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Rascals of London l December 2011 - 1


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classes

shopping

cafe

parties

personal shopper

A new retAil experience for pArents And kids We’ve done the hard work, so you don’t have to. We’ve chosen the best in healthy, modern baby products to make the transition to parenthood that little bit easier. From furniture and buggies to feeding, bathing and toys, we’ve got it covered.

8-10 Winchester Road Swiss Cottage NW3 3NT 020 7483 2826 www.huggle.co.uk

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 3


Quick Numbers

Natasha Hewett

Lucy Pailing

Editor-in-chief

Copywriter

London travel: 0843 222 1234

Rebecca Harding

Gavin Bridle

London Underground: 0845 330 9880

Assistant Editor

Art Direction

London Buses: 0845 300 7000

With many thanks to our contributors: Isabelle from DreamMakers, Natasha Wiening, WOW Toys, Victoria

Barclays cycle hire: 0845 026 3630

from Look Bunny Find, Sharai Meyers from Purple Dragon, Totstars,

Oyster customer services: 0845 330 9876

Maria from Eddie Catz, Tumble in the Jungle, Karen, Prima and Hina

Congestion charges: 0845 900 1234

from Beanies, Anne-Maria from Diddi Dance, Time for Mums, Pretty Pregnant, Under the Greenwood Tree book shop, Babes with Babies, Karen from London Property Makeover & all our advertisers..

Advertising with us: Email: natasha@rascalsoflondon.co.uk Tel: 0751 485 2648 Web: www.rascalsoflondon.co.uk No part of this magazine, including the advertisements within it may be reproduced, without the express permission of the editor. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions. The opinions expressed within Rascals Of London magazine are not necessarily the views of the publishers, but those of individual writers. Rascals of London is printed by Warners Midlands PLC

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Boots Pharmacy Piccadilly: 0207 346 126 The Portland Hospital Woman and Children: Children 020 7390 6504 Maternity 020 7390 8274 NHS Direct: 0845 4647 Child benefit: 0845 302 1444 Tax credits: 0845 300 3900 Job centre: 0800 055 6688


23 What’s inside

Dec

The best bits 7 Farming Around Discover the urban agriculture with our top 12 London farms.

23 Choosing the Right Daycare A mother of four’s guide to choosing the right daycare.

34 ABC of Potty Training Here are some suggestions that might help make the training process a speedy success.

45

56 Arts & Crafts Something to keep the little Rascals occupied over Christmas and on those rainy days.

34

Christmas Specials 38 Our Top Christmas Prezzies 2011 Rascals gift gurus recommend these goodies.

44 Christmas Wish List Dear Santa, this Christmas I would like....

7

48 Christmas on a Budget How to manage Christmas this year on a budget.

37

All the rest 12 Purple Dragon Family members club opens in Chelsea.

17 Latest Rascals News Keep up to date on all the latest news across the city.

18 The Beanies Cafe - How it all Started How three mums were inspired to create a new family-oriented cafe.

26 Winter Nautical Pretty Pregnant fashion for mothers to be.

30 What´s On When Check out what´s happening across London this Christmas.

45 Christmas Books for all the Family Top festive books chosen by Under the Greenwood Tree book shop.

47 Mums Wish List this Christmas Lets not forget to buy mum something lovely, here’s some ideas.

50 Panto Pandemonium Our complete guide to what Panto’s are on near you.

53 Q&As - Natasha Wiening We ask Natasha how she became a great photographer.

64 Directory and Services Rascals of London l December 2011 - 5


From the Edito r

Ho Ho Ho Here´s to some happy holiday reading

Well here we are parked at the start of the festive season and I cannot wait for all the lights to be switched on in central London, late night shopping, family get-together´s, mince pies and of course the obligatory argument with my mother about my obsession with only buying Henry learning toys and books rather than your more conventional ‘Nerf N-Strike ECS blaster’ which I am told is the most awesome and exciting N-Strike blaster released in over 40 years of Nerf brand history, where does a 6 year old get this information I ask myself! Anyway with the ‘Nerf N-Strike ECS blaster’ fastly disappearing from my thoughts let me explain how in our book section on page 45 we have a brilliant array of festive favourites which have been personally chosen by Sophie from ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’ book shop in Clapham. Our Christmas edition is jam packed with everything you will need in the run in to Christmas, New Year and the following months, and as well as our fantastic festive section we also have some great ideas for things to do at home on those rainy days, ideas for days out across the city, parental advice, fashion tips when pregnant and feeling at your most vulnerable and a superb competition page for the kids to enjoy. Make sure you check out our ‘What’s On’ section on page 30, and go to page 50 to find out where your nearest pantomime is playing this Christmas. A big thanks to all our advertisers and our readers for your support this last year, we look forward to hearing from you all in the New Year so from all of us in the Rascal office,

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year.

Natasha

Natasha Hewett, Editor-in-chief

Meet our Star

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Thank you to Brandon age 4 from Kingsbury for being the Star of our Christmas edition and to Natasha Wiening for taking such a fantastic shot.


12 London Farms Our top

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Spitalfields City Farm

Hackney City Farm

        The Farmyard is at the centre of the farm, and home to many much loved animals     including great characters such as Bayleaf the Donkey & Bentley the Goat.     Volunteers take part in the animals daily care and have the opportunity to learn about their needs. Co-ordinated by two members of staff, the animals are a learning resource for all who use the farm. They also hold a regular weekly young farmers club. Make sure you visit the farm shop and try some delicious Goats milk soap.     Where: Buxton St, London E1 5AR     Tel: 0207 247 8762     Web: www.spitalfieldscityfarm.org Offering an opportunity for children and adults to get up close to a range of farmyard animals and to learn about where their food comes from and why that matters. You can see pigs, donkeys, calves, goats and sheep and so many more. They also organise regular activities in various areas of their work, pottery classes, stone carving, volunteering and school visits, to name but a few… so why not pop down and have some rather good fun. Where: Goldsmith’s Row, London E2 8QA Tel: 0207 729 6381 Web: www.hackneycityfarm.co.uk

Surrey Docks City Farm Surrey Docks Farm is a working city farm in the heart of London. It provides visitors with unique opportunities to learn about farming and food production and become actively involved. The herds and flocks are farmed with specific attention to animal welfare. Farm produced meat is on sale whenever available, so are plants, honey and other produce too. On September the 13th Randy, one of their pigs had given birth to eight piglets, defiantly worth a trip to see these little cuties. They also have a young farmers club for children aged 8-13 on every 3rd Saturday of the month. For smaller children their are lots of other things to take part in from music classes to arts and crafts. Where: South Wharf, Rotherhithe Street, London SE16 5ET Tel::0207 231 1010 Web: www.surreydocksfarm.org.uk

Kentish Town City Farm Vauxhall City Farm Vauxhall City Farm is an oasis in the heart of London, providing the local community and visitors from afar the opportunity to stay connected to nature and animals. Covering 1.5 acres of land, Vauxhall City Farm is home to over 80 animals, from rare breed sheep and cows to animals from other regions of the world. The Riding Project has continued to provide riding opportunities to children and adults alike. As well as private lessons, the farm has strengthened its’ remit by functioning as The Riding Therapy Centre. They are an approved riding centre for The British Horse Society and riding for the disabled in addition to being a Pony Club centre. Where: 165 Tyers Street, London SE11 5HS Tel: 0207 582 4204 Web: www.vauxhallcityfarm.org

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Children, young people and adults are actively encouraged to participate in all aspects of animal care at this farm, from mucking out to helping with feeds and site maintenance. The farm has a stock of chickens, cows, ducks, geese, goats, horses, pigs and sheep, as well as some rare breeds. The Farm has a classroom, under 5’s activity room, a training room, fitted kitchen, stables, gardens and seating areas. It also has disabled access including hard paths and decks throughout. There is a drop in sing along, messy play, pottery after school club & not forgetting the creative health lab that provides a range of free weekly arts and horticulture activities. Kentish Town City Farm will also hold your little farmers birthday party at a reasonable price. Where: 1 Cressfield Close, NW5 4BN Tel: 0207 916 5421 Web: www.ktcityfarm.org.uk


Mudchute Park & Farm The largest city farm in London, 32 acres of countryside in the middle of the Isle of Dogs to share with friendly fur and feathered creatures. Available for events, community groups or just simply your family picnic. Throughout Mudchute Farm’s landscape and buildings you will be able to view the British rare breed animals, horses and ponies everywhere. The larger animals graze in the outer enclosures and fields, while the smaller and perhaps more cuddly are kept just next to the main courtyard in ‘Pets Corner’, providing interactive viewing. Their farm staff are on site to support ‘Animal Encounter’ sessions, providing hands on contact with farm animals for people of all ages. Most of the animals go to bed at around 16:00hrs, and you are welcome to help, when they are ‘rounded-up’, and walked into their night shelters. Mudchute boasts a nursery onsite which provides 76 places and welcomes children aged between 0-5 years. Set in the courtyard, overlooking the horses and within earshot of the cattle, Mudchute kitchen is the perfect place to get a taste of the countryside without leaving the city. Where: Pier St, London E14 3HP

Tel: 0207 515 5901

Web: www.mudchute.org

Belmont Children’s Farm The farm is unique to North London and has over 30 different animal varieties, ranging from traditional farm animals such as sheep, goats, pigs and cows; typical countryside wildlife such as game birds, ducks and geese; to the more unusual storks and wallabies; mesmerising alpacas; and stunning snowy and eagle owls. Where: The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, NW7 1QT Tel: 0207 318 4421 Web: www.belmontfarm.co.uk

Deen City Farm Freightliners City Farm Freightliners Farm is a registered charity, and a non-profit organisation. Entrance to the farm is free although visitors are encouraged to leave donations. Frightliners has plenty for the kids to do and has an onsite cafe and shop for mum & dad to sit and have a well deserved coffee. They keep and sell chickens, ducks, geese, goats, sheep, turkeys, guinea fowl, quail, pigeons & doves, rabbits and guinea pigs. Where: Sharingham Road, London N7 8PF Tel: 0207 609 0467 Web: www.freightlinersfarm.org.uk

    Deen City Farm is a unique, educational resource     and registered charity in SW London, giving young     people the opportunity to learn from their visit or     contribution to a successful community project.     The livestock at Deen City Farm show an excellent     example of high standards of animal care and living     conditions. With sheep, goats, cows, alpacas, pigs     and various poultry, there are many animals to see,     some of which you can feed or stroke at certain times     of the week.     They hold a ´young farmers day´ and a ´own a pony day´.    On both days children learn to muck out the animals,    feed and groom them and find out all the general     information they need, and these jobs have to be    done no matter what the weather.     Where: 39 Windsor Avenue, SW19 2RR     Tel: 0208 543 5300     Web: www.deencityfarm.co.uk

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Hounslow Urban Farm Hounslow Urban Farm is one of London’s largest community farms. Covering 29 acres it is an important educational resource and leisure facility for all the family. Visitors can enjoy a variety of colourful and unusual farm animals, including 5 types of pigs, goats, cows, rabbits, ducks, geese, alpacas, rheas chipmunks and lots more. Where: Faggs Road, Feltham, TW14 0LZ Tel: 0208 831 9658    Web: www.hounslow.info

Lee Valley Park Farms Go wild at Lee Valley Park Farms! Lee Valley Park Farms make for a great day out; they are on the edge of the 1,000 acre River Lee Country Park, providing all you need for fantastic family fun and are easy to get to. Meet ‘Tallulah’ and ‘Barbara’ the pigs, ‘Ella’ and ‘Eve’ the goats, tiny mice, slimy snails, and even ‘ Newton’ the bearded dragon! Take a stroll or a tractor and trailer ride (weekends & school holidays only) to the working dairy farm and see the cows being milked, ride mini tractors, dig in ‘The Pit’, or whizz down the cow slide in their new Bundle Barn indoor soft play area. Where: Stubbins Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 2EF Tel: 0199 289 2781    Web: www.leevalleypark.org.uk

Stepney City Farm Stepney City Farm in London’s East End is a working farm, rural crafts centre and community hub. They give children and adults a chance to meet farm animals, learn how to grow food and try out arts and crafts.

Where they

are in the City

11

7

5 1 82 12 3 6 4

10

Where: Stepney Way, London E1 3DG Tel: 0207 790 8204    Web: www.stepneycityfarm.org

1.  Hackney City Farm 2.  Spitalfields City Farm 3.  Surrey Docks City Farm

9

4.  Vauxhall City Farm 5.  Kentish Town City Farm 6.  Mudchute Park & Farm 7.  Belmont Children's Farm 8.  Freightliners City Farm 9.  Deen City Farm 10.  Hounslow Urban Farm 11.  Lee Valley Park Farm 12.  Stepney City Farm

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Advertising - Rascals of London

Fun Science Parties! Stress Free Parties Fun Science Shows Crazy Experiments CRB Checked Entertainers Relax and Enjoy Age Range: 6 - 12 Other Events Please Contact Us Rockets, Hovercraft, Slime, Candyfloss, Pink Potions, Dry Ice and other themed events.

Call or email * 020-8123-8697 * info@e-entertainers.co.uk * www.e-entertainers.co.uk Rascals of London l December 2011 - 11


family members club

opens in Chelsea Purple Dragon’s flagship family members club opened its doors in October within the new Grosvenor Waterside development in Chelsea. The 13,000 sq ft club offers ‘effortless family time’ in a space that has been entirely created for children and parents to hang out together and explore, learn, create, develop, discover, relax and most importantly, have fun. This is the second Purple Dragon site in London. The original site in Battersea has been converted into a full-time kindergarten and day nursery which opened this Autumn. The day nursery provides care for young children and babies aged 3 months and upwards and offers a balance between active play and quality quiet time, to nurture essential first skills, instill a love of learning and develop potential. ‘Learning through play’ is a core philosophy at Purple Dragon and the club’s founder, Sharai Meyers, has created a range of signature adventures and experiences which are specially formulated classes that are designed to bolster confidence, communication, co-ordination and creativity. These teacher-led classes last 45 minutes and involve age appropriate fun and discovery using art, crafts, science, language, design, cooking, messy play, music and movement.

The rest of the activities at the club are unstructured and are designed to enable kids to let off steam and relax after school or over the weekend. Facilities at the new club include an Imaginarium where younger children can enjoy free play with their parents close by. The club also features a swimming pool (complete with water volcano!) and wet play area where kids can take PADI diving and lifesaving lessons or simply have a splash about in the pool. Other activities include a custom built soft play area with trampoline and slides and gaming area for the older kids. The Purple Dragon club isn’t just about the kids though and there are lots of activities to keep grown-ups occupied too! The club boasts a pro golf simulator which features many of the world’s most challenging golf courses including Wentworth and Pebble Beach.

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There is also a stylish library where parents can catch up on some reading and a restaurant which offers seasonal and freshly prepared dishes from Purple Dragon’s resident chef. And parents can also enjoy some time out in one of the customised privacy pods, where they can do some work, have a mani-pedi or just have a well deserved nap. Rascals of London’s very own editor Natasha popped along to Purple Dragon’s opening party on 29 September when the club was unveiled for the first time. Guests included supermodel Eva Herzigova and socialite Tamara Beckwith. Sinitta’s children could be found alongside her playing on the purple baby grand piano in the music lab whilst Elen Rivas and her daughters were getting creative in the kids kitchen! The family members club is aimed at children aged 0 – 12 years and a premier membership costs £77 per week. This includes unlimited guest visits, use of the adventures & experiences and unlimited use of the after school club. Other memberships include the ‘Early Bird’ which provides access to the club week days from 9am – 2pm and costs £48 per week and an ‘Out of Towner’ membership which costs £1,750 per annum with a maximum of 32 visits. For more information visit www.purpledragonplay.com


Advertising - Rascals of London

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Fun Football Sessions In 2009 Totstars formed out of a desperate need to see 2-5 year olds excel in their individual development through the medium of sport, they noticed a lack of quality and passion to see children thrive and attain their full potential. Totstars pride themselves in being known as providers of activities which support and encourage learning.

Totstars have developed a unique and innovative method of enhancing children’s cognitive, social and physical development through sport. Their enthusiastic coaches do this by using fun and action packed games to challenge children in order to keep them enthused as they learn. They focus on Awareness, Numeracy, Teamwork & Sharing (A.N.T.S). All of the Totstars venues run on Saturdays with some mid week sessions. Classes are indoors and parents can stay throughout the classes to encourage and be their Totstars number one fan. They also have Totstars coaches at nurseries; pre-schools and after school programmes and cover quite a few of the following EYFS learning outcomes: Personal, Social, Emotional Development - This is shown by allowing the children to display discipline during the group game, to wait for their turns, play in a team and interact with each other. Physical Development - The children are using their gross and fine motor skills whilst playing the game. Mathematical Development The children are using their mathematical skills to ensure the

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ball is rolling towards the goal, how high they can kick and how many times they can score a goal. Knowledge and Understanding of the World - The children are playing in all seasons, and this allows them to learn how the weather affects the ground. Testimony: ‘We are very happy with the service totstars offer. The lessons are very child friendly and the children look forward to the lessons each week, the company is also very efficient and accommodating when they are required to change the sessions due to weather conditions’. Fehmida Gangji-Streatham Montessori Nursery and Day Care.

Birthdays: Totstars provide great Birthday packages for 2-5year olds. They can tailor make nearly any birthday party for that special occasion. Parents have been amazed by the progress they see in their child. So why not bring your child along for a free taster session and watch your son or daughter become a Totstar!! Please contact us via our website: www.totstarsuk.com or call: 0754 093 2356.


London-based WOW Toys is one of a new breed of toy companies totally committed to innovation, design and quality in the preschool area. It prides itself in product development and on instinctively understanding the ingredients that make great toys. Nadim EdnanLaperouse set up WOW in 1997 with just 4 great toys and the vision to create the very best toys available to young children with no cutting corners, great design, safety and durability. WOW toys are currently sold in the UK and in over 60 countries worldwide.

Tr y out To y s

In a new play area at

Eddie Catz Putney

Similarly, Eddie Catz was founded by London parents Maria & Darren Johnson in 2005 when they had two children under the age of five and saw the need for an upmarket play facility. It continues to be a forerunner in the play industry for the uniqueness of the activities on offer and prides itself on excellence in customer service. With 3 centres, 2 in SW London, Eddie Catz partners with top pre-school class providers and

entertainers to provide a full curriculum of enrichment and “mother-and-me” classes as well as holiday activities for children 0-10, in addition to the traditional soft play centre. The venture with WOW toys will provide yet another great reason for little customers for visit. You can visit Eddie Catz Putney seven days a week from 9.30am6pm. There is no need to book and you pay admission at the door. For those who really want a “home away from home” Memberships are available.

Eddie Catz soft play centre in Putney will be the first place in the UK to try out new WOW Toys in a purpose built play area to be installed in mid-October. Under 5’s will be able to play freely with a selection of WOW’s battery-free, high quality, British-designed, developmental toys, which are guaranteed favourites with all pre-school children. There will be not only new toys to experience as well as some old favourites. The WOW range includes toy animals, people, cars, trucks, aeroplanes and bath toys.

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Advertising - Rascals of London

We are known to many of you solely for our hugely popular Tumble in the Jungle area downstairs that under 8s love, but did you know that upstairs there’s a whole new world of fun? Well now it’s time for you to find out! The Soul Project is a Community Interest Company that works with hundreds of young people and families within Waltham Forest. We are committed to supporting families, strengthening our local community and helping young people by engaging them in positive activities. All this takes place within our fabulous 20,000 sq ft family activity centre that is filled with fun from top to bottom. A rock-climbing wall, music studio and graphic design suite are just some of the great things that kids can enjoy. Youth Space (for 8 to 14 year olds) is free on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (5-7pm) and costs £3 on Saturdays (11am-3pm). If your children want to participate in music production, graphic design, dance or singing then they are more than welcome to, but if they just want to chill-out, play some

Opening Times Mon - Fri (Except Tues) 9.30am - 6.00pm 10.00am - 6.00pm Tues 10.00am - 6.00pm Sat/Sun 10.00am - 6.00pm Bank Holidays

Prices Babies under 12 months Children (£2.50 before 11am Mon - Sun) Adults Prices may vary for special events

FREE £3.50 £1.00

245 Wood Street Walthamstow London, E17 3NT www.thesoulproject.com www.tumbleinthejungle.co.uk 0870 626 0712

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table tennis, table football or have a go on our PS3s and Xboxs, that’s okay too. We’re the No.1 choice for birthday parties that kids are sure to love and that won’t break the bank! We also have several themed rooms plus a large events hall, which are available to hire at great prices all-year round. There are also lots of great work opportunities available. We’re looking for enthusiastic and dedicated people to become part of our jungle entertainment team and help out at the Youth Space. As it’s the time of good will, why not try volunteering? We are interested in your presence, not your presents, and we would love to have your help to contribute to the true spirit of Christmas. A Guinness World Record attempt, X Factor style borough-wide singing competition and various sponsored events are all in the pipeline so now is the time to get involved!

as from

Merry Christmct The Soul Proje


Rascals News Purple Dragon Purple Dragon opened their door to the second premisies in Chelsea. This is a members only club and exclusive to only 350 memberships, see page 12. Where: 30 Gatliff Road, Bramah House, Grosvenor Waterside, SW1W 8DP. Tel: 0844 880 3580 Web: www.purpledragonplay.com

La Chouette School Open Days Go along and take a tour of this beautiful new pre-prep bilingual school La Chouette in Ealing. The school opens on the 4th of January and they still have places available for children aged 2 to 6 years old. Open days: 2nd December from 2pm - 6pm and Saturday 3rd December from 10am - 4pm. Where: 17 The Mall - Ealing, W5 2PJ. Tel: 0755 702 9255 Web: www.lachouetteschool.co.uk

New childrenswear floor at John Lewis Theres a ‘yellow brick road’ entrance, multi-media information stations, a reading room, the hall of lego, nintendo area, children’s fashion, and the refurbished nursery service area. It’s an amazing floor that will grab the imagination of parents as well as children. Great Just in time for Christmas located on the fourth floor. Where: 300 Oxford Street, W1A 1EX. Web: www.johnlewis.com

Super Sitters New company launches for busy parents’ in London. A new local professional babysitting and mothers’ help service has launched for parents in north west, west and central London. Providing reliable, qualified and experienced local sitters. We have a stringent selection process and one to one interviews with all our sitters. Email: enquiries@super-sitters.co.uk Tel: 0781 121 6485 Web: www.super-sitters.co.uk

Eddie Catz in Putney Eddie Catz soft play centre in Putney will be the first place in the UK to try out new WOW Toys in a purpose built play area.

Where: 68-70 Putney High Street, SW15 1SF Tel: 0845 201 1268 Web: www.eddiecatz.com

Children’s Promise Scheme The London 2012 Children’s Promise Scheme pledged to provide every child born in the UK on 20 December 2004 the opportunity to play a role in a ceremony or event surrounding the London 2012 olympic and paralympic games. Between 19 May and 26 July 2012, the children will have the opportunity to be present on stage at the evening ceremony to welcome the olympic flame to the town or city nearest to your home. They also offer all Children’s Promise children, and one accompanying parent/ guardian, a ticket to the opening ceremony of the London 2012 paralympic games on 29 August 2012, and a significant and memorable role in the pre-show for the ceremony. Email: childrens.promise@london2012.com Tel: 0203 201 2000 Web: www.london2012.com

Childcare Support Childcare support will be paid to around 80,000 more households, the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg and welfare secretary Iain Duncan Smith have announced. The government has pledged to invest an additional £300 million into childcare support under universal credit, on top of the £2 billion already spent under the current system. Childcare support is only available if an employee works 16 hours or more, but the government is removing the minimum hours rule so that all families receiving universal credit will be eligible for financial help. This means families on low incomes will receive more support to keep them in work. Tel: 0207 620 6429 Web: www.hrmagazine.co.uk

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 17


EEaat tEat Pl PalayPla y y

“It was as we surveyed the chaos surrounding us at the end of lunch and the displeased looks from the cafe’s other (quieter) customers, that we decided once and for all to put all of our planning into action. The rice was all over the floor, the crayons (provided as a token gesture towards keeping our six children of different ages, entertained) had been upended long ago and stuck into the £2.80 apple juice that never got drank, the baby was crying as his mum struggled to breastfeed on the uncomfortable benches, the children’s mischievousness grew as boredom settled in and

r mpeer PPaamPpamper

Sh o Sh p Shoop p

s s e i e n i s a e n i e a n B e B

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How it all started A chaotic lunch experience resulting in tears and tantrums all-round was the inspiration that led three mums to create a new familyPa r rttyy oriented café.

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the staff became increasingly unpleasant and unhelpful about the whole sorry event!”, says Karen Cartwright – one of the 3 Beanies Directors along with Prima Brotherhood and Hina Shah.“We were tired of soft play venues and church halls and appalled by the quality of food and suitability of venues on offer to families, we wanted to create somewhere lovely to be, with amazing food and an enormous array of development toys for the children - as we know from experience that happy children equals happy parents”. Five months on from the launch, the three friends and business partners are pleased with their achievements, “We’ve still such a long way to go and so many ideas about how to develop the concept, and whilst we’re learning from our customers every day, we think we’ve got the important things right – simply put, we’ve created a home away from home – without the tidying up!

It was at that lunch, in May 2009, when the girls made the decision to launch a business together,“We started to build our business plan and realised that we had literally hundreds of ideas about what we wanted to create. Our desire to create somewhere where parents could do everything all under one roof meant that there was so much we wanted to put in place, but we realised the importance of getting the key offerings exactly right. What we didn’t realise at that time, was that it was the location and building itself that would determine how much of the concept could be realised. Most of the premises that we viewed consisted of one or two floors, which wouldn’t have allowed us to create the three separate environments that we have been able to successfully create at Beanies – with a café and children’s hairdresser on the ground floor, a play floor and therapies room on the middle floor and workshops and children’s parties on the top floor. It took us 18 months and many many viewings to find the perfect building for our grand plan”. Beanies is set in an extraordinary building, with its grade II listing status in the heart of Croydon’s cultural quarter and next door to a thriving community market. Previously housing the famous Beanos record store for over 25 years, it is well-known and loved by local residents and many of Beanies’ customers today remember spending their teenage years searching through the thousands of records.

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Much of that history has been retained, from the original red phone box next to the entrance to the Wurlitzer jukebox and half a Cadillac on the top floor – giving Beanies a retro wonderland feel. In January 2011 the girls set about demolishing and rebuilding the interior, “Seeing the open spaces appearing at last was a real breakthrough, allowing us to visualise our business and start to lay down the fundamentals that would make the concept work – such as a really large family bathroom and changing area, a play floor large enough to accommodate lots of sofas and separate seating areas whilst still open enough for the children to be seen at all times, a quieter and separate play area for older children to play on computers or read books, and a ground floor café with sofas for breastfeeding mums and a counter area large enough to display our large and much-loved selection of specialty teas and homemade cakes”. As work began on creating these spaces, the girls set about finding the right Beanies team. “We knew that the concept was very much reliant on the team as they would be interacting with the customers every day – we wanted youth and energy – everything that we, as mums, felt we didn’t quite have! So we approached the local college and have secured a fantastic team of apprentices that understand and believe in the Beanies concept. Between us we know all of our regular customers and their children by name and we share with them the struggles and joys they are facing in parenthood. We’ve even had a number of Beanies babies join the world in the last five months – it’s great to see the ladies from Pregnancy yoga on a Tuesday evening disappear only to re-appear (looking tired but blissfully happy) a few weeks later in the mother and baby yoga class on a Tuesday morning. It’s a lovely feeling to think that we will probably see those babies every week as they grow up and maybe in a few years’ time we’ll see them at one of our football sessions – maybe even in five years’ time we’ll see them at our streetdance session or one of our children’s yoga workshops. As works to the interior continued throughout the first half of 2011, the girls launched their search to find the best workshop providers in the local area. “We knew what classes we thought would work well, so we spoke to those providers first and started to build a really exciting timetable of workshops for children and parents… our concept was always to provide something for the children AND the parents so we got together with ‘Time for Mums’ who provide classes for parents such as photography and singing – being able to offer mums the opportunity to learn a new skill alongside spending time and interacting with their children was really important to us.

We also now offer Zumba and Yoga for grown-ups, as well as ‘babes-in-arms’ style film viewings. There have been classes on the timetable which unfortunately haven’t worked out, and it’s been a period of trial and error to find the right activities and providers, but we’ve now developed a nice full timetable of different sessions for all ages – and importantly the providers are the best in the business!” With a launch date of 1st June 2011, the pressure was on to complete the interior on time “I think the paint was still wet on launch day! We were literally still painting the ceiling at 2am on the morning of opening. With our friends and family alongside us, we locked the doors at 2.30am and peered in through the window at our beautiful café and couldn’t really believe that we had done it! We had felt sure that we had created something special. In particular the lovely items we had selected for our beach hut shops really completed the look – we’d sourced some of the most beautiful items from hand-made quilts to personalised cushions and artwork – all from local mums. We loved the way it complimented the space and today we have grown it to include a really large selection of our favourite range of books – the Barefoot book range can’t be bought elsewhere locally, so it was really important to us to bring this selection of books, which are

all about feeding the imagination, while instilling a respect for diversity and a love of the planet, to Croydon. Not everything however, was completed by June 2011. “The therapies room launch came later in July… we just ran out of time to get it up and running and we wanted it to be perfect, as we knew it needed to be a haven away from the fun of the play areas. We created it because we knew, as mums, that the thing that mums put last in the ‘looking after’ list is themselves. Our therapies room allows mums the chance to get their nails done, have a massage or even consult with Sam, in her mother and baby herbal clinic.” With the key offerings now in place the girls’ thoughts have turned to growth and they are returning to the drawing board to consider how to offer local parents even more under one roof. “There’s nothing better than getting great feedback from our customers and they have so many ideas for us on how to expand upon what we offer today. We’re looking forward to putting our own, and our customers’ ideas into practice.

Christmas is our first chance to really go to town… with a Santa’s Grotto, Christmas Disco and the Rascals Christmas Fete coming up, it’s going to be a really exciting place to be in December and we just can’t wait to continue that into the new year and beyond – as our customers keep telling us – ‘Croydon needs this!’.

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 19


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Photography for parents

Get

off

£10

QUOTE: RASCL

Every parent deserves great photos of their children. At Time For Mums we run creative, hands-on workshops on how to get better photos of your little ones aimed especially at parents with DSLR cameras, but even if you only have a simple compact camera, there are still things you can do, to make your photographs better. See below for our top tips for taking better photos of your children. 1.  What is this photo about?

2.  Where is the light?

So many photos seem to be confused as to what they are meant to show. You know the kind I’m talking about. Those photos when you manage to document the entire contents of your living room when in reality all you wanted was a great shot of your child’s smiling face. Or the ones where you manage to cut your child’s legs at the knees but have a vast quantity of gray skies above their head giving you an accurate weather report. The solution is simple - slow down and REALLY look before you press that shutter: check the ratio of your child to the background and if there are things there that don’t belong - take a step forward and fill the frame with what really matters. When photographing small children try to get down to their eye level to make for a more natural photograph.

No family album can be complete without at least one picture of somebody looking like a deer caught in the headlights - the dreaded red-eye, only offset by the ghostly pale-blue skin that can only be achieved when using the little flash that comes with our camera. Please, please, PLEASE, for the sake of your children - do learn how to turn it off and seek good quality, natural light instead. Sit your child down next to a large window and chances are, you won’t need the flash at all. When taking pictures outside, try to avoid strong, direct light that makes your children squint and instead head for the open shadow. Good old English overcast weather actually makes for nearly perfect light conditions!

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3.  Understand your camera Auto mode not giving you the results you’re after? Try to play with the settings that your camera comes with - your long forgotten manual might surprise you with helpful advice and instructions. Photos coming out blurry and your children managing to run off before the camera has the time to take the picture? Try switching to the sport setting instead - it will increase the shutter speed, which gives you a better chance of catching all the action. Want a serene image with your child nicely sharp and the background blurry? Switch to the portrait mode and make sure that there is a significant distance between your subject and the background. With all the above - the better your camera, the greater chance you’ll have of achieving the results you are after. We’ve left the most important hint to the very end. Go all paparazzi on your children. Shooting in digital means that the cost of taking 10 photos versus 100 is pretty null. The more you shoot, the more you are aware of what you do and the more chances you have to learn from your mistakes and successes. And always back up and print your best photos - no use them sitting on your memory card when they could be adorning your walls! Good luck with your photography and if you feel you are ready to upgrade to a better camera, check out our courses to learn how to make the most of it.


Choosing

Daycare Let me declare my interests in this article right from the start – I have four children aged 1, 3, 5 and 8 and have had to use every single form of daycare (and nightcare!) that I have researched for this article. However, as the owner of a children’s day nursery, holiday club and babysitting service, I decided to base this article almost entirely on the opinions and comments of other mums and dads so that I know I have fairly presented all angles to you!

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 23


What I would advise from the start is not to rule out any of the options open to you. When I had my first child, I had very strong opinions on what I would or would not consider and was fairly judgemental about other people’s choices. Now, nine years and four children later, I have to confess to having used or experienced almost all of the options set out below and have made a total U-turn in my thinking.

Here are the broad options you might want to take a look at, I’ve put pound signs next to each option: £ = very low cost, ££ = low cost , £££ = medium cost , ££££ = high cost.

The other thing you need to bear in mind is that, however much I analyse the options (and believe me, I am good at analysis – the project plan for my son’s christening was 43 pages long!), my advice to parents and carers, even when they’re considering booking at DreamMaker is, don’t listen to what I have to say, don’t base your decision on what your friends have experienced, ultimately, your decision is best made on gut instinct.

I sometimes feel a bit awkward because my mum and dad are doing us a favour (even though we pay them) and we do have to juggle a bit as Mum and Dad are entitled to a life of their own now they’re retired.

Parenting can’t be analysed, broken down, project managed or bottled – how many times have you called the doctor to say that your child ‘just isn’t himself’? There might be no symptoms, but you just know that something is wrong. This is your instinct in practice and it works most of the time for both small decisions (whether to let your child scoot today) and for big decisions (whether to give your child the MMR vaccine).

I’ve included comments from parents and carers (anonymised) on the main choices and left the other ones for you to explore yourself:

Relatives £ – ‘Sandeep’ says, ‘What could be better than your child being looked after by someone who loves her nearly as much as you do, someone you trust and someone who has your and her best interests at heart? We’re lucky, in that we have my parents to support us and they’re still young enough to cope with our 3 children. But I know some parents who’d be horrified at the thought of trusting their in-laws.

flexible in her hours, a brilliant mum herself and fills my little girl’s days with fun. I like the fact my daughter is cared for in a homely environment and am glad it’s not at my house as, when I get home, our house is still clean and tidy! It’s been a long search for the right person, and I worry that, in placing my little girl with two other childminders who haven’t been that brilliant, it’s affected her. With the first two childminders I tried, my daughter was not paid attention to (I found out the childminder was on her mobile chatting to friends during the day), the environment wasn’t safe (she tripped on a wire and cut her lip) and there were days that the childminders needed to have off and I was then stuck for childcare. I was much more picky in choosing my third childminder and I feel that my little girl has settled well’.

Private nurseries ££££ – ‘David’ says: ‘We

Also, my husband didn’t like it when our youngest wanted his grandfather more than he wanted my husband. But, in my culture (I’m Asian, my husband is Welsh), multi-generational parenting is the norm and I know, firsthand, the enormous benefits it brings to the child, the parents and the relatives involved.

Childminders ££ - ‘Leah’ says, ‘I’m so happy to have finally found the right childminder. She’s

work long hours and can’t take unplanned time off work, so a private nursery is the only option for us as it’s 100% guaranteed to be able to look after my daughters all year ‘round during my working hours. The facilities are good and the staff make sure that, even though they have a close bond with my daughters, they make sure my daughters know the difference between a carer and mummy and daddy.

My wife gets a bit upset because she feels guilty at leaving our daughters and, obviously, there are times when our daughters are affected by being around There are other children. I’ve spoken to a lot of parents and it’s the horror stories – just normal nursery life including the au pair who that coughs and colds was thin and gorgeous spread like wildfire, toddlers go through when I was decidedly biting or pinching overweight and in need of phases (not nice if plastic surgery after your child is the victim, even worse if they’re the giving birth. (need I perpetrator) and accidents say more?) happen more often than at home – this seems to be part of the stuff that happens when your child is part of a group, rather than one-on-one at home. But then, I think of all the great activities that our daughters do at nursery that they could never do at home. And just think of all that glitter, sand and play dough we don’t have to clear up, the nappies we don’t have to change and the meals we don’t have to prepare!

Holiday Clubs ££ – ‘Linda’ says: ‘My son goes to a holiday club during half term, Easter, Summer and Christmas (though not full time). He’s only just started school, so I do worry about whether he will settle in the club each time. However, he tells me he loves it and he seems to have a great time, doing lots of fun activities, eating healthy foods and mixing with children of his own age. The holiday club staff are brilliant about easing my fears. I often e-mail or phone to check how he’s doing and they’re more than happy to give me an update or let me speak to him myself. Once my mind is at rest, I can concentrate on work!

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Obviously, I feel I ought to be the one at home having fun with him, especially as I’m a single parent, but that’s not possible all of the time and, I have to admit, the rates for the holiday club are so reasonable that I sometimes take a day off during the holidays just for me. My son actually prefers to be at the holiday club rather than staying at home with me – I don’t take it personally, I know I can’t offer the activities and the company he gets there and I just want the best for him. My son has severe allergies so it matters to me that he is treated as an individual. By the time I collect him, he’s well fed, happy and exhausted. That makes me happy too.’

Nannies £££ – ‘Julie’ says, ‘I have a nanny – she’s brilliant and I love the fact my baby son is cared for in his own home. I was not happy when my son started calling the nanny ‘Mummy’, but we soon put that right! Our nanny makes sure my son has personal care and attention and that was crucial to me in deciding to go for her. The days that this arrangement doesn’t work is when the nanny is sick or on holiday. I constantly worry that someone else will poach her and I dislike the fact that she doesn’t do any housework or cooking. I sometimes feel the nanny has all the fun with my son whilst I have all the drudgery of cooking and cleaning. Otherwise, though, I think I’ve made the best choice, though I do hate the responsibilities of being an employer!’

Au pairs £ – ‘Sarah’ says, ‘My, I could tell you stories about au pairs! My problem is, I can’t afford any other form of childcare, so I have to take the rough with the smooth. There are the horror stories – the au pair who stole my camera, the au pair who walked around in her underwear in front of my partner, the au pair who went on holiday and never came back, the au pair who was thin and gorgeous when I was decidedly overweight and in need of plastic surgery after giving birth (need I say more?) and the au pair who refused to do any housework whatsoever. But then, there are the lovely interludes – the au pair who cried when her 6 months was up, the au pair who helped my children improve their French and Italian, the au pair who would prepare a home cooked meal for me every weekday, the au pair who gave my children hugs and kisses every time she collected them from school. It’s a bit of pot luck with au pairs and it’s horrible that they are short term, but it’s a low cost option for childcare and it can work – if you can stand having someone living in your house. For me, it was the only way – you just have to make the best choices you can in your circumstances. Also consider:

State nurseries £££ - These are government funded and have to meet targets for serving clientele from ‘deprived’ areas, although

they increasingly welcome ‘private’ clients too. Compared to private nurseries, they usually have lower fees and more limited opening hours.

Friends £ – Can help with childcare to a limited extent, but be careful as they may be required to register as a childminder with OFSTED to comply with the law.

Babysitters £ – These are often young girls who live locally and do a few hours of ‘childcare’ whilst your child sleeps; they are inexpensive, often untrained and are usually subject to their school/college/social calendar.

A Mother’s help ££ – Similar to an au pair in that they can help with childcare, cooking and cleaning, the difference is, they cost more than an au pair and don’t usually live in. Isabelle Parasram is the mother of four children aged 1-8. She is also a barrister, an AVA College Assessor of Childcare and Education, an NCTtrained antenatal teacher, and the Director of a large children’s day Nursery & Out of School Club near Tower Hill, London. She would love to answer your questions or to have your comments on her article. Please e-mail her at: Director@mydreammaker.co.uk You can also read more about her at: www.mydreammaker.co.uk/our-ethos

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 25


Winter nautical This continual classic gets a new season makeover with chunky fisherman knits and grandad collars.

Play with texture to add interest and pair with everything for the ultimate in casual cool. Molly Jumper ÂŁ78

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ShoP the Shoot Winter nautical Angie Tee £42

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Grandad collars update this wearable piece - perfect over jeans, skirts and everything in between.

a fantastic piece to transition the seasons. team with chunky tights and your leather jacket for an enviable ensemble.

Aubrey Jumper £85 Liv Jumper £89 Amelie Tee £55 Bow Belt £21

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Lola Jacket £380 Dallas Dress £99 toughen up your knits with classic leather and choose deep browns for added vintage appeal.

Biarritz Bag £90

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What’s On

London is great for kids! Keep the whole family entertained with London’s kid-friendly attractions, events and activities.

November 18th - January 3rd

Until December 4th

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Syon Park Enchanted Woodland

Hyde Park gives itself over to Christmas with various rides and attractions including a giant observational wheel and two circuses ‘Christmas Circus’ and ‘Cirque Extreme’ from the family-friendly Zippos Circus.. Where: Hyde Park. Time: 10am-10pm

Until January 8th

Natural History Museum Ice Rink There’s a rinkside fairground carousel, and spectators can take in the scene with a hot chocolate or mulled wine from the balcony café/bar overlooking the ice. Where: Natural History Museum Time: 11am - 10pm

December 3rd

The Great Christmas Pudding Race Teams will run a relay race in London’s Covent Garden Market carrying a pudding on a tray whilst negotiating a number of obstacles. Where: Covent Garden, London. Time: 11am Tel: 0781 807 7036 www.xmaspuddingrace.org.uk

December 4th

5K Santa Run

Take a magical walk through Syon Park’s enchanted woodland. Over a thousand lights will illuminate your journey through the beautiful gardens creating a kaleidoscope of colour. Where: London Rd, Brentford Time: 5pm - 9pm, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays www.syonpark.co.uk

December 6th

Toddlers Christmas Lunch Lots of fun for the toddlers at this big Christmas lunch. Where: Kids Space in Croydon Time: 12pm-2pm

December 10th - 11th

Oxford Street Traffic Free Day Transforming the West End into a safe playground for children and shoppers, the Oxford Street traffic free day bans cars and other vehicles from one of the busiest roads in London. Featuring live music, entertainment for kids and families, and shopping offers galore with many of the major stores staying open late. Where: Oxford Street

December 15th January 1st 1000s of entrants, and a free Santa suit for all runners! Where: Greenwich Park, London Time: 10am www.ejfoundation.org

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Ladbrokes World Darts Championships Something for the dads. Where: Alexander Palace. www.pdc.tv


December 17th

December 20th

Lots of fun for all the family, see back page for more details.

A fantastic Christmas party for the little ones! Start Christmas off with a bang.

Where: Beanies Cafe, Croydon. Time: 12.30pm

Where: 7 Station Court, Chelsea. www.gambado.com

December 19th

December 23rd - 30th

Rascals Of London Christmas Fete

Eddie Catz Peter Pan Pantomime

Gambado Christmas Toddler Party & Panto

Crisis Christmas

Need 6,500 volunteers to help their Christmas centres. Based in London, it supports over 2000 homeless and vulnerable people. A very worthwhile charity. Where: 66 Commercial Street, London. Tel: 0300 636 1967 www.crisis.org.uk

Eddie Catz put on an amazing Peter Pan pantomime for children 2.5 years - 8 years giving lots of fun for all the family and getting the children in the Christmas spirit. The price includes free play before and after the show, 20% off meal voucher, and a free gift for every child. Where: Eddie Catz, Putney. Time: 4pm-5pm www.eddiecatz.com

December 20th

Eddie Catz Christmas Themed Disco Party Christmas themed disco party with our own private DJ, plasma screens, smoke machine, dancing games with our elves, fun and prizes! Special guest appearance from Santa & photo opportunity. Where: Eddie Catz, Wimbledon. Time: 6pm - 8pm www.eddiecatz.com

Until December 24th

Enchanted House Christmas Take your little ones on a magical trip around the enchanted Christmas house, where they can come face to face with Santa and take part in a series of craft workshops. Where: The Enchanted House, 2-18 Britannia Row Islington Tel: 0203 227 3200

Christmas Day

Serpentine Swimming Join the morning swim in Hyde Park’s Serpentine on Christmas Day - or just go along to wonder at the insanity of London at Christmas. Where: 8 Moat Drive, Harrow

All of December

Nutcracker Ballet A real Christmas favourite, a must see for all the family, for the first time ever at the O2 arena. Where: O2 Arena. Tel: 0844 847 1707

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More What’s On New Years Eve

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

November 30th - January 14th Cinderella

Hickenshed’s spectacular new version of Cinderella takes all the familiar and traditional elements of this much-loved fairy tale, and serves them up with a modern twist. Where: The Rayne Theatre Tel: 0208 292 9222

New Year’s Eve Fireworks in London is an awesome display of sound and colour. Join a quarter of a million people as they celebrate the start of 2012 together by watching New Year’s Eve Fireworks in London along the banks of the River Thames. New Year’s Eve Fireworks in London is a 10-minute extravaganza starting at midnight and accompanied by music from famous UK artists. Where: London Eye, Jubilee Gardens, Time: From 10pm www.london.gov.uk

Until January 15th The Gruffalo

This big scary monster is back in London’s West End again this Christmas for the fourth year running.

New Years Day

Join Mouse on an adventurous journey through the deep dark wood in this magical, musical adaptation of the award winning picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

London’s New Year’s Day Parade 2012, is the first official event in a year of celebrations to mark Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll´s Diamond Jubilee.

Where: Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue. www.london-theatreland.co.uk

Where: Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly Time: Starts at 11.45am

Dino Snores

London’s New Year’s Day Parade

January 21st

Until January 8th

Help “Stick Man” Get back to his Family Tree ”Stick Man” is based on the children’s book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, creators of “The Gruffalo” Where: Leicester Square Theatre Tel: 0844 847 2475

Zzzzz... or roarrrr! Find out what really goes on at night as you try to sleep in the central hall with the dinosaurs gallery nearby. Where: Natural History Museum Tel: 0207 942 5792

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February 12th

Roald Dahl’s “Matilda The Musical Roald Dahl’s much-loved children’s story bursts onto the London stage in a brand new musical version. Where: Cambridge Theatre Tel: 0207 494 5080

February 1st, 3rd, 4th, 14th, 15th, 17th, 18th, 19th Spend an Evening Looking at the Stars

If you’re a budding astronomer and looking for a truly memorable experience, then how about booking a spot on a session at the Royal Observatory? The ticket will include a planetarium show exploring the stars on show that night, some time at the prime meridian with a hot drink in hand, and the opportunity to look through the 18-tonne victorian telescope. Where: Greenwich Park, Greenwich Tel: 0208 858 4422 www.londondrum.com

February 14th

Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain

February 25th

Mini Maestro Family Concerts Bringing music to life, getting the kids involved with the orchestra, they can bang on the drums, sing their hearts out and there will be plenty of musical games. Its really a journey of discovery, imagination and inspiration, creative, educational and most importantly its great FUN! Where: St Martin-in-the-fields, Trafalgar Time: 4:30pm - 5:30pm www.LMAorchestra.com

From Now On Muggles Tours

A walking tour for ‘Harry Potter’ fans, exploring film locations and inspirations for the books, with props and trivia. Ten per cent of donations go to charity, currently the African Famine crisis via DEC. Group sizes are kept small so booking is essential. Where: London Bridge Tel: 0791 741 1374 Time: Tuesday 2.30pm and 6.30pm, Saturday and Sunday at 11am www.muggletours.co.uk

February 24th - 26th Birmingham Stage Company takes up indefinite residence on the West End with the latest in its adaptation of Terry Deary’s lurid children’s history book adaptations. Drawn from several of the recently retired Deary’s books, ‘Barmy Britain’ offers a cockeyed skip though our nation’s history that takes in everything from the gunpower plot to roast dormouse recipes. Where: Garrick Theatre, Charing Cross Rd Tel: 0207 907 7071 www.nimaxtheatres.com

The Baby Show

With over 300 must have brands, The Baby Show has the widest range of baby and maternity products including food & feeding, accessories, pushchairs, nappies & wipes, toys, clothing, furniture, car seats and carriers. With exclusive show offers to save you money and the opportunity to test, compare and try before you buy, The Baby Show makes shopping for your baby really easy and hassle free.. Where: Excel, Western Gateway Tel: 0207 370 8219 www.thebabyshow.co.uk

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 33


A B C

of potty training Just as with all developmental milestones, Most parents eagerly anticipate potty training as a milestone in their child’s development; if for no other reason than that it means an end to changing nappies. But few mums and dads are prepared for how long it can take. Some children get trained within a few days but many more take several months. Here are some suggestions that might help make the training process a speedy success.

A

Assess your child’s readiness

Just as with all developmental milestones, when it comes to potty training, every child has his own pace. If you wait until the right time for your child, there are higher chances that he learns the tricks of the trade rapidly. Many parents begin training as soon as their child can sit on their own, but some kids may not be ready until well into their third or fourth year. Watch for the right signs, such as when your toddler starts imitating others’ bathroom habits. Pressuring him into starting early will probably make the whole process long and strenuous for both you and your child.

B

Buy the right equipment

A good place to start potty training is to have a comfortable potty for your child. This means investing in a child-sized potty or a small toilet seat that latches onto your regular toilet. Most potties are designed to seat your child comfortably with his feet touching the ground. Potties have the advantage of being mobile but they have to be cleaned every time your child does a deposit. The child toilet seat latches onto your toilet so no potty cleaning is required but you will probably need a foot stool to help your child climb up and down on his own. Anchoring his feet on this stool might also help him maintain his balance when he pushes during a bowel movement. You might want to start with a potty and when your child gets the hang of it move to a toilet seat of his size. Since the potty is of your child’s size and height, it might be less intimidating than using the toilet straight away.

34 - December 2011 l Rascals of London


C

Create a routine

To start with, sit your child fully clothed on the potty once a day. Choose a time at which he is likely to pass stool - after breakfast, before his bath - and stick to that time every day. Toddlers like consistency so if you are regular, he will get used to the potty and accept it as part of his routine. But at this stage, don’t try to explain why he should use it; just let him get accustomed to sitting on it for some time every day. If your child refuses to sit on the potty, that’s okay. Never restrain him or physically force him to sit there especially if he seems scared. If he is fussy or scared, he might well not be ready for potty training yet. Put the potty away, or at least aside and try again after a few weeks.

D

Ditch the nappy

When your toddler has become familiar with the potty, remove his nappy the next time he sits on it. Let him get used to what it feels like to sit there this way. At this point you can explain to him that mummy and daddy (and any older siblings) do not wear nappies but sit on the toilet every time they need to pass urine or stool. You can make him feel that it is the grown-up thing to do and now that he is big it is time for him to do so as well. If your toddler gets the idea and produces something, congratulate him heartily. But don’t push him to perform. He will do so when he is ready and demonstrates a clear interest in using the toilet on his own. It’s a good idea to teach your child from the very beginning to dress himself and wash his hands when he’s done, even if he hasn’t done anything. This will establish a good habit.

E

Excite their interest

It may help to show your child where his stools go. The next time he poos in his nappy, take him to his potty, sit him down, and empty the nappy beneath him into the bowl. This will help him make the connection between sitting and producing. After you’ve emptied his potty into the big toilet, let him flush it if he wants to so he can see where it goes. If the flush frightens him, you should skip this so that he does not get scared of the toilet.

F

Foster independence

Encourage your child to use his potty whenever he feels the urge to go. But make sure he knows that he can tell you, too, and that you’ll take him to the bathroom whenever he wants you to. If you can, let him run around sometimes without a nappy (or any clothing below the waist), with the potty nearby. Tell him he can use it whenever he wants to and remind him occasionally that it’s there if he needs it.

G

Try some training pants

To make the transition between nappies and underwear, you may want to give your toddler what are known as training pants. Some children respond well to them while others just think of them as a different type of nappy and use them as such. If the training pants work, that’s great. Otherwise, however inconvenient it may be for you, the discomfort of wet underwear can go a long way in motivating your toddler to become toilet trained.

H

Handle setbacks gracefully

Virtually every child will have several accidents before being completely trained during the day and at night. Don’t get angry or punish your child. After all, it’s only recently that his muscles have developed sufficiently to allow him to hold his bladder and rectum closed at all. Mastering the process will take time. When he has an accident, calmly clean it up and suggest that next time he try using his potty instead.

I

Introduce night training

Even when your child is consistently clean and dry all day, it may take him several more months or years to master night training, so don’t throw away his nappies just yet. At this age, his body is still too immature to reliably wake him up in the middle of the night just to go to the bathroom. You can help cut down on wet nights by not letting him drink too much before bedtime and telling him that if he does wake up in the middle of the night he can call to you to help him get to the potty. You can also try leaving his potty near the bed in case he wants to use it.

J

Jump for joy -- you’re done!

Believe it or not, when your child is ready to learn this new grown-up skill, he will. And if you wait until he’s really ready to start, the process shouldn’t be too painful for either of you. He will eventually be trained, and you won’t have to think about it again -- at least, not until the next baby...

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 35


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We are expanding our business and are looking for hard-working, determined individuals who are able to devote anywhere from 10 hours a week, to join our growing team of independent representatives. Full training and support provided, with your personal business mentor.

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36 - December 2011 l Rascals of London

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Mummy!

the snowman’s talking

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 37


Our Top s h t n o M 8 0Yrs - 1 CHRISTMA S

2011 Treetop Frie nds Activity G ym

l Hug & Hide Activity Ow surprises, This owl is full of hidden 10 r ove n ntio not to me Little ones developmental activities. reveal a to can open Owl’s wings ing hid er eak cute baby owl squ . ror mir afe y-s bab inside and a

Baby will enjo y hours of stim ulating play time in the Tree top Friends Ac tivity Gym with its total of 17 developmen tal activities, offe ring plenty of multi-sensory play for baby. Price: £67.00 Web: www.p eanutandpip.co m

Price: £16.95 ip.com Web: www.peanutandp

The Rock´n´R olla

This Christmas , kids can real ly rock ‘n roll tree with the around the Ch Rock ‘n’ Rolla ristmas . As little ones change from ro grow bigger, cker to ride-on th e toy can offering long-la Price: £39.99 sting play. Web: www.e lc.co.uk

Upper & Lower Case ABC Blocks This modern set comprises of 14 blocks with big, bold lettering and bright colours to match. One complete embossed uppercase alphabet and one complete printed lowercase alphabet with some extra vowels thrown in for name spelling. Price: £18.99 Web: www.peanutandpip.com

38 - December 2011 l Rascals of London

Skip-Hop Hare The Skip-Hop Hare is a cute new all-inone baby grooming set. The bunny ears lift out to reveal a brush and comb and each one has a soft-grip handle that is sized for grown-ups’ hands. Price: £21.99 Web: www.safetots.co.uk

Fisher Price Laugh N Lear n Puppy

The Fisher Price Laugh N Learn Puppy lets your along with so child learn to ngs and play ga sing m es with up to 10 teaches: alphabe songs. The pu t, numbers, co ppy un tin g, pa rts of the body an Price: £22.99 d colours. Web: www.b abycity.co.uk


Owl Zoo Bookends A perfect match for any bookshelf! Sold as a set of two, these soft and weighted Zoo Bookends are a sweet addition to any nursery or playroom decor.

18Months - 2Yrs

Price: £29.00 Web: www.peanutandpip.com

Set anted Carriage HappyLand Ench n carriage rs and unicorn-draw characte ith These little fairytale ’s imagination. W to spark your child t se le ab rn or ico un te are an ad cu e, ag incess, plush carri pr d an e inc pr e al the roy gical set can provid dmother, this ma ws. and wise fairy go ’s imagination gro ch ntures as your ild ever-changing adve Price: £12.00 .uk Web: www.elc.co

Bounce ‘N Sp in Zebra

This fun-stirrin g zebra encour ages physical develo pment.whilst ke eping your baby mov ing along with five lively songs as baby bounces and spins on the spunky zebra characte r. Price: £45.59 Web: www.e lc.co.uk

Rock On Rock On Elmo

Elmo is into his rock music. This singing toy has six tunes, while kids can play along with the other instruments. Price: £59.99 Web: www.argos.co.uk

Laugh & Lear n Say Please Tea Set Share

a pot of tea w ith two pretty cups, three tasty treats, an d plenty of so ngs, sounds an fun phrases to d go around. O pen the lid fo magical intera r ction with a pe ek-a-boo pal inside and pres s the teabag fo r songs. Price: £16.99 Web: www.e lc.co.uk

Zoo Pack Ladybug Skip-Hop

new Ladybug Skipto find the brand Kids will be thrilled mas! Girls and boys r the tree this Christ to Hop Zoo Pack unde off their Zoo Pack be eager to show ar! Ye w alike will certainly Ne the ool in they return to sch their friends when Price: £20.75 ndstuff.com Web: www.bibsa

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 39


2Yrs - 4Yrs

Fully Loaded McMissile You may scorn a sequel but your offspring, alas, will not. Voiced by Michael Caine, this innocentlooking car contains Bond-style mounted missiles. Stock up on batteries and prepare to hear “We’re being followed!” 4,000 times before the sprouts are even in the pan. Price: £24.99 Web: www.toysrus.co.uk

VTech V.Smile M otion Th is pr e- sc ho ol TV lea rn in g co ns ol e co m es co m pl et e wi th a m ot io n se ns in g wi re les s co nt ro lle r an d in clu de s a lea rn in g ga m e. Price: £34.99 Web: www.argos .co

.uk

Kiddizoom Twist

lens that twists around, This two megapixel camera has a selves, with ease. There them allowing kids to film you, or al zoom. digit a and es, are also built-in gam Price: £49.99 Web: www.elc.co.uk

The Saturdays Fashionistas It wouldn’t be a Ch ristmas toy list without th e obligatory girly doll. Last year was Barbie video girl, this year sees the turn of girl band the Saturdays, who have launche d a range of – well, themse lves. Price: £20.00 Web: www.haml eys.com

Peppa Pig Space Ship

this Peppa Pig Have hours of fun and blast off with Danny the Dog and Pig rge Geo uring Feat spaceship toy! ready in their space suits. Price: £11.99 Web: www.toysrus.co.uk

Talking Moshi Monsters Anyone with children in primary scho ol is likely to already be familiar with the onlin e gaming phenomenon that is Moshi Monsters . The latest launches are these plush toys that talk when you squeeze their tummies. Price: £15.00 Web: www.hamleys.com

40 - December 2011 l Rascals of London

Fur Real Cookie

pup will recognise her new You might balk at the price but this ing her head, blinking and owner’s voice and respond by mov not needing daily walkies. of s barking. With the added bonu Price: £49.99 Web: www.smythstoys.com


5Yrs - Big Nitron Nerf Vortex

get a rbies, the boys The girls get Ba fo a cus ingly named by ‘blaster’ seem on Haribo and ens hyped up group of pre-te sugary drinks. Price: £34.99 ythstoys.com Web: www.sm

Transformers 3 Mech Tech Leader Assortment g What Transformers 3 lacks in actin ise. hand merc in for up es mak it , bility credi nts This one is sure to be a hit with pare nostalgic for their own Transformers obsessed youth. It converts – of course – from vehicle to robot and c back again, and includes automati conversation sound.

Girls Lightning Hog Made from steel, rubber and PVC, the cool lightning hog that is hot, hot, hot. Rid e with lights on or off. Sea t and wheel lights can be on or off, ride the light, rid e the hog. Price: £74.99 Web: www.argos.co.uk

Price: £50.00 Web: www.hamleys.com

LeapPad A new multi-functional, child friendly learning tablet from LeapFrog featuring a built-in camera and video recorder, microphone and motion based gameplay with over 100 games and apps including interactive e-books, videos, an art/animation studio and more. Price: £74.99 Web: www.smythstoys.com

LEGO Police Station Big

Stop the priso ners from esca ping the polic station throug e h the pipe drai n! They won’t ge on foot. Use th t far e police car to chase them do and transport wn them back to prison in the po van. Help keep lice LEGO City safe with this featur packed set! ePrice: £59.97 Web: www.to ysrus.co.uk

FIJIT Friends Interactive Toys

in four colors - each one of These Dancing Dolls are available Friends can speak well them has a different personality. FIJIT s. joke over 100 phrases and can even tell Price: £48.66 Web: direct.tesco.com

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 41


Jelly Kitten Elephant Toy Hoopy Loopy Magic Snow

Hoopy Loopy is a fantastically colourful elephant toy by Jelly Kitten! Our Hoopy Loopy Elephant Toy is designed to stimulate the senses, so is a great aid for babies development.

Add a little water to a scoop of the special snow powder and it immediately expands 100 times its original volume, into a mass of fluffy white flakes.

Price: £11.99 Web: www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk

k c ing o t S illers F

Price: £1.99 Web: www.stocking-fillers.co.uk

Egg Cup Soldier, Spoon And Toast Cutter Set Sea Monkey Aquarium

Go one step further with your boiled egg and soldiers with the Egg Cup Soldier, Spoon and Toast Cutter Set! The egg cup is in the shape of a Queen’s Guard, complete with a hat to keep your egg warm under. He holds his weapon of choice... a red plastic spoon.

Hatch your own Sea Monkey eggs, then rear and care for them in the 15cm plastic tank Price: £9.99 Web: www.stocking-fillers.co.uk

Price: £6.99 Web: www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk

Mr Grasshead Water the head and watch grass sprout like green hair, which can then be trimmed and styled. Price: £4.99 Web: www.stocking-fillers.co.uk

Perfume Laboratory It is an amazing thing to be able to create a sensationally sassy signature scent for yourself or someone that you love! The Perfume Laboratory makes it easy! Price: £11.95 Web: www.prezzybox.com

42 - December 2011 l Rascals of London

Army Troopers A platoon of 32 nicely detailed plastic toy soldiers. Evoking childhood memories for many, these traditional green soldiers are in assorted poses and carry all manner of military paraphernalia. Price: £5.99 Web: www.stocking-fillers.co.uk


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Rascals of London l December 2011 - 43


Dear Santa

I have been a really good boy / girl this year, Hope you and Mrs Claus are both well and the elves are not elfing around too much.

Santa's letter This Christmas i would like 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Thank you Santa I promise to continue to be good for mummy and daddy

Lots of Love

The enchanting poem tells the story of a man who, while his wife and children are fast asleep, awakens on Christmas Eve to curious noises outside of his house. As he looks out of the window he witnesses a sleigh, pulled by eight reindeer, flying high across the sky before landing, to the man’s great surprise, on the roof of his very own house. The events that follow mark the beginning of the tradition of Santa Claus and the joy that he brings to children on Christmas night.

The Night Before Christmas By Dr. Seuss

To be sent to: The North Pole

44 - December 2011 l Rascals of London


The Twelve Days of Christmas By Jane Ray

In the heart of Clapham Old Town

We absolutely loved this book from the moment it was shown to us, we are great fans of author and illustrator Jane Ray and have been mesmerised by the timeless images she has created for this perfect Christmas book.

www.underthegreenwoodtree.co.uk

Top Festive Books

The Polar Express A Christmas Story By Chris Van Allsburg A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa. This book won the 1986 Caldecott Medal.

Father Christmas By Raymond Briggs Father Christmas awoke from his dream of summer in the sun, and there it was on the calendar, December 24th, Christmas Eve the start of his longest night’s work of the year!

Guess How Much I Love You By Sam McBratney

There seems to be an increase in popularity for the pop-up book, from The London Book to the ultimate pop-up book of poo, but    Guess How The High Street Much I love you is very special and really brings    By Alice Melvin the characters to life as you read the story. This hardback picture book narrates the simple story of a little girl who has to do her shopping; with 10 items on her list we see her walk from one shop to the other getting a yellow rose, a garden How the Grinch hose, a bunch of grapes and so much more. Stole Christmas! The magic of this book is in the details, each By Dr. Seuss page reveals a shop that can be unfolded to see The Grinch hates Christmas, and the inside of the shops. wants to stop it from coming. So he forms a devious plan: to impersonate Santy Claus and to Dream Snow steal the Whos’ Christmas presents. But come Christmas By Eric Carle morning, the Grinch is in for a It’s almost Christmas and it hasn’t snowed shocking surprise. yet. As the farmer naps on his small farm, he

Father Christmas Needs a Wee By Nicolas Allan

dreams of being covered in a gentle blanket of new snow. Then, one by one, he dreams of each of his five animals (aptly named One, Two, Three, Four, and Five) being covered as well. When he awakens, he discovers that real snow--not dream snow--has fallen.

This hilarious little hardback is a perfect stocking filler. Children and adults alike will enjoy the tale of Father Christmas needing the loo after having so many lovely drinks left to him by all the children awaiting their presents.

Mr Gum in ‘the Hound of Lamonic Bibber By Andy Stanton For all those young fans of Mr Gum, this will be the perfect Christmas gift. This bumper book comes with “extra bonus stuff & over 100 stickers”. Young readers and older readers will delight in this new detective saga.

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 45


Santa’s Grotto’s Where you can find the Big Man this Christmas Harrods

Hamleys The Santas Grotto at Hamleys is offering children a breakfast or afternoon tea with Santa himself. Kids can also enjoy the snow which will fall outside the Regent Street store every day from 5pm - 6pm in the run up to Christmas Day.

With plenty of festive cheer and fun for all the family, the Santas Grotto at Harrods returns this year to get the season off to a magical start. When: 5th Nov - 24th Dec www.harrods.com

Kew Gardens Have a magical Christmas at Kew this year as the botanic gardens are full of wonderful Christmas activities. With visits from Father Christmas, vintage car rides and a chance to go on a guided winter walk amongst all the beautiful plants.

When: 1st Dec - 24th Dec Tel: 0844 855 2424. www.hamleys.com

When: 10th Dec - 2nd Jan Tel: 0208 332 5655 www.kew.org

London Wetland Centre Children can enjoy a green Christmas in the Santas Grotto at London Wetland Centre this year at this family friendly event. Santa’s cabin grotto is nestled amongst wintering birds and trees, allowing kids to experience special time with Santa and learn more about nature as well.

Enchanted Christmas House

When: 10th Dec - 11th Dec Time: 11am - 4pm www.wwt.org.uk

When: 26th Nov - 24th Dec Tel: 0203 227 3200. www.christmas.enchantedhouse.net

Selfridges Children will adore the Santas Grotto at Selfridges this year, with its enchanting theme of a train ride on The Santas Express and a winter wonderland. When: 19th Nov - 24th Dec Tel: 0845 122 2522 www.selfridges.com

Greenwich Market Kids can meet Father Christmas at his very own Santas Grotto at Greenwich Market and enjoy magic and balloon modelling over the festive season. When: 30th Nov - 24th Dec Time: 12.30pm - 5.30pm www.viewlondon.co.uk

46 - December 2011 l Rascals of London

Take your little ones on a magical trip around the Enchanted Christmas House, where they can come face to face with Santa and take part in a series of craft workshops.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Featuring London’s biggest outdoor ice-rink, the iconic Giant Observation Wheel, German Christmas Market, Zippos Circus and a Santa Land for kids with FREE SANTA’S GROTTO and special gift. When: 19th Nov - 3rd Jan Tel: 0208 241 9818 www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com


Mums Wish List This Christmas www.babeswithbabies.com

Personalised Candle

Mother-to-Be Gift Set

Perfect for revitalising and rejuvenating a tired new mother. Price: £39.95

A great gift-box full of pampering treats perfect for pregnancy. Price: £29.95

Love & Friendship Bracelet

Glitter Spice Melts

Elizabeth - Camel Bag

A lovely gift for a friend who has given birth or to celebrate her pregnancy. Price: £69.00

Moisturising, pampering aromatherapy cupcakes with spices on top. Price: £29.95

Luxury Baby Bag - as carried by Jules Oliver. Price: £195.00

Slippers & Hottie Giftset

Personalised Pendant

Mama’s Mini Pamper Set

Stylish and superbly soft, a lovely gift for the colder months. Price: £69.95

Stunning pendant in beautiful hallmarked brushed sterling silver. Price: £155.00

A set of lovely little treats, perfect for pampering a new mum. Price: £26.95

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 47


Christmas on a Budget Christmas means so many different things to different families – for some, it’s one of the most significant religious times of the year, for others it’s a special time for spending with loved ones and yet, for others, it can be a sad, lonely time. Depending on how you view Christmas, you may or may not be affected by the fact that, for most of us, there is less spare cash to fund Christmas this year. How, then, can you manage Christmas on a budget? With four children under the age of 8, Christmas is always on a budget for me! For our family, Christmas is not only a season of fun, magical experiences and relaxation, but it’s also a time of spiritual focus, so I don’t want my children to lose sight of what I see as the real meaning of Christmas in the midst of the commercial enterprise surrounding the season. That’s why, in my suggestions for free or cheap Christmas experiences on the next page, I’ve included ways of enjoying the season that include an element of giving to others and the option to explore the spiritual side of Christmas. Pre-book visits to free Santa’s grottos – some of the best grottos we’ve been to are those in major shopping centres, such as Lakeside or Bluewater. Amazingly, these offer very authentic grotto scenarios with Santa taking his role very seriously and giving the children lots of quality time as well as offering some very impressive presents. I have only ever once made the mistake of turning up without a pre-booked ticket. I won’t make the same mistake twice – one hour and two screaming infants later, we finally met Santa. Let’s just say I didn’t bother buying the photos. Another tip about these visits - you probably won’t be allowed to take your own photo with Santa. Don’t feel pressured to buy the photos that the elves take - these are overpriced and

it’s only when you get home that you will realise that your particular elf photographer was not exactly the Mario Testino of the grotto world.

My four children have reconciled themselves to the fact that any present they receive will inevitably be chewed by our 1 year old, stamped on by our 3 year old, stolen by our 5 year old or buried in the garden by our 8 year old. Buy presents on EBay / ASDA Direct / Tesco Direct / Argos – I think I am the only woman on the planet who hates shopping as it is such a time killer. Even if I didn’t have to go shopping with 4 children in tow, shopping would rank just about level with doing my tax return in my popularity stakes. That’s why I opt for internet shopping wherever possible. What could be

48 - December 2011 l Rascals of London

better than buying something for half the price AND having it delivered right to my door? Saving money and time by buying on the internet doesn’t have to mean buying second hand, poor quality goods – my recent buys include brand new Gladiator, Superman and Power Rangers costumes for roughly £7 each (usually £15 in the shops), a new Disney wheeled rucksack for £8 (£20 in the shops), a brand new girl’s leather jacket for £15 (£35 in the shops) and 3 of the latest CDs for £20 (£39 in the shops). These are just a few examples of the savings you can make – why not take a look yourself? Attend a Christingle service – this short service, in early December, is a wonderful service to attend whether you are a Christian or not. What my young children look forward to at this service is the part where the lights are turned off and we all hold candles, standing in a huge circle, sharing smiles with friends from school and people who live nearby, singing familiar Christmas carols and collecting a Christingle orange (or two!) absolutely covered in sweets. Though I think about the symbolism used to create the Christingle orange – hope, salvation, forgiveness, love – my children don’t yet understand this and it may not be something you particularly want your children to explore. Regardless of where you stand spiritually though, I know you will receive a warm welcome to this beautiful start to the Christmas season.


Consider marking (very different from ‘celebrating’) other seasonal festivities and religious days such as Diwali, Eid-al-Adha, the birthday of Guru Nanak, Remembrance Sunday or Hanukkah. Though my children are brought up in a Christian home, they have benefitted enormously from learning about other religions through activities that are interesting to them e.g. for Diwali at our DreamMaker School Holiday Club, some children had henna tattoos done on their hands and sampled traditional foods such as gulab jambu. My older children’s appreciation of other religions has not only taught them to respect other faiths, it has also deepened and strengthened their own faith. Buy your children experiences rather than presents – my four children have reconciled themselves to the fact that any present they receive will inevitably be chewed by our 1 year old, stamped on by our 3 year old, stolen by our 5 year old or buried in the garden by our 8 year old. This clever conditioning established from birth by their wise parents has taught them that experiences are just as valid as material possessions because experiences cannot be destroyed by siblings. As a result, my children can be very cheap to entertain – 80p spent on pick n mix (usually banned in our house as poor value for money), 20p spent on a ride on a mechanical horse or 10p spent on one of those slot machines where you buy a toy in an egg shaped carton – less than £2 per head and my children are content, invigorated and excited. In fact, they feel positively privileged! Join the National Trust – for roughly £60 per year, you have guaranteed entertainment for the whole family. My children recently picked apples from Benjamin Disraeli’s orchard, my husband (a surveyor) inspected the architecture of Mr Disraeli’s country home and I (as a chocolate specialist) gave my seal of approval to the fudge cake being sold in His Right Honourable tearoom. Add to this wonderful scenario a real Christmas tree, staff dressed up in victorian clothes, a choir singing carols around a log fire and you have a Christmas memory that will last a lifetime.

Quick tips for a lean Christmas: 1. Send a letter to Santa for free (see www2.royalmail.com/letters-to-santa). He will even write back to you!

2. Go to http://portablenorthpole.tv/home and ensure that Santa sends your child a free personalised video message via e-mail.

3. Try to give Santa a low profile – the more you make a big issue of Santa with his unlimited budget, the greater your obligation to ensure that Santa lives up to impossible expectations.

4. Go and see a feel-good movie at Odeon for Kids (child ticket, £2.50, accompanying adult, free) or, cheaper yet, movies for juniors at Cineworld (£1 per person!)

5. Let everyone know that, for the next decade, you will either be tied up with giving birth or rearing children so handwriting Christmas cards will have to take a back seat – send e-cards instead.

6. Visit the London museums – you could visit all of these for free during every single day of the Christmas holidays and still not have enough time to see everything…

7. Buy packets of Christmas coins or chocolate tree decorations, put one or two in a small envelope with a pre-printed card e.g. ‘Wishing you joy and peace this Christmas, Love from Jemima’, throw some glitter in the envelope and give these out to your children’s school friends – these are often much more appreciated than packets of sweets or expensive presents.

8. Go to the switching on of the Christmas lights – but be warned, though this can be exhilarating, it can also be crowded, freezing cold and involve a very long wait. This activity is most suitable for those preparing for a long arctic trek or parents wanting to test their tantrum management skills in a public place.

9. Visit the Christmas market at Greenwich – though, bear in mind, there is a limit to how fascinated your child will be with specialist teas sold in pretty metal boxes or novelty animals created from socks.

10. Go to a local forest/wood/park to collect Christmas decorations – leaves, sticks, pine cones – use them to decorate your home or let your children create their own craft activities with these wonderful raw materials.

11. Do something charitable with your children for other children – shop for, pack and wrap a Christmas shoebox for a child in need through Operation Christmas Child run by Samaritan’s Purse.

12. Save up your shopping rewards points to book a night away in a posh hotel (the Marriott is fantastic for children) or book a day out at Longleat Park or Madam Tussaud’s – do something out of the ordinary that you wouldn’t normally spend ‘real’ cash on. And finally, the ultimate tip for saving money, time and effort – take up the invitation from Grandad, Auntie Charlene or your local church and go to theirs for Christmas dinner. In doing so, you will probably spread a bit of festive cheer of your own without even knowing it… Isabelle Parasram is the mother of four children aged 1-8. She is also a barrister, an AVA College Assessor of Childcare and Education, an NCT- trained antenatal teacher, and the Director of a large Children’s Day Nursery & Out of School Club near Tower Hill, London. She would love to answer your questions or to have your comments on her article. Please e-mail her at: Director@mydreammaker.co.uk You can also read more about her at: www.mydreammaker.co.uk/our-ethos

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 49


Oh yes they are! Don’t miss out on this seasonal speciality

on across Lond

The Snowman

Cinderella

The Peacock Theatre

Hackney Empire, Mare Street

The annual favourite, Raymond Briggs’ Snowman, returns to The Peacock Theatre for another year. When: Until 8th Jan. Web: www.peacocktheatre.com

Beauty and the Beast

Millfield Arts Centre

Join beautiful Cinderella, two hideous ugly sisters, one seriously mean stepmother, one huge pumpkin, a glitzy palace ball and lots of very cute mice. Add to these thrilling adventure and knock about comedy. When: 26th Nov - 8th Jan. Web: www.hackneyempire.co.uk

A beautiful panto full of beastly good fun. Join us in the enchanted forest where curses need to be broken, true love must save the day and the princes aren’t always so handsome.

Babes in the Wood

South London Theatre

When: 24th Nov - 8th Jan. Web: www.millfieldartscentre.co.uk

Aladdin Fly with us on a magical carpet ride to the far east for a fantastic family adventure! It’s a wish come true this Christmas.

The Sheriff of Nottingham has just learned that his wards, the eponymous babes of the story, are worth more to him dead than alive and sends his hapless henchmen, Toyle and Trubble into the Woods to finish them off.

When: 30th Nov - 31st Dec.

When: 6th Dec - 16th Dec.

Web: www.thebroadwaybarking.com

Web: www.southlondontheatre.co.uk

The Broadway, Barking

50 - December September 2011 2011 2011 lll Rascals Rascals Rascalsof of ofLondon London London


Jack and the Beanstalk

Aladdin

Shaw Theatre, Euston Road

Greenwich Theatre, Crooms Hill A great rocking live band and a great Dame in Andrew Pollard who has been writing and starring for 7 years. When: 24th Nov - 8th Jan. Web: www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk

Starring Linda and Maureen from The Nolans with Devon Anderson (Billie Jackson) from Eastenders, Chris Stanton from CBBC’s M.I. High.

Potted Panto

Vaudeville Theatre, Strand

When: 6th Dec - 31st Dec. Web: www.shaw-theatre.com

Beowulf

Rosemary Branch Theatre From the brilliant Charles Court Opera comes their Xmas panto Beowulf. When: 9th Dec - 8th Jan. Web: www.rosemarybranch.co.uk

Little Red Riding Hood

Oldfield Primary School

From the makers of Potte Potter comes seven classic pantos in 80 minutes! With CBBC’s Dan and Jeff! When: 18th Dec - 8th Jan. Web: www.pottedpanto.com

Aladdin

Beck Theatre

Holy Cross Players proudly present their 30th anniversary production. When: 5th Jan - 7th Jan. Web: www.holycrossplayers.org.uk

Snow White

The Ark Theatre Top Hat Stage School will bring you their annual pantomime, a new adaptation of the classic tale Snow White.

Promising to have The Beck Theatre’s hallmark of quality and value for money for all the family. Starring Mark Jones, Matthew Rixon and Hatasha Jayetilekee.

When: 6th Dec - 10th Dec.

When: 17th Dec - 8th Jan.

Web: www.thearktheatre.co.uk

Web: www.becktheatre.org.uk

Rascals Rascals of of London London ll September December 2011 - 51


Diary of a New Mum I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas! This time last year we had just found out that I was pregnant. In some ways the last year has flown by, but in others that carefree me that was about to hit London for a work conference and pre-Christmas party season now seems a whole generation away. I feel as though I’ve always been a mother. Paul and I were talking the other day and I asked him if he’d ever looked back and wondered what we’d done. ‘No,’ he said, ‘I’ve got absolutely no regrets; I couldn’t be without him.’ It’s exactly how I feel. Jaxs has completed us somehow. He is absolutely wonderful. I wonder if anyone else worries about ‘stimulation’ as much as I do. When Jackson is awake, He´s very alert, and I feel bad just leaving him in his bouncy seat watching me type, or wash up. I know the books say they will be ‘fascinated to watch you, however mind-numbing the task, whether ironing or peeling potatoes’, but I can’t help feeling he needs more. In the absence of a good range of toys for his stage of development, I’ve tried cobbling together playthings from old egg boxes and a pair of maracas from Spain, but he just sucked the egg box until it was soggy, and gave me a small scare when the cheap paint on the maracas came off on his face, leaving his lips dotted with blue flecks. I then had a minor panic about the beautiful hand-carved rattle my dad made for him. He’d been sucking that too and it’s made of Yew wood (isn’t Yew poisonous??). Fortunately I think it’s just the sap that’s dangerous (that’s one of the reasons we chopped down our large Yew tree earlier this year anyway). As an attempt to stimulate Jackson, I try to do one ‘exciting’ thing with him each day. This usually involves a walk, or a trip to Super market. Hardly the most scintillating activity, but he likes it - the bright fluorescent lights, the people, the coloured packets and tins, and the chance to sit at eye level with mum while being pushed around (like most babies, he likes motion). I do crave more toys for him though, and have added things like the Fisher Price Crawl ‘n’ Cruise Playground to his Christmas wish list, as I suspect he will be crawling then walking before too long, and the trouble with our house is that it’s all bare floors - cold, hard tiles, or dusty floorboards. Not very conducive to a baby on his hands and knees for the first time - or for a small bottom to fall onto when he takes his first unsteady steps. We’re looking forward to Christmas with mixed feelings, as Paul and I are utterly broke at the moment. We’re excited about it being our first Christmas with Jackson, of course, but wish we had a bit more money to spend on making it magical. As it is, we’re still suffering from the three months I took off work to have Jackson (this hit us hard). But no, Christmas is bound to be a joyous time. With all the latest versions of Christmas carols no doubt playing in Asda when I take Jackson there this afternoon. I’m sure Jackson will be oblivious to it all, but he will make it extra special for the rest of us. Paul’s parents are coming over from Canada and it will be the 1st time they have seen Jackson and as we’ve just started Jackson on solids, we’ll have to make sure we have the video camera on standby for when he’s smearing cranberry sauce all over his face! Happy Christmas all you Rascal readers, enjoy your family’s, treasure the moments, get lots of pictures and foremost RELAX. See you in March for Rascals Easter edition. .

X

52 - December 2011 l Rascals of London

Happy Valentines Day on the 14th February

Union Jack Cushion Limited edition handmade love cushion, the perfect gift for your patriotic loved one! Each letter is made of a different vintage fabric print, appliqued over a vintage style union jack. By Poppy Valentine Price: £29.95

Fresh Red Rose, Ivy and Faux Berry Vine Heart This stunning wreath will grace any door inside or out and is a beautiful addition to any mantlepiece. By figa & Co. Ltd Price: £45

Sterling Silver Hammered Heart Earrings Two puffed sterling silver hammered heart charms hang from sterling silver ear wires. These earrings are very versatile and can be dressed up or down as the mood suits. By IndiviJewels Price: £20


Q Q&A’s

Natasha Wiening

Natasha grew up in South Africa where she studied Graphic Design before immigrating with her fiance to the UK in 2002. She is a mum to a beautiful 18 month old daughter who is truely a princess. Natasha was blessed with her arrival when she was only 31 weeks pregnant weighing 1.67kg so she had a tiny baby for a long time which she describes as amazing. Natasha worked in the photography industry for 5 and a half years before deciding to start up on her own, and has now been working for herself for 3 years and says its the best thing she has ever decided to do. We asked her a few questions to find out how she really gets those amazing shots of new born babies, families and shots like our front cover, we wanted to know her secrets. What would you say were the 3 key factors behind your success as a professional photographer? 1. I like to get to know each family that comes into my studio personally rather than treating them as a production line. I am told this positive and friendly approach is felt at my first contact with each family. 2. My training as a photographer is highlighted through my work, I am a perfectionist and like images to be correctly exposed and have the appropriate treatment. I would never add anything less into my slide show. 3. Being professional and keeping the standard high from start to finish. What do you enjoy most about your Job? All my clients walk into my studio happy and excited, it’s nice meeting new people and working in a positive environment. How does it fit with family life? Perfectly, I couldn’t ask for more. I work from home and have my princess around most of the time. I never wanted to miss out on her first words, first step etc and now I don’t have too.

We just love your newborn photography, it’s amazing and must take a lot of patience, how long does a shoot take? It completely depends on the baby. A newborn session can take up to 5 hours because we need to be patient and wait for them to fall asleep. Sometimes it may take me up to an hour to get a baby in a particular pose but it is worth it in the end as an art is created once it is achieved. What age is best for newborn photography? My newborn shoots are photographed before the age of 3 weeks but the best age is between 7-10 days old. What are your most common camera settings for newborns and infant photography? My newborn photography is shot using natural light. I normally shoot on a low aperture like 1.8/2.8 to get low depth of field. When I shoot with flash and use my white background, I shoot on F11 as I like the clarity. How many years before you found “your” style and knew your focus was going to be working with children? Every since I started photography, I loved photographing people. I have been photographing families and children for 8 and half years now and I still love it. Every person/ child is unique so I never get bored.

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 53


Children can be unpredictable, how do you change a child´s mood so it comes across good on camera? I play games with children and come down to their level. I am cheeky and naughty and make them laugh. They soon trust me and think I am their friend so I get natural expressions out of them. What’s your favourite part of the job? After the shoot, I love downloading my shots and seeing them come through one at a time, it’s exciting! Can you tell us about any workshops for parents you might be running in the future? Every mum would like to take nice photographs of their kids but may not understand all the technical sides to a camera. I would like to give mums a basic idea how to use their camera and show them how to take a great photo. I will be holding mum’s workshops next year where I will show them the basics of a camera, nothing too technical, just enough to remember and then the rest will be mostly practical. We will go on location together and have some fun. I will be around to help and guide mums when taking photos. I would like each person to walk away having some great photos of their own child and have a better understanding of how they got the photos and feel confident they could do it again. These workshops will help mums meet other mums with the same interest. Friendships can be formed and I will be encouraging mums to get together again in the future and go take some photos. I will also be offering one to one mentoring as well as basic editing for those who would like to take it to the next level. This course is for mums who would like to take good photos of their children, not people wanting to set up a business. Pre walking toddlers are welcome on the course. How many images do you show the client? And how many do you take in a typical photo shoot? If it is a family photo session, I would usually shoot around 300 images and show clients around 80-100.

Thank you Natasha for your time, its been a pleasure and I cant wait to go on set with you and see the outcome of our Easter edition´s front cover. Natasha currently has a very special offer for all you Rascal readers, 50% off the studio fee, usually £150. Mention Rascals Of London to receive your studio sitting for just £75, Capture the moment yourself or give someone the perfect gift.

54 - December 2011 l Rascals of London


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A Patri-botic Centerpiece

& AR

T

S

Boogie Monsters

Do U need a GR8 helper? Well, this is one can-do robot. His recycled-can head holds a hair-raising array of utensils, and a clear container belly keeps cookies safe from eager little hands until it’s time for dessert.

•  1 roll each of red, white, and blue duct tape

AF

•  Clear 1-gallon, food-safe plastic pail (we   got ours from stampendous.com)

•  Tacky glue •  3 (12-inch) pipe cleaners

T

•  2 cardboard tubes (toilet paper tubes   or wrapping paper tubes trimmed   to about 5 1/2 inches)

Materials

S

Materials

These zany desktop dancers have the “money” to stand on their own two feet.

•  2 medium pom-poms (ours were 1   1/2 inches in diameter) •  2 googly eyes •  Felt •  Tiny pom-pom

•  2 (15-ounce) unopened cans of food,   with labels removed (for weight)

•  Wooden skewer

•  Clean, empty metal can or plastic   bucket (ours is a 12-ounce peanut can)

•  Poster tack

CR

•  2 metal bottle caps

Cr af ty ra idea in s y da for ys th os e

•  Parchment paper (optional)

Instructions

1.  Wrap the cardboard tubes with red

and white duct tape. Affix an arm to each side of the pail with a loop of tape.

•  Feather

2.  Wrap the bottom of the canned goods with red tape. (Tip: Write the contents on the top of each can so that you’ll know what’s in them.) Place loops of tape on their lids, then press the pail into place on top.

3.  To make the robot’s head, wrap the empty can or bucket with blue duct tape. Cut eyes from white duct tape and a mouth from red. (Tip: The eyes and mouth are easier to make if you first attach the duct tape to a piece of parchment paper. Cut out the shapes, then peel them off the parchment backing.) Attach the bottle caps to the white circles with loops of tape. Stack the head on top of the pail.

For more detail and images to help you make these crafts visit: www.familyfun.go.com

•  2 pennies •  2 penny-size buttons

Instructions 1.  Glue a 7-inch length of pipe cleaner between the pom-poms for arms. Let the glue dry.

2.  For legs, fold a 9-inch pipe cleaner length in half and glue the fold to the bottom of the lower pom-pom.

3.  Attach each googly eye to a small felt circle, then glue the eyes, felt ears, and a tiny pom-pom nose to the face.

4.  For each horn, coil a 4-inch pipe cleaner length around the skewer, then glue the horn onto the head. Fold the ends of each arm to form hands. Glue the feather tail in place.

5.  Add a foot to each leg by using a small ball of blue-tack to sandwich each end between a button and a penny, as shown.

56 - December 2011 l Rascals of London


Christmas Crew

Can-do Stilts Dangling Snowman

Give your favourite patriot a boost with a pair of classic tin can stilts. Our design allows you to empty the can while keeping its top and bottom sealed for safety and stability.

Decorate a mantel or tabletop with this easy-to-make Santa and his little helpers. It doesn’t take a single flake to build this frosty character -- you can round him up with white foam, buttons, and ribbon.

Materials •  Cardboard tissue tubes •  Construction paper

Materials

Materials

���  Puncture-style can opener

•  3 round objects (we used a spice jar   lid, the bottom of a yogurt container,   and a jam jar lid)

•  2 (29-ounce) cans of tomato sauce •  Acrylic paint in white, red, and blue •  Paintbrush •  Star shapes cut from household sponges •  Disposable pans or plates •  Tape •  2 (5-foot) lengths of cotton or   nylon clothesline •  Skewer

•  Scissors •  Craft foam, white and orange

•  Scissors •  Craft glue

Instructions

•  Glue dots •  Monofilament (Fishing Line)

1.  Begin by wrapping each cardboard

•  Buttons

tube with a 4- by 6-inch paper rectangle, choosing an appropriate base colour for each character. Glue the paper in place.

•  Permanent marker •  Ribbon

2.  To make faces for the angel, Santa,

Instructions

soldier and elf, cut 3-inch-wide circles out of orange or pink paper, and glue them onto the tubes.

Instructions

1.  Puncture a can in opposite spots on its

1.  Using the round objects as patterns,

side. Drain it by blowing into one hole to force the sauce out of the other. Repeat with the second can. Wash both cans under running water to clean them, inside and out. Remove labels and let them dry.

cut out 2 white foam circles in each size.

2.  Paint both cans white. When they’re dry, dip dampened sponge stars into pans or plates of red and blue paint. Apply the stamps to the cans and let them dry.

3.  For the handles, tape one end of a length of clothesline to a skewer. Push it through one hole and out the other. Have your child stand on the can, holding the line’s ends. Knot the line at hip level and trim. Repeat for the other stilt.

2.  Spacing one set of the circles 1/4 inch apart. With glue dots, glue a 12-inch piece of monofilament across the circles, then firmly press the matching circles on top.

3.  Use more glue dots to attach buttons and an orange craft foam nose. With a permanent marker, draw on eyes and a mouth. Finally, tie a ribbon scarf around the monofilament at the neck, and then knot the line above the head to create a loop for hanging.

3.  Cut small circles for eyes and noses, mini rectangles for eyebrows and crescent shapes for mouths and moustaches. Roll a tiny orange cone for the snowman’s nose, then make four small snips around the cone’s base and glue the tabs to his face. For Santa’s beard, glue on layers of 1-inch-wide white paper circles.

4.  To make a tall, pointed hat for Santa or the elf, wrap a 2- by 5-inch paper rectangle around the tube top and glue the overlapped edges together. Pinch the top of the hat closed and trim with a paper pom-pom. Add a brow band in a contrasting color. For the snowman’s and soldier’s hats, start by rolling and gluing a 2- by 5-inch paper rectangle into a cylinder. Make small slits along one end and fold the tabs in toward the center of the cylinder. Glue a 2 1/2-inch circle on top of the tabs.

5.  To finish, frame the angel’s face with yellow curls and a lacy collar. Add a halo and wings. Complete Santa’s uniform with a broad black belt and buckle. Decorate the soldier with golden epaulets, coat lapels, and buttons. Use 1- by 7-inch material for the snowman’s scarf. Glue on pointed elf ears and feet, and top off the reindeer with antlers and ears.

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 57


Christmas Homemade

Crafts Make some easy, stylish Christmas decorations with your children. Karen Stones from London Property Makeover shows you how in simple steps.

1) Use 10 sheets of 18 x 26 inch tissue paper... gold or silver or layers of both would be good.

2)

3)

21 January, 25 February 2012

In this class, you will learn how to make your home a HOT property. It is interactive and fun. Materials to bring: •  A4 white card. •  Images of the room that you want to    work on. •  Any inspirational cuttings that you have    so far. This could be fabric swatches/    magazine images/ postcards etc. Where: BBC Bar, 7-9 Ramsden Road, Balham, London SW12 8QX Time: 1pm-4.30pm Price: £60.00 www.londonpropertymakeover.com

Fold accordion style, with about 1 1/2 inch folds. Crease with each fold.

Fold a piece of floral wire in half and slip over centre..twist. Trim the ends of the tissue into rounded or pointy shapes.

4)

Interior Design Masterclass

Separate layers, pulling away from centre one at a time.

Kids Class to make Christmas Decorations 16 December 2011 This is a special class for you and your children. Cost is £20 per adult. Entry for children is free, when accompanied by a paying adult. Come along and feel festive at the Christmas themed afternoon. Enjoy munching on mince pies and listening to good old Christmas favourites as we create three different tree decorations (Beaded, Paper and Felt) to make your homemade Christmas unique.

5)

Hang from the ceiling for a simple, but effective display.

To sign up for a homemade home craft class or an Interior Design class in South West London, visit: www.londonpropertymakeover.com 58 - December 2011 l Rascals of London

Materials to bring: Colourful paper or card – think about the colour scheme for your tree (and christmasy colours or patterns.) Small pack/packs of coloured glass beads. (Again think about your desired colour scheme.) Some old plain baubles to revamp with beads or new clear/plain ones. Coloured felt to make padded decorations, think Christmas colours again - red/green/white) Where: St Lukes Community Centre, 194 Ramsden Road, Balham SW12 8RQ Time: 1pm- 3pm Price: £20.00 www.londonpropertymakeover.com


Christmas Gingerbread Man Recipe Ingredients:

TIP

The pastry will be easier to mix if the butter has been removed from the fridge half an hour before starting mixing.

350g / 12oz plain flour 175g / 6oz light soft brown sugar 100g / 4oz butter 1 medium egg 4 tablespoons of golden syrup 1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda 1½ teaspoon of ground ginger

Santas Little Helpers (Child) Put the flour, butter, ground ginger and bicarbonate soda in a mixing bowl. Mix it all together with fingertips until crumbly. Now add sugar, syrup and egg and mix until it forms a firm pastry mix.

Using the rolling pin, roll out the pastry to about 5mm thick. Make sure the surface and the rolling pin are well dusted with flour.

Now Cut out the shapes with a knife or pastry cutter and place the cut out pastry on a greased or non-stick baking tray.

Ask your helper to put the baking trays in the pre-heated oven. Because the oven is HOT HOT HOT. After 15 minutes remove from the oven (Best to check after 10 minutes). Santas elves now find a selection of anything you like to decorate the gingerbread men. Ideas for gingerbread man topping, cake icing, raisins, chocolate chips and edible silver balls, Marshmallows and don’t forget to have lots of fun.

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 59


Recycling this Christmas

Every year the waste we produce in the UK is huge and with the festive season on the way councils are wanting the message sent out LOUD and CLEAR, Recycle is key this Christmas. Why not get the kids involved, get them to help organise the recycling whilst you get on with preparing Christmas dinner. On Christmas day have your recycling boxes ready to put the plastics and papers and glass away properly saving you treading on it all day. Keep cardboards for drawing and arts and crafts for the kiddies don’t throw away decorations. Got a kitten or cat? Why not make him a toy to play with? If we all do the recycling this Christmas our world will be a cleaner place and don’t forget to find a charity shop somewhere for those unwanted presents. Check out our Winter chilling facts on how much waste the UK makes every Christmas. Did you know? It is estimated that over Christmas as much as 83 sq km of wrapping paper will end up in the UK rubbish bins, enough to cover Hyde park 33 times. ´Waste watch´

The waste created in Britain over Christmas is equivalent to 400,000 Double Decker buses. ´Durham Council´

Around 125,000 tons of plastic packaging are thrown away over Christmas- that’s the equivalent weight of more than 50,000 festive polar bears. ´Buy Image´ Around 4,200 tons of aluminium foil gets thrown away in the UK each Christmas. ´Friends of the earth´ In seven days running up to Christmas, Asda estimate it will have sold 750,000 tons of Christmas pudding – that´s equivalent to the weight of 1,875 jumbo jets. ´Guardian Unlimited´ Marks & Spencer estimates it will sell more than 500 tons of sprouts over the Christmas period. ´Research Machines Plc´

Between 20% and 30% more glass jars and bottles are collected over the Christmas period. ´Guardian Unlimited´ Over six million trees were bought last Christmas in the UK, most will be thrown out by the end of December creating over 9,000 tons of additional rubish, almost five times the weight of the London eye. ´Waste Watch´

60 - December 2011 l Rascals of London

So what can you and your family do to help this Christmas? How can I reuse or recycle wrapping paper? Shred pretty coloured wrapping paper to use as colourful light or protective packaging around future gifts. Like newspaper, wrapping paper is great for cleaning windows and leaving them streak-free – use it instead of paper towels or a cloth. One for the kids: thin paper like wrapping paper is great for origami – use it to make Christmas-themed decorations or to give to friends. You can also cut out pictures of penguins, stars or cartoon characters to decorate dull notebooks.

How can I reuse or recycle cards? The easiest thing to do with pretty Christmas cards is to cut out a square or rectangle from the design to use as a gift tag on your presents next year – use pinking shears or cut out a wavy edged template to make them more interesting. Taller strips could be used for bookmarks too. One for the kids: Christmas cards are just the right thickness for loads of craft projects – keep a stash for using throughout the year. Make little boxes to keep little things (like erasers or badges) tidy, or use them to make stencils or templates.

How can I use up leftover bits of turkey? Use leftover lumps of meat in a curry with either parsnips or chickpeas – or instead of chicken in a white chilli. It also goes well with strips of courgette and mushrooms in a green Thai curry sauce, mmm! Smaller bits pulled off bones can be used in a risotto – with leek or butternut squash perhaps? Use pearl barley if you fancy something a little more filling than rice. Boil up bits of skin and bones with onion, garlic, herbs and left over bits of (raw) veg like celery and carrot to make a stock which can be used in stews and soups. If you have a dog don’t be mean! let him have some nice Christmas dinner, recycle is your dogs middle name at Christmas.

How can I reuse or recycle trees? Most council tips in the UK at least take old Christmas trees and shred them to make ground-cover for use in their parks. Strip the needles from their branches and use as naturally pine scented pot pourri or to stuff pin cushions. You can even use them in cooking! Christmas tree needles can also be used to restore balance in a compost heap – they’re acidic so balance out alkaline things, like wood ash. One for the kids: Get an adult to help you cut some of the bigger branches in small sections then make them into cute little animals – like reindeer decorations for next Christmas.


Rascals of London l December 2011 - 61

Rascals Competition - To win one of our WOW toys please colour in this picture as neatly as possible and send or drop it in to: Eddie Catz, 68-70 Putney High Street, Putney SW15 1SF


A BIG Rascals Of London thank you to all of our supporters, and stall holders for our Christmas charity fete

- see you all there!

62 - December 2011 l Rascals of London


Rascals of London l December 2011 - 63


Directory & Services Classes

Private schools

Day Nurseries

Art Barn

Ashton House School

2 Steps Day Nursery

Tel: 0796 049 6481

Tel: 0208 560 3902

Tel: 0774 703 1582

Baby Sensory

Bassett House

A Perfect Start

Tel: 0759 437 1664

Tel: 0208 969 0313

Tel: 0208 902 6231

Baby Yoga

Channing Junior School

Ackroyd Community Nursery

Tel: 0208 342 9862

Tel: 0208 291 4933

Tel: 0783 417 0485

Chepstow House

Boogie Babies

Tel: 0207 243 0243

Asquith Battersea Day Nursery

Tel: 0208 968 1900

Baby Sensory

Tel: 0796 049 8208

Bright Sparks Tel: 0203 194 3178

Buzy Beez Tel: 07903 813 618

Catch a Ball Tel: 0208 398 3034

Caterpillar Music

Devonshire House Prep School

Tel: 0175 320 1122

Tel: 0207 435 1916

Tel: 0208 695 9959

Dallington School

Blossoms Day Nursery

Tel: 0207 251 2284

Tel: 0208 760 0540

Eaton House School

Blue House Day Nursery and Preschool

Tel: 0207 924 6000

Eaton Square School

Blooming Kidz

Little Leo’s Nursery Tel: 0208 211 3119

Mary Poppins Day Nursery Tel: 0170 872 2800

Matilda Day Nursery Tel: 0207 480 6396

Monkey Puzzle Day Nursery Tel: 0208 538 3999

Indoor Play Adventure Playzone Tel: 0208 539 8343

Bramleys Tel: 0208 960 1515

Eddie Catz Tel: 0845 201 1268

Tel: 0208 681 7579

Funky Monkeys Tel: 0208 814 2167

Tel: 0208 693 9731

Tel: 0207 931 9469

Bluebell Nursery

Chatterbabies

Falkner House

Tel: 0208 566 7876

It’s a Kid’s Thing

Carlton Hill Community Nursery

Tel: 0208 739 0909

Tel: 0207 624 3814

Tel: 0208 444 1338

Dicky Birds - Surbiton

Toddlers World

Tel: 0208 942 5779

Tel: 0208 527 5431

Dreammaker Day Nursery

Tumble in the Jungle

Tel: 0207 480 7166

Tel: 0870 626 0710

Tel: 0780 115 1968

Tel: 0207 373 4501

Childrens play room

Francis Holland School

Tel: 0207 639 1812

Tel: 0207 730 2971

Crafty Tales

Garden House School

Tel: 0781 059 6342

Tel: 0207 730 1652

Culture Kids

Hall School

Tel: 0781 844 0771

Tel: 0207 722 1700

Dance Stars

Heathfield School GDST, Pinner

Tel: 0775 374 8819

Digswell Toddler Group

Tel: 0208 364 6876

Boo!

Green Gables

Tel: 0207 287 9090

Tel: 0207 488 2374

Creative Biscuit

Hillyfields Day nursey

Tel: 0208 532 2824

Tel: 0208 694 1069

Creation Station

Jackanory

Tel: 0844 854 9085

Tel: 0784 917 1524

Fait Maison

Jelli Tots Nursery

Tel: 0208 222 8755

Tel: 0208 451 5477

Lila’s Party

Jigsaw Day Nursery

Tel: 0772 232 0862

Tel: 0208 646 6075

Nutty

Keiki Day Care Nursery

Tel: 0788 405 0954

Tel: 0208 340 3841

Perform Parties

Kiddi Caru Day Nursery

Tel: 0845 400 4000

Tel: 0208 679 4009

The Action Station

Little Angels

Tel: 0870 770 2705

Tel: 0208 457 5200

Tel: 0207 274 8333

The Little Things

Wetherby School

Little Elves Montessori Nursery School

Tel: 0142 487 0398

Tel: 0792 176 1835

Tel: 0208 670 0644

Discover - Story Making Centre

Knightsbridge School

Tel: 0208 340 9196

Tel: 0208 536 5555

Tel: 0207 590 9000

Jo Jingles

Lloyd Williamson Schools - Telford Road

Tel: 0208 445 8889

Kids Play Cafe Tel: 0208 655 1583

Latino Bambino Tel: 0796 183 8349

Monkey Music Tel: 0208 438 0189

Tumble Tots Tel: 0121 585 7003

Toy Library Tel: 0207 231 3755

Footprints Playgroup Tel: 020 8305 0520

West London Tots Tel: 07939 070 773

Parties Before Baby

Highgate Pre-Preparatory

Kids@N20

Tel: 0208 566 4774

Goldstar Montessori Nursery

Tel: 0208 868 2346

Tel: 0143 871 4893

Tel: 0149 477 8989

Giggles & Wiggles

Little Dinosaurs

Tel: 0208 962 0345

La Choutte School Tel: 0755 702 9255

L’Ecole Des Petits Tel: 0207 371 8350

London Christian School Tel: 0203 130 6430

Notting Hill Prep Tel: 0207 221 0727

The King Alfred Lower School

Tel: 0207 727 9581

Yesodey Hatorah School Tel: 0208 800 8612

Little Herberts Day Nursery Tel: 0208 316 7203

64 - December 2011 l Rascals of London

Tel: 0207 183 6756

Tin Pan Annie Violet and Lily Tel: 0208 946 2353


Directory & Services Half Term Camps

Photography

Health Centres

Shops

Active Sport:

Ada

Victoria Medical center

Bambinos

Tel: 0115 973 1676

Tel: 0208 525 1444

Tel: 0207 834 2298

Tel: 0207 733 4838

Advanturous Muslim Summer Camp

Bravo Post

Waterloo Health Center

Biff

Tel: 0207 287 7811

Tel: 0207 928 4049

Tel: 0208 299 0911

Tel: 0207 252 0509

Clare Breheny

Birdhurst Medical Practice

Blue Daisy

Tel: 0797 375 3636

Tel: 0208 686 2070

Tel: 0207 681 4144

Garnham Photography

Bloomsbury Street Surgery

Boots

Tel: 0771 194 1208

Tel: 0207 837 8559

Tel: 0207 409 2982

Little Lookers

East Barnet health centre

Bonpoint

Tel: 0779 395 3610

Tel: 0208 440 1251

Tel: 0207 792 2515

Lomography

St James Medical center

Caramel

Tel: 0207 434 1466

Tel: 0208 684 5353

Tel: 0207 589 7001

Magic Rainbow

Killick Street health centre

Early Learning Centre

Tel: 0794 638 0581

Tel: 0207 833 9939

Tel: 0207 581 5764

Murphy James

Mitchison Road surgery

Hamleys

Tel: 0207 278 4770

Tel: 0207 226 6016

Tel: 0871 704 1977

Silverprint

The London General Practice

Easy 2 Name Lables

Tel: 0207 935 1000

Just Williams Toys

Allsorts Tel: 0208 969 3249

Camp Beaumont Tel: 0126 382 3000

Crazee Kids Tel: 0208 444 5333

Creative Wiz Kids Tel: 0207 794 6797

Cross Keys Tel: 0208 371 9686

Hampstead Dyslexia Clinic Tel: 0208 455 5107

Fit For Sport Ltd Tel: 0845 456 3233

FZY

Tel: 0207 620 0844

White Todd Tel: 0207 734 9070

Tel: 0208 201 6661

CityDoc

Tel: 0203 538 6798 ‎

Tel: 0207 256 8668

Let Me Play

Yoga/Fitness

Tel: 0208 735 5379

Beez Kneez

Tel: 0208 807 1888

Jewellery Summer school

Tel: 0208 354 1583

Willow House Surgery

Tel: 0203 176 0546

Egoist Body Studios

Tel: 0208 363 0472

Jonathan Markson Tennis

Tel: 0785 092 7523

The James Wigg Practice

Tel: 0207 603 2422

Good Vibes

Tel: 0203 317 2000

Kids Theatre week

Tel: 0207 240 6111

Clein Dr Lewis

Tel: 0207 557 6799

Light Centre Belgravia

Tel: 0207 580 8356

Little Actors Summer School

Tel: 0207 881 0728

Tel: 0800 389 6184

Tel: 0208 354 1583

Birthing Babies

Me and My Baby Clinic

Tel: 0779 685 0016

Little Kickers Tel: 0193 242 9602

London Childrens Ballet Tel: 0208 969 1555

Music Makers Tel: 0142 565 4819

Stage Coach Tel: 0193 225 4333

Super Camps Tel: 0123 583 2222

React Drama Workshops Tel: 0208 366 1623

Days Made Easier Tel: 0208 201 7072

Allsorts Drama Tel: 0208 969 3249

all4kids Tel: 0787 625 4691

Play five aside Tel: 0203 432 9584

Mama Sambo

Dover House Surgery

Birth Hypnosis

Pregnancy Yoga

Tel: 0774 707 5340

Tel: 0207 483 3344

Gas & Air

Yoga & Pilates London

Tel: 0797 425 3461

Pares Footwear Tel: 0208 297 0785

Please Mum Tel: 0207 486 1380

Tel: 0796 856 6396 Tel: 0777 542 5301

Tel: 0208 923 6452

Mybabyclass

Yoga College of London

Tel: 0781 260 4405

Tel: 0207 373 7070

The Summit

Baby Massage and Yoga

Tel: 0208 340 4040

Ralph Lauren Tel: 0207 590 7990

Roobub&Custard Tel: 0779 645 1513

Rykiel Tel: 0207 493 5255

Small Print Tel: 0208 567 7871

Tel: 0758 206 9378

Portland Hospital

Mum-me-time

Tel: 0207 580 4400

Tel: 0798 145 6470

Tel: 0207 235 7737 Tel: 0207 243 0535

Yoganess Yoga4Birth

Petite Ange Pom D Api

Gilly Keith Antenatal Inspiring Births

Tel: 0207 731 4706

Tel: 0207 247 4949

Tel: 0207 735 2177 Tel: 0795 668 1796

Mimmo

Oh Baby London

The Life Centre Triyoga

Tel: 0208 653 6635

Tel: 0152 254 8811

Tel: 0794 976 4105 Tel: 0208 875 1065

Mush Kids ltd

Mummy & Little Me

Calm Birth Calm Baby Cupcake

Tel: 0207 838 1111

Tel: 0207 581 5764

Tel: 0795 829 6647 Tel: 0207 221 4602

Marie-Chatal

Mother Care

Antenatal

Tel: 0207 751 4170

Tel: 0163 529 8326

The Cross Tel: 0207 727 6760 ‎

Trotters Tel: 0207 259 9620

Rascals of London l December 2011 - 65


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68 - December 2011 l Rascals of London


Rascals Of London 3rd Edition