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The essential magazine for parents living in Leeds & the Wharfe Valley


WIN… tickets to see the Gruffalo’s Child Join the Gruffalo’s Child on a journey through the deep dark wood to find out if the big bad mouse really does exist. This wonderful tale comes to the West Yorkshire Playhouse over half term and you could be in the audience. At just 55 minutes, it’s perfect for pre-school fans of the Gruffalo stories and is packed with energy and fun, as well as a few scary moments for the brave little Gruffalo. The hugely popular production is visiting the Quarry Theatre from 1st – 4th June and we have a family ticket to give away for the 10.30am performance on Thursday 2nd June. To be in with a chance of winning, simply send your name, address and details of your family to editor@families with the word GRUFFALO in the subject line. Entries need to be with us by Thursday 27th May and the winner will be notified by email. Good Luck and if you don’t win book your tickets at

Achievers flourish F For or us that that’s ’s everyone Water Babies are the UK’s leading baby swimming school offering multiaward winning classes in your area.

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Richmond House School

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The Butters family photographed by Susie Lawrence

What’s inside… 4 6 7 8

Families NEWS NURSERIES say ‘Hola’ to Little Fidgets Mums Mean BUSINESS Simply the BEST We visit one of Leeds’ OUTSTANDING nurseries

10 13 14 15

Class NEWS Going CO-ED at GATEWAYS Party NEWS Let’s PARTY We review the best ways to celebrate

19 Party COMPETITION 20 SLEEP Clinic Families Leeds sleep expert answers YOUR questions


Welcome back… I recently had the misfortune of sitting next to a gentleman who proudly told me, he’d never changed a nappy. He explained that the dirty protests of his 11 week old twin sons activated his ‘gag reflex’. Changing nappies made him feel sick, so he’d opted out. “I also have a sensitive gag reflex,” I sympathized. “Men who don’t pull their weight make me feel sick.” Our conversation ended at that point but I began thinking about how lucky I am to be surrounded by real men. When I say real men, I mean men who aren’t afraid to play their part in the life of my children. There’s my father in law, a proud Yorkshireman and an even prouder grandfather. Papa thinks nothing of taking his granddaughters by the hand and getting them to help him build a fire or water the garden. He’s done his share of bedtime stories, and night feeds and still loves the time he spends with all six of his grandchildren. There’s my brother in law, a man who has been raising his two children on his own since the death of his wife. In Uncle Henry they see a man of strength and dignity. Plus, he’s got arms that are always open and ready to give one of his trademark hugs. Then there’s my husband, Daniel. To him family is everything, well almost everything. Horse racing comes a pretty close second. Like so many dads out there, he’s not around as much as he’d like to be but when he is, he is the centre of our girls’ world. He’s welcomed like a war hero when he makes it home for bath time or manages a school drop off. I’m guilty of giving him a hard time when he goes MIA (Missing In Accountancy), but in truth I think he juggles his demanding job, with his even more demanding family pretty well. You can’t build a relationship with your children when YOU’RE ready. It can’t wait until you’ve got more time, or you’re not as tired. Relationships are built standing on the touchline on a Sunday morning, or being on time for that first piano recital. They’re built sitting on those ridiculously small chairs at parents’ evening and yes, changing a night time nappy. To the dads doing that day in, day out without gagging, Families Leeds salutes you and wishes you a very Happy Fathers’ Day.

A look at the latest opportunities for MUMS

24 Families REVIEW 25 What’s ON The very best guide to family days out this May and June

CIRCULATION: 17,500 copies printed NEXT DEADLINE: For our Summer issue is 10th June. If you want to advertise then contact

CONTACT US: PO BOX 403, BARDSEY, LEEDS LS17 1EP Tel: 01937 579 065 • Mobile: 07764 943 789

DESIGNED BY: Justin Leeming


PRINTED BY: Bishops Printers • Tel: 0239 233 4900 Families Leeds® is distributed free of charge to schools, nurseries, playgroups, clubs and classes, selected retail outlets and sports centres. Distribution is across ALL LS postcodes. Families Leeds® is part of a larger group of magazines headed by Families SW London®. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence. We take every care when preparing this magazine, but publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor any consequences.

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Sarah Butters

Looking for the best parties in town? Take a look at the Party Directory at Packed with really useful local information to help make your family life a little easier. Leeds’ leading parenting magazine is now ONLINE. Login and learn more.

Families NEWS… Baby Root’s Bid for Barclays Award

Book Now for Summer Music Camp

A Wetherby mum is looking for your support in securing £50,000 to help her thriving tree business grow. Barclays’ ‘Take One Small Step’ Awards are looking for new and inspiring businesses here in Yorkshire and Angela Ward from Baby Roots is hoping she fits the bill. She produces trees for special occasions and has seen her business boom since she launched in November 2009. “If I won, I’d like to buy an acre of land with a workshop and take Baby Roots to the next level,” says Angela. “It’s environmentally friendly and a great feel good business. You give someone a tree, that person will remember you as it grows.” Voting opens at the end of May. • 01937 579162

Fun fashions and accessories for Babies & Toddlers. Try our Dotty Bots reusable cloth nappies.

07576 053 503

BABY SWIMMERS Come Swimming, Be Safe, Have Fun!

Introduce your baby to the enjoyment of water Skill related activities and underwater swims, to build water confidence. LEEDS • BRADFORD • YORK • HARROGATE • POCKLINGTON

Tel: 01757 229 880 •

Want to learn more about music? Musicale 2011 may be for you. It’s a 5 day summer music camp running at The Grammar School at Leeds at the beginning of August. Its aim is to inspire young people who are interested in music. For 5-9 year olds there’s a musical activity course, where children can try a whole range of instruments. The instrumental course is for string, brass, wind and percussion players looking for an intense week of excellent teaching. For more, take a look at or call 01582 713 333.

! Little Hen flies into Horsforth The Little Hen Company has a new home in Horsforth. The traditional toy shop which stocks great names like Lego, Brio and Sylvanian Families has opened its doors on New Road Side. “We’re getting lots of families through the doors,” says Mark Smithson. “It’s great to be in the heart of Horsforth near to Kids Clubhouse and Hopscotch shoes. We’ve already met lots of local children!” The shop is open from 9am – 5pm from Monday to Friday, and from 10am – 5pm on a Sunday. • 0113 258 2808

Joy for Dads this Fathers’ Day " Finding that perfect gift for Fathers’ Day can be a challenge, but Joy Impressions is happy to give you a hand. Tara Binns has designed some beautiful silver cufflinks and keyrings featuring the little hands of your little one. “These are a little different,” says Tara. “With babies sometimes fingerprints can be unclear so these handprints are a lovely alternative.” Order for Fathers’ Day by 6th June. Take a look at Tara’s other work at

Richmond House Celebrates # Children from Richmond House School took a step back in time to celebrate its 75th anniversary. Today’s Nursery and Reception children transformed into pupils from the 1930s to attend a school street party. Headteacher Jane Disley said the pupils were interested in finding out more about their history. “Our heritage is extremely important to us and getting the whole school involved in events to celebrate our 75th anniversary has been fantastic. They’ve enjoyed learning about the history of not only the school, but the local area too.“ Richmond House School is holding an Open Afternoon on Monday 9th May for interested parents. • 0113 275 2670

$ Picnic with the Gruffalo You’re invited to lunch with the Gruffalo! The West Yorkshire Playhouse is hosting a Monster Munch Picnic on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th June while The Gruffalo’s Child visits the theatre. There’ll be face painting, Gruffalo making and a host of themed craft activities. Children will receive a lunch bag packed with goodies and adults can choose a hot meal and relax with all the coffee or tea you can drink. Picnic tickets are £7.50 and available with the purchase of a child’s ticket to the performance. The Gruffalo’s Child is at the West Yorkshire Playhouse from the 1st – 4th June.

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Still Gorgeous Supports Local Charity # Harrogate clothing boutique Still Gorgeous is donating all its unsold, unclaimed clothes to The Yorkshire Aid Convoy. The shop, which is based on Coldbath Road, sells good quality pre-loved designer childrens’ clothing. Owner Clare Whittaker says the shop’s donations are being sent to orphanages in Romania. “We’re able to donate a significant amount of good quality clothing that’s making a real difference to children much less fortunate than ours. These are children who have never owned a coat, despite the freezing temperatures.” The first Still Gorgeous convoy recently arrived in Romania and you can see how your clothes are helping by visiting the Still Gorgeous facebook page.

Classes at: The Grammar School at Leeds, Ramada Jarvis nr Bramhope, Moorlands School – Leeds & Leeds City Centre Hilton.

0844 264 1102 (Local call rate)

Design a Blooming Poster Leeds City Council is inviting school children across the city to get blooming creative this spring. A competition has been launched to design a poster to celebrate Leeds in Bloom 2011. This year the theme is ‘A Greener, Cleaner City’ and children aged between 4 and 14 years old are being asked to come up with an idea showing communities working together. Prizes for the best three designs will be presented at a ceremony over the summer and the winners’ work will be made into posters and displayed across Leeds. The winners’ school will also receive nursery vouchers. Entries close on the 3rd June. Download your template at Keep up to date with the latest local family news at



Fully equipped Pilates studio, classes for all the family

“In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference, and in 30 you will have a whole new body.” Joseph Pilates 0113 225 0791


FAMILIES LEEDS | May/June 2011



simply natural tree gifts for special occasions a unique personalised eco friendly gift that will last a lifetime. new born babies christenings naming ceremonies wedding gifts/favours birthdays anniversaries

Nurseries say

HOLA to Little Fidgets! Nurseries are turning to our most popular classes to provide children in full time childcare with a variety of activities. We visited New Springwood Nursery in Oakwood to watch a pre-school Spanish session run by Little Fidgets.

christmas housewarming For details please call Angela on 01937 579162 Overdale Blackmoor Lane, Bardsey LS17 9DY

When Peggy Pantoja greets her class of 13 three year olds, they’re all fighting to be the first to reply with a loud and lively ‘Buenos Dias’. Peggy has been teaching here for a year and the children in the group are familiar with the fast pace of the half hour class, and ready to learn. “They absorb everything,� says Peggy. “These children aren’t really learning, they’re picking up the language. It’s about gestures and motions with the songs. They can remember the word for ‘head’ because of this song.� Time for a group rendition of ‘Cabeza, hombros, piernas, pies’ or ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ to you and me. The group all join in, familiar with the words and actions and ready to learn more. This week the theme is Farm Animals and after a quick recap on words like oveja (sheep), vaca (cow) and granjero (farmer), it’s time to put them to use. “These children are getting a real sense of achievement from the classes,� says Lucy Amos, founder of Little Fidgets language classes. “They gain confidence and there’s research that children who learn a language do better in school and are better at multi-tasking.�

Peggy Pantoja counts with her class

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There’s no doubt these three year olds can multi-task. While fighting to be the first to answer Peggy’s questions, they are using the words they’ve learnt since they began without parental prompting. Whether it’s identifying the toy animals, or describing the weather these children are on the first rung of the language ladder. This is learning through fun. “It does amaze me that these children are on their own in my classes. There’s no parents, so at home they aren’t practicing,� says Peggy. “But with one class a week, they learn!� The nursery classes are slightly shorter than the regular Fidget sessions – there’s no craft time or story. However they hold the concentration of this pre-school group and, in the view of Lucy Amos, add real value to the nursery experience. “Nursery is a huge expense for parents. Bringing us in for 30 minutes once a week adds value, and means the children of working parents don’t miss out on learning a language.� Little Fidgets currently runs French and Spanish classes across Leeds. If you are interested in inviting them into your nursery, contact Lucy on 0113 347 0350.

FAMILIES LEEDS | May/June 2011 7

REBECCA WAREING is taking advantage of the glorious spring sunshine by pegging out a line of Dotty Bots nappies. The mum of two from Linton near Wetherby launched her children’s clothing business, Dotty Donkey, last year and has moved into manufacturing her own brand of bright clothing and eye catching nappies. As the nappies blow in the breeze, they’re hard to ignore.

Teaching tennis to little ones from 2 years A fun and educational tennis play and skills programme Classes across North Leeds, Ilkley, Wetherby, Harrogate, Ripon and York For information call Caroline Buncall on 07843 342 662 •



Rebecca began researching real nappies after the birth of her second daughter last summer. Both her children suffered from nasty nappy rash, but it was the poor bin collection of last July that prompted Rebecca to dispense with disposable. “I found real nappies too daunting when I had my eldest, Amelia,” says Rebecca. “But with Dotty Bots, I’ve created an affordable, easy alternative. It’s as easy as a disposable. The only difference is, I put them in the washing machine and not the bin.” It’s sobering to think that the average household in Leeds will fill 12 wheelie bins with disposable nappies. As we head towards Real Nappy Week this May, Rebecca is hoping to encourage more mums to consider the alternatives and their benefits. She says real nappies are greener, funkier and more cost effective. “They save you money – especially if you buy them for your first child and use them again with your second. If you spend £50 on Dotty Bots, you’ll get £30 back from Leeds City Council.“ Dotty Donkey is a family business. Rebecca is the baby brains behind the brand, but it’s her mum who has supported her helping source products, produce them and sell them at baby fairs across Yorkshire. Together they’ve created a fantastic range of clothing for children from birth to six years old. Without her family, Rebecca says, Dotty Donkey wouldn’t be where it is today. “My two children are my inspiration and when I see my Dotty Bots nappies hanging on my washing line outside, I feel like I’m giving something back. And I’m doing something for them.” Real Nappy Week runs from 16th – 22nd May. For more information on Leeds City Council’s Real Nappy Incentive Scheme, go to Look at Dotty Bots nappies, or the Dotty Donkey range at

Simply the Best

St Agnes Nursery School is one of only a handful of nurseries in Leeds to sweep the board and be awarded ‘outstanding’ in all 17 OFSTED inspection categories. It’s an enormous achievement, but a visit to Headingley’s best kept secret reveals why it’s one of the top nurseries in the country.


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HERE’S GOING TO BE A PARTY here at St Agnes and everyone is welcome. The invites have been made, and the dress code is ‘posh’. And that includes staff. Headmistress Lynne Hudson and her team are in the process of organising St Agnes’ own Royal Wedding. The happy couple are excited and the bridesmaids have been chosen. There’s just the small matter of the reception to organise. “We’re going to have a street party out in the playground,” says an excited Mrs Hudson. “The children are making the bunting and we will all design the wedding cup cakes. All the teachers have to wear hats! It’s our way of celebrating not just the wedding, but our fantastic inspection!” St Agnes began life as a Prep School, closing its doors in 2003 when numbers dwindled. It was Mrs Hudson who wanted to continue the work at St Agnes, but focus on pre-school learning. The doors of St Agnes Nursery opened in September 2003 with 15 children and the idea of creating a structured environment where learning is fun. Eight years later and they’ve been awarded the highest rated Ofsted inspection available. “I’m passionate about what I do,” Mrs Hudson explains. “If you’re not passionate, you shouldn’t work in childcare. It’s one of the most important questions I ask when interviewing staff. If a person says they wake up in the night thinking about an activity for the next day, that’s what I want to hear.” The children are at the centre of this nursery. They’re proud of the blue and black checked uniform they wear and respond to the ‘firm but fair’ approach of staff. These little people are spoken to by their carers and included in decisions about the

FAMILIES LEEDS | May/June 2011 9

day’s activities. However, there’s a structure to the learning that gets real results. The leavers from St Agnes excel socially and academically in the Reception classrooms they move on to. “We were told by the inspector that she’d never been to a setting where such little children were so happy to learn,” says Mrs Hudson. “We were told our children beamed with excitement as they walked into kindergarten, but we know that. We see it every day.” Staff here at St Agnes believe a happy child is a child who will learn. But these children aren’t simply happy, they’re encouraged to be independent and respectful. That respect is passed down from the staff who don’t use first names when talking to each other. From the minute the green gate opens at 8am, until the last child is collected, the pupils are all that matter. “My team don’t spend the day talking about what they’re doing tonight, or what they’ve bought. All day we talk ABOUT the children and TO the children. They are involved in our conversations.” The Ofsted inspection report paid tribute to St Agnes as a ‘dynamic’ setting where children are encouraged in a broad range of activities to learn ‘exceptionally well’. It also noted how well the staff knew the 50 children in their care as individuals, and how it’s an environment where even the youngest children are eager to learn. It’s a report that has made ! eight years of dedication and hard work worthwhile. “It means, not only that I have been recognised, but my team have been recognised,” says Lynne Hudson. “It’s the same kind of feeling that I got when my daughter called me to tell me I had a *@@$;"(& grand daughter. It’s a pride. I’m proud of my amazing team and the work we do every day.” St Agnes Nursery School is open during term time between 8am and 3pm weekdays. For more information, :'#A or to book a visit call 0113 278 6722.

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Families Classes NEWS… Putting on a Show More than 100 Baby Ballet pupils took part in Leeds’ first Starmakers Show. The budding ballerinas, aged between 2 and 5 ½ years old, performed in front of a crowd of 400 proud parents and friends at Bruntcliffe High School in Morley. “I think I was more nervous than the children,” said Louise Bradbury from Baby Ballet in Leeds. “We just hoped they’d perform on the day and they were amazing!” Baby Ballet runs classes across Leeds. For sessions in Horsforth, Rodley, Pudsey, Kirkstall and Beeston call 07702 965 932. For classes in Alwoodley, Boston Spa, Headingley, Rawdon, Seacroft and Wetherby call 0113 269 1444

Olympian Visit Splish Splosh students in York welcomed Commonwealth medalist and Olympic hopeful Kate Haywood to a swim clinic. The 24 year old is the Yorkshire based swim school’s Ambassador and came to talk about her ambitions for 2012. “It was a great success,” said Vicky Pettitt from Splish Splosh. “The children were thrilled to see Kate. She went from York to begin her training in Australia for 2012 so we wish her well.” Splish Splosh offers swimming lessons to children from 3 months old. To find your nearest session, go to • 0844 264 1102

Ilkley Class Join in the fun at Moorfield School for Girls in Ilkley, at their weekly toddler music session. The class, which is on a Friday morning, is a chance for mums and tots to meet, sing, and play an instrument, all under the expert guidance of Lynsey Clarke, the school’s Head of Music. “It’s a fun, lively session with the advantage of having a live pianist who can respond to the children,” says Lynsey. The group welcomes boys and girls from 6 months old. There’s no requirement to sign up for a term. Just turn up and join in when you’re free! • 01943 607 285

NEW Venue Samantha Dalton is taking her baby yoga sessions to Headingley and Wetherby. From 19th May, Flutterbabies classes will move to The Heart Centre in Headingley on a Thursday morning, and to Wetherby Children’s Centre on a Thursday afternoon. For availability at these new venues call Samantha on 01937 558 500 •

NEW Wetherby Class Happy 1st Birthday to Tennis Tykes who’ve launched a second class in Wetherby. These fun, energetic sessions give boys and girls from 2 – 6 years old an introduction to Tennis. “It’s about fun, developing co-ordination skills, social interaction and confidence,” says Caroline Buncall from Tennis Tykes. “Personal achievement is also rewarded with stickers and charts for every child.” Caroline has also launched a new class in Ilkley. • 07843 342 662

NEW Venue This popular swimming school is now running sessions at a 5th pool in Leeds. Arran MacDonald from Waterbabies has launched at Temple Moor High School in Halton and says the spacious new hydrotherapy pool is perfect for teaching newborn classes. “We try to create a sociable atmosphere,” says Arran. “There’s a student run café at Temple Moor where parents can enjoy a coffee and chat after class, while their baby has a well earned rest!” Waterbabies’ summer cycle begins on 16th May. • 01943 872 556

What’s On 4 Little Ones Congratulations to all our local classes, nominated in the What’s On for Little Ones Awards. The awards recognise the best activities for children. Well done to Diddi Dance, MusicBugs, Tennis Tots, Tennis Tykes and Waterbabies who have all been nominated. But we’re particularly proud of two local mums. Both Nicola Lawler from MusicBugs in Leeds and Vicki Gilbert of Babies Can Sign are up for Best Class Leader. Voting closes at the beginning of May with the winners announced at a ceremony in London in June. Good Luck!

Jo Jingles is Here! Ballet, Tap, Cheerleading, Street Dance Zumba and Zumbatomic. Come and join in the aerobic dance craze sweeping the nation! Classes for Children & Adults Sessions in Alwoodley, Boston Spa, Horsforth, Yeadon & Rawdon

07543 338 491

Fun Music, Singing & Movement Classes for children aged 3 months to 5 years Children’s Parties & Nursery Sessions also available!

For details on classes in: Wakefield (Sandal & Stanley), Ossett, Normanton, Pontefract, Ackworth, Wetherby, Boston Spa, Garforth, Sherburn in Elmet & Harrogate - Call Paula on 01977 650455 Adel, Bingley, Bradford, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Ilkley, Menston, Otley, Rawdon, Yeadon, Addingham, Idle, Baildon, Horsforth & Shipley - Call Lisa on 07853 263143

FAMILIES LEEDS | May/June 2011 11

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“Our programme has developed enormously over the past 15 years. However, the original aim remains constant – to give pre-school children a fun introduction to music and movement.” Paula has also extended Jo Jingles sessions to babies. These are bespoke classes developed to stimulate the very youngest jinglers. “That came from demand from parents who were looking for something to do as soon as their baby was born.” The sessions are a mix of familiar songs, fun props and musical instruments. There’s a story time in the middle to keep little attentions. But it’s not just the music these children are being introduced to. It’s also about how to behave, how to interact and how to join in. That’s a skill that all the children in today’s session have certainly learnt! Jo Jingles has recently begun working in nurseries and soft play centres to help make it as easy as possible to access these fun packed classes. Paula says those venues are proving popular and she’s delighted that despite the huge number of classes on offer in Leeds, Jo Jingles is still thriving. “We’re still growing and I think that’s because parents know we provide a quality class that’s good fun.” To find out where your nearest Jo Jingles class is, take a look at For classes in Boston Spa, Garforth, Sherburn in Elmet and Wetherby call 01977 650 455. For elsewhere in Leeds call 07853 263 143.


Walking back in to a Jo Jingles is like taking a step back in time. This is the first class I joined with both my daughters, and the last class they did before heading off to pre-school. Today’s session in Garforth starts with the familiar sound of Catherine singing ‘Our day is beginning, there’s so much to do’ while the gathered children hug their mini Jos. We’ve had Jo Jingles here in Leeds for 15 years under the ownership of Paula Ridley.

At DANCEWORKS we have a range of classes to suit all types of students, from exam classes to fun classes. Street Jazz to Ballet. From little tots to boys classes. For more information CALL: 0113 2950126 AGE: 3-18 years WHERE: Fir Tree Lane, Moortown, Leeds

Based at: Moorlands School – Leeds & Belmont Grosvenor School, Birstwith, Harrogate. Swimming Lessons take place on weekday evenings and Saturday mornings Intensive courses are also available during every holiday

We teach all standards of swimmers FROM 3 YEARS

For more information please call Nick on:

07870 562 365

Photo Martin Bell

Your little one’s chance to dance!

Movement, music, friends and fun – Children’s classes at Northern Ballet bring girls and boys together through the excitement of dance. We’ve weekly classes for tiny tots to energetic eight year olds: Mini Movers (18 months – 3 years & parents), Creative Movement (ages 3–5 & 5–6) and Pre-Ballet (ages 6–8).

Visit or call 0113 220 8000 for more information and to enrol

What you do at Does your son want to salsa? Or do you have a daughter who loves disco? Diddi Dance can get your little one moving to music from around the world, and parents are invited to dust off their dancing shoes too. These funky, high energy dance sessions which were launched in Leeds eight months ago are a breath of fresh air. There’s no TV theme tunes or nursery rhymes, this is a chance to boogie for kids, big and small. “We try to make it relaxed and fun,” says Cath Hale, a former marketing director who now runs sessions in Boston Spa and Roundhay. “We don’t have stressed out mums in our classes because the children aren’t asked to sit down, or do something at a particular time.” It’s pretty hard to be stressed when you’re part of a conga line, or learning salsa

steps with your little senorita. Cath encourages parents to join but to be honest, they don’t need much encouragement.

The promise of hula hoops and maracas gets everyone up and dancing and the feedback from parents has, says Cath, been really positive. “A lot of my mums say it’s a great class because it tires children out. It’s that high energy element that attracted me to these classes in the first place.”

What you do at In a village hall in North Leeds, Wimbledon has begun. There’s a group of eight pre-school children armed with a racquet and foam ball. With the help of parents and the on hand Tennis Tot coaches, the children are learning to hit the ball over the net. Some are having more fun trying to hit the Editor of Families Leeds. Either way, they are taking the first

DIDDI DANCE… It’s easy to see why Diddi Dance has such a following. Traditional dance classes have usually been aimed at girls, but you only have to watch the dance floor at a birthday disco to see how much boys love to boogie. Here they can body pop to hip hop, tackle a bit of techno or get on down to disco. That universal appeal has prompted Cath and her business partner Caroline to offer to run Diddi Dance classes in nurseries across Leeds. With the session drawing to an end the 12 exhausted youngsters hand back their hula hoops and head home. And it’s not just the children who are shattered. “Some of the mums see this as their aerobics workout for the week!” says Cath. “I don’t need a gym membership now I’m teaching Diddi Dance!” Diddi Dance classes are available in Boston Spa, Birstall, Churwell, Gildersome, Morley and Roundhay. More classes across Leeds are planned for 2011. 07917 757 566


steps towards learning the life long skill of tennis. Matt McTurk launched Tennis Tots 2 years ago after seeing a lack of early support for budding tennis players. As an experienced LTA tennis coach, he adapted his teaching for younger children and began working with his own daughter and her friends. Now he’s running classes across Leeds, Harrogate and Ilkley. “It’s a brilliant sport – great for families,” says Matt McTurk. “Tennis appeals to both boys and girls equally. It’s an all round programme so although it’s physical, it’s also educational and encourages parent participation.” That parent participation is in evidence at the class in Alwoodley today. Whether they’re rolling balls for children to chase, or helping their little one get to grips with a racquet, mums and dads are involved. In fact, Matt McTurk hopes to encourage more dads to join their Tennis Tots by launching classes in Leeds on a weekend. “In our classes in Harrogate on a Saturday, it’s 90% dads and I would like to replicate that in Leeds,” explains Matt. “For working parents, weekend classes are becoming increasingly important.”

Tennis is according to recent research, the best first sport a child can learn, but these classes aren’t just about holding a racquet. Here, children learn to identify numbers and colours, while interacting with other children, and building up confidence as Matt explains. “With the little ones, there is racquet work – it’s sticky feet on the floor, a static ball and then they hit. If you just throw balls at them, they wouldn’t enjoy it because they’d have less success. Children have to feel success to build confidence.” The session ends with high fives all round and some homework for next week. This is a class looking to give children a love of tennis that will live with them for the rest of their life. It’s not about creating the stars of the future, but about introducing whole families to a sport they can play together. “We want our Tennis Tots to carry on playing when they leave us,” says Matt. “They don’t have to be fantastic. They just have to enjoy it!” Tennis Tots classes are available in Alwoodley, Horsforth, Roundhay, Ilkley and Harrogate. 07725 339 257

FAMILIES LEEDS | May/June 2011 13

Changing with the times… With single sex education on the decline, we visit Gateways School in Harewood and ask why they’ve taken the decision to welcome boys up to 11 years old. When you walk the corridors of Gateways School, there are the images of boys looking down at you around every corner. It’s an unusual sight for a school that’s traditionally been known across Yorkshire for educating girls. “A lot of people don’t realise that we’ve educated boys, since the 1940s,” says Sue Nelson, Head of Admissions at Gateways. “However, traditionally our boys have left at 7 years old and gone onto boarding school. That’s just not happening in the same numbers anymore. We’ve got to change with the times, adapt and move on.” Education has changed since the 1940s and Gateways has spent the past 12 months looking at how the school needs to respond to that change. The parents who once sent their sons away to school at 7, are now looking to keep them nearer home. A rising male birth rate means there are more boys looking for school places. Increasingly busy parents are in search of a convenient, quality education for both their sons and their daughters. However, the school has had to juggle the need for change, with the demands of existing parents who opted for Gateways because of its single sex status. That’s led to the decision to phase in the co-educational system in the prep school, beginning this September. This year’s Reception intake will be the first to opt in to a mixed education. By 2017, Gateways will have a fully co-educational prep school, but will remain the only all girls high school in Leeds. “There’s lots of research to show that girls and boys benefit from their learning differences up to 11 years old,” says Sue Nelson. “And we’ve seen that with the boys we have here. They bounce ideas off each other and they work well in teams. Yes, they learn differently, but they compliment each other.” So what changes for girls at the age of 11? Research shows girls become more aware of their behaviour in front of their male classmates, and in some cases, that can make them unwilling to try new things. Supporters of single sex schooling also say that it allows girls to show an interest in traditionally ‘boy subjects’ like science and maths without feeling marginalised. This approach helps to produce single-minded young women which is why Gateways say they’ve no plans to take boys in their high school. “Our girls have a fantastic level of confidence,“ explains Sue Nelson. “Whatever the challenge there’s no nerves, no embarrassment. If there were boys here at that stage, I’m certain they wouldn’t be the same confident, self assured young women, who feel free to express themselves.” Gateways says its existing parents have welcomed the decision and they’ve had interest from a host of new families. There’s much excitement here about the changes and challenges of the next 12 months, but for now it’s business as usual. While the rugby posts are on order, it’s a few years before Gateways boys will be putting them to good use. Gateways School is a co-educational school for boys from 2 – 11 years old, and for girls from 2 – 18 years old. Open Days Kumon has given I on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th May for interested parents. me skills which be able to carry l wil • 0113 288 6345 ough life. thr

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FAMILIES LEEDS | May/June 2011

Party NEWS… Treasures wish list Wetherby’s favourite toy shop Treasures has launched a service to help make birthdays magical and mums lives easier. Your child is invited to visit the toy store to make a list of all the presents they’d like the birthday fairy to bring. That list is then held by Treasures for when your family, or party guests visit. “Rather than your child coming away with a huge number of presents – some of which will be duplicates – the Treasures Wish List means your child will receive a present they want,” says the shop’s owner Zhara Armstrong. You’ll get a 10% discount if you buy off a Treasures Wish List, and staff will even wrap and deliver it for you. It’s already receiving support from customers. “It was a really pleasurable experience,” says Laura Spanswick, mum to 5 year old Zoe. “The process was easy for me and for the parents who used the service. Zoe enjoyed choosing things and seeing if the birthday fairy would bring them!” Treasures, High Street, Wetherby, LS22 6LT is open Monday – Saturday from 9.30am – 5pm. • 01937 589 187

Icing on the Cake


Fancy a cake shaped like a TARDIS, or a Spiderman sponge? Ilkley mum Cherie Wright can take the stress out of cake making at your child’s next birthday party. Cherie, who makes wedding, christening and birthday cakes says it’s a great job. “I never used to be creative, but all my customers are delighted with the cakes I produce for them. I love making the lives of busy mums easier and I’m up for any challenge!” Families Leeds can recommend Cherie’s Charlie and Lola cake. It was absolutely and completely the best cake we’ve ever seen! 01943 435 849

A GRRRR-EAT Gift! Our friends at 4 Little Art have designed a new range, perfect for birthday gifts. The Animal Alphabet canvas prints can be personalised and make a really original present. Prices begin at £9.99. Take a look at 4 Little Art’s other great themes at

Happy Birthday Little Bees If you’ve noticed a buzz about, it’s probably the birthday celebration at Little Bees Play and Party in Seacroft. Emma Jessop and Georgina Allison opened the doors of the popular soft play centre last May and say a year on, they’re delighted with the support they’ve had. “We’ve spent a year helping our customers celebrate their birthdays, and now we hope they’ll help us celebrate ours!” says Emma. • 0113 232 9822

Inflatable Hire & Children’s Entertainment Book Early on 07710 626 226 10% OFF inflatable hire in August with this advert

Quality Equipment built and checked to EU safety standards PL Insured & CRB Checked For full details on all parties visit

FAMILIES LEEDS | May/June 2011 15

Pick of the PARTIES… We’ve had local mums on the look out for the best NEW parties you can book for your child this summer. From getting messy to glamming up, there are pages of ideas to take the stress out of planning your next celebration. Let’s party!

Craft PARTIES… THE CREATION STATION: Suitable from 2 years old • 0845 303 9441 Craft and girls go together like fish and chips or Charlie and Lola. Shortly after celebrating her 4th birthday, Eliza proudly announced her intention to have The Creation Station at her 5th party. It was a decision she stuck to and so the planning began. Hayley Sugden from The Creation Station loves planning parties – and it shows. Her enthusiasm for the activities is infectious and we were given the option of a Cool Party, a Brilliant Party or an Awesome Party. As the party package increases in value, so does the variety of activities. From bracelet making to t-shirt decorating, trinket box painting to woodcraft design, there is something to suit every birthday theme. Eliza opted for a Charlie and Lola theme and decided her guests would paint a canvas, make a mask and play with clay. The children spanned in age from my 3 year old god daughter through to my 12 year old niece, and I was concerned how the party would work. However, Hayley made sure she had extra touches on hand to challenge the older guests and support the younger ones. The older boys were reluctant to sit down and get creative, but within minutes they were enjoying decorating a party bag as much as the 5 year old girls. Award winning By home time, the 19 mini artists had made their own masterpiece, designed a magical Art & Craft mask and got creative with clay. There had been no tears and no party tantrums, in fact there sessions had hardly been any noise. The activities capture the children’s imagination and keep their for 12 months – concentration so there’s no opportunity for balloon fights and no time for pass the parcel. 11 years old You can also forget filling the bespoke party bag with plastic, because children take home up! r clea You create, we s also available what they’ve made. Sessions in Yeadon & Horsforth • Partie “I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a calmer 5 year old’s party,” said one mum as she left laden with her daughter’s creations. But as I watched Hayley clear away the mess and take away the mucky aprons, I’m sure it’s the easiest party Eliza’s ever had!

0 8 4 5 3 0 3 9 4 41

Or TRY… CRAFT PARTY IN A BOX – NEW 0113 257 0917 If you feel brave enough to organise your own crafty party, help is at hand. Leeds mum Julie Kettlewell has designed a Party in a Box. Inside is a party for 8 children, including pre-cut and labeled projects with glue and instructions. Themes include Monkeys, Pirates, Monsters, Cupcakes and Butterflies so they’re perfect for boys and girls. Perfect for smaller groups and keeping the costs down. ARTYBOBS • 07543 484 198 Craft parties for children from 2 – 12 years old run across Leeds. The hour long parties cover up to 5 activities including spoon puppets, cardboard sword making, pot painting and jewellery making. Minimum of 10 children. Highly recommended by Families Leeds readers.

ARTBUGS – NEW • 07790 594 915 You find the venue and Bramley based ArtBugs will plan your party, entertain your guests and clear away afterwards. Run by celebrated Leeds artist Catherine Corfield. Suitable for children from 2 – 8 years old. For a full list of classes who also offer parties, go to


Crafty Party in a Box! Everything you need to host a craft birthday party. Suitable for boys and girls. Contact Julie on 0113 2570917 or 0792 199 7148


FAMILIES LEEDS | May/June 2011


ArtBugs Fun art and craft classes for and sessions in children, run Bramley, Leeds

SNO!ZONE: Suitable from 3 years old • 0871 222 5671 Summer may be just around the corner but there’s still real snow on the ground at SNO!Zone in Castleford. Choose from Ice Sliding, Skiing, Snowboarding and Sledging at the coolest venue in Yorkshire. Alison Wheatcroft booked a Sledging Party for her son Ben’s 8th birthday. She says all the children loved the 45 minute session, and she loved the support of SNO!Zone’s party organiser. “They were fantastic, so attentive. They couldn’t have done more,” said Alison from Wetherby. “The 45 minute sledging session went so quickly and all the children came off the slope exhausted.” The SNO!Zone party team is now offering exclusive use of a room for your guests to eat and, until the end of June, there’s free use of the snowboard simulator. Other extras include party bags, balloons and a group photo on the slopes. You have to be at least 3 years old to enjoy a Sledging Party and 7 years old for an Ice Slide Party. Both have a minimum of 10 children.


4 915

Tel: 07790 59

Or TRY… GO KART PARTIES: 01422 351 981 Get behind the wheel of your own go kart and get ready to have some race day fun. Geoff and his team provide team games and challenges for children from 5 years old. Highly recommended by Families Leeds readers. JOIN THE CIRCUS: • 0333 000 4567 Mr Dan, the Circus Man juggles, walks the tightrope, spins plates and stilt walks. This one man circus can provide a 2 hour party which will wow children from 3 years old. After you’ve seen his show, children are invited to give circus skills a try. Mums have been particularly good at plate spinning!

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FAMILIES LEEDS | May/June 2011 17

Something DIFFERENT… LION LEARNERS: Suitable for children from 3 years old • 0113 250 9612 Imagine inviting a rabbit, a cornsnake, a chinchilla and a chipmunk to celebrate your birthday. If you call on Lion Learners to provide the entertainment, those are the Bespoke celebration party guests you can expect. Liona Woricker and her husband David bring CAKES for all occasions… everything from bearded dragons to giant snails and talk to the children 01943 435 849 • 07722 270 904 about the animals. There’s also the chance to look and touch, if you dare. “Everyone loves the rabbit,” says Liona. “It always surprises us, but the girls tend to be a lot braver than the boys! We love taking the animals to parties. It’s about combining learning with entertainment.” Lucy Murray from Wetherby chose Lion Learners for her 8th birthday party. Her mum Sarah says everyone enjoyed it. “They had the children mesmerised with the variety of animals. We had nine children so they had plenty of time to see and ask questions. It was certainly different, and beats For more TOP PARTY TIPS go to the usual cinema experience!”

Or TRY… BIG CHALLENGE OBSTABLE COURSE: Suitable from 5 years old • • 07710 626 226 Shuffles Entertainment has an Olympic challenge to get you warmed up for 2012. This is a giant inflatable equipped with huge tunnels, a floating wall and a wide steep slide. For 2 hours, your mini superstar will be put through their paces in a series of co-ordinated activities. Great for a summer party! Highly recommended by Families Leeds readers. PUNCH AND JUDY: • 0333 000 4567 If you fancy giving your child a traditional party entertainer, Professor Dan Slater may be just what you’re looking for. This fast and funny Punch and Judy Show is packed with magic, lots of laughter and Professor Dan also has a first class degree in party games. A quirky 2 hour show.

Give them a party they won’t forget! Completely safe for 4–9 year olds. Bring your party to one of our indoor venues. Contact Geoff on 01422 351 981 or Ame on 07815 935 423


FAMILIES LEEDS | May/June 2011

Let’s PRETEND PARTIES… PAMPER PARTY: Suitable from 5 years old to teens • 07788 458 962 Picture your home transformed into a beauty parlour. In one corner there’s a nail station, in another there’s a beautician applying make up and around the corner hair styling is underway. This is a pamper party perfect for your little princess. Adele Shaw has been pampering children across Leeds for 4 years. She says she wants to create a party that parents enjoy too. “At my parties, I insist that parents do nothing!” says Adele. “All they need to do is sort the food. I bring enough beauty helpers to entertain the children. It’s nice for parents to enjoy their child’s party!” Sammy Casey-Marten called in Adele for her daughter Laura’s 8th party. She says it worked across the ages and was a treat for her too. “This was a no stress party. Adele and her team set up the beauty stations as well as a chill out area, a dance area and coordinated party games. Laura chose the party, but her 5 year old sister Emma loved it too!” njoying Laura e er party p m her pa

Creative Arts and Crafts for 1-4yrs Painting Playdough Gluing Pain ting Pla ydough Sticking & G luing uing and Water Play Sand a nd W ater Pla y

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Or TRY… SUSIE SPARKLES: • 01937 844 212 Magical parties which take your children to a different world. Themes include pirates, princesses, Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz. Popstar and pamper parties available for girls from 8 years old. DANCING QUEEN: Suitable from 5 years old • 07921 222 710 Call in the professionals to help you put on a show! The Flex Dance team will come along and specially choreograph a street dance routine, themed to your child’s favourite music. Then you’ll get to see a mini performance at the end of the party. MEET A FAIRY: 01924 281365 Invite Fairy Enchantica to your party and go on a journey into a world of magic. Suzanne Kaye Vaughan will make your child believe she’s shared her party with a real fairy and played a part in solving a magical problem.

The Bow Company NOW T: AVAILABLE A s,

oe Hopscotch Sh ley Humbug, Ilk ley & od wo Al , hu Boos gate rro Ha y, ne Milk & Ho BOWS PARTY BAG in stock! • 07739 525 432

FAMILIES LEEDS | May/June 2011 19

rty! IDDI DANCEPaPrtya, the WIN… a Dnce grown ups love to dance too! and at a Diddi Dance Every child loves to da with Families Leeds to offer up d me tea s ha ss cla nce da ol Leeds’ funkiest pre-scho Dance Party. chance to win their own Diddi the l gir or y bo ay thd bir ky luc e on everyone on their feet. Diddi Dance’s

and roll to get ies use disco, salsa, hip hop and rock 6 years old These action packed hour long part ies are great for children from 2 – to add to the birthday fun. The part d han on are ps hoo and ons ribb fantastic pom poms, . s says they’ve had a great response By the end, the children and Cath Hale from Diddi Dance Leed parties are about high energy fun. e Thes . boys and girls for t grea ’re they use beca ular “They’re really pop are shattered but starving!” and details of your birthday child to , simply send your name, address prize t grea this ing er winn of ce chan To be in with a close on Friday 10th June. The winn DANCE in the subject line. Entries DI DID ds wor the with .uk editor@ familiesleed 757 566 ! • 07917 will be notified by email. Good Luck

My Perfect PARTY BAG From COLDBATH TOY SHOP • 01423 709 886 PAPO ANIMAL £2.50 From lions to spring chickens, there’s an animal to suit every party bag. STICK ON MOUSEHOLE £2.40 Fancy a laugh? These stick on mouseholes are bound to raise a smile. Cheese anyone? GIANT BALLOON 30p Every party needs a balloon and this is bigger and better than any we’ve seen. Put some rice inside for extra noise! Coldbath Toy Shop also provides a party bag service. If you want Simone and her team to make up your party bags, place your order and you can collect the next day!

Party BOWS • 07739 525 432 If planning your party bags is proving a pain, The Bow Company will come to the rescue. Carole Pickering can provide beautiful bows to pop in your own party bags, or she’s produced a bespoke party bag service. “I think mums get frustrated at filling party bags with items children will never use,” says Carole. “Every little girl loves a bow so you know they’re going home with something they’ll use!”

My Perfect PARTY BAG From THE LITTLE HEN COMPANY • 0113 258 2808 LEGO MINIFIGURES 4 for £1.95 Join the craze and pop these in your party bags. They come with collector’s cards. Great for boys and girls. PRETTY WATCH £1.25 Even before they can tell the time, let them pretend. NECKLACE 95p Great value for any girl’s party bag. We’ve a super selection in store so pop in to our NEW shop on New Road Side, Horsforth to choose your party bag fillers!

Musical Theatre and Street Dance for children from 3 – 11 years across North Leeds Summer Dance & Craft Workshops at John Smeaton Leisure Centre from 10th – 31st August Themes include Under the Sea, Street Dance, Beach Party & Sleeping Beauty. Flex Dance PARTIES also available!

07921 222 710

w w w. f l ex d a n c e i n c . c o m


leep Clinic… From separation anxiety to night time feeding, sleep problems can put pressure on family life. We’ve called on Yorkshire based sleep expert Sarah Barnes from Gentle Sleep Solutions to answer YOUR questions.


UR daughter is now almost 8 months old. During the day, she sleeps really well and goes down for naps with minimal fuss, sleeping for an hour at a time. However she won’t go to sleep at night. She cries for an hour before falling asleep. The odd time she falls asleep straight away, she wakes half an hour later and cries for a long time. We’ve tried everything and would welcome Sarah's advice. Jayne Pritzlaff

Sarah says: This little girl is most likely experiencing separation anxiety. This peaks between 8-18 months and can return at times of stress. The solution is, once at the place of separation the parent stays until the child has become used to the environment. Ensure a timely bedtime process watching for sleep cues – rubbing eyes, pulling ears, crankiness. Follow the same bath and bedtime routine night after night. Introduce a small washable object such as a blanket or teddy. Ensure she goes into the cot awake. Stay sitting in the room and move a little further towards the door each night. Sit quietly and relax knowing you’re supporting your baby to initiate sleep. Eventually she will be happy with her routine and the anxiety will cease. It’s worth doing this slowly so that your baby is not fearful.


Y little boy is 6 months old we’re still struggling to get him to sleep through the night. From around 3 months, he would wake once at around 3am. However, after Christmas he changed his patterns, waking at 9pm, 11 pm or 12pm for food. He has probably only slept through 4 times in his life and as I am going back to work soon it’s becoming an obsession! I have tried weaning him off night time milk by only giving him 2-3 ounces each time but then he often wakes up later for the rest. I am worried about trying controlled crying. Please help.

him up and hug for the first three nights but then reduce this to a gentle touch. You’re not abandoning him, so be confident. The protest normally reduces after 5 or 6 nights. It may be that at 6 months he still requires one feed in the night. So, when you consider he is likely to be hungry, offer milk. However this is unlikely to be the earlier awakenings. For those, support him as at bedtime until he’s asleep. The one night feed should then be reduced towards eight months and removed. If not, it could lead to a reduction in appetite during the day and have an impact on weaning.

Nadine Child

Sarah says: How does your baby initiate sleep? A baby should not be fed or rocked to sleep. It’s possible for a baby to learn to fall asleep on his own and settle into the night sleep cycles. When that’s established it’s less likely a baby will wake expecting to be fed or rocked back to sleep. Weaning babies off these habits will take a few weeks. Firstly you need to ensure that daytime nutrition is satisfactory and that he is thriving and healthy. Then develop the bedtime routine ensuring he is put into the cot awake. Stay with him sitting beside him and observe the sleep cycles arriving. He might cry for a few nights so be there for him. You can pick

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Y daughter Isabella will be 5 in July. She’s slept through since 10 weeks old with text book nap patterns, happy to go to bed at 7pm sleeping through until 7.30am. In December, she had a very bad cold and her sleeping went a bit awry. We didn’t worry, thinking she’d go back to her normal pattern, but she didn’t. Since then she has been waking about 10-15 times each night. She goes to bed reluctantly and sleeps until 10 pm. From then she whines and moans in her doorway until I go to her. We have tried all the usual methods of ignoring it, reward charts, consoling her, avoiding eye contact but it doesn’t make a difference. We have now put a ready bed in the corner of our bedroom which we allow her to get into in the middle of the night. It’s meant she’s now going to bed with no fuss. I know this is not a long term solution. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Sarah says: The temporary bed is a supportive first step solution and will enable Isabella to build up self confidence in developing her sleeping habits. Whilst this period of consolidation is happening, focus attention on Isabella’s bedtime process. It should be at the same time every night and follow the same pattern. Most importantly Isabella must have time to settle in her bed with one or two stories and a loving goodnight from mum or dad, not a rapid five minute session. If possible parents should take turns to perform the bedtime ritual to avoid dependency on one parent. Whilst Isabella is ‘nesting’ in her bed, you should be in a nearby room. Then it’s time for parents to move further away, perhaps to the kitchen for dinner. At this point Isabella will be feeling more secure in her routine and not be impacted by

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feeling separated from parent. The next step is for parents to suggest to Isabella that one day she will not need to sleep in her parents’ room and select a date for its removal. When the bed is gone, you are to go to Isabella’s room if she wakes. You’re trying to build on Isabella’s security in her own room. Sit nearby and reassure her, staying in the room until Isabella is sleeping. Eventually move the chair away from the bed and start leaving just after a brief reassurance. Over a few weeks Isabella will feel secure in her own bed. Take time with this transition. Gentle Sleep Solutions supports families across Yorkshire facing sleep related problems. Contact Sarah Barnes on 0113 261 9212.

Mums IN BUSINESS… Flexibility and a new challenge are on the top of every mum!s wish list when it comes to finding work. We!ve taken a good look at the family friendly opportunities out there and these are our favourites. From part time work to running your own business, take a look at the companies looking for motivated mums here in Leeds.


Melanie Kemp is one of 12 Photography for Little People franchisees across the UK. She works out of Durham and says she’s turned a hobby into a career. She fell in love with photography taking snaps of her two children, but decided to join Photography for Little People two years ago and she hasn’t looked back. “It’s great to work the diary around my children,” says Melanie. “I usually book two or three appointments a week. The shoot is the fun part and the images sell themselves!” Photography for Little People offers full training and daily support for their franchisees with everything from camera problems to a design service. That support, coupled with a love of photography is the key to making this franchise a success. “I love it,” says Melanie. “I’m doing a job I enjoy and earning good money. I wouldn’t swap it for the world!” To find out more about the opportunity in Leeds, call Jan Massey on 01207 299 500 •

WANTED: CONSULTANTS JAMIE AT HOME – LEEDS BASED Jamie Oliver wants YOU! The celebrity chef is looking for enthusiastic people to join his team here in Leeds. Jamie launched his party planning business two years ago and now has 3,800 consultants going into homes across the UK selling designer led cook and home ware. You’ll work under Diane Noke, who is Sales Director of the West Yorkshire region. “Whether you make it a full time career, like I have, or you just want to earn some extra money, there are opportunities here for everyone. There’s no CVs, no interviews, we just want your passion and enthusiasm to share in Jamie’s philosophy to have fun!” Work in partnership with Jamie Oliver selling his There is a joining fee of £100, which gives you £400 of products to exclusive designer-led collection of Jme homeware !"#$%&'()*+,$*-+",*+,*.,&#/-*0"#/*1#%"*2-"1*3"('*!+"'1* launch your party business. You’ll get training and regular support from - no prior experience needed, and full training and Diane. Consultants take home 20% commission on the products they support provided. sell, rising to 26% if you host two parties a week. “Jamie at Home has offered people a lifeline after redundancy, To share in Jamie at Home’s success and be part of the team a chance for mums to earn an income around their children,” says Diane. “Then there are people who do it because they love the !"##&&'("%)&*$+) products and they love meeting new people.” To find out more about becoming a Jamie at Home consultant, call &&,-..,&/.0-/1 $%&&& Diane Nokes on 07990 596 754 •


FAMILIES LEEDS | May/June 2011 23


This is an opportunity to buy an established business offering pre-school music and movement classes to hundreds of children. Rachel Swann and her partner Chris launched Gymboree in Leeds and Harrogate 5 years ago. “We started with 30 customers and now we see 300 families every week!” says Rachel. The classes, which are for newborn – 5 years old, focus on learning through play. Rachel and her team use music, imaginary play and apparatus to take children on a journey. “I spend my days either answering emails, recruiting staff, doing paperwork or jumping around with Gymbo the clown leading our Gymboree classes!” Neither Rachel nor Chris had any business experience when they launched the franchise in 2006, but with the support of Head Office and the other franchisees they’ve built up a thriving business. But with their children growing up, it’s time for new challenges. “We have built this business up from scratch and made a success of it and now it’s time to move on. We want to find someone with the same passion for working with children as we have.” To find out more about the Gymboree franchise in Leeds and Harrogate, call 07702 048 391 •


Fancy starting your own business for as little as £30? That’s the opportunity on offer from Phoenix Trading here in Yorkshire. The company offers quality cards for all occasions at an affordable price and now they’re looking for people to join their trading team, under Yorkshire mum Melissa Abbott. “You can do it part time. You can do it full time,” says Melissa. “I have a basket of cards with me all the time. This morning I took them to the gym and then to a local coffee morning. You can work it round your life.” Melissa is looking for mums who are motivated and sociable, but these products don’t need a hard sell. Everyone needs a card, and if you make buying it easy, they’ll buy it from you. “I love the fact it’s flexible working,” says Melissa. “It’s a great way for mums to earn extra cash without disrupting family life. And the products sell themselves!”

To find out more about becoming a Phoenix Trader in Leeds, call 07595 711 011.


FAMILIES LEEDS | May/June 2011

Attach a TAG

Families REVIEW I once sent my daughter to school with a name label.. glued into her cardigan. I’ve also used biro and felt tips.. to fashion an impromptu name tag on everything from.. leotards to lion outfits. I’m no Cath Kidston and try my.. level best to avoid getting the sewing kit out, but it’s.. the only way to ensure your child’s school uniform.. makes it home – isn’t it?..


IN YOUR BIRO and get rid of the glue because Families Leeds has stumbled on a gadget to save time and money. We agreed to test the Attach a Tag system after the Yorkshire based company contacted us with the claims that it ‘makes clothes labeling easy’. The Attach-a-Tag kit comes with an applicator and thumbnail sized tags which are personalised with your child’s name. The idea is you clip the ‘tag’ onto the clothing item in a matter of moments, saving you the stress of sewing and your child the indignity of being glued to her cardigan. Liz Waites from the company says once parents discover it, they never go back to more traditional labeling. “Busy parents don’t have the time to iron or sew in name labels, even when they do the laundry process can result in the

Design a Poster Competition




name tape coming off and the garment becoming unidentifiable. Parents who have tried Attach-a-Tag say it has revolutionised their ‘back to school’ preparations." Our intention was to test the system on Isobel’s Brownie uniform, which has been unlabelled since she joined at the beginning of the year. However the Attach a Tag was ripped open when, one morning, Eliza insisted on taking a teddy bear to school. We pierced the bear’s ears with Eliza’s tags to guarantee it would find its way home. The next day Isobel had to take in a leotard for PE. Terrified of using my ‘iron on’ labels, incase I cremated the ever so slightly flammable leotard fabric, out came the system again. There’s no doubt, the system saves you time and stress if you aren’t a ‘make do and mend’ type of mum. The tags are also reusable and the system doesn’t destroy the clothing when you remove them. But it’s the news that the Attach-a-Tag system is easy enough for a child to use that’s made my day. That pile of summer uniform lurking in the corner of the cupboard no longer looks quite so intimidating! Personalised tags begin at £10.20 for a pack of 30. The Handheld Applicator is £10.20. To find out more, look at

FAMILIES LEEDS | May/June 2011 25

What’s on… MAY & JUNE With summer almost upon us, here’s our guide to the very best family days out over the next few months. We’ve tried to get all the information right, but it’s always worth checking before you pack up your picnic. Enjoy half term and remember to mention Families Leeds when you visit some of our favourite Yorkshire attractions!

Until Sunday 3rd July Spiceworld – The Exhibition LEEDS CITY MUSEUM A great trip down memory lane for mums, and a bit of girl power history for daughters. Make sure you pay a visit before the exhibition closes in July. 0113 244 3732

Saturday 7th May Rory’s Saturday Club LEEDS CITY MUSEUM

& every Saturday in term time Art and craft fun related to the museum’s displays. 11am-12.15. 0113 244 3732

Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th May Living History THACKRAY MUSEUM History comes to life at the Thackray this weekend with performances throughout the museum. 0113 244 4343

Saturday 14th May Museum at Night THACKRAY MUSEUM Beware the Yorkshire Witch and other colourful characters from medical history when you visit this super museum after dark. There will be re-enactments to keep you on your toes. Booking essential. 6-9pm. 0113 244 4343

Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th May Chicken Run NATIONAL MEDIA MUSEUM Family film funday. 0844 856 3797 Also Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th June

Let’s Pretend – Edwardian Picnic LOTHERTON HALL Dress up as an Edwardian and play afternoon tea 0113 281 3259

Family Fun Day KIRKLEES LIGHT RAILWAY Meet the railway’s new mascot Olly Owl and take a train ride to go to the fair! Face painting, donkey rides and lots of family fun promised. 01484 865 727

From Here to There EUREKA! Performance for children from 18 months – 4 years old, teaching the lesson of friendship. No booking required. 01422 330 069

Book your Summer workshop now! Stagecoach booking now in… Alwoodley on 01943 817 414 Wetherby, Selby and Kippax on 0113 210 3505 Horsforth & Morley on 01757 248 884 Menston on 0113 263 7780

Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th May

Saturday 28th May


Running Steam Locomotive Jack LEEDS INDUSTRIAL MUSEUM Come along and see chicks, lambs, guinea pigs and hedgehogs at this super urban farm. Stock up on some plants while you’re here! 0113 262 9759

Friday 20th May

Also on Monday 30th May Go back to the golden age of steam and meet Jack, the 100 year old Hunslet locomotive. 0113 263 7861

The World According to… LEEDS DISCOVERY CENTRE

Playground LEEDS ART GALLERY Messy, multisensory fun for children. 10am-12noon. 0113 247 8256 Make a mythical creature and discover the origin of the unicorns and mermaids. Booking required. 0113 214 1548

Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd May

Monday 30th May


Kids Clay Day ABBEY HOUSE MUSEUM See the skies above one of Yorkshire’s favourite family attractions filled with bright kites. There’s lots of kite themed activities as well as face painting, puppet shows and a teddy bear parachute drop. We’re praying for lots of wind! 0113 218 1010 Celebrate ceramic and craft month with some family fun. Sessions at 10am and 2pm. 0113 230 5492



Saturday 28th – Monday 30th May

Tuesday 31st May Take inspiration from the animals in this great museum and make a mask. 0113 224 3732

Get Medieval FOUNTAINS ABBEY Go back in time and watch re-enactments from 15th Century life around the abbey encampment. Lots of family activities. 01765 608 888

Tuesday 31st May – Thursday 2nd June

Saturday 28th May – Sunday 5th June Pond Life FOUNTAINS ABBEY Take part in a live performance and be a contestant on this family favourite. It’s a top trip down memory lane. 0844 856 3797 Activities for children in Swanley Grange. Free trail. 01765 608 888

What’s the Story Jackanory? NATIONAL MEDIA MUSEUM

Budding Gardeners RHS HARLOW CARR Join in with this piece of storytelling history. Hear some timeless children’s classics. 0844 856 3797 Come along to see the miniature gardens designed by local schools. Vote for your favourite and make your own mini greenhouse while you’re here. Just bring an old plastic bottle! 01423 565 418


The Bear Necessities EUREKA! Interactive outdoor performance of the fantastic ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ on Eureka’s Wonder Walk. Themed craft activities and trail around the museum. 01422 330 069

Friday 27th May Messy Monkeys ABBEY HOUSE MUSEUM

It’s Crackerjack Time! NATIONAL MEDIA MUSEUM Learn about insects and mini beasts and go on a bug hunt. Booking required. 0113 263 7861

Let’s Pretend – WWII Evacuee LOTHERTON HALL Dress up and explore your new home. What was it like to live in 1939? 0113 281 3259

Wednesday 1st June Also on Friday 24th June Messy fun for under 5s. Come dressed to get creative with paints and then leave the mess behind. 10.15am-12noon and 2-4pm. 0113 230 5492

Harewood House

Tiger Day! LEEDS CITY MUSEUM Come dressed as a tiger, make a mask and hear a tiger story. 0113 224 3732

Food Explorers ABBEY HOUSE MUSEUM Food themes craft and activities inspired by the Taste exhibition. 10am-12noon and 2-4pm. 0113 230 5492

Thursday 2nd June Murder at the Museum ABBEY HOUSE MUSEUM There’s been a murder! Play detective to find out who dunnit! 0113 230 5492

Sea shells, See shells LOTHERTON HALL Touch the shells from the museum’s collection and decorate your own. 12 noon-2pm. Booking required. 0113 281 3259

FAMILIES LEEDS | May/June 2011 27

Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th June Thomas & Friends KIRKLEES LIGHT RAILWAY From the Island of Sodor, Kirklees welcomes Thomas, Percy, Toby and Mavis. Take a ride on the Troublesome Truck and earn your Junior Engineer Certificate. Booking advised. 01484 865 727

Sunday 5th June

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Roots & Shoots LEEDS MUSEUM DISCOVERY CENTRE Celebrate World Environment Day with some nature activities. Booking required. 0113 214 1548

Tuesday 7th June

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Little Lotherton LOTHERTON HALL Under 5 craft session. Booking required. 10am-12noon. 0113 281 3259

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

Tuesday 7th – Friday 10th June Mini Gardeners ABBEY HOUSE MUSEUM Nature based activities for under 5s. Sessions at 10am and 2pm. 0113 230 5492

Tuesday 14th June Muddy Monkeys KIRKSTALL ABBEY

Also on Tues 21st & 28th June

% Nature activities for under 5s. 10am start. 0113 230 5492

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Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th June Father’s Day RHS HARLOW CARR


!"#$%&"'"()*+,'$&-)./0)1234560 ) Dads and their sons can battle it out in a spear throwing competition. The loser buys afternoon tea at Betty’s! 01423 565 418

Sunday 19th June Classic Car Rally HAREWOOD HOUSE Celebrate Fathers’ Day by taking your Dad to Harewood. There’ll be 900 vintage and classic cars for him to look at, while the children head to the funfair or the adventure playground. 0113 218 1010

Saturday 25th June Strawberry Pickings LOTHERTON HALL

BEST of the Box Office The Mole Who Knew It Was None Of His Business 31st May – 2nd June • Harrogate Theatre •

The Gruffalo’s Child 1st – 4th June • West Yorkshire Playhouse

Peppa Pig’s Party


18th & 19th June • Harrogate Theatre •

Blunderbus 30th May • The Carriageworks •

Scarecrow 12th June • The Carriageworks •

(All events & dates are correct at the time of going to print Apr 20 2011) 11) Celebrate the start of summer and come along to make some felt strawberries. Enjoy lunch in the great café, and a play in the playground. 0113 281 3259

Families Leeds May-June 2011  

Families Leeds magazine May-June 2011

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