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Issue 102 May/June 2013

North London

Party issue Autism Fostering Annabel Karmel

PLUS North London Clubs and Classes

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the no.1 parenting author

NO added salt NO added sugar NO added nasties suitable from 1 year

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“My new range of ready meals are a convenient and healthy option that taste just like homemade – they are based on some of my favourite recipes.” “There are nine varieties to choose from so your little one will be spoilt for choice and many of the recipes contain one portion of their five a day so that’s a few less to think about! We all struggle to get our children to eat the right foods but my range focuses on the important nutrients that children need. All the recipes have been extensively tested by children and because my recipes are so tasty even the fussiest eater will love them.”

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Contents Issue 102 | May/June 2013 | Families North London

This Issue 8

First Aid


Party Special






30 Fostering 33 Clubs & Classes

Regular Features 4



Health & Happiness


20 Education 26 Special Needs 32 Ed’s Reading Room 49 Places to Go


Hopefully the better weather is here at last and with that in mind we have a fun-filled edition of the magazine featuring parties and a great new section on the very best clubs and classes in North London. Due to growing demand we are delighted to announce the introduction of our monthly ezine that will be full of great articles and info and exclusive features. To sign up go to As always don’t forget to visit us on facebook and follow us on twitter. Until next time…

Families north london Magazine 120 Brent Street, Hendon, London NW4 2DT For all news and features contact: or call 020 8202 2034 For all advertising enquiries contact: or call 020 8202 2034 For all web enquiries contact: or call 020 8202 2034 For all listing enquiries contact: Families North London Ltd cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, details are subject to change and Families North London take no Fam-North_QPL-Ad_SE2013_Perform 22/03/2013 responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any material. All rights reserved.

Sharon Editor

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holiday cour ses!


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News who why where

Got some news for us? If you are a North London based group or organisation whose services or products are for families of young children, we’d love to hear from you. Send press releases and pictures to:

new PLaYGrouP in nw3 A new playgroup in the Hampstead SDA church at 66 Haverstock Hill NW3 2BE called Chalk farm baby and toddler group started earlier this year. Our start date was the 6th of March. For further details call Estera on 07580 136205.

netBuDDY Families North London magazine would like to congratulate North London mum Deborah Gundle on her Inspiration of the Year win which was sponsored by VMware. Without any prior IT experience, Deborah established Netbuddy in 2010, an online social networking community and crowd sourcing resource for parents and carers of children with learning disabilities. Since its inception, the site has received an average of 6,000 visitors per month. Our judges were impressed by how, through her work, she has reached out to a community that otherwise, without Netbuddy, would be largely isolated.

aLL the Fun oF the Fair in the SQuare

PonG® iPaD-Mini caSe This month Families North are loving the new Pong® Ipad-Mini case. Not only does it offer great protection for your Ipad but it reduces exposure to potentially harmful radiation. It is the only case that defuses radiation away from the body whilst also improving signal strength. The case costs £84 and is available from

nationaL FaMiLY week 2013 National Family Week 2013 is set to be considerably bigger and will include... • National Family Week Live – A headline event that will attract thousands of families. • Large-scale principal community events within major cities across the UK. • Over 6,000 community events – from family fun days and picnics to story times and sports days – run by charities, community groups early years groups, schools, local authorities and faith groups across the country. • The established National Family Week website will host competitions, the family friendly events search, discounts and special offers attracting a target of 700,000 unique visitors over 3 months. • A new edition of Family Time! – A unique parenting magazine aimed at mums of children aged 4 to 11. • An extensive social media campaign driven by Facebook and Twitter to engage families.


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SPeciaL chiLDren’S DaY at ZSL LonDon Zoo Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May 2013 The award-winning Special Children’s Day is back at ZSL London Zoo, helping to make the magic of the animal kingdom accessible for all. Taking place from Saturday 18 to Sunday 19 May 2013, Special Children’s Day caters for families of children with disabilities, with extra features like British Sign Language interpreters at the Zoo’s talks, and guided ‘Touch Tours’ for visually-impaired children. Awarded the 2012 ‘Best Education Project: Public and General Visitor’ by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), Special Children’s Day is carefully planned to ensure that the Zoo caters for everyone’s needs. Guests will have the chance to explore the Zoo’s brand new Tiger Territory exhibit, home to Sumatran tigers Jae Jae and Melati, and hear all

The Fair in the Square is taking place in Pond Square, Highgate Village, N6 6BS on Saturday 15th June 2013 from 12.30pm to 5.30pm and everyone is invited to come and enjoy this annual event with live music, children’s activities, 150 stalls and entertainment for all. A highlight of the Fair will be the Sheep Show and other favourites include The Country Fair, Punch & Judy, a bungee fly, Morris Dancers, painting and drawing in the kids tent, Hornsey School for Girls Steel Band, the So & So Circus Workshop and lots more. about the amazing big cats at the Tigers Live! talk. Tiger Territory, with help from a generous grant from the City Bridge Trust, has been designed to suit all access needs with sloping walkways, lifts to high viewing areas and floor-to-ceiling windows to allow everyone to see the magnificent animals. Rainforest Life, London’s only living rainforest will play host to the all-new Rainforest Experience, a multi-sensory experience for children with sight impairment. Developed in collaboration with the National Autistic Society, there’s a visual story available to download at and The Discovery Zone, where children can take part in storytelling sessions and arts and crafts activities, or simply relax in the chill-out area. As well as getting up close to more than 750 species of animals at ZSL London Zoo, Special Children’s Day guests will be entertained by a live band throughout the weekend. With extra staff and facilities to ensure a happy day for all – Special Children’s Day includes changing tents, additional disabled toilets and a chance to meet specialist charities offering information and support. To book tickets for Special Children’s Day, or to find out more please visit specialchildrensday.

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news Get Your Dancing Shoes On! Little Danceflavourz, as seen on TV, are offering a free taster session for all nurseries and play groups in North London for 2-5 year olds. Have fun learning latin, hip-hop, flamenco, Bollywood and cheerleading. The dance classes not only teaches the little ones the basic steps, it builds their confidence and is a fun way to exercise. To book your taster session call Valentino on 07967 826888.

Leaders are Readers Leaders are Readers celebrates 6 years of summer school with free presentation on Saturday, 18th May at 11am. In addition to fourteen years of quality, highly academic Saturday schools in North London, the Leaders are Readers Summer School is also going strong and is now in its 6th year and in 3 centres across North London. To celebrate, Leaders are Readers are giving a free presentation to show you just how much your child can cover in their summer schools. Learn how your child can improve their reading, Maths and English in a matter of days. See how 11+ and 7+ candidates cover a year’s revision work in just 3 weeks. View learning resources, listen to testimonials and meet the centre managers. Presentations held at Grange Park Primary School N21 1PP, Merchant Taylors’ School HA6 2HT, London Academy HA8 8DE. Limited places are still available now for summer term in the Saturday schools with free assessments and trial lessons available to all. Call now to enrol your child into Saturday school and to book a place at the free summer school presentation. 01992 651 300

Mums Show Live Set to Descend on Alexandra Palace Shop, listen and learn at the UK’s first exhibition for parents of pre-teens When: 16th – 19th May 2013 Opening times: Thursday 16th 16:00 – 21:00 Friday 17th 10:00 – 17:00 Saturday 18th 10:00 – 17:00 Sunday 19th 10:00 – 17:00 Where: Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, London N22 7AY What: Mums Show Live, the UK’s first consumer exhibition targeting parents of four-to-12 year olds, will be taking residence

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YogaBugs’ Fun

National Vegetarian Week at Giraffe To mark National Vegetarian Week, awardwinning restaurant Giraffe in Hampstead, Islington, Muswell Hill and Belsize Park are offering 2-for-1 on all vegetarian main courses from 20th-24th May 2013. Start your day with a gourmet coffee and ‘The Western’ Omelette with roasted vegetables and manchego cheese or grab a super healthy Granola Breakfast Sundae washed down with a Sunrise smoothie. For lunch or dinner, meat-free mains include a Falafel ‘Deluxe’ Burger; Roasted Vegetable and Black Bean Burrito, Super Healthy Salad and delicious risotto. All you need to do to indulge in this vast variety of veggie treats is print off the voucher from the website classic/promotions, order two meat-free mains and the least expensive dish will be absolutely free – an offer to make people ‘green’ with envy! Terms & Conditions apply.

at Alexandra Palace this coming May. With a vibrant, educational and fun-filled environment it will be the perfect one-stop destination for the whole family. Parents will get the chance to enjoy a spot of shopping and join in live conversation and inspiration theatres to get answers to challenging questions, such as, ‘How to create a child prodigy’ and ‘how to start your own blog and business’. Mums, dads and kids can also get involved in a diverse range of fun games, activities and entertainment. Tickets for the show are on sale now. For the latest schedules and a taste of what’s on offer at the show, visit www. Tickets just £10* – Book now online or call 0844 854 0504.(* When booked in advance, £15 on the door. Terms & Conditions apply.)

North London children are set to go on Space Missions, Ocean Dives or Jungle Adventures with YogaBugs. Yoga sessions using dynamic story-telling take children aged 3-7 on fun adventures whilst benefitting from the yoga postures. Classes are a complete form of physical exercise in a non-competitive environment. Sundays in Finchley and Muswell Hill, with new classes to follow throughout north London, there’ll soon be a class near you! Find out more, book a free taster class or school/nursery demo, contact Alison Batley 0845 863 0688, alison@yogabugs. com,

Speech Therapy is fun Who are Talk With Us? Talk With Us are specialist paediatric speech and language therapists who offer a professional, friendly and personal service. They see children from 3-18 years old. Children can be seen at home, in school or in our clinic based in Temple Fortune. Does your child have difficulty with: • Understanding what others say; • Remembering words and what they mean; • Putting words together to make sentences; • Pronouncing words correctly (as expected for their age); • Interacting socially with others; • Developing phonological awareness skills; and • Auditory memory skills. Talk With Us help children learn through fun, exciting and rewarding games that are carried out in our therapy sessions. Learning should be fun. We believe that whatever needs a child has, therapy should be exciting and creative which will help to develop these areas. Contact Us If you have any concerns and would like to discuss them confidentially, please see our website or email us on hannah@ or


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health and happiness

What are YOU having to eat today?


By Sam Perkins

No, not your children – you! We spend so much time planning, shopping, cooking, feeding, and negotiating what our children are eating that we often find ourselves at the bottom of the priority list. Before you had children did you ever imagine you would ravage left over, half squashed fish fingers, smeared in ketchup from your child’s plate and call it ‘dinner’? Or think breakfast would be a 3 year-old’s toast crusts and their last remaining spoonfuls of Cheerios, soggy in milk? I doubt it! Sound familiar? Well you are not alone! I see so many mums (and dads) who spend lots of time and energy cooking and worrying about their children’s food intake and forget about themselves. So many of us spend time lovingly pureeing butternut squash, freezing it in ice-cube trays for our little darlings, and are then too exhausted to cook for ourselves and (at best) order pizza for dinner. Why it is important to make sure you eat properly You are worth it – sounds corny but it is true! You owe it to yourself to eat well. You would not let your children go to school without eating breakfast and it is not good for you to do that either. You are your child’s role model – they learn eating habits from you so make those habits healthy! Sitting and eating with your children shows them that mealtimes are important for the whole family. You need energy – eating regular healthy meals means maximum energy to cope with the demands of a busy family life.


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Stable mood – regular meals promotes stable blood sugars, reduces cravings and can help you stay in a good mood! Moderating your weight – as parents we often put on weight purely due to not taking enough care over what we eat. We eat on the run, not focusing on what we are eating, or listening to our hunger. We all need ‘me’ time – Taking time to prepare nice food for yourself and moments out of a busy day to sit down and eat is time for yourself. As parents we rarely stop for a second. There is always something to do but you will do chores more productively and with more energy by taking the odd break to eat (and maybe even read the paper while digesting your food afterwards). Health reasons – Ok so there are the obvious ones – it IS important to eat properly for our long-term health and the prevention of certain chronic diseases. But there are also short-term health consequences from not paying attention to our food intake. I see many people with headaches (are they eating regular carbohydrates for energy or drinking enough?), indigestion or irritable bowel (are they eating on the run?). Lots of us rely on over-thecounter medicines where simple lifestyle changes can help. Top tips to look after yourself within a busy family Planning – It sounds boring but it is true! In the same way that you need to plan when you are going to exercise in a busy family life, you also need to plan meals and snacks. This does not have to involve meal plans, typed up weeks in advance and stuck to the fridge. It can simply mean that, just as you probably already do for your children, you wake up in the morning and think about what you are going to eat for the day ahead. Eat together where practical – Too many of us do not eat with our children and this means it is an effort to then cook again for ourselves. So plan meals that everyone can eat where possible. It will

save time and effort and also increases the likelihood of you all eating together. Balance your meals – Make sure you include a food containing protein, one containing carbohydrates and lots of vegetables or salad at every meal. Remember you also need dairy foods and fruit as well every day. Avoid ‘fad’ diets – diets that seem too good to be true, are too good to be true and are unlikely to work in the long term. We all want a ‘no effort’, easy way to lose weight but in truth this does not exist. If you want to lose weight sensibly, give me a call to chat about it. I also run a weekly weight-loss group with Kirsty Hanly – a cognitive hypnotherapist – we focus on building a healthy, positive relationship with food that will help you be a good role model for your children. Looking after yourself may require some thought, but in the end everyone is a winner! You feel better and you pass great messages on to your children too!

I see so many mums (and dads) who spend lots of time and energy cooking and worrying about their children’s food intake and forget about themselves. Sam Perkins, Nutritionist email I have a degree in nutrition and previously worked as a Dietician in the NHS. Since having my 3 children I have become increasingly interested in family nutrition. ‘Happy Eaters’ offers 1-2-1 consultations, menu planning, cooking workshops and group sessions covering weaning and fussy eating in children. I also run a course for people wanting to lose weight.

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Latching tips for a comfortable feed Refine your latching technique and you can really transform your breastfeeding experience. With a good latch, you can say goodbye to the 10-second sting and avoid the frustration your hungry baby feels when delicious warm milk is so close yet umpteen latches away. Babies usually know that they need to open their mouths wide enough to scoop up enough breast tissue for a comfortable latch and all you need to do is get them onto the breast quickly, before their mouth closes. It sounds simple enough so why do some mums experience pain? Here are a few simple tips that can improve your latch. Find YOUr ‘anglE OF danglE’ Once your baby has latched onto the breast, you want to see that both baby’s cheeks touch the breast evenly. This allows your baby to drain the entire breast and prevents the nipple from being pinched or compressed on the sides. In order to get this right, you need to look at where your nipples point. If they point forwards, you can position your baby ‘tummy to mummy’ and bring baby straight onto the breast. If your nipples point downward slightly and most nipples do, roll your baby back slightly, so that the lower cheek is able to connect with the breast once latched. linE YOUr BaBY UP WiTH YOUr BrEaST Ensure that your baby is at the right height in relation to the breast before latching. To do this, you want to line your baby up to the breast when your breast is at rest. Some breastfeeding cushions place baby too high, which can result in the breast dropping out of baby’s mouth or baby ‘losing’ or ‘letting go of’ the breast during the feed. Some mums feel more confident holding the breast when latching and this is fine.

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Just remember to move baby and the breast simultaneously after latching, so that you don’t alter baby’s latch. If you are large breasted and find that lifting and holding the breast feels more comfortable, try rolling up a muslin cloth and popping this under the breast right against your rib cage, to raise, support and steady it. HElPFUl Hand PlaCEMEnT Your hand placement when latching is really important. Use the opposite arm to the breast you are feeding from, to latch your baby. This will help you guide baby onto the breast and give you the speed you need to get baby onto the breast quickly and avoid 10-second latching sting. Place the ‘heal’ of your hand on baby’s upper back/spine area, your fingers spread open on baby’s cheek and your thumb just behind baby’s ear. Apply pressure to baby’s upper back and bring his or her body into the breast when latching. This allows your baby’s head to tilt back and the chin to indent your breast and pull the nipple into baby’s mouth. If your hand is on baby’s head, you will push baby’s nose into the breast and your baby will struggle to grasp the breast. gOOd SUPPOrT iS kEY A steady support which doesn’t move or slip away from you when latching or during the feed is vital. Every second counts when latching as your baby’s mouth begins to close once it has reached the widest gape. If your breastfeeding cushion moves away from you during the feed, sew ribbon onto the ends and tie these together to keep your cushion snuggly around you during the feed. Not all mums need to use a breastfeeding cushion. If your baby is small, pop baby’s

bottom in the crook of your arm with baby’s legs between the side of your body and your arm. If your baby is older or taller, sit baby’s bottom on the opposite thigh to the breast you are feeding from and tip baby over, to reach and latch onto the breast. USE a ligHTning qUiCk laTCH The quicker you bring baby onto the breast, the quicker the nipple will flick to the back of baby’s mouth, where the hard and soft palate meet. If you bring baby onto the breast slowly, you will feel a 5-10 second sting as your baby sucks the nipple into place. Ensure that your baby is really close to you before you latch. You want to see that baby’s chest is right up against yours, so that when you bring baby onto the breast, there is just a short distance to travel to the breast and baby can latch before his or her mouth closes. As with all skills, after a bit of practice, you will find what works well for you and your baby and be able to latch your baby onto the breast without even thinking about it. geraldine Miskin Founder of The Miskin Method and Breastfeeding Experience app

With a good latch, you can say goodbye to the 10-second sting and avoid the frustration your hungry baby feels when delicious warm milk is so close yet umpteen latches away.


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first aid

You don’t need to be superhuman to be a safety hero for your child q. What makes the biggest difference to preventing children suffering the pain and misery of serious injuries or death? a. The little things parents and grandparents do day in day out.

Child Safety Week 24 to 30 June 2013

down the country run by children’s centres, playgroups, childminders, schools, health centres, fire and rescue services, road safety departments. There are activities for children and parents to get involved with, demonstrations from fire and rescue and police services, car seat checking, CAPT information about preventing accidents is handed out, all to remind parents of the many simple things they can do to keep their children free from serious accidents whilst still letting them have fun. Commenting on the campaign Katrina Phillips, CAPT Chief Executive said: ‘We are often in awe of the enthusiasm and drive we see amongst parents and grandparents, and people working with children and families to keep children

The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) is celebrating the love and care that parents and grandparents throughout the country put into keeping children safer from serious accidents. CAPT is calling on parents and families this Child Safety Week to think of a few simple changes that they can make, like moving a hot drink out of reach or checking the safety gate on the stairs is shut, and see how quickly they become everyday habits that take no time at all. The week involves events up and

safe from serious accidents. That’s why this year we want Child Safety Week to celebrate the wonderful things that happen on a daily basis that often go unnoticed and without thanks. ‘We are calling on parents, grandparents and anyone caring for children to think about simple changes they can make that make such an enormous difference to the children they care about.’

We want Child Safety Week to celebrate the wonderful things that happen on a daily basis that often go unnoticed and without thanks.

Tips from the Child Accident Prevention Trust 1

safety catches suitable for all types of windows, including double-glazed.

11 children are admitted to hospital every day because it’s thought they’ve swallowed something poisonous. Remember some 3-4 year-olds can open ‘child-proof’ caps in seconds, so keep medicines and cleaning products in a locked or high cupboard, and fit safety catches to any low-level cupboards.


Hair straighteners stay hot enough to badly burn a child 8 minutes after being unplugged. So take a moment to lift them off the floor or the door handle and put them where they can’t be reached.


Every day 800 children under 5 are taken to their local A&E as a result of a fall. Safety gates are best fitted before your child starts to crawl so parents are not caught out. Fitting one on the kitchen door to keep young children out of the kitchen can help prevent burns and scalds too.


Make sure you buy a highchair and a pushchair with five-point harnesses and strap your child in every time. It’s a small step that can prevent your child suffering serious head injuries.


A number of toddlers are seriously injured or killed each year after falling from a window. Fit safety catches, window locks or window restrictors to stop your windows opening too wide. You can find


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Thick, black smoke from a fire can fill your home in minutes and kill your child in seconds. So get a smoke alarm fitted on every level of your home and test it regularly.


At least 1 young child a year dies after getting caught in a blind cord and being strangled. It takes seconds to tie yours back round a hook to keep loops out of reach of climbing children. Move children’s cots, beds and highchairs away from window blinds too.


Every year around 4,000 children under 10 are injured and 11 killed as passengers on British roads. You need to use a car seat that is right for your child’s age, weight and height. If you can, avoid buying a second hand car seat, as it may have been damaged in an accident.


In five seconds a toddler’s skin can be burned so badly by hot tap water that they need to go to hospital. So take a second to put the cold water in first and top up with hot, then test the water with your elbow, or a thermometer, to reduce the risk of your child being burned.


Warming babies’ bottles in the microwave means the milk can heat up unevenly, leaving spots of very hot milk that can scald a baby’s mouth. Ideally use a bottle warmer or jug of hot water. Whichever method you use, make sure you shake the bottle well and test the temperature on the inside of your wrist before giving it to your baby. It should feel luke-warm not hot.


A hot drink can burn a young child even 15 minutes after it has been made, so put your baby down before you pick up yours and don’t pass hot drinks over children’s heads.

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North London

PARTY SPECIAL The complete guide to having a successful children’s party

Party entertainers Party venues Party food

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It’s party time! By Joanna Moorhead

A birthday party is the high point of the year for most kids – so the pressure is on to get it right. The secret, as ever, is in the planning. But how do you find out which party is right for your child? We guide you through the options.

The traditional party What is it? An at-home for the birthday child and friends, with traditional games like pass the parcel (always a winner), pin the tail on the donkey, and musical bumps. Who’s it suitable for? Great for nursery and reception age children, but don’t neglect its values for older kids, especially girls of eight or nine who often enjoy nothing more than inviting their friends back to their house and having a girly time. The pros: It’s cheap (or at least, it certainly can be); other parents often stay to help you out, keep you company, especially if you promise a glass of prosecco to help everyone through The cons: You may need to redecorate afterwards; you’ll certainly need to do a major tidy up. It can be difficult to keep your birthday child’s siblings out of the way, which could lead to conflict. Top tips to make it work: 1. Agree ground rules with the birthday child beforehand about which rooms are in and out of bounds 2. Have a timetable for what’s happening when 3. Think about a project, eg build-a-bear kits, jewellery-making, pirate games 4. Give them chance to let off steam in the garden 5. For tea, spread a huge paper tablecloth on the floor and get them to sit around the edges of it. At the end, simply fold it up with all the rubbish inside and bin.


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The action party

The church hall party

What is it? Paintballing, go-karting, swimming, Go Ape etc

What is it? An indoor party in a hired venue

Who’s it suitable for? Older children (seven plus); kids with lots of energy who enjoy racing around

Who’s it suitable for? Children of five plus, who are confident about being left somewhere they don’t know

The pros: Your house remains intact; the kids have something to focus on, and lots of opportunities to let off steam; many children end up covered in bruises from paintballing (though they don’t seem to mind!)

The pros: A lot more space than they’d have if you were at home

The cons: It can be very expensive; although some options, eg a swimming pool party, trip to an adventure playground, can be good value Top tips to make it work: 1. If the activity is long and energetic it might be best to postpone a winter birthday party to the spring (the kids might get wet and cold as they’ll be outside for ages). 2. Take plenty of water, squash, snacks including fruit – they’ll need plenty of energy for all that running around. 3. Make ABSOLUTELY sure you’ve checked all restrictions, eg height restrictions, beforehand – there’s nothing worse than finding out on the day that one of your guests is too small to participate. 4. Make sure you get parental consent forms signed well in advance – the venue will require you to do this before they allow you in. 5. Ensure the kids wear any safety equipment at all times.

The cons: You’ll have to leave the place spotless afterwards, and pay for any damage

Top tips to make it work 1. Try to find somewhere with outdoor space as well in case it’s a lovely day. 2. Ask if you can borrow/use playgroup play equipment. 3. Have lots of help, and have tea reasonably early in the afternoon so you can get it tidied away before the end. 4. If you’ve got the budget, consider hiring an entertainer – the extra space will make it a lot more fun. 5. Musical games, dancing, discos etc are great fun in church halls.

The restaurant party What is it? A meal-based party in eg a pizza restaurant, where the kids are allowed to help or watch in the food preparation Who’s it suitable for? Older kids of eight-12; children who enjoy the chance to meet and chat more than the chance to run around

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parties The pros: At its best, it’s very civilised; you can even have a second table in the restaurant and invite some other parents along, so it’s a meal out for you as well. Children enjoy sense of being ‘grown up’ and eating out with friends The cons: It’s expensive; raucous behaviour will upset other diners

At its best, a restaurant party is very civilised; you can even have a second table in the restaurant and invite some other parents along, so it’s a meal out for you as well. Children enjoy sense of being ‘grown up’ and eating out with friends

Top tips to make it work 1. Make sure you’re booked for a time when the restaurant won’t be busy 2. A restaurant near a park, where kids can run off a bit of energy afterwards, is a good idea 3. Don’t rely on the pizza-making/ chef-watching for absolutely all the entertainment. Bring eg colouring packs or check the restaurant will provide them, and think of some easy games to play round the table, eg I-Spy, in case things flag 4. Make sure you sort out the cake arrangements beforehand; most restaurants allow you to bring your own (don’t forget the candles and matches) 5. Don’t limit yourself to chain restaurants – your local eaterie may well be prepared to accommodate your party, and may be more flexible than bigger establishments

And finally...whatever sort of party you’re having don’t neglect the party bags! Every kid, at every party, is secretly (or not so secretly!) longing for a party bag – and part of the excitement for your child is helping to put the bags together. Have a budget and stick to it – party bags can add hugely to the cost of a party – but try and limit the wasteful plastic toys that get thrown away immediately.

See our online Children’s Parties Section for more, including: 8 low cost party bags ideas: Our editorial team top tips:

A Different Party Experience by Charlotte Bennington

We take a look at some of the different parties available. Here, Charlotte from Boo Parties explains more: We are probably best known for producing quite large parties, but what a lot of people don’t know is that we also cater for the smaller private market. Whichever market we are working for our principles remain the same and we aim to create entertainment experiences that are exciting, engaging and memorable. We think that a good party should be fun and easy to organise, have lots for the children to do and look fabulous. Every child is unique so its important that your party planner is able to tailor your party to what your child enjoys. They should be able to do different things in different styles for different children of different ages. Personally we love to know as much as possible about our clients and their children so we can make their parties the best ever. One of our clients wanted her 14 year old son to stop playing on computer games and to step into one – so we built THE GAME. A giant black box was built in the client’s

garden. On the outside of the box was a large plasma screen. As they approached the black box a Games master appeared on the screen and told them the rules of THE GAME. One person at a time had to enter the game via sliding doors into a neon lit room where they took on various futuristic challenges. The remaining group could watch the action via CCTV and communicate instructions to their teammate through a microphone link. Another client asked us to produce a fairy party with a difference for his 5 year old daughter. We came up with a concept that involved the children travelling to fairyland through a secret door which transformed them into little fairies. They found themselves in a fairy forest where gigantic trees, huge butterflies and colossal flowers towered above them. They earned their very own fairy wings, before crawling down a rabbit hole and back

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to the real world. These are examples of the larger parties we have produced, but for the smaller market with have just launched Bijou Boo. Bijou Boo offers excellent value in terms of quality, style and content, drawing together all the elements we have mentioned to enable our clients to host a successful party. A fabulously designed themed area provides an amazing backdrop for a wonderful character entertainer to perform. Using props and toys pulled from an exciting activity box the entertainer puts on shows, organises games and tells stories. There’s also a fun activity zone for physical and creative free time plus quality party essentials such as tableware, tables, chairs, balloons and party bags. So big or small, we provide our clients with an exciting, engaging and memorable party. Contact Boo Parties on 020 7287 9090 or 020 8542 1480


01/05/2013 18:00

parties Top tips for planning a fancy dress party By Emma Angel, Director of Angels Fancy Dress Pick a theme. That way, guests are likely to feel more comfortable knowing that they won’t look silly, as everyone will be dressed in similar sorts of things. This also makes it a bit easier for parents helping to choose costumes for their children: sometimes there can be too much choice! A theme also allows you to plan other aspects of the party around it, whether it is the invitations, the decorations or the food. Remember that you need to give people




enough notice, so send invitations out early. Fancy dress parties obviously require a bit more preparation than normal birthday parties: everyone will thank you for the extra time. It’s a good idea to have some fun accessories at the door or in a box in case someone forgets about the dress code, or hasn’t quite entered the spirit of things! Hats, masks or novelty props are perfect for adorning un-costumed guests without embarrassing them. Finally, remember that confidence is the key to successful fancy dress – you can’t be halfhearted!

Angels Fancy Dress, 1 Garrick Road, NW9 6AA Tel: 0845 054 8854

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01/05/2013 18:00


A Parent’s View By Mel Carpigo

The demands of being a parent, and juggling the pressures of work and family life means time is of the essence. For many of us, the stress of organising a party for our little ones can remove all the enjoyment from what should be a day of celebration. With that in mind we decided to book a Stagecoach themed party as the entertainment for our daughter’s fifth birthday. With Stagecoach, you choose the date, time and the place and they will come to you either at your home, if space permits, or to a hired venue (we opted for a local church hall). Whether your children want to be fairies, princesses, pirates or detectives, there’s a Stagecoach theme for everyone. They are suitable for children aged 4-16 years and each party is specifically tailormade for each age group. Like many five-year-old girls, our daughter is somewhat obsessed with fairy princesses and it was no surprise that she opted for the knights and princesses theme. All party guests dressed-up accordingly, including the two party hosts

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from Stoke Newington Stagecoach who arrived resplendent in costume and role, immediately captivating all the partygoers with a mix of party games, storytelling, dancing and singing. Stagecoach prefer parents not to remain in the same room during the party, feeling the presence of multiple adults will inhibit the children – this gave us parents the opportunity to relax and socialise over tea and cake – bliss! We were in awe of how skillfully Melody and Paul engaged the children, a mix of boys and girls from the ages of three to nine. Even after the inevitable sugar rush generated by the abundant party food, the children were enrapt throughout As is the case with all Stagecoach parties, our daughter’s party was brought to a close with a ten-minute performance during which the children shared some of their party activities with their parents – with a special focus on the

party-girl of course. This was hugely entertaining and provided a wonderful conclusion to what was, undoubtedly, the most successful – and relaxing – party we’ve yet organised for our little one.

If you would like more information please contact Micha Blue at Stagecoach Stoke Newington, Tel: 020 7354 0367, Mobile: 07947 992 903


01/05/2013 18:00


Ten of the best children’s party venues in North London 1

Belmont Children’s Farm The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1QT £8.50 per child to include: Party room for duration of 3-hr party slot; Admission to the farm; Delicious food from the Waffle Café; Special gift for the birthday child; Free Entry for the Party child’s parents.


Castle Climbing Centre (geckos Climbing) Green Lanes London N4 2HA 020 8211 7000 Climbing parties for children aged 9 yrs and upwards. Parties for one and a half hours. 6 kids @ £180. 12 kids @£300.


Fired Treasures 143 Dollis Rd, London NW7 1JX Tel: 020 8371 6709 Various party packages available including; Pottery Painting of Money Banks, Trinket Boxes, Figurines, Plates, Mugs and Bowls. T-shirt and Bag Design. Face painting. Teddy Bear Making. Jewellery Making. Prices per head. See website for details.


gokids n20 1105 -1111 High Road Whetstone London N20 OPT Tel: 020 8445 8889 An Indoor adventure playground, offering tailor made menus in designated party areas. Children get to enjoy Multi-Level Play Frames and a Soft Play Area, as well as party bags and a special surprise gift for the birthday boy or girl at the end of the party. Extras include Face painting, Discos, Nail Painting/ Hair Braiding and Entertainers. Please check the website for further details.


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kinloch Castle (Birthday dreams) Kinloch Gardens, London N7 7LL Tel: 020 7700 2525 A unique children’s party venue within an old Victorian warehouse overlooking Kinloch Gardens. Facilities include a Magical Forest with a child sized castle and magical tree. Parents can relax in the café, whilst children are walked through the pages of a storybook to create their own magical story with on site entertainers. Please see the website for further details.

Priory Park Pavilion Crouch End, London N8 Flora Bardhoshi Tel: 07443 047785 Facilities at the newly built Pavilion include a large function room, with use of the bowling green for sports parties, bouncy castles and other outside activities. Hire costs: 1 hour – £50, 2 hours – £95, 3 hours – £135. In house catering facilities available on request (discounts on venue hire costs applicable when utilised).


The Food Clinic Muswell Hill Tel: 020 88837338 Cookery parties, where children learn how to cook a party lunch or dinner from scratch! There is a minimum charge of £300 for up to 10 children at the party, and then each additional child is £10.00. Prices include cotton aprons, which can be decorated as part of the party, and there is no need to provide a birthday cake, as children will be making a tower of cupcakes, which they will then hand decorate on the day.

little dinosaurs The Actual Workshop, The Grove, Alexandra Park, London N22 7AY Tel: 020 8444 1338 info@little A great one for under 5’s. Party packages include sole use of the Dinosaur party area for 2hrs or exclusive hire of the whole venue. Party Invitations. Arrival drinks and snacks. Dinosaur sandwiches, Pizza, Ice Cream and unlimited sugar free juice. Colouring in sheets. Party packs.


Poolside Manor Lyndhurst Gardens, Finchley, London N3 1TD Tel: 020 8349 1945 Pool parties with an excitement of games for children aged 5 and above. Friends and siblings under the age of five are welcome in the water with a designated adult to accompany them. Parties are on Saturday and Sunday afternoons for 2 hours. Three 2 hour slots available per day. See website for further details.



The Phoenix Cinema 52 High Road, East Finchley N2 9PJ Tel: 020 8442 0442 (Amanda) Children’s Parties last 3 hours on Sundays from 10am-1pm and cost £300 (inclusive of VAT and your choice of film on DVD).

01/05/2013 18:00


Party Entertainers Some of the best party entertainers for your day. Adam Ants

Charlie The Clown

Games, Magic, Balloons, Catering, Ball pond and Bouncy castle hire.

020 8959 1045

07808 732 390

Artfull Splodgers Jewellery Party 90 minutes of jewellery making fun, with a choice of over 1000 different beads and charms,

01245 225841 ww.artfullsplodgers.

A huge range of themed characters who entertain with loads of fun and lively imaginative games.

Dinky Dancers


020 7401 3572

Bollywood Birthday Parties Choreographed dance routines, funky freestyle competitions and groovy games.

07956 176 444 07956 958 666

Boo! Parties The Children’s event specialists who have spent the last 20 years expertly producing some of the best parties in town. For amazing sets to terrific entertainers, fabulous caterers to perfect party bags, Boo! will make sure it’s a day to remember.

Parties and classes with a mix of high energy music, singing, dance, PE and action for children 2 to 4 years.

01494 870014

Dramarama Stage School Unique, action-packed drama parties based on a theme chosen by the birthday child e.g. Harry Potter, Grease, Alice in Wonderland and Murder Mysteries. Performing Arts. Courses, dance, drama, singing, plays and shows. Also run action packed performing arts courses during school holidays for children from 3-16 years old, as well as Saturday morning Street Dance, Drama and Drama Exam Classes in Hampstead.

020 8446 0891

Captain Calamity (Dov Citron) Award winning children’s entertainer, workshop co-ordinator and lecturer. Runs MAD House Entertainment Ltd. Includes: Appearance as your favourite TV/Story character; Action Dances; Games; Balloon Modelling; Puppetry; Bubbles; Snow Machine; Interactive Storytelling; Magic; Plate Spinning; Limbo Dancing. CRB checked and full Public Liability Insurance.


Professional female children’s entertainer and magician.

020 8819 4797 07949 122250

Kiddikicks Football training sessions, courses and parties for under 7s.

0845 602 8276

League One Sports Academy FA Coach led Football and Sports parties full of games and tournaments. Medals or trophies can be provided for guests as ’goinghome‘ presents. Football Courses, fitness Training, ball skills and tournaments. For 5-11 year olds. Also run action packed football courses during the school holidays at: South Hampstead High School, NW3.

020 8446 0891

Little Dance Flavourz Dance routines. Games. Themes and Face Painting.


Mother Nature Science


07896 040 145

020 8863 8832

Mr Squash Fun puppetry with magic,bubbles and balloons.

Froggle Parties

Specialists in all things fairytale themed, including children’s parties and workshops. Also available as a venue hire space.

08450 504 509 07830 491 262

Giddy Diva Parties Fun packed parties for kids of all ages. Includes Pamper Parties, Karaoke, Disco, Games, Make overs and more.


Parties To Remember Will arrange a personal consultation with parent and birthday child, to discuss traditional party games that have entertained for generations.

0845 400 4000

Peek A Boo Toddles Nursery Rhymes & Sensory Fun. Dancing & Games. Drama & Disco.

07545 214987

Sally Sunshine Face Painting Fun.

07837 713 699

The Action Station Interactive storytelling parties with fantastic characters, roving magicians, circus skills, face painter and more.

0870 770 2705

The Food Clinic Cookery parties at The Food Clinic or in the comfort of your own home.

020 8883 7338

The Wheelie good Party Company Something brilliant for boys and girls. Our jeep driving adventure birthday party will prove to be the best party ever. We will bring our electric jeeps and our indoor track to a venue of your choice and produce for you and your guests the most memorable party. For children aged between 4 and 8 years. Check out our web site. www.wheeliegoodparty.

0208 8081415

Mystical Fairies

Children’s parties

Izzy Wizzy

Cool, fun and hands-on science parties for ages 4 to pre-teen.

Fun-filled parties lead by pirates, princesses, high-school cheerleaders, fairies, wizards, astronauts and many more different characters for all age ranges.

020 7287 9090 020 8542 1480

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Children’s Themed Parties

0800 234 3460

A fun and imaginative way to give people of all ages the opportunity to record a single and star in a professional photo shoot, all in the comfort of their own home.

Charlie offers a variety of entertainment for children of all ages.

07947 470046

on children’s birthdays and baby showers.

020 7431 1888

Paper Hat Parties Tailor-made arts and craft tea parties for all ages, but with an emphasis

If you book one of these entertainers don’t forget to mention you found them in Families North London magazine! If you have your own party entertainment business and wish to advertise with us please contact adverts@


01/05/2013 18:00

annabel karmel party food

Party Food Party food can be as wild and whacky as you want it, a real excuse to let out your inner child and make food with as much embellishment as you like. Princess Party Cookbook, Ebury Press

Flower Pot Cakes from Princess Party Cookbook, Ebury Press, £12.99

Makes 4 Chocolate Cakes 110 g (4 oz) butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing 110 g (4 oz) golden caster sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp of vanilla extract 85 g (3 oz) self-raising flour 4 tbsp cocoa powder Pinch of salt decoration 280 g (10 oz) ready-made light brown regal icing, or 280 g (10 oz) ready-made white royal icing coloured brown by mixing together yellow, red and black food colouring

3 tbsp apricot jam 100 g (3½ oz) white chocolate 20 g (¾ oz) desiccated coconut Yellow and orange M&Ms Some drops of green food colouring or ½ tsp Japanese green tea powder 8 wooden skewers Icing sugar, for dusting You will also need 4 dariole moulds, a 900 g (2 lb) loaf tin, a star or flower shaped cookie cutter (about 4 cm/2 in), a tear shaped cookie cutter and some baking parchment Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) Fan 160 C. Grease 4 Dariole moulds and line the bases with circles of baking parchment.


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Grease the loaf tin and line with baking parchment. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla then beat into the butter mixture a little at a time. Sift over the flour, cocoa and salt and fold in well. Divide between the prepared moulds to half-full. The remaining mixture goes into the loaf tin; spread it evenly, about 1 cm (½ in) thick. Place the dariole moulds and the loaf tin in the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes until risen and firm. Allow to cool and then remove from the dariole moulds and the loaf tin to a wire rack until completely cold. Using a rolling pin, roll out the light brown royal icing to make 20 x 30cm (8 x 12 in) rectangle. Using a sharp knife and a ruler, cut the icing to fit around the sides of the dariole cakes, so they look like pots – about 5-6cm (2-2½ in), depending on how high the cakes are – then make four thin strips, about 1.5cm (1 in) for the pot rims. Re-roll the trimmings to make the strips, if necessary. Warm the apricot jam gently in a small pan and brush the sloped sides of the dariole cakes with the jam. Wrap the brown icing around the cakes, and gently press to help the icing to stick to the cake. Trim away the excess. Attach the strips of icing to make a rim on each flowerpot, using a little water if necessary. Using a cookie cutter, cut out four flower shapes and leaves from the loaf-tin cake. Break the white chocolate into small pieces and melt over a bowl of simmering water. Dip one side of the flower cakes into the chocolate and cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with coconut of top and place an M&M in the centre. Add some drops of the green food colouring or the green tea powder to the rest of the melted chocolate. Dip the leaves into the green chocolate and set aside to harden. To serve, attach the flower and the leaves to the pot using wooden skewers (remove skewers before eating).

Tropical Smoothie Delicious fruits grow on tropical islands – mango, pineapple, vanilla and coconut. Whizzed together they make a luscious smoothie, perfect for sipping on the beach. You could add a squeeze of lime juice but I like the creamy sweetness of this recipe. The mangoes do need to be ripe. You can freeze the mango and banana to make a thicker drink or just use the fruit unfrozen.

Makes 2 portions (easily increased) 1 small banana, peeled and sliced into 2cm chunks 1 large, very ripe mango – peeled, pitted and cut into 2cm chunks 200ml (7fl oz) pineapple juice 2 tbsp vanilla yoghurt 2 tbsp coconut milk 1-2 tsp honey (to taste) Slices of fresh pineapple, maraschino cherries and umbrellas, to decorate Put the mango and banana in a resealable bag and freeze for 3-4 hours, until firm. (This makes a thicker drink, but you can use the fruit unfrozen, if you prefer.) Put the fruit chunks, pineapple juice, yoghurt, coconut milk and 1 tsp honey in a blender and whiz until smooth. Taste and add the extra teaspoon of honey if needed. Pour into chilled glasses and decorate with slices of pineapple, maraschino cherries and umbrellas to serve. Party planning – the fruit can be prepared and frozen up to 1 week in advance.

01/05/2013 18:00

annabel karmel party food


Coconut Prawn Skewers

Mini Pizza Faces

Succulent seafood is a mainstay of the islands and perfect for a BBQ as they cook quickly. I have threaded some red onions on to the skewers to make them look a bit more interesting, but you can leave them out if you prefer. If you butterfly the prawns (make a deep cut down the back) they curve nicely. Leave the tails on for a more attractive presentation.

ingredients Half a small red onion, chopped (25g) 2 tsp olive oil 1 tbsp tomato puree 2 tsp sundried tomato paste 1 tbsp later 2 English muffins 2 tbsp Sweetcorn 2 slices of ham 2 5g Mozzarella or grated Cheddar Suggested Toppings (enough for 2 pizzas) mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in 1 tsp olive oil 1 ring pineapple, diced stoned black olives, thinly sliced baby courgette, thinly sliced and sautéed in 1 tsp olive oil sunblush tomatoes, diced 1 rasher cooked bacon, crumbled Strips of sweet pepper Mini Face Pizza

Makes 8 skewers 100ml (3½ fl oz) creamed coconut Juice 1/2 lime 2 tsp soy sauce 2 tsp sweet chilli sauce, or honey 1 tsp grated fresh ginger 1 clove garlic, crushed 16 extra large raw prawns (approx. 300g/11oz), shells removed and de-veined. 1 red onion, cut into thin wedges (optional) Lime wedges, to serve You will also need 8 wooden skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes. Mix together the coconut milk, lime, soy and sweet chilli sauces, ginger and garlic with a little freshly ground black pepper. Add the prawns and toss to coat, then cover and marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours, or preferable overnight. Remove the prawns from the marinade. Thread 1 piece of red onion onto a skewer (if using), followed by a prawn, another piece of red onion, a second prawn and finally a third piece of red onion. Barbecue the skewers over medium-hot coals for 3 minutes, then turn and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the prawns are pink and cooked through and the red onions are soft. The skewers can also be cooked under a grill that has been pre-heated to high. Serve with lime wedges.

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In a move to make mealtimes more manageable for busy mums and dads, the UK’s number one parenting author and expert on baby and child nutrition Annabel Karmel launches the first in her ‘Quick and Easy’ series: Quick and Easy Toddler Recipes. Annabel is giving away a signed copy of the new book to three lucky readers. To enter go to

Its easy to make your own ‘Healthy Fast Food’ like this mini pizza which uses split toasted muffins for the pizza base. Let your child choose his own favourite toppings and he may like to decorate it with a face. Method Heat the olive oil and sauté the onion for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the tomato puree, sun dried tomato paste and water and season to taste with salt and pepper. Split the muffins and toast. Preheat the grill to high and spread the tomato sauce over the muffins. Sprinkle over the ham and sweetcorn and cover with the grated cheese. Preheat the grill to high. Cook the pizzas for 4 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and golden. Decorate with your favourite toppings. Allow to cool slightly before serving. information Makes 2 mini pizzas

If you don’t have time, you can just as much fun ‘accessorising’ food you have bought with funny faces or cut into different shapes; there is no end to the fun you can have with party food, and that is just the adults making it! Get the kids involved deciding on a theme and making food to go with it, or have a cooking party, my kids used to love doing this and all the kids would make their own toppings for pizza or decorate cupcakes.


01/05/2013 18:00


It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to… By Maryanne Taylor, Child Sleep Works

You spent the morning cutting cucumber and carrot sticks and putting the last minute touches to the birthday cake, and the afternoon enduring Mr Magic’s loud antics and ensuring that all children are fed and in one piece by the time their parents come to collect them at 5 o’clock. So you get home, unload the car, go inside and start getting the dinner ready, surrounded by 30 wrapped items of varying shapes and sizes, plus a child clearly on some kind of adrenalin rush, dashing around the house looking like what can only be described as a scene from a movie on a constant fast forward setting. An overload of excitement, sugar and presents has caused a level of giddiness which has been unparalleled in its strength since that first taste of chocolate cake. The question now is how do we get from this high intensity scenario to one of calm,

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quiet, relaxed child lying in bed on the verge of sleep within the next hour and a half? The key element – as is it on any other day – is the all-important wind-down routine leading up to bedtime, which is essential in bridging the gap between giddy excitement and calm relaxation. Here is my suggested step-by-step plan for reducing adrenaline levels: • Move all the wrapped shapes to another room out of sight to be dealt with another day and in a manner of your choosing – some people choose a grand unwrapping ceremony of all of them at the same time, or a few at a time over a longer period; • Depending on how much non-sugar food types were consumed by the birthday hero/ heroine at the party, see if you can get some form of dinner into him/her – if all else fails, maybe just a yoghurt and a piece of fruit, if for no other reason than to make you feel like you’ve provided at least some form of dinner; • Get your child into a warm bath straight after dinner to start the wind-down process. Try and keep the bath as calm and relaxed as possible, keeping the splashing hysterics to a minimum; • Make sure your child’s bedroom is warm with dim lighting and after the bath, all the routine should take place in his/her bedroom; • The tone of your voice should be more lowkey while you are getting your child ready for bed and keep interaction with him/her as unfussy as possible; • If your child is drinking milk at bedtime, sit in a chair with him/her and let him drink in quiet; • After milk, include stories or songs that soothe, rather than stimulate, and avoid scary stories. • Leave plenty of time for this as your child

The question now is how do we get from this high intensity scenario to one of calm, quiet, relaxed child lying in bed on the verge of sleep within the next hour and a half? may need a little longer to wind-down before getting into bed after the excitement of the day. If you rush it, your child will sense this and will more than likely seek extra attention when you put him/her down to sleep. For older children: • Make sure the rules for how many stories and how long you are reading are clear and non-negotiable. Explain this before you start reading. • Give your child a warning a minute or two before story time is due to finish saying something like ‘We have a few more pages in this book and then we will turn the light off to go to sleep’. • It is also a good idea to help a child feel involved in their own bedtime, so you might suggest that they switch off the light themselves as part of their bedtime routine. And so we reach the ultimate goal, a relaxed child lying in their bed ready to drop off to sleep. Or so we hope… The next question is, what if they don’t just drift off to sleep and that little angelic head pops up a short time after making it clear that sleep is not forthcoming?? We will look at that in the next article, but in the meantime, just be relieved that the joy of the birthday party is over for another year!

01/05/2013 18:00

Issue 101 Mar/Apr 2013


North London

Spring issue Pregnancy Special Annabel Karmel Easter Guide


North London PLUS Win a scholarship to theatre school!

Be seen in North London’s leading family magazine. Join our growing list of advertisers and enjoy their success. Place your advert for our Summer issue today.

• Bespoke sweet tables for all occasions • Choice of sweets and colour co-ordinated

July/august 2013 (deadline 20th June, 2013) Call us on 020 8202 2034 or email:

Contact Tara:

07961 350822

Don’t forget to say you saw the advert in Families North! ORIGINAL HANDPAINTED MURALS

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Competitions for May/June To enter all our great competitions, including a chance to win a Zapf Swim Doll and a great reward chart from Kiddycharts, log-on to competitions. Good luck! SALLY SUNSHINE FACE PAINTING FUN !

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07572 634 991

Peek A Boo

Toddler & Children’s Parties

We will give your child and their friends an unforgettable and exciting party to remember 1hr party £100 • 2hr party £150 Toddler nursery rhymes & sensory fun 1-3yrs Dancing & Games for 3-6yrs Drama & Disco parties for 6-12yrs

020 8542 1480


07545 214987 Peek-a-boo.indd 1 families_north_issue_102_artwork.indd 19

Parties run by Claudia Chapman BA honours degree in Performing Arts PGCE teacher qualified CRB checked

19 17/04/2013 12:26 01/05/2013 18:01


SATs – The inside story... and how to survive them

With the Key Stage 2 Sats on their way, for those with primary children, it may be helpful to understand what they are, how to best prepare for them and survive them!

By Lorrae Jaderberg

grammar, punctuation and spelling and mathematics. Schools may also choose to carry out administer level 6 versions of these tests. If your child is sitting the year 6 Key Stage 2 SATs and achieves level 4, they are working at an average level for their age group and have achieved the national targets. Level 5 suggests an able or gifted child, whereas level 3 is below average and indicates your child is working below average expectations and needs more help to develop their confidence and learning to a standard which is appropriate for their potential. Children’s progress, as well as their achievement, will be measured and reported in the schools’ performance tables. Teacher assessments will be passed on to secondary schools so they can be used in planning for Year 7 teaching. Pupils who are ill on the day of a KS2 SATs test will be able to sit it within a week, until now they were asked to sit the test within two days. Headteachers will consider a child’s expected attainment before entering them for the level 6 tests; they should already be showing attainment above level 5 for this to be considered. Your child must achieve a level 5 in the level 3-5 test and pass the corresponding level 6 test in the same year, to be awarded an overall level 6 result. If your child does not pass the level 6 test, they will be awarded the level achieved in the level 3-5 test. This year, there will not be a Key Stage 2 science sampling test, instead a new, every other year, pupil-level sampling system, will be introduced in 2014.

Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) take place at the end of each Key Stage in state schools: at end of Year 2 and Year 6. Following a review of KS2 SATs, a number of changes have been made to the Year 6 test, with the aim of making it fairer for all children. Recommendations were made for a greater focus on the progress children make throughout the school year, rather than a test-day snapshot of what they know. There is also greater emphasis on the value of teacher. The new statutory test of English grammar, punctuation and spelling has been introduced for children at the end of Key Stage 2. The introduction of this new test reflects the Government’s beliefs that children should have mastered these important aspects of English by the time they leave primary school, and that appropriate recognition should be given to good use of English throughout their schooling, which some feel has been ignored over the past ten years. Handwriting will not be tested. Additionally, your child’s teacher will assess the writing composition. So your child’s English writing will be a judgment of their work across Year 6. Their grammar, punctuation and spelling skills will be assessed as part of their writing, along with their creativity and writing style, which will also be evaluated. Speaking and listening will continue to be teacher assessed, whereas maths and reading tests will continue to be marked externally. Schools will be required to carry out level 3-5 tests in: English reading, English

Test dates The 2013 Key Stage 2 tests will take place from 13-17 May. Date Level 3-5 tests

Level 6 tests

Monday 13 May

English reading test

English reading test

Tuesday 14 May

English grammar, punctuation and spelling test

English grammar, punctuation and spelling test

Wednesday 15 May

Mental mathematics test

Mathematics – Test A

Thursday 16 May

Mathematics – Test B

Mathematics – Paper 1 Mathematics – Paper 2


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If you wish to help prepare your child it is helpful to find out what level your child is working at by asking your child’s class teacher. Reporting the results of the grammar, punctuation and spelling test in 2013 The results will be reported to you in a variety of ways. Your child will receive separate test results for grammar, punctuation and spelling, reading and maths, whereas your child’s writing will be assessed by their teacher. The results of each test and assessment will also be published separately and there will not be a combined overall English level. This will enable schools, parents and the wider public to make informed judgments about a school’s performance, based on each subject area. The basic standard measure in 2013 will be for at least 60 per cent of pupils to attain level 4 in reading, writing and mathematics. The new grammar, punctuation and spelling test will not be included in the calculation this year. The Reading Test The level 3-5 English reading test will follow the same structure as previous years and consists of: a reading booklet containing around three or four texts based on a single theme and a reading answer booklet comprising approximately 35 questions (totalling 50 marks) Children have 15 minutes to read the reading booklet and 45 minutes to answer the questions in the answer booklet. They may refer back to the texts in the reading booklet throughout the test. The questions will be: shorter, closed response items, such as multiple choice and matching questions and longer, more open response types that require children to explain and comment on the texts in order to demonstrate a full understanding. Questions will be worth 1, 2 or 3 marks. At level 6 there will be: a reading booklet containing around three or

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A number of changes have been made to the Year 6 test, with the aim of making it fairer for all children. Recommendations were made for a greater focus on the progress children make throughout the school year, rather than a test-day snapshot of what they know. four texts based on a single theme and a reading answer booklet comprising approximately 25 questions (totalling 30-35 marks) Children will be given ten minutes to read the reading booklet and 50 minutes to answer the questions in the answer booklet. They may refer back to the texts in the reading booklet throughout the test. As in the level 3-5 test, the questions will be: shorter, closed response items, such as multiple choice and matching questions and longer, more open response types that require children to explain and comment on the texts in order to demonstrate a full understanding. Questions will be worth 1, 2, 3 or 4 marks. The Maths Test The level 3-5 mathematics test consists of: Test A – a non-calculator paper, lasting 45 minutes; Test B – a calculator available paper, lasting 45 minutes and a mental mathematics test – lasting 20 minutes. Children’s marks from all three tests are aggregated to calculate their overall mathematics level. Children will need the following equipment for Test A and Test B: a pen and pencil; a ruler (showing centimetres

and millimetres); an angle measurer; a mirror and tracing paper. A calculator will be required for Test B and this does not need to be a scientific calculator. Schools will usually provide this equipment for the tests. The level 6 mathematics test consists of: Paper 1 – a non-calculator paper, lasting 30 minutes and Paper 2 – a calculator available paper, lasting 30 minutes. Children’s marks from both tests are aggregated to determine whether they are performing at level 6 in mathematics. Children will need the following equipment for the test: a pen and pencil; a ruler (showing centimetres and millimetres); an angle measurer; a pair of compasses; a mirror and tracing paper. A calculator is required for Paper 2 (a scientific calculator is recommended but not required). Again, schools will usually provide this equipment. The results are usually out in early July and are often shared with parents in end of year reports. SATs exam results are used by schools to measure performance and the average year 6 child is expected to get a level 4b in maths and English. The teacher assessments are passed onto secondary schools and are

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often used to support ‘setting’ children into ability groups in year 7. If you wish to help prepare your child it is helpful to find out what level your child is working at by asking your child’s class teacher. Try and get specific feedback which you can work on. For example, if you want to help your child with maths, and then ask the teacher which topics you should revise to help improve your child’s level. In writing is helpful, a few bullet points make it

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education easier to refer back to it to see if you are covering the right topics. There’s no point in guessing what your child should be doing because if the works too easy then your child isn’t learning anything and if it’s too hard then you’ll end up getting frustrated and losing patience. The key is to cover topics at the right level for your child. Once you have determined what level of work you should be doing, then it’s time to practise the skills needed to improve. Little and often is best, for example doing 20 minutes three times a week is better than doing an hour every so often. Repetition is really important and you should go over the same topic

many times. Sometimes your child will understand immediately, however at other times it may take weeks to understand a subject. Although frustrating at times, with perseverance, it will eventually happen. English skills need practising; with the introduction of the new spelling, punctuation and grammar exams, this is now essential. These skills need to be embedded in your child’s long-term memory. For example to help your child remember a spelling, the ‘Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check’ method works well for all children. Divide an A4 lined sheet of paper into 4 columns folded. Write the word in the far left column, look at it, say

it, cover it by folding backwards, write it in the next column from memory and then check it’s right. If it is, then repeat the exercise until all three columns have been filled in correctly. Then go on to the next word. Each new word should be divided phonetically – so ‘receipt’ would be ‘re/’ + ‘ceipt’ noticing the ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ rule, and a silent ‘p’. Continue the practising by using these words in sentences and in stories; put the words in alphabetical order; think of rhyming words; draw pictures to illustrate the words or write out the words in different colours. All are excellent strategies for learning and practising new spellings. And finally.... Children need plenty of good food, relaxation and sleep before and during SATs. Relaxing in between tests and in the evenings is important and will help concentration and nerves during the tests.

Further inForMation There are some useful Y6 SATs teaching and practice resources available from individual publishers on-line, in book stores and from Amazon. Here are a selection we have used with students and have been very successful. Check that the English tests are from 2012 onwards; otherwise they will not include the new English grammar tests: • Schofield and Sims – Key Stage 2 maths and English revision guides. • CGP – Key Stage 2 maths and English ‘Buster’ series for practice and practice tests. • Letts – maths and English revision guides and practice tests for levels 3-5 and level 6.

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Bright Little Stars Dropping your baby off to nursery for the first time can stir many emotions. Leaving your precious bundle of joy with strangers can be traumatic and stressful. For many parents it’s the reality that their child is growing up and has different needs which they can’t necessarily get at home. For others in this current climate parents don’t have the financial means to be at home fulltime. The feeling of guilt and anxiety can be overwhelming which is why it is important to find the right nursery that creates a warm and safe atmosphere. Bright Little Stars nursery in Mill Hill shares this vision. It provides a nurturing and educational environment where children can learn and develop to their full potential. When looking for a nursery most parents look for somewhere that gives their child the

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same level of attention they would give them. Bright Little Stars offers modern facilities crucial to help a child in early learning. Its sensory room for younger babies is just one example of how innovative toys can help babies engage and interact at a young age. The nursery is managed by Mandy Fieldstead, a graduate in Childhood Studies and Early Years Professional Status, with ten years of experience in childcare. She leads a talented team which is well-trained and passionate about providing children with rich learning experiences and equips them with social skills and development opportunities for the next stage in their life. Just one testimony from a new mother sums up the positive impact on her child’s life so far: ‘I was looking for a place that would give my son the care and attention that I would give him. Bright Little Stars does just that and more. It’s just what every parent wants – high standards and excellent activities, a place that is safe and feels like home.’

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special needs

By Lorrae Jaderberg

Autism Spectrum Disorders, or Conditions, (ASD or ASC) are lifelong disabilities that at their core, affect a person’s social and communication abilities. People with autism may engage in repetitive actions, or have specific interests or thoughts that can dominate their lives. Some people with autism find their sensory world strange and even anxiety provoking. Autism may present a range of challenges in making sense of the world; however it can also give people some advantages, such as with memory or concentration on tasks. Identified more than fifty years ago, autism affects around one percent of UK children and adults, which is approximately 600,000 people in the UK. Many of these are undiagnosed and without support. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls. Autism affects people of all racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. It is a spectrum condition, which means that, while all people with

autism share certain difficulties, their condition will affect them in different ways. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives, whereas others may have accompanying learning disabilities and need long-term specialist support. People with autism may also experience over, or under sensitivity to the senses: sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours. The autism spectrum is very broad. Some children have no language, intellectual difficulties and do not engage with others, whereas others (with Asperger Syndrome) may have very good or even advanced language skills, but find social behaviour rules difficult to understand. In addition to some of the cognitive and behavioural difficulties, many children on the autism spectrum may have additional medical conditions such as epilepsy, sleep difficulties and mental health problems. Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language. High-functioning autism and Asperger syndrome are both part of the ‘autism spectrum’. The main difference between the two is thought to be in language development: people with Asperger syndrome, typically, will not have had delayed language development when younger. What causes autism? Research suggests that autism is


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likely to be caused predominantly by genetic effects; however there may be environmental factors that play a role. Recent research discovered that some genes increase the risk of a person developing autism, but the genetic causes of the majority of people with autism, are unknown. The genes that have so far been identified seem to play an important role in brain development, particularly in synaptic development. Synapses are areas across which cells in the brain communicate with each other. Research has not yet identified a direct causal link between any environmental factor and autism (including vaccinations), although risk for developing autism has been associated with factors such as parental age. There are currently no biological tests to confirm a diagnosis of autism. Identification at present is based solely on observed behaviours. Many parents and adults struggle to get a diagnosis and there is often a delay of years between the time of first concerns and finally receiving a diagnosis. There

There are currently no biological tests to confirm a diagnosis of autism. Identification at present is based solely on observed behaviours. Many parents and adults struggle to get a diagnosis and there is often a delay of years between the time of first concerns and finally receiving a diagnosis.

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special needs Research suggests that autism is likely to be caused predominantly by genetic effects; however there may be environmental factors that play a role. Recent research discovered that some genes increase the risk of a person developing autism, but the genetic causes of the majority of people with autism, are unknown.

are concerns that girls are not being diagnosed due to the questions in the questionnaires that parents and school staff are asked to complete, which may be biased due to the types of questions. There is no known ‘cure’ for autism. Our understanding of autism has grown tremendously since it was first identified in the 1940s, and as we learn more about the condition, more interventions will undoubtedly become available. Because autism is a ‘spectrum’ disorder and it affects different people in different ways, it is therefore very difficult to generalise about how a person with autism will develop over time. It is particularly important to realise that an intervention which works well with one individual may not be appropriate or effective with another. The symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations. Both children and adults can exhibit any combination of autistic behaviours in varying degrees of severity. This means that two children, both with the same diagnosis, can act very differently from one another and have varying skills. For example some children and adults with autism may make eye contact, show affection, smile and laugh, and demonstrate a variety of other emotions. Some go on to hold down responsible employment, have relationships with others, marry and have children. Like anyone else, people with autism respond to their environment in both positive and negative ways and change as they

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mature. Many people with autism have an ability to focus on detail and may have good powers of concentration on a single activity provided it is of interest to them. This means they can often achieve a very high level of skill in a particular area. Children with autism can be especially good at learning facts, skills and talents. People with autism tend to be very honest and, if communication skills develop, will report things very accurately and openly. Interventions While children with autism are not ‘curable’ they can be helped, especially if their autism is diagnosed early in life. Various types of early intervention for autism and other developmental disorders exist and may be available locally. These include: • Child Development Centre groups (accessed via the diagnostic team or health authority) • Portage Services (usually accessed via the local authority’s education department) • Hanen Programs (run by specially trained speech and language therapists who can be contacted via the Health Authority) • Playgroups, including those run by the Pre-school Learning Alliance • Nursery classes, general or resourced for special needs (run by the local education authority) Support strategies Making sure homework is suitable for your child If your child is having difficulties with homework, talk with your child’s class

teacher. If the teacher doesn’t have much experience of autism it could also help to give school staff some information about autism spectrum disorders. The National Autistic Society has produced a pack for school staff to download from their website called: Autism spectrum disorders: a resource pack for school staff. Ask about the topics that the class is studying and make sure the teacher is planning homework that suits your child’s level. If you feel the homework is too easy or too hard, don’t be frightened to mention it. If the teacher does not adapt the homework, your next step is to discuss this with the SENCO, head teacher, head of year or head of department – whoever is most appropriate at your child’s school. The school has a duty under the Disability Discrimination Act to make reasonable adjustments for any pupil with a disability. If your child has a statement of educational needs and you don’t have anything written into the statement about adjustments to be made for homework, you could ask for an annual review to change the statement and get this included. Bullying Children with autism can be at more risk of being bullied. One study of 400 children with Asperger syndrome found that the children were at least four times more likely to be bullied than their peers (Attwood, 2005). This is often because the different ways in which children with autism communicate and interact may become more apparent to their peer group,


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special needs bullies suggest things. It can often be something that can hurt the child with autism or get them into trouble with school staff. A child with autism is an easy target in the playground as they often prefer to play alone in the playground. As a result, other children find it easy to pick on them as they do not have a support structure around them. Other children may also pick on children with autism if they see them doing ‘odd’ things such as hand flapping, walking along lines in the pavestones, or making inappropriate comments.

especially as they get older. As children with autism find it hard to read facial expressions and body language, they can’t tell when someone is being friendly or if they are trying to hurt them. They also find it hard to put themselves in someone else’s place and therefore don’t understand another child’s intentions. Children with autism may appear to be naïve and trusting, unable to discriminate between friendly approaches and those approaches which are intended to wind them up. Some children with autism will try to fit into their peer group by doing things other children suggest when

Being a bully Children with autism can also become a bully themselves. Some children will become aggressive when a game is not being played the way they want and will try to take control of the situation. They may also become frustrated at being left out in the playground and try to make children become friends with them. A child with autism may also show sudden changes in behaviour, which may be due to bullying at school. This may include increased anxiety,

A child with autism is an easy target in the playground as they often prefer to play alone in the playground. As a result, other children find it easy to pick on them as they do not have a support structure around them. How can I help a child with autism at my school? There are various approaches and strategies that teachers and support staff can use, these include: Visual aids: Many children with autism find it easier to understand the world about them through visual aids. Teachers may use a visual timetable showing times and simple drawings of the activities, so that the pupil knows exactly what they will be doing and when. Many schools use computer software packages to write out stories, descriptions and instructions in both words and symbols simultaneously. Other visual supports include written lists, objects and calendars to help children understand sequence and predict what is happening. Comic Strip Conversations: These assist children with autism to develop greater social understanding, by providing visual representations of the different levels of communication that take place in a conversation, using symbols, stick figure drawings and colour. By seeing the different parts of a conversation visually presented, some of the abstract aspects of social communication (e.g. recognising the feelings and intentions of others) are made more concrete and are therefore easier for the child to understand. Social stories: Children with autism who can read may be taught how to cope with different situations using the technique of social


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stories. Stories are written for the individual child, explaining in words and pictures, step by step, what will happen in situations where they may feel anxious and how they should cope with situations they find difficult. For instance, a social story might be used to explain what a child should do on a train journey or when they go shopping. Social skills: Some children with autism respond well to role play activities to help them learn social skills such as greetings, taking turns in conversations and looking for cues in social skills groups. A Circle of Friends or buddy system can also help a child with autism understand the social world of their classroom and the playground. Circle of Friends: Circle of Friends encourages the development of a support network for a child in a structured setting, which can also extend to outside of this setting. Over the course of meetings and after the evaluation of set targets, it is hoped that the child will be able to build closer and better relationships with other children. Six to eight children are chosen as volunteers to form the Circle of Friends. Through a series of meeting they help the focus child to express his or her feelings and decrease anxiety levels. This can lead to improved social integration and higher levels of peer contact. The Picture Communication Exchange System (PECS): PECS is a commonly used

increased difficulty in sleeping or outbursts at home. Some children with autism may mimic the acts of bullies at home by bullying their siblings because they don’t understand that such behaviour is unacceptable. To them, they are simply acting out what their peers are doing. approach to teach children who have limited language. Teachers use pictures as symbols to teach children the names of different objects. Gradually the child is taught to exchange a picture for the object he or she wants, to construct simple sentences using the pictures, and indicate choices between various objects. TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication handicapped Children): This approach is widely used within special schools and can be adapted for use within a mainstream setting. It focuses on altering the environment and using visual supports, such as timetable and schedules, to help provide structure, reduce stress and improve understanding. Children are given clear instructions for every stage of an activity, usually presented in a visual way. Much can be achieved to make life less challenging with appropriate education and support. It is crucial that there are services in place to meet the needs of the half a million people with autism in the UK today.

Useful websites to learn more and for help:

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special needs

Autism: a mum’s view Becoming a mum aged 24 was so exciting. When I was 25 I became a mum for the second time. The excitement lasted for the few seconds after birth before I saw my daughter; she was born

unexpectedly with Down’s syndrome. A year later my 2 yr old son was diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder. As a mother you instinctively learn to anticipate the unexpected, but this kind of unexpected, twice, can be too much for anyone to bear. I spent the early years engrossed in deeprooted feelings of denial and sadness. I felt ashamed that soon after my daughter’s birth I harbored prejudice thoughts and spent my time desperately trying to handle similar traits inflicted upon me by the many people that I encountered. I felt alone and in unfamiliar territory. Not only was I responsible for parenting two children with special needs, I was supposed to instinctively know how to navigate the school system, fight for my children’s rights and then at the end of the day, sleep at night, totally at peace with my emotional pain regarding their circumstances. When it was suggested by my publisher to document my personal journey, up to that point there had never been a consideration for me to share my story. Yet when the opportunity arose to write, I embraced the emotional rollercoaster I was on and through sharing my pain I have been able to face my demons and analyse attitudes and prejudice that had plagued me for so long. Ultimately, writing my story has liberated me. A Brief Moment in Time shares my

experiences facing the trauma of two different diagnoses, the challenges I overcame both socially and educationally and ultimately how, as a family, we made it through. Through telling my story, I hope to empower and inspire other parents that face the same challenges as we do and to provide an insight to our world for the relatives and friends who are very often, at a loss of how to support griefstricken parents.

A Brief Moment in Time is available for download from For more information: @SpecialEd4mums Deborah is kindly offering a consultation, by email, for one Families North London reader. Please contact editor@familiesnorth. with your own contact details and a brief summary of your problems and we will pass them on to Deborah.


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Fostering May sees the annual fostering fortnight campaign kick into overdrive. Here we have an inspiring story of the hope and positivity offering a child a home can bring. It is above all a richlyrewarding but ultimately life-altering decision. Read on to find out if fostering could be for you and let us know at This year Foster Care Fortnight™, the UK’s biggest fostering campaign, will run from Monday 13 to Sunday 26 May. With more and more children coming

Fostering – The Facts What is fostering? • Fostering is about looking after a child who cannot live with their parents. • The child will be living in your home for a period of time that could range from a few days to several months or, in some cases, several years. • Foster care is about enabling children who are in public care to have the same opportunities to fulfil their potential as children who live with their parents. Who can become a foster carer? • We welcome applicants from all sections of the community and all ethnic and religious groups. Children in Camden come from a wide range of backgrounds and need to be fostered in a family that closely reflects their birth family. • You can be single. • You don’t have to be married or be in a civil partnership. • You don’t have to own your home. • You need to have a spare bedroom for the child or young person to stay in. Requirements: • Foster carers must be domiciled in the UK. • Police checks: some offences may prevent a person from fostering. Our expectation is for applicants to be honest. • Medical checks: you need to be in good general health (eg weight, smoking). • We require written references eg employment, local authority. • We interview referees, including a family member. We may also need to contact ex-partners.


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into care in need of a stable foster home, and with the numbers rising for a sixth year in a row, the Fostering Network is asking people to ‘Get in the frame’ this Foster Care Fortnight™ and consider becoming a foster carer. The need is greater than ever. Figures published by the Fostering Network have shown that over 9,000 new foster families are needed in 2013 alone. If more people don’t come forward to foster it will be even harder for fostering services to find the right homes for children, who will suffer even more disruption and trauma than they already have as a result. People who want to find out more about fostering should contact their local fostering service, call Fosterline on 0800 040 7675 or visit www.couldyoufoster.

My foster carer will always be in my life…she has made me who I am today You never really know what kind of impact you can have in a child’s life, until you are already in their life. Crystal was just eleven when she first went into care, and had three carers in the space of eight years. Today, she’s twenty one years old and independent. Her story is just a brief glimpse into what a foster carer can help a child achieve, with just a little patience and a lot of care. My dad passed away when I was six, and five years later, I saw my mum die from thrombosis. I remember being taken to hospital, and the doctor coming out and announcing that she had died. I was hysterical, and I felt all alone in the world. I was put in emergency foster care that night. Going into foster care was absolutely terrifying. I had just lost both my parents and didn’t even know what foster care meant. My social worker sat with me in the car outside my first foster carer’s home for hours, before I got the courage to finally go in, but even then I spent the whole weekend in my room. Everything was really scary and I just wanted some time alone. I eventually came around, and stayed with my first foster carer for a good year. Unfortunately my school was a long way from her home and the distance was just too far for me to commute so social services decided to move me to my next placement. I can’t remember much about the second placement other than that I hated it. I felt like I was a boarder and I don’t think the foster carer’s own kids really understood why I was there. I’m pretty sure the youngest thought I was there to take her mum away from her. Within six months,

I was calling my social worker and asking her to move me. That’s when she found me Lynn. I went for a trial weekend visit first. As soon as I walked into Lynn’s house with my social worker, I just had this remarkable feeling of warmth wash all over me. It was the most amazing weekend because I met almost the whole family, and got to play with all the grandkids. When it came time for me to leave on Sunday, I was already eager to stay at Lynn’s forever. When I moved in with Lynn, it was like I had a family again. I didn’t feel like I was in care. Her entire family did everything with me, such as family holidays, dinners and outings. It’s things like that that matter. She made me feel loved, wanted and cared for. Of course we had our ups and downs. I was thirteen when I moved in with her, so I was your typical stroppy teenager. But she’s always said I was never a bad kid. She made me who I am today. She got me through school and she’s even still on my case now, about what I want to do. She always sits down with me to talk through my ideas. She’ll always be in my life. Becoming a foster carer is obviously a massive step. Just be yourself, get to know the child and make some space in your life for them. Find out their interests, and let them find out yours. Get your family involved too. When I was living with Lynn, her grandsons got me to meet their friends, and through them I made my own friends in the area. People need to consider the pros and cons of fostering, and how their life will change. But if you have thought about it properly, and have all your support mechanisms in place, I think you should just go for it!

To find out more about fostering in the Barnet area please visit email or call 020 8359 6274.

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A foster carer’s view Natalie was approved as a Camden foster carer in 2012. Here she talks about the reasons why she went into fostering, and her experiences as a foster carer so far. Why did you get into fostering? I have been surrounded by fostering most of my life. It started with my aunt who was a foster carer for 27 years! And I remember when I was young, I used to visit my auntie’s house and all the different children she looked after. I loved playing with them and remember them fondly. Then during my teenage years my mum also fostered, so I have also been the child of a foster carer. I got a real insight into what it involved and also it helped me have a better understanding of foster children’s feelings of being away from their family and in unfamiliar settings. I come from very long line of nurses in my family, so caring for others has always been very important to me. I have always been interested in fields of work that involve care of others. I myself was a student nurse, but my passion was midwifery, which I was hoping to do after my nursing was completed. But my career changed direction when I decided that I wanted to work at grassroots level with women and children and decided to become a Doula with Doula UK. A doula provides emotional and practical support during childbirth and postnatal period. Whilst doing my doula work I began to realise that I was only with them for a contracted period of time and began to want to make a difference to a child’s life on a longer term basis. It was my mum who mentioned to me one day ‘why don’t you foster’ and I had completely forgotten that I had all that experience growing up and the skills I had acquired during nursing and doulaing were easily transferable to fostering! So I approached Camden and was approved in 2012. How did you find the assessment process? I found the assessment process very interesting and thought provoking and enjoyed being assessed. It really made me think about things on a deeper level and about the commitment I was about to make.

I particularly enjoyed the Skills to Foster group and have kept in touch with a lot of people that attended who are now also foster carers themselves. How would you describe your experience of being a foster carer so far? I am really enjoying it. The change that you can make in a child’s life is amazing and I’m loving it. I was very proud when I fostered my first placement and felt all warm inside knowing that I had been a little part of that child’s life and helped them progress. It has also had a positive on my family and friends, who are now considering fostering themselves.

I remember when I was young, I used to visit my auntie’s house and all the different children she looked after. I loved playing with them and remember them fondly.

What have been the highlights and challenges? The highlights for me have been looking after the children and watching them grow. I feel it’s challenging when a child first arrives, as it can be nerve racking for you, but even more so for the children themselves. You have to learn about the child from scratch and you may not have a lot of info at first. You need to be able to be adaptable and think quick on your feet to try and make the child feel as comfortable as possible. It’s also challenging but overall satisfying when you manage to build a bond with the child.

Camden holds monthly open evenings for people interested in finding out more about fostering. Our next open evenings are being held on Thursday 2 May, Thursday 6 June and Thursday 18 July, at 5.30pm (the open evenings finish by 7pm). Where? Crowndale Centre (2nd floor) 218 Eversholt Street, London NW1 1BD

Would you encourage others to explore fostering? Yes, definitely. It is such a positive and life enhancing experience. I would recommend it to anyone with the love in their heart and space in their home.

To find out more about fostering in Camden, please call 0800 0281 436 or email, or visit

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book corner

Hi kids, parents, grandparents, teachers – and book lovers everywhere! I’m Ed and here is my early Summer book selection for you to enjoy. The books are all available online from Ed’s Reading Room at www.



Ed’s Ed’s Reading Room is an exciting free online book and story club for primary children in homes and schools. Each month, recently published books are selected as Ed’s Books of the Month for Owlets (age 5-7) and Owls (over 7s). On the website, there are fun literacy activities to accompany each book, including wordsearches, quizzes, poetry and reviews, and there are new original stories in Edtime Stories. There are also lots of other fun online activities, complementary to the curriculum. Check out Ed’s Archive for Ed’s Books of the Month from previous months. FOr agES 5-7 YEarS


My Hamster is an Astronaut by dave lowe (Templar £5.99)

Ed Says: ‘When Ben Jinks announces that he’s going to build a rocket for the school science competition, his mega-brainy hamster is more than a little surprised. Stinky realises he will have to do most of the hard work – and be very involved in the launch! But there’s a cunning plan afoot to upset their ambitious competition entry. Will Ben and Stinky get their rocket off the ground? ‘This is a very funny story in the fantastic Stinky and Jinks series. Laugh


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your socks off as Ben and Stinky aim for the stars.’

Penny Dreadful is a Record Breaker by Joanna nadin (Usborne £4.99)

Ed Says: ‘Penny Dreadful is back with more of her madcap adventures. Penny’s latest brilliant ideas, with the help of her bestfriend Cosmo, are tracking down a vampire to take to school for show-and-tell, giving Grandma Overall a surprise sparkly makeover and breaking the world record for something that has never been in the record books before. However dreadful things become, Penny always seems to bounce back to look on the bright side! ‘The three stories about these super characters are absolutely hilarious with fantastic illustrations to complement them.’ FOr agES 7 YEarS PlUS


heart and it is only when he meets Layla and he knows he has found a true friend that he starts to deal with his secret. Will he have the courage of his mythical namesake? And will Griffin and Layla together find a way to bring peace to this young boy? ‘This is a beautifully written and extraordinary story that will move as well as entertain its readers.’

Adrenaline Rush

by allan Jones (Orion £5.99)

Ed Says: ‘Zak Archer is a spy working for a secret government agency. In this latest adventure in the Codename Quicksilver series, Zak is working undercover as a stunt double for a Hollywood movie. He and his colleague Wildcat are investigating a link between the producer Elton Dean and a suspected terrorist attack. Zak is aware of the dangers surrounding him but if his cover is blown will he be able to complete his mission? ‘This brilliant story is full of action and is exciting from start to finish. It is a real page-turner of a book.’

The Naming of Tishkin Silk

by glenda Millard (Phoenix Yard Books £5.99)

Ed Says: ‘Griffin Silk is a very unusual boy who finds the children at school rather mean. He lives with his loving family though sadly without his mother and baby sister. Griffin holds a secret in his

Ed’s Reading Room is part of, a DTI awardwinning website. It was created by Maggie Humphreys, a teacher of more than 25 years, and Les Snowdon, who together are authors of several books on fitness walking and healthy eating. You are very welcome to contact Maggie on 01753 730019 or by email at about the website or about Ed on the Web Spelling Bees in schools.

01/05/2013 18:01

North London

north LonDon

CLUBS & CLASSES Art & design Sport Performing arts Workshops

n o d n o L North s and Club ses Clas

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clubs and classes The Dance of Expression Alain & Françoise



Dance for life! Dance for joy! A unique holistic approach  to all aspects of dance Children from 5 yrs, teenagers, all levels Chantraine SChool of DanCe tel 020 7435 4247 email

    

• Explore • Learn • Inspire • Prepare your child for school! Click IT! (Barnet) 

Fun educational weekly Computer Classes for 2-5 year olds at your child’s nursery in the Barnet area. Call or email for more details, ask your Nursery Manager to contact us, or visit

 

Tel: 07958 476 121 

    

Pre-school food workshops Nursery-based clubs Cookery birthday parties School holiday Cook Camp Uni & college survival basics Tel: 07989 743 357

Sports coaching for 3-9 year olds in a

fun, positive and non-competitive environment. Classes running in Finchley, Mill Hill and Hampstead Garden Suburb. Children’s parties also available! Call 08452 262694 to book a FREE trial session.

Olé Kids Boo you k clas r s

Spanish classes for children and parents

Join us for fun, energy packed and culturally rich Spanish classes where children from 6 months - 10 years old come to speak and learn Spanish in a friendly environment. Primrose Hill Library Tuesdays 4 pm St Luke’s Community centre (Islington) Thursdays 4pm Quote: ‘Families N’ for a FREE TRIAL 6 MONTHS TO 5 YEAR OLDS Enquire for other age groups or private classes. Telephone : 020 7386 0376 Mobile: 07734900221 Email :





Jennifer_Muswell Hill 2012 70x55 PT.HR.pdf

Imagination takes you everywhere...




6 months – 7 years

Interactive storytelling and dramatic play classes • promoting skilful communication • fostering creativity • building self-confidence 020 8442 2380

Beginners Classes: Wednesday 16.30 Hampstead Garden Suburb Thursdays 17.30 Swiss Cottage




for children aged 5 to 14 years

Local Venues • Nurseries • Schools • Children's Centres • Parties



Tel: 079 4939 2708


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clubs and classes

Chickenshed It should be easy to describe Chickenshed. Most people know that it is a theatre company in North London that produces fantastic shows, many have heard that we have children here, that we run education courses and workshops and some people remember us for doing such events as singing and dancing down the Mall for the Jubilee, or entertaining the Queen Mother for her 100th Birthday celebrations. It is so difficult to accurately describe Chickenshed. We have been running for 40 years next year but because new experiences constantly happen and new people are continually joining us, we find it a ‘positive’ difficulty to put into words exactly what we do or what we wholeheartedly believe in! We often say that you have to come and see us – you have to see a performance or a workshop. To say that we bring people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities together and create outstanding theatre doesn’t seem enough. But we do bring a completely diverse group of people together and we do create fantastic theatre. I will try and describe us and what we do, but I do think that if you are in any doubt, you need to come to Southgate – which is easy to get to, and see for yourself. It is worth the trip. Our passion is to improve the lives of the people that we work with. Over the past 39 years we have created an environment that enables people to grow and flourish by valuing and respecting everyone as an equal. It’s the way we run our theatre company, our children’s

and youth workshops, our education programmes, and our outreach work. And, one day, we hope it will be the way the world works. We describe ourselves as inclusive, but for us inclusion really does mean including everyone. We introduce theatre to the very youngest baby through our Tales from the Shed performances, where we encourage children to join in with the performers to create theatre together. The shows are informal, lively and amazingly engaging. The children are encouraged to make lots of noise to make the story happen. Every show is different but guaranteed to be fun. We have our weekly workshops for children age 5 – 13 years in our children’s theatre groups and from 13 to 21 years in our youth theatre and then we have our adult theatre groups which includes our community choir and our adult performance workshops, so the age range can go up to – well absolutely any age! We have Saturday morning workshops called Saturday Shed, we run week long holiday workshops during most school holidays and in the summer we run amazing workshops for children who go on to be cast members in our spectacular summer show. We believe the inclusive environment that we have created enables people’s natural ability to shine through. Being a member of an inclusive cast adds an element of quality to a performance and working together gives our members a feeling of safety as we encourage them to experiment and push themselves at their own comfort levels while all the time knowing that we will allow them to succeed.

At Chickenshed there are no labels, no ‘mainstream’ or ‘special’ education, there is ‘everyone’ working together, supporting each other with the knowledge and trust that what they achieve will entertain and inspire. Since building our own theatre complex in Southgate in 1994 we have become a centre of excellence in performing arts education providing training for approximately 150 students on three nationally accredited education courses; a BTEC, Foundation Degree Course and a further BA Degree course. We were the first centre to teach inclusive performing arts and today, some 30 years later, we still lead the way. We are able to offer our students the unique opportunity to learn and perform in a working theatre. We have a flexible entry requirement because we appreciate that talent and passion can’t always be measured by examination results. So regardless of whether you have come from a mainstream or special school background, you are welcome at Chickenshed. We recognise previous experience outside of formal education. We have a great success rate both in retaining students and achieving results. Our recent successes include an 100% retention rate and achievement. In a recent BTEC intake we had 98% of our students passing with a full Diploma and OFSTED gave us a rating of 1-Outstanding. We know that we produce outstanding results and we do it by inspiring people who have often been outstanding in their previous lives – but sometimes for the wrong reasons! At Chickenshed everyone stands out for the right reasons, because Chickenshed is for everyone. Our Chickenshed tutors are experienced actors, musicians, dancers and choreographers – many continue to perform professionally as well as teach. All we ask of our students is commitment and energy, not only to the performing arts, but also to others. Chickenshed is now taking applications for its new Young Creators scheme. This is open to young people aged between 14 and 25 years who would like to get hands on experience in a working theatre. It is a new concept and it is free! The scheme offers young people vocational training and practical work experience in a variety of theatre skills including, music, lighting, writing and devising, choreography, dance, costume and directing. So as you can see, Chickenshed can’t easily be described. The best way to know about Chickenshed is to call in and see us. When we say ‘everyone’ we mean you!

For more information visit

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01/05/2013 18:01

clubs and classes In our new section we feature the very best clubs and classes in North London. Club and Classes are a great way to encourage new skills and make new friends along the way. Let us know your news and events at editor@ If you would like your class to feature in this section please call 020 8202 2034.

Art & design CAMDEN ARTS CENTRE Arkwright Road, NW3 6DG ( Finchley Road) 020 7472 5500 Juniors and Infants Term-time and holiday courses run by professional artists using a wide range of materials. 5 – 11 years. Saturday morning ceramics course for 8 – 11 years. CHILDREN’S ART @ Arts Depot, N12 OGA. 07767 657 393 Wednesdays Drawing and painting skills. 5 – 12 years.

illustration. Week days after school. Also holiday sewing classes. 6+ years.

MOTHER NATURE SCIENCE 020 8863 8832 Science Club Learn science through hands-on activities. After school classes and holiday camps in North London. 5 – 12 years.

WATER COLOUR AND DRAWING CLASSES NW1 020 7482 4118 Weekly classes including half term and holidays. 8+ years.

COOKIE CRUMBLES 020 8876 9912 Cooking Classes Holiday workshops and cooking parties. 4 – 18 years. CREATIVE WIZ KIDS 020 7794 6797 Mother/Toddler Groups Wednesdays and Fridays. NW3. 1 – 3 years. Holiday Clubs May half-term and summer holiday classes at St Peters Church, NW3 4HT. Painting, drawing and art skills. 3 – 9 years. LITTLE HANDS DESIGN 67 Belsize Lane, NW3 5AU 020 7431 0573 Term Time Courses Fashion, design, sketching and


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Shouldn’t you be seen in the Number 1 magazine for families and young people in North London? Contact

Youth Circus Courses A range of 12-week term courses for all ages and abilities. Develop hand/eye coordination, balance and creativity. From 2 ½ years to 21 years.

STREET CIRCUS @ Arts Depot, N12 OGA. 020 8369 5454 Until July 5 Merge street dance and circus skills in high energy performance. 14 – 19 years. Free drop-in sessions.

Languages ECOLE DES PETITS LOUPS 07947 804902 Muswell Hill, N10 1PP After school French classes. 3 – 11 years. HUA HSIA CHINESE SCHOOL 020 8201 0698 Baby Mandarin Saturday classes with parents. NW3, NW7, N12, EN5. Free trial sessions.

Circus skills CIRCUS GLORY Primrose Hill Community Centre, NW1 8TN 0797 345 1603 Trapeze School Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons and holiday courses. From 2 ½ years – teenagers and adults.

CIRCUS SPACE Coronet Street, N1 6HD 020 7613 4141

OLÉ KIDS 020 7386 0376 Spanish Classes For children and parents at Primrose Hill Library and St Luke’s Community Centre, Islington. 6 months – 5 years. SPANISH NURSERY & CHILDREN’S CENTRE FOR CULTURE & LANGUAGE Community Centre, Ingestre Road, NW5 1UX ( Tufnell Park) 020 7482 3622

After school Mondays and Thursdays and holiday clubs. 4 – 8 years.

Martial arts PANTHA KARATE 020 8445 2588 Shotokan Karate Beginners Classes Wednesdays: Free Church Hall, Northway, NW11. 4.30pm – 5.15pm. 5 – 13 years. Thursdays: Hall School, 23 Crossfield Road, NW3. 5.30pm – 6.15pm. 5 – 13 years. SOBELL KARATE CLUB Sobell Leisure Centre, Hornsey Road, N7 7NY 07957 630463 Karate for Kids Classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and weekends. TOTTENHAM KARATE CLUB Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, N15 4JA 07957 630463 Karate for Kids Beginners classes on Mondays.

WHITE CRANE KARATE SCHOOL Barnet & Finchley 020 8440 2644 Learn self-defence, discipline and confidence.

Classes Spanish grammar and conversation.

01/05/2013 18:01

clubs and classes To enrol or to book a FREE TRIAL call 07572929168 or email LES THE YOUNG PEOP ANY TH EATR E CO MP


hool old Performing Arts Sc rs

g people 2 - 16 yea for children and youn




Kingsgate Community Centre 107 Kingsgate Road, London, NW6 2JH

MONDAYS DRAMA FUNHOUSE (ages 4 - 6) 4:25 - 5:15pm

WEDNESDAYS MAMAS AND BUBBAS (ages 2 - 4) 11:30 - 12:30

DRAMA JUNIORS (ages 7 - 11) 5:15 - 6:15pm

STREET DANCE (younger) (ages 5 - 8) 4:30 - 5:30pm

YOUNG ACTORS GROUP (ages 12 - 16) 6:15 - 7:15pm

STREET DANCE (older) (ages 9-13) 5:30 - 6:30pm

Fun French Lessons for Children Est 1993

A wonderful headstart in French

020 7385 5565 -

Advert Dramarama Families North 87x62_Layout 1 19/12/2012 13:50 Page


Street Dance

Musical Theatre

Stage School Exciting Holiday Performing Arts Courses

Star in exciting Plays, Street Dance Shows and Musicals! Plus term-time Drama, Drama Exam & Street Dance classes on Saturdays in Hampstead. Attention boys & girls aged 3 & 4, 5 & 6, 7-10 & 11-14. Join our fun-packed term-time and holiday courses. Drama or Street Dance Parties also bookable!

020 8446 0891

Contact us for more details



A refreshingly simple way to take card payments today Capped rates Superfast setup 24/7 UK support Email us on Call us on 0800 044 3552 and quote BD-FAMILIESNORTH

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01/05/2013 18:01

clubs and classes Drama Performing Weekly classes and themed holiday courses. Music and movement for 3 arts months – 3 years. Songs, games and CRAZEE KIDS @Jacksons Lane, N6 5AA. 020 8444 5333 Tuesdays & Saturdays Creative dance, drama, music and art and themed workshops during school holidays. 3 – 10 years.

DANSWER STREET DANCE FOR KIDS @ Arts Depot, N12 OGA. 07961 725911 Street dance sessions on Mondays and Saturdays. 5 – 11 years.

DRAMARAMA STAGE SCHOOL 020 8446 0891 Holiday and Term Time Courses Dramatots, Stage One, Musical Theatre and Street Dance workshops. After school classes in North & North West London. 3 – 11 years.

EFDSS Cecil Sharp House 2 Regent’s Park Road, NW1 7AY ( Camden Town) 020 7485 2206 Fun with Folk Dance After school classes and holiday projects. 5 – 9 years. Folk Music Making All levels of musical experience. 12+ years.


dance for 4 – 8 years. Drama and dance skills for 8 – 12 years.

RAZZAMATAZ THEATRE SCHOOL Hampstead 020 8150 7198. At St Paul’s Primary School, NW3 3DS. Barnet 01923 805846. At Ashmole Academy, Cecil Road, N14 5RJ. Dancing, singing and acting with annual theatre shows. 4 – 18 years. Free taster sessions.

REGAL BALLET 07704 290 479 Baby Ballet to Dance Exam Classes Classes in co-ordination, balance and rhythm held in Hampstead, St John’s Wood and Fulham. 18 months – 10 years. Free trial lesson.

SAPNAY SCHOOL OF DANCE @ Arts Depot, N12 OGA. 020 8248 5491 Bollywood Dance Class 3 – 15 years. Cost £8.50 drop-in. STAGECOACH Highgate 020 7272 8108 Stoke Newington 020 7354 0367 Performance skills in dance, drama and singing. After school classes, weekends and holiday workshops. THE ANNA FIORENTINI THEATRE & FILM SCHOOL 020 7682 1403

THEATRE TRAIN Barnet College, EN5 4AZ 020 8207 0970 Dance, singing and drama classes on Saturdays during term time. 6 – 18 years. Free trial session.

THE PLACE 17 Duke’s Road, WC1H 9PY ( Euston) 020 7121 1000 Dance Classes Saturdays during term time and holiday courses. Involvement in community and youth dance events. 6 – 15 years.


North London & Hackney Saturdays

AQUANAUTS SWIMMING SCHOOL @ 37 degrees Health Club, Kensington Olympia.

Ballet School Age ranges 2 – 4 years and 4+ years.

Bethnal Green Tuesday evenings.

Extensive Swimming Course May 28 – 31

PERFORM 0845 400 4000

Docklands Wednesday evenings. Drama, dance, singing and film with design. 4 – 18 years.

Structured classes for all ages. Also parent and baby classes and swimming lessons during school term.

Classes Acting, dance, singing and end of term presentation. Summer performance at a local theatre. 4 – 10 years.

CAMDEN SWISS COTTAGE SWIMMING CLUB Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre, Adelaide Road, NW3 3NF 020 7974 5440 Swimming Lessons All age groups and levels. Aqua tots – parent and baby and parent and toddler classes. Lessons also held at other centres within the Borough.


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DANNY GRANT SOCCER SCHOOL 020 8446 0891 Football Fun-filled football classes. Weekly term time and holiday courses. N12, NW6, N20, N3 and NW3. 3 – 12 years.

ENJOY-A-BALL 08452 262694 Ball Sports Sports coaching in Finchley, Mill Hill and Hampstead Garden Suburb. 3 – 9 years. ISLINGTON TENNIS CENTRE Market Road, N7 9PL 020 7700 1370 Munchkins Mini Tennis Courses Indoor courses for 3 – 5 years. Mini Tennis Colour coded stages of progression for 4+ years.

KIDDIKICKS 020 7937 7965 Football Training sessions, fun and exercise. Locations N8, NW1, NW8 and N16. Under 5 years. LITTLE KICKERS Little Kicks 18 – 27 months Junior Kickers 2 – 3 ½ years

01/05/2013 18:01

clubs and classes Address: Mallinson Sports Centre, Bishopswood Road, Highgate, London, N6 4NY Email:


RAD ballet ISTD modern ISTD tap

...we’re all doing it!

Telephone number: 020 8342 7272

Address: Mallinson Sports Centre, Bishopswood Road, Highgate, London, N6 4NY Email:

Telephone number: 020 8342 7272

Magic of India



A Fun Journey of Discovery


at King’s College NW3 7ST and now Mill Hill NW7 2AJ


Through our fun activity classes, we inspire children to discover the magic of India, as they grow up to be global citizens. erna @ | 07946 581933 |

Yoga specially tailored to improve concentration and flexibility

Bollywood dancing to keep those toes tapping

Discovering India’s rich culture, through songs, ancient kids stories, historical facts, festivals, sights and sounds, art and craft.

Basic skills to speak, read, and

write Hindi

Age groups •3 to 5 •5 to 8 •8 to 12


MALLINSON SPORTS CENTRE 2013 ACTIVITY COURSES After school clubs. Weekly classes. Private lessons. Special group discounts.

Don’t miss out, book a free trial class NOW!

Address: Mallinson Sports Centre, Bishopswood Road, Highgate, London, N6 4NY Email:

Call 07557 398270


Telephone number: 020 8342 7272 Magic of India A Fun Journey of Discovery


MSC Telephone number: 020 8342 7272 MALLINSON SPORTS CENTRE 2013 ACTIVITY COURSES

families_north_issue_102_artwork.indd 39

Address: Mallinson Sports Centre, Bishopswood Road, Highgate, London, N6 4NY Email:


01/05/2013 18:01

Danny Grant Familiesclasses ad 87x62_Layout 1 19/12/2012 13:50 Page 1 clubs and

Danny Grant Soccer School

Action-packed Holiday Football Courses for energetic & enthusiastic players aged 3 & 4, 5 & 6 & 7 to 11. Non-stop football fun! Develop fitness & football skills! Exciting matches each day! Specialised term-time weekly football classes for 3 & 4yrs and 5 & 6yrs. Plus weekly football training and league matches for 7 to 12yrs.

The Original British Baby Signing Programme Award winning classes that help babies to communicate before speech For more information and classes, please contact: ♪ Vesna 020 7639 8038 in N1, NW1, NW3, SW3, W8 ♪ Grace 07881 553708 in N6, N8, N10, N12 ♪ Versha 07790 955576 in N3, NW2, NW4, NW6, NW7, NW10, NW11 ♪ Nikki & Lynsey 07582 900418 in N14, N20, N21, EN4, EN5 & EN6 Terms start in September, January and April

Also bookable football and general sports birthday parties. Call for more details!

020 8446 0891

Join in the adventures through story, rhyme and yoga inspired moves. Alison@Y Alison@Yoga Bugs Tel. 0845 863 0688

Phone. 0207 998 0521

Unit 2 Bickerton House 25 Bickerton Road Dartmouth Park London N19 5JT

Cooking Parties

‡ Fun, cooking parties ‡ For boys and girls aged 4-16 years ‡ Cooking classes

Give your child the best party ever

Music classes for babies and young children! ® d no blues ! all r hythm an Hampstead & Notting Hill 020 8451 7626 Muswell Hill, Crouch End & Highgate 020 8889 0114 High Barnet, Mill Hill & Whetstone 020 8449 4025 Southgate, Winchmore Hill & East Barnet 020 8360 2730

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

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

Rock ‘n’ roll - from 3 months Heigh ho – from 12 months Jiggety jig – 2 & 3 year olds Ding dong – 3 & 4 year olds It’s fun, formative and a great way of making friends!

whisking, baking, giggling, rolling, making, laughing, turning, licking, joking

A great way to learn while having fun!

020 8876 9912

Call for details: email:

Trapeze School For children from 2 ½ years old, Teenagers and Adults On Monday, Wednesday or Friday afternoons At the Primrose Hill community centre Hopkinson’s Place NW1

0797 345 1603 Circus Glory also organises workshops for birthday parties or other events.


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clubs and classes Mighty Kickers 3 ½ – 5 years Mega Kickers 5 – 7 years Professionally run football training classes for confidence, co-ordination and control.

LEE VALLEY Enfield EN2 9HG 08456 770 600 (M25/J25) Sports Facilities Watersports, junior golf, athletics, horse riding, tennis and ice skating. MALLINSON SPORTS CENTRE Bishopswood Road, N6 4NY 020 8342 7272 Activity Courses Holiday sports programme – football, gymnastics, basketball, tennis and more, within the grounds of Highgate School. Family swimming on Sunday mornings.

PIRATE CASTLE 020 7267 6605 Canoe & Kayak Courses Introduction courses first Monday and Wednesday of the month and weekend courses. Also Boat club for 8 + years. RUGBY TOTS 0845 313 6703 Develop rugby skills in classes run weekly by qualified coaches in Crouch End and Muswell Hill and further venues to open in North London. 2 – 7 years. SOBELL LEISURE CENTRE Hornsey Road, N7 7NY 020 7609 2166

Football Courses for all ages and fitness. Saturdays and holiday programmes. Variety of other sports also on offer at the centre.

YOUNG FOOTIES Hendon Leisure Centre Sunday morning fun sessions with qualified coaches. 3 – 10 years.

Theatre workshops ARTS DEPOT Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, N12 OGA ( West Finchley & Woodside Park) 020 8369 5454 Junior Performers Performance skills. 8 – 12 years. Cost £70 per term. Youth Dance & Youth Theatre Dancing and drama skills. 13 – 16 years. Mini Performers Drama and movement. 5 – 8 years. Cost £60 for 10 weeks.

CHICKENSHED THEATRE Chase Side, Southgate, N14 4PE ( Cockfosters/Oakwood) 020 8292 9222 Performance Workshops Saturday Shed, Summer Shed and Youth Theatre. Drama, dance, singing and story making. 5+ years. JACKSONS LANE 269A Archway Road, N6 5AA ( Highgate) 020 8341 4421 Classes & Courses Externally run classes in street dance, ballet, tap and youth circus.

LAUDERDALE HOUSE Highgate Hill, Waterlow Park, N6 5HG ( Archway) 020 8348 8716 Drawing & Painting July 30 – August 2: 5 – 8 years. August 6 – 9: 7 – 11 years. Cost £65. Mini Mozart July 30 – August 2 Music and movement. 5 – 9 years. Cost £80. 3D Creature Crafts! August 6 – 9 Fun with card and newspaper. 5 – 9 years. Cost £65. Make Your Own Games and Toys August 13 – 16 Homemade toy projects. 7 – 11 years. Cost £65. LITTLE ANGEL THEATRE 14 Dagmar Passage, N1 2DN ( Angel or Highbury Islington) 020 7226 1787

Puppet Clubs Puppet making workshops on Saturdays during term time. 2 – 11 years. Youth Theatre Saturday morning classes. 11 – 16 years.

TRICYCLE THEATRE 269 Kilburn High Road, NW6 7JR ( Kilburn) 020 7328 1000 Mini Maestros Songs, instruments and music on Tuesdays. 3 – 5 years. Mini Stars/Super Stars Drama, games and story telling every Wednesday. 3 – 5 years and 6 – 9 years. Mini Beep Beeps Singing, rhythm, music and dance. Under 2s and 2 – 4 years. Fridays. Move and Shake Funky music and rhythm. 5 – 7 years. Fridays. Street Dance Physical movement. 8 – 12 years. Fridays.

For classes in Barnet, Bush Hill Park, Cheshunt, Cockfosters, Edmonton, Gordon Hill, Highlands Village, Palmers Green, Potters Bar & Southgate

For classes in Crouch End, Hackney, Highbury, Highgate, Islington, Muswell Hill, North Finchley, Primrose Hill, Stoke Newington & Swiss Cottage

Contact: Lucy 07732 380706

Contact: Charlene 07892 711162


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clubs and classes

Toddler & pre-school

and Highgte. Outdoor art picnics in Summer. Cost £8 drop-in. 15 months – 4 years.

CREATIVE WIZ KIDS 020 7794 6797

GYMBOREE O2 Centre, 255 Finchley Road, Hampstead, NW3 6LU 020 7794 8719

Mother/Toddler Groups Until July 10 St Peters Church, NW3 4HT. Wednesdays and Fridays.1 – 3 years.

DEBUTOTS 020 8442 2380 Weekly term-time classes in Muswell Hill, Finchley, Hampstead and Swiss Cottage. Baby Story Play Stories, sounds and words. 6 months – 2 years. Early Years Drama Creative stories. 2 – 4 years.

DIDDI DANCE North London 07892 711162 Dance classes held in North London areas including Arts Depot, N12 OGA. 2 – 4 years. Free trial.


Half Term Activities and Workshops

MONKEY MUSIC Hampstead 020 8451 7626 Muswell Hill, Crouch End, Highgate 020 8889 0114

Summer Term May 1 – August 23 Learn and develop through play with sensory baby play, music, art and gym skills.

LA LA LAND KIDS @ Arts Depot, N12 OGA. 07841 134 686

High Barnet, Mill Hill, Whetstone 020 8449 4025 Southgate, Winchmore Hill & East Barnet 020 8360 2730 Early musical education with interactive classes, games, and percussion. 3 months – 4 years.

NORTH LONDON COLOURSTRINGS Muswell Hill N10, Islington N1, Stoke Newington N16 and Highgate N6. 020 8444 9435

Summer Term Until July 5 Move, shake, dance and sing. Cost £5 per session. Under 4 years.

LITTLE LIONS MUSIC & MOVEMENT GROUP @ Arts Depot, N12 OGA. 07826 020 908

Music Kindergarten Fun learning based on traditional and classical music. 6 months – 6 years.

Until July 4 Songs, instruments, props and bubbles. 6 months – 3 years. Cost £8 per class.

Dramatots Non-stop drama fun on Saturdays and school holidays. 3 – 4 years.

MESSY PLAY @ Arts Depot, N12 OGA. 020 8369 5454 Colour, texture and play. Accompanied 10 months – 3 years. Cost £7 per session.

GREEN PEAS 07949 392708 Messy Play Weekly art sessions during term time in Muswell Hill, Crouch End

MINI MOZART @ Arts Depot, N12 OGA. Summer Term Music, parachutes and bubbles. Classes on Wednesdays. Under 4 yrs.

THEATRE BUGS 07837 759699 Classes Fun, games, drama, song and dance. Under 5s club and Mother and Toddler groups in NW11 and N12. After school Clubs 3 ½ to 6 years.

ARTS DEPOT Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, N12 ( West Finchley & Woodside Park) 020 8369 5454 The Gruffalo’s Child May 25 – 26 A magical, musical adaptation. 3+ years. Cost £10.50/family £38. Woodland May 28 – June 1 A new creature looks for adventure. Craft workshops on selected dates. 3 – 5 years. Cost £8. My Brother the Robot June 2 Bobbie wants a little brother. 4 – 10 years. Cost £7. BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM Bartholomew Lane, EC2R 8AH ( Bank) 020 7601 5545 Money Talks May 28 – 31 Learn about the historical figures featured on bank notes. Free.

TUMBLE TOTS Specially designed equipment for balance, climbing and coordination skills. 6 months to 5 years. Classes at The Winchmore Hill Methodist Church, N13 4EP. 020 8372 2147. Other locations available.

North London Russian School of Music and Culture

On Sundays 10.30am – 13.30pm at: Jackson’s Lane Theatre, 269a Archway Road, Highgate, London N6 5AA

Piano lessons for children and adults Music theory and aural lessons Russian language and music lessons Workshops exploring classical music Piano performances

Approved Football Training for Kids Aged 18 Months to 7 Years

Mill Hill, Friern Barnet, Swiss Cottage, Hampstead, Muswell Hill & Golders Green 020 8201 1084 -

Non-Russian speakers welcome

Southgate, New Barnet, Enfield 020 7684 7969 -

Islington, Hackney, Wapping & Wanstead 020 8958 2808 -

To book classes at Jackson’s Lane Theatre, private lessons at home, workshops, or a house concert by one of our teachers - the international award-winning pianist Alexander Karpeyev

Where Learning’s a Ball

please phone 020 8883 22 13 or write to


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clubs and classes Free drop-in. Children in Pompeii and Herculaneum May 31 With children’s author Caroline Lawrence. Booking essential. 7+ years. Free.

BRUCE CASTLE MUSEUM Lordship Lane, N17 8NU ( Seven Sisters) 020 8808 8772 BRITISH MUSEUM Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DG ( Tottenham Ct Road) 020 7323 8000 Life & Death Pompeii and Herculaneum Until September 29 Two cities in Southern Italy buried by volcanic eruption and rediscovered 1700 years later. Cost £15/child free with adult ticket. Animals in Pompeii and Herculaneum May 27 With children’s author Caroline Lawrence. Booking essential. 7+ years. Free. Villas, Vines and Volcanoes May 27 – 31 Help make a mosaic and learn about food and ancient graffiti.

Family Art Activities Special craft workshops on Sundays and on selected dates during school holidays. 5 – 13 years. Free.

CAPEL MANOR GARDENS Bullsmoor Lane, Enfield, EN1 4RQ (M25/J25) 08456 122122 The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party May 27 Includes games, music and balloon madness. Cost £10/family(5) £40. Herts Heavy Horse Show June 2 Parades and activities. Entrance £5.50/family(2+3) £13.50/5 years and under free. CHARLES DICKENS MUSEUM 48 Doughty Street, WC1N 2LX

( Russell Square) 020 7405 2127 Entrance £8/£4/under 6 years free. Twilight Tales May 25 Storytelling sessions. Limited places. Booking recommended. Cost £6 per child accompanied by one adult. Mrs Dickens’s Kitchen May 30 Make butter using a Victorian recipe. Booking recommended. Cost £3 + admission charge. Sunday Best June 2 Dress in your Sunday best for free admission.

CHICKENSHED THEATRE Chase Side, Southgate, N14 4PE ( Cockfosters/Oakwood) 020 8292 9222 Tales from the Shed – Summer May 30, 31, June 1 Lively fun with puppets and songs. 0 – 7 years. Cost £6/free for babies under 6 months. CIRCUS GLORY Primrose Hill Community Centre, NW1 8TN 0797 345 1603

Trapeze School May 29 Holiday workshop. All ages.

Club Petit Pierrot – Fun French Summer Holiday Club 020 7385 5565 E-mail Taking place in St John’s Wood/ Maida Vale at: St Mark’s Church Hall, Abercorn Place, NW8. Book early to avoid disappointment! Highly recommended by BBC, Daily Telegraph, Daily Express & Time Out. 1-4 yrs old: 9.30am – 10.15am Monday 15th and Wednesday 17th and Friday 19th July 2013 Fees: £16 per session or £45 for all three sessions. Fun French sessions where the children will flourish and learn through sensorial activities, arts and crafts, songs, dances and movement, sand and water play... 3 to 5 yrs old and 6 to 8 yrs old: 10.30am – 12.30pm Monday 15th to Friday 19th July 2013 Fees: £36 per session or £160 for all five sessions. Our holiday programme enables the children to learn French through lots of fun activities and projects such as arts & crafts, saltdough, cooking, singing, dancing, language games and role-play...

SUMMER SCHOOL 2013 Reading, Maths & English Courses 1

for ages 3 2 - 11 including 11+ revision, 7+, 5+ & 4+ preparation Nursery – Year 6 Summer school enrolling now: 29th July - 16th August • North London Collegiate School, Stanmore HA7 4SQ • Grange Park Primary School, Enfield N21 1PP 12th August - 30th August • Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood HA6 2HT

Book early for discounts

Saturday term-time school enrolling now: • Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood HA6 2HT • London Academy, Edgware HA8 8DE • Grange Park Primary School, Enfield N21 1PP Open days on: • 4th May, 11th May, 18th May and 25th May The No 1 academic Saturday School since 1999

Ofsted registered. Childcare vouchers accepted.

Free assessment and trial lesson on open days Call now to book a place: T: 01992 651 300

Real, live teaching!

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clubs and classes Foundling Hospital May 28 Use collage to create a large paper artwork. Drop-in. Children + two accompanying adults free.

gEFFrYE MUSEUM Kingsland Road, E2 8EA ( Old Street) 020 7739 9893 Half Term Holiday activities May 28 – 31 Creative workshops and story telling based on homes, spaces and gardens. Free entry on a first-comefirst-served basis half an hour before start. 5 – 16 years. COraM’S FiEldS 93 Guilford Street, WC1N 1DN ( Russell Square) 020 7837 6138 Big lunch & Fun day June 2 Internationally themed lunch. Arts and crafts and play activities. Bring a dish to share.

CrEaTivE Wiz kidS 020 7794 6797 Holiday Club May 28 – 31 Painting, drawing and free art time. Held at St Peters, NW3 4HT. 3-9 yrs.


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dUgdalE CEnTrE Thomas Hardy House, 39 London Road, Enfield EN2 6DS (Enfield Town ) 020 8807 6680 The Princess & the Pea May 30 – June 2 Interactive storytelling adventure. 3 – 8 years. Cost £8/£7online.

FOUndling MUSEUM 40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ ( Russell Square) 020 7841 3600 Children take back the

granT MUSEUM OF zOOlOgY Rockefeller Building, University College London, 21 University Street, WC1E 6DE ( Euston Square) 020 3108 2052 incredible invertebrates May 28 – June 1 Drop-in activities based on creepy crawlies and a chance to design your own insect! Free.

Bank Holiday Fair May 25 – 27 Lower Fairground Site, East Heath. Spring Secret garden May 28 Parliament Hill. Drop-in. rookie rangers Wildlife Club May 29 Education Centre, Parliament Hill. Booking required (020 7482 7073). 8 – 12 years. zooday! May 30 Golders Hill Park Zoo. Drop-in.

HandEl HOUSE MUSEUM 25 Brook Street, W1K 4HB ( Bond Street) 020 7495 1685 Tours for Fours and Up! June 2 Discover where Handel slept, ate and composed music. 4 – 9 years. Drop-in sessions.

HaMPSTEad HEaTH ( Kentish Town/Hampstead) 020 7332 3322

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clubs and classes Grease May 30 – June 1 Local amateur production. Cost £13.50.

LAUDERDALE HOUSE Highgate Hill, Waterlow Park, N6 5HG ( Archway) 020 8348 8716 You’re Not My Friend Anymore! May 25 Can it work having two best friends? 3 – 7 years. Cost £4.50.

HUNTERIAN MUSEUM The Royal College of Surgeons, 3543 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3PE ( Holborn) 020 7869 6560 Meet Mr King, The Georgian Surgeon May 28 Learn about how injuries were treated without anaesthetic or antibiotics. Booking required. 6+ years. Cost £2. A Young Person’s Guide to the Hunterian May 30 Friendly tours for 7-14 years. Limited places allocated on the day. Free. INTIMATE THEATRE 521 Green Lanes, N13 4DH (Palmers Green ) 020 8807 1810

Henry & the Lollipop Pirates June 1 Meet Henry the hedgehog and his friends. 2 – 6 years. Cost £4.50.

LEE VALLEY Myddlelton House, Bulls Cross, Enfield EN2 9HG 08456 770 600 (M25/J25) Lee Valley Park Farms May 29 Meet the farm animals and Timmy from Timmy Time will be making appearances throughout the day. Star Track May 28 – 31 Lee Valley Athletics Centre courses. Call 020 8344 7230. 6 – 8 years and 8 – 12 years. Cost £62. Herts Young Mariners Base May 28 – 31

Kayaking, climbing, caving, canoeing and sailing. 9+ years. Full or half day. (01992 628403). Cost £40 or £20.

LITTLE ANGEL THEATRE 14 Dagmar Passage, N1 2DN ( Angel or Highbury Islington) 020 7226 1787 We’re Going on a Bear Hunt From May 11 Based on the popular book by Michael Rosen. Baby friendly performances on selected dates. 2+ years. Cost £12/£5 Friday Fives/ Previews half price. Stay & Play Sessions May 29 See a performance and then make a puppet. Accompanied 2+ years. Cost £40. LONDON TRANSPORT MUSEUM Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB ( Covent Garden) 020 7565 7299 Poster People May 27 – June 2 Meet Cedric and the poster people and listen to the stories. 3 – 7 years. One year entry ticket £15/children free. Make and Take May 27 – June 2

Make a tiny Poster Person with airhardening clay. 4 – 12 years. Poster Art 150 An exhibition of posters produced for the London Underground.

MUSEUM OF LONDON 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN ( St Paul’s) 020 7001 9844 Half Term Activities May 25 – June 2 Let’s have a Frost Fair May 27, 28 What is a Frost Fair? 5+ years. Finds from the River May 28, 29 Archaeological finds. Tickets on arrival. 7+ years. A Watery Adventure May 29 Musical session. 1+ years. Tickets on arrival.

MUSEUM OF LONDONDOCKLANDS West India Quay, E14 4AL (DLR West India Quay) 020 7001 9844 Billy Jenkins: A pirate’s life for me May 25 Meet the pirate. 6+ years. Frost Fairs on the Thames May 31 Activities and stories about festivals

We are a pottery painting and craft studio offering a range of activities such as pottery classes, enamelling, glass fusing, t-shirt design and bear making for kids of any age and adults in a relaxing and bright studio based in Mill Hill. Our Summer workshops programme runs from July to August for kids aged 5 and up. We also offer a delicious range of coffees, teas, milkshakes and refreshments for you to enjoy. 143 Dollis Road, Mill Hill, London, NW7 1JX Tel: 020 8371 6709

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clubs and classes held on a frozen river. Tickets on arrival.

Sensational Butterflies Tropical butterfly house. Cost £4/ family £14.40.

THE MUSEUM OF THE OrdEr OF ST JOHn St John’s Gate, EC1M 4DA ( Farringdon) 020 7324 4075

Hands-on nature Explore interesting specimens at the handling station.

Family Tour May 29 Tales of knights and dragons. Free half hour tour. Booking required. 7 – 11 years. Storytelling May 30 Tales of brave women and bold men. Drop-in. 7+ years. 2 – 4pm. Free.

naTiOnal gallErY Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN ( Charing Cross) 020 7747 2885 Holiday Workshops Free events on Sundays and selected dates during school holidays. Limited places allocated on arrival up to one hour before event. naTiOnal POrTraiT gallErY St Martin’s Place, WC2H OHE ( Leicester Square) 020 7306 0055 Half Term activities May 27 – 31 Workshops, story telling, drawing sessions and tours inspired by the exhibitions and displays. Free.

naTUral HiSTOrY MUSEUM Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD ( South Kensington) 020 7942 5000

riO CinEMa 107 Kingsland High Street, E8 6LJ (Dalston Kingsland ) 020 7241 9410 The Croods 3d (U) May 27 – 30 Half term matinees. Cost £7.50/£6/ family £24. rOYal air FOrCE MUSEUM Grahame Park Way, London NW9 5LL ( Colindale) 020 8205 2266 Search & rescue Week May 27 – 31 Learn about survival at sea on board an RAF life-raft. airfix – Making History From June 1 Exhibition displaying popular models from the 50s onwards. Sir JOHn SOanE’S MUSEUM 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3BP ( Holborn) 020 7440 4263 Building Box May 29 Whole day workshop. Booking essential. 7+ years. Cost £20. Fantastically Fashionable Creatures May 30 Design print on t-shirts. Whole day workshop. Booking essential. 7+ years. Cost £20.

N8 NW1 NW8 N16

Football training for under 5s who are nuts about football Get your midfield dynamo enjoying super-skills, fun & exercise CRB checked & FA qualified coaches Training sessions, courses & parties across London 020 7937 7965

NEW! Match Play for Under 8s 46

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SPaniSH nUrSErY & CHildrEn’S CEnTrE FOr CUlTUrE & langUagE Community Centre, Ingestre Road, NW5 1UX ( Tufnell Park) 020 7482 3622 la Fiesta del libro May 27 – 31 Spanish films, games, sports, outdoor activities and reading. 4 – 8 years. Cost £130 or £35 per day session.

SUTTOn HOUSE – naTiOnal TrUST 2 & 4 Homerton High St, Hackney E9 6JQ ( Bethnal Green) 020 8986 2264 Family day May 26 50 things to do before you are 11¾. Free. Fun Thursday May 30 Charges apply. Fete de la Musique June 30 Family day.

v&a MUSEUM Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL ( South Kensington) 020 7942 2000 david Bowie is Until August 11 Exhibition with over 300 objects from the David Bowie archive. Cost £15.40/free ticket for children under 12 years.

Music icon May 27 – 31 Costume, make up and photography. Booking essential. 5-12 years. £7.50.

v&a MUSEUM OF CHildHOOd Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9PA ( Bethnal Green) 020 8983 5200 War games From May 25 Exhibition on war toys in children’s play from 1800 to the present day. Spy kids May 27 – 31 Make a secret agent ID card, and take part in a trail to win a prize. Free drop-in sessions. Eye Spy art Workshop May 27, 29, 31 Mystery painting techniques. 5 – 11 years. Cost £5 per child. introduction to Chess May 28, 30 Basic principles. Booking required. 6+ years. Cost £3 per accompanied child.

WillOWS FarM villagE Coursers Road, St Albans, AL4 OPF (M25/J22) Spring Special May 25 – June 2 Farmyard fun, rides, shows, sheep shearing and horse and pony displays. Cost from £9.50/£10.50/ under 2s free.

Mini Musicians May 25 – June 2 Rhythm and music making for younger children. Limited places. Free.

01/05/2013 18:02

Anna Fiorentini_19.12.12.pdf



clubs and classes


25% off* next term’s fees at

Fiorentini Weenies & North London Branch *Limited places. Applies to new students only

The Anna Fiorentini Theatre & Film School for 4-18 years The North London branch of the Saturday Anna Fiorentini Theatre & Film School is currently taking applications for the next term and its forthcoming Taster Days. The school originally opened in Hackney in 2001 and now has over 250 students aged 7-18, many of whom have gone on to secure professional work on TV, Film and in theatre. Examples include Charlie Jones and Belinda Owusu, who played Ben Mitchell and Libby Fox in EastEnders and Tahj Miles who currently plays Simba in the West End’s The Lion King. As well as providing professional training, the aim of the school is to also provide a safe and supportive environment for

all children to explore their creativity regardless of what career path they eventually choose to follow. Every week students follow a timetable of drama/film, dance and singing under the guidance of top industry professionals. As well as weekly classes, students are given the opportunity to take part in Voice Idol, Drama and Stars in their Eyes competitions, culminating in a yearly Oscar Night. The school has recruited some excellent teaching staff including: Mike Burnside (actor in The Bill, Bergerac, the RSC), Mark Short (choreograhper to Tina Turner, Peter Andre, Liberty X), Michael Buffong (director of EastEnders, Holby City, Casualty and Coronation Street), Jacob Murray (former associate artisitc director of the Royal

Exchange Manchester and teacher for National Theatre’s educational Department) and Jay Henry (X-Factor coach and voice coach having worked with Craig David, Mariah Carey and George Michael to name but a few). Celebrities such as Joseph Marcell (Jeffery in Fresh Prince of Bel Air) and Dani Harmer (Tracey Beaker), have also been amongst special guests to give master classes at this prestigious school. Students get to work with a variety of casting directors, producers and TV directors. They also get the opportunity to be considered for the agency to audition for professional work.

Contact us to book your free no obligation Taster Day. Hurry - Limited Places!

Lamda Qualifications in Drama which carry UCAS points also available. Tel: 020 7682 1403


Drama, Singing, Dance, Film, Set & Costume Design for ages 4-18 Saturdays in North London & Hackney Tuesdays in Bethnal Green Wednesdays in Docklands



hArts c a o c e r t a e e tag Th


lling Enro ! NOW

The original, largest and STILL the best network of part-time performing arts schools in the world. Nurturing and developing young peoples potential through dance, drama and singing. For 4-18 year olds, after school, at weekends and holiday workshops. Stagecoach Highgate 020 7272 8108 Stagecoach Stoke Newington 020 7354 0367


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clubs and classes

North London


SIGN UP TO RECEIVE OUR NEW MONTHLY EZINE – FREE! We are so excited to announce the launch of the Families North Ezine. The new Ezine will be available to all our readers online monthly from May 2013. Each month the Ezine will bring you exclusive features, competitions, news – featuring a great range of topics from education to health. If you like the magazine, you will love the Ezine. Sign up today at to receive our fabulous Ezine FREE!


Sharon Editor

original music, inspirational dance and quick witted improvisation and colourful costumes into a mini performance on the final day. Exclusively for 4-8 year olds, Perform Summer Experiences are five day courses specially designed to encourage creativity, confidence and communication skills as well as being a kaleidoscope of fun! Call 0845 400 4000, email enquiries@ or go to ‘The show was magical. Jack was thrilled and was bussing with the while thing for weeks afterwards!’ Alison Phillips, Dulwich Courses in your local area are:

Aladdin Summer Holiday Courses

Summer Experience 2013

for 4- 8 year old children This summer let your 4- 8 year old join Aladdin, Jasmine and The Genie on a thrilling five day adventure based on the classic children’s story ‘Aladdin’. Together with a team of experienced theatre professionals, the children will combine live


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Monday 22nd July – Friday 26th July Perform Belsize Park: The Hall Senior School 10am-12pm Each Day Perform St John’s Wood: Mansergh Club 2.30pm-4.30pm Each Day Monday 29th July – Friday 2nd aug Perform Primrose Hill: Primrose Hill Community Centre 2.30pm-4.30pm Each Day Perform Northwood: Northwood Methodist Church Hall 2.30pm-4.30pm Monday 29th July – Friday 2nd aug Perform Highbury: St John’s Hightbury Vale Primary School 10am – 12pm Each Day Perform Muswell Hill: CUFOS 10am – 12pm Each Day

Monday 5th aug – Friday 9th aug Perform Hampstead Garden City: Hampstead Garden City Free Church 10am-12pm Each Day Perform Primrose Hill: Primrose Hill Community Centre 10am-12pm Each Day Monday 5th aug – Friday 9th aug Perfom Highgate: Highgate United Reform Church 2.30pm – 4.30pm Each Day Monday 12th aug – Friday 16th aug Perform North Finchley: Christ Church North Finchley 10am – 12pm Each Day Monday 12th aug – Friday 16th aug Perform Pinner: St Luke’s Parish Centre 2.30pm-4.30pm Each Day Monday 19th aug – Friday 23rd aug Perform Hampstead: Friends Meeting House 10am-12pm Perform St John’s Wood: Mansergh Club 2.30pm-4.30pm Fees £145 EARLY BIRD OFFER: 10% Off before the end of May 2013! We offer a 25% discount for siblings attending the same Experience at the same venue. There will be a break for refreshments (provided) half-way through each session. Contact: 0845 400 1274

01/05/2013 18:02

cinema places to go

Places to Go Your guide to North London family entertainment

Cinema BarBiCan CEnTrE Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS ( Barbican) 020 7638 4141 Framed Film Club Saturday morning film club. Cost £2. Sammy’s Great Escape (U): May 4 Wreck-It Ralph (PG): May 11 Bugsy Malone (U): May 18 Silent Film with live Musical accompaniment Cost £11.50/£10.50online/under 18s £6. L’Inhumaine (PG): May 18 Laurel and Hardy – Rebellious Clowns (PG): June 2 The Lost World (PG): June 9 PHOEniX CinEMa 52 High Road, N2 9PJ ( East Finchley) 020 8444 6789 Toddler Time Tuesday films and bookable free activity places. 2 – 4 years. Cost £3 child + accompanying adult. Rastamouse 3: May 7 Timmy Time: May 14, 21, 28 kids Club Saturday screenings. Limited places for free workshops for 5 – 10 years. Cost £2. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: May 11 The Princess Bride: May 18 Oz the Great and Powerful: May 25 autism Friendly Screenings Special screenings for those on the The Phoenix Cinema

autism spectrum and their families – low lights and reduced volume. Wreck it Ralph (PG): May 26 May Half Term Film screenings and workshops yet to be announced.

riO CinEMa 107 Kingsland High Street, E8 6LJ (Dalston Kingsland ) 020 7241 9410 Saturday Morning Picture Club Members receive one free visit after every 10 visits. Cost children £2.50/£3.50 accompanying adult. Play Centre Matinees Cost children £2.50/£3.50 accompanying adult. Parents and Babies Club May 2, 7, 9, 14, 21, 23 June 4, 6 Matinee screenings for parents with babies under 1 year old. Brighter with space for pushchairs. £7.50. The Princess Bride (Pg) May 7 (Play Centre Matinee) Brave 3d (Pg) May 11 (Saturday Club) May 14 (Play Centre Matinee) Spy kids – all the Time in the World in 4d (Pg) May 18 (Saturday Club) May 21 (Play Centre Matinee) Framed Pick ‘n’ Mix Flicks (U) May 25 (Saturday Club) The Croods 3d (U) May 27 – 30 Special screenings during the school holidays. Cost £7.50/£6/family £24. ice age 4: Continental drift 3d (U) June 1 (Saturday Club) June 4 (Play Centre Matinee) rivErSidE STUdiOS Crisp Road, W6 9RL ( Hammersmith) 020 8237 1111 doctor Who and the daleks (U) May 26 In high definition format. Cost £10.50 for double bill. daleks: invasion Earth 2150 ad (U) May 26 Finding nemo (U) June 9 Family screening. Cost £5/£2.50.

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places to go museums • exhibitions

Museums & Exhibitions Museums at Night May 16 – 18 After hours events at many museums, galleries and heritage sites with late night viewing and special evening family tours and activities.

APSLEY HOUSE 149 Piccadilly, W1J 7NT ( Hyde Park Corner) 020 7499 5676 Museums at Night May 17, 18 Family events on history and music from the Georgian period. Cost £6.70/£4. 6pm – 8pm. Waterloo Festival June 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30 The Battle of Waterloo – family events and activities. Cost £6.70/£4.

BANK OF ENGLAND MUSEUM Bartholomew Lane, EC2R 8AH ( Bank) 020 7601 5545 Museums at Night May 17

An evening visit with presentations and questions and answers about gold. Free. 5.30pm – 9pm.

CHARLES DICKENS MUSEUM 48 Doughty Street, WC1N 2LX ( Russell Square) 020 7405 2127 Costumed Tours May 18, June 15 A step back in time to 1839. Booking required. Cost £15/£8.

FOUNDLING MUSEUM 40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ ( Russell Square) 020 7841 3600 Museums at Night May 17 Adults only event – evening workshop inspired by the Fate, Hope & Charity exhibition. Entrance £7.50. Tea Party June 22 Drop-in activities to create a paper teacup and saucer with a secret good deed message. Cost £7.50/ children free.

HANDEL HOUSE MUSEUM 25 Brook Street, W1K 4HB ( Bond Street) 020 7495 1685

Charles Dickens Museum

A moving tale of love, loss, space and time for ages 8+ The UK’s theatre for young audiences


21 May - 2 June WhatsOnStage The Guardian | 020 7645 0560

Family Art Day May 18 Free family art workshops. No booking required, but limited places. Under 5 years.

Museums at Night – Handel by Candle May 17 Candlelit tours, harpsichord recitals and family trails and activities. Booking required for tours. Last admission at 9pm. Free entry.

OSTERLEY PARK & HOUSE Jersey Road, Isleworth, TW7 4RB ( Osterley) 020 8232 5050

KENSINGTON PALACE Kensington Gardens, W8 4PX ( High Street Kensington) 0844 482 7777 Museums at Night – Sleepover May 16 First sleepover held at the Palace to celebrate Princess Victoria’s birthday party. 7 – 11 years. Cost £55.

LONDON CANAL MUSEUM 12-13 New Wharf Road, N1 9RT ( Kings Cross) 020 7713 0836

NATIONAL ARMY MUSEUM Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HT ( Sloane Square) 020 7730 0717

ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS Burlington House, W1J OBD ( Green Park) 020 7300 8000

OCTOBER GALLERY 24 Old Gloucester Street, WC1N 3AL ( Holborn) 020 7242 7367

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PETRIE MUSEUM OF EGYPTIAN ARCHAEOLOGY Malet Place, UCL, WC1E 6BT ( Euston Square) 020 7679 2884

Museums at Night May 18 Late opening at the museum.

Build Your Own June 15 – 16 Father’s day weekend activities to use engineering skills to create miniature machinery. 7+ years. Free.

Museums at Night May 17, 18 Tours and family activities. Cost £9/£5. 6pm – 9pm.

Museums at Night – Treasure Hunt May 17 Adults only event with drinks reception and private viewing. Free. 6.30pm – 8.30pm.

Museums at Night May 18 Open after hours for family tours, mystery characters and story telling. Cost £5 per child/adults free. 6pm – 9pm.


Don’t forget to say you saw the advert in Families North!

Family Studio: Living Art May 19 Bring artworks to life through reenactment. Free. Summer Exhibition 2013 June 10 – August 18

ROYAL AIR FORCE MUSEUM Grahame Park Way, NW9 5LL ( Colindale) 020 8205 2266 Museums at Night – The Dambusters May 17 Adults only event – activities with a Dambusters theme.

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theatres • concerts places to go Classical concerts for you and your baby. 0 – 5 years. Cost £10/children free. Around Europe in 60 Minutes May 7, 24 (Highbury & Islington, N5 1SA) May 10 (St John’s Wood, NW8 9UT) May 14 (Hampstead, NW3 6UU) May 16 (Highgate, N6 6BA) May 23 (Pimlico, SW1V 2AD)

‘My Brother the Robot’ at the Lyric Theatre

The Hendon Model Show May 19 Displays, activities and competitions. Popular event so use of public transport recommended. Armed Forces Day June 29 Activities, concerts and talks on RAF past and present.

Theatres & Concerts ARTS DEPOT Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, N12 ( West Finchley & Woodside Prk) 020 8369 5454 Star May 5 A green-fingered gardener and a tidy tailor. 2 – 5 years. Cost £7. The Three Billy Pigs May 12 A blend of two fairy tales. 3+ years. Cost £7. Aston’s Stones May 19 Aston the dog cannot stop collecting stones. 3 – 6 years. Cost £7. Circles in the Sand June 9 Intimate show with sand play afterwards. 0 – 3 years. Cost £7. Little Bo Peep June 16 Sing-along show. 2 – 7 years. Cost £7. Robin Hood and his Very Merry Men June 23 Colourful forest characters. 4+ years. Cost £7. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt June 29, 30 An adventure with songs and surprises. 3+ years. Cost £10.50/ family £38.

BACH TO BABY (CONCERTS) 07814 509 280

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Mother Goose & other Tales June 11, 28 (Highbury & Islington, N5 1SA) June 14 (St John’s Wood, NW8 9UT) June 18 (Hampstead, NW3 6UU) June 20 (Pimlico, SW1V 2AD) June 27 (Highgate, N6 6BA)

BARBICAN CENTRE Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS ( Barbican) 020 7638 4141 Bank On It June 22 – July 14 At Rose Lipman Building, 43 De Beauvoir Road, N1 5SQ. Interactive promenade performance all about money. 5+ years. Cost £12. CAPEL MANOR GARDENS Bullsmoor Lane,Enfield, EN1 4RQ (M25/J25) 08456 122122 The Comedy of Errors June 13 – 16, 22 The Principal Theatre Company open-air performance. Cost £13/£11/family £40. Hamlet June 19 – 22 Open-air production. Cost £13/£11/ family £40.


CHICKENSHED THEATRE Chase Side, Southgate, N14 4PE ( Cockfosters/Oakwood) 020 8292 9222

Daily Mail

Tales from the Shed – Summer May 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 30, 31 June 1, 28, 29 Lively fun with puppets and songs. 0 – 7 years. Cost £6/free for babies under 6 months. Tales Big Day Out May 25 Mini festival with performances, stalls and creative activities. Booking required. 0 – 7 years. Cost £8. Tales from the Shed at Dugdale Centre June 7 – 22 Interactive show for young children held at Dugdale Centre, EN2 6DS. 0 – 7 years. Cost £6/free for babies under 6 months.



SAT 29 - SUN 30 JUNE LE BOX A S W! OFFICE 020 8369 5454 N O NO


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places to go theatres • concerts original text. Lunch boxes available to purchase. 6+ years. Tickets £15/ family £50.

SADLER’S WELLS & LILIAN BAYLIS STUDIO Rosebery Avenue, EC1R 4TN ( Angel) 0844 412 4300

‘Aston’s Stones’ at the Arts Depot

( Covent Garden) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory From June 25 Previews from May 18 Cost £25 – £67.50.

The Chicken Circus May 18 A fox steals chickens for his circus. 3 – 8 years. Cost £4.50.

ETCETERA THEATRE 265 Camden High Street, NW1 7BU ( Camden Town) 020 7482 4857

The Drones June 15 With fun musical instruments. 3 – 9 years. Cost £4.50.

Bec and Toms Awesome Laundry June 22 Silliness and make-believe for ‘cool kids by childish adults’. Cost £5.50.

LAUDERDALE HOUSE Highgate Hill, Waterlow Park, N6 5HG ( Archway) 020 8348 8716 Wizard Loon’s Jack & the Beanstalk May 4 The wizard who gave Jack five magic beans. 2 – 7 years. Cost £4.50. Circus Stars with Charlie the Clown May 11 Clowning, juggling and songs. 2 – 7 years. Cost £4.50.

Bowjangles on the Box June 8 Tune in to a live TV show. 3 – 8 years. Cost £4.50.

The Magical Island June 22 Two children try to break the spell cast upon an island. 3 – 7 years. Cost £4.50. What’s the Big Secret? June 29 Singing and dancing to the life cycle of vegetables. 3 – 7 years. Cost £4.50.

LYRIC THEATRE HAMMERSMITH King Street, W6 OQL ( Hammersmith) 020 8741 6850 Misunderstood Monsters May 11 Spiders, crocodiles and aliens with messy play activities. 4 – 9 years. My Brother the Robot May 18

Forty Hall

Dad builds a robot for Bobbie. 4 – 9 years. Theatre in the Square May 28, 29, June 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19 Free performances from various theatre companies will take place in Lyric Square. No need to book.

In the Night Garden Live June 6 – 22 Stage show held in a purpose built showdome in the Live Quarter. Cost £15 – £25

REGENT’S PARK OPEN AIR THEATRE Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, NW1 4NU ( Baker Street) 0844 826 4242 To Kill a Mockingbird May 16 – June 15 Tickets £25 – £55. Pride and Prejudice June 20 – July 20 Tickets £25 – £55. The Winter’s Tale – Reimagined June 29 – July 20 A show suitable for a younger audience using Shakespeare’s


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SUTTON HOUSE MUSIC SOCIETY At Sutton House, 2 Homerton High Street, E9 6JQ ( Bethnal Green) 07505 609757 Bookings Fitzwilliam String Quartet May 19 Children welcome. Cost £10/£8.

O2 ARENA Peninsula Square, SE10 ODX ( North Greenwich)

PUPPET THEATRE BARGE Blomfield Road, Little Venice, London W9 2PF ( Warwick Avenue) 020 7249 6876 The Hare & the Tortoise & Other Tales from Aesop May 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 18, 19 Classic moral tales. 3+ years. Cost £10/£8.50. Canalway Cavalcade May 4 – 6 Colourful canal boats festival at Little Venice. Fowl Play May 25 – July 14 Farmyard adventure. 3+ years.

Varmints May 17, 18 At Lilian Baylis Studio. A woodland creature’s struggle to preserve a world in danger of being lost to the expanding city. 8+ years. Cost £7 – 12.

Lana Trotovsek & Yoko Misumi June 9 Violin and piano concert. Children welcome. Cost £10/£8.

TRICYCLE THEATRE 269 Kilburn High Road, NW6 7JR ( Kilburn) 020 7328 1000 How to Catch a Star May 9 – 12 A little boy tries to catch a star of his own. 3 – 7 years. Cost £8. Hue Boy May 25 Hue Boy wants to grow taller. 3+ years. Cost £7. Curious June 8 Explore everyday objects. 0 – 3 years. Cost £7. UNICORN THEATRE 147 Tooley Street, SE1 2HZ ( London Bridge) 020 7645 0560 Romeo & Juliet Until May 9 Mixture of original text and modern language. 13+ years. Cost £16/£10. Something Very Far Away May 21 – June 2 A story told through projection, puppetry and music. 8+ years. Cost £16/£10. You’re Not My Friend Anymore May 28 – June 2 It’s not easy being friends with someone. 3+ years. Cost £16/£10. Tube June 12 – 22 Interactive experience, specially

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nct places to go


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adapted for children with learning disabilities. 3 – 11 years. Telephone booking. My Father & Other Superheroes June 16 Father’s day treat. 8+ years. Cost £16/£10. aston’s Stones June 18 – 23 Aston the dog brings home some stones to be looked after. Free foyer events on selected dates. Under 5 years. Cost £16/£10.

Opening for Spring Special 'The Farmyard' — our NEW under cover home for our farmm animals ● Sheep Shearing by Farmer Andrew ● Horse and Pony Displays ● Animal Handling ● Sheepstakes Sheep Racing ● Scarecrow's Animal Friends ● Story Time ● Animal Feeding Areas ● Puppet Show ● Pan for Gold ● Ride on Rabbit Racers ● Frisbee Golf ● Build ‘n Play ●

Young Drivers Zone ● Country Fun Fair ● Captain Chicken’s Egg Dodge ● Tristan the Runaway Tractor ● Adventure Play ● Woolly Jumpers indoor play barn ● Bird-o-batics Falconry Displays ● Bouncy Haystacks ● Woolly's Workout Agility Play Trail

BarnET, EnFiEld and TOTTEnHaM BranCHES Contact: Belinda on bookings5b@ to reserve places.

Open daily 10am - 5.30pm

Programme subject to change.

16099a 04/13

Just 200 metres from Jnc.22 M25. Willows Farm Village, Coursers Rd, London Colney, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL4 0PF

Tel: 0870 129 9718

National Childbirth Trust – North London

Twins Workshop May 11 Information and support when having twins and contact with other parents. Cost £60. Charles Dickens Museum

introducing Solids May 15 – New Barnet May 22, June 19 – Crouch End Decide when to start introducing solid food to your baby. Suitable for parents of breast fed and bottle fed babies between 4 – 6 months. Cost £40. Waterbirth Workshop June 14 – Crouch End Preparations for a home waterbirth and in hospital. Common questions answered. Cost £50.

EnFiEld BranCH 07949 244 314 Bumps & Babies Weekly Tuesdays Get together for parents-to-be and new parents with babies under 1 year. St Michael & All Angels Church Hall, Gordon Hill, Enfield EN2 OJP. Refreshments. Entry £2.50. nCT Pudding Club May 13, June 3 Cricketers Pub, Chase Side Place, EN2 6QA. Social evenings for parents and parents-to-be. nCT Baby resuscitation & First aid Course May 20 Friends Meeting House, 59 Church Hill, Winchmore Hill, N21 1LE. Cost £10.

CChild Goes Free RM VILL AGE FA

*This voucher admits one child free to Willows Farm Village with one full paying adult day ticket. 1. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer, school/group bookings, birthday parties, online purchased tickets or Willows Membership. 2. This voucher is valid until 18th October 2013. 3. Only one child (up to 15 years old) admitted free with one full paying adult day ticket (aged 16+) per voucher. 4. No forged, defaced or photocopied vouchers or downloaded copies from electronic versions of publications accepted. 5. This voucher can only be used once and must be given up at the time of use.

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places to go nct • festivals 020 7375 0441 Festival May 12 Procession, brass band, workshops and Punch & Judy puppet shows. Free admission.

EAST BARNET FESTIVAL Oak Hill Park, London EN4 8JS Teddy Bear’s Picnic June 9 Theatre in the Park June 16, 30 Festival July 5 – 7 Music, dance, crafts and entertainment. Free entry. Forty Hall

HARINGEY BRANCH NCTea@Zebra Ceramics May 2 Alexandra Park Road, N10 2AE. Fortnightly on Thursdays. 2.30pm – 4pm. Join Maria and other local families at the contemporary ceramic painting studio and café. NCT members receive free tea and coffee refills. Indoor and outdoor activities and space for buggies. Playgroup@Cufos, N10 Tuesdays, 3 – 4.30pm. Meet other families and take part in activities inside and outside. Cost £1.50 per family and includes tea, coffee, biscuits and cake. Volunteers required. Contact playgroup@ NCTea@Cafe Moka Mondays 5 Wightman Road, N4 1QR. 10am – 12pm. Come along for a cuppa, cake or lunch. Limited space for buggies. NCTea@Pickled Pepper Books Tuesdays Middle Lane, N8 8PL. 10am – 11.30am. Join Megan for a cuppa and chat with other families in the children’s bookstore with story telling, author events and film screenings. NCTea in East Finchley Thursdays from 11.30am Meet up for mums with babies under 12 months at a local café. Contact Ruby on eastfinchley@ Bumps and Babies@Jacksons Lane Thursdays Archway Road. N6 from 2.30pm. New and expecting mums and accompanying dads can meet other parents in the area for teas and coffees and a chat. Non-NCT


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members also welcome. Contact Laura on highgate@haringeynct. org. TOOTOOMUMS@TooTooMoo Every third Wednesday 12 Crouch End Hill, N8. 11am – 1pm. Monthly get together for families with babies and young children. Cookery demo and taster sessions. Complimentary teas and coffee for NCT members. Twins Workshop May 14 Information and support when having twins. Ideal for those expecting their baby in June, July and August. Contact bookings5b@ Cost £60. Waterbirth Workshop June 14 Crouch End, N8. Ideal for those expecting July to early September. Open to nonNCT members as well. Contact Cost £50.


Forty Hall

Interactive performance. 5+ years. Free. Fairy Tale Walk May 25, 26 A magical, mystery tour. 5+ years. Cost £5. Dogs Don’t Do Ballet May 27 – 30 Puppets and music. 2 – 6 years. Cost £8/£4.


SPITALFIELDS MUSIC FESTIVAL Brushfield Street, E1 6AA 020 7377 0287

Mayton Street Festival June 1 Music, dance and performances. Under 5’s Picnic June 7 At Royal Northern Gardens, N7 6QX. Bring a picnic and take part in workshops. Free. Big Day at Whittington Park June 8 At Whittington Park, N19 4RS. Dance, music and free workshops.

SOUTH BANK CENTRE Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. ( Waterloo) 0844 847 9910 London Literature Festival May 20 – June 5 Poetry, plays and music. Also family workshops and shows during the half-term holiday period. Spin May 25

June 7 – 22 Events held at various venues bringing people and music together in the local community.

Special Events ALEXANDRA PALACE Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY ( Wood Green) 020 8365 2121 Mums Show Live May 16 – 19 Shopping, advice and kids entertainment – for parents of 4 – 12 year olds. Cost £10 advance/£15 on door. ENFIELD ISLAND VILLAGE COMMUNITY CENTRE 40 – 42 Island Centre, Way, EN3

Charles Dickens Museum

June 23 – July 26 Concerts, lectures and outdoor events. Children’s Parade June 28 A parade from Guildhall Yard to the steps of St Paul’s with music, dance and colourful costumes. Family Day June 30 Parliament Hill – Hampstead Heath. Celebrate Northern Irish culture with music, games and activities.

COVENT GARDEN MAY FAYRE & PUPPET FESTIVAL St Paul’s Church, Bedford Street, WC2 ( Covent Garden)

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festivals • further afield places to go 6GS (Enfield Lock ) 07508 706 309 Summer Party June 22 Pony rides, bouncy castle, and BBQ.

FAIR IN THE SQUARE Pond Square, Highgate Village, N6 6BS ( Highgate) Community Event June 15 Locally sponsored event with live music, stalls, activities, steel band, sheep show, a special kids tent and Punch & Judy.

FORTY HALL Forty Hill, Enfield EN2 9HA (M25/ J25) 020 8363 8196 Family Tour May 11, June 1, 22 History tours led by a costumed character.

HAMPSTEAD WOMEN’S CLUB Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead High Street, NW3 1NG

Nearly New Sale May 18 High quality new and gently used children’s clothing – newborn to age 10, toys, books and baby gear on sale. Proceeds towards local charities. Suggested £1 donation on door. 10am – 2pm.

HAMPSTEAD HEATH ( Kentish Town/Hampstead) 020 7332 3322 Family Bat Walk May 17, 24 Booking required. Rookie Rangers Wildlife Club June 23 Education Centre, Parliament Hill. Booking required (020 7482 7073). 8 – 12 years. The Wimbledon Week Tennis Festival June 24 – 29 Free coaching and tournament. Call 020 7332 3773. Irish Roots June 30 Parliament Hill Bandstand. Family day to celebrate Irish culture – part of City of London Festival. HARINGEY FAMILIES

Charles Dickens Museum

London Aquarium

Nearly New Sale May 11, June 8 At St George’s Hall, corner of Park Road/Cranley Gardens, N10 3AH. Second hand clothes for children/ babies, also toys, books and equipment. 10.30am – 11.45am.

020 8782 5566 0844 815 0815 bookings Walking with Dinosaurs May 1 – 6 Come face to face with dinosaurs. Cost £32.75 – £54.85.


Further Afield

Antique & Craft Fair June 8 Admission £1.50.

HIGHGATE WOOD Information Hut, Muswell Hill Road, N10 3JN ( Highgate) 020 8444 6129 Spring Guided Walk May 4 Birds & their Song Walk May 11 Tree Identification Walk May 18 Insect Safari June 1 Evening Bat watch. June 20 Booking required. Bushcraft Skills. June 29 Booking required. 7 – 13 years & 13+ years. All events are free. ST LUKE’S CHURCH Phipps Hatch Lane, Enfield, EN2 OHL Craft Fair May 11, June 8 High quality arts and crafts, children’s craft table, facepainting and tearoom. Free entry. WEMBLEY ARENA Arena Square, Engineers Way, HA9 OAA. ( Wembley Park)

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DESIGN MUSEUM 28 Shad Thames, SE1 2YD ( London Bridge) 020 7403 6933 020 7940 8783 (bookings) Champion Chairs May 19, June 16 Create a miniature chair with unusual materials. 5 – 11 years. Booking required. Cost £5 per child/ adult museum entrance £10.85. Designs of the Year 2013 Until July 7 Designs from around the world. Entrance £10.85/under 12 years free. KENSINGTON TOWN HALL Horton Street, W8 7NX ( High Street Kensington) Dollshouse Festival May 11, 12 Dolls house and miniature makers from around the world. Craft workshops and treasure hunt for children. Cost £11/£4/under 3 years free. SEA LIFE LONDON AQUARIUM County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB ( Waterloo) Ocean of Stars May & June Colourful collection of Star Fish including the Sunflower Starfish and the Chocolate Chip starfish. Online booking discount £14.28/£10.50/ visits after 3pm.


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