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01_FRONT COVER_WINTER2012_Layout 1 03/12/2012 07:08 Page 1

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the family

South Cambridge & City

I ssue 06 | W i nter 2012/13

• Helping your child with Key Stage 1 Maths • So you want to be an Author? • What’s On When • Christmas crafts & baking

Focus on

Music & Dance The local lifestyle magazine for your growing family


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Approved football training for kids aged 18 months to 7 years

Local classes at a venue near you

Call

01954 719872 for details lsteven@littlekickers.co.uk

www.littlekickers.co.uk

Where learning’s a ball A world class dance teacher, teaching locally

Colours of Dance Tel: 01223 788726 Level 2, 182 Histon Road, Cambridge. CB4 3JP REGISTERED TEACHER

The mark of assurance for safety, quality and professionalism in dance teaching

www.ColoursofDance.com


02_PRELIMS_WINTER12_Layout 1 03/12/2012 20:39 Page 3

the family

In this issue... local

2 22 28 7 9 10 11 12 13 13 27

features

regulars

6 8 16 19 22 24 25 26

WOW – what’s on when Baby & pregancy groups Toddler and pre-school groups

Helping your child with KS1 Maths e time of your life - dancing for fitness and health Find your voice - encouraging your child’s musicla potential Learning and instrument – Amy Shears talks about her love of the harp Music to grow to – and early introduction to music Pre-school dance with Melody Bear Making muisc in Cambridge e festive gift of opportunity – encouraging communication at Christmas

A heartfelt ‘thank you’ to all our readers, advertisers, contributors and distributing schools for your support throughout 2012. We’re looking forward to growing our publication next year, but for now we are looking forward to a family Christmas break. The Family Hub wish you all a wonderful and peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year. See you in Spring 2013!

Education news Vibrant Life Christmas crafts Looking after the pennies Pitter patter Mummy’s little stars Growing together Building blocks

Follow us online on Facebook, Twitter and Google+

www.twitter.com/thefamilyhub www.facebook.com/thefamilyhub www.familyhubmagazine.co.uk All content © The Family Hub Delivered to primary schools, play-groups, libraries and other family locations in the Cambridgeshire area.

www.familyhubmagazine.co.uk Tel: 01223 968495 Editorial: editor@familyhubmagazine.co.uk Advertising: sales@familyhubmagazine.co.uk

We take every care preparing this magazine, but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for any consequence.


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Bryony Kimmings: The DIY Nativity The Junction Tuesday 4th – Sun 30th December

Dick Whittington Mumford Theatre Friday 21st/Saturday 2nd December

This December join Bryony, Sam and Stuart as they battle to re-discover the joy of Christmas. Escape the sprouts, stuffing and stocking fillers for a riotous celebration of all things festive. You may even find the true meaning of Christmas along the way. Expect a queen’s speech, flat pack construction, fat santas and a whole lot more. It’s a DIY Nativity for all ages and you guys are in charge! (Interactive but not scary… we promise!)

Packed with comedy, excitement and adventure, this traditional panto will have you cheering the hero Dick, jeering the evil Captain Blood and laughing at the antics of Idle Jack and Sarah the Cook.

Tickets: £11 adult / £6.50 child/ student/ over 65s. Family of 4: £29 (max 2 adults) www.junction.co.uk or 01223 511 511

Jack and the Beanstalk Cambridge Arts Theatre Thursday 6th December – Sunday 13th January The Trott's are in trouble and Dame Trott needs her two sons, our hero Jack and the ever-so silly Billy, to help her make some money... and fast! Jack does his best and sells his beloved cow, but when he returns home with just some measly beans for payment, his mother is furious and tosses them out in the garden. But these beans are not what they seem and soon an enormous beanstalk mysteriously takes root in the Trott's garden. It appears Jack's adventures are only just beginning... Tickets: £10–£30 www.cambridgeartstheatre.com or call 01223 503333

Roald Dahl's George's Marvellous Medicine Corn Exchange Thursday 13th December – Thursday 3rd January The award-winning Birmingham Stage Company is back on tour with a brand new adaptation of one of Roald Dahl's funniest and most exciting stories. Children £14.50, Adults £19.50, Family: £64 (max 2 adults), Schools £10, Senior citizens, students & under 16s £16 boxoffice@Cambridge.gov.uk or call 01223 357851

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Tickets: £7.50

Tel: 0845 196 2320

The Nutcracker Corn Exchange Saturday 5th January The Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia This most famous of fantasy ballets for all the family begins as night falls on Christmas Eve. As snowflakes fall outside, midnight strikes, toy dolls spring to life and we are taken through the Land of Snow to an enchanted place where the magic really begins... Tickets from £20, Under 16s: £15, Senior citizens & students £18 (matinee only)

Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom Corn Exchange Saturday 2nd/Sunday 3rd February

North Pole Cambridge Parkers Piece Daily until 7th January This winter festival season, skate your cares away at one of the UK's most stylish open air ice rinks. Nestled amongst the trees, in Parkers Piece Park in the centre of Cambridge, with plenty of space to skate and enjoy the stunning parkland views where winter revellers can enjoy traditional winter skating in a truly beautiful setting. Monday - Friday Adult Off Peak (before 5pm) - £8.50 Adult Peak (after 5pm) - £9.95 Student / Concession / Under 16 - £7.50 Children 12 & Under - £6.50

From the makers of Peppa Pig comes this BAFTA award-winning television animation for the first time ever live on stage! Holly is a young Fairy Princess, who is still learning how to fly and her magic doesn’t always go quite according to plan. Her best friend, Ben the Elf, doesn’t have wings and he doesn’t do magic, but he runs very fast and flies on the back of Gaston the Ladybird. They live in the Little Kingdom, a tiny land where flowers and grass rise high above them and every day is an adventure. Join Ben and Holly, and their friends on this exciting musical adventure packed full of games, songs and laughter on an enchanting journey through the Magical Kingdom. With actors, masks and colourful costumes this beautiful story of elves, princesses and childhood innocence will delight all the family. Tickets: Adults £13.50, Under 16s £11.50 Family ticket: £45 boxoffice@Cambridge.gov.uk or call 01223 357851

Visit our website to submit your events www.familyhubmagazine.co.uk/whatson


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what’s on when

Santa’s Schedule Father Christmas at the Fen Wicken Fen 8th – 23rd December Follow the Christmas Trail to find Father Christmas in his secret grotto. Tickets £6.95 (includes present), available on 01353 720274 - advance booking essential

Santa will be in his Grotto between 11 and 4pm every Saturday and Sunday. It costs £3 per child to see him and every little visitor gets a present to take home. There will be a miniature steam train and a fairground. All profits from December events go to Wallace Cancer Care and the Sick Children's Trust. Every weekend in December 11am - 4pm.

Breakfast with Santa Polhill at Coton Orchard 20th-23rd December Enjoy breakfast with Santa – 9.00am Arrival, 9.15am Story with Santa followed by breakfast at 9:30am. At your leisure visit Santa in his magical grotto and receive your present. £12.50 per child book online at www.polhillonline.co.uk

Santa’s Grotto Grafton Centre Every Saturday in December Father Christmas visits The Grafton Centre where children can see him for free, collect a small gift and have their photo in their festive Facebook gallery.

Ride with Rudolph Scotsdales Saturday’s in December During your visit to Santa’s grotto you are able to take a simulated ride with rudolph before you go through to see Santa. £6 per child includes a ride with Rudolph and a present from Father Christmas.

Santa’s Grotto Shepreth Wildlife Park Saturday 15th - Monday 24th December Santa's Grotto open throughout the Christmas period, inviting children to meet the man himself and receive a special present. Normal Admission fee applies: £10.50 - Adults and £8.50 - Children / Concessions

Ragged Rascals are Celebrating their 5th Birthday! Come and help Ragged Rascals softplay celebrate their 5th birthday on Monday 7th January 2013 from 10.00am -12noon at Shelford Rugby Club. Iggle Piggle, Upsy Daisy and Winnie the Pooh are joining the party to help celebrate, plus there will be face-painting and birthday cake! First come first serve basis. Normal entrance fee applies. For all the latest information about this event please visit www.facebook.com/RaggedRascals or www.raggedrascals.co.uk

winter

Father Christmas Burwash Manor Every weekend in December

Excelr8 Learning Christmas Party Saturday 22nd December DNA Kids (www.dnakids.co.uk) are running a Christmas party for Excelr8 Learning students. e theme will be Winter Wonderland and parents can drop off their kids for a couple of hours and do some last minute shopping. Contact Monika for an invitation on 01954 211888. Numbers are limited and invitations will be issued on a 1st come basis.

View more autumn activities at www.familyhubmagazine.co.uk

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Outdoor Fun

Mucky Pups.... Christmas Elves Wicken Fen Tues/Wed 11/12th & Tuesday 18th December

Orienteering Taster Day Coton Countryside Reserve Saturday 2nd February

Art and craft activities for young pre-schoolers to help Father Christmas get ready for the big day. Tickets £5.95 (includes present), available on 01353 720274 - advance booking essential

Come and try orienteering – learn to use maps in a fun and energetic way! All welcome (aimed at children over 6 years old and adults of any age). No previous experience or great fitness level required! Meet at the Martin Car Park noticeboard at 11am. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. Booking essential. Dress warmly with sturdy footwear! For information contact Head Ranger 07833598155 Cost: £5 per adult, £3 pr child (£4 and £2 for CambridgePPF members).

Flat-pack nests Botanic Gardens Saturday 5th January Build your very own flat-pack nest kit to hang in your garden and watch as the birds pick up materials to make their new homes. 11am – 3pm. £3 per child payable on the day. Call 01223 331875

Litterpicking Coton Reserve Saturday 12th January

Crafty Gardens Workshop Botanic Gardens Monday 11th February Dawn Isaac Join family garden expert, Dawn Isaac, for a garden crafts session making beautiful tea-light candle holders and bird feeders. Dawn is a family garden designer and author of the recent book, Garden Crafts for Children. Parents/carers to stay. 10.30–12pm and again 1.30–3pm. Price £5 per child. Booking required call 01223 331875.

Nest Box Event Coton Countryside Reserve Saturday 23rd February

Meet at The Plough in Coton, off Grantchester Road. Join Coton villagers and Cambridge PPF Rangers in a joint venture to keep Coton and the Countryside  Reserve tidy with a morning litter picking session, all tools, bags and gloves will be provided. Meet at The Plough at 11:30 and stay as long as you can, all ages welcome but children must be accompanied by an adult. For further information contact Jon Gibbs on 078 335 981 55.

In support of Nation Nest Box Week (14th - 21st February) come along and make a bird box to take home, learn more about the birds that visit your garden and how to encourage them, then take a stroll up to our new birdhide. Cost: £10 per bird box. (Cambridgeppf members £9) All tools and materials supplied. All children must be accompanied by an adult. For information and to book a place email Claire on rangerevents@cambridgeppf.org

Plant people Botanic Gardens Saturday 2nd February

Seeds & Rubbish Botanic Gardens Saturday 2nd March

Create giant plant people using lots of fun techniques including printing, sponge painting and collage. 11am – 3pm. £3 per child payable on the day. Call 01223 331875

We'll be using our rubbish to give a plant a home, by growing seeds in recycled containers. 11am – 3pm. £3 per child payable on the day. Call 01223 331875

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Visit our website to submit your events www.familyhubmagazine.co.uk/whatson


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So you want to be... an Author? Julian Defries, author of Friesop’s Fables with advice for budding writers! What do you want to be when you grow up?” The big question that will always fire up the childish imagination. As a small boy I only had one answer, which was, "I want to be an Inventor.” What I didn't realise at the time was that what I really wanted to be was a 'Creative'. I envied all my friends at school who just assumed I was a mad dreamer and by contrast seemed so certain of their neatly planned futures; O' Levels, A' Levels, University degree and then off to the City to corner some strategic market or other before retiring to the south of France for a life of leisure. I always knew that my path would not be so smooth. I had no interest in a master plan to retire young I just had a deep-rooted desire to make and create. My school reports were very poor but I somehow managed to gain O' Levels in Art and English language. This was enough to secure me a job as a junior in an Art Studio, which at the time supplied specialised graphics to the Advertising industry in London. I started off delivering parcels to the many big advertising agencies in Central London, sometimes bumping into my old school friends, now in their new Pinstriped suits and heading for their city jobs. They often pretended not to know this scruffy teenager, sometimes averting their eyes to the important news of the day in the Financial Times to avoid the embarrassment of acknowledging me in front of their smart high flying new friends. During my time at the Art Studio I learnt all the typographical and illustrative skills that I would later apply to creating books.

S o he sw ap pe d his na tur al ha bit at, for a pin -st rip ed sui t an d a bo wle r ha t. 2

T he ghost thoug that’s ver ht, well they’ve le y kind , ft some d inner for me b ehind .

My advice to any budd ing Author wo uld be 1. Stick to y o u r gu n s . Were not all cut ou t to b e D o ctors, Lawyers, A cademics or Bankers . 2. Don't ch ase su c c e ss follow yo ur heart a nd su c c es s will follow yo u . 3. Never le t people w ho don't make thing s - tell yo u h o w to make thing s.

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I also learnt that you could apply that creativity to any industry you choose. I went on to work in T.V. the music industry and of course publishing. I was offered my first publishing deal in 1996 and since then have sold over 50,000 picture books in the UK alone. The latest soon to go to print is called Friesop’s Fables, as selection of illustrated stories for early readers set to verse. As for my former classmates, I went to a school reunion last year and they all seemed happy enough. Incidentally, none of them had managed to retire to the south of France. Most have ended up as middle managers of small departments within the banking and insurance sectors but happy enough with their lot. One of them even said to me, “I wish I could have done what you did.”

Friesop’s Fables is a selection of illustrated funny children's stories written by Julian Defries and beautifully illustrated by Katy Dynes and Diana Defries. We have copies of Friesop’s Fables to giveaway. Visit our website (or our Facebook pages) for details on how to enter.


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e- news 50,000 children to tread the boards as Shakespeare’s greatest characters

“Time to end the dependence on calculators to do basic maths”

Education and Childcare Minister Elizabeth Truss has announced that calculators will be banned in maths tests for 11-year-olds from 2014. She warned that pupils were using calculators too much too soon at primary school – the current curriculum suggests introducing them at seven. Ten-year-olds in England are among the highest users of calculators in the world – 98 per cent are allowed to use them in maths lessons, according to the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in 2007. is compares to the international average of 46 per cent of 10-year-olds allowed to use them in classes. Ms Truss said calculators should be introduced only when pupils were confident in the basics, such as knowing times tables off by heart, and understood the methods to add, subtract, multiply and divide. e new primary curriculum recommends introducing calculators at the end of primary school and only when pupils are secure in written and mental arithmetic. Education and Childcare Minister Elizabeth Truss said: “All young children should be confident with methods of addition, subtraction, times tables and division before they pick up the calculator to work out more complex sums. By banning calculators in the maths test, we will reduce the dependency on them in the classroom for the most basic sums. Children will have a solid grounding in the basics so they can grow up to be comfortable with the maths they will need in their adult lives.”

Grammaropoli is a fun grammar app. It uses the parts of speech as animated characters whose personalities are based on the roles they play in the sentence. From the shady pronoun always trying to take the noun’s place to the motherly conjunction who just wants everyone to get along, Grammaropolis achieves the impossible: making learning grammar fun! An ambitious plan to give 50,000 children the chance to stage a Shakespeare play in a theatre by 2014 has been launched. The Shakespeare Schools Festival (SSF) marks the 450th anniversary of the Bard’s birth. SSF will receive £140,000 from the Department for Education to help it almost triple the number of schools it works with, from 700 today to around 2,000 by 2014. The SSF will reach 25,000 children next year and 50,000 in 2014.

Every part of speech has its own neighbourhood that includes a curriculum map with songs, books, videos, and quizzes. You can download ‘The Nouns’ activities for free and then purchase further activities for £1.49, or all 7 sections for £8.99. Not only do the kids love it, adults will benefit from a refresher too!

Bonnie Cooper

• Experienced music teacher • International performing experience

The funding will help the SSF provide schools with abridged scripts, rehearsal tips and a local theatre in which to perform, plus workshops for teachers from their partners, the Central School of Speech & Drama.

• Tuition for all styles and levels • Evenings and weekend lessons • Young students and adult beginners welcome!

Information on participating in the Festival can be found at: www.ssf.uk.com Tesadad

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Vocal Coach

Tel: 07774 636 898 | Email: bmcambs@gmail.com www.bonniecoopersoprano.com


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Helping your child to master maths in Key Stage 1

ere are various practical methods open to parents to help their child understand some of the more difficult topics in early mathematics

learn

Topic: Time Being able to tell the hour and half hour are the first Time facts that children learn. A child should be able to recognise the hour and know that 7:30am is the same as ½ past 7. This is followed by learning quarter past the hour so a child can recognise that 9:15pm is the same as ¼ past 9. Learning quarter to the next hour is a more difficult concept for many children. We know that 8:45am is the same as ¼ to 9 but children often get this mixed up and think that 8:45am is the same as ¼ to 8. Children are then expected to be able to relate analogue time to digital time. For example, a child should know that 3:15pm is the same as 15:15 and ¼ past 4.

Have clocks in various rooms Parents can do a great deal to help by ensuring there are both digital and analogue clocks at home for your children to use and you should regularly refer your child to the clocks. You might say, for example...”You can play your XBox from now until 4:45pm or ¼ to 5. Where will the hands of the clock be then?” Or... “How many minutes are there until we leave for school at 8:30am?”

Buy your child a watch There are many low cost options available for parents and ensuring your child has his or her own watch early on is a useful step parents can take. An analogue watch would be the most helpful for your child provided that the numbers are easy to read and are a standard font. Watches that only show marks, fancy patterns or Roman Numerals to represent the hours and minutes will be far less useful for a child trying to learn the time. A watch with clear, easy to read numbers is best.

Topic: Measurement Knowing that liquid is measured in millilitres and litres, that weight/mass is measured in grams, kilograms and tonnes and that length is measured in millimetres, centimetres, metres and kilometres are key measurement concepts for children to master.

Take your child shopping The weekly supermarket visit is an ideal opportunity to help your child. You could prepare a list of items for your child to find. For example, what units are these items sold in and what sizes are available?

Liquids: Millilitres and litres (e.g. 750ml or 1l) • Washing up liquid • Milk • Yoghurt Weight or Mass: grams and kilograms (e.g. 450g or 2kg) • Can of baked beans • Bag of apples • Packet of meat

Do some measuring Allow your child to weigh out ingredients carefully when doing some baking or cooking. Hands-on, practical measuring tasks make most sense for young children. The same applies to weighing themselves or measuring their height on a chart in their bedrooms.

Children need to learn these Measurement Facts: 1000ml = 1l 1000g = kg

and

1000kg = 1t

10mm = 1cm

and

100cm = 1m

and

1000m = 1km

Teachers at Excelr8 Learning Hardwick, Milton, Chesterton and Sawston find that younger children often struggle to master Time and Measurement. If your child could benefit from private tuition after school, please see www.excelr8learning.co.uk or telephone 01223 429923. 7


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vibrant life Why your doctor didn’t give you antibiotics A new Antibiotic Awareness leaflet has been produced to encourage patients visiting their doctor with cold and flu symptoms not to ask for antibiotics for their treatment. Launched in November on European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD), the leaflet is designed to encourage a dialogue between the doctor and patient about why they were not prescribed antibiotics and reminds patients that colds and most coughs, sinusitis, earache and sort throats often get better without antibiotics. To reassure patients it gives details about how long these infections typically last, what they can do to ease their symptoms and when you, or your child, should go back to your GP practice or contact NHS Direct.

Sleeping with the enemy! According to national charity Allergy UK the bedroom is the most allergic room in the house. 77% of those with an indoor allergy suffer in the bedroom, but 41% recognise their symptoms are actually made worse by that room. With the research from Allergy UK revealing that people are spending on average 52 hours in the bedroom per week, the nation is literally sleeping with the enemy.

Lindsey McManus, Deputy CEO, Allergy UK says: “House dust mites, like us, need food water and warmth. While we sleep, these microscopic creatures absorb moisture from our breath and sweat, feed on our dead skin and thrive in our warm beds.” House dust mites are regularly undetected; they live in soft furnishings and are often the cause of severe and persistent allergic symptoms all year round. Allergy UK will be providing help and support throughout the week for the millions of sufferers in the UK. For those suffering from an indoor allergy, follow the tips below to lessen your reaction and help rid your bedroom of allergens this winter:

What are the signs that you should seek medical help?

• House dust mites can’t stand light, so throw your duvets back every morning

The following is listed in order of urgency with the most urgent symptoms listed first:

• Keep the room well ventilated and have the window slightly open, ensure window frames are free from mould

• If you develop a severe headache or are sick. • If your skin is very cold or has a strange colour, or you develop an unusual rash. • If you feel confused or have slurred speech or are very drowsy.

• 83% indoor allergy sufferers have curtains in their bedroom, which house dust mites love. Replace curtains with roller blinds, or wash curtains each month at temperature of 60 degrees or above

Signs that suggest breathing problems can include:

• Keep all children’s toys in a toy chest or cupboard and wash soft toys at 60 degrees, or put in the freezer overnight to destroy the allergen and then washed at a the recommended temperature

• Breathing quickly;

• Using an air purifier in the bedroom can help to trap allergens.

• Turning blue around the lips and the skin below the mouth

Allergy UK is the leading national medical charity providing advice, information and support to people with allergies and food intolerance.

• If you have difficulty breathing.

• Skin between or above the ribs getting sucked or pulled in with every breath. • If you develop chest pain. • If you have difficulty swallowing or are drooling. • If you cough up blood. • If hearing problems develop or if there is fluid coming out of your ears. Dr Cliodna McNulty from the Health Protection Agency said: “As we have seen in previous HPA research a lot of people with coughs, colds and flu still visit the doctor expecting to be given antibiotics for their treatment and it can be difficult for the doctor to refuse. “This expectation puts a lot of pressure on the doctor to prescribe antibiotics which is often not necessary and cause increased antimicrobial resistance in the long run. Bacteria will always adapt to try and survive the effects of the antibiotic and we have seen that the problem of resistance is growing. “GP patients who have had antibiotics in the last 6 months are twice as likely to have an infection with resistant bacteria.”

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There are allergens in every room in the house, read more about how to prevent allergens around the home: www.allergyuk.org/allergies-in-thehome. For more information call Allergy UK on 01322 619 898.


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health teachers at Colours of Dance are focused on making sure children are learning safely in a fun, age-appropriate environment that promotes both fitness and personal expression through dance. No matter the dancer’s age, dance has a dramatic impact on posture, impacting the whole body, alignment and strength. That was the attraction for Sheerin, who today takes four classes a week at Colours of Dance – ballet, pilates, street dance and tap. The effect on her body has been noticeable, she says. “It’s definitely made a difference,” said Sheerin.

Have the time of your life! After the birth of her four children, Nicky Sheerin found she was regularly suffering from aches and pains. A visit to a physiologist confirmed her troubles were muscular. The discussion quickly turned to her exercise routine. “Don’t laugh,” Sheerin, 45, recalled telling the doctor. “I’ve started ballet.” But there was no laughter. Rather, Sheerin’s doctor told her she couldn’t have chosen a better activity to bring her spine back into alignment and arrest the pains bothered her. Think dance is just for young girls in colourful leotards and chiffon ballet skirts? Think again. More than 4.8 million people in Britain participate annually in community dance, and hundreds of thousand more dance in private dance schools, leisure centers and social clubs. For girls, in particular, it is one of their main sources of physical fitness. Meanwhile, dance is an ever-more popular choice for those hoping to strengthen areas of the body, reduce pressure on body parts in need of repair, and improve mental fitness. At Colours of Dance, the fastest growing dance school in Cambridge, classes are offered for all ages and abilities in ballet, tap, the highlypopular street dance, ballroom and other disciplines. Those as young as two-years-old begin their foray into dance with “Mum and Me” classes, gradually advancing to “Music and Movement” and then into the ranks of the school’s more advanced classes. “There are so many forms of dance, as many as there are personalities really,” said Imogen Knight, Principal at Colours of Dance, located at 182 Histon Road. “Some of our students only come once a week for recreation, and others try a variety and come every day, some for fun, some for health, some in search of both. So we are all here, teacher and student alike, enjoying and sharing dance in our own ways for our own reasons.” Because dance is well-known to improve balance, flexibility and coordination, it is a big draw for children. Therefore it is important that young, developing bodies are not pushed to far too fast. That’s why

Children are particularly impacted by the benefits of dance, as their bones and muscles grow. Dance can prevent and correct pronation at the ankle and promote a solid centre of balance, which changes as a child grows.

Dancing children, teachers report, are often more aware of their bodies and less clumsy during these stages. Dance also promotes coordination, which is helpful as children learn other sports – from football to martial arts. Dance is particularly important for girls in Britain, where, according to national statistics, 40 percent drop out of sports activities by the time they’re 18. However, surveys in 2003 and 2004, of 50,000 year 9 pupils, in more than 700 schools in the North-west of England, showed that dance was the top recreational activity for girls outside school. Additionally, the number of pupils taking a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) in dance rose 125 percent between 2001 and 2005. A dancer’s body is a natural multitasker, with arms and legs moving in concert, following the rhythms of a piece of music, all while remaining in balance. It’s a mental challenge, “better than Sodoku for adults hoping to improve mental acuity, and more interesting than handwriting for supporting developing processing skills” says Knight. “Better than that, you develop all these skills and don’t realize how much you’re taking on because it’s set to music and you feel fantastic. Our aim is that everyone leaves class walking three inches taller.” No surprise then that more and more people are looking beyond the gym for a good sweat on the dance floor. Colours of Dance is a rapidly growing dance school in Cambridge, offering classes for all ages and abilities, in ballet, tap, streetdance, ballroom and other dance disciplines. Colours of Dance also offers 'Music & Movement' classes within private nursery schools in the South Cambridge area and Mum & Toddler's classes in its own studios. Visit www.coloursofdance.com


MUSIC_BONNIE_AMY_Layout 1 03/12/2012 13:17 Page 10

Abi Heydon with pianist Ian de Massini

Vocal coach and soprano Bonnie Cooper shares some tips on encouraging your child’s interest in music.

Find your voice Studying music will add much more than just a skill to your child’s CV. Singing teaches poise and self-confidence in addition to reading music, languages and songs. Learning a musical instrument is a good practice in commitment and discipline. It also reinforces the value of stick-to-itness which is an essential part of success. If your child can withstand the tedium of practising as the necessary requirement for a polished performance, he is well on his way to learning a valuable lesson in life. Many musicians do not like practising, so if your young musician struggles with this he is not alone! The secret is to focus on how good it will feel to be finished with the day’s work, or visualising a fabulous performance in an upcoming concert. The right motivation will go a long way. Everyone has the ability to sing. Not everyone can be a professional singer, but anyone who wants to invest the time in practice and lessons can improve their ear and be an asset to a musical group. Most students fall into two categories: those with a good ear who can sing back anything and those who have difficulty pitch-matching. Neither is better or worse than the other, they just present different challenges. If you cannot find the pitch, this can be improved with concentrated effort. When you sing along to the radio, are you singing the same note as the artist? If not, are you higher or lower than the singer? Once you know that, slide to the pitch being sung on the radio. There now, that’s better! This takes time and dedication but will pay dividends in your choir rehearsals. Children who have strong ears often do not relate to the music notated on the page. This will mean a difficult transition when things get too complicated to figure out by listening 10 alone! Encourage your child to look

at the music she is singing, and identify the notes and the rhythms. Engaging to the theoretical side of music while it is still easily sung will give your singer a strong foundation once things get more challenging. If you have a musically gifted child, what is the right thing to do? Join the school choir. Choirs are great musical training for all children, as they begin to read music and develop their ear, but also choirs encourage teamwork and help develop other life skills. To be a good chorister, you have to listen to the other parts while not getting lost in your own line. This is difficult at first but with time and effort this will improve. Some choirs perform in local music festivals which is another great experience in hearing different groups and handling performance anxiety.

everyone gets nervous but keep breathing and being positive about your performance. The secret is to handle your nerves so they don’t handle you. Musicians would describe the act of making music as a vocation, a calling. It’s not something that you choose, rather it choses you. Don’t worry about choosing the right instrument for your child to learn, these decisions make themselves. Instead, make sure that your young musician is involved in musical activities of all types and genres. The more he experiences the more sure he will be of his choice of instrument and genre of music.

Bonnie Cooper

Bonnie Cooper is a voice teacher and coach in Kings Hedges, Cambridge. Bonnie’s studio has students of all ages and abilities, from seven to 71, and Bonnie teaches many adult beginners. Her students perform regularly in recitals and master classes, and will be competing in the Cambridge Competitive Music Festival in March 2013.

Bonnie with pianist Ian de Massini and students Caitlin Runham, Marvi Sheikh, Anita McCauley, Emma Tunnacliffe, Julie Abensour, Sharron Fitzpatrick

Speaking of live performances brings up the block for many aspiring students: Stage Fright! Students tend to think that nerves about performing should just disappear over time. This is certainly not the case! Many performers have nerves or stage fright before a performance, but they have developed coping mechanisms or mental strength to work through the nerves. Nerves never really go away, and why should they? Realise that

Students have 30 minute or hour-long lessons, covering vocal technique, theoretical knowledge, sight singing and repertoire. Bonnie is an enthusiastic teacher and teaches the composers, poets and the historical significance of the pieces as well as all the notes. As a performer, Bonnie is very active in the Cambridge music community. Following four concerts in local recital series, she was a soloist with the Lucy Cavendish Singers, under the direction of Katharina Megli, and sang the Domine Deus in the Bach B Minor Mass with the Cambridge Voices in Ely Cathedral, under the direction of Ian de Massini. For more information about vocal tuition and Bonnie’s performances visit

www.bonniecoopersoprano.com


MUSIC_BONNIE_AMY_Layout 1 03/12/2012 18:37 Page 11

music Uninspired by the music lessons offered through your school? 13 year-old Amy Shears tells us about playing a more unusual instrument. I began playing the harp about 5 years ago when I was 8. I had listened to children playing harps in a street festival in Ireland and was delighted to discover that there was a harp teacher living in my village! It’s quite an unusual (and big!) instrument to play and people are always interested when they see it – I once played the harp dressed as an angel for a school play! I was already playing the piano so I could read music and this made the transition to the harp much easier. I practice every day for about 30 minutes. I am quite motivated to practice but sometimes my Mum has to give me a nudge! As I have moved through the grades I have to spend more time practising and that can sometimes be difficult to fit in around homework and having fun. I have a lesson with my tutor, Rohan Platts once a week. In addition to practice I am part of Swavesey Sinfonia and the Hathor Players and I also play in a folk group every Wednesday. I have also taken part in workshops, festivals and Cambridge Holiday Orchestra courses.

Getting started The harp is a very rewarding instrument as even the simplest pieces sound lovely, so it’s easy on the ears for the rest of the household! Age 7 or 8 is a good age to begin playing as the student needs to be big enough to match the size of the harp, plus have the attention span for a 30 minute lesson. As with all instruments it is sensible to hire in the first instance. A 34 string clarsach/lever harp will cost approximately £10-£15 per week to rent – www.morleyharps.co.uk Cambridge based harp teacher, Rohan Platts offers lessons in your home. A 30 minute lesson costs £18. Tel: 07775 735438 or email: rohanplatts@hotmail.com

Amy with former Royal Harpist Catrin Finch at The Ace Foundation’s Harp Day at Sawston Village College

Like many young musicians I struggle with theory. At Grade 5 I moved from the ABRSM board to Trinity as you don’t need theory for the Trinity exams and I passed Grade 7 in the summer with distinction. I might go back and do Grade 5 theory before moving on to Grade 8, I’m slowly working my way through the books. I’m not sure if I will pursue a career in music, as I have moved up the grades it has become more serious, but for now I just enjoy playing and even took up the ukulele a year ago!

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Listening; Taking turns; Enjoyment; Language development; Experiences; Trust…. and so the list can go on. Every class has a structure and within that structure there is a degree of flexibility that allows the child to express themselves in a safe environment, as well as experience new sights and sounds alongside the familiar ones through repetition which is such an important part of life at such a young age.

“You will have so many proud moments as you see your child start to “point to the ceiling” in Wind the Bobbin Up...”

Music to Grow to One of the best things you can do with a new born baby is sing with them – I remember taking my 6 week old to the doctors for a check-up and as he lay on the bed looking up at the doctor opening his mouth, eyes wide open, she said that somebody must be spending a lot of time communicating with this little one, and it was so true – lots of singing, talking and lots of eye contact, and a very proud moment for me!

As a musician, with a music degree, having worked in music since graduating 16 years ago, and having worked in many different places such as prisons, hospitals, dementia care homes and many more – I do like to remember though that despite all these benefits and developmental boxes that we can tick, it is great to just be able to do music for music’s sake and for enjoyment, and the other additional benefits that come out are an added bonus. I love being able to give children the opportunity to start to develop a life skill that they can use for many years to come (and how many of my parents regret giving up the instrument they started to learn!).

Kathryn Rowland

When thinking of a name for my new early years venture, which I started back in 2005, I had an inspired moment, and hoped that lots of the babies would come along to my music classes and then grow with the music, and there it was “Music to Grow to”. I love to see small babies come along and then I see them grow and develop as the weeks, months and years go by. Babies and Toddler develop so quickly, and surrounding them with music only helps to support and nurture the child even more. Why go to a music class for babies and toddlers? Many parents ask the question “Are they too young?” and my immediate answer is “No” – you can hold your baby, bounce gently with your baby, sing to your baby, expose your baby to new and exciting sights and sounds, and all these things (and many more!) will help your baby to develop. As they grow their interaction with the music changes and grows as they start to do actions, and sing some of the words to the songs. You will have so many proud moments as you see your child start to “point to the ceiling” in Wind the Bobbin Up, or clap in time along to the hello song, or draw the shapes in the air with our shape songs – and these moments all illustrate the learning stepping stones that your child is taking on their life journey. It is always important to remember that every child learns and engages differently with activities, and whilst one child may sit still for the duration of the class, another may be walking around, picking up others shakers, dancing lively to the music – both children will absorb the music in their own way and use the skills they develop. Every week I hear reports of how toddlers and pre-schoolers have gone home and started to set up their own music class – sitting with teddy, or getting mummy and daddy to start and stop – even for the most timid children in the class this has been a regular occurrence for me for the past 7 years. I asked some of the parents who come along to my classes what they felt their children got from being involved in regular music-making – responses included words such as: 12 Confidence; Structure; Discipline; Freedom to express themselves; Rhythm; Vocabulary;

Music to Grow to classes offer high quality musicmaking opportunities for children as they grow – from birth up to school age, and beyond. There are currently Music to Grow to classes in Cambridgeshire and North London. Please visit our website for more information www.musictogrowto.co.uk or you can ‘Like’ Music to Grow to on Facebook, or follow us on twitter @musictogrowto Kathryn Rowland, Director of Music to Grow to is a professional musician with over 15 years’ experience working with little ones, and recently received the comment of “Outstanding” from Ofsted for her early years work, as well as recognitions from Netmums and What’s on for Little Ones. Kathryn has also led early years workshops for Shooting Stars Chase Children’s Hospice, as well as Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra. Contact: Kathryn@musictogrowto.co.uk; 01353 662022

www.musictogrowto.co.uk


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Encouraging a healthy lifestyle through dance e importance of pre-school dance is reflected in the need for healthy child development in the areas of self-worth, fun and freedom and a respect for others as well as the acquisition of knowledge. Pre-schoolers are dependent on the quality of instruction they receive as well as the suitability of the teaching environment and it is helpful in the practice of dance and movement if the teacher is able to follow a well thought out syllabus. e child will get the most from his or her dance experience if the senses are engaged through the full use of rhythmic, musical, visual and spatial challenges, stimulating their imagination enabling the child to learn whilst having fun. Creative themes are used together with role play to build a dance around imagined activities. Examples of this might be the gathering up and looking at leaves in the Autumn, pretending to be different animals in the zoo or talking and acting out events in the news, such as e Olympics. A gentle building up and reinforcement of a child’s understanding and knowledge of the world pays dividends when the student begins full-time education. Pre-school dance classes, such as the Melody Movement Early Learning syllabus, introduce shared common cultural themes expressed in story telling such as those of fairness, helping and sharing with others and concepts of right and wrong whilst continuing to emphasise the positive aspects of life.

SEALS SWIMMING EXCELLENT SWIMMING LESSONS • Easy enrolment • Lovely warm pools • Small class sizes • Free parking • Quality teachers • Holiday crash course • Weekly swimming lessons

Weekly Lessons Fri 4th January to Sun 21st April 2013 Crash Courses Half-term – Mon 11th to  Fri 15th February 2013 Easter – Tues 2nd to  Sat 6th April 2013

Weekly Lessons The Granta Pool, Linton Weds, Fri, Sat and Sun The Grove Pool Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat

0845 680 9876

You can book lessons online! office@sealsswimming.co.uk www.sealsswimming.co.uk Compass House, Vision Park, Histon, Cambridge CB24 9AD

It is when very young that children are most able to learn many of the skills which become the building blocks of a successful transition from childhood to adulthood, such as learning to take turns, to count, to experience communication through ‘show and tell’, to think about and be considerate towards others, self-control through the positive reinforcement of good behaviour and the use of their imaginations to solve basic puzzles. On the physical side pre-school dance teaches the basics of controlled movement, such as stop, start and waiting in line before moving towards dance-specific activities such as skipping, hopping, running, jumping, tiptoeing, galloping and basic ballet steps. Alongside this is gained an appreciation of rhythm, pulse, beat, tempo and ideas of musical idiom as a means to self-expression, co-ordination and creativity. Some pre-school dance classes may include an introduction to basic theatre skills, such as the handling of props and the wearing of costumes which are an inspiration to the growing child.  With a  caring and supportive early years syllabus young children will be introduced to the exciting world of dance promoting a healthy, active lifestyle and most importantly of all creating lifelong learners and dancers for life. From its earliest Cambridge beginnings in 2006 with a class of just ten pre-school children, to a business with five hundred teachers across the UK and abroad in 2012, Jill Bridger’s Melody Bear is now making a song and dance around the world. e strength of Melody Movement Early Learning is that Jill has structured the syllabus entry level for children as young as eighteen months with ‘Little Bear Feet’ classes, moving up through ‘Melody Bear’ at around age two, taking in on the way ‘First Ballet’ at age four. At age five ‘Foundation Ballet’ comes into play and ‘Junior Ballet’ at around age six for the maturing young dancer. ere are voluntary ‘extension packages’ such as ‘Tip Tap Toe’ and ‘Groovy Moves’, providing an opportunity for children to explore a wide range of musical genres. Jill’s programmes continue with ‘Ballet Classique’ and the ‘Student Assistant Development Programme’, an exciting new scheme which seeks to prepare teenage dancers for the Melody Movement Teacher Training programme.

www.danceschool.biz

Tel: 01480 4697111

Jill Bridger Royal Academy of Dance Teaching Dip., AISTD., MNATD. Author of Melody Bear and Melody Movement story books and teaching resources.

Recreational and competitive trampoline club for all ages and abilities • Coaching for all levels from beginners to National Competition level • Offering the BG Award Scheme • Fun, structured and safe environment for all to enjoy this exciting sport • Training 3 nights a week and Saturday mornings at Cambourne Fitness & Sports Centre, Back Lane , Great Cambourne CB23 6FY

www.cambournecomets.co.uk


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Making Music in Cambridge Cambridgeshire Music Cambridgeshire Music is the county music service providing instrumental and vocal tuition throughout the county of Cambridgeshire. Schools throughout the county use Cambridgeshire Music to provide lessons in school, a convenient way for parents to organise music lessons around busy lives. It is also possible to have lessons out of school time at one of the area music academies. You can request a one-off lesson to see if a child likes an instrument at a cost of £11 for a 20-minute session. Individual 20 minute lessons cost £110 for 10 lessons and £165 for 10 thirty minute lessons. Shared lessons may also be available. Visit www.cambridgeshiremusic.org for more information.

Stringmoves Stringmoves is an exciting project which combines Dalcroze Eurhythmics (teaching concepts of rhythm, structure, and musical expression using movement) and the opportunity to learn a stringed instrument within a whole musical experience. Offering violin, viola and cello teaching, and general musicianship training, tuition takes place on Saturday mornings at St John’s College School in Cambridge. The aim of the project is to provide children with a good grounding in basic musical skills, a firm technical introduction to string playing, and above all, a fun and positive experience of musicmaking. Visit www.stringmoves.org for further details.

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Duxford Saturday Workshop The Duxford Saturday Workshop was established in 1972 with the aim of promoting the performing arts to children and adults in the local community. Since its modest beginnings it now boasts a membership of over 300 adults and children. Members are able to participate in a number of ensembles; wind bands, orchestra, jazz band, string

orchestra, several recorder bands as well as a 4-part choir, creative drama, music and poetry for children from the age of 5. www.duxfordsaturdayworkshop.org.uk

Swavesey Music School Swavesey Music School offers 3 hours of classes on a Saturday morning. Students learn to sing together, play instruments together and learn music theory and aural skills thereby enhancing the quality of their lives and enhancing the musical life of the community. The Music School is an extension of the Swavesey Village College Music

Department and seeks to also provide links between primary music-making and the opportunities provided by the college’s extracurricular music programme. For further information www.swaveseyms.co.uk

please

visit

Cambridge Holiday Orchestra Cambridge Holiday Orchestra offers a wide range of musical activities, including bands, choirs and a full orchestra, for young musicians of all ages and abilities. The fun, friendly courses run for a week during school holidays at Christmas, Easter and in the summer. They offer a great opportunity to develop and extend music skills and experience, as well as to socialise and make new friends. You can choose several activities to suit your ability and range of interests. Enthusiastic tutors enable everyone to achieve their full potential. Players learn from others who are more experienced and are encouraged to help those who are less advanced. The courses end with a performance for family and friends. www.holidayorchestra.co.uk


MUSIC_BONNIE_AMY_Layout 1 03/12/2012 13:23 Page 15

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Gifts in a Tin Jenlo Home has a range of ‘Gifts in a Tin’ and at oly £10 they make perfect stocking fillers £10 www.jenlohome.co.uk

Mini Christmas Fruit Cakes £8 Mr & Mrs Santa Gingerbread £2 www.jenniescakes.co.uk

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CRAFTS_WINTER2012_Layout 1 03/12/2012 08:08 Page 16

ese beautiful decorations are easy and fun to make and what’s more, they won’t cost you a penny!

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CRAFTS_WINTER2012_Layout 1 03/12/2012 08:09 Page 17

craft

Decorative Delights Gift-Wrapped Stars These stars are a great way to use up scraps of wrapping paper. Hang in clusters of different sizes for an effective display. • Wrapping paper • Scissors • Glue stick, glue dots or double-sided tape 1. Cut eight 12cm x 12cm squares from wrapping paper.

String Lanterns These string balls are fun but a little messy to make! Use food colouring, glitter or spray-paint to decorate, or simply fill with LED fairy lights for dramatic shadows!

2. Fold each square in half along the diagonal to form a triangle (patterned side out) and fold in half again.

• Ball of string or wool

3. Cut into the first fold (now folded in half) about 1/3 way down from the top, stopping about 1cm from the end. Make another cut about 1/3 way down from the first cut.

• Balloons

4. Open up the square, plain side up. Bring the two centre folds together to form a roll – stick together. 5. Flip the square over bring together the middle points, securing with tape or glue. Flip the square over again and tape the outer points. You should now have 3 rolls. 6. Tape each of the 8 sections together. The middle ring of the first one should be fixed to the outer ring of the next. Continue this to form a chain of all 8 sections. 7. Bring the two end sections together to form the star. Stick or tape the tips of the star in the centre. 8. Use cotton thread to hang in a beautiful display!

• Food colouring, glitter, spray-paint • Sugar • Toilet roll inner 1. Bring 1/2 cup water and 1 cup of sugar to the boil. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool so it is safe to handle but not yet hardened. 2. To create coloured balls add food colouring to the solution. 3. Wrap your string around the cardboard roll - this makes it easier to wind off onto the balloon and prevents tangling. Place the string in the sugar solution and allow to soak for a few minutes. 4. Partially inflate the balloons – keeping them small if you want a round shape. 5. This is where it gets messy! Take the end of the string and start wrapping around the balloon, winding in different directions. 6. Hang the balloon over a sheet to catch the drips, or place on top of a wide-brimmed jar. 7. Add glitter while still wet, or wait until tacky to spray-paint. It is important not to spraypaint once dry as the structure will begin to soften. 8. After 24 hours the balls should have hardened. Carefully push the ballon away from the sides of the string, and once loosened deflate the balloon.

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CRAFTS_WINTER2012_Layout 1 03/12/2012 08:13 Page 18

Transforming children’s drawings into works of art

My Little Artist

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Our exclusive templates are an easy way to create stylish and personalised greetings cards this Christmas. Download them from our website, print them off onto A4 card and just add fingerprints!


CRAFTS_WINTER2012_Layout 1 03/12/2012 08:18 Page 19

looking after the

pennies

finance

KidStart expands family deals

Bargain spotting to become easier Eight supermarkets have agreed to a set of Office of Fair Trading (FT) principles to address concerns over special offers and promotions for food and drink. Aldi, Co-Op, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose have agreed to adopt the principles into their own policies, following constructive engagement with the OFT. The OFT launched its investigation into the supermarket sector to consider concerns that shoppers could be confused by the way prices are displayed, advertised and promoted. Clive Maxwell, OFT Chief Executive, said: 'Household budgets across the country are under pressure and shoppers should be able to trust that special offers and promotions really are bargains. Prices and promotions need to be fair and meaningful so shoppers can make the right decisions. Nowhere is this more important than during regular shopping for groceries, which accounts for 44 per cent of retail spending.’

Quality time with parents is children’s top wish Family Action’s “All I Want for Christmas” report investigates what the disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people the charity works with think is important at Christmas. The report shows that children value spending time with their families over receiving specific presents – but also highlights the low expectations that some children have about presents this Christmas. With austerity Britain becoming an increasingly tough place for children, young people and families as food and fuel prices rise and the expectation that our kids are driven by consumer values grows, this research by Family Action shows us that for some children and young people their Christmas priority is to spend quality time with parents and relatives that they may not have at other times of the year. Family Action Chief Executive Helen Dent said: “With some parents so hard up they’re considering cancelling Christmas its worth remembering that Christmas doesn’t have to cost the earth for children to have a good time. Children rate quality time with their families over any of the latest gadgets this Christmas. Parents spending their time with

children, providing a family Christmas dinner and giving them opportunities to socialise with extended family are likely to go a long way to providing a positive festive experience that children will remember and cherish when the must have toys and gadgets have gone to the back of the cupboard.’ When the children and young people were asked to rank the three most important aspects of Christmas from a choice of ten Spending time with my family emerged as their overwhelming first or second choice over such options as ‘receiving a present you have asked for’, ‘extra Christmas food’ or ‘having time off school’. When asked whether they considered it important to receive ‘any present’ or a ‘present they had asked for’, the majority said it was more important to receive ‘any present’. When the young people were offered the choice between the latest gadgets – IPhone, Ipod Nano and Ipad - or the chance to contribute to family expenditure through a trolley full of shopping, a car tank of fuel or a month’s free rent for their home, a clear majority of children chose these latter three items.

Parents could treat their children and prepare for their future this festive period by taking advantage of a selection of Christmas savings offers that let families earn money just by doing their shopping. KidStart has teamed up with a number of high street retailers to offer an average 5% cash back on purchases, which can then be invested in to a selection of child savings accounts and investments, which a child will then receive when turning 18. Figures from KidStart suggest that the average family Christmas now costs as much as £700. Making the most of offers, particularly cash back deals can ensure the cost of Christmas is not hanging over the family well in to 2013. Julian Robson, CEO of KidStart, believes the offers can help families make the most of the holiday season: “Everyone knows that a family Christmas is an expensive time so we wanted to help our members out by letting them earn a little extra from their Christmas shop.” To make the most of KidStart parents need to sign up at www.kidstart.com and start shopping at one of KidStart’s partner retailers. For every purchase made, KidStart will automatically credit accounts with money to go towards children’s savings.

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Christmas Cupcake Bouquet Ingredients

Decoration

Makes 12 cupcakes

• 7 plastic cups • cookie cutter • stapler • painting brush • tissue paper • cooled boiled water • pre coloured icing (black, red, green, yellow) • tylose (optional)

• 8 oz butter • 3 oz chocolate chips • 8 oz caster sugar • 5 ml vanilla essence • 4 large eggs • 4 oz plain flour • 8 oz self raising flour

Method 1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 3. 2. Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. 3. Sift together the plain and self-raising flour. Add chocolate chips, this helps them from sinking if added to the flour and slightly coated. 4. Gradually add the eggs and flour. 5. Line the cake tin with deep cupcake cases. 6. Use an ice-cream scoop to fill and dome the tops. 7. Pop in the oven for approximately 25 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and once slightly cooled move to a baking tray. Once cooled you can cut them flat if you wish.

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This method is for a penguin with a hat, although the other characters are simply a variation of this design. 1. Place one cup in the middle and the other six round the outside, just under the lip of the middle cup, staple the other cups in a circle, then staple these to each other to help keep them ridged. 2. Lay two sheets of tissue paper opposite way to each other and lay the stapled cups on it. Fold the tissue round the cups and staple into place. 3. Prepare your icing. If possible use precoloured icing especially for strong colours. Tylose is a product which adds strength to the icing and is available from sugar craft shops and Hobbycraft. If you are colouring the icing yourself use a paste rather than liquid food colouring, which can make the icing too sticky. 4. Cheeks: Roll a ball the size of a walnut, then

break in half and re-roll. Gently pull into a tear- drop shape and place 2/3 down on the cupcake. 5. Roll your icing to cover over the cupcake, smoothing over the cheeks and into the cupcake case at the sides. 6. Eyes: take the white icing and make two pea size balls, squash into ovals, add some cooled boiled water and place just above the puffed cheeks, do same but this time add the icing onto the puffed cheeks. 7. Beak: Mix red and yellow icing to make orange. Roll a walnut sized ball and slightly elongate one side to a carrot shape. Using a blunt knife, make a line to ‘open’ the beak. Slightly squash the other end to broaden and flatten and place between the cheeks. 8. Pupils: Use two small balls of black icing and place onto the white of the eyes. For the cheeks you can dust on some pink powder, which is available from sugar craft shops. 9. Hat: Cut a slightly smaller red circle than the cake. Cut the base and pull the top of the circle over. Place onto the cupcake. Roll a piece of white paste into a sausage and add for the brim of the hat, for the ball, take a small circle and add, again using cooled boiled


16_cupcakes_Layout 1 03/12/2012 09:11 Page 21

Alexina Golding of Cakes2party4 shares her design for a beautiful cupcake bouquet – a perfect gift this Christmas

food

is makes a great last minute cake or a luxurious alternative to fruit cake

Red Velvet Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream Ingredients

water. For the markings, take the back of a blunt knife, or cocktail stick and gently impress into the white icing.

Variations Reindeer: take three sausages and roll one longer, fold in half, take the third piece and place in between these two pieces for the antlers. For the ears, roll a ball and then elongate to make a carrot shape, using a knife or cocktail stick indent to get some detail for the ear. Santa: Roll some icing into quite thin sausages, slightly roll the bottom of the sausage into the middle to make his curls for his beard. Cakes2Party4 provide beautifully created cakes for all occasions. Catering for all events from weddings and civil ceremonies to birthdays and christenings. Visit: www.cakes2party4.co.uk or telephone 01223 573858. Christmas cupcake bouquets are available to order at only £18.

• 260g plain flour • 65g sifted cocoa • 2 tsp baking powder • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda • pinch of salt • 4 tablespoons of liquid red food colouring • 170ml buttermilk • 1 tbsp vanilla extract • 225g unsalted butter • 300g caster sugar • 4 large eggs

Makes 2 deep 8" sponges or can make 3 1 1/2" deep sponges.

Cinnamon Buttercream • 375g soft unsalted butter • 750g icing sugar • 45ml or 3 tbsp of milk • 2 tsp ground cinnamon • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk or freestanding mixer until it is pale and fluffy. Then add each egg at a time and mix well after each addition. Now add a third of the flour mixture followed by a third of the buttermilk mixture and continue alternating until all ingredients are combined. Divide the batter between 2 or 3 greased 8" tins (this depends on how many layerss you would like) and bake in the middle of the oven for 20-30 minutes. Insert a cocktail stick into the middle of the cake and if it is clean once removed then the cake is cooked. Let them cool on a cooling rack before decorating.

Buttercream Beat the butter until soft and fluffy

Method

Add all the other ingredients and mix on low until combined

Preheat oven to 160 degrees fan or 180 degrees

Now mix on high for 2-3 minutes until you have really creamy buttercream.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl and mix with a spoon.

Love Little cakes specialises in creating stylish and delicious, bespoke cakes for all occasions and also offers cupcake workshops. Visit www.lovelittlecakes.co.uk or call on 07826 523283

In another bowl, mix the buttermilk, food colouring and vanilla extract and set aside.

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PITTER PATTER_WINTER12_Layout 1 03/12/2012 09:21 Page 22

Antenatal & Postnatal Services Antenatal and postnatal support for parents of breech babies, tel 07795 975075 Premrose pre-term parents support group, meetings & support, tel 01223 349139 Weekly movement, Pregnancy, birthing and antenatal classes, tel 07759 685247 Tell me a Good Birth Story, Bottisham Children's Centre, 12.30pm - 2pm, Every 3rd Friday of the month

Breastfeeding and Weaning Support Breast feeding support. Free drop in, 12.30 – 2.30pm, Homerton Children’s Centre 01223 508766 Support & Workshops for breastfeeding, baby led weaning, gentle sleep management, 07729629190 Feeding Support, Ladybird Pre-School, Cottenham, 1st Wed, 1.00-2.00pm, 01223 712075 Feeding Support Group, Tuesdays 1-3pm Histon Early Years Centre 01223 712075 Feeding Matters: Cambourne Children’s Centre, Tues 11am – 1pm, 01954 282830 La Leche League: Cambridge group, breastfeeding help & info, 01223 722565 La Leche League Coffee Morning, Fawcett Children’s Centre, Last Fri of month 01223 840258 NCT Breastfeeding Line: 8am – 10pm, 0300 330 0771 BREAST FRIENDS, Bottisham Children's Centre 11am Noon. Support and advice from Breastfeeding Consultant Sarah Oakley. Weaning Clinic, North Cambridge Children's Centre 10am - 11.30am last Monday of every month. Histon - Feeding Support Group, Histon Early Years Centre, 1pm - 3pm Tuesdays Breastfeeding Support, Cherry Hinton Children's Centre Noon - 1.30pm Thursdays La Leche League, Fawcett Children's Centre 10am Noon 4th Friday of the mont Breastfeeding Support, Conkers Children's Centre, Cathodeon Centre, High St, Linton 12.45pm - 2.15pm Thursdays Planning a baby? Conception or pregnancy not going smoothly? Want to enjoy your pregnancy to the full? Yoga, Naturopathy and Reflexology for • Fertility • Pre-conceptual Care • Pregnancy (inc. 1st trimester) • Reproductive Wellbeing Gentle, safe and personalized care in small groups or private sessions

Contact Tiffany Bown 07570 985988 www.nurtureworks.co.uk | info@nurtureworks.co.uk Tiffany is a qualified and insured Birthlight pregnancy and fertility yoga teacher, a qualified naturopath and a CNHC-registered reflexologist and Association of Reflexologists (AOR) member

Pregnancy Health & Wellbeing Birthlight, relaxing yoga for parent and baby, Cambridge, tel 01223 564064 Antenatal Aqua Yoga, Sun pm, Windmill Pool, Fulbourn, tel 01954 710413 Antenatal Aqua Yoga, Weds am, Parkside Pool, Cambridge 01954 710413 Keeping in Shape, Romsey Labour Club, Cambridge 01223 506508 Perfectly Pregnant Pilates: antenatal & postnatal pilates classes, Cambridge, 01799 527829 PhysioPilates, Little Shelford, pre and post-natal pilates 01799 527829 Pregnancy & Postnatal Yoga at Trumpington Pavilion, Birthlight teacher and midwife 07816 610742

Baby Massage Courses Histon Early Years Centre, 01223 712075 Cambourne & St Ives 01480 370819 Sawston 01223 833635 Homerton Children’s Centre, Cambridge, 01223 508766 Barrington Village Hall, 07711 222339

Music, Speech and Movement

Music to Grow to Weekly music sessions from birth up to school age and beyond. Friday mornings at Cambridge Central Library. Mon & Thurs sessions in Ely. Tel 01353 662022 www.musictogrowto.co.uk Little Music Makers, Brown's Field Community Centre 9.45am - 11.45am, Tuesdays Histon Speech Therapist, Histon Early Years Centre 10am - 11.30am, 2nd Monday every other month Baby Rhyme Time, Barnwell Road Library, Mondays 2pm - 3pm Rat-a-Tat Music Group, St Augustine's Church, 10am 11am 07961 193278 Speech and Language Drop in, Little Footsteps Children's Centre, Noon - 2pm, 4th Monday of the month Music and Movement, North Cambridge Children's Centre, 12.15pm - 1.45pm Tuesdays Story time for the Under 5s, Linton Library, Cathodeon Centre, High St, Linton Tuesdays 2pm - 2.30pm Making Music (0-2 yrs) Mayfield School Community Room, Thursday 11am - 11.30am 07432 600062 Speech and Language Drop-In, The ArC Children's Centre, 1.30pm - 3pm Fridays Music Group, The Field’s Children Centre, Wednesdays 12.45pm - 1.30pm Baby Talk, Romsey Mill Wednesdays 10am - 11.30am Baby Rhyme Time, Arbury Court Library, Wednesday 10am - 11am

Sleep Clinics Sleep Clinic, 10.30am - Noon. Second Monday of the month. Romsey Mill Childrens Centre Sleep Clinic, Chesterton Children's Centre 1.30pm - 3pm. 3rd Thursday each month Sleep clinic, Histon Early Years Centre 10am - 11.30am First Friday of the month Sleep Clinic, Seedlings Children's Centre. First Friday of the month 11.00am - 12.00 noon Sweet Dreams Monthly Drop-in Sleep Clinic Dolphin Children's Centre, 2pm - 3pm 01223 472791

Twins & Multiples Multiple Birth Group, Stepping Stones Children's Centre, Bassingbourn, Fridays 10am - Noon. Multiple Births Group, Cambourne Children's Centre Tuesdays 10am - 11.30am Cambridge Twins Club, Chesterton Children's Centre 2pm - 3.30pm, 4th Thursday each month. Cambridge Twins Club Fawcett Children’s Centre 10am - Noon, 3rd Friday of the month

Baby Weekly Guide Monday Pre-walkers Play Together, Starship Children's Centre, Bar Hill, 1.30pm - 2.30pm Baby Club, Cambourne Children's Centre, Sackville 1.30pm - 3pm New Arrivals, The ArC Children's Centre, 10am - 11.30am Tiny Tots, Chesterton Children's Centre, 10.15am - 11.30am Space 2 Play, Chesterton Children's Centre 1.30pm - 4.30pm New Parents and Parents To Be, North Cambridge Children's Centre, Noon - 1.30pm Fenstanton Play & Learn. Fenstanton Church Centre 1.45pm - 2.45pm Stay & Play The Sunshine Room, Duxford Primary School, 1pm - 2.30pm

Tuesday Swavesey Play & learn, Bethel Baptist Church,

Swavesey. 10am - 11.30am Stay & Play at Caldecote Playgroup Caldecote Playgroup 2pm - 3.30pm Young Parents Group, The Fields Children Centre 1.30pm - 3pm Stay and Play,10am - 11.30am, Parachute play, table top and floor activities for 3's and under at Romsey Mill. Little Pears, Orchard Park Community Centre 9.30am 11.30am Bumps To Babies, Cherry Hinton Children's Centre 10am - 11.30am Little Ladybirds, Fawcett Children’s Centre 9.15am - 11.15am Girton - Bumps to Babies, Cotton Hall 1pm - 2.30pm

Wednesday Tiny Toes, Great Shelford Free Church 1:30-3:30pm Baby Club, Gamlingay Community Centre (Eco Hub) 10am - 11am Play Together, Gamlingay Community Centre (Eco Hub) 11.30am - 12.30pm Baby Club, Stepping Stones Children's Centre, Bassingbourne 1.30pm - 3pm LITTLE MOVERS, Bottisham Children's Centre, 12.30pm - 2pm Tiny Feet, Chesterton Children's Centre 2.30pm - 4pm New Parents, Romsey Mill 12.30pm - 2pm Soft Play, Grove Primary School 1pm - 2.30pm Twinkling Twilights, North Cambridge Children's Centre 4pm - 5pm Rhyme Time, Cherry Hinton Library 2pm - 3pm Girton - Ready Steady Play, Girton Baptist Church 10am - 11am Histon - Bumps to Babies, Histon Early Years Centre 1pm - 3pm Play and Learn, Dolphin Children's Centre 10am - Noon Bumps to Babies, Dolphin Children's Centre1.30pm 2.30pm

Thursday BURWELL STAY & PLAY, Burwell Sports Centre 9.30am - 11.30am Playdays, The Field’s Children Centre 12.30pm - 2.30pm Story Club Arbury Court Library 10.30am - 11.15am First Friends, The Fulbourn Centre 10am - 11.30am Stories and Songs, Cherry Hinton Children's Centre 10am - 11.30am Cottenham - Ready Steady Play, Cottenham Community Centre 10am - 11am Histon - Weekly Drop in Cafe, Histon Early Years Centre 1pm - 3pm Bumps to Babies, Conkers Children's Centre 1.15pm 2.45pm Play & Learn, Daisy Children's Centre 9am - Noon New Beginnings, Seedlings Children's Centre 10am 11.30

Friday Baby Club, Little Footsteps Children's Centre, Caldecote 10am - 11.30am Little Acorns, St Luke's Church Centre 9.30am 11.30am ABC Group,Christ The Redeemer Church on Newmarket Road 9.30am - 11.30am Stay & Play,Cherry Hinton Children's Centre 10am 11.30am Bumps to Babies, All Saints Church Hall, Cottenham 1pm - 2.30pm Bumps, Babies & Toddlers, Daisy Children's Centre 10am - 11.30am

Charities and non-profit organisations are entitled to a free listing in The Family Hub. Boxes are available for other organisations for only £15 per issue. Email info@familyhubmagazine.co.uk


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Pitter Patter

baby

A rosie start to life September saw the beginning of a new era for the Rosie Hospital as the new facilties sprung into action. On 03 September the last baby was born in the midwifery-led birthing unit (MLBU). After more than six years, the doors to the unit closed and all staff transferred to the state-ofthe-art Rosie Birth Centre on the ground floor of the new three-storey hospital expansion. At 6.04pm on the first day Hylton Benjamin Bendzullo, weighing in at 3.73kg arrived. His mum, Belinda, a teacher originally from South Africa and now living in Soham with her husband and toddler laboured in the birthing pool. “It was amazing here – the new facilities and the space have been just great.” Jan Butler, consultant midwife for the Rosie, said: “Everything ran very smoothly considering it was our first day. It was very busy too – by the time I started my shift on the Tuesday morning, eight babies had already been born! “The feedback from all the women has been absolutely fabulous. They loved the fact they were able to use the birthing pool and all said they felt very supported by our midwifery staff.” Rosie Birth Centre is part of the brand-new, three-storey Rosie Hospital expansion, and provides continuous one-to-one midwifery-led care for women when they are in active labour. It has been designed for women who have not had any complications during pregnancy and are expecting to have a normal birth.

Visit www.cambridgeshirechildrenscentres.org.uk for details of events and activities at your local centre

Cambourne Children's Centre 01954 284672

Little Footsteps Children's Centre Caldecote Primary School 01954 214444

Chesterton Children's Centre Shirley Community Nursery and Primary School 01223 729081

North Cambridge Children's Centre Campkin Road 01223 712173

Cherry Hinton Children's Centre Fulbourn Old Drift 01223 712082

Romsey Mill Children's Centre Hemingford Road 01223 566102

Bottisham Children's Centre 01223 507152

Conkers Children's Centre Linton 01223 893594

Seedlings Children's Centre Sawston 01223 706373

Daisy Children's Centre Papworth Everard 01480 831423

Starship Children's Centre Bar Hill 01954 200473

Dolphin Children's Centre Waterbeach 01223 472791

Stepping Stones Children's Centre Bassingbourn 01763 249815

Fawcett Children's Centre Fawcett Primary School 01223 840258 Histon Children's Centre 01223 712075 Homerton Children's Centre Holbrook Road 01223 508766

e ArC Children's Centre 82 Akeman Street 01223 703828 e Fields Children's Centre Galfrid Road 01223 518333

Nurture Works The road from deciding to have a baby to parenthood is often much more bumpy than expected, with a variety of potholes along the way. For many, conceiving a baby proves dream-shatteringly hard, for others the challenge lies in maintaining the pregnancy and for others still pain and anxiety turn pregnancy into one long ordeal. Tiffany Bown of NurtureWorks offers yoga, naturopathy and reflexology designed to give couples their best possible chance of conceiving either naturally or with medical assistance, of maintaining a pregnancy that is (much more than just problem-free) an uniquely positive time of personal blossoming, and of giving birth without fear to a healthy child. It was Tiffany’s own four-year experience of infertility and her positive experience with complementary medicine that led her to study naturopathy and yoga, and her personal journey informs her desire to help other couples. She runs two small weekly yoga therapy groups, one for fertility, preconception and early pregnancy (open to all women trying to conceive and to those in the delicate first 14 weeks of pregnancy) and the other for pregnancy (from 14 weeks to birth). She also offers private sessions combining naturopathic diet and life-style advice with the powerful relaxing and healing benefits of reflexology and yoga. Contact Tiffany Bown 07570 985988 info@nurtureworks.co.uk or visit www.nurtureworks.co.uk

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LITTLESTARS_GARDENING_WINTER2012_Layout 1 04/12/2012 11:16 Page 24

Mummy’s Little Stars Being a Gold Star Parent for Christmas I spend a lot of my time praising my kids for their achievements. And that's great. That is how it should be. We need to encourage our children to behave in a positive way, and to show them that if they don't get it right first time, trying again is the only and the best way to learn. However, what about us parents? Do we praise ourselves enough for what we have managed - no matter how small those achievements may seem to others? Personally, I am not sure that we do. Would it do us or our children any harm if we did? Being a parent is far from easy. It's a very, very tough job, and the salary is pretty rubbish. Not to mention the constant criticism from the employees.... Even when we are showing pride in our kids, we worry about that as well. Perhaps we think that some people might accuse us of being too competitive when we rejoice in what our kids have managed. We don't want to be seen as a competitive parent. However, showing pride in what our children are able to achieve isn't the same as pushing them too hard to reach that success. It's that we need to steer clear of. This term, lets give ourselves a break. Why can't WE get a gold star as a parent for a change?! So come on over to the KiddyCharts Reward Charts website and shout loud about what's made you proud as a parent. It could be anything from: • Reading to your kids every night for a week even though you work • Getting that study finally sorted out, when you have been saying you would for weeks • Letting go and giving your kids a chance to bake, AND make a mess • Taking time off work to watch your kids perform in the school play • Finally starting that book you always wanted to write but never had anytime before. The only rule for joining is if that it makes you proud it makes us proud too! So visit our website and give yourself a well earned virtual gold star!

T

As the days begin to shorten and a bit of a nip creeps into the air, there’s no escaping the fact that the summer’s over and the garden is starting its long slow slide into autumn and winter. ere’s always a bit of a sad feel about this time of year for any keen gardener – but kids can feel it worse than most; after all, when you’re not so very old yourself, the six month wait for spring seems like an eternity. e good news is, the coming of colder weather doesn’t have to spell the end of fun times in the garden – there’s more than enough to do to make their time fly by.

Planting Bulbs Planting bulbs is one of the traditional autumn/winter jobs and it’s something that the whole family can have lots of fun doing. at said, it’s important to remember that many of our favourite kinds of bulbs are poisonous – including snowdrops, daffodils and crocuses. Fortunately with the exception of daffodils (almost all of these plants are potentially harmful) for most kinds, it’s only if bits of the bulb itself are actually eaten that problems are likely to occur – though with very young children and small bulbs, this may not be much comfort!

Solve your behavioural challenges fast with KiddyCharts KiddyCharts are more engaging for kids than other charts because they use the lovely KiddyCharts little star character to show children what behaviours are expected of them. You can tailor each chart to YOUR child's needs as well. Visit www.kiddycharts.com /reward-me-charts to build your own personalised chart, including a photo, and make your little stars into Pirates or Princesses!

www.thekidsgarden.co.uk

Generations of children have, however, enjoyed bulb-planting unscathed, but it is certainly an activity that requires careful supervision.

Bird Tables and Hibernation Houses www.kiddycharts.com Twitter: @KiddyCharts www.facebook.com/kiddycharts

Winter is also a good time to think about wildlife. If you’re planning on feeding the birds through the winter or giving hedgehogs or toads


LITTLESTARS_GARDENING_WINTER2012_Layout 1 03/12/2012 07:58 Page 25

gardens

Short, cold and dark days can dampen the spirits of a keen young gardener, but there are still plenty of jobs to be done ready for the spring!

growing together a place to hibernate, it’s important to get organised before the worst of the weather, so they can find the facilities you’ve arranged for them and get used to the idea.

can be one of the most fun parts of winter gardening. At this time of year there’s no shortage of seed and plant catalogues to look through and no end of choices to be made.

New tables and houses will need to be set up, while old ones probably need a clean and a good look over to make sure they don’t need to be repaired or replaced. With birds in particular, a winter bird table can give your kids a great opportunity to see their feathered visitors regularly and up-close, so it’s well worth spending the time to make sure everything’s ready for them.

It’s a great opportunity to think back over the past year and remember what worked and what didn’t, and then decide what you’d like to do in the months to come. Are you planning a new garden feature? Will you pick some different varieties of plants, or go with something that’s proven itself successful? ese are the sorts of questions that any avid young gardener will want to talk about – and, of course, nothing will make a child feel more part of the whole thing than being able to have his or her say.

Winter Growing Even if the wind’s howling and the snow’s falling thick and fast outside, your greenfingered kids needn’t stop growing things, if, like most, that’s the bit of gardening that they enjoy the best. ere are some wonderful kits available from a number of garden suppliers which can have you growing everything from the old traditional mustard-and-cress, to a range of sproutings, such as bean-sprouts and alfalfa, or your own mushrooms. ere are even a few on sale which will let you start off some varieties of tomatoes, peppers or herbs – complete with their own mini window-sill propagator and expanding peat pots. It may be winter in the garden, but your children can still grow-their-own if they want to, without ever venturing outside their own back door!

Planning For Next Year ere’s also a lot to be done to plan for next year’s growing season – and in many ways, this

Although the arrival of winter inevitably curtails much of the activity in the garden itself, it really doesn’t have to stop your youngsters from enjoying their gardening completely.

Making a Milk/Juice Carton Birdhouse Find and clean, 4 litre, paper juice/milk carton and let it dry out completely. Help your child staple the top closed and add some small drainage holes along the bottom of the carton with a pencil. en measure and cut a one-inch entrance hole in the front centre of the carton, approximately two inches up from the bottom. Place a slit below the entrance and gently slide an ice-lolly stick (or similar object) through for use as a perch. Add two more holes in the top and run wire through for hanging. Allow your child to paint the birdhouse or glue embellishments on instead such as twigs, small shells, buttons, etc. Add a coat or two of polyurethane and hang the birdhouse from a small tree or porch eave.

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BUILDINGBLAOCK_WINTER12_Layout 1 03/12/2012 09:55 Page 26

preschool

Christmas Language Lab Christmas

French

Spanish

Noël

Navidad

Festivity

les fêtes

Festividad

Reindeer

les rennes

Renos

Sants Claus Christmas tree Decoration (tree) Bells Angels Decorations

Saint Nicolas le Sapin de Noël les ornements les cloches les anges les décorations

San Nicolas Arbol de navidad Adornos Campanas Angeles Decoraciones

Father Christmas

Le Père Noël

Papa Noel

tinsel

les guirlandes

Guirnaldas

gifts

les cadeaux

Regalos

Lory Peresson of Spanish Amigos offers Spanish and French lessons through term-time and holiday clubs. Email cambridge@spanishamigos.co.uk or visit www.spanishamigos.co.uk for more information on classes and locations.

Party Planner & Cake Decoration

• Party and Cake • For children & adults • Venue • Decorations, • Face-painting • Photography and more... For more information visit: www.lorytas.co.uk enquire@lorytas.co.uk / 07882 404064 47-51 Norfolk Street CB1 2LD

Would you like to work with us? Contact us

Beginners advanced B eginners tto o ad vanced

& GIFT VOUCHERS AVAILABLE

Language L anguage Scho School ol

• Term T time i &H Holiday lid C Clubs l b • Parents & Toddlers • Nurseries & Primary Schools • Secondary Schools & Adults facebook.com/Spanish.Amigos.in.Cambridge facebook.com/Spanish.Amigos.in.Cambridge

C Contact ontact LLory ory on 07882 404064 ccambridge@spanishamigos.co.uk ambridge@spanishamigos.co.uk www www.spanishamigos.co.uk .spanishamigos.co.uk

Discovering potential with Stagecoach Stagecoach Cambridge aims to offer the very best performing arts training to children aged 4-18. Early Stages is designed to introduce young children aged 4-6 years to Performing Arts. Developed specifically to the needs of preschool and infant school children these sessions work to enhance the learning, development and creativity of young people, giving them a safe environment to grow and stretch themselves. Each child becomes more confident, socially aware and can discover their full potential in small class sizes (maximum 15), while having lots of fun and making new friends. Running for 90 minutes, the Early Stages class is split up into three 30 minute sessions of singing, dancing and drama, where young children learn performing arts skills through singing, dancing and drama classes. Parents receive individually written reports on their child's progress twice a year and are invited to various performances throughout the year. Contact Principal, Angharad Walter on 01223 359974 / 07590 565 901 cambridge@stagecoach.co.uk or visit www.stagecoach.co.uk/cambridge


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The festive gift of fun and opportunity is up-coming festive break provides a great opportunity to have fun with our children, whilst naturally encouraging their communication development As parents we want to give our children the best chance in life by exposing them to every opportunity. The weekly routine often involves running them to swimming, to messy-play or to music lessons to name just a few. With this hectic schedule it’s easy to forget that their speech, language and communication skills are at the heart of enabling our children to make the most of all these opportunities, including getting the most out of learning in the classroom. As parents we play the key role in developing these skills in our children and simply by providing them with a language rich environment we are supporting their development and their ability to access the world for now and for their future too. Here are just a few festive favourites for developing these core skills:

A Christmas Wish list Children love flicking through catalogues. If they don’t already have an idea of what to put on their Christmas wish list then a toy catalogue is a great starting point, providing a wealth of opportunity to build vocabulary and chat together. Children that are beginning to write could compose a letter to Father Christmas with your help, getting them to describe one thing they really like about each toy. Alternatively, you could cut out pictures from the catalogue together and make a picture list. If you are writing to Father Christmas talk about where he lives, how he makes the toys and what magic he’ll use to get them down the chimney. There are a few charities and companies you can send your letter to that will send a reply to your child from Father Christmas. Something else to get them chatting!

Festive cooking Have a go at baking festive shaped biscuits together for hanging on the tree, giving as gifts or just eating of course. It’s a great opportunity to talk about numbers and concepts like heavy and light, smooth and sticky while you are weighing out the ingredients, rolling out the dough or cutting

out the biscuits. Children will love this gooey activity. Don’t forget, most young children also love to wash up, once they’ve licked the bowl!

Wrapping presents While you’re wrapping up presents ask your child to be in charge of the sticky tape, either cutting off long or short strips or if they’re not yet safe with scissors you could pre cut the tape and get them to pass you the right length piece and help you stick it on. Talk about the person the gift is for, what sort of shop the gift might have come from or what the person might do with it when they open it. Use the left over boxes and empty tubes to build a junk model sculpture together.

Family meals Big family meals are a great opportunity to demonstrate good communication skills and include children in grown up conversations. Make sure everyone around the table gets their chance to talk and everyone takes time to listen. Encourage older family members to tell stories from the ‘old days’ and the younger members of the family to tell their stories too. Ask the children to pass food or sauces along the table or ask them to help lay or clear the table. Children love to get involved and feel useful.

Homemade cards There are plenty of ways to decorate a card, so try to avoid any set ideas that you might have - let your child lead the way! The end result may be not what you had in mind, but your child will feel very proud of their work if no one else has tampered with it. Once the cards are dry, encourage your child to attempt to write, copy or trace over the top of their own name, praising them for their efforts. If you make any cards for friends or relatives, put them in envelopes and take a trip to the Post Office. This will provide plenty of opportunities for language, the journey there, paying for the stamps and standing on tiptoes to post them. Once the festive break is over you can also enjoy sorting through the cards you received to use them for a scrapbooking activity at a later date. With all of these ideas and activities, don't worry about the results; it's sharing the activity that is important. Give your child lots of praise for their efforts, allowing them to attempt new skills and helping when needed. Most of all enjoy your time together and have fun! So, however you choose to enjoy the festive break, make the most of this time to have a truly memorable and magical time with your children.

Bright Speech Pippa Hales is a speech and language therapist and founder of the Cambridge based business Bright-Speech. Since becoming a mum to two lively and chatty boys she realised the true importance of developing a child’s speech, language and communication skills; enabling them to access the world around them to their full potential. Pippa provides private consultations for children that are brilliant, struggling or somewhere in between, as well as workshops and online materials to enhance these essential skills.

Find out more at www.bright-speech.com


BUILDINGBLAOCK_WINTER12_Layout 1 03/12/2012 09:58 Page 28

Music & Movement

Music to Grow to High quality music-making for young babies and children as they grow Weekly sessions all year in Cambridgeshire (and London!)

From birth up to school age and beyond... Birthday parties and discos too! All sessions are led by professional musicians

01353 662022 www.musictogrowto.co.uk

Sign and Rhyme, Fawcett Children’s Centre, Monday 2:00-3:00pm, for under 3’s 01223 840258 Baby Crotchets Music Group 0-4s, St Andrew’s Church, Cherry Hinton Friday 1.45 01223 244691 Music Tots, Paradise Centre, Ely, Thurs 01353 610676 Tuneful Tots, Balsham, music & movement group 01223 290545

Messy Play Messy Play, Cherry Hinton Baptist Church Family Centre, Mon pm, Tues am 01223 712082 Mucky Pups messy play, Monday 1:45-3:15pm, age 25yrs, St Barnabas 01223 519526 Messy Play, drop-in at Homerton Children’s Centre, Cambridge, Tuesdays 01223 508766 Messy Play, Cherry Hinton Baptist Church Family Centre, Mon pm, Tues am 01223 712082 Tiger Cubs Messy Play, High Barns, Ely, 0 – 3yrs, 01353 667819 Krafty Kittens Messy Play Sessions, Great Shelford, 01223 247639

Soft Play Ragged Rascals Softplay at Great Shelford Rugby Club Mon & Thurs10.00am – 12noon, 07756021893 Kreepy Krawlies Fowlmere Village Hall Mon, Great Shelford Memorial Hall Tues & Fri, 10.00a.m. 12.00p.m. 07447 582457 Spotted Giraffe, Linton. Open Tues-Sun 10am-6pm 01223 892 226 Cheeky Monkeys, Fulbourn. Open daily from 10am 01223 881658

Toddler Groups Weekly Guide Monday Bobtails Baby & Toddler Group, Girton Pavilion 01223 474198 Burwell Baby & Toddler Group, Burwell Gardiner Memorial Hall 01638 742499 Let’s Play Toddler Group, St. Paul’s Centre, Cambridge, 01223 576899 Little Bunnies Toddler Group, St Andrew’s Church, Cherry Hinton 01223 712082 Little Rockers, Lichfield Community Centre, Cambridge 01223 211722 Mondays Together, 0-3s 10.00 – 12.30, Fields Children’s Centre 01223 518333 Morley Parent & Toddler Group, Morley School, Cambridge, 01223 565974 Under Fives Roundabout Toddlers, Mayfield Primary, Cambridge, 01223 502484 Burwell Grow and Learn, family play for under 5s, 1.45 – 3.00 01638 613103

Tuesday Arbury Community Centre Toddler Group, Cambridge 01223 504406 Barn Owls Parents/Toddlers, Cottenham Salvation Army 01954 252419

Busy Bees, Isleham Village Hall, 0 to toddlers, 01638 781944 Eden Chapel Toddler Group, Cambridge 01223 361250 Little Ladybirds, Fawcett Children’s Centre, 9:1511:15am, messy play for under 5’s 01223 840258 Nippers Toddler Group, St Thomas’s Church, Cambridge 01223 214480 Romsey Mill Toddler 2s, social group, parachute play, 03yrs 01223 566102 St Andrew’s Stepping Stones Toddler Club, 0 – 5 yrs, Histon 01223 504199 St Matthews Mums & Toddlers, St Matthew’s Church, Cambridge 01223 309511 Tiddlywinks Toddler Group, Eden Baptist Chapel, Cambridge 01223 862762 Tinder Tots, Aldreth Village Centre, 0 – 4years, 01353 740004 Under Fives Roundabout Toddlers, Mayfield Primary, Cambridge 01223 502484 Little Pears, Orchard Park Community Centre, 9.3011.30am, 01223 712173 Oakington Baby & Toddler Group, Water Lane, 0-5yrs, 01223 234458 Quy Toddler Group, 0 – 4s, Tuesdays 1.00 – 2.30pm, Village Hall 01223 518333 Toddle Play, Homerton Children’s Centre, under 2s, 01223 508766 Chill and Chat Young Parents Group, North Cambridge Children’s Centre, 1.00-2.30pm 01223 712173

Wednesday All Saints Tots, babies and toddlers, Weds 9.30 – 11.30, Little Shelford Memorial Hall, 01223 844982 Barnabas Bears Toddler Group, St Barnabas Church, Cambridge 01223 519526 Burwell Baby & Toddler Group, Mon & Weds am, Burwell, Gardiner Memorial Hall, Under 5s 01638 742499 Carers & Tots, 9.30-11am, 0-5 yrs olds, Daisy Children’s Centre, Papworth 01480 831423 Chesterton Parent Group, under 5’s, 10–11.30 01223 426710 Ladybird Play &Toddler Group, Histon/Impington, 18ms – 28ms 01223 521004 Landbeach Busytots Baby & Toddler Group, Village Hall, 01223 860304 Little Bunnies Toddler Group, St Andrew’s Church, Cherry Hinton 01223 712082 Little Steps group for babies and toddlers, Great Shelford Free Church 01223 842735 Our Lady’s Toddler Group, OLEM Church, Cambridge 01223 352988 Weenie Warblers Baby & Toddler Group, Great Wilbraham Village Hall 01223 881889

Thursday All Day Play 9am – 2pm 0-5 yr olds at Daisy Children’s Centre, Papworth 01480 831423 Bobtails Baby & Toddler Group, Girton Pavilion 01223 474198 Carers & Tots, Cambourne Children’s Centre, 10.152.15 07785 941764 Lode Monkeys parent & toddler group, 0-3 years, Thurs 10 – 11.30 am 01223 811693 East Road Toddler Group, Zion Baptist Church 01223 314627 St John’s Mothers & Toddlers, Hills Rd, Cambridge, tel 01223 565974 Toddler Group, Caxton Village Hall, Cambourne Children’s Centre, 01954 718692 Woodmice Outdoor Toddler Group, Wandlebury Country Park, tel 01223 842079 Duxford Baby and Toddler Group, Duxford Primary School, tel 01223 709332 Oakington Baby & Toddler Group, Water Lane, 0-5yrs, tel 01223 234458

Messy Play, North Cambridge Children’s, Centre, 12.30pm, tel 01223 71217311.30

Friday Cambourne 1 2 3s, Vine Family Centre, Fri 10.00 – 11.30, tel 01954 710215 First Friends, social group with children up to age 2, Friday, Fulbourn Centre, 10.30 – 12.00, tel 01223 712082 First Steps, a group for 0 – 4yr and their carers, 10am – 12, tel 01223 362574 Little Stars Toddler Group, Haslingfield Village Centre, Haslingfield, tel 01223 873142 Mums & Tots, Longstanton, 0-3yrs, tel 01954 789579 Noah’s Ark, Bar Hill & District, twins & triplets group, 0+, tel 01954 780468 St Andrew’s Church, Histon, Teddy Bear Time, 1st Fri of month, tel 01223 504199 St Andrew’s Stepping Stones Toddler Club, 0 – 5 yrs, Histon, tel 01223 504199 Swaffham Prior Baby and Toddler Group, Village Hall, 9.30 -11.30am, tel 01638 744266 Trumpington Toddlers, Fawcett Primary School, Trumpington, tel 01223 842530 Under Fives Roundabout Toddlers, Mayfield Primary, Cambridge, tel 01223 309066 Cherry Hinton Toddler Group, Junior School, 1.15 – 2.45, tel 01223 50877

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The Family Hub Issue 06 Winter 12/13