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News & views Laser Tag arrives at Forest Farm!

Try before you buy at Just Outdoor Toys If you’re looking to buy an item of outdoor play equipment this summer, have a look at Just Outdoor Toys, where the outdoor display centre is full of climbing frames, swings, slides, sandpits, trampolines and playhouses for your kids to try out first. All equipment is set up outside so your children can play to their heart’s content while you chat to experienced staff about what you want and how it will work in your garden. Many of the staff are parents who have lots of hands-on experience. Installation services, safety surfacing and even site surfaces can all be arranged. And if you’re interested in trampolines, check out the special buyers’ guide written for Families magazine at www.familietveast.co.uk/trampoline or visit www.justoutdoortoys.co.uk.

Interesting New Book For Parents - The Hormone of Closeness: The Role of Oxytocin In Relationships This book by Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg offers parents an exciting physiological perspective on intimacy and relationships. Based on current research, the author describes the importance of oxytocin in the connection between parents and children, in love and companionship and in increasing trust in our society. Ask your local bookshop to order you a copy; it’s due for publication on 26 March by www.pinterandmartin.com.

Labels4Kids launches new website A UK leading kids’ labelling specialist Labels4Kids, has launched an exciting new website to helps families save money on returned lost property. The new look site makes ordering easier and you can even try designing your own labels for your children, your own sportswear, camping and even care home items for grandparents. There’s also a personalised clothing shop of high quality clothing. Check it out at www.labels4kids.com/fam.

Make Your Precious Family Footage Digital! Oxford Duplication Centre has a great family gift idea for this Easter. Why not sift out some old video or audio tapes belonging to someone special, to get the contents transferred to discs and editable files? Such a useful thing to do and one less way to avoid more chocolate! Oxford Duplicate Centre has superb testimonials and is based locally in Kidlington. Just drop in for a chat about what you need or call 01865 457000.

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Laser Tag, a fun, safe and healthy outdoor activity for kids and adults, is now available at Forest Farm located in between Islip and Beckley. It’s a game of skill and tactics and involves players who fire laser beams at their opponents, detected by the sensors. Players compete to join the leader board and to move up the ranks undertaking missions and earn recognition for their skills, in the coppice wood, fortress and the giant cattle barn! Booking is required and costs £20.00 per game which lasts for two hours. For more details call Paul on 07795 650 370 or book at: http://www.formstack.com/ forms/?1379741-rJLw3ztnA1.

Advertise in Families Oxfordshire call 01993 815966 or email editor@familiesoxfordshire.co.uk.


Contents Welcome to our March/April issue which we hope will help you find plenty to do this Easter, from our What’s On and Spring Days Out pages. Don’t forget to enter our competition, giving away three sets of family tickets (two children and two adults) to Marwell Wildlife. All you have to do is send in your details via our website and we’ll notify the winners before the end of March!

In this issue News and views

2/4/5

Birth choice

6

Spring days out for easter

8/9

The power of play

10/11

How childcare is changing

12/13

Nutrition tips for boosting the immune system

14/15

What’s on

16/17/18/19

Social networking find us on

Families Oxfordshire designed by Dickidot Limited.

01865 400801 www.dickidot.com Oxfordshire

September/Occtober March / April 2013 2012

Oxfordshire

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News & views Horticulture set to form schools National Curriculum

A new and simple way to potty-train Spring can be a popular time to start potty-training your toddler as the warmer weather helps with lighter layers and for that all important dash to the bathroom. My Wee Friend is a simple and effective way to help potty train and looks like an ordinary sticker. It is applied to the inner base of the potty and once potty is used the plain sticker changes to a friendly face, that smiles at your child! Choose from a Happy Bug, Flower, Car or Dog for £3.50 lasting 12 weeks. Kiddymania.co.uk. Try it!

REAL NAPPY WEEK APRIL 2013 UK organic growing charity Garden Organic’s, has won its campaign to give every schoolchild the chance to grow their own food, as ‘horticulture’ is set to be taught in schools from 2014. The charity was chosen to lead the government-backed Food Growing in Schools Taskforce, which brought together evidence to show the benefits of children growing their own food and how it can help them to achieve, build life and employability skills, and improve their health and wellbeing. www.gardenorganic.org.uk

Reading out loud in class ‘does children no good’ Children’s author Julia Donaldson has said that reading aloud in class is too ‘wooden’ to interest children in books and instead they should be taught how to read by acting out plays. She’s suggested that reading aloud makes children feel like they are being tested, rather than inspiring them. The author of The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom said that she takes small groups of students and works on the play with them, before reading it to the rest of the class. Julia launches a series of short plays written especially for schools this winter.

Join in and break a world record! This year’s Real Nappy Week takes place 15 to 21 April, with the theme of ‘Real Nappies...Real Change!’ to inspire a new generation of parents to make the change. The week is shaping up to be very exciting, with each day allocated a theme such as Real Choice, Real Easy and Real £change looking at the benefits of Real Nappies. Get stuck in by taking part in The Great Cloth Diaper Change on 20 April at 11am local time, and be part of a world record breaking attempt for the most Real Nappies changed simultaneously. On 21 April join in Real Clean and hang a chain of washing up in your garden, as others will do up and down the land. There are loads of events taking place across the country during Real Nappy Week, where you can meet people who use Real Nappies, get great advice as well as get your hands on nappies to see how they work. Find out about the latest events in your area at www.goreal.org.uk/real-nappy-week. Plus, if you have never used them before don’t miss The Great Real Nappy Giveaway also online. Why not hold your own event? This can be as simple as inviting friends around for a quick demo, or organising a fashion show to show off the latest Real Nappy trends. Email info@goreal.org.uk for support packs and advice.

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Here’s a way to spend weekends that’ll have 4-18 year olds buzzing. Enrol them in your local Stagecoach Theatre Arts school where they learn to act, sing and dance. The skills they learn aren’t just for the stage. Our students grow in confidence and self-esteem. Skills for Life! There’s no audition - all they need is enthusiasm. Summer Holiday Shows Oxford: Fiddler on the Roof / Merlin and the Mystical Unicorn Thame: Looking for Elvis Abingdon & Banbury: Call for details

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Water Babies Oxon is starting their summer term week commencing the 14th May and to mark this they are offering all Families readers a free taster session. Summer courses will run throughout August teaching water safety skills, which will include lessons packed with fun, songs and games while teaching all the core principles of swimming. Call 01869 325 499 to make a booking and mention where you saw this – easy!

Oxon pupils walk for Air Ambulance Children at Cokethorpe Junior School did the ‘Helicopter Walk’ in February, raising money for The Children’s Air Ambulance. Completing 774.5km in one hour and fifteen minutes, the children are hoping to beat last year’s amazing total of £3,620 which was donated to local charities Witney Talking News and Dogs for the Disabled.

Charity for Families Seeks Your Help Home Start UK befriends and encourages families who face difficult circumstances, by offering them regular support and by acting as a link to other services. If you’ve around 2-4 hours to spare each week, to spend some time with children, playing and talking with them, valuing their opinions and to act as wonderful role models, Home Start would like to hear from you. It’s very rewarding and offers a chance to put your skills and qualities as parents to even more great use. If this interests you go to: www.home-start.org.uk/volunteer/ why_volunteer.

01869 278600

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email: abingdon@stagecoach.co.uk

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Flexible working ideas:

Diana Page works for a leading health company, sharing and recommending natural and organic products that benefit health and wellbeing. Here she tells us how this has worked for her, for the past eleven years: When I started a family in 1991, I knew that I wanted to be able to raise my children and to provide them with a good lifestyle and the right education options, whilst doing something I enjoyed. And it really was possible. My boys are now eight and eleven and I feel privileged to have been working under the umbrella of such an amazing company. To come on-board, means you will receive full hands-on training and support, by following a proven business model. Yet it’s so flexible; as I have only ever worked part-time in order to suit the needs of my growing family. What is more, I have always been able to attend their various sports, social and school events, while developing a meaningful career and earning a six figure income. The company has a 35+ year track record of success, which encourages its’ people to have both personal and career development plans to ensure they achieve their true potential. And while you will be based from home – you are never alone. For an informal chat contact Diana on (01235) 533 362 or 07747 086518 and find out more.

March / April 2013

Oxfordshire

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Birth choice The Alexander Technique: By Clara Wiggins

You’ve recently found out you’re pregnant, you’re already eyeing up the latest buggy and thinking about turning the spare room into a nursery. But one of the most important choices you will have to make is one most women in this country take for granted – where are you actually going to have your baby? In many counties across the UK women are spoiled for choice, with everything from traditional hospital maternity wards with obstetric-led delivery suites to midwife-led natural birthing units. Home births are also often well supported, and many of the birthing facilities available are new or recently re-furbished. But imagine if you didn’t have these choices? Imagine if you were told where you would have your baby, even how it would be born? Worse still, imagine if you thought you had made your informed choice only to find that when it came to it you had no control over what happened during the birth? Unfortunately this is the reality for many women in the world, even in the UK, and it is what prompted two documentary makers to produce a film that has been shown all over the world. Freedom for Birth is based around the story of Hungarian midwife Agnes Gereb, who was jailed for supporting women during their home births, and the subsequent European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling that stated all women within the ECHR jurisdiction should have the right to choose where they give birth. As well as Gereb’s story, the film includes comments from some of the most prominent birth experts in the world,

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all united in one thing: that the situation around birth and the way women are treated is substandard – and it’s not getting any better. In fact, French doctor Michel Odent even described the situation as being “at the bottom of the abyss”, while American midwife Ina May Gaskin states in the film: “If you keep people afraid, you can make a lot of profit”. Shocking stuff, but information that the filmmakers, couple Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford, felt was vital to get people starting a conversation about the problem. “In terms of our human rights about birth, there is a sliding scale, with forced caesarean sections in countries like the Netherlands and America at one end and uninformed consent at the other”, Toni said. “Women are not being given choices, they are not being told the full implications of what is being done to them. If women are not fully informed, I would call that assault”. Toni’s own birth experience in Brighton involved an induction, which she said she wasn’t given a choice about. She also said a friend was automatically signed up for a caesarean because her baby was breech. “I respect women’s rights to have a caesarean. But we need a cultural shift – instead of doctors saying, “This is what is going to happen to you”, mothers should be saying, “I will let you...”. Our human rights are not being respected, we need better education, better awareness that you have rights, that you have a choice”. One of Toni’s main concerns is that we are going the way of America, where the caesarean rate is high, and rising – up to 45%. In this country, the rates are lower but still unacceptably high at 25%. In one county in the UK, though, the head of midwifery for a local NHS Trust believes we do have a good story to

tell. Proudly showing off a poster for a Promoting Normal Birth study day the hospital is running, Vivien Mortimore believes Gloucestershire is at the forefront of change, that they are amongst those leading the way in women-focused birth and that where they lead, others will follow. The Trust are proud of the number of choices women have about where to give birth in Gloucestershire, as well as the facilities on offer. They also try to accommodate the wishes of every woman, even if it means a very detailed care plan, and it is now assumed that women will go to a mid-wife led unit unless she has complications or wishes to go to the delivery suite. Unfortunately though, however much the Trust tries to accommodate the wishes and needs of women, there will always be a gap between what the medical community thinks is best for women, and what those who believe in complete freedom of birth choice want. It is, for example, rarer and rarer for women with breech babies to have natural births, as medical research has shown there are doubts about this method of delivery being the safest. With fewer midwifes having the experience of delivering a breech baby, the skills are being lost and the choices are getting narrower. So whilst initiatives like those being pushed in Gloucestershire should be applauded for trying to change things, is it inevitable that women in this country, and in the rest of the world, will never feel that the choice really is all theirs? www.freedomforbirth.com Buy the film for £19.99 and hold screenings to share the info more widely? www.oneworldbirth.net Watch a 15 mins film for free online. Then tell 10 people. Save birth, change the world. What do you think? If you’d like to share your views email them to editor@ familiesoxfordshire.co.uk and we’ll print them in the next issue.


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Spring days out for easter Watch out – Rhino Week is on its way! A whole week is being devoted to the amazing Rhino at Cotswold Wildlife Park from 6-14 April. Have a great day out where there’ll be daily Rhino Keeper talks at 3.30pm and a ‘Guess the Weight’ of the replica Rhino Horn. There’s even a drawing competition inviting children to bring along their Rhino drawings, to go on display in the Rhino house and judged at the end of the week to win a prize! The week is to highlight work done by Cotswold Wildlife Park with Tusk Trust, which funds projects to help protect wildlife in Africa including the Rhinos still left in the wild. Visit www. cotswoldwildlifepark.co.uk.

Meet Favourite Children’s Characters at Blenheim Palace

A host of family fun can be had at Blenheim Palace this Easter, on 31st March and 1st April families can meet the loveable furry characters Sid and Scrat, from the film Ice Age, and popular television characters Mike the Knight and the Little Princess at the Pleasure Gardens. The characters will make personal appearances at various intervals throughout the day. Additional family fun attractions include The Marlborough Maze, The Butterfly House, a bouncy castle, traditional fairground rides and the new Children’s Shop.

Why not visit the Cogges Manor Farm Museum on Good Friday 29th MarchEaster Monday, for an enjoyable and relaxing day out for all the family. Meet all the new animals including newly laid chicks; explore the adventure play area and island trail, discover the welly walk and soft play barn and take part in traditional fete games such as the coconut shy, splat the rat, hook a duck, tombola, lucky dip, Piñata, welly wanging, face-painting and enter competitions! There’s so much to do at Cogges where parents can also try making a willow teepee and circular supports for the garden on 23rd March 10am – 4pm. The Easter trail takes place until 14th April for the kiddies. Information about this and more can be found at: www.Cogges.org.uk/.

Visit Roves Farm on Mothering Sunday! Roves Farm is open every day until 29 November, but we thought we’d give one day a special mention as Mum’s get in for free on Mother’s Day! Why not venture out and spend a day on the farm and see all there is to do, on this 166 hectare working, mixed, open farm, situated 3 miles North East of Swindon for a great family day out, come rain or shine!

A crash of crashed out White Rhinos, Monty, Ruby & Nancy!

Spring Bunanza at Millets Farm 29th March 2013 - 14th April 2013 From 29 March to 14 April have a fun filled Bunny Bunanza day out of quizzes and craft activities and ‘eggcellent’ entertainment for all the family at Millets Farm. Enter either one of two quizzes (one is easier, the other is hard!) to complete and find the clues hidden around the farm. To finish there’s a creative craft activity once you’ve cracked all the clues. This exciting activity will start at the bunny hut by the animal enclosures. Open from 11am 4pm daily. www.milletsfarmcentre.com/.

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01993 01993815966 815966 www.familiesoxfordshire.co.uk www.familiesox.co.uk

The Great Blenheim Palace Easter Egg Challenge Taking place on 29th and 30th March, children can follow the trail of clues hidden around the Marlborough Maze, Butterfly House and ‘Blenheim Bygones’ Exhibition. Complete the hunt and receive an Easter treat! For further information call the free 24 hour information line on 0800 849 6500 or visit www.blenheimpalace.com.

Make Hotcross Buns and see Easter chicks hatching

There’s lots to do for everyone including animal feeding and handling, indoor and outdoor play areas with a bouncy castle, a bale stack and an under 5’s area. Mum’s can be treated to a cream tea in the Woolley Sheep Tearoom and mark the start of the Rove Farm animal racing season. If there’s a birthday over the holidays, why not make a real change and have your child’s party there too?! For more details visit www.rovesfarm. co.uk.


Rare Plants and Spring Food Festival For something different why not take the family to Waddesdon Manor. In addition to the Easteregg Extravaganza, involving Easter egg n spoon races for all the family, Waddesdon is hosting a Rare Plants and Spring Food Festival on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April,10.30- 4.30pm. It may not be the first thing you’d think of for a day out involving young children, but it’s sure to be a fascinating visit and a chance to show them some rare and unusual plants they’ve never seen before. Food festivals are always a hit as they also provide lots of interesting sights and smells and why not set them little challenges, by asking them to guess the ingredients or encourage them to speak to stall holders about their produce?! The festival will feature over 40 local produce stalls from around the country and visitors can listen to talks and see demonstrations throughout the weekend. Normal admission charges apply to Waddesdon Manor, with free admission to the festival. Or simply visit the woodland playground for a magical place to play, nestled amongst the trees! Visit www.waddesdon.org.uk for more information.

Radley College is an independent boarding school for boys aged 13 to 18. The Foundation Award at 11+, 13+ and 16+ are for boys currently in state education with academic potential and interest in music, art, drama or sport.

MARWELL WILDLIFE WIN a wild family day out! A visit to Marwell Wildlife is a chance to get up close to the wonders of the natural world – and help save them. We have 3 sets of family tickets (2 adults and 2 children) for you to win. This Easter you can take part in their Wild egg hunt and visit the Easter Bunny to collect your very own chocolate egg (Bank Holiday weekend only). Also from 29 Mar-14 Apr enjoy all things feathery! Visit the new walkthrough bird aviary, get creative with free feathery crafts and listen to fascinating talks. For more information call 01962 777407 or visit www.marwell.org.uk/. To enter just visit familiesoxfordshire.co.uk today. Closing date 20 March.

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September/Occtober March / April 2013 2012

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The power of play By Shani Blumenfeld Registered Play Therapist, Manchester Play Therapy Tel: 07812 089 760 email: info@manchesterplaytherapy.co.uk. www.manchesterplaytherapy.co.uk As adults we generally don’t take much notice of what children are doing when they are playing. In fact we may just be grateful for those moments when our children are occupied in playing and there is finally some respite from demands on our attention. But if we do stop to watch our children playing, we see that it’s not ‘just playing’ – there is something magical, spontaneous, uninhibited, creative and rejuvenating happening. As Plato, the Ancient Greek Philosopher said “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation”. Play is the ‘window’ into a child’s world. Play is a child’s natural, spontaneous way to explore the world and express themselves. It has long been recognized by educators and psychologists as vital to children’s development, helping them to grow physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. Free play (unstructured) in particular, provides opportunities for children to play out and rehearse roles and feelings, try out new

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01993 01993815966 815966 www.familiesoxfordshire.co.uk www.familiesox.co.uk

ideas, practice facing challenges, rethink experiences and work out solutions. Play also has the power to heal, especially when children have problems that are disrupting their lives and those around them. Children’s thoughts and emotions naturally come to the surface during play and it is a good way for children to find solutions to problems. It’s generally easier for children to make

positive changes when they are playing and playing allows children to express feelings and anxieties that may be difficult to put into words.

Playful families Whilst play comes so naturally to children, as adults we have often lost the ability to play and joining children in their play doesn’t feel ‘comfortable’ as it


FRSETEER A TA

requires putting aside our familiar ‘adult’ roles, letting go of our authority and realism for a while, and risking appearing (to the adult world only), silly. But research clearly shows that playing with our children has enormous benefits. It allows family members to relax and laugh together, we can change roles, bend the rules a bit, and go where the fun takes us. And kids just love it when parents step out of parental mode and join them as equals in play. Crucially, playing together can also bring parents and children closer and help to build warm and lasting relationships. Adults and children alike develop skills in talking and hearing each other; children gain a sense of security, self-confidence and a view of themselves as effective in the world; and it can even facilitate talking about problems through diversion and relaxation.

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You don’t need any specialist skills or equipment to join your child’s play. Just give your undivided attention, watch and listen, comment occasionally on what you see and if you want to get involved allow your child to ‘direct’ you like a film director would an actor. Resist the temptation to teach, 693_oxford_advert_01.indd criticise/praise or guide the play (unless for safety reasons) as this will help your child express themselves without the anxiety of failure or judgement. And don’t worry – letting your child take charge in their play for a while isn’t going to turn them into ‘bossy’ children. It needn’t be time-consuming eitherjust ten minutes a day of joint play will give your children the message that you are interested in them, that they are valuable and will help to strengthen your relationship.

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24/08/2012 16:06

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Play Therapy – helping children & families feel better through the power of play All children encounter challenges in their life and most children manage to weather these emotional storms with the support of parents, carers, friends and family. However sometimes children experience problems with their feelings or behaviours that are harder to work out even with the support of those around them, and they may need additional help. Play Therapy is an effective way of helping children to work through muddled feelings or upsetting events that they haven’t had the chance to sort out properly and that are disrupting their lives or the lives of those around them. Rather than having to talk about what is troubling them - as an adult might do in a counselling session - in Play Therapy children use play and expressive activities to communicate deeper feelings or worries that may be hard for them to put into words.

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Parents and carers may seek extra support from a Play Therapist when their child seems unduly sad, disruptive, rebellious, unable to cope or inattentive or when parents are concerned about their child’s development, eating or sleeping patterns and how they are getting along with family, friends or at school. Play Therapy can help children affected by a variety of difficult life experiences, such as low self-esteem; separation issues; loss or bereavement; bullying or schoolrelated issues; family changes or breakdown; domestic violence; abuse or traumatic experiences; issues relating to disability/ illness (of the child or family members). Play Therapy not only helps children make sense of difficult feelings or experiences but also to feel better about themselves, get on better with friends and family and find healthier ways of coping with challenges life inevitably brings. Play Therapists can also work with children and their parents together.

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September/Occtober March / April 2013 2012

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How childcare is changing By Joanna Moorhead

Childcare in Britain costs more than childcare almost anywhere else in the world – according to recent figures, 27% of the income of families with young children is spent on the costs of a nanny, a childminder or a nursery.  Everyone agrees it would be better if childcare was more affordable – especially for parents with two or more children, many of whom say it doesn’t make financial sense for them both to be at work.  But how can childcare be made cheaper without compromising on quality?  That’s the question everyone, from government ministers to childcare providers, is grappling with at the moment.

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What the government is saying In late January the government announced a new plan to change child:staff ratios for childminders and nurseries, in a move it says will cut costs for parents and raise pre-school standards. Early years minister Elizabeth Truss is proposing that: ``

Childminders, who are currently restricted to looking after three children aged one to five, should in future be able to look after four

``

They would also be allowed to look after two children aged under one, instead of being restricted to one child under one

``

Nurseries will be allowed to increase their staff-to-child ratio from the current 1:4 to 1:6

``

For under-ones, the ratio will rise from 1:3 to 1:4

``

Qualifications would be raised for new nursery staff – they’ll be required to have a GCSE grade C or above in English and Maths

Other changes include the introduction of a new graduate-level early years teaching qualification Truss says the proposals won’t lead to children being neglected: she points out that the changes she is suggesting will still leave England with higher staff:child ratios than those for childcarers in

France, Denmark and Germany, three countries that are often cited as providing high-quality care for pre-school children.  Her basic argument is that the current relatively tight ratios have two main effects: they mean higher costs for parents, and lower pay for staff.  The changes she’d like to see would, she believes, lead to lower fees for parents and higher pay for staff, and this in turn would improve the quality of childcare workers over time. But Labour’s shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg says he believes the plans would undermine the quality of the UK’s childcare. “I think this is one area where we’ve got something to teach other countries,” he says. “If you look at France, there’s quite a big public debate about whether they’ve got this right.” Marg Randles, managing director of Busy Bees, the UK’s largest childcare provider with 213 nurseries across the country, says this flexibility already exists within settings for 3-5 year olds where providers can choose to adopt a 1:13 ratio where there is a qualified teacher or EYP working directly with the children. The suggestion of changed ratios for three to four year olds would put her nurseries on the same ratio levels as school settings.  She believes Busy Bees baby ratios of 3:9 and toddler (2-3’s) ratios of


How to cut your childcare costs in the short term So the bottom line is that there’s not a huge amount happening at government level to cut your childcare costs right now – so if you need to get them down, it’s up to you to find a way.  Here are a few ideas we’ve come up with at Families:

3:12 works best across its 213 settings, but others may find they can work within the new ratio guide lines. She welcomes changes that put the decisions in the hands of individual childcare experts and trust they will make the right choice for their children, parents and business. But the important issue for Busy Bees is childcare vouchers: currently, employers are allowed to give employees up to £55 a week in tax-free vouchers to pay for childcare; raising this to £75 a week would make a real difference to parents, the chain argues.  In comparison, the saving to families if the Truss proposals go through would amount, says Busy Bees, to around £3.50 per week.

``

Change your working hours: as a parent with a child under 16, you’re entitled to request flexible working hours from your employer, provided you’ve worked there for more than six months.  You could ask to fit your work into fewer days that are longer – then your partner could collect your child or children from your carer on the days you’re working, and you can cut childcare bills. 

``

If you work part-time and use a nursery, check out whether the fees are lower on certain days of the week (they sometimes are) and see if you can switch the days you work.

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Team up with a friend who’s also working part-time and has a child of a similar age.  So you look after her child with yours while she’s working, and vice versa.

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When you’re choosing a childminder check whether she can access the free 15 hours’ childcare a week that all three and four-year-olds are entitled to – not all childminders can do this, and it can be worth up to £180 for 38 weeks of the year.

For more on childcare go to www. familiesonline.co.uk

What about tax breaks? Childcare vouchers are one form of tax breaks for parents paying for childcare.  However, before the recent Truss announcement it had been hoped that the scheme would be reformed and extended, allowing more parents to benefit from the scheme, and those already using it to save more. Unfortunately these hopes haven’t come to fruition: Ms Truss has said changes are in the pipeline, but that they’re “going to be slightly longer in the gestation than would be ideal”. So the details of the scheme are still being worked out, and it’s been widely reported in the press that there are ideological differences within the Coalition.  Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister, has suggested that changes should be for those on lower incomes, while the Conservatives are believed to want the breaks to be universal. While we wait for another announcement, it’s being reported that the scheme under consideration could be worth thousands of pounds – sources close to the government have said working women with children aged under five could become entitled to claim a flat rate tax allowance of £2,000 a year to pay someone to look after their children.  But if that’s the good news, the bad news – sadly – is that with all the political wrangling going on behind the scenes, the plan could take some time...though some experts still believe it could be introduced before the next General Election.

Providing short term household services to busy mums without the need for long term contracts Are you a busy mum who would love someone to come in and take care of some of the household chores on a short term basis, allowing you to concentrate on other things? Well look no further - Mummy’s Maid will provide you with an Extra Pair of Hands that Understand! Mummy’s Maid offers Short Term Household contracts from as little as 2 hours. Whatever your needs Mummy’s Maid can help! Tel: 0845 463 0075 info@mummysmaid.co.uk www.mummysmaid.co.uk

Issue 54 : (D)

September/Occtober March / April 2013 2012

Oxfordshire Oxfordshire

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Nutrition tips for boosting the immune system Bournemouth nutritionist Penny Crowther discusses the 3 most important nutrients for a strong immune system and how average diets are often lacking in them. Discover how to obtain them through foods and/or supplements and how much you need of each. Boosting the immune system At this time of year, resistance can be lowered, increasing susceptibility to colds and infections. Even Louis Pasteur, father of the germ theory of illness recognised that a strong immune system is key. Otherwise how can we explain the fact that out of three people exposed to a respiratory germ, only one will get pneumonia, the second person will get minor cold symptoms whilst the third person remains unaffected?  Make sure that reserves of these 3 key immune nutrients, which are not found abundantly in the average diet, are well topped up in your own and your family’s diet. This will give the immune system a fighting chance. Zinc is absolutely vital for a healthy immune system. The production and function of immune cells and immune related hormones are all dependent on adequate zinc levels. Zinc is not found widely in foods apart from meat such as lamb and seafood. The best vegetarian sources are pecan nuts, pine nuts, oats, rye, dried split peas & ground pumpkin seeds.A poor sense of taste or smell, reduced appetite, frequent infections and white spots on the nails may be signs of zinc deficiency. Stress, alcohol and pollution deplete zinc levels. A very high fibre diet is likely to interfere with zinc absorption. A supplement should contain 15-20mg zinc for adults. Vitamin D deficiency is now known to be common amongst the general population. Vital not only for strong bones and preventing osteoporosis, this vitamin has recently been found to play an important role in immune health. Vitamin D is made by the body in the presence of sunlight but with the increased use of high SPF factors, advice to cover up and the fact that we are not overwhelmed with sunshine in the UK, mean we are generally not obtaining

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01993 815966 www.familiesoxfordshire.co.uk

adequate vitamin D by this means. The principle food sources are oily fish and dairy foods. However is quite a challenge to obtain enough vitamin D without supplementing 800-1000iu daily for adults. Vitamin A (Retinol)is not a vitamin that currently gets much publicity. This is because deficiency in developed countries is considered rare. The same thinking used to apply to Vitamin D and hopefully the same change of attitude will soon be applied to vitamin A. Vitamin A has a special relationship to healthy immunity. First, it enhances the action of the immune cells, shortening the duration of illness. A deficiency of Vitamin A increases the risk of infection.

damaged (e.g. by toxins, drugs, food intolerances or parasites), it becomes too permeable allowing substances to pass through the junctions in the gut wall into the blood. This then triggers an immune response. Gut permeability is a new research area. There are significant recent studies which suggest that gut permeability is a major factor in auto immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Here are some common signs and symptoms to look out for, relating to vitamin A deficiency (they can also relate to other conditions which is why it’s advisable to consult a practitioner before self diagnosing):

Second, it strengthens the delicate outer membranes of the nose, throat, digestive tract and lungs. These membranes are the first line of defence against attack from the outside. It’s also needed for the healthy membranes of the eyes, ears and reproductive organs. Healthy skin, gums and prevention of recurrent infections (including thrush and cystitis) are dependent on adequate Retinol levels.    Another very important role for Vitamin A is the part it plays in maintaining a healthy gut lining. The lining of the intestine in its healthy state consists of densely packed cells like bricks in a wall. “Sheets” of bricks are joined together at tight junctions. If the lining becomes

*Dry flaky skin *cracked dry skin on heels *acne * brown pigmentation spots on the skin *mouth ulcers *poor vision especially at night  *frequent colds, viruses or infections *dandruff  *thrush *cystitis *diarrhoea *anaemia that persists despite taking iron supplements * psoriasis *


atopic dermatitis * thyroid disorders * ear infections *dry eyes * vaginitis * cystitis *arthritis * hyperkeratosis (thickening of the skin e.g. on elbows, upper arms and heels) *diabetes  * cervical dysplasia (abnormal *Inflammatory bowel disease (e.g. Crohns, colitis) & diseases affecting the intestines such as Coeliac disease, gluten sensitivity, giardia (parasite) infection.

Why is Vitamin A deficiency more common than previously thought? It is commonly believed that vitamin A is easy to obtain in a balanced diet. However this is not necessarily the case. In theory, if we eat fruit and vegetables which contain beta carotene we should be getting a plentiful supply of vitamin A. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A by the body when needed. However, the truth is somewhat different. Whilst plenty of people do manage this conversion efficiently, there are many who don’t or who have poor absorption, leading to inadequate vitamin A levels.  Low fat diets are still fashionable for weight loss and this will lead to low vitamin A status as this vitamin can only be absorbed in the presence of fat since it is fat soluble. Vegetarians and vegans who are relying on Carotenoids  in green leafy vegetables, orange and yellow fruit and vegetables should serve vegetables with fat to ensure absorption of the carotenoids. The healthiest way to do this is to add a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil, flax oil or hemp oil onto vegetables that are lukewarm rather than hot so as not to change the beneficial fats in the oil into toxic compounds.  The important fact to remember is that “vitamin A proper” which is pre-formed vitamin A and known as retinol is only found in animal derived food sources (cheese, egg yolk, oily fish and liver are the richest sources – yoghurt also contains some). Its cousin, beta carotene is found in plant foods, particularly orange and yellow fruits and vegetables and green vegetables. People with underactive thyroid glands tend to accumulate beta carotene, an indication of poor conversion to vitamin A. This leads to patches of yellow skin particularly on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands and in the creases of the nose. Anorexics and diabetics also have impaired vitamin A conversion. High alcohol consumption also blocks conversion. Vegetarians with an underactive thyroid are at particular risk of low vitamin A. Finally, low zinc levels will predispose to low vitamin A since these two nutrients work together.

How much do I need? The UK recommended daily intake for adults is approximately 600mcg (2,300iu). However it is going to depend very much on the individual, taking into account the factors above relating to vulnerability to deficiency. In many cases a higher intake will be required and therefore a supplement. As an unfortunate result of scare stories and misinterpretation of the research concerning vitamin A, many UK supplement companies now use beta carotene and not preformed vitamin A . This means you have to look carefully at the labels on multivitamins to check for pre formed vitamin A (this might appear as retinyl palmitate or acetate on the label).

Testing vitamin A levels The normal range for retinol in the blood is 28 to 86 μg/dL. However, testing for vitamin A is not particularly useful because deficiency will only show up when it is advanced and severe. This is because the liver stores large quantities of vitamin A.

Caution Women trying to conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding should not take vitamin A supplements without the advice of a practitioner. Penny Crowther DN Med MBANT CNHC Nutritional Therapy. One to one nutrition consultations for children and adults in London (Putney) & Bournemouth. Appointments 01202 296 763 & more information www. nutritionistbournemouth.co.uk  or  www. nutritionistlondon.co.uk Please note the information in this article is not a substitute for medical advice. If you have a medical condition and/or are taking medication, check with your health practitioner.

Oxfordshire Paediatric Allergy Clinic By Dr David, Consultant Paediatrician

Full allergy assessments including: Immunotherapy for hayfever, exzema and asthma. Skin/blood testing. Clinics held at Mayfield House, Summertown (self payers only) Milton Keynes Milton Keynes, BMI Saxon Clinic (self payers/insurance)

email: kidsallergy@gmail.com or call 01487 814256

Oxfordshire

September/Occtober March / April 2013 2012

Oxfordshire

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what’s on March / April 2013 WHATS ON – THEATRE Cornerstone Arts Centre 25 Station Road, Didcot Oxon, OX11 7NE

cornerstone-arts.org

3 Mar. JAMES CAMPBELL’S COMEDY 4 KIDS A stand-up comedy show for children, parents and anyone who likes comedy which may or may not discuss scooters, Scottish country dancing, and what to do with gregarious giraffes!

13 Apr. When Eggy Met Peggy

Come with Alice on a magical adventure as she tumbles into Wonderland! Guided by the White Rabbit, Alice meets some astonishing characters, including the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, a studious caterpillar and those mischievous twins, Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

Tallulah Swirls Theatre Company

£16/£14/£12

Oxford Playhouse Beaumont Street Oxford, UK, OX1 2LW

Join Eggy and Peggy, The Pea, a rock-n-rolling raspberry, in this deliciously funny and original twist on The Princess and The Pea. £7.50/£5.50

13 Apr. Blown Away

Bird’s Nest Theatre

1-3 Apr. Spot’s Birthday Party

Join us as a small boy finds himself swept up and whisked away on an unforgettable journey with the wind in this beautiful and engaging show with live music and shadow puppetry.

17 Mar. BLOWN AWAY

Age guidelines: 2 to 6 years

£7.50/£5.50.

Imagine you are a little boy and one night a little girl arrives in your bedroom and you fly through the air feeling so big with the world so small below. A beautiful and engaging show with live music, shadow puppetry and lots of movement. 
£8/£6. Ages 3+

It’s Spot’s birthday, it’s party time and you’re invited! All Spot’s friends will be there: Steve the Monkey, Helen the Hippo and Tom the Crocodile plus Spot’s mum and dad, Sally and Sam, too. Why not come dressed for a party and enter our birthday card colouring competition?

The Mill Arts Centre

£8/£6. Ages 6+ 


24 Mar. THE AMAZING BUBBLE MAN The Amazing Bubble Man is amazing. Blowing, bending and balancing bubbles, involving eager audience members, delighting the children, with wry asides for adults to wow us all.
£8/£6. Ages 3+

28 Apr. ROBIN HOOD AND HIS VERY MERRY MEN An exhilarating version of the story of Robin, Marian and the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. Buckets of mud, a host of colourful forest characters and live music. 
£8/£6Ages 4+

Oxfordplayhouse.com

5-6 Apr. Rapunzel

A sweet, funny and beautiful show for all the family. running time 1 hour.

Rapunzel tells the story of the wicked witch who tricks a mother to give up her child and the handsome prince who rescues the girl.

3 Apr. Tweedy the Clown; Tweedy’s Lost Property

12 Apr. Michaela Strachan’s Really Wild Adventure

A comedy about a clown who gives in to society and gets a real job in a Lost Property Office! The consequences of attempting to run the office are hilarious as his items of lost develop lives of their own and he is constantly prevented from answering the telephone.
£7/£24, family ticket. Ages 4+

£11/£9. Ages 3-8

24 Mar. The Stagecoach Charity Spectacular

Barefoot Books

My First Cinderella tells everyone’s favourite ragsto-riches story in a beautifully adapted version. Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother appears and transforms her into a glittering Princess who shall go to the ball. £11-£26. Ages 3+

10 May. FOOTSTORM

£6/£22. Ages 4+

£15/£12. Ages 7+

Newtheatreoxford.org.uk

4-5 May. English National Ballet & English National Ballet School, Present My First Cinderella

themillarscentre.co.uk

17 Mar. Horse & Bamboo present The Nightingale (by Hans Christian Anderson)

George Street, Oxford, OX1 2AG

A fun-filled musical featuring the students from the Stagecoach centres in Oxford, raising money for the Sobell House and InterAct. These talented 6 to 18 year olds present Little Red Hoodie, a street-wise version of Little Red Riding Hood full of song and dance to entertain the whole family. £14.50-£22

Spiceball Park Banbury OX16 5QE

£11/£9

Adapted from her book of children’s poetry, TV favourite Michaela Strachan takes families on a delightful journey through an alphabet jungle of animal rhymes.

NEW THEATRE

294 Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford, OX2 7ED

barefootbooks.com

12 Apr. The Incredible Book Eating Boy

5 Apr. Rumpelstiltskin & The Wheel of Fortune Rumpelstiltskin is helpful yet demanding, secretive yet noisy, short yet owning a name as long as his beard. This will make you laugh and gasp at the same time!
£6/£22, family ticket. Ages 4-7 


Henry loves books, but not like you and I like books…he loves to EAT books. The more books he eats, the smarter he gets! Every 6 minutes from121.30pm and 2.30-4pm

9 Apr. The Sagas of Noggin The Nog

£3 per adult & child. Ages 4+

27 Apr. The Elephant Bridesmaid

28-29 May. The Firework-Maker’s Daughter Lila desperately wants to be a firework-maker like her father, but when he refuses to teach her, Lila runs away from home. With the help of her friends she faces pirates, tigers and the terrifying FireFiends. Times: Tue & Wed evenings.

A company of Viking story tellers recreate the charming world of Oliver Postgate & Peter Firmin.
£7/£24 family ticket, Ages over 5 and all the family!

“There are no Elephants in Australia, except for this one...” Based on a story from the book How the Koala Learnt to Hug this delightful show has just the right balance of games and songs. 
£7/£24, family ticket. Ages 4-104!

The Theatre Chipping Norton 
 2 Spring Street, Chipping Norton. OX7 5NL

Seven of the world’s best modern Irish Dancers have combined forces to smash boundaries, heralding an awe-inspiring new era in Irish Dance. Dance troupe Prodijig, led by Alan Kenefick, lead dancer in Riverdance will perform their breath-taking debut show Footstorm across Ireland and the UK from April 2013.

£10-£17.50. Ages 8+

Chippingnortontheatre.co.uk

Burton Taylor Studio

14 Mar. CINEMA BAMBINO ADULT & BABIES FILM CLUB 


£18.50 - £36

23 Mar. Monster in My Piano

The Kenton Theatre New Street Henley-on-Thames, RG9 2BP

Family favourite Garlic Theatre returns with this offbeat tale with puppets, clowning, animation and a very highly strung monster!

kentontheatre.co.uk

£7.50/£5.50

12-16 Mar. Henley Youth Festival 2013 FESTIVAL 2013 sees The Henley Youth Festival celebrating 20 years of giving the young people of Henley and its adjacent villages the opportunity to take part in the Performing Arts. £3/£5/£7

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21 Apr. Alice in Wonderland Ballet

Next to Oxford Playhouse

oxfordplayhouse.com/aboutus/btstudio

30 Mar. Arthur’s Dream Boat,Long Nose Puppets Long Nose Puppets returns with a magical playful children’s show with breath-taking puppets, so enchanting that everyone will want to sail away with Arthur in his dream boat. £7.50/£5.50

01993 815966 Advertise in Families Oxfordshire www.familiesox.co.uk

A film club for parents and carers with babies, aged up to and including 18 months. A chance to socialise and enjoy a worry-free film experience. 


23 Mar. RUMPELSTILTSKIN 
 Puppets, music, storytelling and transforming sets, Theatre of Widdershins aims to create gold on stage with this new version of the Grimm’s classic tale.


4-5 Apr. THE PIRATES ARE COMING! 
 The workshop participants will create the play’s narrative through exploring mime, improvisation and character study.

call 01993 815966 or email editor@familiesoxfordshire.co.uk.


what’s on March / April 2013 
6 Apr. STUCK 
 This exciting new production is brought to us by award-winning author Oliver Jeffers (How to Catch a Star, Lost and Found) and the team behind last year’s smash hit The Way Back Home.

8-10 Apr. MUSICAL THEATRE EXPERIENCE 


23 Feb-30 Mar. FAMILY PRINT WORKSHOPS

PITT STOPS

Learn how to print by hand and print your own keepsake. This fascinating two-hour workshop is led by Dr Paul Nash, a specialist in historic printing techniques and presses at the Bodleian Library. 2-4pm

On the first Saturday of the month come and explore the Museum, discover something new and make something super to take home. Drop in sessions, Ages 5+. 13.00-16.00pm.

MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE

Participants will sing some well-known songs, learn dance routines and discover the excitement of performing on a professional stage.

£8. Ages 8+

Broad St, Oxford OX1 3AZ

NICK COPE’S SONGBOOK

museum@mhs.ox.ac.uk

21 Apr. THE BFG 


Every second Saturday of the month. Sing and hear monkeys, bears, socks and mud! Nick Cope sings about everything children are really interested in.10.30-11.30 am.

22 Mar-21 Apr. EASTER TRAIL

A wonderful storytelling performance of Roald Dahl’s classic. Telling the story of Sophie and her adventures in Giant Country with the loveable, whizzpopping Big Friendly Giant. 


30 May. CIRCUS WORKSHOP 
 Join Splat’s circus workshop where you will learn to juggle scarves, balls and clubs, spin plates, balance peacock feathers, ride funwheels, swing poi and ribbons, flick flower sticks and walk on stilts.

30 May. MAGIC WORKSHOP 
 In Splat’s magic workshop learn the magician’s secrets: the art of misdirection, object manipulation and how presentation of the magic is the most important part of the magician’s art.
01608 642350 



Pegasus
 THEATRE Magdalen Road Oxford OX4 1RE

pegasustheatre.org.uk Disco & workshop
A special event from Pegasus and Dancin’ Oxford for children under 5 and their families to boogie with your baby for a]/inute workshop led by professional dance tutors to moves you need before a chance to get creative with your toddler at the disco. Stay for lunch or tea and enjoy dance mats and socialising after the event.

£5 per child. (Adults free.) Ages: 0-upwards.

Discover exciting objects in the Museum’s collection in this fun-tastic self-guided trail. Collect a trail from the Entrance Gallery on your way into the Museum. Ages 7+

OXFORD BUS & MORRIS MOTORS MUSEUMS

BANBURY MUSEUM

Station Yard, Long Hanborough, OX29 8LA

Cherwell.gov.uk/banburymuseum

Castle Quay, Spiceball Park Rd, Banbury OX16 2PQ

oxfordbusmuseum.org.uk

9 Mar. FABULOUS CRAFTY FLOWERS

10 Mar. MOTHERING SUNDAY AT THE MUSEUM!

Start celebrating Spring by making your very own ‘growing’ flower. Lots of family fun. £2.50. Ages 3+

The museum offers free entry for mums accompanied by a paying child (of any age!).

SMALL TALK ACTIVITY BACKPACKS

29 Mar. CENTENARY EVENT A parade of Morris Vehicles will depart from Cowley (near to Morris Motors works) to the Bus Museum at Long Hanborough, where they will be on show in addition to all the usual exhibits of the Bus and Morris Motors Museums.

31 Mar. EASTER CHICK HUNT Go and find the chicks hidden around the Museum; get a cream for a completed score sheet and ha. Members pay half price for admission to this event. Open on Easter Monday.

Explore the museum any time with the help of special puppets Sally and Simon, our themed activity backpacks, each based on a different theme, including: transport, armour, canal and shops. The bags contain puppets, games and an activity. Ages 3-5.

DRAWING FOR ALL CART If you enjoy drawing, or if even you’ve never tried before go to the museum and enjoy sketching some of the fascinating artefacts on display. Materials, ideas and inspiration provided! For all ages. Free.

1 adult & 1 child £13; Disco only adult £7, child £3



FREE VINTAGE BUS RIDES

The North Wall
 South Parade, Oxford, OX2 7JN


Held every 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month. Plus enjoy a children’s play area and play bus; free parking, gift shop and café.

thenorthwall.com 



£4.50/£2.50/£10 for a family ticket.

Join Teddy’s museum adventure for young explorers to help Teddy find all his favourite objects around the museum. All trails cost 60p and include a free museum pencil.

PITT RIVERS MUSEUM

ROALD DAHL

Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PW.

Roalddahlmuseum.org

16 Mar. The Nightingale
Horse + Bamboo 
 A selfish King replaces his melodic songbird with an all mod-cons mechanical gizmo then wonders if something is missing from his life, vivid performance and original music.
£7. Ages 4+

MUSEUMS & GALLERIES THE STORY MUSEUM The Story Museum, 42 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP

storymuseum.org.uk/

prm.ox.ac.uk.

MUSEUM TREASURE HUNT

81-83 High St, Great Missenden, HP16 0AL

29-31 Mar. EXTRA USUAL EASTER EGG HUNT

14 Mar. EASTER EGG HUNT Go on a special egg hunt and decorate an egg to take home, especially for under 5s. 14.00-16.00pm.


FREE FAMILY FRIENDLY FUN Held every Sunday for children accompanied with an adult for activity backpacks, sorting boxes, trails, colouring sheets and crafts. 14.00-16.00pm.

Join in throughout the day on an egg hunt around the museum. Find all the eggs to learn fantabulous facts about Roald Dahl and earn yourself a croscolloping chocolate treat. All ages. Free.

30 Mar. CRACKLING EASTER CRAFTS For 6+ years: paint a wondercrump wooden egg or egg cup with the face of your favourite Roald Dahl character. £2.50. Times from 11.30am-4pm.

Music Tuition

Woodstock and surrounding areas. Piano lessons for children. Classical guitar for children & adults, all grades. Call Robert on 07577202726 or email: musictutorials@live.co.uk

Oxfordshire

September/Occtober March / April 2013 2012

Oxfordshire

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what’s on March / April 2013 31 Mar. DELUMPTIOUS EASTER EGG DECORATING Decorate your own delicious Easter egg, hide some scrumptious treats inside and wrap it up as a special Easter gift! £12. Times from 11.303.45pm. Ages 4+.

DIARY DATES & EVENTS OXFORD CASTLE – UNLOCKED

dancinoxford.co.uk.

1-11 Mar. VARIOUS VENUES IN OXFORD A festival in its seventh year has an action-packed programme including six free dance events in Oxfords’ city centre in addition to an exciting array of performances in the city’s venues. Visit the website for details.

OXFORDSHIRE WILDLIFE TRUST

44-46 Oxford Castle, Oxford, OX1 1AY

Sutton Courtenay Environmental Education Centre

oxfordcastleunlocked.co.uk.

Abingdon, Oxon. OX14 4TE

29 Mar-14 Apr. A RIGHT ROYAL TREASURE HUNT Gets underway at OxfordCastle – Unlocked this Easter! The year is 1142 and Empress Matilda is besieged! Arts and crafts will also be available in the prison gallery. Open daily from 10.005.30pm (last tour 4.20pm). £9.25/£6.95/£7.95

BLENHEIM PALACE Woodstock, Oxon, OX20 1PP

blenheimpalace.co.uk

To 1 Apr. “LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION – BLENHEIM PALACE, STAR OF TV AND FILM” A special exhibition about filming at Blenheim over the years, the most recent include Gulliver’s Travels, The Young Victoria and Harry Potter. PPG & P&G.

20 Apr. NSPCC BLENHEIM SPRING WALK Take part in a sponsored walk for the NSPCC in the lovely grounds of Blenheim Palace. Walk either 2, 4 ½ or 9 miles. Suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs and dogs on leads. £5 registration and £2.50 for children over 5. Set off between 9.30am and 11.30am. Register at eastappeals@ nspcc.org.uk.

4-6 May. BLENHEIM JOUSTING TOURNAMENT “The Knights of Royal England” meet on the South Lawn and visitors can enjoy their exploits along with activities including archery and falconry displays. P&G.

JACQUELINE DU PRE MUSIC BUILDING St Hilda’s College Oxford OX41DY

st-hildas.ox.ac.uk/jdp

10 Mar, 14 Apr, 19 May. CUSHION CONCERTS Including the French Horn, Double Bass, Tabla & Sita. Led by Rozzy with Mr Cello. Introducing music made by different instruments, fun and close-up, in a special music building. Bring your own cushion! Limited spaces. £5. Under 5s: 9:30am & 10:30am. Over 5s: 11:30am

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DANCIN’ OXFORD 2013

Bbowt.org.uk/

2-4th Apr. SPRING INTO SPRING

23-24 Mar. COGGES FARM OPENING Meet the new animals; explore the adventure play area and island trail, welly walk and soft play barn; take part in traditional fete games, facepainting and competitions.

Normal admission charges apply. See www.waddesdon.org.uk for more details.

20-21 Apr. FRENCH MARKET

29 Mar-1 Apr. EASTER WEEKEND

Offering a variety of French goods including breads, pancakes, cheeses, soaps, handbags, patés confectionary and wooden toys. Normal admission charges apply. 10.00 – 5.00pm.

Make hot cross buns and see if the Easter chicks have hatched. Fun Easter trail until 14th April.

29 Mar-14 Apr. MILLETS FARM SPRING BUNANZA

5 May. ALICE IN WONDERLAND M&M Productions presents a magical production of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale in the Wheat Barn. £8.50/£6.50 Ages 3-16.

6 May. WITNEY MUSIC FESTIVAL AT COGGES.

Join in the fun with quizzes and craft activities and great entertainment for all the family. £3.95. 11-4pm.

24 Mar. EASTER EXTRAVAGANZA

KIDMORE END CRICKET PAVILION

9-11 Apr. BUG BONANZA

Didcot, Oxon. OX11 7NJ

Meet the creepy crawly critters that make our nature reserve their home. Pond dipping and bug hunting with tons to see and learn! Wild activities to get the whole family excited about nature. Visit www.bbowt.org.uk. 104pm. Donation £3/child.

Kidmore’s Pre-School’s annual Easter Eggstravaganza for a day filled with fun including a walk in the woods to collect eggs, a bouncy castle and many more activities. Refreshments available include a bar, hot dogs, cakes and ice creams. £3.50 per child, adults go free. 3-5pm. Call Tara for more details on

didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk

07899 928779.

2-3 Mar. DAY OUT WITH THOMAS

23 Mar. FAMILY BIKE DAY

Blow those cobwebs away with wild activities to get the whole family excited about nature. Picnics welcome. Assistance dogs only please. 10-4pm. Donation £3/child.

Go along for a great line up of live bands and performance on the barn stage and around the grounds.

DIDCOT RAILWAY CENTRE

Little Wittenham, Abingdon, OX14 4QZ

WADDESDON MANOR

By The Friends of St Mary’s CofE (Aided) Primary School, Chipping Norton held in the school grounds. Bring bikes for an afternoon of fun, games, bike sale/clinic, raffle, refreshments! Helmets must be worn. 12-3pm.

Earthtrust.org.uk

Bicester Road, Aylesbury, HP18 0JH

lucia.edwards@live.co.uk.

waddesdon.org.uk/

THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD HARCOURT ARBORETUM

EARTH TRUST CENTRE

16, 17, 23 & 24 Mar. LAMBING WEEKENDS Join Camilla and Roly for a family day out in the spring sunshine and see the newborn lambs or even some being born! £6/£3/£13 family ticket.

3-4 Apr. EASTER CLUMPS CLUB Join in for one or both days for outdoors adventures. Ages 8-12. £25 per day. 10am-3pm.

5 Apr. FAMILY BUSHCRAFT DAY Bring the family and go wild in the great outdoors! Explore the woods, make shelters, learn how to make a fire. Cook a simple lunch on the fire but take a packed lunch as a back-up!

Admission from 9.30am, this event takes place from 10-5pm daily. £12/£11/£10/£39 for a family ticket.

29 Mar-1 April .CADBURY EASTER TRAILS The National Trust and Cadbury are teaming up once again to celebrate Easter. Giant games, free face painting, and a fun trail around the Gardens. £3.00 per trail. Normal admission charges apply. 10.00-5.00pm (last trail at 4.00pm).

1 Apr. EASTER MONDAY EGG & SPOON RACES Cadbury and the National Trust are calling all racers to join in with the fun to kick off the race of the season.

£20/£15 10am-3pm.

20 Apr. NEWTS, FROGS & TOADS. Search for newts, frogs and toads with nets and torches and find out about amphibians living in Little Wittenham Wood. Torch and willies essential. £5/£2. 7.30-9.30pm.

Cogges Farm Cogges, Witney, OX28 3LA

Cogges.org.uk

Advertise in Families Oxfordshire call 01993 815966 or email editor@familiesoxfordshire.co.uk.

Nuneham Courtenay, Oxfordshire, OX44 9PX

Harcourt-arboretum.ox.ac.uk/

29 Mar. ARBORETUM EASTER EGG HUNT Follow the clues hidden at the Arboretum and claim your prize.

Apr. ARBORETUM EXPLORERS’ BACKPACKS Borrow a backpack full of fun activities to help you explore this amazing 130 acre site.


what’s on March / April 2013 2 Apr. SHADES OF SPRING – YELLOW

8-12 Apr. MUSICAL THEATRE WEEK

Find the shades of spring as you walk through the Arboretum then join the fun with our yellow-themed crafts.

Inspired by Roald Dahl’a Revolting Rhymes, this tale of Snow White sees her escape from the Wicked Queen and huntsman to become a parlour maid. But she knows just how to turn fortunes round – with a bit of magic.

Tea, coffee and homemade cake will also be available 1-4pm.

WATERPERRY GARDENS Wheatley Oxford OX33 1JZ

waterperrygardens.co.uk

29 Mar-14 Apr. THE BIG EASTER BUNNY HUNT

£100 (£75). 10-4pm. Ages 6-12.

EASTER KIDS ACTIVITY CAMPS

Join the Big Easter Bunny Hunt to find our bunnies hidden around the ornamental gardens and claim you special prize from the Teashop if you find enough!

CAMP ENERGY

WORKSHOPS Magdalen Road Oxford OX4 1RE

Active holiday camps for children aged 5-13. Offering plenty of great activities including climbing, swimming, street dance, judo, arts & crafts, ceramics, archery & fencing. Book early for Summer as numbers are limited.

pegasustheatre.org.uk

OXFORD ACTIVE KIDS CAMP

2-5 Apr. EASTER VILLAGE WORKSHOPS

Tel: 01865 594325 oxfordactive.co.uk

PEGASUS THEATRE

Book a morning, afternoon or a day from our selection of fun activities for 6-12 year olds. Times: 9.30am - 12.15pm & 12.45 pm – 3.30pm.

2 Apr. Morning Drama: Devising plus Making: Eggstrordinary Art Afternoon Dance: Street plus Making: Springy Art

3 Apr. Morning Music: Sunshine Songs plus Drama: Shakesperean Sparring & Slang Afternoon Dangerous Dinosaurs Puppetry plus Making: Eggcentric Hats

4 Apr Morning Drama: Soundscape Stories plus Music Afternoon Ugly Bug Puppetry plus Drama: Plays From Childrens’ Books

5 Apr. Morning Making: Funky Flower Art plus Dance: Lindy Tricks

THE BUSHCRAFT COMPANY Tel: 01608 811 380 thebushcraftcompany.com/holidaycamps A haven of creativity in Charlbury, Oxon, The Bushcraft hosts nearly 200 schools each year for trips, team-building events and weekend excursions and runs activity camps for kids aged 7-18 throughout the school holidays, from Cornbury Park.

For Easter Camp information visit the website.

Tel: 01865 304090 campenergy.co.uk

Adventure camps designed for children who have a passion for the outdoors, where kids will provide a much needed diversion over the school holidays, allowing kids to have fun while parents know they are in safe hands and learning new skills. Offering a range of activities including including drama and dance, arts and crafts and various sports, outdoor pursuits such as assault courses, canoeing, kayaking, raft building, treasure hunts, orienteering and survival skills.

SUPER CAMPS Tel: 01235 832222 supercamps.co.uk Activity day camp for children aged 4-14! What do your children want during their school holidays? Action? Adventure? Fun? If so, Super Camps have the perfect solution with programmes bringing together an exciting mix of sports and arts & crafts keeping your children active, alert, safe and happy during the Easter and Summer holidays!

Are you paying enough attention to your children’s nutrition? Juice PLUS+® delivers key antioxidants and other phytonutrients that are absorbed by the body. yy helps reduce oxidative stress yy helps support a healthy immune system and maintains DNA yy positively impacts several key indicators of cardiovascular wellness For piece-of-mind about your family’s health, consider Juice PLUS+®

www.juiceplus.co.uk/tem31586 Call on

07733 228 038

Afternoon Drama: Theatre Games plus Dance: Splash Up Price: £10 (£7.50) half days, £20 (£15) whole days, £80 (£60) all week

Contact Jane Brooks on:

01865 841409 07855324417

Pre-School Gymnastic classes for children walking to 4 years at Kidlington, Stonesfield and Woodstock. Children’s Swimming lessons from preschool classes to Advanced ASA Stage 7 at Kassam Stadium,Wendlebury, Minster Lovell, Southmoor and Holiday Inn at Peartree Roundabout, Oxford. Small groups or one to one tuition available. For more information email:

Educational Sports Coaching for Children aged 18months-7years Please visit

www.Serious4Sport.co.uk or call 07799004711 or 07826855723 for more details

info@janebrooksgymandswim.com

March / April 2013

Oxfordshire

19


Open Days

Wednesday 15 May, 4.30pm to 6.30pm Thursday 13 June, 9.30am to 11.30am Vibrant independent Oxfordshire day school for 140 girls and boys aged 4 to 11

www.cokethorpe.org.uk

BLENHEIM PALACE

“Outstanding” Latest ISI Inspection Report

Easter Weekend Entertainment 31st March - 1st April

••• BUY ONE DAY, GET 12 MONTHS

FREE! •••

Sid and Scrat from Ice Age

Ice Age™ & © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Mike the Knight

Little Princess

“We couldn’t find a parent who was less than dewy-eyed about the place” Good Schools Guide 2012 © 2013 HIT (MTK) Limited

For more details please contact: Mrs Karen Copson 01235 858462 registrar@manorprep.org Faringdon Road, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 6LN www.manorprep.org

© 2013 IFC/Tony Ross. Licensed by Zodiak Rights. www.littleprincesskingdom.com

Easter Entertainment with characters on 31st March - 1st April. Also join the 'Knights Trail' Easter Hunt on 29th - 30th March. Look out for the Free Annual Pass offer!

Terms & conditions apply

For more information visit blenheimpalace.com Follow us

Advertise in Families Oxfordshire call 01993 815966 or email editor@familiesoxfordshire.co.uk.

Britain’s Greatest Palace

Oxfordshire


Families Oxfordshire Mar-Apr 2013