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south east london





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HERE COMES SUMMER - hurrah! The theme of this issue is the great outdoors, with a whopping five pages of What’s On listings, plus great ideas for daytrips to Kent. If you have to work while the children are off school, there are plenty of workshops and daycamps too to keep them out of mischief. We’ll be back with the new school year in September - have a great summer! Robina Cowan, editor

2-3 Local News and Views

The Big Lunch comes to London, making money in market research, fundraising to support new parents, free swimming and big hair fun for children

4-5 The Great Outdoors

Pack that picnic - there’s fresh air and fun to be had on summer daytrips to the Kent seaside and country parks

6 Summer is a Good Time to...

Make the most of weeks off school with our summer ideas to ensure no one is ever ‘sooo bored!’ Plus, your chance to win a Gold Membership to Reading Chest - worth ÂŁ95

7 Celebrate ‘good enough’

Life coach Kevin Ryan helps parents shrug off that inferiority complex

8 The Book Page

Justine Crow’s review of the best new books for children and parents

9 Mothers Mean Business

This month, Selena Mitchell tells us how she set up the Couture Cookie Shop. Plus, your chance to win a custom-made, named, birthday cake

10-11 Summer Holiday Clubs

Daycamps, workshops and summer schools - the holidays are a great time for children to learn something new in a safe, supervised and fun environment

12-13 What’s New

Cooking cookies, teaching children to cope with the unknown, family adventure holidays and new products

14 Education News

Three ways to keep your child’s brain ticking over during the long school break

15 -19 What’s On

Our pick of the best events, shows and family workshops for this summer

20 The Back Page

Local business contacts to make your life easier Front cover: Children’s swimwear from £4.99, TK Maxx, Next issue out 10 September copy deadline mid August Families South East PO Box 11591, London SE26 6WB 020 8699 7240

LocalNews email your local news to

the big lunch comes to herne hill Residents of Poets Corner in Herne Hill are taking part in The Big Lunch with a street party this summer. Organisers are lining up a mix of music and dance performances, food and drink, face painting, prizes, with games and activities for children to enjoy. Local shop Stardust has made a generous donation of 50 Big Lunch children’s t-shirts in return for a small donation from recipients to the Lambeth Autism charity. To buy from Stardust online, go to The Big Lunch offers residents an opportunity to get to know their neighbours and aims to build lasting friendships within the community. Events are taking place throughout the summer - read more at

yoga for all the family The Vale Practice in East Dulwich is running brand new yoga classes for all ages. Cherylle Millard-Dawe’s classes for 3-12 year-olds combine yoga and meditation to help build focus, flexibility and a sense of calm in their lives. For the grownups, there is antenatal yoga, mother and baby yoga, and Sivananda classes. All classes are held on Tuesday and are run in a 6 week course at the Vale Practice, 64 Grove Vale, East Dulwich SE22, 020 8299 9798,

penny for your thoughts? Actually, you can earn more than that. Big companies are interested in the views, preferences and opinions of their customers, and invest a lot of time and money researching what their customers think, through opinion poll surveys, face to face meetings and group sessions. Your opinions could contribute to future products and services! Code 3 Research is currently signing up new people who are interested in having their say at local market research events, trying new products and testing products ranging from highchairs and nappies to university choices, skincare, fashion or chocolate - the list is endless! Respondents are paid in cash on the day for each research project that they undertake - typically ÂŁ40 for two hours but it could be much more. To find out more, register with

who’s the daddy! Daddies across the country will be elated to know that they, and not footballers or pop stars, are the number one hero for 5-7 year-olds for the second year running. The annual UK poll by The Children’s Mutual has revealed that although dads have topped the list of heroes, mums will be disappointed as they have fallen from the number two spot last year, to number three in 2010 - behind Ben 10! Meanwhile dads can’t afford to rest on their laurels just yet. They face strong competition from fictional characters such as Ben 10, Spiderman and Hannah Montana. Teachers came in at number five this year, the ever-popular Cheryl Cole at number six, and good old granddad at number nine.



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when your garden goes on holiday Wouldn’t that be good? You go to Portugal for two weeks; your garden goes on a trip to Cornwall and comes back lush. If only! Marie Shalcross from Plews Garden Design has these tips to keep your garden ticking over while you’re away: 1. Think ahead: save plastic containers and bottles to use as water trays/ reservoirs. Buy capillary matting on which you can place lots of pots together. Deadhead flowering plants; weed; apply mulch on any bare soil after watering. 2. Pots: Where are the cooler places in the garden? Out of the midday sun is good for most plants. Place on matting or in trays; water well before you leave. Hanging baskets - if in the rear garden, take down and treat as a pot above. Micro-salads - cut & eat before you go, leave in cool place with water. 3. Borders: Established planting, eg shrubs will be fine with a thorough soak the morning/ evening before you go away. New plants, bedding, thirsty plants like dahlias - if room, use upturned pop bottle (bottom cut off) in soil next to plant as a reservoir. 4. Lawn: domestic lawns don’t need watering unless new. Mow before you go, medium cut. 5. Front garden: tidy and water as above; put water reservoirs under pots (if in the sun) well in advance so it looks ‘normal’. 6. Keyholder: if someone is coming in to check the house while you’re away, ask them to check the plants for wilting and water if necessary - and to help themselves to any crops/ flowers - good for the plant as it encourages more to grow for your return! 7. On return: unpack, put washing on; make tea/ pour wine, sit in garden and enjoy! Plews offer garden design and maintenance services, and offer one-to-one tutorials to less experienced gardeners. For information, contact Marie on 020 82889 8086 or see her seasonal tips at

hairspray comes to south london Stagecoach is offering local children the chance to act in their own all singing, all dancing production of the Broadway hit musical Hairspray this summer. Principal Jonny Clines told us: “I have employed professional musical directors and choreographers to work with students and the aim is to mount a fully costumed performance in just five days. It’s ambitious and will take a lot of hard work but I know it is also going to be great fun and a fantastic experience for everyone!” The summer holiday workshops run from 26-30 July in Battersea and Shirley, and 2-6 August in Dulwich, and are for 4-7 and 8-16 year-olds. As Jonny says: “No experience is required - all we ask for is enthusiasm!” For more information or to book a place, call 0845 055 6368 for Dulwich, 020 8946 2986 for Battersea, or 020 8949 1116 for Shirley,

get together and be cheeky this summer! The UK’s largest parenting charity NCT (the National Childbirth Trust) is calling on everyone to hold a Cheeky Monkeys Tea Party and help raise funds for the NCT’s Postnatal line. Cheeky Monkeys Tea Parties are held every summer between May and September. The parties provide a fantastic opportunity for parents and children across the country to get together with friends, family and the local community and raise money to aid the vital work of the NCT. This year the NCT Cheeky Monkeys Tea Parties are raising funds to support the development of the NCT Postnatal Line, which has been set up support parents in their early days of parenthood. The helpline is staffed by experienced NCT postnatal leaders, and by listening and responding to individual concerns they help parents to see their difficulties in context, appreciate the positive things that they are achieving and help them to move forward in the best way for themselves and their baby. Belinda Phipps, the charity’s chief executive explains why the new helpline is so important: “Life with a new baby can be an amazing experience. However, for some it can be quite a daunting whirlwind, leaving new parents feeling nervous or lacking in confidence. Our new helpline will be open to all parents so they can call us and get support when they need it most.” The aim is to raise £50,000 this year which will be used to extend the opening hours of the helpline. Every penny raised helps. As little as £50 enables the NCT to help 12 new parents cope with the challenge of becoming a parent.

let’s go bananas! Cheeky Monkeys Tea Parties are open to everyone and it is very easy to run. Your party can be small (a couple of friends and families) or BIG in size (invite the WHOLE town to your party). Some ideas for your party are: have a barbecue bash, a picnic party, cream tea or a dressing-up themed party - or make your event as genuinely individual as you want. To help you get started, the NCT provides you with lots of ideas for your party such as quizzes, arts and crafts and monkey-themed games for children, and there’s even a special cake recipe for the event. All you need to do is: 1. Register at to receive your party pack 2. Invite all your friends and family 3. Have fun! If have any questions, please feel free to contact the Cheeky Monkeys Tea Party coordinator on 020 8752 2388 or email

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The Great Outdoors By Robina Cowan IN THE VICTORIAN times, daytripping to the Kent coast was the thing to do in the summer. Take a leaf out of their books and introduce your little city dwellers to some fresh air. There are beaches galore, and huge country parks, all waiting to be explored in a day.

Oh we do like to be Beside the Seaside!

Picnic in the Park

Broadstairs The holiday home of Charles Dickens, Broadstairs is an unspoiled, distinctive resort whose character and charm is defined by peaceful sandy bays for families and couples who want a bit of space. It’s here that you’ll find some of the best home-made ice cream around at Morelli’s in Victoria Parade, and a thriving café culture. Broadstairs has two Blue Flags at Botany Bay and Joss Bay; with Stone Bay earmarked for the award this summer. Stone Bay already has a Quality Coast Award along with Viking Bay. • Botany Bay - hidden gem, voted second best beach after St Ives in Cornwall. Kiosk on beach serving hot and cold food and a pub and hotel nearby • Kingsgate Bay - best sea caves; ideal if you want seclusion. Pub and restaurant with children’s play area on cliff top • Joss Bay - best surfing bay. Café on beach • Stone Bay - great family bay. Good for rockpooling

• Viking Bay - great family bay. Good for dinghy sailing. Punch & Judy in August. Restaurants nearby • Louisa Bay - great for rock pooling. Café • Dumpton Gap - one of the best low tide walking routes to Ramsgate when tide is low What’s on for summer Broadstairs Folk Week runs from 6-13 August. This internationallyacclaimed event is a heady mix of top line concerts, dance music from around the world, workshops and much, much more. Enough to satisfy the seasoned folkie - and to lure new addicts. Call 01843 604080 or go to

Ramsgate Home to the only royal harbour, Ramsgate is an intriguing mix of maritime history and cosmopolitan pizzazz. A popular seaside resort since 1863, its thriving waterfront - packed with cafés and restaurants - is a chosen destination for the sailing fraternity to moor their boats, with its 700-berth marina a distinctive landmark. • Ramsgate Main Sands - has a Blue Flag and is a favourite sandy beach. Good for kitesurfing. Real continental feel with a variety of little bars and cafés close at hand • Pegwell Bay - stretch of unprotected sea cliffs of great geological interest with a sandy bay used by large numbers of seashore birds. Part of Kent’s National Nature Reserve. The bay was a popular excursion destination for Victorian holidaymakers who used to travel from Ramsgate on donkey chaisse. What’s on for summer The Monster Bass Festival is on 14 and 15 August. Inspired by legends of the treacherous Goodwin Sands and Ramsgate’s unique relationship with the sea, this new free festival launches Ramsgate Sailing Week with two days of live entertainment, story-telling and sea safaris. Saturday from 10.30am to 10pm and Sunday from 11am to 6pm. Find more information in the what’s on section of

Margate Holidays at the British seaside began in Margate, which has welcomed visitors for more than 200 years. Pioneer of the quintessentially English pastime of deckchairs on the sand, it’s also been a centre of popular culture from the early 19th century onwards. It was home to one of England’s greatest landscape and marine artists, JMW Turner, its spectacular sunsets inspiring some of his most famous works. Three of Margate’s bays currently have Blue Flags: Minnis Bay, West Bay and St Mildred’s Bay; and its Main Sands and Westbrook Bay are earmarked for one. Westbrook Bay and Margate Main Sands meanwhile have Quality Coast Awards. Try these:


families south east - july / august 2010

• Minnis Bay - a great all rounder. It’s a kitesurfing hot spot; good for sailing and a designated windsurfing area. Restaurant, bar and café • West Bay - best for sandcastles, rock pools and sunsets; and named in The Independent’s ‘best beaches’ guide. Pub nearby and café on the promenade • St Mildred’s Bay - lovely sandy bay with tidal pool. Two cafés on the promenade and a pub and restaurant nearby • Westbrook Bay - good family beach. Designated windsurfing area and good for kitesurfing and water skiing. Café close by • Margate Main Sands - seafood stalls and plenty of restaurants in the old town, a short walk away.

Lullingstone Country Park A country park with over 300 veteran oak, beech, ash, hornbeam and sweet chestnut trees, a cafe, shop and holiday activities. Open 9am to dusk, Kingsfisher Bridge, Castle Road, Eynsford, Kent DA4 0JF, 01322 865 995. What’s on for summer 30 July and 16 August, MYSTERY TRAIL. An easy access mystery trail. Solve the clues to reveal the mystery word then return to the visitor centre to claim your prize. Suitable for ages 3-11 years, but under 8s must be accompanied by an adult. 11am3pm, £2.50, no booking required. 10 August, WE’RE ALL GOING ON A BEAR HUNT. Take your teddy for a morning of fun. Follow a trail to the woods, build your bear a shelter and make your own teddy bear mask to take home. Suitable for ages 3-6, 10am-12noon, £5, book first on 08458 247 600.

Trosley Country Park Once part of Trosley Towers Estate, the park covers 160 acres of woodland. Animals graze the chalk grasslands which support many rare and important plants and animals, such as the chalkhill blue butterfly and the musk orchid. There are two walks within the park: an easy access trail through woodland or the more adventurous can try the walk on the downland, which gives panoramic views across the Weald from the steep grass slopes. Open 9am to dusk, admission free, Waterlow Road, Vigo, Kent DA13 0SG, 01732 823570. what’s on for summer 4+19 August, MYSTERY TRAIL. Follow an easy access trail, solve the clues to reveal the mystery word then return to the visitor centre to claim your prize. Suitable for ages 3-11, children must be accompanied. 11am-3pm, £2.50, no need to book. 11 August, CHILDREN’S FUN DAY. A cowboy and Indian themed day out with a cattle trail, gold panning, face paints and the chance to make an Indian pipe, Indian headdress, and paint a totem pole. Fancy dress welcomed. 11am-3.30pm, £6.50, suitable for ages 3-11, book first on 08458 247 600.

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Shorne Woods Country Park A large ancient woodland site, with an eco friendly visitor centre, play area, cafe and 288 acres of woodland to explore. Open 9am to dusk, Brewers Road, Shorne, Kent DA12 3HX, 01474 823 800. what’s on for summer 18 July - 2 September, SUMMER HOLIDAY TRAIL. Follow the clues, answer the questions and complete the trail to receive a prize. Trail sheets are available from the visitor centre. Free, no booking required. 10am-3pm 24+25 July, ARCHEOLOGY IN THE PARK. A medieval weekend of activities including a camp, crafts and re-enactors. 10am-4pm, free. 27-29 July, 10-12 and 17+18 August, DRAGONFLY CLUB. Environmental and nature based activities for 8-12 year-olds, with outdoor and indoor action, adventure art and craft. 10am-3pm, £12.50, book first on 08458 247 600. 5 August, MINIBEAST SAFARI. Be a wildlife detective by finding and meeting the park’s smallest inhabitants. 10am-12noon and 1-2pm, £1, book first on 08458 247 600. 24 August, FOREST CRAFTS FOR CHILDREN. A chance for 5-12 year-olds to try traditional forest crafts such as whistle, jewellery and mallet making. 10am-12.30pm, £5, book first on 08458 247 600.

Hop Farm Country Park Over 30 rides and attractions make for a great value day out in the Kent countryside. At the Hop Farm, young visitors can have a go on a climbing wall, driving school, play on giant jumping pillows or in the outdoor play area, visit the torture cellar, yesterday’s village and the shire horse farm. Open 10am to 5pm, admission £10.50 children, £12.50 adults, £40.50 families; less booked online in advance. Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6PY, 01622 872068, What’s on for summer 26 July - 5 September, ENCHANTED KINGDOM. The farm’s new undercover attraction has a secret Pirate Cove with ‘real’ pirates and gold panning on a 40ft galleon ship; and a treasure filled cave

Best of the Rest 11 July, FAMILY WILDERNESS ADVENTURE. Woodland adventures for families and friends under the direction with park rangers. Learn how to make a camp, try making nettle soup and discover the natural environment in an exciting way. Book as a family group and discover the woodland together, children £10, adults £15. Suitable for ages 7+. Book first on 08458 247 600. 10.30am-2pm at Parkwood Picnic Site, near Appledore TN26 2BJ. 28+29 July, JUNIOR RANGERS. A fun day out with games, crafts, outdoor play, and the chance to join the Rangers to learn more about country parks and wildlife. 9.30am-3pm, £12.50, ages 8-12, £12.50, book first on 08458 247 600. Brockhill Country Park, Sandling Road, Saltwood, Hythe CT21 4HL, 01303 266 327. 7+8 August, KITE FESTIVAL. Fly kites, bring or make your own, or must watch the professionals. 11am-5pm, free, Teston Bridge Country Park, Teston Lane, near Maidstone, Kent ME18 5BX, 01622 817 623.

Getting there High speed rail services run from St Pancras to the Kent coast in under two hours. Book ahead for the best priced tickets and make the journey part of the fun.

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Great competitions on! Enter our competition to win a copy of the book 'SpongeBob SquarePants: Fools Gold'! Families is pleased to be able to offer you the opportunity to enter a competition giving 15 lucky winners the chance to win a copy of the book.

Enter our competition to win a set of two Magic Ballerina books! The Magic Ballerina books, from prima ballerina Darcey Bussell, are a highly collectible series for readers aged 5-8 who love dancing and dressing up!

Enter our competition to win a Lazytown The Greatest Hits CD and a LazyTown T-shirt! The phenomenon that is LazyTown is back with this new double album, a collection of the very best from LazyTown TV Series. This 2CD album brings together all of LazyTown’s most popular songs.

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Summer is a good time to... WIN a labelling set Labelling your child’s school ‘stuff’ for the new term couldn’t be easier with Easy2Name. They have iron on and stick on labels for everything - clothes, shoes, pencil cases, lunchboxes and more, all available online at We have five Easy2Name Off to School sets to give away. Each set is worth £16.90 and contains 30 waterproof stickers, 30 iron on name tapes, one set of shoe covers, one bag tag and one shoe bag. Even if you are not lucky enough to win one of these great prizes you will still receive a 10% discount voucher from Easy2Name by entering the code ‘families’ with your order. To enter the draw, simply send your entry to Easy2Name, Families South East, PO Box 11591, London SE26 6WB by the 6 August closing date. Please state clearly the name of your child and whether you require the shoe bag in red or blue.

hop into a good book Join the Summer Reading Challenge at your local library. This year’s theme is ‘Space Hop’, with young Space Hoppers meeting Finn, Jessie, Nabil and Safiya - the crew of the Ex Libris - as they embark on their mission to set up the first lunar library... unless the dastardly Spacekatz lead them into the nearest black hole. The challenge is simple, children read six or more books during the holidays with rewards to collect along the way, plus a certificate or medal for all who complete the challenge. There is also an interactive website where children can talk about their favourite books and find out about top authors and illustrators,


explore famous gardens

book into the priory

A visit to some of the most celebrated British gardens makes a fun-filled and good value option for a family day out, and both the National Trust and Royal Horticultural Society are offering free children’s admission during the summer holidays, along with special activities. • RHS Wisley in Woking is inviting children on a Great Garden Adventure throughout August, with den building, tracking and camouflage, plus a massive sunflower maze. The on-site garden cafe and restaurant have a great range of food for children, or take a picnic. All RHS gardens have baby changing facilities, the garden areas are pushchair friendly and Wisley has designated parent and baby parking. Open 10am-6pm weekdays, from 9am weekends. Admission free for RHS members, £9.50 adults, under 16s £3. Woking, Surrey GU23, 0845 260 9000, • Osterley Park House is running a series of Wild Child days on 29 July, 5, 12, 19 and 26 August from 1-4pm. Discover the world of minibeasts, butterfiles and birds. Admission free for children during August, Park open 8am-7.30pm daily at Jersey Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, 020 8232 5055, • Ham House is offering art cart activities, and a huge garden toybox filled with building blocks, racket games, garden trails and more. Admission £8 adults, free for children in August. Ham House, Ham,. Richmond upon Thames, 020 8439 8231,

No - not that one! This Priory is a pretty Inn located in the beautiful village of Tetbury in the Cotswolds. Listed as one of the top ten child-friendly hotels in the UK, the Priory is offering three nights for the price of two throughout the summer for families looking for a break away from home. The mini-break includes two days of activities: a day at the Cotswold Water Park complete with cycle hire for a day (bike seats, trailers and tag-alongs available); and a day at the Cotswold Wildlife Park to see white rhino, zebra, big cats, monkeys and penguins - and play on a sandy beach! Both venues have plenty of good spots to enjoy a picnic lunch provided by the Priory. The Priory Inn is known for its high quality local food and drink, and family-friendly focus, with great home-cooked meals for fussy eaters, a bedroom monitors so parents can enjoy dinner together in the restaurant. For information or bookings, call 01666 5025 251 or see

families south east - july / august 2010

hold you own sports day So, your child may not have won the 800 metres at the end of term; and you miss the good old days when you could run like a whippet in the parents’ race. Why not hold your own sports day in the local park? This sports day set for four has jumping sacks, egg & spoons and beanbags, two ankle straps for the all-important three-legged race, and a start and finish line to make it feel like the real thing. Simply add children, a picnic, and you’re off. £19.95 from, 0845 6023578.

WIN a stack of books to borrow Reading Chest works along similar lines to DVD rental companies - except it specialises in reading scheme books for 4 to 9 year-olds. Parents can choose books matched to their child’s ability, from a wide range of up to date reading schemes including Rigby Star Phonics, Oxford Reading Tree, Collins Big Cat and many more. Visit to find out more and discover the easy way to be more involved in your child’s reading journey. To enter the draw, simply send your entry to Reading Chest, Families South East, PO Box 11591, London SE26 6WB by the 6 August closing date.

take in a west end show There’s no business like show business and the biggest deal of all for families this summer is the much-loved Kids Week in the West End. Now in its 13th year, Kids Week offers 5 to 16 year-olds the opportunity to experience a fortnight of theatre fun and see some of London’s top shows for free. The ticket deal is simple one child can go absolutely free to any participating show when accompanied by a full paying adult, and another two children can go for half price. Participating shows include ‘The Woman in Black’, ‘Oliver!’, ‘Wicked’, ‘Sister Act’, ‘Legally Blonde’ and ‘Mamma Mia!’. Along with show tickets, there are free activities and workshops offering the opportunity to learn show-stopping numbers, meet the cast and crew at q&a sessions, and go behind the scenes to discover backstage secrets. Kids Week runs from 13-27 August. For full event details and bookings, go to

and finally... sort out the boring stuff We all mean to get round to it but rarely have the time. With the children off school you can: • Take them to the dentist for a check up - did you know that increasing numbers of children are being taken into hospital to have rotten teeth removed? • Book a check up at the opticians - not just to see if their eyesight is fine, but to check the health of their eyes too • Buy next year’s school shoes - but not too early on, as it’s surprising how much children’s feet grow during the summer when they’re running around barefoot • Have a big clear out of your child’s bedroom (with their help), and make a charity shop happy with a big donation of outgrown toys and clothes.

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your life

Celebrate ‘Good Enough’ Kevin Ryan helps parents shrug off that inferiority complex. efficacy of breastfeeding, mothers who cannot breastfeed feel inadequate and guilty for letting their child down. Nothing you do can ever seem right. This may appear to be a very twenty-first century phenomenon, but in fact it is very ancient, as old as parenthood itself. Family histories always have tales of battling grandparents and in-laws offering new parents often contradictory advice based on their own experiences of child rearing. Parenthood has always been a battleground of competing ideas and experience and the inexperienced can be left confused and downhearted.

do parents have to feel bad all the time? In Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) there is the concept that everyone does the best they can with the materials and knowledge that they have at that time. Parents do the best they can with the information they have, decisions are made for the right reasons at the time and can be changed when better reasons are offered. We all act in good faith, but can feel unsettled when new information causes us to reflect back on our actions. Hindsight can be a torturous vision, imposing present knowledge on past decisions and leaving us finding ourselves wanting. The past cannot be changed and these feeling of guilt can be ameliorated by admitting to yourself that you were doing the best you could in the circumstances you found yourself in. Donald Winnicott, whose pioneering research in the 1950s into the developmental relationship between mother and baby, forms the basis of much of our present understanding of child development. He believed in the ‘Good-enough mother’, who meets the child’s needs, yet gives it enough space to allow it to develop, as opposed to the ‘Perfect mother’, who obsessively meets the child’s needs, giving it no space to develop. (Unfortunately, this research was from the 1950s, when fathers were not yet seen as important for the early development of the child.) This developmental space occurs in the mistakes a mother might make, allowing herself and the child to learn. Being ‘good enough’ allows for failures and mistakes and it is only through these perceived shortcomings that learning occurs. Experts offer advice and parents can take and learn from them in a guilt free environment. Yet sometimes it does feel as if there is a glut of experts weighing down upon parents, constantly telling them that they are not good enough. Parents should not be deterred. Stand up and shout: ‘We are good enough!’

Image: healingdream /

Do you feel overwhelmed by magazine articles, books, radio and television programmes telling you what you are doing is wrong? To be a parent in any era is to feel permanently guilty it seems. A few months ago I caught an edition of Woman’s Hour on the radio, where nutritionists were worrying that today’s mothers only knew how to cook nine dishes, and were concerned about the effect that this limited culinary range might have on the development of their children. These experts were countered by another guest, the comedian Annabella Weir, who proudly admitted that she only knew how to cook four dishes and saw these new pronouncements as yet another stick to beat parents with. Parents seemingly cannot do anything right. In the eyes of the media - everything they do is wrong. They are bombarded by reports and experts telling them what they should do. Some say they should ignore their baby’s cries, others that they must respond to their child’s every murmur. Some say starting nursery early will help children’s development, others claim this will impair it. All say children should have boundaries, and then fundamentally disagree where those boundaries should be. To be a parent is to feel guilty all the time about your own perceived inadequacies and the suspicion that you are making the wrong choice against the often contradictory advice pumped out by the parental advice industry. It can seem so overwhelming. Every view is met by a counter view from an equally qualified expert or prestigious organisation. Every month a piece of a new scientific research appears showing that something you believed was right now turns out to be wrong. Even where there seems to be universal agreement, such as the

Kevin Ryan, based in Isleworth, is a coach at Moving On Coaching. If you wish to know more, visit, email or phone 020 8400 9045.

Act, sing and dance at your local Stagecoach Here’s a way to spend weekends that’ll have 4-16 year olds buzzing. Enrol them in your local Stagecoach Theatre Arts school where they learn to act, sing and dance. The skills they learn aren’t just for the Stage. Our students grow in confidence and self-esteem …..Skills for Life! There’s no audition – all they need is enthusiasm.

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The Bookseller Crow

is a fantastic, volume stuffed shop run by some of the most knowledgeable bookworms in the business. Call in for the feel of a real bookshop, or if you’re too busy, pick up the phone or point your mouse at their website for a fast mailorder service. Justine Crow recommends this month’s best titles. AVID READERS of this page (that’s both of you) will recall a recent adventure with a pop-up tent that refused to pop-down. Well, GCSEs are over and the festival season is upon us and it falls to me to keep my word and take the kids to a muddy field to be exposed to E coli, charged a tenner for a bowl of Thai noodles and, oh frabcious joy, to leave all dignity in the compost loo and emerge in full fancy dress. The theme being ‘fairy tales’, an adult-sized baby bear costume that covers my modesty more thoroughly than a burka is required. The children will be so proud. Meanwhile, the teeny-weeny problem-ette of getting a stubbornly rigid tent into our car - known as the Wilderness Explorer, Russell for short - is yet to be solved. Worse, the tickets have arrived and they came with a Boden discount voucher. Now that’s not very rock and roll... HOW NOT TO F*** THEM UP by Oliver James - Ebury rrp £17.99. With one eye on my opening paragraph, I read that James asks: “Terrified of turning into your own parents?” Mine took me to my first festival at Blackbushe aerodrome in the 70s and my friends, mainly hailing from mock-Tudor crescents where the closest thing to parental sedition was a sweet sherry and a crafty John Player outside the sliding French windows while Ernie drove the fastest milk van in the West from deep within the Grundig cabinet, were soooo jealous. Mindyou, they didn’t have to spend the day with their dad sporting a curly perm whilst wearing white dungarees artfully splattered with dye that made him look like a giant baby had crashed into a painting by Jackson Pollock’s nan. I have never sought therapy, despite the trauma. Here “the nation’s shrink” does his darndest to get us through the sinister early years of parenthood by analysing our past in order to provide a contented and stable upbringing for our children. That baby bear costume should do wonders for our family relationship. And they’ll be so pleased I got a Goldilocks one for their dad. MEN’S COOKING by Chris Maillard - Haynes rrp £19.99. The latest in a series of manuals from a publisher that was once the dusty and fading mainstay of the independent car spares corner shop, in the days before dashboard computers when a quick shufty at chapter two prescribed a sharp wallop with a hammer to get the starter motor working on a Corsair. Now sensibly diversifying (looking under the bonnet of the Wilderness Explorer is like reading Japanese), this is clearly aimed not so much at ‘new man’ (he’d be happy to pay a mechanic) as ‘airfix man’: can’t mend his own car anymore and he has completed his miniature model twin-prop collection - time to glue dinner together! Mindyou, I am not knocking the approach. It is excellently laid out, the recipes are all from bloke-land - pies, pasties, steak - and it has a very useful components section. GREEN GUIDE FAMILIES by Catherine Zanonella - National Geographic, rrp £12.99. This has the National Geographic stamp on it so it must be sincere, but with tips on cutting down wasteful packaging by “placing your own snacks in reusuable containers” and cutting energy consumption by not letting your child “stand in front of the open refrigerator” while deciding what to eat, this is clearly targeted at a much more complacent (dare I say, sedentary?) market over the Atlantic. However, the reams on toxins and eco-disastrous chemicals that everyday items contain, such as vinyl lunchboxes and non stick pans, make for some horribly compelling reading. Not to mention a complete rethink of my kitchen cupboards. BABYNOMICS by Madeline Thomas - White Ladder Press rrp £9.99. As one who doesn’t need to be reminded of the cost of raising children (sagging bosom, loss of sense of humour..), I’ll take all the help I can get. Refreshingly British after all the diapers and dollars, a guide that advocates shopping locally as well as taking time to price compare on all sorts of products from baby mattresses to family cars, has got to be worth a look. However, as we are all so very time poor I can’t help but wonder if a change in society’s

attitude to what is more important, having what we want right now at the click of a mouse? Or saving up first, being less materialistic and not being so ruddy competitive about education etc, might spare us a few bob (and a few grey hairs). HOMEMADE KIDS by Nicola Baird, Vermilion, rrp £11.99 combines thrift with the ecoimperative. I did however have to stifle the snorts at the section on buggies; organising a mass fixing and servicing session among fellow mums is laudable, as are buggy fitness classes, but you might find that nextdoor have a less than neighbourly opinion of you planting up your unwanted Maclaren into a mobile herb garden as suggested. THE POTTY TRAINING BIBLE by Jo Wiltshire - White Ladder Press rrp £6.99. Such an emotive subject. Yet when it is all done, it is hard to recall what all the fuss was about, especially when most of the anxiety comes from the grown-up. Afterall, most kids are happy to drop a load and walk away while we are so hung up about training our babes to perform at our convenience like something out of Zippos. Still, from an eco standpoint, a fortune is quickly diverted once the nappies are ditched. But what to do with all those polypropolene receptacles now you’ve achieved dry knick-knocks? Decorated china Victorian chamberpots crammed with violas look gorgeous on the front step but Poundland pink plastic with a slightly orange stain? That’ll be going straight to landfill... LULU’S LOO by Camilla Reid, illustrated by Ailie Busby – Bloomsbury rrp £6.99. Oh, they are going to love this one. With Velcro nappy tabs they can do themselves (strangely, a trick to be discouraged when they are actually wearing the things), pull-tab toilet roll and a lift-the-flap lavvy seat. Do you know, I cannot go into the Secret Garden in Crystal Palace without picturing my eldest sat quietly pooing on a potty amidst the climbing roses. She doesn’t do it anymore, of course. Not now she’s done her GCSEs. MOON BEAR by Brenda Z. Guiberson, illustrated by Ed Young - Henry Holt rrp £5.99. I love the Z. that differentiates the author from all those other published Brenda Guibersons.. I sense a subconscious theme here: bears? Anyway, there’s an environmental message too with a cleverly crafted montage picture book about an endangered species. ERNEST by Catherine Rayner - Macmillan rrp £5.99. A charming picture book that recycles scrap paper in order to deliver us a message about size! Blimey, two Ernies on the same page. THE PIRATE-CRUNCHER by Jonny Doddle - Templar rrp £5.99. Skip over the wordisome, though definitely jolly, text - I was always told to keep it brief with picture books, as any yawning bedtime story-reader will concur - and submerge yourself in the hilarious, rich and ultimately satisfying artwork. I felt like belching afterwards... OPERATION ROBOT STORM by Alex Milway - Walker rrp £5.99. What is hairy, full of lentils and staggers around a frozen landscape? No, not me in a teddy bear suit at a festival, silly. It is Saar the vegetarian yeti, one of three Himalayan beasts sent to Snowdonia in little old Wales on a secret mission. With lots of his brilliant distinctive artwork, this latest page-gripper from the multi-talented local monster, Milway, of Mousehunter fame, is fast, furious, funny and very furry. And I’ve a feeling this won’t be the last we hear of the Mythical 9th Division. Reckon it will be the holiday read of the year for our own small beloved abominables. Thoughts of Blackbushe sent me foraging for my old teenage scrapbook and there, alongside the shock discovery that I had included Sylvester Stallone in my “Hall of Hunks”, is the original ticket. 1978, six quid. For no foodstalls, no backrubs, no loos. Just Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and my dad dressed like the artist from Balamory with a Kevin Keegan haircut. Now that’s what I call rock and roll.

The Bookseller Crow, 50 Westow St. Crystal Palace, London SE19 3AF Telephone: 020 8771 8831 email: 8

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your life

Mothers Mean Business the story behind

The Couture Cookie Shop THIS MONTH, Selena Mitchell, a Forest Hill mother of three, explains how a passion for baking led her to setting up a successful local business. FSE: What did you do in your ‘previous life’? Selena: “Before setting up my business I was a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages. I decided to set up The Couture Cookie Shop as I’ve always baked cookies and cakes for my three children for their birthdays and other special occasions, and being a creative person would also make pretty little bags for my girls to place their cookies in and print their names on their party bags. A child’s birthday is a great event to unleash your imagination and creativity - after all it takes place just once a year.

FSE: Why did you choose this particular business? Selena: “I enjoyed doing this for my own children and thought it would be an excellent service that could be available to local parents so I started doing art and crafts fairs all around southeast London. I was amazed at the response and have since set up a website, have been featured in Vogue magazine and had rave reviews all the way from Hertfordshire.”

FSE: How does it work? Selena: “I make cookies and cakes for children’s birthday parties, christenings, weddings and all other occasions. Customers can select standard circular or square shapes or novelty shapes, and choose from 11 delicious flavours. I also make personalised party bags, prefilled with sweets and inclusive of a tag with a message and image of choice. For parents who want a complete service delivered to their door I also make delicious themed finger food buffets - I’ve made all shapes and sizes from Mickey Mouse sandwich bites to butterfly cheese slices. Since my venture I’ve come across many mothers who also bake, so I also hand model sugar figures and name blocks from icing and they can place them on top of their home baked cakes to create inexpensive novelty cakes at home.”

FSE: How does it fit around the family and what are the benefits? Selena: “I work from home and the nature of work can fit around the children. I can be baking away whilst they are running around in the garden. My eldest daughter Naomi also likes to think of herself as my silent partner, giving me hints and tips in the background. She has had some excellent ideas!”

FSE: Do you have any advice for other mothers thinking of setting up on their own? Selena: “I would advise other parents who are thinking of setting up a business to think about all aspects of what they want to do and how it will effect their family life. I naively thought that starting this business would instantly allow me more time to spend with the children but at times I spend so much time baking, checking emails, advertising and attending promotional events there are periods when I spend less time with them. With the recession looming it is advisable to think carefully about the affordability of the products or services you are offering - that’s why I offer an extensive range to suit the needs of all. Every parent wants to make their child’s special day a memorable event, however affordability is crucial. “

WIN a couture birthday cake The Couture Cookie Shop are offering TWO lucky readers the opportunity to have a free birthday cake for their child’s birthday. This will be a ten-inch cake with up to two sugar models and your child’s name and age. To enter the competition, simply answer this question: “How many different flavoured cakes do The Couture Cookie Shop offer?” Send your entry to Couture Cookie Shop competition, Families South East, PO Box 11591, London SE26 6WB by the 6 August closing date.



COMPETITION!!!!!! CHILDREN - COME AND WIN A DANCE TROPHY Sunday 18th July 2010, 3pm Broomwood Hall, Broomwood Road SW11 6BD

Absolute beginners welcome Tickets £4 per person Advanced tickets only £2 RING TREVOR:

0795 185 5129 020 8673 6488

Fourway Pharmacy 12 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, London SE24 9HU • Moltex, Nature, Bambo and Tushies eco-friendly nappies • Buggiboards • Baby passport photos • Green toiletries, homeopathy, aromatherapy • Friendly and free health advice

Special offer! Free pack of eco-friendly nappies when renting a TENS machine for labour!

Roger Humbles MRPharmS

020 7924 9344 e mail:

about the couture cookie shop The Couture Cookie Shop uses fresh organic ingredients in all products; pineapple juice and honey in most treats, and fine Belgian chocolate variations of milk, white and dark. If you have a family birthday, baby shower, christening or other special occasion coming up and would like to discuss an order, call Selena on 07943 329 924 or read more first at

Crawley Studios

Great Fun for Any Age Come along and enjoy the excitement of painting the item of your choice. We provide a large selection of unpainted pottery, from egg cups and mugs to ducks and dinosaurs, as well as paints, brushes, stencils and stamps.

Children’s parties with a difference For further details please ring:

Tel/Fax: 020 8516 0002 Open daily weekdays, weekends and evenings by appointment only 39 Wood Vale, Forest Hill, London SE23 3DS

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PHONE 0182 0 02 8 778 place ur yo to book

By the endd off thhe course your chil hilildd wiill have wriitt itten att lleast eastt one sto story t ry £10 per and developed their powers of description, characterisation, dialogue and other hour aspects of the writer’s craft. – £100 for one We encourage them how to develop their ideas and weave them into ssttories that sparkle. Our workshops not only improve your child’s literacy, but alsoo week’s course deve de velolopp thheieirr co confi nfififide d nc de ncee in wwrirititing ngg. AAnd nd m mos ostt off aallll… …th they eyy wwililll ha have ve hhad ad fun un!! Workshops run by writers with teaching experience

Seven children who have completed this course went on to win national writing competitions

Summer Workshops and Holiday Clubs YES TOUCH TYPING Weekends and school holidays, YES TUITION and Training, The Station Building, 187 Greenwich High Road SE10 8HA, 020 8858 9180 The touch typing courses run by YES are a real hit with southeast London parents, because the children find them fun, and they work - most children are tapping away proficiently in just ten hours. Sessions can be booked to fit around other holiday commitments so children can progress at their own pace.

TREASURE FILMS WORKSHOPS Saturdays in July, showcase 12 August, SYDENHAM LIBRARY, Sydenham Road SE26, 07964 997640, Grab your chance to make your own film this summer and see it screened at Home Park’s Big Outdoor Screening! If you are aged 13-18 and are interested in filmmaking, Treasure Films will be providing film training, every Saturday throughout July and 12th August. Participants will learn how to operate the camera, sound, make decisions on what shot types to use, direct, choose location, cast and crew and editing. Industry experts are booked to offer inside advice on production and marketing. 10am-4pm each Saturday, 15 FREE places available on a first-serve basis, book first.


Music classes for babies and young children! ®

d no blues ! all r hythm an

Action songs and rhymes Music and movement Fun with percussion Musical games

For classes in: Blackheath & Greenwich, Dulwich & Herne Hill, Tel: 020 8764 5185 Forest Hill, Sydenham and Crystal Palace Tel: 020 8699 0977 Beckenham, Bromley, Chislehurst & West Wickham Tel: 020 8777 6700

Since 1993 thousands of children across the UK have grown up with Monkey Music. Our unique teaching curriculum was written by classically trained musicians, and introduces music to very young children in a way they can easily understand and enjoy.

It’s fun, formative and a great way of making friends!

Rock ‘n’ roll - from 3 months Heigh ho – from 12 months Jiggety jig – 2 & 3 year olds Ding dong – 3 & 4 year olds

12 July - 20 August, Colfe’s School in BLACKHEATH, 19 July - 20 August, Baston School, Bromley, 01263 823000, Daylong multi activities for 4-16 year-olds offer sports, creative and adventure activities and games in a safe, professionally run environment. Day passes from £42, 3 days from £115, weekly passes from £135.

PLAY WITH CLAY 20-23 July, STREATHAM & CLAPHAM HIGH SCHOOL, SW16, 07930 413 649, Children will learn to use different techniques to work on a variety of projects throughout the week to create a number of pieces to take home at the end of the workshop. Ages 6-14, whole days (£38) or half days (£19) between 9.30am and 3.30pm. Book first.

STUDIO FILM SCHOOL 26-30 July in CANARY WHARF, 2-6 August in ELEPHANT & CASTLE, 23-27 August in BALHAM, 020 7538 8521, Star in your own movie, shout ‘Action!’ and ‘Cut!’, film your friends and dazzle your family at your very own film premiere. Studio Film School offers action packed weekly workshops with acting, directing, camera operation, scriptwriting and special effects as children make a film in a week. The project culminates with a screening event and awards ceremony for family and friends. 10am-4pm daily, £195 a place, sibling discounts available.

FELIX’S SCHOOL OF ROCK 26-29 and 27-30 July: 2-5 August, Catford High School SE6, 07888 717605, Inspired by Jack Black’s ‘School of Rock’ film, FSOR was founded by teacher and musician Felix Glenn in 2004 and is now a not-for profit organisation running a rock school for 9-16 year-olds during most school holidays. Students are put into bands with a pro rock tutor, and in four sessions put together a 10-15 minute set of music to perform at a gig with all the other bands. Students can bring their own guitars but virtually all other equipment is provided. The whole experience is fun, exciting, uplifting and inspiring - shy students have been known to come out of their shells, the quiet ones suddenly discover they can sing.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND WITH PERFORM 26-30 July and 16-20 August, St STEPHEN’S MILLENIUM HALL, Dulwich, 0845 400 4000, The summer, children are invited to tumble down the rabbit hole to explore the weird and winsome world of Wonderland. Perform’s energetic young team of experienced actors, musicians and dancers take children on a dazzling trip filled with original live music, funky dance and quick-witted improvisations, with to a magical mini performance on the last day for family and friends. Ages 4-8, 2.30-4.30pm each day, £140 for the course, sibling discount available.

SUMMER ACTIVITIES IN FRENCH 26-30 July and 2-6 August, DULWICH, 020 8699 7665 Le Club Français in Dulwich offers five day workshops filled with activities such as indoor and outdoor games, cooking, arts and crafts, singing and drama - all in French! Ages 4-11, sessions 10.30am-1.30pm. Le Club Français is run by native French Teachers and also offers term time classes. Book by phone or email

INKHEAD CREATIVE WRITING 26-30 July and 23-27 August Inkhead’s holiday courses and Saturday classes show children how to produce a short story, develop characters, and use dialogue and description to plot a story. Ages 8-14, two hours a day for a week. For bookings and more information, call Louise on 020 8778 0182,

LCN PERFORMING ARTS SUMMER SCHOOL 26-30 July, St DUNSTAN’S COLLEGE, Catford SE6, 07790 037 288, A week of dance, drama and musical theatre for children aged 2-15 with fully qualified teachers.

THEATRE SKILLS WEEK 26-30 July, DULWICH COLLEGE, London SE21 7LD, 07514 543345 A week-long celebration of theatre skill workshops - from commedia to musical theatre, audition technique to mask work, Shakespeare to street dance - staged at the renowned Edward Alleyn Theatre, Dulwich College, London. The week is led by Margo Gunn, Education Practitioner at Shakespeareís Globe Theatre in London, with professional specialist facilitators from Trestle Theatre and Elite Street Dance. Ages 6-16.

MONTAGE THEATRE HOLIDAY PROGRAMME 26 July - 13 August, Lewisham College, BROCKLEY, 020 8692 7007, Three weeks of holiday fun for 5-14 year-olds who love acting, singing and dancing, with West End and industry professionals. Each week runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm and leads to a performance for family and friends on the last day. 26-30 July, THE WIZ. Learn and perform specially arranged songs and dances from the funky film musical starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. 2-6 August, ELECTRIC STORIES. A special masterclass week in which participants will create a new piece of work and perform live against a backdrop of their own digital projections. 9-13 August, ACTIVATE! Song and dance from comedy to ballads, street to funk, ballet to tap, with drama games and exercises.


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CROYDON venues, 01235 832222, Sports coaching weeks for 4-16 year-olds who are looking to develop and improve their skills. 26-30 July and 9-13 August, MAD ABOUT SWIMMING, Whitgift School, Croydon, morning sessions, £49 per week. 26-30 July and 23-27 August, MAD ABOUT FOOTBALL, 2-6 and 16-20 August, MAD ABOUT TENNIS. 9-13 August MAD ABOUT NETBALL, all at Royal Russell School, Coombe Lane, Croydon, from £129 per week.

2-20 August, BROCKWELL PARK, Herne Hill, 0845 222 1313, A fun summer camp for 3-7 year-olds with lots of sports to try including football, cricket, tennis, basketball, hockey, lacross and more. £60 a week or £15 a day, sibling discounts available.

MUNCHKINS COOKERY WORKSHOPS 2-27 August, St MICHAEL’S CHURCH, 1 Pond Road, Blackheath SE3, 020 8269 1331, Themed courses for 4-11 year which offer great opportunities to cook, taste, experiment and create lots of lovely food. Sessions run from 9.30am-1.30 or 3.30pm, £35 for a half day, £50 for a whole day. 2-6 August, Munchkins Baking School; 9-13 August, Healthy Food & Healthy Bones; 1620 August, Food from Around the World; 23-17 August, Autumn Feasts.

LITTLE NEEDLES SEWING AND KNITTING WORKSHOPS 27+28 July, 3+4 August, HHUC Hall, Herne Hill, 07984 772040, Get going with sewing teaches the basics of hand sewing skills to 8-11 year-olds, making fun, colourful bags, cushions and more. 9.30am-12.30pm, 27+28 July, £65 for both days. Beginners’ sewing machine workshops are for 12-16 year-olds, making cool cushions, bags and more. 1.30-4.30pm, 27+28 or 3+4 August, £65 for two days. Beginners’ knitting for 12-16 year-olds runs from 9.30am12.30pm on 3+4 August, £65 for both days.

STORY SOCK SUMMER ACTIVITIES 27 July, 3 and 17 August at Mycenae House in BLACKHEATH, 29 July, 5, 19 and 26 August, GREENWICH West Community and Arts Centre, 07957 136270, Imaginative fun with characters, props and books, for 2-6 year-olds. Classes start at 10am and 10.45am, £6 per child, book first with Katy.

TENNIS IN SYDENHAM 27-30 July; 3-6, 10-13, 17-20 and 24-27 August, SYDENHAM LAWN TENNIS CLUB, Lawrie Park Road SE26 6ET Four day group tennis coaching with professional coaches. Each session includes two hours of tennis coaching plus either rounders, racquetball or table tennis, with a mini tournament at the end of each week. Facilities are available for wet-weather activities if necessary. Beginners and improvers welcome. 9am-12noon for 8-11 year-olds, 1-4pm for 12-15 year-olds, £45 for all four days, one day £13. Book with Chris on 0773 993 6999.

THEATRE BUGS HOLIDAY WORKSHOP 26-30 July in CLAPHAM, 9-13 August in BROMLEY, 16-20 August in EAST DULWICH, 23-27 August in BLACKHEATH, 020 7350 2995, Five fun-filled days of acting, singing, dancing, arts and crafts and dressing up. By the final day they are ready to put on a fantastic show for mums, dads and nannies. Ages 31⁄2-8, £115 per course, sibling discount available.

HAIRSPRAY WITH STAGECOACH 2-6 August, ALLEYN’S SCHOOL, East Dulwich, 0845 055 6368, Head back to the 60s and join Tracy Turnblad’s mission to dance on her favourite TV show - the Corny Collins Show in an all singing, all dancing workshop with a production at the end. Principal Jonny Clines has hired professional musical directors and choreographers to work with the students to produce a fully costumed performance in just five days. Ages 4-7 and 8-16 years, book first.

FUNKY MONKEY KEYBOARD CLASSES 2-6 and 9-13 August in DULWICH and STREATHAM, 0800 107 7947, Fun packed creative electronic keyboard workshops for 5-8 year-old beginners. Learn the basics of the keyboard alongside reading and writing in music in just five days, with a concert on the last day. A relaxed, fun approach ensures maximum enjoyment with games, art, composition and plenty of music making. 10am-12.30pm each day, £109 all inclusive.

TENNIS-4-KIDS 2-6 and 16-20 August, St CLEMENTS CHURCH HALL, East Dulwich SE22, 07877 391005, email Tennis-4-kids will be holding summer holiday sessions, where y children can have lots of fun and learn basic or more advanced tennis skills. All equipment supplied. Indoor sessions will be held in the mornings with the exact times dependant on age. Limited places, book first.

FREEDOM ACADEMY SUMMER SCHOOLS 2-6 August in EAST DULWICH, 9-13 August in UPPER NORWOOD, 020 8244 4873, Sign up for two weeks of themed fun for 3-16 year-olds with professional actors and choreographers. Teddy Bears’ Picnic, ages 3-5, 9.30am-12.30pm, £80 per child; £75 for siblings. Bugsy Malone, ages 6-9, 9am-3.30pm, £125 per child, £110 siblings. Hairspray, ages 10-16, 9am-3.30pm, £125 per child, £110 siblings. Benefit rates are also available on request for all courses.

PAINTING THE LANDSCAPE 4+5 August, Sackler Centre, DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY, Gallery Road SE21, 020 8299 8732, A two-day course for 16-18 year-olds, inspired by the exhibition The Wyeth Family: Three Generations of American Art. Students will study the artists’ diverse styes and approaches to landscape; make sketches and take photographs in the gallery gardens, and create a final painting. 9.30am-4pm with Valerie McBride. Limited places: free, book first by 5 July.

Artistic Director: Judy Gordon BA (Hons), ARAD

act *dance *sing Summer Holiday Programme 2010

For young people aged 5-14 years 26th July - 13th August at Lewisham College in Brockley. Want to dance, sing, act or make films? Join us in 3 exciting weeks of workshops: The Wiz, Digital Performance & ‘Glee’! For full details, go to our website or call us. Montage is a charity funded by Lewisham

Call 020 8692 7007

PERFORM’S POPSTAR SUPERSTAR 9-13 August, St Barnabus Church Hall, DULWICH, 0845 400 4000, A week of dance and music for children who would like to learn to dance like Diversity, funk it up like JLS or strut like a pop diva. Experienced musical professionals are running five day workshops for 8-12 year-olds, leading to a performance for family and friends on the last day. 10am-3pm, £260.

LITTLE GEMS WORKSHOPS 9-13 August, SYDENHAM, Westow Hill SE26, 07947 198 881, A five day acting, singing and dancing workshop with a performance at the end. Daily workshops are also running in various styles of dance. 9am-3.30pm, £110 for five days, sibling discounts available.

LITTLE BUBBLES HOLIDAY CLASSES 10, 13, 24 and 27 August, St Clements & St Peter’s Church, Barry Road EAST DULWICH SE22, 020 8291 7719, 07951 433 702, Little Bubbles run classes of exercise and developmental activities set to music for 1-4 year-olds. During the holidays, there will be Tuesday morning classes from 9.45am for 1-2 year-olds and from 10.35am for 2-4 year-olds. There are also all day summer clubs from 10am on 4 and 20 August at the Honor Oak Pub. Call 020 8291 7719 for details and to book a place.

TROUPERS SUMMER CLUB 16-20 August at ROSEMEAD PREPARATORY SCHOOL, 70 Thurlow Park Road, SE21 8HZ, 020 8672 9440, A fun-filled week of theatre games and exercises designed to ignite the imagination and encourage collaborative creativity. Activities are geared to the children’s age ranges: 8-11 year-olds, and 12-15 years. 10am4pm each day, £175, breakfast club and sibling discounts available.

CARNIVAL COSTUMES 17-20 August, Sackler Centre, DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY, Gallery Road SE21, 020 8299 8732, Try a range of different activities including making magical masks and wings, and experiment with decorative feathers and sequins to make a carnival costume. 10.30am-12.30pm 5-7 years; 2.30-4.30pm 8-11 years, £45 a course.

Dance Act & Sing at Sydenham High School, 19 Westwood Hill, SE26 6BL

Classes for boys & girls of all ages in Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Streetdance, Acrobatics, Singing & Drama Easter, Summer & Half Term Holiday Clubs! or

0794 719 8881

DIGITAL MEDIA SUMMER SCHOOL 23-26 August, 100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23, 020 8291 8690, A chance for 14-19 year-olds to learn digital media skills and showcase their ideas to the Horniman’s online community. 1-4pm each day, free but book first.

SOUTH LONDON YOUTH ORCHESTRA 23-26 August, JASSPA, James Allen’s Girls’ School, East Dulwich Grove SE22, 020 8613 6444, Three new orchestras for beginner to advanced musicians, aged 8-19, selected according to experience. Each orchestra is led by an inspirational conductor who brings a wealth of experience from the fields of music education, performance and conducting, plus daily sectional rehearsals with outstanding specialists. 9.30am to 4.30pm each day with a performance on the last day. £155 includes tuition and lunch.

MAIL ART 24-27 August, Sackler Centre, DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY, Gallery Road SE21, 020 8299 8732, Workshops focussing on the Mail Art movement of the 1950s including the work of Ray Johnson, Joseph Cornell and contemporary artist Harriet Russell. Participants will make a range of weird and wonderful artworks from fanzines, stamps, and envelopes. 10.30am-12.30pm, ages 12-15 years. £45.

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What’sNew Useful Information ginger beats travel sickness

adventurous ideas for children

Travel sickness is no fun, either for the sufferer or for parents. Ginger is one of nature’s natural travel sickness relieving remedies, so if you’re planning long car journeys this summer, a bag of home made ginger cookies to nibble in the back could be just the job - and most children would love to help you make them beforehand. This recipe uses Opies stem ginger in syrup, which is available for under £2 from major supermarkets. Ingredients: 350g self raising flour Pinch of salt 200g golden caster sugar 1 tbsp ground ginger (optional) 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 115g unsalted butter 80g golden syrup 1 large egg beaten 150g Opies stem ginger (finely chopped) 10g Opies stem ginger syrup (from the jar)

A new survey has found that 85% of children crave more adventure in their lives - yet more than half have never even camped out in their back garden, laid down to watch the stars in the night sky, or watched the sunrise. The survey also found that 41% of parents have never talked to their children about dealing with risks or assessing danger, 1 in 4 children don’t know what to do in a fire, 1 in 3 don’t know how to stay safe in a thunderstorm and 1 in 2 wouldn’t know what to do if they became lost in the woods. 40% of all parents think their children would struggle to ask for help from a responsible adult; and 69% think their children lack the skills to perform very basic first aid for cuts and burns. Child psychologist Dr Mandy Bryon from Great Ormond Street Hospital highlights the importance

Method: 1. Preheat the oven to 160˚C /325˚F/ or gas mark 3. 2. Line three baking trays with greaseproof paper. 3. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, sugar, ground gingerand bicarbonate of soda and stir to combine. 4. Melt the butter and syrup in a small saucepan and remove from the heat and leave to cool. 5. Pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients and add two thirds of the stem ginger. 6. Mix thoroughly and using your hands bring the doughtogether. 7. Shape the dough into 20 large balls and place on baking tray evenly spend apart. 8. Gently flatten the balls and add a few pieces of the remaining stem ginger on top of each cookie. 9. Bake for 12-15 minutes then remove and cool before eating.

You and Your Baby amazing mebby baby vests As any parent will know, traditional baby vests are quickly outgrown or become misshapen through multiple washes. Body Up is a comfortable new vest that grows with your child to fit from birth to around three years. This amazing new seam-free vest is made from a breathable two-way stretch fabric, and with silver ions in the fabric, the vests are antibacterial and hypoallergenic too. There are three styles to choose from, and a range of colours, priced £17.99 from

giggle baby book Nestling inside this book is a recording chip where you can add all sorts of sounds - baby giggles, chuckles, your voice saying ‘Peepo!’, your baby’s first word - you choose. Then have fun making silly faces and playing back all the recordings as you turn each page. The Giggle Baby Recording Book is new from Baby Bright Minds, priced £9.99 and suitable from birth upwards. 0844 41 222 50,

MICROSPORT -real sport for under 5 s What will we discover Inside the story sock? What do you think is hiding? Come here and take a look... Story Sock is an original and exciting class where stories are explored and brought to life with characters, props and activities that educate, enrich and entertain.

Dotty Socks - 2-3 years Stripy Socks - 3-4 years Call Katy today to book your FREE introduction class in Blackheath or Greenwich Also running summer holiday sessions… contact for details | 07957 136270


families south east - july / august 2010

of adventure: “Allowing your children to experience risk in a controlled environment helps to develop their ability to face risks in the future and builds confidence. It helps children become resilient and gives them independence to think for themselves.” In response to the findings, Elastoplast has teamed with Dr Bryon and first aid experts St John Ambulance to launch a Kid Escapades campaign which encourages parents teach their children crucial life skills, and provide basic and life-saving first aid. The information is all free online at and includes: • A Kids Life Skills pack with expert advice and practical activities to help teach children essential life skills including independence, ingenuity and safety • A Become an Adventurer pack for fun filled activities to teach 6-10 year-olds about safety, decision-making, basic first aid and other essential life skills • Three short first aid videos which can be downloaded to a PC or mobile phone, with first hand advice on dealing with cuts and burns; choking and head injuries; resuscitation and the recovery position.

A fun & educational introduction to ball sports: soccer, tennis, hockey, cricket and much more. We have a long proven record of success (since 1991!) & our small sports come back again & again. Trained adult coaches & lots of classes. AGES 2,3 & 4 BOOKING NOW FOR SEPTEMBER 10 Beckenham, Bromley & many other areas:

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New Products and Services the kids and me - on holiday A new adventure holiday company has been formed to cater for single parent families who want to spend their precious time together bonding through active leisure pursuits. The Kids and Me offers a range of adventure holidays in the UK and abroad, that combine fun adventure activities with high quality food and comfortable lodge accommodation for single parents and their children, aged 10 years+. The company was set up by Richard Gould; a divorced father of three from Kent, who found that: â&#x20AC;&#x153;while existing single parent holidays were about going to a comfortable hotel in the sunshine and spending time apart, I wanted to make the most of the time together with my children, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve found that a great way of doing this is through holidays with plenty of adventure activities. You do things together and at the end of the day you are tired, smiling and have reconnected with each other. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve stayed in Berber tents in the Atlas, log cabins in Sweden, been coasteering, canoeing and camping. That was where I got the idea for the company. I thought it must be possible to put together great ski chalet-style food in a mountain lodge, throw in a mix of fun activities that allow parents to do stuff together with their kids and build shared memories of special times.â&#x20AC;? Locations have been chosen to offer a mix of value and adventure, such as coasteering around Pembrokeshire, mountain biking on wild trails on Arran, forest woodcraft skills in norther Sweden, white water rafting in the Pyrenees. For more information, see

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once upon a time... Most children love being read to, and at Smories, they can discover new stories. A new website has been set up where children narrate new stories by professional and amateur writers. Smories awards ÂŁ1,000 in prize money for the best five stories submitted each month. Fifty are shortlisted each month, narrated by children, and the five films attracting the most traffic on the site win the prizes. To watch the videos, listen to the stories or submit your own, visit

little fitflops Fitflops were the big summer fashion story for yummy mummies last year - and now theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re available for children too. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve missed the buzz, Fitflops have a specially designed, flexible midsole to help promote good posture and encourage feet to flex and stretch naturally. Walking in Fitflops helps develop lower body musculature, promoting fitness that can help children with sports at school and with leisure activities. The range covers four different styles for boys and girls, sizes 13 to 5, priced ÂŁ30 from stockists including, 0800 731 4885.

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Fertility Road is a new bi-monthly magazine which addresses the key issues surrounding female and male fertility, presented in a style and 5AT GRE GUIDES tone that is a world away from the stuffy, science-based material that Nancy Sorrell is my dominates much of d o o h er th o â&#x20AC;&#x153;M this subject area. raison dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ĂŞtreâ&#x20AC;? Launched at the end of May, issue one features exclusive interview material from fertility expert Zita West, while cover star Nancy Sorrell - model, actress and wife of comedian Vic Reeves - talks in detail about her physical and emotional battles with IVF. Other articles cover the real effects of alcohol, drugs and other vices, the positives and pitfalls of various treatments, and the latest scientific news and developments. The magazine is free from selected fertility clinics and ante-natal groups, onsale for ÂŁ3.95, and on subscription. For more information, see





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july / august 2010 - families south east


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education news

IT’S A WELL KNOWN fact among school teachers that during the summer break, children forget an awful lot of what they learnt up to the end of the summer term - often losing great chunks of knowledge altogether. Here are some ways to help children stay up to speed, ready for the new school year.

Maths on a Magic Mat

Maths for Mums and Dads

For years German parents have bought Ravensburger’s Magic Mats for their children from German book and toy shops. These are not just any mats; they are placemats with a difference. Children write on answers to sums with a dry wipe pen and then rub the ‘magic’ answer boxes with their finger to see if they were correct. The answers are revealed and then disappear again within four minutes, making the mats reusable as well as double-sided, and simply an incredibly good idea. These would be a good way to keep fidgety children occupied while waiting for you to cook their tea... Magic Mats are available from good toy, book and gifts stores for around £4.50, and online at

This new book promises to “take the pain out of maths homework” - how very, very useful! We asked author Rob Eastaway to tell us more about how the book came about, and what’s in it: “I am heavily involved in the maths world (I’ve written several books including the bestselling Why Do Buses Come in Threes?) but it’s only since I had children that I’ve discovered that even we maths experts can be flummoxed by the new ways maths is being taught in primary school. I started meeting lots of parents who were frustrated and often anxious about the fact that they were unable to help their children with homework. Some parents are rusty, some are terrified by the subject, and many use techniques for arithmetic that are completely unfamiliar to their children. I was asked by the publisher Random House to write a book addressing this problem and jumped at the chance, but brought in a colleague, Professor Mike Askew to co-write it, since he’s an expert in primary education. Our aim with the book isn’t only to help parents understand their children’s maths, but also to bring more enjoyment into maths at home. So as well as covering all the curriculum stuff, the jargon and the new methods, we have included lots of games, puzzles and other activities that parents and children can enjoy together. My favourite part of the book, and what makes it different from all other books aimed at parents, is that we have lots of information about why children make the mistakes they do. We call these sections “Inside kids’ heads”. At the start of each chapter we have genuine examples of creative, and very funny, answers that children have given to regular maths questions.

Reading Really Matters More than half of all primary school children are now starting school with no experience of being read stories at home, and the stories pupils do know often come from watching Disney cartoons. “Too many children are left to watch TV instead of being read a bedtime story,” says Pie Corbett, an educational advisor to the government. “This isn’t just an economic thing, it’s across the whole of society. You get a lot of children coming from very privileged backgrounds who’ve spent a lot of time in front of the TV and not enough time snuggled up with a good book. The television does the imagining for you - and it doesn’t care whether you’re listening or not.” Research shows that children who are read to on a regular basis are the most likely to do well at school - being read to boosts language and develops creativity and imagination. “The best writers in the class are always those who are avid readers,” adds Corbett. “Reading really matters.” So turn off the TV and pull out those fairytales you’ll be giving them a big head start in learning.

Some top tips: 1) Maths is something that should be part of your normal family life, not just something that’s done for homework. Ask your child to help you work out change, check how many minutes till the train is due and so on. It helps to delay answering so your child can ‘come to the rescue’.

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families south east - july / august 2010

2) Turn maths into a game. That means playing board games involving dice and money, and also making maths tasks fun (“I hope you don’t know what 3 x 8 is, because if you do I’m going to have to blow a huge raspberry” - that works on most young children!) 3) Learn some mathematical magic tricks. Children love magic, and will happily do maths if it is part of performing the trick. There are several examples in our book including this, which demonstrates the magic of algebra: Ask your child to think of a secret number and not tell you. (If they aren’t strong at mental arithmetic, get them to share their secret number with an older helper. But make a big thing of it being their secret) • Now ask them to: • Double their number • Then add 10 to the answer • Then divide that answer by 2 • Finally take away from it the number they first thought of. Pretend to be mind-reading and then declare “You have finished on the number 5”. Enjoy the amazement on their face. If it doesn’t work, they’ve made an arithmetical mistake somewhere ñ but with an older helper, that shouldn’t happen! Rob Easterway’s Maths for Mums and Dads is out now, rrp £9.99, Random House, from all good bookshops.

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HAVEN’T STOPPED DANCING YET 10 July, TRAFALGAR TAVERN, Park Row, Greenwich SE10, A classic 70s, 80s soul and funk disco night for people who remember the tunes the first time round and still want to party to the likes of Chic, Sister Sledge, Earth, Wind and Fire, James Brown, Barry White, Funkadelic, Gwen McGrae and McFadden & Whitehead plus the occasional rare groove classic. Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet nights are held in fabulous venues with Djs, disco dance line-ups, and a singer belting out classic floor-fillers. 8pm 1am, tickets £20 to be booked in advance on 0796 716 3247.

HELEN LEDERER: BE IN THE NOW 9, 17 and 23 July, JERMYN STREET THEATRE, 16B Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6ST, 020 7287 2875, Helen Lederer is instantly recognisable as one of Britain’s best known comedy character actresses and known for her unique wide-eyed brand of wit and observational humour. In the new show she returns to share her findings of the highs, the lows, and extremities of life in the fast lane, as well as offering counselling to audience members seeking her bespoke path to ‘lifestyle balance’. Workshopping, flip charts and the sharing of painful lessons are just some of the tools Helen plans to bring to the table. She’s mature; she’s been round the block, and she has decided its time to come back again and make the block ‘work for her’. Joining her will be seasoned acts such as John Hegley, Randolph the Remarkable, Rachel Pantechnicon and Simon Munnery.

HOMEOPATHY IN THE HOME 17 July, FAMILY NATURAL HEALTH CENTRE, 106 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich SE22, 01305 824 996

A one day course covering homeopathic remedies for simple conditions such as fevers, coughs and colds, sore throats, earaches and injuries. The focus will be practical and includes resource material handouts. The day is run by Linda Shannon, who has been in full time homeopathic practice for 28 years and teaches at the Contemporary College of Homeopathy and University of Westminster degree course in homeopathy. She also works at the Family Natural Health Centre in East Dulwich. 10.30am-5pm, £50. register here to get paid for your opinion


CHILDREN’S TABLE SALE 17 July, LOCHABER HALL, Manor Lane Terrace SE13 5QL A parent-run sale of outgrown children’s toys, clothes, books, furniture, maternity wear etc at very low prices. 3-5pm, admission free for children, adults 50p. Tables can be booked for £10 through Cecile on 0783 7437 207.

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17+18, 25+25 July, ALHAMBRA HOUSE AND HOME, 148 Kirkdale, Sydenham, London SE26, 020 3417 6385, An exhibition of Una Joy’s paintings and monoprints inspired by pods, seeds and gardens, forming part of the Sydenham Artists’ Open Studios. Open 10am-5pm Saturdays, and 11am-5pm Sundays with a paella lunch at 3pm.

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10 August, LEICESTER SQUARE THEATRE, 6 Leicester Place, London WC2, Comedians Jessica Hynes, Ardal O’Hanlon and rising star Kerry Godliman are taking to the stage to talk pregnancy, birth and babies at an exclusive stand up gig in London. The comedians will treat an audience of expectant mums to gags galore with a unique take on the trials and tribulations of being an expectant or new parent. Ticket proceeds will go to baby charity Tommy’s and are available online now.

137 Kirkdale Sydenham SE26 4QJ 020 8699 1998

VISUALISATION CLASSES Fridays, NATURAL HEALTH CENTRE, above Soupdragon, 106 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich SE22,, 07753 699232, Visualisation allows participants to practise seeing, feeling and attracting what they want for themselves, emotionally and physically and in the material world. Kathy Yvanovich’s classes involve lots of techniques including NLP, setting up feel-good triggers, drama hotseating, meditation, drawing and colouring, cut and paste mood boards, walking time line, life coaching exercises, goal setting, EFT, etc - focussing on a couple of techniques each week. Classes 7-8pm every Friday, £10 with multibuy discounts (attend 10, get 10th free; bring a friend, get 1 free).

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The Great Outdoors BLYTHE HILL FIELDS FESTIVAL 3 July, BLYTHE HILL FIELDS, Brockley SE4, A free day out on one of southeast London’s high spots. Performers will include Dads Aloud, Sucker, the Artie Fufkins and Brockley Ukelele Group. Plus children’s entertainment, local organisations on stalls, crafts and plenty of refreshments. 11am-4pm.

LEWISHAM PEOPLE’S DAY 10 July, MOUNTSFIELD PARK, Catford SE6, 020 8314 7321, A free festival with a craft market, music on six stages, children’s entertainment, films, workshops and more. Ska legends The Beat are lined up as the headline band, supported by more local and international performers. Noon to 7pm, admission free.

ELM WOOD SUMMER CARNIVAL 10 July, ELM WOOD PRIMARY SCHOOL, Carnac Street (off Clive Road), West Norwood SE27 The Parents and Friends of Elm Wood Primary school have organised a fun afternoon filled with music and dance to raise funds for extracurricular activities for the school. A huge range of activities for all ages include face painting, bouncy castle, a raffle with great prizes and a fairground style games zone, and local craft stalls. Refreshments are carnival themed too, along with ice creams, home made cake and even a licensed bar serving rum punch. Sit back and enjoy a range of performances from street dance to Capoeira, and Elmwood’s own brass band. Children will love the free art activities to make their own instruments, masks and streamers to join in the carnival procession with a steel band to get everyone into the mood. 12.30-4pm, all welcome. Admission £1 adults, children free.

BROCKWELL PARK FUN DOG SHOW 11 July, in front of Brockwell Hall Cafe, BROCKWELL PARK, Dulwich Road SE24, 020 8761 0496, Enter your own pooch or go along to see other contenders hoping to win rosettes, certificates and

prizes in a variety of classes based on the dogs’ attractiveness, talent, or dog and owner fancy dress (footballer and WAG). The Grand Parade is at 2pm, with free microchipping, dog trainers, stalls and expert advice available throughout. Contest entry £1 per category, pre-register from noon to 1.45pm on the day with a form available from the park website. Dog show 2-4pm, profits will go to Blue Cross Animal Charity and Brockwell Park Events.

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BASTILLE DAY LONDON GARDEN PARTY 11 July, BATTERSEA PARK Celebrate the French national day in London with cabaret and dance, music, a petanque tournament, French cooking demonstrations, a French gourmet market, sports and more. Open 10am-6pm, free.

SUMMER AT WILDWOOD WILDWOOD TRUST, Herne Common, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 7LQ, 01227 712111, Kent’s unique ‘Woodland Discovery Park’ is restoring Britain’s land to its natural state. This involves releasing large wild herbivores and developing conservation grazing systems to restore natural ecological processes, providing a place where visitors can come nose to nose with secretive badgers, see a real live pack of wolves, watch a charging wild boar or track down a beaver in his lodge. Special events for the summer holidays include 10+11 July, FOSSIL WEEKEND. Fossil experts from Kent RIGS will run a roadshow and fossil walk on the beach to examine ancient remains. Free admission, beach walks need booking. 4, 11 and 18 August, JUNIOR ZOO KEEPERS. Be a zoo keeper and learn about the park’s wild animals and their habitats. Half day £50, full day £100, book first.

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HENRY VIII’S SUMMER PAGEANT 17+18 July, HEVER CASTLE, Hever, near Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7NG, 01732 865224, A cast of costumed characters including King Henry and Anne Boleyn will set the scene for a weekend of royal revelry and Tudor festivities. Take your seats to watch knights battling each other in a series exhilarating full gallop jousts; test your skills with bow and arrow, and bring your children in fancy dress to parade in front of the king and queen for the chance to

july /august 2010 - families south east


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win the best dressed knight and princess competition. Medieval minstrels provide amusement with stories played out through music and song and a troupe of traditional dancers complete the entertainment. Gardens open 10.30am, castle opens 12noon. Admission £7children, £13 adults, £33 families.

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18 July, WEALD & DOWNLAND OPEN AIR MUSEUM, Singleton, Near Chichester, W Sussex, 01243 811363, Four legs, furry legs, fluffy legs, feathered legs - head to the Weald open air museum to see orange-bristled Tamworth pigs, Southdown sheep, pigmy goats and chickens galore. The day celebrates traditional agriculture with demonstrations of crafts such as spinning, weaving, dying and knitting with trade stands to browse. Visitors can also explore 45 historic buildings on the Museum’s 50-acre site, including the recreated medieval farmstead and authentic Tudor kitchen. Open 10.30am-6pm daily, admission £8.15 children, £9 adults.

HORNIMAN GARDEN EVENTS HORNIMAN MUSEUM garden, 100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23, 020 8699 1872, 24 July, NATURE TRAIL. The Horniman Garden nature trail is the oldest in London. On the site of the original Crystal Palace and South London Junction Railway, it is now a wild woodland area with pond and meadow habitats teeming with wildlife. Learn about the trail and its inhabitants, and try your hand at pond dipping. 11.30am-12.30pm and 2-3pm, admission free. 26 July and 16 August, DARWIN’S PHYSICIAN. Charles Darwin’s time-travelling physician has stepped out of his time machine to take visitors on an entertaining journey around the museum’s medicinal garden. 11.30am, 1.15pm and 3pm start, free. 28 July, 4, 18 and 25 August, NATURE TRAIL DISCOVERY. Join Jim Murphy from the Trust for Urban Ecology and discover a summer environment alive with insects, birds, animals, trees, plants and amphibians. Ages 3+, 2-3.30pm, free. 4 August, NATIONAL PLAYDAY. Play with toys and games from around the world, make time to play games in the Horniman’s beautiful gardens, get crafty and hear magical storytelling. 11am-4pm, admission free. 11 August, FALCONRY FLIGHT DISPLAY. Join Ray Aliker on the meadow for a spectacular live falconry display that showcases some of the most amazing birds of prey. 2-2.45 and 3.15-4pm, admission free. Fridays in August, PARK LIFE CAPERS. A series of plays, puppets, storytelling and live music performances for little audiences. Morning and afternoon performances in the Bandstand.

SUMMER AT KEW Until 5 September, ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, Kew, Surrey TW9 3AB, 020 8332 5655, Kew is celebrating the UN’s International Year of Biodiversity by inviting visitors to delve into the hidden world of plant pollination and discover how plants work together with animals and insects to sustain life. The Princess of Wales Conservatory is a haven for butterflies, bugs & beasties in three separate zones, all hosting clouds of fluttering butterflies and moths. Look out for the giant outsize sculptures that seem to hover, swoop and dive into the plants they pollinate. Young explorers can discover the new children’s landscape, shaped like a plant, and nestled in the grounds of Queen Charlotte’s Cottage. Journeying through this interactive landscape aimed at encouraging natural play, children can learn about the importance of every part of a plant. Enter via the roots, walk through the stem, hide between the fungi, get lost in the leaf maze, spin seeds, and watch birds make homes in the bird houses. At every turn, there is something new to learn - hunting for clues, solving puzzles, and enjoying science in a fun and interactive environment. Open 9.30am to 6.30pm weekdays, until 7.30pm weekends. Admission free for accompanied under 17s, adults £13.50.

ACTION PACKED SUMMER AT BODIAM CASTLE 24 July - 31 August, BODIAM CASTLE, Hurst Green, near Robertsbridge, East Sussex TN32 5UA, 01580 830 196, A daily events programme is planned to keep even the most rambunctious children entertained during the summer holidays. Visitors will be able to join a number of workshops including archery, longbow


families south east - july / august 2010

and crossbow skills, and fire a paintball cannon. A replica trebuchet (catapult) will be fired each day, there is medieval armour to try on, and a great treasure trail challenge in August. 14+15 August is a medieval weekend, with mounted jousting displays by a professional re-enactment group, a castle siege with heavily armoured soldiers, long bow and cross bow demonstrations, and birds of prey. Open 10.30am-5pm daily, admission £3.20 children, £6.40 adults, £17 families.

ART IN THE GARDEN Wednesdays 28 July - 25 August, DULWICH PICTURE GALLERY, Gallery Road SE21, 020 8299 8732, Five weeks of fabulous creative workshops for families. Drop into the gallery gardens and watch the artwork growing (weather permitting). 2-3.30pm, £2 per child.

FAMILY DISCO DAYZ: SUMMER FESTIVAL 31 July, BOWLING GREEN, Tudor Livesey Memorial Hall, Perry Hill, Sydenham SE6 4HD, and An interactive festival dance party the whole family can enjoy, with creative dance and games, choreography, percussion, children’s art activities and workshops, a bouncy castle, local artistes stalls, a chill out zone, barbecue and other healthy food, plus a licensed bar and more surprises on the day. 2-6pm. The event is part of the Sydenham Arts Festival; tickets £5 on the day or £3.50 in advance from Kirkdale Bookshop, 020 8778 4701.

CHIDDINGSTONE CASTLE EVENTS CHIDDINGSTONE CASTLE, Hill Hoath Road, near Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7AD, 01892 870347, Discover life in ancient Egypt and Japan by exploring the fascinating collections on display in the castle rooms. As well as Japanese armour and Egyptian artefacts, there are Buddhist, Stuart and Jacobean collections on display. In the castle’s 35-acre grounds, children can burn off some energy and explore the award winning orangery, lake and surrounding woodland. The grounds are a picturesque setting in summer and visitors are welcome to enjoy a picnic on the lawns. Open 11am-5pm, admission £4 children, £7 adults, £19-50 families. 26 July, THE SECRETS OF THE STUARTS. Discover the secrets of the Stuarts in a castle. The day is inspired by the castle’s fascinating collection of Stuart and Jacobean antiques and artefacts and families are invited to uncover the fall of the Stuart Royal family and the secret Jacobite plots. There will also be the opportunity to meet the ‘real’ Stuarts from Arriere-ban Historical Experiences, try and break codes hidden in the castle’s collections, and write your own secret letter. 2 August, GO WILD. A guided nature trail to discover mini beasts, mammals and owls, plus stories and crafty animal activities for children of all ages to make and take home. 11am-5pm.

HOME PARK FAMILY FUN DAY 12 August, HOME PARK, Sydenham Road, Sydenham SE26, 07964 997640, and A fun-filled afternoon of arts, organised sports and fun activities for families and young children, all with the grounds of the small but perfectly formed Home Park. Refreshments will be available. In the evening, and for one balmy night only, Home Park will play host to a fabulous open air cinema screening. A short film made by local young people will be followed by a super blockbuster movie chosen by young people.

HISTORIC STEAM FESTIVAL 14+15 August, WEALD & DOWNLAND OPEN AIR MUSEUM, Singleton, near Chichester, W Sussex, 01243 811363, A delightful festival of all things steamy in the heart of the new South Downs National Park. Steam engines will be demonstrating the kind of work around the site for which they were originally designed, in an event packed with exhibits, demonstrations and displays representing how

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steam power was used for industry, agriculture, road, rail and shipping. Exhibits will range from huge working traction engines, showmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s engines, and steam rollers, to scale models which will rove around the site during the event. There will be steam lorries, cars, model boats on the lake, and a couple of ride-on narrow gauge railways which are always popular with visitors. As well as displays in the central arena, the whole site will be used to demonstrate aspects of steam power at work, including steam powered agricultural machinery, and a demonstration of steam powered wood lifting, transportation and sawing in the museumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s historic working Woodyard. Museum open daily 10.30am-6pm, admission free for under 5s, ÂŁ4.80 children, ÂŁ9 adults, ÂŁ24.75 families.

2010 PRAMATHON 4 September, DULWICH PARK SE21 A popular fundraising event bringing together local parents in a big sponsored pram and buggy push around Dulwich Park to raise funds for Tommyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, the baby charity. Following the success of two previous Pramathons in 2006 and 2008, organiser Vicki Badham is keen to make this the most successful yet. The goal is to raise at least ÂŁ10,000 to help fund Tommyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s vital research into the causes and prevention of miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth. There will be goodie bags for all participants plus face painting and a bouncy castle to keep older children entertained whilst the Pramathon is underway. Participants can choose to either walk or run 5km or 10km round the park, all starting at 10am. Registration ÂŁ10 includes a welcome pack with a

training plan. For more information, go to

DRUSILLAS DRUSILLAS PARK, Alfriston, East Sussex BN26 5QS 01323 874100, There are 106 different animal species to discover in Drusillas zoo, from lemur to hornbills to monkeys and chimpanzees, big cats and horses..., along with play spaces and special attractions. Favourite characters drop in throughout the summer to entertain children, including The Fat Controller, Ben 10, Dora the Explorer and Peppa Pig. Park open 10am-5pm, admission free for under 2s, family tickets from ÂŁ25.60.

KENT LIFE FARM ATTRACTION KENT LIFE, Lock Lane, Sandling, Maidstone ME14 3AU, 01622 7633936, Head out of London to a 28 acre, animal-filled farmyard with its own aviary, historic buildings, nature trail, donkey and tractor rides, plus an adventure playground and playbarn for children. Open 10am-6pm weekends and holidays, to 5pm weekdays. Admission ÂŁ6.50 children, ÂŁ8.50 adults. During the summer holidays there are free timed daily activities including a cuddle corner, ferret and piglet racing, junior quad bikes, painting activities and face painting.

Theatre, Music & Shows CHILDRENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S SHOWS AT THE FAIRFIELD FAIRFIELD, Croydon CR9 1DG, 020 8688 9291, 10 July, NODDY IN TOYLAND. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Noddy and Tessie Bearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sing-along, dance-along party and everyone is invited to join the fun of this costumed stage show. 1pm and 3.30pm, tickets ÂŁ10 children, ÂŁ12 adults, ÂŁ40 families. 12-17 July, JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. Bill Kenwrightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s production of the sparkling musical, starring Craig Chalmers. Tickets ÂŁ21-27. 27+28 July, GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU. Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare leap off the page and onto the stage on a magical journey through the seasons. Songs, games, laughter and love for everyone. Morning and lunchtime performances, tickets ÂŁ10. 30+31 July, BOOGIE PETE. Catch the much-loved Pete Hiller in his hit stage show featuring singing, dancing, magic and silliness for children of all ages. Ages 2+, tickets ÂŁ9, family tickets ÂŁ30.

WATCH THIS SPACE FESTIVAL NATIONAL THEATRE, Upper Ground, London SE1 9PX, 020 7452 3000, A week for all the family to marvel at creatures and people from far away lands with tales from the sea, old fashioned laughs and super silly circus and celebrate those most British of summer holiday activities: camping and gardening! Families are positively encouraged and children of all sizes compulsory - these flights of fantasy arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t affected by volcanoes and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t require a passport. 28-30 July, AGAINST THE TIDE. On an island separated from the world by a vast desert, a surviving tribe has almost forgotten what water is; every day they tell stories of the ocean, hoping they might encourage it to flow back. A story of survival, with a haunting soundtrack and stunning aerial work on four metre high swaying poles by disabled and non-disabled artists. Each show has live Audio Description and is signed using BSL, 28+29 July, THE WHALE. A giant silver Whale basks by the Thames; enter inside to be serenaded by a lovesick submariner and you might leave with a gift from the sea. A three-minute journey for one adventurer at a time (or two if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re shy),

30+31 July, FUNNY BUSINESS. Guaranteed giggles galore with Fraserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ridiculous routines, inexplicable dancing and bundles of charm, 30 July, THRILLS & SPILLS CABARET. Fraser Hooper comperes a special cabaret for children of all ages, featuring thrilling plate spinning, a hula-hooping tribute to Dorothy and Toto, and Arronâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s amazing can-can yo-yo show-show! 31 July, GROW YOUR OWN. Head gardeners, Chris Lewis-Jones and Simon Withers invite you to create your very own minuscule garden allotment. Choose your tiny tools and a miniature fence, grow microscopic trees, then stand back and admire your petite plotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perfection. The best design will win the prestigious Golden Spade Award, 31 July and 1 August, LES POLYAMIDE SISTERS. Roll up, roll up, Les Polyamide Sisters present a unique camping circus of sleeping bag acrobats, nylon animal acts, a backpack ballet and guy-rope couture; which will tie you in knots, 31 July and 1 August, THE FLYING BUTTRESSES. A pair of curious wanderers from the country of Oblivia attempt to explain to the strange peoples of England, the new and baffling world around them. Their observations will leave you wondering about this curious country too, 1 August, IAN MARCHANT, JUGGLER. The plate spinner extraordinaire defies gravity with crockery, and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty nifty with juggling balls, clubs, hats, a unicycle too, 29 July - 27 August, DISCOVER PLAYHOUSE. Small performances throughout the summer, with puppets and storytelling within an inflatable mini auditorium on the terrace lawn overlooking the square. Performances ÂŁ3; children must be accompanied by an adult.


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CHILDRENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S RAINBOW 6-8 and 13-15 August, GREENWICH PARK SE10, 020 8858 7755 Join a workshop performance of four childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favourite tales: Red Riding Hood, The Three Bears, Billy Goats Gruff and the Three Little Pigs. Ages 3-11, 11.30am start, tickets ÂŁ5.

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MoreWhat’sOn For even more What’s On listings, go to

IN THE NIGHT GARDEN: LIVE 14-30 August, O2, Peninsula Square, Greenwich, London SE10, 0844 581 1251, Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka and friends are coming to London to entertain little ones in a dazzling new show. The characters are brought to life with full-size costumes, enchanting music, magical puppets and panoramic projections, creating an immersive theatrical experience to make audiences feel they are actually entering the magical world of ‘In the Night Garden’. Morning and afternoon performances, tickets £5-£20.

SKITTERBANK ISLAND 7 July - 21 August, POLKA THEATRE, 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1SB. 020 8543 4888, Storm! Shipwreck! Adventure! Lost on a bleak and craggy

island in the very north of the world, a brave little girl meets a strange and curious creature. This heart-warming tale of discovery and friendship reveals a fantasy world full of music, song, rhythm and harmony, with an emotional resonance that will engage and delight everyone. Ages 3-8.

KINGS AND ROGUES Until 3 October, SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE EXHIBITION, Bankside, Southwark, 020 7902 1500, A new theatre season opens on Shakespeare’s birthday, premiering Henry VIII, and Henry IV parts 1 and 2. The season launches with Macbeth and includes a revival of the Globe’s acclaimed production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. Regular live demonstrations such as sword-fighting, printing press workshops and costume dressings give families a stimulating introduction to one of the world’s most iconic working theatres. Open 10am-5pm daily,

Events & Exhibitions BIG DANCE IN GREENWICH


3-11 July, various venues, GREENWICH SE10, The Big Dance is a pan-London celebration of dance and dancing with nine days of events at five key hubs throughout the city taking in more unusual venues such as shops, parks, galleries and museums. The Greenwich Dance Agency will be co-ordinating the southeast hub, opening up the world of dance to local communities, encouraging people of all ages to participate, watch experience dance. Their programme will include impromptu and surprise events in and around The O2 on Greenwich Peninsula involving artists, dance students, young people and the general public. See the online programme for full details.

IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, Lambeth Road, London SE1, 020 7416 5000, Museum open daily 10am-6pm. 12-15 and 19-22 August, WARTIME FARM. The Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, outside the museum, will be transformed into a wartime farm for the summer holidays. With the help of animals from Surrey Docks City Farm, children and families will enjoy hands-on learning about the important roles people like them played in feeding the nation during the Second World War. As well as caring for the animals, try milking (fake!) cows and making butter. Former land girls, evacuees and veterans of Second World War will share memories of how women and even children were pulled into the war effort through farming. 11am-4pm, admission free. Until 31 October HORRIBLE HISTORIES: TERRIBLE TRENCHES. Find out about life in the terrible trenches during the WW1 in this unmissable family exhibition. An interactive gallery explores the dire details of life in the blood and mud of the Western Front, from both the British and German sides of the barbed wire. Find out how soldiers coped with foul food, legions of lice, gruesome gas, sickness and sores. Try on the curious clothing of the British and German soldiers, see real items used by soldiers in the trenches, climb through a mining tunnel and explore an officers’ dugout. Peer into no man’s land with a periscope, experience the terrible toilets, smell the stenches and splat the rats. Adults £4.95, children £2.50, family ticket £13. Until January 2011 THE MINISTRY OF FOOD, until January 2011. Seventy years ago the wartime government announced the introduction of food rationing - a control that was to remain in force for the next fourteen years. The British public adapted to a world of food shortages by lending a hand on the land and being frugal and inventive with food. The exhibition features a wartime greenhouse, a 1940s grocer’s shop, and a typical kitchen complete with larder, gas cooker, and an ample stock of economy recipes, demonstrating that growing your own food, eating seasonal fruit and vegetables, reducing imports, recycling and healthy nutrition were just as topical in 1940 as they are today. Adults £4.95, children £2.50, family ticket £13.

BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM FUN BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM, Threadneedle Street, London EC2R, 020 7601 5545, The Bank of England Museum tells the story of the Bank of England from its foundation in 1694 to its role today as the UK’s central bank. Visitors can examine intricately-designed banknotes, feel the weight of a genuine gold bar and see THE pikes and muskets that were once used to defend the Bank. Children’s activity sheets provide fun for younger visitors. Open 10am-5pm Mondays to Fridays, admission free. 26 July - 31 August, LET’S GET CREATIVE. Make a moneybox, mask or £ shaped door hangers, and add designs to museum-themed items. 10.30am-4.30pm, suitable for all ages.

FANS BESIDE THE SEASIDE 6 July to 21 October, THE FAN MUSEUM, 12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich SE10, 020 8305 1441, The exhibition traces the evolution of the concept of a holiday by the sea, with fans of the Grand Tour in Naples and Venice, and advertising fans from the late 19th and early 20th centuries showing how the development of the railways makes the seaside accessible to the masses. A display of mythological fans depicts the world of legend when sea monsters devoured (or are about to devour) naked ladies. Chinese ‘applied faces’ fans are decorated with the reaches of the estuary of the Pearl River at Canton with its famous pagoda landmark, while others show this busy shipping port with its ‘hongs’ along the waterfront. Museum open 11am-5pm Tuesdays to Saturdays, from noon Sundays. Admission free for under 7s, £4 adults.

BLING Until 14 November, V&A MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA, 020 8983 5235, Museum open 10am-5.45 daily, admission free.

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE MUSEUM FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE MUSEUM, 2 Lambeth Palace Road, South Bank, London SE1, 020 7620 0347, Uncover the lady behind the legend at the brand new Florence Nightingale Museum on London’s South Bank. The museum presents a vivid retelling of her story and how modern nursing began. The museum’s unparalleled collection features highlights such as Florence’s pet little owl Athena as well as her lamp and medicine chest from the Crimean War. Engaging interactive exhibits as well as regular contemporary art exhibitions enhance the experience, visitors even use stethoscopes to hear the audio tour. Admission £4.80 child, £5.80 adults, £16 families.


families south east - july /august 2010

exhibition features over 80 key examples of seating made for children, ranging from school chairs to armchairs, saddles to swings and highchairs to potties. Designs by Charles Eames, Vitra and El Ultimo Grito are on display, as well as the Modernist high chair by Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld and Spotty, a 1960s paper chair designed by Peter Murdoch. Until 14 November, BLING. Take a closer look at the diversity of jewellery in east London, and discover how the ornaments we use to decorate our bodies often have great personal and cultural significance. The exhibition explores some of the diverse jewellery stories of people from the East End of London, and includes a collaborative project with the London College of Fashion, the work of local school children, Foundation Diploma students and contemporary jewellers with an East End link. Every piece of jewellery tells a particular story and what we value is highly subjective. Gold and diamonds make expensive statements about material value whereas an inexpensive trinket might have some profound sentimental value associated with a place, a person or a time in our life.

LONDON LANDSCAPES 24 July - 29 August, LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM, 39 Wellington Street, Covent Garden WC2E 7BB, 020 7565 7299, Join in the museum’s ‘Kids Engineering Academy’. Using a variety of materials including construction straws, nuts and bolts, spaghetti, balloons, giant building bricks and water, visitors can discover how scientists and engineers have assisted London’s ever-changing landscape. Budding builders and engineers are invited to help re-construct London’s miniature Capital filling it with the tallest towers, strongest structures and brilliant bridges. Every week there will be a new theme to explore, with activities suitable for children aged 5+, and story telling for under 5s. Museum open 10am-6pm Saturdays to Thursdays, Fridays from 11am, admission free for accompanied under 16s, adults £10.

HMS BELFAST HMS BELFAST, The Thames (between London Bridge and Tower Bridge, Open 10am-6pm, admission free for accompanied under 16s, £12.95 adults. 31 July, 7, 14 and 21 August, SHIPSHAPE SCIENCE SUMMER FUN. As part of the celebrations for its 350th anniversary in 2010, the Royal Society has partnered with leading organisations, celebrating the achievements of science, including HMS Belfast who will be holding drop-in family science workshops during the summer holidays. These will complement and enhance the story of ship building as told in the ‘Launch! Exhibition, allowing visitors to explore for themselves some of the science behind ships, in a fun and hands on way. 1-31 August, SUMMER STOWAWAYS TRIAL. During the ship’s time at sea it visited many exotic and interesting parts of the world, though it appears that several small furry stowaways managed to sneak on board. Search the ship and find all ten, along the way discovering where HMS Belfast was in the world when the boarded ship. Until 31 December, LAUNCH! SHIPBUILDING THROUGH THE AGES. A family-oriented exhibition using hands-on and computerised interactive displays and engaging film and footage. Discover the techniques of shipbuilding, from the ‘age of sail’ to modern prefabrication methods. A tour of this complex and huge warship take visitors from the quarterdeck up to the top of her bridge and all the way down through her nine decks to her massive boiler and engine rooms, well below the ship’s waterline.



CHURCHILL WAR ROOMS, Clive Steps, king Charles Street SW1, The Cabinet War Rooms were created in 1938, as the underground storage areas of the Office of Works Building in Whitehall were converted to house the central core of government and to become a military information centre, serving the Prime Minister and the Chiefs of Staff of the air, naval and land forces. Intended as a temporary site, the rooms became operational on 27 August 1939, a week before the German invasion of Poland and Britain’s declaration of war. This ‘temporary’ but timely measure served as the central shelter for government and military strategists for the next six years. Open 9.30am-6pm, admission free for under 16s, £14.95 adults. 26 July - 31 August, WORKING IN THE WAR ROOMS. Look more closely at objects and documents associated with the war rooms and with the people who worked there. Artefacts from WW2 will be available for handling, including facsimile documents from the war. 16-31 August, SPITFIRE EVENT. A full-size accurate replica Spitfire, decked out in Battle of Britain camouflage, will be on view to the public outside the front entrance to the museum, with the opportunity to create a skyscape on the pavement around it using traditional pavement chalks. Inside the museum a team of re-enactors will stage an interactive display of an RAF operations room complete with replica plotting table, demonstrating the plots and progress of the mass bombing raid on London on 15 September 1940 and the RAF response to the attack.

V&A MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD, Cambridge Heath Road E2 9PA, 020 8983 5200, Open 10am-5.45pm Mondays to Sundays, admission free. Lots to do for children with trails, tours and creative Art Smarts, and a fabulous collection of toys from the past. Until 5 September SEATING FOR KIDS. Taking the classic children’s tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears as its starting point, Sit Down: Seating for Kids invites the visitor to consider just what makes a successful seat. Is it comfort? Is it style? Or ease of use? Spanning four centuries, the

SEA LIFE LONDON AQUARIUM, County Hall, Southbank SE1, In the amazing new Rainforests of the World area, visitors can journey across three continents and get up close and personal with over 3000 of the rainforests’ most famous and feared residents from a pair of 6ft West African dwarf crocodiles to a family of highly toxic poison arrow frogs and over 30 lethal piranhas. And as well as the exciting new Rainforests of the World, the Sea Life London Aquarium is home to

CHILDREN AT THE V&A V&A MUSEUM, Cromwell Road SW7 2RL, 020 7942 2000, During any visit, families can pick up a trail from the Information Desk and explore the museum through puzzles, drawing and observation. Suitable for 7-12 year-olds. There are also hundreds of exciting hands-on exhibits containing plenty to touch and try out. Museum open 10am5.45pm daily, admission free Saturday BACK-PACKS. Pick up a back pack and explore the museum with fantastic jigsaws, stories, puzzles and games. 10.30am-5pm.


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thousands of marine creatures from every part of the world including 46 sharks. Admission £12.50 children, £17.50 adults.

NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, Cromwell Road, South Kensington SW7, 020 7942 5000, 8 April - 26 September, BUTTERFLY EXPLORERS. Pick up your passport and learn everything there is to know about butterflies - from their lifecycles to their behaviour, and discover which you might find fluttering about in your own back garden this summer. Admission £4 children, £6 adults, £17 families. Save enough time to explore the permanent exhibitions too: travel through a giant, suspended globe to galleries filled with dinosaurs, model volcanoes, precious gems and creepy crawlies, which are all among the nation’s finest collection of natural history specimens. Museum open 10am-5.50pm, admission free unless indicated.

MUSEUM OF LONDON EVENTS MUSEUM OF LONDON DOCKLANDS, West India Quay E14, 020 7001 9844, Also the MUSEUM OF LONDON, London Wall EC2Y 5HN, 020 7001 9844, Open daily 10am-6pm, admission free. Regular programmes of weekend and holiday events and workshops help visitors find out more about London’s history, covering events such as the Great Plague, Londoners’ jobs and occupations, and Roman life.

FAMILY EVENTS AT THE HORNIMAN HORNIMAN MUSEUM and gardens, 100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23, 020 8699 1872, Museum open 10.30am-5.30pm daily, admission free. Regular weekend and holiday drop-ins and workshops allow family visitors to explore the museum collection through arts and crafts, music, stories and hands-on sessions. Here are some event highlights: Wednesdays 2 July to 25 August and Fridays 9 July to 27 August BUSY BEES. A changing programme of creative play, storytelling, object handling and simple craft activities for accompanied under 5s. 10.30am, 11.15am and 12noon start, free with a ticket from the information desk on the day. Holiday weekends, HANDS ON. Touch real objects from all over the world in themed family sessions. Explore animals, Africa, archaeology, toys, puppets, music, costume and much more in themed workshops. Morning and afternoon sessions available, admission free. 12 + 14 August, MISS HORNIMAN PRESENTS. Join the magical Miss Horniman on a journey through the museum to discover some myths and monsters. 11.30am, 1.15 and 3pm, free. Until 5 September, MYTHS AND MONSTERS. Cyclops, unicorn, yeti, dragon, the chimera - are these creatures real or imagined. This exhibition features a captivating mix of animatronics, specimens and photography to explore ancient myths and the possible scientific explanations behind them. Children £2.50, adults £5. 24 April - 17 October, ALLOTMENT LIFE. An exhibition combining indoor and outdoor elements to explore the allotment experience with photographs of life on two local allotments and a food garden outside. Free.

GREENWICH MARITIME HISTORY QUEEN’S HOUSE, NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM and ROYAL OBSERVATORY, GREENWICH, National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory, Greenwich SE10, 020 8858 4422, Every Saturday you can meet a character from the past and take part in an exciting performance that brings maritime history to life. Free, for families with over 5s. On Sundays, be inspired by the museum’s galleries and take part in free workshops designed for families. Throughout August, the museum will be hosting free craft workshops, play activities, stories and family gallery tours to bring alive the Toy Boats exhibition (see below). 1 May - 31 October, TOY BOATS. For more than 100 years the craze for things maritime drove toy companies to make toy boats of every size and description, capturing the imagination of generations of children. Toy Boats is an enchanting exhibition featuring miniature ocean liners, toy paddle steamers, tin

battleships and clockwork submarines alongside games, catalogues and photographs produced in Europe between 1850 and 1950. The exhibition looks at the way toy boats were marketed through advertising, packaging and catalogues. The advent of department stores, and their use of large plate-glass shop fronts,offered a new way to showcase merchandise and entice customers and the exhibition recreates an Edwardian shop window. Museum open 10am-5pm daily, admission free.

DISCOVER GREENWICH OLD ROYAL NAVAL COLLEGE (next to the Cutty Sark), Greenwich SE10, Unlock the history of Maritime Greenwich, through artefacts, artwork, film and stories of former lives to bring the past to life. A permanent exhibition takes visitors on a journey from the College’s Tudor beginnings, through its naval past, as the Royal Hospital for Seamen and Royal Navy Staff College, right up to the present day. Special objects, including personal items from Henry VIII’s palace, as well as fascinating stories from monarchs, admirals and architects help chart the historic town’s development. Activities for children and families play a significant part in the new destination, enabling families to maximise their visit to Maritime Greenwich and for children to explore and understand the history of the magnificent site.

NATIONAL GALLERY Trafalgar Square, London WC2, 020 7747 2885, Every Sunday, families can enjoy free two-hour workshops at 11am:

ART AT SIR JOHN SOANE’S HOUSE SIR JOHN SOANE’S MUSEUM, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields WC2A 3PB, 020 7440 4263, Tucked away in Lincoln’s Inn Fields at the heart of London, this magical, mysterious museum encourages young visitors to explore Soane’s treasures and develop new skills with specialist guidance. Sir John Soane (1753- 1737) was an inveterate collector, filling every nook and cranny of his beautiful home with items that fascinated him. From fossils to classical fragments from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome and from contemporary paintings to architectural models, drawings and literature, he intended that after his death both his house and its extraordinary contents should be used to educate and inspire. Free drop-in activities run on the third Saturday of every month, with activities for all ages and families can take part together. 1.304.40pm.

BRITISH MUSEUM EVENTS BRITISH MUSEUM, Great Russell St, London, WC1B 3DG, 020 7323 8000, The museum’s amazing collection is brought to life for children with regular family workshops. Here are some highlights: 3 July, MINTED! Find out about money from around the world and get inspiration for designs to put on your own coins. 11.30am-4pm, free drop in. 10 July, BANGLADESH FAMILY DAY. An afternoon’s celebration of Bangladeshi culture, with dance and music performances, art activities and colourful rickshaws created by the local community. Noon to 4pm, free drop in. 17 July, DRAGON TALES. Hear traditional Chinese stories involving brave heroes, dangerous quests and mighty dragons. Noon, 1, 2 and 3pm starts, free. 24 July, AFRICAN T-SHIRT PRINTING. Design and print a t-shirt based on the vibrant shapes and patterns in the African galleries. 11.30, 1.30 and 3.30pm start, free. 24 July, DIGITAL DRAWINGS. Select images of objects from the museum collection and create your own, Renaissance inspired digital drawing using Photoshop. 11.30am-3.30pm, free. 27+29 July, August weekends, SOUTH AFRICA LANDSCAPE. A range of activities based on the plants, animals, landscape and arts of South Africa. 11am4pm, free drop in. 31 July, MAORI WEAVING WORKSHOPS. Create beautiful flowers out of woven flax with artist Jackie Naylor. 11.30am, 1.30 and 3pm start, free. 7 August, THE EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD. Discover how the ancient Egyptians made sure they arrived safely in the afterlife. 11.30am, 1.30 and 3pm, free. 14 August, MESOPOTAMIAN MYTHS. Find out about the gods, goddesses, monsters and demons of ancient Mesopotamia. Noon, 1, 2 and 3pm, free. 21 August, INDIAN DANCE. Storytelling through movement, sound and rhythm. 11.30, 1.30 and 3pm start, free. 28 August, ISLAMIC TILE PAINTING. Paint your own ceramic tile based on the delicate and ornate patterns of Islamic porcelain. 11.30, 1.30 and 3.30pm, free.

Summer fun! 26 July – 31 August 10:30am – 4:30pm

Let’s get creative Moneyboxes, masks and £ shaped door hangers. Add your designs to Museum-themed items. Fun for all ages!

Admission free 10am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Closed weekends and public holidays. Entrance in Bartholomew Lane, London EC2R 8AH. Tel: 020 7601 5545

Let’s Hike or Bike for

children T O R A I S E F U N D S T O H E L P D I S A D V A N TA G E D A N D S I C K C H I L D R E N

Great Wall of HIKE or China Challenge BIKE YOU CHOOSE –

Join the Great Wall of China Hike OR the Great Wall of China Bike Ride

14-22 May 2011

Every step taken and every turn of the pedal will help four special children’s charities improve the lives of sick and disadvantaged children and young people.

The itineraries are different but both teams will meet for a magnificent end of challenge celebration in Beijing

Barnardo’s is a registered charity, No.216250 and SCO37605

Dreams Come True is a registered charity, No.800248

Kith & Kids is a registered charity, No.1080972

For more information and to register telephone: 0845 408 2698 e-mail:

MedEquip4Kids is a registered charity, No.1102830

To take part you need to pay a registration fee of £250 and raise minimum funds of £3,200 for the charities.

Acting as agents for

Managed by

ction for charity


july /august 2010 - families south east


families july 2010:Layout 1 24/06/2010 13:07 Page 20

Families South East PO Box 11591 London SE26 6WB Tel: 020 8699 7240 Email: Contact: Robina Cowan

CLASSES & TUTORS Christianaes Home Tuition Excellent Examination Results in: English. Maths. Science. Can collect and drop for tuition. 020 8850 1489 or 0790 830 2236

with C PlaLotsyof fun and creativity lay with clay for children aged 6-14yr

Summer Holiday Pottery Workshop th


Tue 20 - Fri 23 July

between 9:30am and 3:30pm half days (£19) or full days (£38)

Families online For more articles than we can squeeze into each issue, a directory of local companies, competitions and forums plus the latest What'sOn listings, join us at

... also Saturday morning classes 07930 413 649


HEALTH & COUNSELLING for the problems that make you unhappy

Mark Arram MBACP 0794 797 2918 Postnatal Mum & Baby Classes Fun Fitness Classes for all 1-1 Personal Training...

CBT HYPNOTHERAPY Rediscover more control in your life

Andrew Cunningham SQHP GHR

07903 556382

Counselling Individuals and Couples

Helen Storey


020 8699 1652


Traditional fun, planned with you & your child, food & pinatas optional

Age 3 to 12yrs

020 7249 3242

THE VALE PRACTICE Structural & Cranial Osteopathy – Acupuncture Specialising in the treatment of children and expectant mothers.

T. 020 8299 9798

Dance Parties Great fun for all ages and abilities, girls and boys Led by professional dancer/ teachers Choose your own music and dance style Mini trophy for birthday child

07958 648740

Mini the Clown

Funny female experienced clown, ideal for the little ones, ages up to 5. Bubbles, balloons, puppets.

07813 940023 Equity/CRB

Adult & Children’s Entertainer Magic, Plate Spinning Balloon Modelling Interactive Games Karaoke, Mini Disco

Tel: 020 8480 8176


Are you a Plumber? Electrician?

A reliable, professional service for houses and businesses. One-offs or regular visits. All areas covered.

with an advertisement in Families

Next issue out 10 September 2010


Call Ian 07920 179 345

Handyman For all your household repairs and odd jobs. I offer a professional and courteous service

Looking for a new career? International company is looking for ambitious and self-motivated people to work part time and from home.

020 8249 3264 or 07913 656 502 House Cleaning & Ironing Experienced, excellent references. honest and hard working SE26 area

Call Dorothy to find out more 0203 393 9716

07788 448 1209

PAINTING & DECORATING Interior / Exterior Experienced, Reliable, Clean Fully Guaranteed / Insured FREE ADVICE AND QUOTE

KITCHEN & BATHROOM RENOVATIONS I offer a complete ‘one stop’ service from design and planning through to installation, plumbing, tiling and flooring.

John:- James & Lamont

Free advice and quote. Call Shaun on:

020 8462 4646 - 07802 535695

07913 656502 020 8249 3264

WISH YOU WERE HERE? If you run a local business, tell people about it in Families South East. An ad in Families costs less than you think, and reaches up to 4,000 local parents every issue. Call 020 8699 7240 or email for free, friendly advice

CLUBS & CLASSES FEATURE: out of school sports, performing arts, languages, crafts, dance and music classes. PLUS school open days, family life, local companies and events advertise yours in Families Deadline mid August Call or email us now!

© Families South East. We take every care preparing this magazine, but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequence. Families South East is part of the Families group, established in 1990 and headed by Families South West. All franchised magazines in the group are independently owned and operated under licence.


families south east - july / august 2010

DESIGN: Lancasters 020 8658 9975 Printed on paper from sustainable forests.


YOUR CHILD deserves the best, while YOU take a rest

Families Southeast July 2010  

A magazine packed full of activities news and features for families in the Southeast London area.

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