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Med H – MAY w editi ay on

Cycling WIN in Kent 5






s! Return

What’s On l Maternity


Parenting l School days

Tots ‘2’ Teens Exhibition Everything for mum-to-be ‘2’ university years Kent Events Centre Detling Showground Maidstone

Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th May Open 10.00am to 5.00pm each day

Free Admission and Free Parking

Live Martial arts and Dancing Demo’s throughout the day

Further enquiries contact Theme Events 01622 662 610


Welcome to the Spring Issue . . . At last the sun is beginning to shine and the world finally looks more cheerful than it did in the doom and gloom of January. Our financial belts may still be tight, but at least the onset of spring and summer provides us with more opportunities for days out in the fresh air – a great mood booster for us all. We've got some hot local news in this issue. There's information about the return of free swimming in Medway pools for under 11s and the introduction of a Medway Freedom Pass for 11-16s, plus details of a new £9m cycle and sports park opening near Gravesend next year. We have our regular listing of Easter holiday activities taking place at local parks, libraries and museums. And we've got two great competitions. LEGOLAND Windsor are offering 5 readers family tickets and there's the chance to win £100 worth of Mothers' Day goodies from Dockside Outlet Centre in Chatham. We hope you enjoy reading it!


Bike about


Medway news

12 Join the show 14 Competition 16 What’s on this Easter 21 Advice on writing a CV 23 Supporting parents too 26 Toddler talk 28 Maternity news 37,000 copies given to parents-to-be and families in Medway, Maidstone and Kent.

Lara Slavin Lara Slavin Editor

Next issue out:


27th June

family For distribution, advertising or editorial contact:

01634 814364 Kent Family Magazine



While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of details in Kent Family magazine, we cannot accept responsibility for such. Views expressed by contributors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect those of the editors and publishers. Articles and advertisements created by us are copyright of the publishers, Kent Family Magazines, and may not be reproduced without prior consent.

Days Out

Bike About

If the warmer weather has encouraged you to dust down your saddle and venture out on two wheels, then there are plenty of family-friendly places to cycle in and around Kent.

BEST FOR NEW RIDERS If your little one is taking their first tentative steps in cycling it's best to ride on grass, suggests Lisa Whalley-Smith from Strider Bikes. "Lower the saddle as far as it goes so that their feet are flat on the ground and your child feels stable." Little and often is ideal, so find somewhere flat and grassy close to home for regular practice. Rochester Esplanade has plenty of level grassy fields and when they've had enough bike riding, reward them with a stop in the play area.

GAINING CONFIDENCE Once they can ride more confidently then a longer route such as the path around Horrid Hill at Riverside Park in Rainham is easy to navigate with plenty of interesting scenery. Or head over to Jeskyns County Park off the A2 at the Gravesend East junction. There are several trails of varying lengths, the shortest of which is a paved circuit of less than a mile. This has a wide path to accomodate riders and pedestrians, some great views and plenty of stop-off points at wooden play areas, the pine cone ball pool and ponds.


The latest news about family-friendly cycling in Kent. 4

For avid riders, venturing further afield can turn cycling into a fun day out for all the family. Bewl Water near Lamberhurst and Tunbridge Wells has a 12.5 mile round reservoir route open to cyclists from May to October. Admission charges apply (under 5s are free). Entry gives you access to the reservoir and the fantastic multi-level play areas. It's a great spot for picnics or pop into their waterside bar/bistro. For older kids Bedgebury's mountain bike track is a great challenge. A popular destination for cyclists of all levels, Bedgebury also has a 5.6 mile family trail with a newly resurfaced path. Parking charges apply. Both Bewl and Bedgebury have cycle hire facilities.

Visit: and

cyclopark Cyclopark is Kent's newest activity place. And with more than £9 million being invested, it is set to become one of the leading multisports centres in the South-East. Situated off the A2, south of Gravesend, and set in 43 hectares of park land, the new centre will bring first-class cycling, running and extreme sports facilities to North Kent. It hopes to become a venue for regional and local sporting events, as well as a facility for local schools and community organisations.

CYCLING IN SCHOOLS By Rob Carmen, Transport Planner, Medway Council Bikeability is the Cycling Proficiency Test for the 21st century, designed to give children the skills and confidence to ride their bikes on today’s roads. There are three Bikeability levels and Medway Council currently offers Levels 1 and 2 free of charge to all Medway primary schools, the majority of whom then offer the Bikeability training to their pupils. LEVEL 1 Covers basic skills such as getting on and off the bike, starting and stopping, using gears, and being able to ride around objects without wobbling. Resources and assessment are available to all Medway primary schools. Suitable for ages 7 to 11. LEVEL 2 is available for children in years 5 and 6, aged 10+. It covers basic on road manoeuvres including turning in and out of junctions, road positioning, signalling and a basic awareness of the Highway Code.

Opening in Spring 2012 there will be: l A 2.9km long track for cycling, running, in-line skating and skateboarding. l 340m BMX racetrack and a free ride/ pump track. BMX spectator arena. l State-of-the-art skate park. l Large cycle-based playground area. l 600m 2 multi-use games area. l Central pavillion for visitors and community use. An exciting new resource on our doorstep! Visit for more info.

The Bikeability course lasts for five two-hour sessions. On completion, children who achieve the standard receive a badge and certificate. On all courses there are two of Medway’s experienced Bikeability Instructors to oversee the children. Ask your school when the next Bikeability course is being run, or visit www.medway. and click on the Bikeability section. You can also email cycling@ or call 01634 334422. Also for the first time, we are offering a Bikeability Holiday Course in conjunction with Greenacre School Sport Partnership in the Easter holidays, and the potential is there for other holidays if there is sufficient demand. This is a two-day course of ten hours in total, and costs £10 per child. For details contact Kelly Harris on 01634 666337 x 253 or

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Medway News Pass it on... Bus Pass for Kids

FREE Swimming for kids is coming back!

The popular free swimming scheme will be reintroduced at council pools for under 11s and over 60s living in Medway.

The objective is to enable young people in Medway to travel easily and affordably on buses, and to help with the cost of getting to school.

Following the publication of Medway Council's budget for 2011/12, free swimming will be returning. The start date is still being finalised, but it is expected to be in place before the start

of the May half-term and school summer holidays. Free swimming for children under 11 years applies to Hundred of Hoo and Strood pools as well as Splashes and Medway Park.

Did you know:

What are you entitled to?

Parental leave Parents/carers of children under five, or disabled children under 18, have a statutory right to take unpaid time off work to care for them if they have worked for the same employer for more than a year. Flexible working Under the law, you have the right to ask for flexible working. The employer must seriously consider any application, although they don't have to agree if there is a good business reason not to. This also applies to your spouse, partner or civil partner. 8

Also announced in Medway Council's new budget was the introduction of a Freedom Pass for young people.

As well as having details about childcare, activities for children and family support, Medway Family Information Service is also able to advise parents on their working rights and entitlements. Changes in the law and tax thresholds mean parents are not always aware of what benefits and tax credits they are entitled to. And they may not know that parents/carers have certain legal rights to time off and flexible working. Parents, extended family or any adults caring for children can access one-to-one

The project is being drafted and is likely to provide young people with unlimited bus travel for a one-off annual fee. Medway Council currently offer half price bus travel up to age 18.

confidential advice by calling 01634 335566. It also runs a drop-in session at Chatham Contact Point every Wednesday between 9 and 11.45am offering advice and information.

Royal Wedding

celebrations come to Leeds Castle

Margate gets creative

To commemorate the wedding of HRH Prince William to Kate Middleton on 29th April, Leeds Castle is hosting a day to remember. The Royal Wedding will be broadcast live on a big screen, so you can watch history being made with your friends and family and enjoy the party atmosphere. Having been home to six Medieval Queens during its 900-year history, and a preferred residence of Henry VIII, Leeds Castle is

hoping to provide visitors with a lasting memory of this historic day. Grounds open at 9.30am and entrance to this daytime event is included in the Key to the Castle ticket. And the celebrations don't stop there. In the evening, there will be an openair cinema showing of 'Mamma Mia' followed by a magnificent firework display to music. Gates open at 6pm. Adults ÂŁ20, children under 16 years of age ÂŁ15. Book in advance via

get the latest news...

Here at Kent Family we have a weatlh of information, news, what's on and competitions that we can't always squeeze into each issue. So why not sign up for our monthly email newsletter to find out what's happening near you email to join our list.

April will see the opening of the Turner Contemporary gallery on Margate seafront. Part of Margate's exciting revival, the gallery will be hosting regular familyfriendly events, workshops and exhibitions. The launch celebrations take place between 16th and 25th April. Highlights for kids include: Weightless Drawing on 19th April, where children can experience amazing views of the new gallery from a human gyroscope. The Science Museum outreach team will be arriving on 20th and 21st April for Wonder Lab - combining art and science experiments. And at the Big Birthday Party on Saturday 23rd April, performers will take to the streets of Margate Old Town between 12 noon and 2pm. For more details visit: www. to advertise call 01634 814364 9

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What’s on

Join the show Tucked away in the heart of Chatham, Spotlites @ Kings Theatre has been wowing audiences locally and nationally with its unique interactive children’s theatre. We spoke to Artistic Director Rachel King and lead actor James Cowden to find out more. Spotlites@Kings Theatre is famous for its interactive children's theatre – what does that mean? Children have a wonderful ability to engage in stories and suspend their belief in what’s real. Even everyday objects can become magical dragon-slaying weapons or flesh-burning lightsabres. We utilise that imagination in our shows to bring the stories to life and engage our audiences.

their suggestions for how to defeat a baddie. It’s great fun because every show is different and children have the most amazing ideas. As an actor, you have to improvise a lo,t but it’s wonderful seeing how immersed the audience

Children become part of the story. They may come on stage and become a character or shout out 12

becomes in the show. For that hour or two they truly believe they have ambushed pirates with swords, bombarded Captain Hook with dinosaur droppings and saved the day.

What do the parents make of your shows? We had a great review that said “parents definitely do not need to be accompanied by a child”. Most parents come in expecting to watch a rather dull children’s show and perhaps have a snooze while keeping an eye on their children. But everyone, regardless of age, loves a

good story, and that’s what we do so well. Parents come away having experienced some great storytelling and enjoyed the interactive theatre along with their children.

up, script writing, comedy and drama games with the emphasis firmly on fun and imagination! They also get to take part in Spotlites’ big shows at no extra cost. New members are always

“ ”

Everyone, regardless of age, loves a good story, and that's what we do so well...

Tell us about your national success

Each summer, we take our interactive children’s theatre to Edinburgh Festival Fringe where we have been the best-selling children’s theatre company for the past five years. To put that in context, the festival lasts the whole of August and 300 venues host more than 3,000 shows from international theatre companies. So to be the best- selling children’s show is an excellent achievement. This year, we’ll be performing our latest show ‘Peter Pan on Dinosaur Island’.

As well as your productions you also have a youth theatre More than 300 children, aged between 5 and 30, come to our youth theatre sessions each week. We run classes in Medway, Maidstone and Sittingbourne in acting and stagecraft, singing and dancing. Children get to attend a weekly performing arts session, where they have drama fun and games on a different theme each week, including acting, improvisation, dance, musical theatre, voice, puppetry, singing, dressing

around for 18 years, and are a professional theatre company with high standards and a caring and fun ethic.

welcome and should phone to book in! We also run regular fun drama workshops in the school holidays and offer themed onstage drama parties for children.

Your shows are always good value for money – is this something you believe in? Yes – we feel that theatre should be accessible to everyone; therefore we strive to keep our pricing affordable: £22 for a family ticket! Likewise, we fundraise to keep the cost of membership of Spotlites Children’s and Youth Theatre to a reasonable price of £4.50 a week. We’ve been

What are your plans for 2011? Our latest show, ‘Peter Pan on Dinosaur Island’, will be running on 14th, 17th and 20th April and we'll be touring with the production in the summer. We're also performing the ‘Magic Porridge Pot’, our interactive play for children aged 2-5. We also have a brand new play for under 5s ‘The Enormous Turnip’ opening in Chatham this May! We offer discounts to pre-schools, nurseries and school groups. Our favourite piece of feedback is from the children of 1st Tiny Steps Pre-School who came to see 'Magic Porridge Pot' and sent us a wonderful hand-print thank you card!

Getting there

Spotlites @ Kings Theatre is situated at 338 High Street, Chatham (near Gala Bingo). For more information about their upcoming shows for children and regular classes visit their website or call 01634 829468. to advertise call 01634 814364


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LEGOLAND are giving Kent Family readers five chances to win a family of four ticket to LEGOLAND Windsor, valid when the park opens for the new season on 1st April 2011. For full terms and conditions and to enter online visit Or send your name, phone number and address to winlego@ Postal entries to Kent Family Magazine, 91 Maidstone Rd, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1RL

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What’s on this


Brook Theatre, Chatham The Wizard of Oz four day drama workshop finishing in a production for family and friends.10am–4pm, ages 8–16 years, £47. Book on 01634 338338.

Tuesday 12th April

Strood Library Family fun with gardening. Four three-hour sessions for parents with 5-12 year olds to improve their gardening skills. £2 per family. Call 01634 338400 to book. Subsequent sessions are on 14th, 19th and 21st April, 1-4pm.

Tuesday 12th April

Shorne Woods Country Park Signs of Spring Discovery Day. Explore the park, decorate a plant pot and plant sunflowers. 10am–12noon and 1–3pm. £5 per child, suitable for accompanied under 12s. Also at Manor Park Country Park, West Malling on Friday 15th April. To book call 08458 247 600.

Tuesday 12th–23rd April Spotlites @ Kings Theatre, Chatham Easter drama workshops. £5 per child. 16

Ages 5-14. Includes Hannah Montana, Dr Who, Goose Bumps and more. Also on 13th, 15th, 21st, 23rd. Book on 01634 829468.

Wednesday 13th April

Maidstone Museum Free Farmyard animal petting. Drop in between 11am and 3pm and visit animals from Nepicar Farm including a rabbit, guinea pig, lamb, duck, goose, sheepdog and goat.

Thursday 14th April

Upnor Castle Family fun, craft, drama and games with Medway Council Arts Team. 2–4pm. Also on Friday 15th at Cuxton Social Club 10am–12noon and at High Halstow Village Hall, 2–4pm. Free event for under 11s. Book in advance on 01634 338319. Usual admission prices apply for event at Upnor Castle.

Saturday 16th April

Shorne Woods Country Fre e Park Explorer Open Day. 10am–4pm. Action-packed day of children’s activities, guided tours, an archaeological

exhibition, woodcraft demonstrations and local stall-holder's displays. No booking required.

Saturday 16th April

Maidstone Museum Follow the clues around the museum – an Easter egg for every completed hunt. 11.30am-4pm. £1 per child. Also on 17th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th April.

Monday 18th–19th April

The Brook Theatre, Chatham Bees, bugs and butterflies two-day art and craft workshop. 10am–3.30pm. Ages 8–14 years. £14. To book call 01634 338338.

Wednesday 20th April

The Brook Theatre, Chatham Rihanna one-day dance workshop. 10am–3.30pm. Ages 8–16 years. £14. To book call 01634 338338.

Thursday 21st April

Capstone Farm Country Park Parent-and-child fishing teaching. Ages 8–12 years.

All equipment and bait supplied. £8 per child. Book in advance on 01634 338191.

Friday 22nd April

Manor Park Country Park, West Malling Easter Bunny Hunt. Follow trail clues and win a prize from the Easter Bunny herself. 10am–3pm. £4 per child. No booking required.

Friday 22nd April

Capstone Farm Country Park Easter Bunny Hunt. Track the bunny through the park with a fun quiz trail. There will be a small prize for every child who enters. 11am–3pm, last entry 2.30pm. For accompanied children aged 5–12 years. £1 per child. Book in advance on 01634 338191.

Saturday 23rd April

Cobtree Manor Free Country Park, Nr Aylesford/Maidstone Hi-tech Easter Wildlife Trail. Use satellites to find clues around the park. Approx 1 hour per trail. Call 01622 683695 to book a time slot.

Sunday 24th and Monday 25th April

Monday, 25th April

Sunday 24th and Monday 25th April

Saturday 30th April –1st May Free

Chatham Historic Dockyard Monsters of Steam and Metal. Festival of Steam and Transport with more than 500 vehicles including tractors, emergency vehicles, motorbikes and vintage buses. Admission prices apply.

Shorne Woods Country Park Easter Bunny Hunt. 10am– 3pm. Follow the trail clues, solve the puzzle and be rewarded with a prize from the Easter Bunny. £4 per child. No booking required.

Sunday 24th April

Riverside Country Park Easter Bonnet Parade. 10am–1pm Make yourself a snazzy Easter bonnet. Take along an old hat to the visitor centre and set about transforming it into a bright and fun bonnet. For accompanied children aged 5–12 years. £1 per child. Book in advance 01634 337432.

Riverside Country Park Easter Bunny Hunt. 11am– 3pm, last entry 2.30pm. Track the bunny through the park with a quiz trail. There will be a small prize for every child who enters. For accompanied children aged 5–12years. £1 per child. Book in advance 01634 337432.

Rochester Sweeps Festival Rochester Castle Gardens and surrounding areas, Annual festival in Medway for more than 30 years, celebrating the traditional holiday for chimney sweeps. Morris dancing, live music and family activities throughout the three-day festival. Further details visit For details of other local events and news for families join our e-newsletter list by emailing news@kentfamily. or visit our website www. While we make every effort to ensure times, dates and prices are correct, please contact the location in advance to confirm these.

Saturday 23rd April

Riverside Country Park F ree The English Festival. 11am–5pm. On St George’s Day, experience a flavour of the things that help make England great. A quirky look at some of England's most iconic eras. Attractions include a 10foot animatronic dragon, medieval knights, a manmade beach, donkey rides, the sights and sounds of the 60s and marauding pirates. No need to book. Free park and ride on a red Routemaster from Dockside Outlet Centre between 10.30am and 5.30pm. to advertise call 01634 814364


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Face and Body Art Specialists Available for children’s parties, weddings, corporate events and much more...

Spectacular Girls glitter parties

Hair, Make-up, Nails, Temporary Tattoos, Friendship Bangles, Craft Making, Dancing, Party Games, Prizes and lots more.

Plus fantastic Pure Glitz party bags Call Nina on 01634 408867 or Kate on 01634 233688 Kat 07502435103 / Kelly 07843097730 20 18

Treatments in the comfort of your own home. Or why not host a pamper party with your friends?

20% OFF FIRST TREATMENT Call Michelle on 07727 127900

Girls Every D re a m Going away forGirls half term or Christmas? Spectacular glitter parties Barking Mad offers a great alternative

Hair, Make-up, Nails, Temporary Tattoos, to kennelling. Friendship Making, Your dogBangles, will stay inCraft a select private Dancing, home Party Games, and lots more. withPrizes a loving host family.

Plus we fantastic Pure Glitz party bags offer complete peace of mind for With co-ordinated collection and delivery, you and your dog.

Call Nina on 01634 408867 or Kate onSally 01634 233688 Please call 01634 577488

Heroes Wanted at LEGOLAND® Windsor!

A truly entertaining and magical show loved by children of all ages (3+) Children’s magic shows ◆ Close-up magic Balloon modelling ◆ Learn circus skills Birthday parties, schools, nurseries, youth groups and corporate events Call Chris on 01732 847808 or 07807 927637

Over 55 interactive rides and attractions at LEGOLAND Windsor as it celebrates its 15th Birthday. There’s just too much to experience in one day! Discover your adventure today at www. Open for the 2011 season on 1st April until 6th November.

WINOne of five family

tickets to LEGOLAND

See page 14 or enter onlne at: to advertise call 01634 814364


Love Dogs?


Barking Mad offers a home-based alternative to kennelling for dogs.

3rd April 2011

We are seeking dog-loving host families to look after friendly, well-behaved dogs in your own home while the owners are away.

To celebrate Mothers' Day Dockside are giving one lucky Kent Family reader £100 of goodies

Great exercise and good fun. Full support given. If you like caring for dogs but don’t want the commitment of a full time pet, call today to find out more...

Call Sally on 01634 577488

Mobile Hairstylist

Luxury M&S Outlet hamper worth £45

London West End Trained. Professional cutting and haircare all in the comfort of your own home. Affordable prices. Family and couples discounts.

Contact Eve on: 01634 712579 07906 255620


Invest in your cv It’s not the best skills or experience that gets the job interview.

It’s the best CV.

Invest in your CV and you could be one step closer to getting the job you want. For details of our CV Writing Service and a FREE appraisal of your CV call Jodie Moore on 07725 647628 or email: 20

'Love' mirror and 'mum' picture frame from Living Inspiration £25 voucher

r from Past Times £2u5 che Vo

For your chance to win, enter online or post your contact details to: Kent Family Magazine, 91 Maidstone Road, Rochester, ME1 1RL. Closing date: Saturday 2nd April. For full terms and conditions visit our website

Enter online:

Working Parents You should: • Sell your skills and achievements – A list of responsibilities is simply a job description. An employer wants to know how you’ve contributed to the success of your previous employers.

Advice on... writing a CV By Jodie Moore Even with the most straightforward work history, writing a CV isn’t easy. And if you have been out of the job market a while, where do you start? If you have taken time out to bring up a family, your career didn’t stop the day you left the workplace. Managing the household, negotiating with toddlers and multi-tasking are all skills which are of huge value to an employer. In these situations, a functional CV, where you describe your skills and abilities without relating them to a specific job, is more effective than listing your work history in date order. Not only does it immediately tell the employer what you’re capable of, it also conceals gaps. And it’s an excellent format to use if you are changing career and have the necessary skills but lack experience. A functional CV shows an employer how transferable your skills are. As well as the content, there are other factors to consider, such as how the accepted CV format has changed, what employers expect to see on a CV and how new legislation has affected what you should and shouldn’t include. Your CV is the first impression a prospective employer gets of you and it has to be the right one. It’s not necessarily the best skills and experience that wins the interview, and ultimately the job. It’s the best CV.

• Make it attractive – Most employers simply skim a CV for key words and phrases. Making it easy to follow is the first step to assuring your CV doesn’t end up in the bin. • Keep it short and simple – Employers do not have time to read pages of text. Two pages should really be the maximum to aim for. • Check for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors – a sloppy CV will go straight in the bin.


Do not: • Include your date of birth – Age discrimination law means that the hiring decision maker should not know your age. Some employers actually discard CVs which show a date of birth. • List interests and references – Unless interests are absolutely relevant to the job you’re applying for, or if you have little work experience, they are simply taking up valuable space that could be used selling your talents. If your CV is light on experience, you may include interests but be selective! It’s assumed that everyone can provide references. Employers will ask for these details if and when they want them.


Jodie Moore is professional CV writer and communications specialist with more than 15 years’ experience. Based in Rochester, she provides powerful and highly effective CVs for clients at all levels from first jobs through to senior management looking for a career change. For information call Jodie on 07725 647628 or email to advertise call 01634 814364


Sure Start Children’s Centres provide information, support and services for families with young children and are great places to meet new people. Services you may find at a centre are: l Health visitor and midwife clinics l Messy play sessions l Breastfeeding support groups l Postnatal and antenatal sessions l Healthy eating / cooking sessions l Support for finding work or training l And much more Sure Start Children’s Centres in Medway: LORDSWOOD & WALDERSLADE

l Kingfisher, Walderslade – 01634 335850 l Oaklands, Walderslade – 01634 333820 l Lordswood, Lordswood – 01634 333670


l Brompton – 01634 844152 l Burnt Oak, Gillingham – 01634 334344 l Saxon Way, Gillingham – 01634 852320 l Woodlands, Gillingham – 01634 338370 l Hand in Hand, Twydall – 01634 365985 l Riverside, Rainham – 01634 338700 l Miers Court, Rainham – 01634 236974 l Deanwood, Parkwood – 01634 231901


l Delce, Rochester – 01634 844127 l All Saint’s, Chatham – 01634 338833 l Wayfield, Chatham – 01634 843544 l St Margaret’s at Troy Town, Rochester – 01634 843843


l Bligh, Strood – 01634 336220 l Gun Lane, Strood – 01634 717115 l St James’, Isle of Grain – 01634 270341 l Temple Mill, Strood – 01634 338200

You can call your local centre using the details listed. Or for more information contact the Family Information Service on 01634 335566 or visit


Supporting parents too Medway's Sure Start Centres provide more than parent and child activities. Many offer a range of services for adults in the local community too. Reflecting local needs, they can run a variety of courses and activities if there is sufficient demand. Here's a selection of what is availble, or pop along to your local centre to find out more.

Healthy Eating

Parent and child cooking courses run regulary, but some centres offer childcare and run sessions aimed at adults. “We teach the parents how to cook healthy and economical meals from scratch,” says Burnt Oak Children’s Centre Manager Brenda Ward. “The sessions are very hands on and cover easy to cook family favourites such as shepherds' pie and cauliflower cheese. And at the end of the session parents take home the meal they’ve cooked for their family.”

Stopping Smoking Medway’s Stop Smoking Service runs courses and support groups in some local centres, providing advice on treatment options and practical support to break the habit. Other centres host slimming clubs, exercise classes or walking groups open to anyone in the local community, not just parents.

First Aid Courses Want to know how to help your child in an emergency situation? Many centres run baby or paediatric first aid courses, either as single workshops or weekly classes. These are run daytimes, evenings and at weekends. Courses are either free or have a small fee.

Back to Work Skills

Whether you want to return to work or improve your maths, English or IT, help is available. Return to work sessions offer one-to-one support including help with cv writing, searching for jobs online and mock interviews. Some centres run basic skills courses in literacy, numeracy or computers. Most provide a crèche for younger children and parents can work at their own pace to develop their skills.

Benefits Advice

The Job Centre Plus team run drop-in sessions at a number of Medway locations including Children’s Centres where they can give advice on benefits and returning to work. Other centres offer housing advice drop-ins too. Contact your local Children's Centre for details, or visit

Parenting Courses The Toddler Tantrum Toolkit is a popular course. “These workshops aren’t about standing up and telling parents what they should be doing,” says Bligh Children’s Centre Manager Anthony Sands. “But instead they help parents acknowledge the skills and experience they already have. Generating lots of ideas about how to prevent and manage challenging behaviour, we facilitate parents advising and learning from each other”. to advertise call 01634



TT Ad 64x60>16710 aw:Layout 1

The world’s first pre-school football programme. Improve your child’s: ● Football skills ● Co-ordination ● Balance ● Social skills ● Self confidence

As well as being fantastic fun!


Tumble Tots is Britain's leading National Active Physical Play Programme for children from 6 months to 7 years • Using specifically designed equipment your child will learn agility, balance, climbing and co-ordination skills. • A structured fun programme designed to build self confidence and develop essential listening & language skills.

Please call on: 01634 682760 or visit:

Classes at Medway, Maidstone West and Meopham

Classes in Medway, Maidstone and Sittingbourne. Walkers to age 5.

01795 471412 / 07950 736617

Fun and exciting pre-school activity class.

Make yummy sweet and savoury dishes together. Learn about food, explore new flavours and have fun! Classes in Medway.


Pre-school Ballet Classes

Fun and friendly class introducing ballet and funky moves. Musical instruments, props and dressing up add to the fun! Giving your child an excellent introduction to the world of dance.

Classes held at Arethusa Road, Rochester. Samantha Seenan A.I.S.T.D

07710 547672



Call n a n d g ow et first le your s s on



Book your FREE trial class now at Caterpillar Music Babies & children enjoy learning in a fun atmosphere with exciting puppets, songs & lots of surprises every week! Caterpillar Music also offer amazing Birthday Parties, Nursery and Children’s Centre sessions!

Visit or call Jo on 01634 670370

Fun classes that help children to communicate with confidence N Social confidence N Listening and attention N Sharing and turn-taking N Vocabulary building 2 to 4 Making Movement Matter! year olds N Pre-literacy Classes in: Creative ST MARY’S ISLAND,skills Physical WALDERSLADE, STROOD


Free trial

Our unique classes are bursting with fun 

games and   AND MAIDSTONE activities that boost children’s natural speech and Parties Call Lisa Jarrett on Tots provides language development. Talking the Nursery perfect combination of fun, stimulation and learning 01634 682181 Classes for children from 12 months to five years.

For classes in Rochester and Gravesend There’s nothing quite like Dinky Dancers Call Claire on 07754 866592 or email: class leaders wanted. Call for details to advertise call 01634 814364


to advertise call 01634 814364 23

Toddler Talk Sing and Sign in Cuxton Popular baby and toddler signing sessions Sing and Sign have started new classes in Cuxton. Taking place on Tuesday afternoons

at Cuxton Library, the new term starts on 3rd May. Suitable for babies from 6 months upwards. To book call Lorraine Murray on 07954 439579.


Peppa Pig Fever

Peppa Pig is coming to town! On 27th and 28th April the award-winning TV show will be recreated on stage, featuring trueto-life puppets at The Central Theatre, For a sweet treat Gravesendbased Cake Pop Princess sells Peppa pig cake pops. Ideal for parties and special occasions. From £1.75 each. Transform yourself (or another willing adult!) into Peppa herself. Maidstone Bouncy Castles hire out Peppa Pig costumes from £40 per day. Call 01732 323334.


If the idea of holding a party for a group of energetic toddlers or pre-schoolers fills you with fear, there are a plenty of local pre-school class leaders who also offer their services at children’s parties.

and mix them with more traditional party games – all done with a football slant. Lasting for 1 to 1½ hours, their parties keep the children on their feet, having fun and burning energy. Call Darren on 01795 471412 for details.

Socatots parties use some of the skills and exercises that the children use during the normal Socatots sessions,

"We can entertain everyone from the tiniest baby, to big brothers and sisters, mums, dads and grandparents," says

Sure Start Timetable Online

Did you know... that you can download the latest timetable of activities and classes taking place at all of Medway's Sure Start Children's Centres from the Medway Family Information Centre

website. Visit www. And using the search facility at the top right hand side, search for 'schedule of activities' without including your postcode, to view the latest list of what's on.

Caterpillar Music's Jo Skinner. Lasting for 1 hour, the parties use a combination of simple party games, action songs, instruments and puppets to provide a party where young children can join in as much as they want to. Activities also include a game of pass the parcel and a present for the birthday child. "We can cater for any size party, from a small group of children in your home to a whole class in a hall." Call Jo on 01634 670370.

music, singing and action activity," says Lisa Jarrett who runs Dinky Dancers classes in Medway and Maidstone. "Parties last for 1 hour and we arrive 15 minutes before the party starts to set up. Parties can be inside or outside - wherever there is enough space". For more information call Lisa on 01634682181. Mud Pies run parent and child cookery classes in Medway

and also offer a birthday party package for up to 10 children. They provide food for kids to make their own party food before tucking into what they've made with their friends. Party bags, recipe cards and a present for the birthday child are all included. Ideal for ages 5 to 10, but older or younger children can also be catered for. Call Nikki on 07815 063136.

Dinky Dancers specialise in movement-based parties that combine games, dance and PE activity, for children aged 2-8 years. "They are lots of fun, with high energy,

What’s On Make your own Easter card Stories and craft for 3 to 8 year olds. 10-11am, 11th April at Strood Library. And 2.303.30pm on 14th April at Cuxton library .

Activity Day at St James Children's Centre, Isle of Grain. Friday 15th April. 10.30am - 3pm. Cooking activities, picnic and a visit from Zoo Lab. For more info call 01634 270341.

MAD Cafe Swopshop tabletop sale for baby and children's items. 18th May Beechen Hall, Walderslade 12noon - 2pm. £1 entry or £2 to book a table. Visit

Sew& Stitch Do you want to know how to mend clothes, make a bag, learn to knit or crochet? Sew & Stitch, at Brompton Children's Centre, is a sewing and craft club that meets to share their skills and ideas with others in a friendly group where children are welcome. Run by one of the centre's volunteers, the group's original intention was to learn how to mend and repair clothes. But with creative juices flowing, the mums quickly moved onto making children's name bags, fabric pinboards and trying their hand at knitting. In fact many of their projects involve using fabrics they already have to create something new. They meet on Fridays between 9 and 11am. It is free of charge and your children can play in the secure centre environment, while you enjoy being creative. Contact the Children's Centre on 01634 844152.

to advertise call 01634 814364


Mama & Baby W NE Aqua Classes

Ante Natal

Come to Medway

Baby’s 1st Easter Celebrate your baby's first Easter with Baby Sensory's Easter Eggstravaganza event on Saturday 16th April 11:30-12:30 or 1-2pm in Rochester. Baby bunny puppet show, duckling and chick activities, spring scents, and plenty of bubbles. Suitable for babies from birth to 16 months. Tickets cost £8 admitting one baby along with parents, grandparents and supervised siblings. Refreshments are included. Limited places. To book contact Sarah on 07813 632 552.

What’s On...

A new Aqua Bumps class will be launching on 4th April at Strood Leisure Centre. Run by qualified antenatal fitness instructor Michelle Burke, the classes will be a fun way to keep fit during pregnancy and an opportunity to meet other local mums-to-be. Suitable for all stages of pregnancy, the classes will take place in the Hydro Pool every Monday evening at 7.30pm. Classes cost £5.50 per session and there is no need to book in advance. For more information contact Strood Leisure Centre on 01634 723888.

HOME BRA FITTING SERVICE Although Maidstone's Pregalicious may have closed its doors this month, the maternity wear shop will still be continuing it's popular bra fitting service.

Medway Pregnancy Evening Temple Mill Children's Centre, Strood, 9th May, 11th July, 6-8 pm.

"Expert fitting of maternity and nursing bras is a must," says Lisa Skinner. "By getting properly fitted our customers are more supported yet comfortable and avoid expensive mistakes."

Woodlands Pregnany Evening, Woodlands Children's Centre, Gillingham, 11th April, 13th June, 7-9pm.

The service will cover midKent and enable mumsto-be to choose from a wide range of styles in the comfort of their own home. Call 01622 726869.

Medway Homebirth Support Group, Temple Mill Children's Centre, Strood, 26th March and 28th May, 10am-12noon.

Reflexology for Babies

Maternity Reflexologist Georgina Strickland is running a series of reflexlology workshops aimed at parents who have of children aged from birth to 3 years. Baby Reflex workshops teach parents how to give specially adapted, simple and effective reflexology to their children. The course is split into three workshops covering feeding and digesting, sleeping and comforting and general wellbeing (including teething and colds). Courses will run in Medway and Maidstone. Visit www. for more info or call Georgina on 07870 409681.

At last, a class JUST for babies Baby Signing the FUN way!!


Enjoy a wonderful sensory experience with your baby. From birth to 13 months. Bubbles, light shows, glow balls, bells, music and more.

This unique programme combines the benefits of both music and baby signing to stimulate your baby’s speech and language development. Hearing babies from as young as 7 months are using gestures to communicate BEFORE their first words. For more information on our multi-award winning classes in Medway and Maidstone contact Lorraine on

07954 439579

Lots of ideas you can use at home. A great way to bond with your baby, make friends and have fun. Classes in Rochester and Hempstead.

Come join the fun! Call Sarah on 07813 632 552

Tiny touches make a huge difference...

Pregnancy Evenings At Temple Mill Children’s Centre, Cliffe Road, Strood from 6 to 8pm

14th March, 9th May, 11th July, 12th Sept, 14th Nov


Baby Massage * Baby Yoga * Pregnancy Massage Medway and Maidstone area. 1-to-1 and small groups. Contact Melanie King: 0780 3164250

Real nappies Reflexology Water Birthing Baby Massage Homeopathy and lots more.. All stages of pregnancy welcome. Pop in anytime for an informal chat, free treatments, demos and info.

Gymbabe 64x60>16710 aw:Layout 1 28/7/10 For moreAd info call Sandra on 01634 338205 Find us on facebook ‘Medway Pregnancy Evenings’

Post Natal Fitness Its not just a walk in the park! Join the Buggyfit mums on a course to lead you back to fitness, regain your shape and allow those pre pregnancy jeans to fit again! All without the worry of childcare or high costs of a gym. Bring baby with you and meet other mums in the area.

Give your baby a head start in life!

Gymbabes classes are tailor made for babies from 6 months upwards and has been voted Best children’s activity provider by Tommys’ baby friendly awards. • Exercises and colourful equipment to encourage your baby to sit, crawl and eventually walk!


• Action songs & rhymes to develop listening skills

Call Michelle 07766012584 to book your place or email

Please call on: 01634 682760 or visit:

and enjoyment of music.

Classes at Medway, Maidstone West and Meopham

to advertise call 01634 814364


Making Movement Matter!

2 to 4 year olds Classes in: Creative ST MARY’S ISLAND, Physical Fun WALDERSLADE, STROOD Certificates AND MAIDSTONE Parties Call Lisa Jarrett on Nursery 01634 682181 Classes Free trial

There’s nothing quite like Dinky Dancers Part-time class leaders wanted. Call for details

Welcome to Kinder Nurseries

Kinder Nurseries has highly qualified experienced staff, who provide children aged from 3 months to 5 years with a wide variety of fun activities in a deeply caring and secure environment.

What we offer Peaceful, park like surrondings Highly committed,experienced staff Safe and secure premises Large full equipped outdoor play areas Extensive range of modern toys and equipment Open 08:00 to 18:00 (Later finishes can be arranged)

We have 9 nurseries located across Kent, all situated in peaceful park-like surrondings that offer continual opportunities for outside play whatever the weather.

Open 51 weeks a year Government funded term time places of 15 hours

Excellent Breakfast, Afterschool and Holiday Clubs

Visit: to see our activity plans for Easter Holiday Club!!

Our Locations: Hempstead, Gillingham Hadlow, Tonbridge Meredale, Rainham Oakfield, Gravesend Brompton, Gillingham Meopham, Meopham

Allington, Maidstone Clare Park, East Malling South Avenue, Sittingbourne

Contact us: Tel: 01634 230222 Email: Web:

Ju st Fo r K i d z

Helping to ease many conditions including: Sickness & nausea Back pain & sciatica Overdue baby Stress & anxiety Blood pressure fluctuations Digestive disorders Sleep disorders Postnatal problems

... and more Call Georgina Strickland MAR 01634 313158 / 07870 409681

QUALITY USED AND NEARLY NEW l children’s clothing l toys l prams and pushchairs l cots and nursery equipment l from prem baby to 5

New stock weekly. We buy and sell. 126 High Street, Rochester (Opposite Casino)

01634 819887

Open Mon – Sat 10am til 5pm to advertise call 01634 814364



Kent Family (Medway) spring 11  

Spring 2011 edition of Kent Family magazine (Medway).