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Yep! It’s Still . Absolutely free – py Co a TAKE It’s ALL YOURS!

Tackling the challenges of parenting head-on

We received well over 1,000 pieces of writing from Frome schools on National Writing Day. Here are just a handful of wonderful examples… Alfie, Yr1, Vallis Polar bears have four legs. They live in cold places on ice. Polar bears have white fur.

Elliot, Yr6, Selwood Academy r burst in Crash! The western watch towe , which to flames. Large chunks of stone the tower in ays agew pass the d once walle ing mass fell upon the city. Every block caus attacking! destruction… the Romanians are

On June 21st, as part of the year-long Word Up! programme children from first and middle schools in Frome and the surrounding area participated in the first annual National Writing Day, organised by First Story. The aim was simple – write. Whether they chose a Amelie, Yr1, Vallis Kieran, Yr4, Beckingto five-word story, a haiku poem or a longer piece of writing, the n Elephants have big, gre ‘Found in a rubgy pla y yer’s pocket’ aim was to enjoy doing it. No assessment, no rules. In the new A rainy day very floppy ears. Hunte rs academic year, Word Up! will be bringing authors, poets A pair headphones pai are hurting our eleph nted gold ants. A piece of mouldy gre and various other wordsmiths to work with students y chewing gum A big biscuit to play with words before hosting a celebration Jude, Reception, Jacob, Yr3, Trinity of words and writing at the end Rode & Norton Cheeky Charlie just got away with his of the academic year. St Philip innocent face. The teacher was covered Leemur in my from head to toe in slime for the third time bed. He scared. this month. “But it was Sam!”, lied Charlie. Jenny, Yr7,

Selwood Academy Pink dogs walking do wn the street. Small dogs jumping up . Red poodles going cra zy. Dogs are everywhere . Tomas, Yr1, Rode & Norton St Philip Tiger in the tree. Eating monkey. Angry.

Maddie, Yr8, Selwood Academy I pottered along on the luxurious, red, velvet carpet that lined the extensive room. Large sofas lined the edges; windows letting the burnt oranges, ambers and comforting yellows that blanketed the skyline through into the room – allowing the mirrors to reflect the stunning scenery.

Isabelle, Yr2, Trinity Flies are eating the poo.

Bruno, Yr5, Oakfield Academy Painting is fun. Some people call it The Joy of Painting, I call it relaxing, calm and joyful. The brushes you make on canvas, paper or anything to be exact, it t shows who you are. So if you pain you If ive. creat e you’r ively, creat paint joyfully, you’re joyful.

Millie, Yr3, St Louis Learning brings happiness to life.

Amelie, Yr4, Rode & Norton St Philip Little squirrel come. Let me stroke your funny tail. Come and get this nut.

Grace, Yr4, Mells in “That’s it!”, she said. “I’ll sneak to his house at midnight and I’ll find the device that makes the seas calm”. So, at midnight, I snuck out.

Katie, Yr8, Oakfield Academy I don’t like writing sto ries. Just imagine if we didn’t hav e to do this. Joy. Here’s what I thin k about that, I shouldn’t have to do this. Suddenly, I understand I have to do this.

William, Yr1, Rode & Norton St Philip Rainbows go for miles Over big hills and valleys Above the low clouds.

Darcey, Yr4 , St John’s Courage is so mething that destroys fear. You ca n overcome an y fear, as lo ng as you have courage.

Florence, Yr4, Mells As the sunrise came and the cockerel crowed, Milly knew it was going to be a great day. Milly was a foster child, her parents had taken one look at her and gave her away .

Erin, Yr3, St Louis Be happy, you. believe in

India, Yr2, Berkley old Once upon a time there was an going was He . boat a in lived who man . It storm a was there but , to Neverland tion. blew the boat in the wrong direc ger. The wind got stronger and stron

Brayden, Yr5, Oakfield Academy Joy I get from riding a horse, Sitting high upon his back. ‘Walk on Mouse’, I call. He slowly moves across. Clip clop clip clop

Alex, Yr1, St John’s A flower showed courage. He grew. Niamh, Yr3, Trinity It all started with a stray, a corgi called Talic. She was very clever, let me tell you why. George, Yr3, Berkley Once I saw a poorly bee who lost a wing. I took it to the vets, it got a robot wing. Sev eral months later, it becam e my pet. I told it a story before bed every night and on sunny mo rnings we went to the park.

Over the summer, why not take the Summer Reading Challenge? You can pick up a challenge booklet from your local library. You can also do a Paper Nations Writing Challenge over the summer to get you in the ‘write’ shape (get it?!) to take on writing challenges throughout the year. You can download the writing challenge from: www.papernations.org

Word Up! is literacy project delivered in partnership with fifteen local

Frome schools and supported with funding from Frome Town Council with the objective of having fun with words and writing. Word Up will be produced in collaboration with Paper Nations and Bath Festivals as part of the Year of Writing. Funded by Arts Council England’s strategic grant for Creative Writing in Schools, Paper Nations is a new creative writing hub for young people.




Family. It deserves a sentence all to itself. In fact, it deserves an entire issue all to itself, which is exactly what we have done in issue 2 of The Little Things. Following our launch issue in March, we thought long and hard about what to put in our first issue. We played around with a few different ideas, but decided we’d lay out our stall from the get go. We’re about family. The good. The bad. The ugly. We’ve packed this issue with loads of family-friendly ideas such as family gardening, how to get the family involved in the housework, family-friendly recipes, firsthand stories of family life with a disabled child, family life with adopted children and what it’s like to be a young parent. We’ve even included a crafty section for the kids in the hopes it might give you a few minutes of peace. We’d love to hear what you think of the magazine or if you have any ideas for articles or features please get in touch with us at: editor@thelittlethingsmagazine.com.



LTM01_Cover.indd 1


Lisa Merryweather-Millard editor@thelittlethingsmagazine.com




Rather Nice Design hello@rathernicedesign.com CONTRIBUTORS

Tanya Anderson, Lungi Babas, Ash Bailey, Seb Bomani, Ben O’Brien, Jen Chow, Dawn Denton, Katy Harris, Saffy Hill, Poot, Super Pirates, Claire Yeoman © Rather Nice Design Limited 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without written consent. Rather Nice Design Limited (company number 10214533) is registered in England and Wales. The registered office of Rather Nice Design Limited is 12 Wallbridge Avenue, Frome, BA11 1RL. All information contained in this magazine is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Rather Nice Design cannot accept any responsibilty for errors or inaccuracies in such information.

07/07/2017 13:28

Contents 5

Be sure to follow us on social media to stay in touch and to find out about The Little Things events.

Tackling the challenges of parenting head-on

Yep! It’s Still Absolutely free. TAKE a Copy – It’s ALL YOURS!

6 9 10 14 22 25 28 34 36 38 40 42


Book Worm Review Saffy Hill reviews the British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year Home & Garden The Grand Bug & Pest Hotel Wellbeing It’s up to you Little Things For Kids Keeping the kids busy Family Social Food for the whole family Something for the weekend How to spice it up Family Health Who’s the fit kid? My Family Living with disability My Family Single father My Family All kids do that Photo Story Don’t touch that! Rocktopus Rage Against The Submarine What’s On Frome Diary |3

Cook, Learn, Have Fun, Eat! Cookery lessons for children aged 3 to 10 with additional classes for toddlers and teenagers. We aim to show parents and children that cooking healthy meals can be inexpensive, quick, easy and – most importantly – FUN!

We provide a safe environment and all cooking equipment. Phone Katy: 07711 157995


Lesley’s Flower Shop Angels, Hats, Flowers & Accessories

5 Cork Street, Frome, BA11 1BL

Weekly flower bouquets starting at £5 Weddings Corporate Events Parties Funerals

The Three ‘R’s

A Book Worm Reviews … THE GIRL OF INK AND STARS by Kiran Millwood-Hargrave


i, my name is Serafina Hills and I'm an eleven-year-old book blogger. You may remember me as Saffy from Child Genius 2016 (the nine-year-old who read 40 books a month). I love reading and I started a blog in 2015 of book reviews that I had written. I have recently been to France, where I read books in French and last year I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in Spanish (although I did a lot of guessing!). It’s always fun to read different books – variety makes it more interesting. I’ve read books from authors such as Agatha Christie to Jacqueline Wilson and many more. I’ve also met quite a few of my heroes, including Charles Moore and Pippa Goodheart. One of the reasons I love to read is because it allows you to be absorbed into a different world and, usually, the worlds are very diverse! I’ll be writing book reviews regularly for The Little Things Magazine. If you’re inspired to write book reviews of your own why not speak to your local library or book shop to see if you can review books for them. After all, who better to recommend a book than someone your age who’s read it! 

Recommended Reading Age


The Girl of Ink and Stars is about a girl called Isa, who is the daughter of a cartographer. She lives on the island of Joya in the small town, Gromera. Her Pa dreams of mapping distant lands, while she dreams of mapping the forgotten territories. When Isa accidentally calls her best friend, Lupe, the governor’s daughter, ‘rotten’, Lupe is out to prove her wrong. But the island is changing, a terror has arisen and behind the beauty, lies a dark evil. I like the interesting layout inside; the pages are made like maps and have cartographers’ marks like the ones that the heroine probably would have made. I confess to finding the first few introductory pages hard, and I was crying at the end, but… I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. I’ve always wanted to read a book like this, where a whole new world with its own legends and folktales is created. The way it is written is beautiful, the words flow and I can imagine it vividly. I don’t think I’ve read anything quite like it. It’s SO different, incredibly mesmerising and a truly deserving winner of the Waterstones Children’s book prize. I love Isa’s determination to right her wrongs and how Lupe is kind r and has a lot of good inside her after all. Isa has a very strong characte Her Pablo. with spends she ts momen the like arly particul and I is memories are lovely but my favourite character is probably Lupe. She when even thing, adventurous, brave and always seems to do the right she knows how terrible her father was. You can always contact me via my blog or at serafina@serafinahills.com if you have any questions, requests, or recommendations.


Home & Garden

On the verge of a Vitamin D defiency and most certainly feeling the effects of season affective disorder, local gardener, Jen Chow, sends The Little Things in to the garden. Words Jen Chow

I © iStockphoto.com • © Creative Commons / hannahsmetana

f you’ve been to any public gardens, National Trust or RHS, you’ve likely seen many different versions of Bug Hotels. We can do something to help conserve and maintain the natural environment by encouraging beneficial insects into our gardens. Each insect has a job to do in your garden, did you know that ladybirds help to control aphids? As there is no fee for this hotel, it doesn’t have to be pretty, just functional. MATERIALS: ●● Bark and decomposing wood This is good for guests like woodbugs, centipedes, spiders and beetles and their larvae. ●● Broken paving slabs, tiles, bricks, stone These can provide a frost free zone for those little frogs, toads or newts in your garden. ●● Grass, leaves, twigs These materials work well for burrowing creatures and hibernating ones like ladybirds.


GREAT FOR DEVELOPING MATHS & SCIENCE METHOD Like anyone looking to build, you must survey the site you are hoping to build on and choose the right position for your structure. Find a shady or partly shady spot in your garden, perhaps near the compost heap or at the end of the garden. Flat areas work best to build on, obviously. Using your materials make a stable structure by stacking the different structural materials like wood, slabs, tiles, bricks and stones. The other materials like bark, grass, leaves and twigs can be shoved in to openings in the structure. The hotel can be open on all sides but make sure it is reasonably stable and it has a roof to keep the rain out.

MASON BEE HOME Mason bees don’t look like typical bees. To start with, they are black and can be easily confused with flies. But look closely, and you’ll find that, unlike flies, they have furry legs and furry bodies (who doesn’t at this time of year) with long antenna. They are very docile and often don’t bother with people at all. Furthermore, they are considered great pollinators for your garden and thought to be better even than honey bees! Making a home for them is super easy and it can bee (!) made from recycled materials.

METHOD: 1 Cut (or ask a grown-up to help cut) a section of a large water bottle so that you have a plastic tube. 2 Cut (or ask a grownup to help cut) woody prunings or bamboo in to short lengths of about 6 inches. 3 Fill the plastic tube with the pruning 4 Put your nest in a sunny spot, perhaps against a wall and out of the wind, and wait for the bees to move in.

MATERIALS NEEDED: ●● Old water bottle ●● Garden waste such as the prunings of woody plants like buddleja, elder. You can also use pieces of bamboo canes if you don’t have any woody prunings. ●● Secateurs for cutting


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Home & Garden

A TIME TO ENJOY It feels like we’ve had a very long winter/spring but we have finally arrived in summer and it’s time to get busy!

© iStockphoto.com


inally everything is leafing up and romping away at a pace. Get out for a walk and you’ll see an abundance of wild flower surprises. I’m convinced we’ve had one of the best years for bluebells ever. Keep feeding the birds in your garden and don’t forget to give them water. Buy good quality seed mixes as cheaper ones are often unsuitable for small birds. Mixes with black sunflower seeds, nyjer (or niger) seed and peanut granules are best. For those less squeamish, fresh meal worms are an excellent food source for birds all year round and they are particularly good for young ones who are just learning to provide for themselves. Remember not to let any food you put out get mouldy as this can encourage harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, which could harm birds. Keep investigating your ponds or wet areas for activity. You may have frogs, toads and newts residing in your garden if you have a pond or a wild and wet patch somewhere. Go slowly around these areas when cutting the grass or using a garden strimmer to help protect them. If you have a pond, it’s


a good time to remove blanket weed. It’s actually an algae and can spread rapidly in sunny conditions. Not only will it look a bit unsightly but it will also reduce the amount of oxygen in the water which will harm pond life. Try gathering it gently in a net or wind it on to a bamboo cane. Put it on the edge of the pond for a while before discarding to allow any creatures that may be trapped to escape back into the water. GET PLANTING Look at the spaces you’ve got to fill, whether in a bed, a pot or a hanging basket.You don’t have to be traditional, why not do a bit more for conservation and sow some wildflower seed – a mini meadow in a basket. You’ll have the

delight of visiting butterflies and bees, and it won’t need nearly as much water as a conventional hanging basket. DESIGNING YOUR GARDEN Continue your design work and if you need a little inspiration, try having a look at flowers in local gardens or nurseries. Keep noticing where the sun reaches and where might stay shady in your garden. Make a note of it, this will help you to choose plants that are more likely to thrive on your plot or in your pot. Don’t worry if you’ve got a shady garden, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have lovely plants and flowers. There are lots of lovely plants that will thrive in shade. Ferns, Solomon’s seal and Geraniums are all stunning plants and they love shade. Check out Long Acre Plants, they have a wonderful collection of shade loving plants and a nice website. Think again about the structure of your garden. What might you like to add; trees, shrubs, or herbaceous perennials for flowering and foliage. You can grown annuals which will flower this year and you can use the seeds for the following year.

SALAD DAYS Now is a good time to plant salads and mixed leaves. You can buy seed packets labelled ‘cut and come again’ which will do just that. You cut them and they will grow again. Perfect, a summer full of salad! Mizuna, pak choi and mibuna are good salad leaves to grow and rocket is nice harvested young. TOP TIP: Harvest salad leaves in the morning as leaves are fresher and less likely to wilt. Keep them in the fridge wrapped in a damp tea towel until you want to use them – or gobble them up as soon as you pick them. For more information on growing salads, check out Joy Larkom’s book ‘Salads for Small Gardens’. Keeping up with watering in hot, dry weather is very importan. Plants need a lot of moisture when they are forming fruit or veg. If it does rain, don’t be fooled into thinking that the pots will get much benefit – the foliage usually stops much rain from soaking the soil. When watering, a good soak less often is better than little and often in my experience. Best done in the early morning or in the evening to avoid scorching the leaves in the sun. Feed your fruit and veg plants every week or two with liquid seaweed feed and tidying-up dead and fallen leaves around fruit and veg plants will help to reduce the chance of disease.

Tanya Anderson TAKE OVER

ARE WE THERE YET? Tanya Anderson, founder of the Women in Business Networking Lounge, tells The Little Things Magazine why she thinks so many of us aren’t there yet and offers some advice on what we can do to get there.

© iStockphoto.com


ccording to plenty of research, the number one thing most people want to accomplish in life is happiness. If this is the case, why then are so many of us so unhappy? Why do so many of us not reach that destination? Surely, there is more to life than spending all of our time striving for happiness. We tend to attribute our unhappy state or our unachieved goals to external factors. We say to ourselves, ‘I can’t follow that dream because I need to earn money’ or ‘I can’t pursue that goal because my children are still young’. We often see these external factors as out of our control and as things we can’t change. We see them as fact and we feel trapped by these beliefs. In the worst cases, we feel there is nothing we can do to change our situation. We console ourselves with thoughts like, ‘When I earn more money, I can start doing that’ or ‘I’ll be able to do it when the kids start school’ which then becomes ‘I’ll start after 

the summer holidays’. Not moving towards what you want fuels selflimiting beliefs, anxiety, depression, and exhaustion. It’s what happens when you’re not in the driving seat, when you’re a passenger in your own car. To get yourself back in to the driving seat, start by writing down your dreams, commit it to paper and really acknowledge what it is that you want. Don’t hold back, dream big. Next, set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than

usual and put some paper and pen by your bed. When the alarm goes off, wake up and write down at least one thing you can do today that would take you one step closer to your big life dream. Then, get up, dress up and show up. Show up in YOUR life, drive yourself there. Be 100% responsible for your life. Be 100% responsible for your happiness. Be 100% responsible for getting yourself there. It’s nobody else’s job. Take inspired action towards your dreams and aspirations every day. It's these regular and consistent small actions that will get you in right mindset and, eventually, to your life dreams. Or, you can sit in the passenger seat and watch the scenery go by, but don’t complain about the journey, or the destination and don’t bother asking if we’re there yet. You’re not driving. For some hints, tips and big life lessons learned check out Tanya’s podcast series, ‘This Life Is For Living’. Podcasts can be found on Sound Cloud and iTunes. Search: Tanya Anderson |9


Brighten up your room with an easyto-make sculpture that will look great hanging from the ceiling. Make them as cool or as cute as you like. And the best thing is, they can be made mostly from stuff in your recycling bins at home.

Did you know you can book this workshop for your next b Did you know you can book this workshop for your next birthday par owls, lemurs, letters... what will you make? Share photos owls, lemurs, letters... what will you make? Share photos of your pro

this issUe: Hanging Sculptures YOU WILL NEED:

●● Two pieces of cardboard – as stiff as possible, but not too thick that you can’t cut it with scissors – tricky! An old cereal packet would be OK for small sculptures (about 20cm x 20cm) but for anything bigger you’ll need stiffer stuff. ●● Sticky tape – regular sellotape will do, but masking tape (normally used for DIY) is best. ●● Old newspaper or unwanted bubble wrap. ●● Liquid PVA glue. ●● Coloured papers – here’s where you can be inventive! You don’t need big pieces as you’ll be ripping them into small pieces anyway so any small scraps of paper will do (the thinner the better for gluing down flat). Recycled wrapping and tissue paper work really well and so do patterns and pictures cut from magazines. If you feel like treating yourself, ask an adult to buy you a whole roll of wrapping paper or craft papers in bright colours or animal prints. ●● A large craft brush or a small paint brush (doesn’t matter if they’re old).

In association with…

OPTIONAL STUFF ●● Any other materials that you can stick on

●● Fishing wire, thin garden wire, thick cotton thread or regular string. The best to use is

easily: pipe cleaners, lightweight fabric,

fishing wire because it looks almost invisible

cotton wool, glitter, stickers, feathers. Check

so your sculpture will look like it’s floating

out the shark’s teeth and spots – they were

in mid-air! If you really want some, email

made from scraps of craft foam!

claire@makeitworkshops and she’ll do her best to get some to you.

10 |

Bright Young Things

How to do it:

1 2

First draw and cut out two identical shapes from cardboard. Draw and cut out one shape, and then draw around it, so that they’ll be exactly the same shape. Turn the two pieces into a sandwich by filling them with scrunched up newspaper or unwanted bubble wrap. The best way to do this is exactly like making a real sandwich – lay one piece of card flat on the table (like a piece of bread) and then place balls of newspaper or bubble wrap on top of it (like the filling), taping each one down as you go to hold it in place. Think of the tape as being like the mayonnaise that keeps everything

from falling out! You may need to grab a grown-up or friend for part 3 and 4, to help you hold it all together.


Place the 2nd cardboard piece on top (matching the two shapes up, of course) and you’ve got your sandwich! Now for the tricky bit – you need hold your sandwich together permanently with more tape, so think of this part as holding your sandwich together tightly with cellophane! Rather than trying to wrap your sandwich up like a mummy using one long piece, it’s easier to use lots of shorter pieces of tape to hold it together. Mmm, sandwich! Don’t worry if you end up using lots of tape, as you’ll be covering it all up with coloured papers later.


Wrap a long piece of garden wire, fishing wire, thick cotton thread or regular string around the body of your sculpture and tie securely with several Whilst sealing up your sandwich, rather than squeezing it flat at the edges, leave it fat at the edges, so that your sculpture looks more 3D. This works if you’ve got plenty of filling right up to the edges.

knots. Test that it hangs evenly, before taping it down firmly. Do this before decorating it with papers, so that the wire/string is hidden underneath.


Dilute some liquid/pva glue with a little water (about 3 parts glue to 1 part water). This makes it easier to brush on to your cardboard sculpture with a brush. Now you can go crazy ripping-up and gluingon any bits of papers or fabrics. Be sure to rub each piece down really flat with your gluey brush, before overlapping them (cutting-out scale shapes can look great on dragon or snake design) and making sure there’s enough glue on your sculpture before adding more papers. Don’t worry, excess glue will dry to create a protective varnish. When your sculpture is covered, you can add feathers, glitter, pipe cleaners or anything else you want to recycle – shiny sweet wrappers are great for star-shaped sculptures.

| 11

Super Pirates TAKE OVER

Is it worth the risk? We all feel the need to protect our little ones from harm, but when does protection slip into stifling and how can we take a step back and allow our children to learn through the risks they take?

What is risky play? Risky play invites children to test their limits and actively learn through doing. Ellen Sandseter, a researcher into risky play practice, identified 6 types of risky play; great heights, high speeds, dangerous tools, dangerous elements, rough and tumble and disappearing/ getting lost. What children (and many adults) don’t realise is that this challenging type of play is actually a valuable learning opportunity. Children need to be motivated to improve their skills and play is the best incentive for that to happen. The enjoyment of the play outweighs the potential risk of failure, leaving children free to confidently explore their abilities.

Why it is important for children to take risks? The best way to learn a new skill is to practice it first hand, therefore if we micro manage children too closely they miss experiencing things for themselves. As caregivers it is our natural instinct to support, but this often leads to us unintentionally taking over. A classic example is allowing children to help prepare dinner. It’s one of those activities that seems like a lovely idea, but as they clumsily chop carrots, you find yourself stealing the knife back in order to save time/ their fingers/ the mess. Before you know it, the learning is over and you’re trying to get them back to the table to eat the dinner they’ve lost interest in. Allowing children the time and freedom to see a task through, no matter how frustratingly slow or messy it may be, really does help to provide them with the skills they’ll need in later life. Children gain satisfaction when trusted to take responsibility, whether it’s using a knife to help prepare dinner, or to stay out and play an hour later than their usual home time. Managing risk helps children understand their current capabilities and develop the skills they need in order to improve. When we teach a child how to balance we also need to teach them how to fall and pick themselves up again. It isn’t in children’s interests to get hurt or fail at something, anymore than it is ours, but it is still inevitable. Creating an environment that encourages children to take risks, make mistakes and pick themselves up again will equip them with valuable life skills. If we are always there to hold their hand, they’ll never be able to look out for themselves – picture baby birds being left to

12 |

hurl themselves from their nests for the first time and count yourself lucky to be raising humans instead! Next time your child starts to engage in a risky activity, take a breath and quietly weigh up the risk before intervening. Ask yourself, what’s the worst that could happen and how likely is it? You can learn so much about your child when you observe them rather than guide them, watching them try to figure out solutions independently reveals so much about who they are. It’s not always possible to allow your child the freedom to take risks, we’re all time poor but it’s reassuring to know that there is worthwhile learning and experience to be found in their play. Remind yourself to stand back and allow them to explore and only interrupt if play becomes unsafe. There may be times when you hold your breath or look the other way as they wave to you from the top of the climbing frame and that’s ok! Just remember that adventure favours the brave; children need to test their own limits before they can find greater success. Allowing children to explore the boundaries that we set for them is one of the most exciting gifts we can give to them.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) recognises that children learn and develop in Enabling Environments that provide rich opportunities for learning. Enabling environments are spaces, in or outdoors, where children are encouraged to explore, move, collaborate and take appropriate risks.


All Hallow's School, Shepton Mallet

A holiday club like no other! This summer Junktopia will be returning to All Hallow’s School in Shepton Mallet. Children will embark on a creative journey, equipped with all the tools they need (yes, real tools!) to plan, build and play in a world they create for themselves. We source scrap materials from local businesses and allow children to conjure up ways to use them. Children are supervised as they gather the resources and tools they want to use, and we assist them as they learn new skills through play. As children meet new friends along the way, we help them to work within a team by respecting each other’s ideas, collaborating and sharing feedback. thelittlethingsmagazine.com

The incredible children of Junktopia 2016 dreamed up and created jet packs, tree houses, theatres, sweet shops and space ships, and even their own skate park! As Junktopia 2017 draws nearer we can’t help but feel excited to find out what this year’s inventors come up with. At SuperPirates we pride ourselves on putting children back in control of their play, and we love to watch as their ideas run wild. To register your child or to find out more information about Junktopia, please visit www.superpirates.co.uk. If you’re interested in donating scrap goods please email us at holidayclubs@superpirates.co.uk.

like & Follow

us!  @superp iratesevents  @super_ pirates | 13

Katy Harris, founder of Slummy Mummy’s Kitchen and Munchkins Cookery Club, gets us out of a pickle with a week’s worth of family-friendly, quick and easy recipes. 14 |


family (apart from me) hates kidney beans and will moan if I add them! The beans and sweetcorn will also make the mixture go further. 3 Now all you need to do is add as much chilli as you like (fresh or dried) some mixed herbs and some salt and pepper to taste. 4 Bake in a medium oven until mixture thickens and the mince and veggies are cooked. 5 Once cooked sprinkle with fresh, chopped coriander if you have it.


ONE POT VEGGIE/VEGAN CHILLI WITH RICE, CORIANDER AND SOUR CREAM This recipe is so easy my 9 year old daughter prepped this all by herself. You can use beef mince but veggie mince is so cheap when it's on offer, I tend to use it instead. I buy a few bags and chuck it in the freezer plus it requires hardly any cooking saving you time. INGREDIENTS ●● 1 large white onion, diced ●● 1 carrot, peeled and diced into chunks ●● 2 sticks of celery, diced ●● 1 garlic clove, crushed and chopped ●● 1 small tin of sweetcorn ●● 1 tin of budget baked beans ●● 1 red pepper, diced ●● 2 tins of supermarket budget chopped

oven proof dish. 2 Next, add 1 pack of veggie mince, 1 veggie stock cube, 2 tins of tomatoes and half a pint of water. Give it a stir and add a handful of sweetcorn (tinned or frozen) then 1 tin of budget baked beans. I do this because everyone in my

EASY AFTER SCHOOL FLAPJACKS This is literally the easiest recipe to follow and impossible to mess up – unless you forget to take them out of the oven!



●● 1 stock cube

●● 340g of butter

●● Dried mixed herbs

●● 225g of white sugar

●● Salt and pepper

●● 6 tablespoons of golden

●● Dried chilli powder ●● Veggie mince ●● Fresh coriander if you have it (I buy extra and freeze it until I need it)

METHOD 1 Fry the onion, carrot, celery, red pepper and garlic in a tiny bit of oil or butter until soft then transfer into an 

syrup ●● 600g of budget rolled porridge oats ●● Any mixed seeds

METHOD Gently melt the butter and golden

I find this recipe will feed our family of 4 for 2 nights. The first night we’ll have it with rice and the second night we’ll have it in wraps with grated cheese, salad and sour cream. Keep an eye out in the supermarkets as they often have buy one get one free deals on frozen veggie mince. TOP TIP: You CAN cook this on the hob but I always manage to burn the bottom as I tend to forget about it. Cooking in the oven will give it a more gentle and even cook.

syrup in a pan on the hob and stir for only a couple of minutes until everything has melted, do not let it boil. Next add the porridge oats, mix together and transfer to a lined baking tray. Press mixture down firmly then scatter seeds on top. I used Poppy, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame. Bake at 180C for around 20 minutes or until top starts to brown lightly. Leave to set and cut into slices once cool. These can be kept in the fridge for 2

weeks (although I doubt they will last that long!) I like to make these at the start of the week. They are excellent as a quick pudding or to add to lunchboxes. To make these extra yummy, you can add a layer of melted chocolate to the top, but do this once the flapjack is cold.

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EASY VEGGIE AND HAM MAC AND CHEESE WITH GARLIC TOMATOES AND ROASTED COURGETTE CHIPS I love this dish. It’s so easy and really warming and filling. You can add any veggies you like according to the season and alter the recipe according to what you have in your fridge. INGREDIENTS: ●● 1 pack of decent quality cooked ham. Diced ●● 250g macaroni ●● 2 pots of mascarpone cheese ●● 1 leek, diced ●● 1 large red onion, sliced thinly ●● A handful or two of frozen peas ●● Strong cheddar cheese ●● 1 teaspoon of mustard ●● Salt and pepper

METHOD: 1 In a frying pan, gently fry the onion and 16 |

the leek until soft then add the frozen peas for a couple of minutes. Set aside to cool 2 Boil your macaroni until it’s around 80% cooked (see packet instructions) then drain. Stop the pasta sticking by drizzling a tiny bit of olive oil over it. 3 In another pan on the hob, gently warm both pots of mascarpone cheese. Don’t let it boil or it will split. Once melted add 2 handfuls of grated cheese, one teaspoon of mustard and salt and pepper to taste. 4 Add all the other ingredients to the sauce (the leeks, onion, ham and peas and pasta) Transfer to an oven proof dish, top with more cheese and bake in a hot oven until cheese browns on top and the bake is bubbling. Serve with salad and crusty bread.

FOR THE TOMATOES Take a punnet of cherry tomatoes and drizzle with olive and light sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper. Take a bulb of garlic and ‘dot’ the cloves around the tomatoes. Bake in at hot oven until tomatoes are soft. The garlic once roasted as like sweets for grown up. I pop them out of their skin and eat them whilst I’m dishing up tea! FOR THE COURGETTE CHIPS Top and tail the courgettes and cut them lengthways into 4. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake in a hot oven until brown. I sometimes sprinkle flaked almonds on top to give them an extra crunch.



EASY MALAYSIAN CHICKEN/ TOFU SOUP WITH NOODLES You will never want to buy another take away once you have tried this! It's so fragrant, mildly spiced and full of citrus zing, I love it. You can use prawns, tofu, chicken or just plain veggies to make it. INGREDIENTS: ●● 1 jar of Laksa paste (available from Supermarkets and health food shops. It’s about £2 per jar but a little goes a long way) ●● 1 pack of diced chicken or Tofu (you can also use prawns or just plain veggies) ●● 2 cans of coconut milk ●● 1 lime ●● Half a cucumber, grated ●● 1 fresh chilli ●● A selection of veg such as courgettes, baby corn, spinach, red peppers, frozen peas, sweetcorn, broccoli ●● Dried egg or rice noodles (cook according to packet instructions)

METHOD: 1 Take your chosen meat/prawn or veggie alternative and fry in a tiny bit of oil until almost cooked. 2 Next add the jar of Laksa paste and coat the meat/prawns/veggies in it. 3 Next add any veggies you want to add to the soup. I added baby corn,

courgettes, broccoli, frozen peas and spinach. To make this really cheap you can add any veggies fresh or even frozen. 4 When the veggies are added, pour in 2 tins of coconut milk and stir. 5 Add 1/2 pint of water and simmer until the soup mix has started to reduce and thicken and all the veggies are cooked. 6 Pour into a warm bowl over some cooked noodles (I’m lazy and buy the already cooked ones you just chuck in the microwave for 2 minutes) then add some fresh chilli, a generous squeeze of lime juice and the grated cucumber on the top just before you eat it. It’s honestly one of the nicest things I’ve eaten in a long time. Only takes 10 minutes and if you are picky about the veggies you use, it can be really inexpensive too!

KATY HARRIS I’m a Mum of two children, aged 8 and 9 years. I love to cook and want to share my passion with others. I’ve spent the last 6 years working as a cook in a busy café and I have gained lots of skills and experience to teach others good old fashioned home cooking. I also run Munckkins Cookery classes for kids. For more recipe ideas or info about cookery classes, find me on Facebook. SEARCH: Slummy Mummy’s Kitchen or Munchkins Cookery Club Frome

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can fry the burgers but they tend to fall apart when you try to flip them so oven cooking is best (and healthier!) COLESLAW INGREDIENTS: ●● 1 white cabbage ●● 3 peeled carrots ●● A handful of sultanas ●● 1 bunch of spring onions or 1 red onion ●● A handful of cashew nuts (optional) ●● Mayonnaise

METHOD: Thinly slice the white cabbage, grate the carrot and finely chop the spring onions/red onion. Add the sultanas and cashews and combine with the mayonnaise. SWEET POTATO WEDGES INGREDIENTS: © iStockphoto.com

●● Sweet potatoes ●● Olive oil ●● Breadcrumbs ●● Salt and Pepper


PORK AND APRICOT BURGERS WITH SWEET POTATO WEDGES AND HOMEMADE COLESLAW INGREDIENTS: ●● 500g lean pork mince (free range if possible) ●● 1/2 tin of sliced apricots (you can also use tinned peaches or grated apple) ●● 1 small onion chopped in to tiny chunks ●● 1 to 2 handfuls of breadcrumbs ●● Salt and pepper ●● 1 tablespoon Italian dried herbs

METHOD: 1 Put the mince through a blender until it becomes smooth in texture, transfer to mixing bowl. 18 |

2 Add half a tin of peaches mashed with a fork. 3 Add the breadcrumbs and mix with a spoon. 4 Add the chopped onion. 5 Add the salt and pepper and mixed herbs. 6 Mix well and roll onto small balls about the size of a golf ball. If mixture is too wet add some more breadcrumbs. 7 Flatten with your hands until they form flat patties and bake in the oven at 180C until thoroughly cooked. You

METHOD: 1 Cut the unpeeled sweet potatoes lengthways into wedges 2 Cover with olive oil, some breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and some chilli and paprika powder. I found half a sachet of Cajun seasoning in the cupboard so I chucked that in too. 3 Bake in a hot oven for about 15–20 minutes until the wedges are soft.




I cannot believe how expensive take away pizzas are and let’s face it who wants to mess about with pizza dough on a Friday night, not me! Here are my cheat pizzas and they taste delicious. INGREDIENTS: ●● Wholewheat wraps ●● Cheese ●● Tomato puree ●● Pizza toppings of choice: ham, bacon, chicken, sweetcorn, peppers, pineapple, mushrooms, olives etc.

METHOD: 1 Take a pack of bread wraps, and spread with a thin layer of tomato puree. 2 Get the kids to put any pizza toppings they like on HALF of the wrap (ham, bacon, chicken, sweetcorn, peppers, pineapple, mushrooms, olives etc) 3 Top with cheese and a sprinkling of Italian dried herbs. 4 Fold in half and place in a DRY frying plan on a medium heat. 5 Once they start to brown, flip over and do the same on the other side 6 Cut into pizza shape wedges and serve with salad and home made coleslaw. 



●● 100g Butter (softened) or spread ●● 40g Caster sugar ●● 150g Self raising flour ●● 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

METHOD: 1 Pre-heat oven to 180C Gas 4 and line a baking tray with baking parchment 2 Measure the butter into a bowl and beat with a wooden spoon. 3 Add the sugar and then the cocoa powder and flour and knead until it resembles a dough. 4 With floured hands, make the dough into small balls about the size of a

walnut in its shell. 5 Place an inch apart on the baking tray then dip a fork into some water and lightly press each biscuit 6 Place in the oven for about 20 minutes until they go a light golden brown TOP TIP: You can add so many things into these to make them taste amazing. Leave the coco powder out and add orange zest, lemon zest, coconut, glacier cherries… the list is endless! For a naughty treat, try sandwiching them together with whipped cream or, once cooked, dip in melted chocolate. These can easily be made gluten-free by swapping the flour to gluten free flour or vegan by swapping the butter to soya butter. | 19

Henny & Joe’s TAKE OVER

Summer of Fun with

The team at love the summer season – plenty of food festivals and markets to keep us busy, lots of refreshing iced chai recipes and ice cream to keep us cool!


e love to enjoy local events and support our fellow local producers, particularly Frome Independent, which takes place on every first Sunday of the month in the town centre. It’s a great place to catch-up with regular customers as well as our fellow artisan friends. When we’re not selling our chai at the market, we love to visit one of our

UP o COMING EVENTS THE SOUTH WEST COFFEE FESTIVAL Powderham castle, Devon, 4th–6th August A trade show like no other, the festival brings together producers and wholesalers that make up and support the thriving third wave coffee scene in the South West. It’s a great chance to meet new businesses and network, as well as discovering the stories behind the products and uncovering some of the best kept secrets of the trade. 

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favourite Frome suppliers, The Garden Cafe, situated on Stoney Street – just up from the hub of the stalls and sellers. Serving great coffee – as well as our masala chai lattes – The Garden Cafe is a great place for kids, serving a freshly prepared children’s menu full of healthy and wholesome foods, with a beautiful secluded courtyard garden for the little things to relax in! Or, if you’re in Palmer

Street Bottle Shop you buy a bottle of our chai there too. In the summer months, our chai is a superb staple to add extra flavour to your iced drinks, fruit puddings and ice cream! Free from caffeine, additives and preservatives, it’s the perfect addition to children’s desserts. We created our very own ice cream recipe that is great to make at home.

BOOK REVIEW What better way to enjoy a warm milk and chai than witha bedtime story? This is one of Henry and Joey’s favourite books! Its a hilarious story which children will love. Without spoiling it for you, it’s about a boy and his pet dinosaur who take a trip through space. Unfortunately, it all goes wrong when they realise they’ve forgotten their packed-lunch. There’s poop, planets and pandemonium in this supersonic space adventure! This book is written by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter — yes, the guys from McFly! There are a few books in the series and they’re all just as enjoyable. I’ve heard that their latest book is called ‘The Dinosaur That Pooped Daddy’! We’ll be sure to read that next time!


Henny & Joe’s TAKE OVER


6 500ml double cream 6 250ml whole milk 6 100ml HENNY o JOE’S Chai 6 75ml Honey OR 75g of granulated (raw) sugar 6 40ml egg yolk (approximately 3 large eggs) 6 A pinch of salt



Combine the cream, milk, chai and sugar (or honey) in a saucepan over a medium heat. Heat it slowly until it becomes hot but not boiling. Once steamy, take off the heat and allow it to cool down for 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the pinch of salt until combined. Once the milk and cream base has cooled, slowly add it to the eggs whisking slowly as you do so. It’s important that the base has cooled down or you will turn the mixture into scrambled egg. Pour the combined mixture back into the saucepan and slowly reheat. It’s important to stir with a wooden

spoon continuously until it reaches about 85ºC. At this point it should have started to thicken and should be able to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and leave to cool down to 4ºC. This can be done by placing the pan in a sink surrounded by ice and water. Do not place the warm mixture in a fridge or freezer straight away. Once it has cooled down place in the fridge until you are ready to add the pairing flavouring. For more recipes and some summer inspiration, check out our website. www.hennyandjoes.co.uk

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Family Social

Hot, Saucy Weekend

SOUTH INDIAN MIXED VEGETABLES WITH COCONUT SERVES 4 While a hot , saucy weekend is rare, there isn’t a Saturday that goes by without mention of a curry. Lungi Babas spices up the weekend with an easy-to-make family-friendly veg curry.

INGREDIENTS ●● 5 Carrots ●● 500g green beans ●● Small Cauliflower ●● 2–3 teaspoons oil (Coconut, rapeseed or vegetable oil) ●● Handful Chana daal ●● Handful Urid daal ●● 2 teaspoons Mustard seeds ●● 1 or 2 dry red chillies (if your family likes it spicy) ●● 1–2 green chillies, cut lengthways (again, if you like it HOT) ●● Fresh coriander ●● Salt (add to taste) ●● Grated coconut

Mahesh , founder of Lungi Babas

*All the ingredients are available at the Frome Wholefood store or find Lungi Babas at Loop De Loop Gallery.

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METHOD 1 Wash the vegetables 2 Cut them into small even pieces 3 Stick a pan on the hob and heat the oil 4 Add the chana daal*, urid daal*, mustard seeds and red chillies (if using them), stirring until it turns happily brown and smells sweet – be sure not to burn it! 5 Add the chopped vegetables and a splash of water 6 Add salt. Stir it well to make sure all

the vegetables are settled happily in the pan. Cover it and leave to cook on a low flame until the vegetables are cooked. 7 Once the vegetables are cooked, add the coconut and fresh coriander, mix well and leave for a couple of minutes. 8 South Indian style mixed vegetables with coconut is ready! NB: Use any seasonal vegetables; some of our favourites are cabbage, beetroot, squash, aubergine etc. LUNGI BABA’S Loop de Loop Square Justice Lane Frome Market Frome Somerset, BA11 1BE PHONE: 07468 421129 Open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday lunch times (and every first Sunday of the month as part of the Frome Independent Market) www.lungibabas.com

KIDS FED & ENTERTAINED WHILE YOU RELAX IN TO THE WEEKEND WITH A DRINK OR TWO. WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE? FIRST FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH IN FROME In association with… Sam’s Kitchen | Postscript | Rye Bakery Hubnub Centre | Wavey Ravey Search Eventbrite: Frome Family Friday for tickets TheLittleThingsMagazine | littlethingsmagazine



Sparkly  Saturdays Join us in our modern emporium of loveliness for a chat, a browse and a glass of sparkly every Saturday. Open 10–5 (Free sparkly from 3–5pm) Rose & Lyons 7a Cheap Street, Frome, BA11 1BN Phone: 01373 461290

4 CORK STREET FROME, BA11 1BL +44 (0)7889 731071 info@brewedboy.co.uk brewedboy.co.uk


Active Kids

The benefits of regular exercise for kids go well beyond tuckering them out before bed. Personal trainer, Seb Bomani, explains the benefits and shares some of his family-friendly exercises with The Little Things.

Š iStockphoto.com


hile your kids are young they should be stress-free and full of energy, with increasing amounts of stress on young people and junk food available on every corner exercise can play a vital role in keeping children happy and healthy. Along with the benefits of a good mental state of mind, which can alleviate stress for both you and your kids, regular exercise is crucial for the function of a healthy heart, a good lung capacity and body composition. According to the NHS, for your child 

to stay healthy or improve their health, they need to be doing 60 minutes of exercise everyday (with three different activities within that hour) at least three times a week. These activities include: AEROBIC ACTIVITIES These are activities that get their hearts pumping such as walking or running. STRENGTHENING ACTIVITIES These build muscle and can be done using their own body weight in exercises such as sit ups, press ups or climbing.

BONE STRENGTHENING This involves impact movements such as jumping, skipping, or running. However, the benefits of exercise extend beyond mental and physical well-being. Through exercise, your kids will be gaining skills such as teambuilding through sports or activities that involve collaboration. Competing in any competition, big or small, will also develop personal resilience. This will help your child with managing disappointment and failure. And it helps them to understand that failure is | 25



WARM UP: Perform these warm up exercises twice. 30 seconds on each exercise with 15

seconds rest in-between. ●● Arm rotations (forwards and back) for 30 seconds each ●● High step marching then progress to jogging on the spot for 30 seconds each

EXERCISES 2–3 rounds with 3 minutes rest inbetween. ●● Plank jacks ●● Squat jumps ●● Press ups ●● Burpees ●● Walk outs © Rather Nice Design

feedback. Setting, working towards and finally achieving their own personal goals will help them overcome adversity and build self-esteem. In order to get organised and set up a a routine, set activity goals. This could be for the week or for each day. Setting targets for the week from Monday to Friday helps to make sure you and your kids get your weekly exercise. Family challenges or family competitions over the course of the week work well too! By exercising regularly for as little as 20–30 minutes as a family you are setting a great example of self-care which will, hopefully, stay with them as they grow up. It’s also perfect for a rainy day – all you need is a bit of space and some music to keep you moving. Here’s a good one to get you and your family started.

COOL DOWN/STRETCHES: ●● Hamstrings (Back of thigh) ●● Quadriceps (Front of thigh) ●● Arms

You can find more information about these exercises on the internet or on my Facebook page where you can also find more simple, family-friendly workouts. Facebook: BomaniPT ‘Fun with Fitness’ classes are all about team building, overcoming obstacles, and making friends whilst getting fit at the same time. These classes help to develop the three important components of fitness; aerobic activity, muscle, and bone strengthening. Ages 8–13 Every Wednesday 4–5pm at Frome Leisure Centre Contact Seb for personal training and other sessions.

© iStockphoto.com

Phone 07910 748 739 for any enquiries, or to book a session. Find Seb Bomani on Facebook (@bomaniPT or contact him by email at bomani_118@hotmail.com.

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My Family | Disability

Living with Disability When it comes to disability, are we really as inclusive as we think we are? The Little Things Magazine has a frank, and potentially controversial, chat with Becky to ask the unaskable questions and find out more about her family’s experience of living with disability.

Names and identifying details in this feature have been changed to respect the privacy of individuals

Words Lisa Merryweather-Millard Illustration Ben The Illustrator | bentheillustrator.com


rmed with a load of knowingly cringe-worthy and provocative questions, The Little Things nervously met with Becky to get the answers to the questions about disability that no one in their right mind would ask. The Little Things: So, what is wrong with your child? There is nothing wrong with my child, why would there is something wrong with him? I don’t mind if a kid asks that because then I can explain, but I expect adults to know better. TLT: Sorry, you’re right. I didn’t mean to suggest there was something wrong. I don’t know how to ask. What is his condition? Maybe there is something wrong with you for asking the question. What 28 |

makes you think that his condition means that it is wrong, it’s who he is. It’s like asking someone who is black what is wrong with their skin. His ‘condition’ is that he was born with Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is where an area of the brain has been damaged by a lack of oxygen. As a result the messages the brain receives are disrupted so the body doesn’t do what the brain would like it to. It is a result of an accident. TLT: Oh, I’m sorry. Is that something that happened in pregnancy? No, it wasn’t. It happened at birth, it was a mistake. The midwives didn’t notice the cord was wrapped around his neck and there was a delay in his birth, that is when brain damage occurred. I did wonder myself whether it was something I did or didn’t do, don’t

all mums do that? It’s a stress and an anxiety that all parents go through, we all question our actions and our responsibility. It’s not anything anyone did wrong, it’s just something that happened. You can beat yourself up about it, there will be nothing worse than what goes through your own head and whether you had any part in what happened. TLT: How do people react to you and your son? People’s reactions to my son are odd. I’ve had people, normal people, say some really inappropriate things. Maybe it’s because they don’t know what to say. Once someone said to me, ‘At least she doesn’t look like a retarded baby’, how do you respond to someone speaking about your child like that?

“Parents seem to find it hard when their kids are interested, it’s like they can’t deal with their children’s enthusiasm or interest. ”

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My Family | Disability

© iStockphoto.com

Another time, when I was in the hospital in the neonatal unit with my son just after he was born, there was a woman who had given birth to triplets prematurely. Sadly, two of them died. She was obviously devastated. I overheard another new mother speaking to her and I heard her say, ‘At least you’ve got that one.’ Just recently, I was in shop with my son and a woman cooed and said, ‘My sister had one like that, but it died’. Again, I didn’t know what to say, did she really say that? My son can understand everything people say. I really don’t think people know how to respond to situations that make them feel uncomfortable. TLT: I think you’re right. What should people do? Do you think people should ask about the condition or disability or not? I think if you’re unsure whether someone has a condition or a disability, don’t ask. For us, we like it when people ask instead of just stare or act shifty, we like people to show an interest. It’s good that you care and that you want to know more. You are educating yourself. Maybe it’s better to ask by saying, ‘I hope you don’t mind me asking, what is your son’s condition?’ Remember though, that this is the way we feel, other people may feel differently. Other children always show a massive interest in my son’s wheelchair. Parents seem to find it hard when their kids are interested, it’s like they can’t deal with their children’s enthusiasm or interest. I can see them shushing their kids and pulling them away like they, the adults, are embarrassed. It can be a massive complement to kids with special, different or complex needs that they have something that other’s don’t. It’s nice that my son feels that others admire something he has, something that makes him cool. Parents seem to treat my son’s wheelchair as a shameful thing to have, as a sign of his disability. TLT: I suppose if we do that, pull our kids 30 |

“The parent and the child will be really chuffed that you took the time”

“I know it’s usually impossible in terms of equipment, but he never gets asked [to play]. I’d be happy to figure out how my child could play if he were asked” away and not answer their questions, it suggests that it is shameful to have a condition or a special need. Exactly. Kids are naturally inquisitive, they are just looking for answers. It’s the adults who introduce the judgement and the notion that it shouldn’t be spoken about or that it’s something to be ashamed of. Let your child ask questions, unless the parent of the disabled child or the child themselves look uncomfortable with it. If your child says, ‘Mummy, what’s wrong with that boy?’ you could respond with, ‘Why don’t you go over and ask him what his name is or say hello?’. This invites a conversation between parents. You could introduce yourself and say something like, ‘I’m sorry, my child is just really interested in your child’. The child and the parent will be really chuffed that you took the time. It may feel uncomfortable the first time

you do it because it’s not what you’d normally do, but it’s worth feeling embarrassed for. You are doing the right thing. TLT: Does he know that she is disabled / different? How does she feel about it? Is she unhappy? Yes. he does know. I don’t ask how he feels about it. I try not to make it an issue unless he does. I’m not going to put words in his head. TLT: Do you think it’s okay to ask questions about a child’s condition when the child is there? I think you should assume the child understands what you are saying, so I’d err on the side of caution and don’t ask. Carry on as if the child understands everything. Parents of special needs children will explain if they need to. For example, they might say, ‘He can’t see

My Family | Disability

that, he’s blind’. Essentially, treat them as you would any other child. Sometimes, the disability is not visible. Parents of kids who don’t have visible disabilities struggle in some situations if their child is not behaving in a way others expect them to behave. It’s easy to assume that it’s bad parenting. It may not be, it may be that the child has a disability, a condition or a special need. Instead of judging, try asking if there anything you can do to help. Whether you have a child with a condition or a special need or not, couldn’t all of us, as parents, do with a little help sometimes? Parenting, in itself, is not easy. We should help each other, rather than judge each other, don’t you think? TLT: It can be a little bit uncomfortable. Honestly, that’s because you, and a lot of others, are ignorant and I don’t mean to insult you by saying that. You need to become less ignorant, that’s not easy. Often people with these disabilities are tucked away in special schools and institutions getting specialised care and it’s sometimes more difficult to get out so you won’t come across people with special needs so much. People aren’t used to engaging with others with special needs so it’s not entirely your fault you are ignorant .You don’t need to feel guilty about being ignorant but you

do need to change that and the only way to change is to engage. TLT: Do you feel self-conscious to go out as a family? I don’t because it’s my family, I’m part of it every day. I have been in a restaurant where a waiter has grabbed my shoulder and said to me, “Well done for coming out anyway. I admire you so much” as if going out for a family meal was a victory, an achievement, not just my everyday life. Thankfully, most people aren’t stupid enough to say that. It’s my child and it’s my family, doing family things isn’t a victory, it’s normal. TLT: Where do you get support? Do you ask other people for help? Actually, I tend not to. TLT: Why not? Do you ask for help, you’re a parent, aren’t you? TLT: Yes, I am a parent too and no, I don’t ask for help either. I think that’s one of the hardest things. You know parents have their kids to sort out and you know how challenging it is and you think it’s not reasonable to ask. Maybe, it’s also that I don’t really feel I need help, maybe it’s more support that I’d ask for. One of my big issues is that no one asks my child to play. Honestly,

“Teach your children to engage”

I know it’s usually impossible in terms of equipment, but he never even gets asked. The one thing people could do more of is ask my child to play to make it seem like a more normal opportunity. I’d be happy to figure out how my child could play if he were just asked. I must say, though, if you offer help or support, mean it and follow through. It can’t just be politeness. TLT: You do get financial support though. Don’t you get a lot of money from the government to support your son? Generally no, and you have to fight for everything. My child has as profound as disability as you can imagine. We do get a disability allowance and we get eight hours of support a week for our son. Other than that, there are no childminders that I’ve found that will take children with his level of disability. Eight hours is it when he is not in school. Even at school, we have had to fight for the necessary provisions. It’s hard and though there is support available, as someone who is educated, I find navigating the system impossible. How can those people who need help themselves or help with their children who aren’t educated do it? They can’t. I can barely do it. TLT: I feel so sorry for you. I don’t think I’d taken the time before this to think about it from a different perspective. I understand what you are trying to say but I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. Your pity doesn’t help, it harms me and my family. It makes me different, not the same as you. I would like me and my family to take part in normal society. The instinct to feel empathy is a good thing, don’t shut it down, but don’t say you feel sorry. It presumes you are in a position to feel sorry for me, you’re not. Wallowing in useless self-indulgent emotion won’t change anything. Instead, engage. Teach your children to engage. That’s how you can help and support me and my family. | 31

My Family | Disability

Telling tales

Everyone has a story to tell , but for OpenStorytellers it's more than just about telling tales, it’s about participation and having a voice.


penStorytellers is a charity and day centre that works to enrich and empower the lives of people who are marginalised because of learning and communication difficulties, and is co-run by people with a learning disability. They believe stories play a major role in building relationships and a personal sense of identity, sharing experiences and helping everyone to fully participate in society. In this issue Tim, OpenStorytellers Disability Awareness Officer, shares some of his views on disabled access in Frome.

The cobbled streets of Frome

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Some of OpenStorytellers’ storytellers

“Frome has good disability access on the whole, but it is hilly. Catherine Hill causes problems. It is steep and cobbly. It is particularly difficult when wet for those without good balance or those who are in a wheelchair. Most shops are accessible and many cafes have disability toilets. Two of us surveyed the attitude of shopkeepers. Most were fine; some ignored us. Perhaps they were embarrassed. Others recognised us and spoke to us as if we were ‘normal’ people. Work-related people are very different from those who have not made the effort to get to know us. Mostly, I have had no problems with the attitude of shopkeepers, except when a bloke in a mobile shop tried to con me into a new contract when all I wanted was a top-up. Nobody is perfect and even doctors can make bad judgements. One who examined me when I was young told my mother, ‘He’ll never amount to anything.’ If only that doctor could see me now. I can play music by ear, walk, perform stories. Telling our stories and talking about our experiences help us to have our say and it encourages us to do more to make people aware of how able we really are.” Get involved, or learn more about OpenStorytellers through their website: www.openstorytellers.org.uk


Street Food, Bath Artisan Stalls, Affordable Art Workshops. Second Sunday of the month Green Park Station, BA1 1JH 9.30am-3.30pm

Wednesday evenings at 6pm in Frome for young people aged 7+ Membership is £4 per month and includes the loan of a brass instrument and weekly tuition. For more information visit www.ftyb.co.uk or email ftyb@gmx.co.uk to enquire about joining

BOOKS & BEVERAGES PARTIES Invite friends around for a catch-up, a few drinks and — at the same time — they can buy some books for their kids. Guilt-free socialising.

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TLT: You don’t look very old, how old are you? 19 years old. I was 18 when he was born. TLT: That’s really young. Did you plan to have a child? Yes, we planned Si. We lost a baby before we had him. The first one was not planned. It just happened.

Names and identifying details in this feature have been changed to respect the privacy of individuals

Single.Young. Dad. What would it look like to be a single parent at 18? What would it look like to be a single dad at 18? Filled with the stereotypes associated with young dads, The Little Things met up with 19 year-old Alex and his son, Si, to find out…

© iStockphoto.com


n the UK, the average age women become first-time mothers is 27.8 years old according to an article published in the Huffington Post in March 2016. Other research puts the age of first-time mothers nearer 32, while the average age of firsttime fathers sits at around 34. Many perspective parents feel the need to create the right environment for a child before becoming parents. Putting this together takes time, and money, which may be a couple of the reasons we choose to become parents later in life. If you were anything like us, you may also have been too busy having fun and possibly too irresponsible to contemplate having a family when you were young. 34 |

But what if we did have children young? What would it look like to be a single parent at 18? What would it look like to be a single dad at 18? Armed with the stereotypes associated with young dads, The Little Things met up with 19 year old Alex and his son, Si, to get a glimpse of what it’s like to be a young, single dad. The Little Things: Hello, nice to meet you. Who is this with you? This is Si. He’s my son. He’s nearly 8 months old. TLT: What are you doing here? We just decided to stop by the Leisure Centre to have a little go in the soft play, and have some fun in the ball pit.

TLT: How did you feel about having a baby? I was happy this time because I was a bit older and thought I could handle it, but I was also scared about telling my parents, again. I was working and earning a good wage so I wasn’t worried about money. I was scared about the responsibility, not scared actually, more wary and nervous because I really wanted to do a good job at being a dad. TLT: Do you work? I worked for 3 months after he was born and then the relationship with his mother broke down so I left and moved back in with my parents. TLT: That must of been hard leaving your son. I didn’t feel comfortable leaving him where he was so took him with me and I moved back in with my parents. At the time I didn’t feel good leaving him with my ex so I took him with me. He lives with me now at my parents house. TLT: So your parents look after him? No, when I quit my job when I moved back home to become a full-time dad. Someone needed to look after him. If I need to go out, my parents will look after him for a short while but I look after him full-time, he’s my responsibility. TLT: You must find it really difficult looking after a baby on your own. During the day, I looked after both my children when they were young. I found it really difficult and I was nearly twice your age. I don’t think it’s a hard job. I think it’s

My Family | SingleParent

more to do with dedication and putting the time and effort in to it. At the end of the day, if I put my time and effort in to him he will grow up to be happy, healthy and successful. He’s such a lovely boy. He doesn't make a fuss and he is really happy. TLT: Are you involved with any agencies, like social services? No, why? Because I’m a young dad? That doesn’t mean that I’m a bad dad just because I’m young. Social services aren’t involved with me and my son. I get checked on by health visitors but no one else. I suppose if the health visitors thought something was wrong or I wasn’t looking after him properly they would tell social services. TLT: Do you have sole custody? No, but I am his primary carer until the court decides where he should be and where he is safest. TLT: Are you nervous about that? No. I’ve done the best I can. I know they will make the decision that’s right for my son. If it’s not me, it’s not me but she will never get full access. I will always be a part of his life. Always. TLT: Do you fit the stereotype of young dads? No. I know those types of men. I can’t call them dads, but they have kids. They don’t see their kids. Some of them won’t even speak to their kids if they see them in town. They walk straight past them. I could never do that. I won’t ever do that. If you have a child, you need to take responsibility for them. TLT: Do you think the stereotypes are a true reflection of young dads? I think they’re unfair to some dads, but there are dads like that. TLT: Do you think you get treated differently by people because you are a young dad? 

When people first see me with my child they think I’m one of the stereotypes until they see me with my son. I talk to him and sing to him. He loves nursery rhymes, he claps when I say clap. I’m looking forward to watching him grow and develop and helping him grow. I’m also finding a change in myself. I need to be the best person I can be for my son. I need to grow and mature with him. TLT: Have you always been so lovely? No. I went through I really rough patch before I had him. I was in with the wrong crowd. Got in to things I shouldn’t have. I was angry and I’d been through a lot of things I didn’t talk about.

“I cleaned up my act completely and stopped getting in to trouble. I had to be a better person for my son.” TLT: Did having a baby change that? As soon as I found out Si’s mum was pregnant I cleaned up my act completely and stopped getting in to trouble. I’ve never been to jail but there were a few things I needed to sort out. I had to be a better person for my son. TLT: Why did you want to have a baby? I’ve got other girls pregnant and I couldn’t do it again. To them or to myself. It was drunken mistakes. Not using my brain. I wasn’t thinking. I was 13 the first time it happened. I didn’t tell anyone for 5 years. It was just last year that I actually told anyone about it. It stills sits in my throat. It screwed me up for a long time, it’s where it all went wrong. She had an abortion. That wasn’t the last one. I just couldn’t do it again. TLT: What is the hardest part of being a single parent? Getting lonely. It’s a horrible thing being lonely.

TLT: Do you go to playgroups? I go to a drop-in group. I’m going to get him in to a nursery to give me a little time off. I love taking care of him but it is a full-time job. TLT: Do you go to a dad’s support group? There is no such thing. I’ve asked and I’ve looked. I can understand why, but there is no support for single dads. Especially single young dads. You have to push to get help as a male. When we split up all the support was for her, not for me. I read Rights for Fathers, that helped with legal issues and gives some support. TLT: What advice would you give to dads? Don’t ever give up. Get where you need to go. It’s your child. Forever. Until the day you die. You need to look after them. TLT: Do you think young people need to be better prepared or educated about sex or parenting? I think the way sex ed is going they don’t give enough information. They talk about the act of sex but not the emotional bit. That’s the bit that messes people up. That’s the bit we need to know about so we can deal with sex. The physical bit is easy. Thirteen is too young to go through what I went through, especially as I didn’t talk to anyone about it. No one knew. It really messed me up and I couldn’t talk about it. I still feel like it affects me. I also could have done with some information about parenting. I’m doing the best I can. I read a lot and ask a lot of questions but I’m pretty much making it up as I go. I think that’s what everyone does, isn’t it? Do you mind if we finish now? I need to get Si home for something to eat and a nap. TLT: No, of course not. Thanks for your time. For what it’s worth, I think you’re doing an incredible job. Thanks, I’m trying. Let me get the door for you. | 35

My Family | adoption

“All kids do that” For one mother of three adopted children, this is anything but true. In this article she explains why…

© Adobe Stock


ll kids do that”. This is my least favourite phrase in the entire universe. It usually comes right after I’ve been explaining a particularly difficult situation to someone involving one of our kids. It sets off enormous klaxons in my brain. No. They really don’t. And if your children really do behave like mine do, then perhaps you need to ask yourself why. Our children are adopted. They came to us following an extended stay in foster care, and before that they lived in an unbelievably chaotic and unsafe home environment. Their early experiences have profoundly affected them, and despite the fact that they are now in a safe and secure home, the fall-out from their earliest years will continue to shape them for the rest of their lives. That’s not to say that there isn’t enormous scope for healing and change, just that some things are too profound to ever fully be erased. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that many 36 |

people will be aware of and it has been well-documented and is quite well understood. We expect that adults experiencing a very traumatic event may suffer from a range of different symptoms in the weeks and months following the event. Common symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance and emotional numbing, angry outbursts, insomnia and difficulty concentrating, and other complex issues such as depression, drug or alcohol abuse as well as physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, chest and stomach pains. While these symptoms can be difficult to manage, adults suffering from PTSD generally have a fully-formed sense of themselves prior to their traumatic experience. They have self-esteem. Their world view up to that point was likely to have been generally positive. They will have relationships that support them. The baby or small child is in the middle of brain development, and the early years of life are vital for learning not just the obvious skills such as talking

and walking, but also more complex behaviours like how to relate to others and understanding cause and effect. The foundations for skills like empathy are learned in the baby and toddler years through repeated positive experiences of their own and others’ feelings. Where that is not present, the development of those foundation skills is stilted. Given that when babies and children experience trauma they don’t have the fundamental skills or positive experiences to cope with the situation, PTSD can manifests itself very differently than it does in adults. There are all sorts of situations that can lead to children being taken into care, and perhaps eventually to adoption. It’s never the first choice of social work teams. All other avenues are explored before adoption is chosen. It’s a last resort. Each story is different, but general themes could include prolonged domestic violence, serious drug use, sexual or physical abuse, gross neglect or profound mental health issues. When babies and small children are exposed to this sort of terrifying and unpredictable

home life it shapes their physical and emotional development. In a stable home, when a baby cries, a responsible adult investigates the potential problems, and where possible fixes the issue, feeds or changes the baby, or tries to soothe the infant. Most of the time the baby has its needs met. The baby’s developing brain learns that they are safe and when they feel distressed, an adult will care for them. They learn that they are important, loved and valued. They learn that adults can be trusted and will make things better. This cycle repeats itself countless times every day throughout a child’s early years and is the basis of healthy brain development. On the other hand, when a child lives in a home where their needs aren’t consistently met, perhaps their nappies aren’t changed regularly, or they aren’t fed regularly, the lessons learnt by the baby are very different. They learn that they aren’t important, that they aren’t loved or even that they are unlovable. Babies learn that adults aren’t to be trusted. If the home environment is particularly frightening in terms of noise and violence, the baby’s whole view of the world is shaped by this experience. The world is a frightening and dangerous place. This learning is hard-wired into the baby’s brain development, and the effects can be seen and measured. Simply removing a young person from the situation is not enough to “undo” the harm. Babies may learn not to cry when they are uncomfortable. If crying doesn’t bring someone to help you, why would you bother? Whilst this may sound like a good thing, it’s an indicator of far greater difficulties. Both babies and children will develop self-soothing behaviours to comfort themselves – sucking fingers, chewing nails or playing with saliva and mucus. When food becomes available children will eat as much as possible, since they are uncertain when the next meal will come, often taking and hiding food. Children can also learn to live with very high levels of pain and 

Through showing care and love, children learn from an early age that adults can be trusted

Our children are adopted. They came to us following an extended stay in foster care, and before that they lived in an unbelievably chaotic and unsafe home environment discomfort without seeking help. All of these coping strategies are created by repeated experiences which then, in turn, become wired into the brain. All learning takes place through repeated use of neural pathways, and the more those pathways are used, the harder it is to use alternative strategies. Our children are no longer in this place, our children are now safe. They have been removed from their unsafe environment and they are now experiencing consistent care in a loving family. However, their coping strategies haven’t gone away. Without careful monitoring they would gorge on food and have been known to eat until they are physically sick. We’ve found half-eaten bits of food saved in pockets and hidden in their bedrooms. When going in to new situations they need to look around and work out the possible dangers. They open cupboards, drawers, explore rooms and monitor people coming and going as if their lives depend on it – sadly, at one point in their lives it probably did. Hyper-vigilance is a very

tiring state of being, and it has a severe impact on our children’s ability to hear what we are saying, let alone to learn in a classroom. They have been conditioned to look out for themselves and they are on-edge ready to leap into an attack at any moment. The extremes of fear and anger, theirs and ours, that we deal with on a day to day basis defy explanation. Society sees adoption as a happy ending to a story, rather than a continuation of a difficult story. Far too many people believe that everything will be fine now that they are with their new family. They are surprised when children who’ve been adopted aren’t behaving as though they are grateful to have found people who care for them. People are judgemental and dismissive of us as parents of adopted children and are quick to blame us for their behaviour. It’s not as easy as happily ever after and this is not something they will simply grow out of. So, in fact all kids don’t ‘do that’. In fact, we’re glad that all kids don’t do that because we know why they do do that. | 37

Don’t touch that!

. L I A RET ” ! Y P A R E H “T ell the struggle of We know all too w ’re in a shop – u yo en h w s id k g managin hands, the everg in b b ra g f o in gr the ropin in the back of you es ey r fo d ee n t constan nxiously) finds (a s ng hi T e tl it L he head. T s when the kids en p ap h at h w y tl out exac in a treasure trove t io -r n ru to ed w are allo le vintage swag… full of irreplaceab 38 |

Don’t touch that!

With thanks to: Hill, Poot, 23 Catherine Z 1B 11 BA Frome, Photography: sign © Rather Nice De

| 39


Ever miss going to gigs and belting out your favourite tunes along with the band? Us too! Rocktopus want to prove it’s never too early to set your kids on the road to enjoying live music…


s soon as we enter the venue, it’s clear this is no ordinary rock gig. Sure there’re the groupies dancing on the spot with excitement, merch out on the tables, a stage stacked high with amps and the usual buzz of anticipation, but here there are bubbles and an assortment underwater creatures moving through the aisles. This is no ordinary underground gig — we’re sub aqua! As we take our seats, we hear the first murmurs of budding rockers chanting ‘Rocktopus, Rocktopus, Rocktopus’. This is going to be ‘pee-your-pants’ good. I know it and the kids know it, so we race to the toilet without the usual protest. They don’t want to miss a thing once it starts. We even pass the cake counter on our way back in to the gig. They see the cake, but neither one asks for any. ‘Quick Mum, they’re going to start!’ Descending in to the underwater world, I lock eyes with with some of the other parents here. We try to hide our excitement with a nod, but it’s clear it’s not just the kids who are excited. It’s been nearly 10 years since I’ve been to a proper gig and I’m immediately aware of what I’ve been missing. I want to rip the sleeves off my blouse and shake my hair out of my mum bun. Instead, I hang back for fear of embarrassing my infinitelycooler-than-I kids who have already manoeuvred their way to the front. Over the tannoy, they welcome Rocktopus to the stage. I’m ‘pee-mypants’ excited. I should’ve gone to the toilet when I took the kids. Through 40 |

the smoke emerge two sea gods. I hear my own voice shouting, ‘Rocktopus, Rocktopus, Rocktopus’ in unison with the ocean of children rushing the stage. The woman next to me stops chanting long enough to shout in my ear, ‘I know, right. They’re hot. Did you know they’re also both primary school teachers?’ WANT TO SEE THESE SEA GODS IN PERSON? From September, you can invite Rocktopus to an end-of-the-week party at your child’s school. ‘Rock The School’ takes place in a school hall on a Friday afternoon. Children come along to the party with their parents or carers to listen to Rocktopus play songs, teach the dance moves and sing along while rocking out the world’s only underwater

rock band. But, it’s not just about the music, during the event everyone at the party helps to create a communal underwater work of art. There’s a load of other activities to do too. Schools can use it as an opportunity to raise some money by selling refreshments, cakes, drinks or even packed dinners. Rocktopus are also playing various music festivals over the summer (see website for details). Don’t miss them at Bristol Aquarium for International Octopus Day on 7th October. If you’d like Rocktopus to come to your school to put on a show, or run one of their educational songwriting or music making workshops, get in touch with Tom and Andy: rocktopuskids@gmail.com rocktopusmusic.com

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WHAT’S ON? We don’t have a clue – but Frome Diary does!


he Little Things Magazine doesn’t do listings – and neither do we! Instead of listings, Frome Diary offers you experiences and memories. We bring the Frome community together. Frome Diary is your very own social diary – it’s THE place to find out about local events, classes, gigs, workshops, activities, exhibitions, talks, launches, markets, fixtures, community meetings, support groups, businesses specials and so much more. Did you see that event poster in the shop window too late to get tickets? Is the poster for your favourite band hidden under old posters on a community notice board? No more Frome FOMO. With over 250 events listed at any one time, Frome Diary makes sure you will never suffer with ‘fear of missing out’ again. Search events by category, by venue

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or by date. View the website as a poster board of current events or filter to list events on a particular day, over a week or over a month – just make sure you have the number of reliable babysitter on speed dial. It’s free to post your event on the site. We also promote your event on social media through Frome Diary Facebook and Twitter accounts or on Instagram you can follow the #whereinfrome hashtag. For those that really suffer from FOMO, you can sign up to our weekly newsletter, The Frome Buzz, via the Frome Diary website for a round up of the best Frome has to offer. fromediary.com fromediary fromediary fromediary

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TO DISCUSS RATES, DEADLINES & SPECS PHONE US ON 07970 462395 OR EMAIL ads@thelittlethingsmagazine.com WE CAN DESIGN YOUR AD (AND LOADS OF OTHER STUFF TOO). EMAIL hello@rathernicedesign.com Ooh, we’re also on Facebook and Instagram. Search for ‘The lit tle things magazine’

Join us at Springmead School, Beckington Thursdays | 11:10–12:00 Our free term-time baby explore sessions will give you and your baby the opportunity to share and enjoy a whole range of sensory experiences at the start of their learning adventure in our beautiful environment. The sessions will include music, art movement, language, number fun and exploring the world around us. Email: info@springmead.com to book your place.

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Profile for The Little Things Magazine

The Little Things Magazine Issue 02  

The Little Things is a free magazine for families who want to live life to the fullest. Rather than run around pandering to our children’s e...

The Little Things Magazine Issue 02  

The Little Things is a free magazine for families who want to live life to the fullest. Rather than run around pandering to our children’s e...