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The local guide for your under 5s What’s on this Easter A Grandparents’ Day Out Tips for Holidaying with Children


WIN Family ticket to Twinlakes Theme Park FREE place on a weight loss programme (worth £120) and a FREE photoshoot, print and your child on our next front cover!

Kettering, Wellingborough, Corby, Rushden, Thrapston and Surrounding Areas


See A Show at The Core at Corby Cube The Owl And The Pussycat Hiccup Theatre

Muttnik: The First Dog In Space

Sat 10 March, 11am & 2pm Babbling puppets, silly songs and wonderfully engaging storytelling combine in this enchanting retelling of the classic poem.

Sat 21 April, 11am & 2pm Join stray dog Muttnik in a performance packed with dance, music and puppetry as she goes where no dog has gone before!

Tickets: £5.50 Suitability: Ages 3+

Tickets: £5.50 Suitability: Ages 3+

Hare and Tortoise

Gulliver’s Travels

Sat 12 May, 11am & 2pm Meet two competing friends in the greatest race on earth with a nail biting, seconds ticking, medal winning end, in this new fantastic adaptation of Aesop’s fable.

Dragon Breath Theatre Curve Theatre Leicester

Tickets: £5.50 Suitability: Ages 3+

Thu 21 June, 10.30am A new stage adaptation for schools and family audiences by playwright, Peter Rumney. Tickets: £10 Concessions: £8 Suitability: Ages 8+

Kindur TPO Thu 31 May, 1.30pm TPO are an internationally acclaimed interactive theatre company for children. Each child is given their own fluffy heart, when it glows they join the flock on stage, and their every step will animate giant images through their movement. Tickets: £8 Suitability: Ages 5 – 10

White Catherine Wheels Thu 14 – Sat 16 June, Thu & Fri 10.30am & 1.30pm, Sat 11am & 2pm This playful, accessible and highly visual new show is great fun and the perfect first time theatre experience for the very young. Tickets: £5.50 Suitability: Ages 2 – 4

Tickets 01536 470 470 www.thecorecorby.com COR0015 Core Monthly adverts Mar 2012 Time for tots.indd 1

14/02/2012 16:23

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Spring 2012


Contents Hooray spring is here at last! I imagine we’re all looking forward to the days getting longer and the weather warmer. Easter is just around the corner so we’ve brought you our Easter “what’s on” guide on pages 8 and 9. Lots of different activities to choose from this year (not just egg hunts!) and plenty to keep children of all ages entertained. Do your parents look after your little ones for you in the week? If so then get them to check out our ‘Grandparents Day Out’ feature on page 31 - they have free entry to West Lodge Farm on a Tuesday! Our main feature this issue is ‘Holidaying with Children’ on pages 26 to 29. Be sure to have a read before booking your summer holiday, and with some interesting case studies from local mums you may be inspired to try something new this year. Part 2 of that feature will be in our summer issue. We have some great competitions again to win family tickets for days out and also a FREE photoshoot with your chance to have your child on our front cover, courtesy of Firetree Photography. If you’re wanting to get in shape for the summer then check out a superb competition from Balance Health Club on page 39. Well all that remains is to wish all mothers a very happy and relaxing Mothering Sunday on the 18th March and all of our readers a very happy Easter. Until the summer.....


How to Contact us:

Tel: 0845 6439687 E-mail: info@timefortots.co.uk Facebook: facebook.com/timefortotsmagazine www.timefortots.co.uk

4 Tots News 8 Easter Eggtivities 10 Clubs & Classes 12 Featured Class: Infant Aquatics 14 Clubs & Classes Timetable 16 Featured Class: Starlight Dance 18 Celebrating 40 years of Dancing 23 Events Diary 24 Mocha Mama 2 years on 26 Holidaying with children 31 A Grandparents Day Out 32 Business Opportunities 33 Time for Mum 33 Party Services 35 Business Opportunities 37 Special Offers 38 Win Win Win! 39 Weight Loss Programme

Our gorgeous front cover photo was taken by Firetree Photography on location at their bluebell wood shoot. Their next bluebell wood shoot will be on the 21st April. Book your place online: www.firetreephoto.co.uk. Win a photoshoot with Firetree Photography! See our competitions page for details. Whilst every effort is taken to ensure the content of this magazine is up to date and accurate, ‘Time for Tots’ cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Neither does ‘Time for Tots’ endorse any of the companies, products or services that are advertised. Copyright on all written material and artwork produced by the ‘Time for Tots’ team remains with ‘Time for Tots’.

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Tots News

“Little Explorers”

New for Pre-School Children

Sign up for your child to become a Little Explorer for pre-school adventures at the Nene Centre in Thrapston. Little Explorers is a new session for parents and carers with children aged 3 months to 5 years. Costing just £2 a session on Fridays 12noon1.30pm there will be: Themed craft activities every week (including: explore the ocean; explore dinosaurs; explore animals and explore the farm), a bouncy castle, themed treasure hunt, themed sensory boxes, exciting toys to climb and discover, song time to finish. Each child will receive their own Little Explorer’s Passport – come to 5 sessions and the 6th is FREE! Call the Nene Centre on 01832 734090 for more information.

New Storytime Club Comes to Kettering

Little Readers is an organisation that sells gorgeous children’s books and runs a Storytime Club, currently in Kettering. It was founded by Paula, who has over 10 years experience working with children in educational and play settings. Paula has always loved books and reading and after having a baby of her own, decided that the time was right to share her passion with other parents and children. Little Readers specialise in story books, as storytelling is a natural activity for children. Books are selected for their pure enjoyment value gorgeous illustrations, rhyme and patterned language, silly stories - you will find all of these in their selection. Their Storytime Club is an opportunity to come and share stories with your little ones. A session includes some storytime with Paula, a crafty activity relating to one of the stories and time for you to look, explore and play with books together. A session costs £6 and this includes a book to take home! Sessions are suitable for all pre-school children and their grown-ups. The next session is on the 5th April in The Studio in Jigsaw Barn (part of the Mocha Mama complex) at Glendon Farm, near Kettering. For more information or to book, contact Paula on paula@little-readers.co.uk, view their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/LittleReadersUK, or visit: www.little-readers.co.uk.

Zumba for Mums and Tots! Designed for Mums by a Mum.

NEW: A Zumba® workout that involves the children! This half hour session allows mums to do a full work out whilst the children sit as an audience, close to hand. Instruments are also provided for older ones to play along. Zumba is an ideal workout for mums who want to get fit, as much of the focus is on the stomach! The class is held at the Queen Victoria Hall, Oundle on Tuesdays at 11.10am and costs just £2 per mum. Interested? Contact Nicki at: www.wix.com/nickizumba/east-northants or call 07946 662986.

www.dinkydayz.co.uk Beautiful castings of your little ones tiny hands and feet to tell a timeless tale To find out more or to book an appointment, contact Della on: Tel: 07973 213519 Email: della@dinkydayz.co.uk

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Padders Open Their New Children’s Shoe Shop

Padders Footwear in Kettering have opened a brand new children’s store in their factory shop on Kettering Venture Park, stocking a wide range of quality brands at affordable prices. Manager Charlotte, who has 11 years experience fitting children’s shoes, joined the Padders Family last year to help with their wonderful new venture: “In our fabulous new shop our friendly and experienced staff are here to offer your children the best shoe fitting service available, with quality brands including Geox, Lelli Kelly and Hush Puppies. To keep the little ones entertained we have an area especially for them which includes toys, puzzles, colouring and even a TV to keep them occupied! There is also a lovely café which has a selection of scrumptious treats for the kids as well as the parents. We have our own car park with bays specially dedicated to families. So come along and see us soon!” For more information visit www.padders.co.uk or call 01536 534988. Padders Footwear Factory Outlet, Kettering Venture Park, NN15 6WY

Help Save Northamptonshire’s Breastfeeding Support Services

The services, which have helped thousands of mothers over the years, are now facing closure due to lack of funding. To find out how you can get involved sign up to their Facebook page: ‘save Northampton’s Baby Cafe’.

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Storytime Thursday Mornings at 10am

Keep up with news and events inbetween issues by following us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ timefortotsmagazine. M Vis Satu ad H Fr it th rd att e e w ay 7 th ers e ebs A wor ite pril ksh for 11- op mo 4p re d m eta ils

Join us at BB’s Coffee & Muffins for Swansgate Storytime every Thursday morning at 10am. With a different theme each week the little ones can listen to their favourite tales, whilst you enjoy a free muffin with any regular coffee purchased. This offer only applies for adults that accompany a child to storytime, Thursdays between 10am - 10:30am.

www.swansgateshoppingcentre.com Great offers plus free parking To advertise call 0845 6439687 or e-mail info@timefortots.co.uk


Tots News Continued... New Head at Northampton High School

Northampton High School is delighted to announce that Mr Ross Urquhart has been appointed Head of Junior School with effect from the beginning of the Summer Term. Ross is an outstanding Head. During his tenure at his current school he has overseen a period of major expansion of numbers and facilities and a full ISI Inspection which resulted in the highest Excellent grade in all 10 aspects of his school. Ross graduated from Brunel University, in Physical Education and Geography; he has been a Head of PE in the past and he has taught all subjects in junior school, most recently specialising in the development of Mathematics teaching. He has a passion for sport but his main priorities are the welfare, academic success and happiness of every child in his care. He said on his appointment: “I was attracted to Northampton High Junior School by the commitment to all-round excellence that pupils and staff show every day. I am delighted to be taking up the Headship at such an exciting time in the school’s development. I believe that academic success and high achievement in sport, music and performing arts go hand-in-hand, in a busy and happy environment. Everyone has been very welcoming and I am looking forward to getting to know the girls, parents, staff and the wider community.” If you would like to see all that the school can offer your daughter, please call our Registrar, Miss Heather Fink on 01604 765765 or email h.fink@nhs.gdst.net to arrange a visit. www.gdst.net/northamptonhigh.

Happy 40th Anniversary

Barbara Hooton School of Dancing! Read their story “Celebrating 40 years of Dancing” on page 18

Under 3s Free!

Friendly Animals ~ Tractor Rides ~ Indoor Activity Barn ~ Watermill ~ Shire Horse Centre ~ Kart Track ~ Straw Bale Maze ~ Camp Site ~ Restaurant & Gift Shop Lambing Time 3rd March-29th April Big Bunny Egg Hunt 24th-25th March & 31st March-15th April Grow Your Own Day 14th April Sheep Shearing 12th-13th May Located off the A1/A47 near Peterborough 01780 782254 www.sacrewell.org.uk Sacrewell Farm is part of the William Scott Abbott Trust Registered Charity No. 233603

Muddy Boots Just Got Bigger...

An expanded provision to meet the needs of parents, children and the community Based in Walgrave village, 6 miles from Kettering, Wellingborough and Moulton, Northampton, the Muddy Boots pre-school expanded in 2011 from its playgroup format of the previous 15 years. With the change to a preschool structure, this charitable organisation also expanded its provision to cover morning and afternoon sessions from Monday to Friday. Such is the popularity of the setting and its excellent staff, there is a waiting list for all the morning sessions and very limited availability for each of the afternoons. The transition of some of the older children to primary school in September will however create some capacity on a ‘first come first served’ basis. An extremely positive Ofsted inspection, with several areas rated as Outstanding in a Good report, during 2011 was accompanied by significant investment in equipment. Within this, a number of new computers and additional developmental software added to the already impressive technology opportunities available to the children. Best of all was the development of a large outdoor ‘play’ area, creating a wide range of additional opportunities for creativity, engagement and – above all, perhaps – enjoyment. Older children from the adjacent Walgrave Primary School share this facility, as they learn about the environment, horticulture and the natural world. This interaction, and other joint initiatives, helps ensure a seamless transition to primary school for Muddy Boots ‘graduates’. And as if all this was not enough, the on-site “Crack-a-Jacks” childcare facility can support busy and working parents preschool from 8am and in the afternoons until 6pm. Come along and see for yourself! Call 01604 781838 or email muddyboots@googlemail.com to arrange a visit – you will discover why our children are so happy!

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8 8

Easter Eggvents and Eggtivities! ...our guide to ‘what’s on’ this Easter Easter Eggstravaganza West Lodge Farm

On April 8th and 9th, take part in an egg hunt, egg & spoon races, egg painting competition and meet the Easter Bunny, as well as enjoying all the usual attractions at West Lodge Farm. Tel: 01536 760552 www.westlodgeruralcentre.co.uk

Esme’s Eggstrordinary Eggstravaganza Underground, Royal & Derngate


From the 5th to the 7th April, join a whole host of eggciting characters as they attempt to solve the mystery of Esme the Easter Bunny’s missing Easter eggs at the Underground venue at the Royal & Derngate Theatre. As you journey around the theatre on your quest, you might be lucky and find Egg Tokens along the way, or you might need to use your craft skills to earn them. Tokens can be swapped for real chocolate at the Easter Eggxchange – but only if you manage to solve Esme’s eggy mystery! Showtimes: 10am, 12pm, 2.30pm, 4.30pm. Tickets £6 Book online at: www.royalandderngate.co.uk

Easter Sunday Funday East Carlton Country Park

Fun and games for all the family at East Carlton Park on Sunday 8th April from 12 noon to 4pm. Egg and spoon races, egg rolling competition, egg painting, easter bonnet competition, car boot, raffle, tombola, stalls, bouncy castle and mini fun fair. Admission FREE! Tel: 01536 263946

Mad Hatters Workshop

Swansgate Shopping Centre Don’t be late for a very important date! On Saturday 7th April, 11am-4pm, join in the FREE Mad Hatters Workshop at the Swansgate Centre. Meet a few of your favourite characters from Alice in Wonderland, get creative in the kiddie craft workshop and take away some fantastic homemade Easter gifts. The tea party is guaranteed to leave the kids grinning like the Cheshire Cat. www.swansgateshoppingcentre.com

Easter Egg Trail Stanwick Lakes Take part in an Easter Egg Trail at Stanwick Lakes any day over the Easter weekend (Fri 6th to Mon 9th April) 10am to 4pm. Follow the trail to solve the clues and win a small chocolate egg! £1 per child. Tel: 01933 625522 www.stanwicklakes.org.uk

Children’s Easter Egg Hunt Rockingham Castle

On Sunday 8th and Monday 9th April, 12 noon to 5pm, enjoy a wonderful family day out at Rockingham Castle with a children’s Easter egg hunt (tokens in exchange for eggs), children’s ‘bird’ search and family quiz. Wentworth the Griffin’s Lost Gold quiz. Event & Castle: Adults £9, Senior Citizens £8, Children £5, Family ticket (2+2) £23. Tel: 01536 770240 www.rockinghamcastle.com

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Eggstreme Easter Twinlakes Theme Park

From the 31st March to the 15th April the “Eggstreme Easter” event will be on at Twinlakes Family Theme park in Melton Mowbray. This event includes free chocolate egg hunts, craft workshops, lamb feeding and egg collecting. With special guest appearance from Peppa Pig and George on the 6th April. Tel: 01664 567777 Tel: www.twinlakespark.co.uk

Big Bunny Easter Egg Hunt Sacrewell Farm On the 24th and 25th March and from the 31st March to the 15th April, visitors can hop onboard the bumpy Tractor Ride to the Enchanted Wood, hunt for eggs and meet Sacrewell’s Easter Bunny to receive their very own chocolate gift! Other activities include bottle feeding baby lambs, pony grooming and duck racing. The Easter Egg Hunt is £3 per child and £1.50 for accompanying adults. Please note that normal Farm admission also applies. Opening hours: 9.30am to 5pm Tel: 01780 782254 www.sacrewell.org.uk

Thomas Events March – May 2012

Easter with Thomas Nene Valley Railway

Enjoy a ride behind Thomas this Easter weekend at Nene Valley Railway. Thomas pulls the train to Yarwell and back in a 20 minute round trip. When you arrive at Yarwell Station you are able to get off the train and watch Thomas shunting around, so he can pull the train back to Wansford. Adults £7, children £4, under 3s free Tel: 01780 784444 www.nvr.org.uk

Mum drives THOMAS March 18th Thomas' Mother's Day – Why not bring Mum to drive Thomas to the tunnel and back Easter with THOMAS April 7th, 8th & 9th Easter with Thomas, bring the children down during the school holidays to ride behind Thomas

THOMAS’ Bank Holiday Specials May 5th, 6th & 7th & June 2nd – 5th

Bring the children down to ride behind their favourite engine, Thomas For further details please call the Nene Valley Railway on 01780 784444 or visit our website www.nvr.org.uk Wansford Station (next to the A1), Stibbington Peterborough PE8 6LR. Registered Charity No 263617

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Clubs & Classes To advertise your Club or Class here call: 0845 6439687 or e-mail info@timefortots.co.uk

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Li’l Dynos

MUSIC MAKERS Come and join in the Music Makers fun singing-movement-instruments-puppets

For babies to pre-schoolers

We are all built for greatness

CRANFORD VILLAGE HALL Mondays at 10am, 11am & 2pm

Martial Arts Based Exercise and Fun Games

Classes in Rushden, Irthlingborough, Kettering, Wellingborough, Corby & Northampton

MAWSLEY CENTRE Wednesdays at 10.30am & 11.30am TITCHMARSH PAVILION Thursdays at 10am

Classes from age 2 upwards Special parent & tots classes Have fun and make friends

45-minute sessions cost £4 per child and £2 per subsequent sibling

Lunch time and evening classes

Music Makers birthday parties available BOOKING ESSENTIAL

Contact Phillip on: 0800 988 7986 or 07770 622776 info@martialartsports.org www.lil-dynos.co.uk

Contact Naomi: Tel: 07815 293893

Email: musicmakersnorthants@gmail.com Find us on Facebook at Music Makers Northants

Nothing is more rewarding than watching a child learning new skills, keeping fit and loving every minute of it! That’s why more and more parents are bringing their children along to our training sessions. APPROVED FOOTBALL TRAINING FOR KIDS FROM 2 YEARS TO 5TH BIRTHDAY.

N substitute Call

01604 211249



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Featured Class: Infant Aquatics Baby and Toddler swimming has become a very popular activity in the UK and research has shown babies who swim are far better developed socially, mentally and physically. Teaching your baby the joys of swimming is a bonding and fun experience for both parent and child. Through gentle encouragement and lots of praise you will soon see your baby’s progress.

What is Infant Aquatics?

Infant Aquatics is an established baby and toddler swim school, focusing on the gentle birthlight approach to baby swimming.

What is the aim of a course?

To teach you new skills including invaluable safety skills. This will develop your child’s confidence and ability as they move towards independent swimming. Courses are progressive and through our unique techniques we will help to develop your baby’s natural ability to swim.

Talk us through a typical lesson

Lessons are interactive with adult and child in the pool together, normally with a maximum of eight in a group. The activities are adapted to suit your baby’s age, experience and development stage. The half hour lessons are playful and always focusing on baby and encouraging them to progress at their own pace. All activities have a specific teaching aim which we make fun through a series of songs, rhymes and games, appealing to a child’s natural sense of curiosity and play.

What are the benefits?

In the water babies use more muscles and can move freely without restriction. This means they develop more muscle tone and strength which can exercise the joints making them more flexible. It is also reported that babies who swim regularly often have improved appetites and sleeping patterns. Spending quality one to one time with total focus on each other in the pool, having fun and special relaxed time together is extremely beneficial to baby and parent and can help the bonding process. Many of the moves and techniques used promote skin to skin contact, closeness, trust and touch. Social benefits include strong communication, interaction and learning to share. Drowning is still a high cause of infant fatality,

however it is believed that if children are familiar with the aquatic environment from an early age they will remain relaxed and have a better chance of survival if they were ever in a dangerous situation near water.

What ages are the classes for? 3 months to 4½ years old

When and where do you run classes?

Classes run on most days of the week and we use the following venues: • Balance Health Club, Kettering • Diana’s Health Club, Wellingborough • Hinwick College, near Poddington • Rowangate Primary school, W’boro • Scott Bader, Wollaston • Top Notch Health Club, Sol Central, N’ton

About the courses

Swimming courses need to be pre-booked. A course generally runs for 12 weeks, in line with the school term. Each course is tailored to your baby’s age group ensuring full focus on their developmental stage. A typical course will cost approximately £102 (can be paid in two parts). Each lesson is for half an hour. For more information:

For Kettering contact: Carly Parton on 01858 565713 For other venues contact: Melanie Hammond on 01933 223458 www.infantaquatics.co.uk

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Boogie Tots

Dance based exercise for any child who can walk and wiggle Many styles of dance will be touched on including Disco/Freestyle, Ballet, Tap, Ballroom and Latin. Parents are required to stay with their children and will be actively encouraged to join in also!!! Thursdays 1 - 1.45pm Fridays 9.45 - 10.30am


Ballroom, Latin and Disco/Freestyle classes for children aged 4-15 9-10am First Footz 4-7yr olds 10-11am Fancy Footz 8-11yr olds

For more information contact Sarah on: 07956 597748 or email: info@footloosedanceschool.com

Infant Aquatics Baby & toddler swimming courses

Small, friendly classes from three months to five years. Building life long safety skills using our holistic approach in a fun environment. Kettering area call 01858 565 713 Northampton & Wellingborough area call 01933 223 458 www.infantaquatics.co.uk

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Clubs and Classes Timetable

Got a slot to fill in your weekly schedule and wondering what’s on? Well this timetable should help. Please be sure to book your child on the class before turning up (unless otherwise stated). If contact details aren’t supplied there will be an advert for the class in this issue where you can find more information.

Corby & Surrounding Area Mondays

Sing and Sign Stage 1 10am to 11am in Great Oakley Village Hall. For 6 to 15 months.

Tuesdays Parent & Toddler Swimming 9.30 to 10.30am or 10.30 to 11.30am at Corby East Midlands International Pool. Drop in.


Jenny’s Dolphins Baby & Pre-school Swimming At the Holiday Inn. All lessons last for 30 minutes. 10am 3 year olds, 10.30am 3 year olds, 11am 1 & 2 year olds, 11.30am 1 to 1 lessons, 12pm adults, 12.30pm 1 to 1 lessons


Parent & Toddler Swimming 1pm to 2pm or 2pm to 3pm at Corby East Midlands International Pool. Booking not required. Tots & Tiddlers (Pre-school Gymnastics) At Lodge Park Sports Centre. Booking advisable on all sessions. Call 01536 400033. 10 to 10.45am for under 2s 11 to 11.45am for 2 to 3 year olds 1 to 1.45pm for 3 to 4 year olds 1.45 to 2.30pm for 3 to 4 years


Jenny’s Dolphins Baby & Pre-school Swimming At the Holiday Inn. All lessons 30 mins. 10am for 1 & 2 year olds, 10.30am 1 to 1 lessons.


Little Kickers At Lodge Park Sports Centre. “Junior Kickers” for 2 to 3.5 year olds, 10.10 to 10.55am. “Mighty Kickers” for 3.5 years olds to 5th Birthday, 11.05 to 11.50am

Kettering & Surrounding Area Mondays


Kindermusik At Counties Community Centre. ‘Our time’ for 15 months to 3 Kindermusik (Music & Movement) years, 9.15 to 10am ‘Village Babies’ from 0 to 15 At Counties Community Centre. months, 10.15 to 11am ‘Our time’ for 15 mths to 3 years, 9.15 to 10am Infant Aquatics Swimming ‘Village Babies’ from birth to 15 10am-12pm at Balance Health mths, 10.15 to 11am Club. Each class 30 minutes. Infant Aquatics Swimming Mucky Pups Arts and Crafts 10am-12pm at Balance Health 1 to 2pm at North Park Pavilion. Club. Each class 30 minutes. For For pre-school children. children aged 3 mths to 4.5 yrs. Starlight Dance Ballet & Tap Beginners Ballet & Tap 4-4.30pm ballet, 4.30-5pm Tap, at (Barbara Hooton School of Dance) Starlight Dance, High Street. For 2 3.40 to 4.40pm at The Britannia to 6 year olds. Club, Burton Latimer. Saturdays Starlight Dance “Munchkins” Bubble Babies Swimming 4 to 5pm at Starlight Dance & 8.45am to 1.15pm at Kingsley Musical Theatre School, High School Hydrotherapy Pool. 30 min Street. For 2 to 6 year olds. classes for 0 to 5 year olds Tuesdays Stagecoach Theatre Arts School At Brambleside Primary School. Sign and Sign Early Stage Class for 4-6year olds, At The Woodcroft Scout Centre, 9.30 to 11am or 2 to 3.30pm. London Road Stage 1 (6 to 15 mths) 10 to 11am Main schools 6 to 18 year olds, 10am to 1pm or 2.30 to 5.30pm. or 11am to 12pm Stage 2 (15mths to 2.5yrs) 12 - 1pm Little Kickers At Southfield School for Girls Wednesdays Junior Kickers for 2 to 3.5 year Infant Aquatics Swimming olds, 9.15 to 10am 10am-12pm at Balance Health Mighty Kickers for 3.5 to 5 years, Club. Each class 30 minutes. For 10.10-10.55am or 11.05-11.50am. children aged 3 months to 4.5 yrs. Infant Aquatics Swimming Starlight Dance “Munchkins” 12-1.30pm at Balance Health Club. 4 to 5pm at Starlight Dance & Each class 30 minutes. Musical Theatre School, High Zumbatomic (Inspire Dance) Street. For 2 to 6 year olds. 11am-12pm at Weekly Village Hall. Thursdays For 4 to 12 year olds Kindermusik (Music & Movement) Musical Theatre (Inspire Dance) ‘Our time’ for 15 mths to 3yrs, 12-1pm at Weekly Village Hall. For 9.30 to 10.15am at the Counties 4 to 13 year olds Community Centre Sundays Ballet, Tap & Freestyle Dancing Little Kickers with Inspire Dance At Bishop Stopford School 5-6pm at Weekly Village Hall. For 3 Junior Kickers for 2 to 3.5 year to 6 year olds. olds, 9.15 to 10am Childrens Street Dance Mighty Kickers for 3.5 years olds to with Inspire Dance 5th Birthday, 10.10 to 10.55am 6.05-6.55pm at Weekly Village Hall. Mega Kickers for 5 year olds to 7th For 4 to 13 year olds. Birthday, 11.05 to 11.55am.

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Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes.... 15 Wednesdays Thursdays Rothwell & Parent & Tot Swimming Parent & Tot Swimming Desborough 8 to 9.15am at Splash Leisure Pool. 9 to 10am at The Nene Centre. For 0 to 5 year olds 0 to 5 year olds Mondays Mini Music Mucky Pups Arts and Crafts Club Fridays 2-2.45pm at Pemberton Centre. 1 to 2pm at North Park Pavilion. For any pre-school children Little Kickers At Desborough Leisure Centre Junior Kickers for 2 to 3.5 year olds, 3.40 to 4.25pm


Jenny’s Dolphins Baby & Pre-school Swimming At Montsaye Sports Centre. 10am 1 & 2year olds, 10.30am 2 & 3 year olds, 11am under 12 months


Jenny’s Dolphins Baby & Pre-school Swimming At Montsaye Sports Centre. 12.15 to 12.45pm 9 to 18 months 12.45 to 1.15pm for 2 & 3 years


Jenny’s Dolphins Baby & Pre-school Swimming At Montsaye Sports Centre. 12.15 to 12.45pm for 1 year olds 12.45 to 1.15pm for 3 year olds 1.15 to 1.45pm for 1 year olds 1.45 to 2.15pm for adults

Rushden & Higham Ferrers Mondays

Parent & Tot Swimming 8 to 9.30am at Splash Leisure Pool. For 0 to 5 years Jumpin’ Jax 9.30 to 11am at Pemberton Centre. For 0 to 5 years.


Parent & Tot Swimming 8 to 9.15am at Splash Leisure Pool. 0 to 5 year olds Mini Music 1.15-2pm at Pemberton Centre. For 0 to 3 year olds Gymnastics 5 to 6pm at Pemberton Centre for 4+ year olds.

Jumpin’ Jax 1 to 2.30pm at The Nene Centre. For 0 to 5 years. Thursdays Gymnastics Parent & Tot Swimming 8 to 9.15am at Splash Leisure Pool. 4-5pm at Nene Centre. Ages 4+ 0 to 5 year olds Saturdays Mini Gym Ready, Steady Dance At Pemberton Centre for 2.5 to 5 10 to 11am at The Nene Centre for year olds. 9.30 to 10.30am, 10.45 3 to 4 year olds to 11.45am or 1.30 to 2.30pm Boogie Tots (Footloose Dance) Wellingborough & 1 to 1.45pm in the Function room Surrounding Area of Higham Ferrers Working Mens Club. For all walking pre-schoolers! Mondays Gymnastics Infant Aquatics Swimming 4 to 6pm at Pemberton Centre for 11.30am to 1.30pm at Hinwick 4+ year olds. College, Poddington and 3.305.30pm at Rowangate Primary Fridays School. Classes 30 mins. Parent & Tot Swimming Tuesdays 8 to 9am at Splash Leisure Pool. 0 Baby Yoga with Aqualight Babies to 5 years Jumpin’ Jax (Movement and Play) 1.30pm at Redwell Leisure centre. Classes from 0 months to crawling. 9.30 to 11am at Pemberton Infant Aquatics Swimming Centre. For 0 to 5 years. 9.30-12pm at Diana’s Health Boogie Tots (Footloose Dance) & Fitness & 3.30-5.30pm at 9.45 to 10.30am, Function room Rowansgate Primary School. of Higham Ferrers Working Mens Club. For all walking pre-schoolers! Classes 30 mins. Beginners Ballet & Tap Sign and Sign (Barbara Hooton School of Dance) Fair Building, Park Road Baptist Church, Rushden. Stage 2 (15mths 4 to 5pm at Vicarage Farn Community Centre, W’boro to 2.5yrs) 10 to 11am. Stage 1 (6 and Methodist Church Hall, to 15 mths) 11am-12pm Irthlingborough For 0 to 3 year olds



Parent & Tot Swimming 9 to 10am at The Nene Centre. For 0 to 5 year olds


Parent & Tot Swimming 9 to 10am at The Nene Centre. For 0 to 5 year olds Jumpin’ Jax 11am to 12.30pm at The Nene Centre. For 0 to 5 years.


Infant Aquatics Swimming 10.30am-12pm at Diana’s Health & Fitness. Each class 30 mins.


Infant Aquatics Swimming 9.30-10.30am at Rowngate Primary School and 3-5.30pm at Scott Bader Pool, Wollaston. Each class 30 mins. Beginners Ballet & Tap (Barbara Hooton School of Dance)

9 to 10am at The Mission Room, Finedon.

NB We plan to alternate the Clubs and Classes Timetable with the Parent & Tot Group Directory each issue. Next issue will therefore see the return of the Parent & Tot Group directory.

To advertise call 0845 6439687 or e-mail info@timefortots.co.uk


Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....

Featured Class: Starlight Dance Tell us about Starlight Dance..

Starlight Dance and Musical Theatre School is Kettering’s largest national winning dance school. Offering professional training for ages 2 years up to professional level. Many of our students have gone on to work professionally or gone on to study at London dance schools such as Italia Conti, Urdang Academy, LSMT, Millenium Dance and more!

What classes do you offer?

ISTD Tap, Ballet & Modern, Jazz, Street, Hip Hop, Commercial Dance, Musical Theatre, Lyrical, Theatre Skills, Drama, Acting Technique, Physical Theatre, Choirs, Vocal Coaching & Piano Lessons! We also have award winning show teams performing two large professional standard shows a year.

What is the aim of the classes?

All our classes offer a high standard of training specially designed for different age groups. Our students are given many opportunities from local charity performances to large production shows, competitions and most recently a West End showcase in London’s ‘Her Majesty’s Theatre’. The most important thing to us is that our students are receiving the highest standard training whilst having fun.

Talk us through a typical class

Our classes are structured to get the best from our students. Our infant classes are all about making dance fun and interesting. Our ‘Munchkins’ show team class will start with an energetic and fun warm up which the children love! The rest of the time will be used to rehearse for our large shows in which our Munchkin’s perform songs from musical theatre and Disney shows. We end our Munchkins class with a ‘Goodbye’ song in which the children

say thank you and goodbye to one another building relationships between themselves and the teachers.

How do the classes benefit children?

Our classes benefit the children on many levels. Confidence is a main benefit along with learning the basic skills preparing them for the next step in their training. Our Ballet classes in particular are a huge benefit to children as it gives them a perfect grounding & discipline to take with them through life.

What ages are the classes for?

Classes are for children aged 2 up to adult professional level.

When and where do you run classes?

All classes are held in our own studios: 57 to 61 High Street, Kettering, NN16 9BD We hold classes for all ages & abilities however our pre-primary classes are as follows: ‘Munchkins’ (Musical Theatre & Modern Show Team) Ages 2 to 6. Mon 4pm to 5pm or Wed 4pm to 5pm. £3 ISTD Twinkle Toes Ballet Ages 2 to 6. Fri 4pm to 4.30pm. £1.50 ISTD Tiny Tappers Ages 2 to 6. Fri 4.30pm to 5pm. £1.50 ‘Building Blocks Drama’ Ages 2 to 6. Thurs 4pm to 5pm. £3 Our full timetable can be found on our website: www.starlightdance.net

How much does a class cost?

Prices range from £1.50 to £6 depending on the duration of the class.

Contact Details:

Principal & Director: Jacc Batch BA(Hons) Head of Technique: Claire Jackson AISTD

Head of Theatre Skills: Gemma Gascoine BA(Hons)

Musical Director: Vicki Becks

Tel: 01536 601545 or 07765 818189 Email: jaccbatch@starlightdance.net or admin@starlightdance.net Website: www.starlightdance.net

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Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes.... 17

To advertise call 0845 6439687 or e-mail info@timefortots.co.uk

18 Clubs

& Classes....Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....

Barbara Hooton School of Dancing Ballet and Tap Classes Burton Latimer, Earls Barton, Finedon, Irthlingborough and Wellingborough

Keep Fit Classes for Mums Principal: Barbara Allebone M.N.A.T.D

Telephone: 01933 663225 07788 710144


Jenny’s Dolphins

Baby & Pre-school swimming lessons Classes in Rothwell and Corby Prices from only £5.50 per lesson Instructor in the water Average of 4 children per class

1 to 1 tuition available Wednesdays between 10.30am & 1pm at Corby

Call: 07821 646451 Email: jennysdolphins@live.co.uk www.jennysdolphins.co.uk

Celebrating 40 Years of Dancing

At the Barbara Hooton School of Dancing we are celebrating our 40th anniversary, and presenting a Display of Dancing at the Castle Theatre, Wellingborough, on Friday 25th May at 7.30 pm and Saturday 26th May at 2.30 pm. I have been privileged to run the school all these years and, with my teachers, am looking forward to the future with joy. I qualified to teach ballet and tap in the late sixties, danced professionally for a few years and was a dancer with the famous troupe of Tiller Girls in Paris. I bought the Audrey Gale School of Dancing, where I had trained, and set up the Barbara Hooton School of Dancing in 1971. Having the studio in Earls Barton, I ran classes for Ballet and Tap and Keep Fit and I started to run similar classes in Finedon. I married the next year and then started classes in Titchmarsh and Burton Latimer. Student teachers Gail Hyde and Fiona Lawman kept classes going when my daughters were born, and later Gaynor Smith and Wendy Betts duly qualified and joined me in expanding the school. Gaynor is now in charge of the Earls Barton classes and Wendy runs the classes in Wellingborough. Nicola Large runs the classes in Irthlingborough and Finedon. Nicola’s twin daughters are already keen little dancers! We have been successful in exams throughout the years, creating no less than ten qualified teachers, including Valene, Siobhan, my daughter Katy and my niece Emily. I now have two beautiful granddaughters, Isobel and Harriet, so am hopeful for the future! Over the decades we have raised thousands of pounds for charity with our dancing displays donating to a wide range of charities from Cystic Fybrosis, A.R.C. to The Army Benevolent Fund, Macmillan Cancer, Crazy Hats, Kettering General Hospital’s Baby Unit, The Renal Unit at John Radcliffe Hospital, N.S.P.C.C., The Caring and Sharing Trust. This next show is for Breakthrough Breast Cancer once again. We know there are so many worthwhile causes and would like to help them all, but as we are dancing school, and are mostly female, it seems an obvious charity for us. It would be nice to think we have helped in some small way to combat this awful disease. Everyone takes part in the show, from the youngest, newest pupils to the older, more experienced ones! Show tickets are available from the Castle Box Office on 01933 220007 For information on classes please visit our web site or call me on 01933 663225.

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Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes.... 19

New Soccer Courses Starting in Kettering and Wellingborough

Please call Patrick Franks on 07818 401707 for details

Summer Workshop 6th to 10th August for 4-18 year olds

To advertise call 0845 6439687 or e-mail info@timefortots.co.uk


Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....

ble at all 3 sit (parties availa

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Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes....Clubs & Classes.... 21


To advertise call 0845 6439687 or e-mail info@timefortots.co.uk

22 Giggles & Wiggles with

Village Baby Classes Provide a delightful environment unlike any other. Through a unique blend of multi- level activities that include creative movement, vocal play, object and instrument exploration where baby’s growth and development are stimulated and all senses engaged. Our classes are for lap babies, crawlers and walkers. It incorporates and provides families a special place for learning and connecting with other parents through music and movement. Invite you and your baby to be a part of a very special music and movement experience.

Our Time Toddlers Classes Turn ordinary music classes in to an extraordinary journey with themed based programmes where you and your toddler discover the joy of music, movement, dance and drama. Foster creativity and promoting self control, as well as having a big impact on your child’s sense of positive self esteem and self confidence. And the journey is for parents too! You are your child’s first and most important teacher, this experience helps you understand your child’s development process that each class activity provides.

Give your child the gift of Music! For information on classes and to book your place Please call Julianna on 07913624837 or email yulianna.ventura@ntlworld.com

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Events Diary March

Thu 5th to Sat 7th


“Esme’s Eggstrordinary Tue 6th Eggstravaganza”, Underground Tue 1st Nature Tots at Fermyn Woods at the Royal & Derngate Nature Tots at Fermyn Woods Country Park. 10-11.30am. £3. Fri 6th Country Park. 10-11.30am. £3. Wed 7th Mad Hatters Tea Party at the Wed 2nd Nature Tots at Irchester CP. 10- Swansgate Centre, W’boro. Nature Tots at Irchester CP. 1011.30am & 1-2.30pm. Book. Meet Peppa Pig and George at 11.30am & 1-2.30pm. Book. Sat 10th Twinlakes Family Theme Park Fri 4th “The Owl and the Pussycat” at Open Day at Northampton Sun 8th The Core at Corby Cube High School Easter Sunday

Sun 11th

Make a Mothers Day Card at Stanwick Lakes. 1pm to 4pm.

Wed 14th

Nature Tots at Barnwell CP. 1011.30am & 1-2.30pm. Book.

Sun 18th

Mothering Sunday “Mums Drive Thomas!” at Nene Valley Railway Mother’s Day Sunday lunch at West Lodge Farm. Free primrose for all mothers.

Wed 21st to Sun 25th

“Cinderella on Ice” at The Royal and Derngate Theatre

Thu 22nd

Peppa Pig at the Newlands Centre, Kettering.

Sat 24th

“A Bird In Your Ear” at The Castle Theate. 11am & 2pm.

Fri 30th

Schools close for Easter

Sat 31st

Bubbles Babies Underwater Photoshoot. 01604 780244

Sun 8th & Mon 9th

Easter Eggstravaganza at West Pirate Treasure Trail at West Lodge Farm. Lodge Farm. Thomas Bank Holiday Specials Thu 12th at Nene Valley Railway “Wild about Woodcraft” at Stanwick Lakes. 11am to 4pm Wed 9th Nature Tots at Barnwell CP. 10Fri 13th 11.30am & 1-2.30pm. Book. “Chris and Pui” at The Derngate Theatre. 11.30am & Fri 11th to Sun 13th 2pm. Tickets £10. Waendel Walk Weekend in Wellingborough. Mon 16th “The Chuckle Brothers” at The Sat 12th Lighthouse Theatre. “The Hare and The Tortoise” at The Core at Corby Cube. Sat 21st “Muttnik: First Dog in Space” Sat 19th at The Core at Corby Cube. Spend a day in the life of an 11am & 2pm. Tickets £5.50. Iron Age family at Stanwick Lakes 11am to 4pm. “Is That a Balloon?” at The Castle Theatre. Perfect for 3-7 Sat 19th & Sun 20th Althorp Country Fair. 10am to year olds. 11am & 2pm. 5pm. Family entertainment. Firetree Photography Bluebell Fri 25th & Sat 26th Wood Photoshoot. A Display of Dancing by the Thu 26th Barbara Hooton School of Rastamouse at the Newlands Dancing. The Castle Theatre. Centre, Kettering

Thu 26th to Sat 28th


“The Gruffalo” at The Milton Keynes Theatre. Tickets £10.

Little Readers Storytime Club, Jigaw Barn at Mocha Mama. 1.45 to 2.30pm. Must book.

Check out our Easter “What’s On” guide on pages 8 to 9 for more activities & events

Thu 5th

Sat 5th to Mon 7th

Sat 26th & Sun 27th

Spring Craft Fayre at Stanwick Lakes. 11am to 4pm.

Mon 28th to Fri 1st

Open Week at St Peters School

Thu 31st

Fireman Sam at the Newlands Centre, Kettering

To advertise call 0845 6439687 or e-mail info@timefortots.co.uk


So Much More Than A Coffee Shop...

Mocha Mama over 2 years on


t’s hard to believe it’s only been two and a half years since Mocha Mama in Kettering first opened its doors. As a warm, welcoming place for expectant mothers and those with young children to meet with friends and family, the coffee shop has developed and expanded in the last couple of years providing a lifeline to many wondering what to do and where to go in the week. If you haven’t been to Mocha Mama yet, where have you been?!? If you haven’t been for a while then you need to go again - you’ll be amazed at the changes that have taken place. The coffee shop itself has moved to a new, bigger barn directly behind the old one. The ground floor is a peaceful haven for expectant mothers or those with young babies and the first floor is the ‘toddler area’ where those with slightly older, more mobile children and mixed groups can sit and relax and not worry about disturbing others. There are plenty of toys in the toddler area to keep the little ones entertained and tables, chairs and comfy sofas for the grown-ups. As ever Mocha Mama stocks a delicious range of light lunches, snacks and cakes for adults and children, as well as a wide selection of hot and cold drinks. Waitress service is available for those seated on the first floor so you don’t even need to leave your seat to order!

Mocha Mama is so much more than just a coffee shop though with an ever expanding timetable of events and activities – far too many to describe in detail here so we’ve provided a list below. Some activities take place in the new Mocha Mama and others in the original Mocha Mama barn, renamed ‘Jigsaw Barn’, which has been converted into a studio, shop and general cafe. The shop stocks many useful baby toys and products, including Sophie the Giraffe of which Mocha Mama is the only local stockist! They also stock local produce such as vegetables and milk. Mocha Mama is still available to hire for parties and is a popular venue for both birthdays and christenings. They offer various packages from just room hire to whole venue hire with a full catering and drinks service. They are very flexible and will try to accommodate your requirements. The Studio in the Jigsawn Barn is also available for hire if you run a class or group and are looking for a venue. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself along to Mocha Mama and see what all the fuss is about! Mocha Mama is open Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 4pm. Jigsaw Barn is open Tue to Sat, 10am to 4pm. If you have any queries you can pop in and speak to them or call or text them on 07929 483437. If visiting as a large group (4 or more) then it’s best to book a table in advance to ensure you’re seated together. You can simply text them to book.

Activities and Events at Mocha Mama and Jigsaw Barn: Weekly



New Mums & Breastfeeding Group

Portrait Photographer (Firetree Photography)

Bra fitting Service (by appointment)

“Multiples” Coffee Morning

Little Readers Children’s Storytime Club

Craft & Cup Cake Decorating Classes

“Bumps” Coffee Morning

My Baby Memories hand & footprint keepsakes

Antenatal Classes

Toddler Time Craft Club

Smallprint Fingerprint Jewellery

Daisy Baby Massage & Yoga

Colic Clinc

Hartbeeps multi-sensory sessions

Mums in Business Group

Baby’cise classes

Table Top Sale

Fitbug & Buggy Fit Sessions

To keep up to date with all the latest goings on follow Mocha Mama on Facebook and Twitter: @mmkettering. To sign up to receive their newsletter email: mail@mocha-mama.co.uk.

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Home visit studio & location portraiture. Stress free portraits from home. Find us every month at Mocha Mamas Cafe, Kettering - for discount prints.

Booking now for the spring Bluebell Wood Shoot. Weddings, Portraits, Events & Underwater.....

www.firetreephoto.co.uk Affordable photography without compromising quality.

FiretreePhotography, Market Harborough, 01858 440981/07773 280492 info@firetreephoto.co.uk

To advertise call 0845 6439687 or e-mail info@timefortots.co.uk




Part 1: Choosing your Family Holiday

ith spring just around the corner it’s around this time of year that most of us start thinking about our summer holiday and where we’d like to take the family. The holidays we used to enjoy before we had children are often no longer possible – sunbathing on the beach with a book, sampling the local cuisine and night life, touring the sights on foot – whatever ‘your thing’ was, chances are it’s completely impractical with children in tow. Holidaying with children is a whole different ball game but with careful planning, and a willingness to adapt, holidays can be just as enjoyable and relaxing as they used to be. In fact you’ll probably find holidays are suddenly a lot more fun…

Tips for choosing your holiday:

DO book a family friendly resort or campsite. Trying to entertain and control children at

Self-Catering in France…

a predominantly adult resort can be hard work! DO choose self-catering accommodation. You’ll have more space, separate bedrooms and cooking facilities for preparing meals you know your children will eat at a time when they want to eat. If you prefer to eat out you can still do that of course but at least you have both options. DO make sure there are plenty of things for children to do. If you go somewhere too remote you’ll find you’re spending all your time entertaining the children which can be exhausting. Theme parks and farms are great but activities needn’t cost a fortune. Free activities such as a beach or park can be just as much fun. DO pick a destination that has something for the adults too. Entertaining the children and

We like to book self-catering holiday cottages. We’ve tried the UK and abroad and French gîtes with pools are the ones that have ticked all the boxes for us so far. We go away with another family who have similar aged children so there is ready made entertainment for all of us! We tend to go for country style houses with a pool and garden for the kids to run around. The gites we have found have lovely features: big kitchens and dining areas, a BBQ and good outdoor dining space, plenty of bathrooms and good sized bedrooms that work for the dynamics of the families. We like to be in a village location but not too far from local shops and other amenities such as a lake or beach. We find this provides almost everything the kids need to have a good time and of course they have each other! The last holiday was with 3 families, 7 children in total, so never a dull moment!

Advantages: • Generally relaxing • You can go at your own pace and eat and drink what and when you like • You can be flexible with travel arrangements choosing to fly or drive • More chance of good weather in France • Experiencing a different culture and cuisine Disadvantages: • Cooking and shopping for food is a chore but can be shared amongst the group • It can be difficult to find accommodation to suit everyone • How safe the houses are for young children can be a worry and you never really know until you get there. The good thing is that French houses always have to have gates to their pools • If the weather isn’t good entertaining the children can be tricky!

Dawn, Mum to Eloise, 4, and Oliver, 2.

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27 ensuring they have a good time is crucial but it’s your holiday too so make sure there is also something for you, be it sights to see, a spa, golf course, evening entertainment or whatever you enjoy. DON’T pick anywhere super hot. Keeping children well protected in the sun can be difficult and hence stressful so pick somewhere sunny and warm rather than roasting hot. UV sun suits are a great idea. DO holiday with another family. Holidaying with friends who also have children can really add to the fun. The children have other children to play with and you can still have a social life in the evenings once the children are in bed enjoying your friends’ company or taking it in turns to babysit for each other. DO take the grandparents! An extra pair of hands (or two) can be invaluable, particularly on holiday. Grandparents love spending time with the grandchildren and most would be delighted to be invited along. They may even babysit once or twice for you allowing you to have a night out!

DO pick a beach holiday rather than a pool. With very young children a beach is usually safer and more relaxing than lounging around a pool. There’s no danger of the children falling in the pool if you’re momentarily distracted, and the sand is great for entertaining children - hours of fun building sandcastles together! Once they’re bored with the sand paddle in the sea and jump waves together. DON’T give up breastfeeding! If you’re still breastfeeding your baby don’t give up before the holiday. Breastfeeding is so much easier if going abroad – no need to worry about sterilising, water purity, bottle warming etc. DO pick somewhere with washing facilities. Although you don’t really want to be doing laundry on your holiday it can make things easier – you won’t need to pack as much or worry about your children keeping their clothes clean DO go in school term time if you can. It will be a whole lot cheaper and far less busy.

Activity Heaven at Center Parcs…

We have been to Center Parcs in England for the past 4 years, trying a couple of the different sites - Longleat Forest and Elveden Forest. Each site is a self-contained village with everything you need for a family holiday. There’s a choice of accommodation from a simple basic apartment to a tree house complete with hot tub and games rooms. We usually stay in a Woodland Lodge, it has everything you need for day to day living, plenty of space, modern and airy, very comfortable. It is self catering but there are a range of restaurants and takeaways and a well stocked supermarket on site. We like Centre Parcs because you can choose the pace of your holiday and there is a wide range of activities to entertain the children and adults including a large indoor swimming/activity pool, indoor and outdoor play areas, sports clubs and craft activities, a spa and golf course. Some activities are included in the price but others cost extra. There is also a crèche / nursery so you can have some adult time (though we haven’t used this service ourselves).

Advantages: • Very convenient – easy to book and prepare for • Easy to get to with short travel times • Over 200 activities to choose from, both indoor and outdoor, so children are never bored • The comfort of your own lodge with your own facilities • Family friendly restaurants on site so you don’t have to cook • Cars are not allowed on site most of the time so it’s very safe • Highchairs, cots and other equipment can be hired there or you can take your own. Disadvantages: • You are not guaranteed the weather! • It can be expensive, especially in school holidays • The extra cost for activities can mount up when your children get older.

Rachel, Mum to Ryan, 5, and Sophie, 2.

To advertise call 0845 6439687 or e-mail info@timefortots.co.uk


Handy Products for Holidaying with Children... 10% off selected products at www.toddleoff.co.uk/time-for-tots

Infant Travel Bottle Warmer and Steriliser £20.99 This Bottle Warmer and Steriliser is ideal for any type of holiday. It can be powered by mains power or from a 12V car cigarette lighter. It heats a bottle in 3 to 4 minutes and you only need to take one bottle away with you as it is so easy to sterilise a single bottle. Gone are the days of carrying around multiple bottles and sterilising tablets! It comes with adaptors for different sized bottles and baby food jars, for versatility and extended use.

SnoozeShade for Cots and Travel Cots £69.99

This cot shade is compact, practical and easy to use. It is great for staying away from home; whether you are in a hotel, apartment or camping! It helps to reduce the light during daytime naps. In the summer when the evenings and mornings are lighter, it helps to settle little ones to sleep and keep them asleep until a sensible time! Folds up to not much larger than a beach towel and comes with own carry case.

BundleBean £29.99 BundleBean is a fleece lined waterproof cover that fits snugly on to all buggies, bike seats, rear facing car seats and front style baby carriers. It also opens out flat for use as a travel picnic rug or play mat making it the ultimate one-stop-shop solution for busy parents on the go! BundleBean fits all ages and rolls up in to a neat bundle meaning it is always with you when the weather catches you out.

Long Sleeve Sleep Sack £15.99

This sleep sack keeps your little one’s arms nice and cosy at night – ideal for chilly evenings in a tent.

Flexibath £29.95

The Flexibath is a travel baby bath which folds flat for easy storage and transport. It has a removable plug for easy emptying. It can have multiple uses whilst camping; as a washing basket and a footbath for tired adult feet!

All these products and many more are available to buy through Toddle Off. They are offering Time for Tots readers 10% off selected products. Visit: www.toddleoff.co.uk/time-for-tots

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All-inclusive in the Med...

Since our oldest child was just 6 months old we’ve enjoyed holidaying at the First Choice holiday villages and Thomson family clubs within a 4 hour flight zone. We try to go to an all inclusive, 4 or 5 star hotel with good food reviews from the tour operator and trip advisor. These resorts have kids clubs with lots of different activities for children. Ours enjoyed the soft play areas, crèche facilities and mini water slides when they were younger and now enjoy the resorts that have water parks attached with water shoots and lazy rivers, high ropes and go karts. We enjoy having adult time while the children are in kids club and then family time around the pool or a trip out to see the local area and experience the different culture. There’s entertainment for children and adults in the evening too which we all enjoy.

Advantages: • Very much a family resort – holidaying with like-minded families • Good value for money • Great weather • Gives

parents a break from cooking and cleaning • Equipment can be hired on arrival eg push chairs, sterilisers, nappy packs etc • Staff in the crèches and kids club are qualified and thoroughly checked using British nursery checks • Great variety of foods, the children have a choice and can try different things in the one sitting • No late night noise entertainment after 11pm


• Can be very crowded in peak season/school holidays • Kids Clubs can get booked up fast (best to book in advance) • Expensive at the time of booking (but cheap when you’re out there as most of it is paid for!) • Although you’re abroad all guests tend to be British • Your accommodation is limited to 1 or 2 rooms

Colleen, Mum to Libby, 10, and Tilly, 7.

Glamping in Guernsey...

We’ve tried all sorts of different holidays but last year we went ‘glamping’ in Guernsey which was particularly successful as a family holiday and definitely something we’d do again. With glamping the tent and equipment is already in-situ for you so it was very easy. The tent was excellent – spacious, with two bedrooms. We had a camp bed, children had a mattress on the floor or a travel cot. There was a table and chairs, and basic cooking equipment with a two hob gas stove and grill. The campsite had good bathrooms (including washing machines), a small shop, play area and swimming pool. There was plenty for the children to do with lots of outdoor space on the campsite which was safe for them to play. Guernsey itself was great for young children, lots of beaches, short scenic walks, and harbours and boats. We did lots of different things including a trip to a neighboring island.


• Great island to visit, lovely beaches • Very exciting to travel by ferry • Lovely to introduce the children to camping (in an easy manner by having tent already there, and all the equipment provided) • Children very excited by all the things in the tent and having to walk to the bathrooms to use the loo, especially at night in the dark! • Lovely to spend so much time outside • Relatively cheap!


• Journey door to door was long and we did have some travel sickness on ferry (it was quite rough!) • Bad weather would be limiting for enjoying campsite activities • Not as comfortable as a cottage or hotel (but more fun!)

Liz, Mum to Nicholas, 4, and Susannah, 18 months.

To advertise call 0845 6439687 or e-mail info@timefortots.co.uk


14188 - St Peters OM Ad 90x126 28MAY HR.pdf





Come and see us during our

OPEN WEEK starting Monday 28th May 2012

St Peter’s School - Kettering 52 Headlands Kettering NN15 6DJ T. 01536 512 066 stpeters.org.uk

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A note to Grandparents, from a Grandparent...



Enjoy a day out at West Lodge Farm Park

am sure many of you have, like me, spent hours reading books to your little grandchildren with a good proportion of that time looking at pictures of farmyard animals with the inevitable questions: “What does a cow say? What does a horse do?” etc. The frustrating thing for me is, despite the fact that I live in a village surrounded by fields and a few farms, whichever road I take when leaving the village in a car, with some of my grandchildren in the back, we never actually see any of the animals we have been looking at in the books. Where have they all gone? I’m sure the fields were full of cows and sheep years ago when my children were young; am I now doomed to just looking at pictures and trying to mimic them? Well I’m happy to report that there is a solution to my problem in the form of West Lodge Farm. I visited it in January for the first time, with two grandchildren aged 20 and 21 months, and what a delight it was. Here you can find all the animals whose pictures the children are acquainted with, and guess what, they do all the sounds much better and louder than we can. Lots of young parents know about and visit the farm but they don’t always remember to tell us, so I am glad to share this information with other grandparents who may not know about it - or know that Tuesdays is Grandparents day when entry is FREE for OAPs! On arrival we were given a list of the day’s activities and were spoilt for choice. We started with a tractor-pulled “barrel ride” (pictured left). Our grandson wasn’t sure about this form of transport at first but after one circuit he loved it. We then walked around the animal enclosures and saw all sizes and colours of rabbits, sheep with their lambs, pigs in mud, cheeky goats which we fed with feed we’d bought at reception, and ponies. There were different kinds of birds: hens, geese, others whose names I’ve forgotten and some (was it my imagination?) relieved looking turkeys. We didn’t leave ourselves long enough to visit the farm, not realising that there were so many things to occupy our time, so we will go earlier next time so that the grandchildren can “meet the lambs”, cuddle the rabbits, have a pony ride, watch the piglets racing, and have longer in the outdoor play area. There are also walks and trails we have yet to pursue. If the weather isn’t great there is a small indoor play area and a classroom where children can try their hands at craft-making. There is also a restaurant on site, a “snack shack” and a gift shop. I spoke to two mums who were there, both of whom had purchased an annual membership to the farm because they said there was always plenty to do to keep the children amused, including special events put on throughout the year. They also commented how friendly and helpful all the staff were. So when you have exhausted all your ideas of how to amuse your grandchildren for the day until their parents pick them up, try a visit to West Lodge Farm for some “fresh air and fun”. I’m sure that, like us, you will find the time flies by….and that the fresh air doesn’t just help the children to sleep better that night!

West Lodge Farm is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm. FREE entry for OAP’s on Tuesdays Unders 2s FREE at all times

Back Lane, Desborough, NN14 2SH


Tel: 01536 760552

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• • • • • •

A selection of nursery equipment, pushchairs, carseats, etc.


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We welcome children from 2 years 6 months to school age Friendly and experienced, com mitted and caring staff Open Monday to Friday from 8.45 - 15.00 in school term time Excellent indoor and outdoor facilities Government funding and child care vouchers accepted Good Ofsted report with 'out standing' features

For more information on admissions and a prospectus call us on 01604 781838 or email office@muddybootspreschool.com www.muddybootspreschool.co.uk

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Spring 2012 NENE edition  

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North & East Northants edition (NENE) Spring 2012