire Procession, Longbow Archery in the Hunting Zone, Craft demonstrations and plenty of activities such as May Crowns to Treasure Hunts. Summer Celebrations 4 -10 June - 10am-5pm Step into Celtic Times and experience an Iron Age village set in acres of beautiful woodland with exciting Butterfly making and Magical Woodland Trail with Faeries, Gnomes & Trolls! Have a go at Archery, explore on the Woodland trails and enjoy the Storytelling Performance. Animal feeding with the ancient breed sheep and goats at 11am everyday. Hog roast and refreshments available from the Iron Age Kitchen. Save 20% and beat the queues when you book online at celticharmony.org or call 01438 718543

GAMBADO STEVENAGE Roaring Meg Retail Park Stevenage, AG1 1XN 01438 745823 www.gambado.com Sun-Thurs – 9.30am-6pm Fri & Sat – 9.30am-9pm Indoor soft play centre – special activities run during half term. HAYES HILL FARM Lee Valley Park Farms, Stubbins, Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey, EN9 2EF 01992 892781 www.leevalleypark.org.uk Visit the animals, play in the indoor and outdoor play areas, have a tractor ride, or visit the cows. Prices vary, please check online. Open Farm Sunday 17 June – 10am-5pm £1 per person HATFIELD HOUSE Hatfield, Herts AL9 5NQ 01707 287010 www.hatfield-house.co.uk Living Crafts 10-13 May – 10-5pm 'Have a go' craft activities in the Workshop Pavilion plus music and storytelling. HERTFORD CASTLE Castle Street, Hertford SG14 1HR Castle Open Day 13 May Browse this historic Grade 1 listed building. Free Open Air Band Concert & Teddy Bears’ Picnic 17 June Bring a rug, teddy bear & a picnic, Castle open for all visitors. LEE VALLEY REGIONAL PARK There’s always something to see and do in this wonderful park which winds its way 26 miles along the banks of the River Lee in Hertfordshire, down through Essex and North London to the East India Dock Basin on the River Thames. www.visitleevalley.org.uk A Walk in the Park 6 May - 10.30am–12.30pm Guided walk starting in Fishers Green Car Park, Stubbins Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey, EN9 2EF. Free International Horseball Competition 6 - 7 May – 11am Horseball is an exciting equestrian sport, similar to basketball on horseback. Watch as British and French teams challenge for the Lee Valley Cup. Free


The Great British Cucumber Festival 08456 770 600 12 May – 11am–5pm Celebrate local foods with all things cucumber! Free Top Dog 13 May – 10am–3pm Dog handling clinic with advice and hands-on training. Areas covered include obedience, noise control, aggression management and general poor behaviour. Free MEAD OPEN FARM Standbridge Road, Billington, Nr. Leighton Buzzard 01525 852954 www.meadopenfarm.co.uk Open daily 10am-6.30pm (last entry 5.30pm) Prices vary, see website for details. ROLLERCITY Campus West, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6BX 01707 357117 www.welhat.gov.uk/campuswest OZ Sats – 10am-12pm Beginners session. Family fun with games and obstacles to enjoy. (Children must be with an adult) Boppin' Stoppers Sats – 3-5pm Advance booking advised. Children 12 and under and accompanying adults. Breeze Suns – 11.30am-1.30pm For less confident skaters Sparks Suns – 2pm All welcome. Check with the box office or online for prices. STOCKWOOD DISCOVERY CENTRE London Road, Luton LU1 4LX 01582 548600 www.stockwooddiscoverycentre. com Browse the collections and exhibitions, then play at the playground or explore the gardens. Free. WILLOWS FARM VILLAGE Coursers Road, London Colney, St Albans 0870 129 9718 www.willowsfarmvillage.com Open Daily from 10am-5.30pm Adorable animals, acres of adventure play, fun fair rides and children's shows.

Spring Special 2-10 June – 10am-5.30pm Horse displays and Goat Racing. In celebration of the Jubilee, children named Elizabeth or Philip will have free entry between 2nd - 5th June when accompanied by a full paying adult (proof of name required). WOBURN SAFARI PARK Woburn, Beds MK17 9QN 01525 290407 www.woburn.co.uk/safari Open daily – 10am-6pm (last entry 5pm) Entry: Adult £19.99, Child £14.99

MUSEUMS BRITISH SCHOOLS MUSEUM 41/42 Queen Street, Hitchin, Herts SG4 9TS 01462 420144 admin@hitchinbritishschools. org.uk www.hitchinbritishschools.org. uk May Day Celebrations 7 May – 10am-12.30pm Maypole Dancing, Victorian games, Country Dancing. Light refreshments. Free entry. HERTFORD MUSEUM 18 Bull Plain, Hertford, Herts, SG14 1DT 01992 582686 www.hertfordmuseum. org Keepsakes, Key rings and Kiss Me Quick – A History of Souvenirs 2 June-1 Sept – 10am-5pm A Royal theme to celebrate the Jubilee, focusing on souvenirs collected from holidays and travels. Open Tuesday-Saturday Free entry Jubilee Jamboree! 6 & 7 June – 10.30am-3.30pm Celebrate the Jubilee with lots of crafty activities. £1.50 per child, drop-in IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM Duxford Airfield, Duxford, Cambridge, CB22 4QR 01223 835000 www.iwm.org.uk The Jubilee Air Show 27 May Flying Legends Air Show 30 June & 1 July Flying Legends is the air show event of the year.

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What's On MILL GREEN MUSEUM & MILL Mill Green, Hatfield, AL9 5PD, 01707 271362 www.welhat.gov.uk Down on the Farm (Gallery 2) 22 Jan- end Dec – Tues-Thurs – 10am-5pm, Suns & Bank Holidays – 2-5pm Find out how to milk a cow, identify mystery farm tools and have a go at farm themed quiz trails, games and activities. £2.50 per adult (children free) MUSEUM OF ST ALBANS 9a Hatfield Road, St Albans, AL1 3RR 01727 819340 www.stalbansmuseums.org.uk Vampire Hunt 18 May – 6.30-8pm Interactive quest to release the Victorian Vampire Hunter, Van Helsing, who has been hidden somewhere in the Museum. Ages 8 - 11 Cost £5 National Share a Story Month 27 May – 3-4pm Words within Worlds - stories from different countries. Age: under 7s. Cost £1 (Free to members of St Albans Children’s Book Group) Gruesome Gorgons 6 June – 10:30am-12.30pm Hear the story of Medusa, and make a mask or Greek shield. Ages 6 – 13yrs. Cost £5 (£4.50 for Young Friends) Jubilant Jubilees Queen Elizabeth II 7 June – 10:30am-12:30pm Celebrate the Jubilee and make a souvenir. Ages 8 – 13. Cost £5 (£4.50 for Young Friends) Jubilant Jubilees - Queen Victoria 8 June – 10:30am-12:30pm Step back over 100 years and take part in games to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Make a Victorian memento. Ages 8 – 13yrs. Cost £5 (£4.50 for Young Friends) Sunday Stories 24 June – 3-4pm Smart suit or pretty dress for the Queen's Jubilee? Listen to the Queen's Knickers and other Nicholas Allen stories. Age: under 7. Cost £1 (Free to members of St Albans Children’s Book Group)

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VERULAMIUM MUSEUM St Michael’s Street, St Albans, AL3 4SW 01727 751810 www.stalbansmuseums.org.uk Saxon Special Event 26-27 May – 11am-4pm This event in Verulamium Park marks the 1000th anniversary of the first known written use of the word “Hertfordshire”. Saxon displays, re-enactments and activities. Free event (Entry charge to the Museum for non residents applies) Meet Queen Boudicca 7 Jun – 2.30-4.30pm Meet this amazing queen in the Museum galleries. Story telling sessions by Boudicca at 2.30pm & 3.30pm. Entry charge to Museum for non residents applies. £1 to make a souvenir badge to take home. The Fabulous Fifties 10 June – 3-4.30pm Commemorate the Jubilee by the History Wardrobe. Learn about history and fashion in a very fun way. Cost £10 (£9 for Friends of the Museum) includes tea/coffee and biscuits.

FESTIVALS AND FUN DAYS GREEN LANES PRIMARY SCHOOL Green Lanes, Hatfield, AL10 9JY 01707 262556 Summer Fair 23 June - 12- 3pm. Fun and games, Donkey rides, bouncy castles, beat the goalie, wet sponge stocks, face painting, crafts, BBQ, Pimms tent, Ice Creams, cream teas, Tombolas, Sweet Stalls and Grand Prize Draw with some fantastic prizes. HARPENDEN COMMON DISCOVERY DAY Harpenden Common 16 June – 10am-5pm Falconry, sheep shearing, chainsaw sculpting, walking stick making, craft activities, bug hunt and welly wanging. Free HERTFORD CARNIVAL 24 June – 12-6pm A Festival of Nations: stalls, entertainment and refreshments in the grounds of Hertford Castle. Carnival procession leaves Hartham, at 2pm to wind its way around the town

HERTFORDSHIRE COUNTY SHOW The Showground, Dunstable Road, Redbourn, AL3 7PT 2 & 3 June Show jumping, Livestock Competitions and Parades. Grand Ring Attractions BIG SUMMER FAYRE Our Lady School, Old Hale Way, Hitchin, SG5 1XT. 30 June - 12-3pm Climbing wall, Pony rides, craft and produce stalls, BBQ, bar, treasure hunt, raffle, games, arena events and more! Cost: £1 per adult / children free PRESTON GARDENS OPEN DAY 3 June –1-5pm Visit some lovely gardens. Arts and Crafts. Visit St Martin Church. Stalls and a BBQ on the village green and teas in the Village Hall. Entry £4 (children free). Free parking. RICKMANSWORTH CANAL FESTIVAL Rickmansworth Aquadrome, Frogmore Lane, Rickmansworth www.rwt.org.uk 19 & 20 May Entertainment in celebration of the canals and local community, supporting the Rickmansworth Waterways Trust. SAUNCEY WOOD SCHOOL Sauncey Wood Primary School, Pickford Hill, Harpenden, AL5 5HL Summer Fair 26 May – 12-3pm 'Street Party' with bunting, cream teas, craft stalls and splat the rat. For information, find 'Friends of Sauncey Wood' on Facebook. ST HELENS SCHOOL Brewhouse Hill, Wheathampstead, AL4 8AN Summer Fair 23 June – 12-3pm Lots of activities for children, a plant stall, refreshments, tea room, BBQ, and ice creams. ST OSWALD'S FLOWER FESTIVAL St Oswalds Church, 17 Malvern Way, Croxley Green, WD3 3QL 4-7 May – Opening times: May 4: 6-9pm; May 5: 10am-5pm; May 6: 12-6pm; May 7: 10am-5pm. Four-day flower festival celebrating the 75th anniversary of St Oswald’s church. Refreshments. Free entry, donations welcome.

SPRING FAYRE The Market Theatre Sun Street, Hitchin, SG5 1AE 01462 433553 www.markettheatre.co.uk 3 June Arts & crafts, cakes, clothing, bric-a-brac, live music Entry: £1 pp.

JUBILEE FUN BURSTON GARDEN CENTRE North Orbital Road, St. Albans, AL2 2DS 1727 832 444 Jubilee Garden Party 24 May – 2-7pm Food tasting, special offers, informal demonstrations and shopping with live music. Free entry and parking. Jubilee Crafts for Children 6 June – 11am-3pm Children can decorate their own Royal Crown (£1 per child). Storytelling at 2pm, Face painting (£2 per child for facepainting). GADEBRIDGE PARK Hemel Hempstead Diamond Jubilee Event 4 June – 12-5pm A charity and community fair to celebrate the Jubilee followed by a concert in the park with fireworks and the lighting of the Jubilee Beacon. GREENSIDE SCHOOL Heathcote Playing Field, Shephall Green, Stevenage SG2 9SX Shephall Residents Diamond Jubilee Event 4 June – 10am-5pm In honour of the Diamond Jubilee to raise funds for Greenside, the resident group and local charities. LETCHWORTH The Big Lunch to Celebrate the Jubilee Howard Gardens, Letchworth 2 June - 11am-2pm Live entertainment, music and games, barbecue. SARRATT VILLAGE www.sarrattvillage.co.uk Family Fun day: ‘An Event fit for a Queen’ 2 June In the KGV Pavilion and Playing fields: Old fashioned races and games, Talent Contests, Singing/ Dancing, Pet competitions, Tugof-War and a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.


Jubilee Celebrations 4 June A Village Picnic on the Green during the afternoon. BBQ Lunch lots to see and do. SHENLEY PARK Walled Garden, Shenley Park, Radlett Lane, WD7 9DW 01923 852629 www.shenleypark.co.uk Queens Jubilee Celebratory Street Party 4 June – 2-7pm Adults £5, children & concs £3. Under 5's free. Family £15 (2 adults, 3 children or concs) QUEENS JUBILEE STREET PARTY St Peters Street, St Albans 4 June Bring or Buy Lunch 12noon-3.30pm Family entertainment, funfair, stalls Gig of the Decades 4-9.45pm Music from each dcade of the Queen’s reign. Lighting of the Jubilee Beacon 10pm Fireworks

THORN GROVE PRIMARY SCHOOL Thorn Grove, Bishop's Stortford, CM23 5LD Jubilee May Fayre 27 May – 12-4pm A fayre to celebrate the Jubilee and the Olympics. Stalls, activities and displays to raise money for the school.

OLYMPIC WARM-UPS BUNTYLYMPICS Seth Ward Community Centre, Luynes Rise, Buntingford SG9 9SG 10 June – 9am-5pm 14 fun-filled events. Teams can be up to 15 strong with three age groups. Bouncy Castle, minifunfair, hog roast, beer tent, etc. Visit www.buntingfordtowncouncil.co.uk for entry form. Free entry

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Families Herts May-June 2012