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WIN a family weekend ticket to GoFest

THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED.

GoFest South is back at Surrey Sports Park for the ultimate Family Sports Weekender on the 21 and 22 July at Surrey Sports Park

We have a weekend family ticket up for grabs, which will give up to 4 family members all inclusive access to 50 activities  from football, lacrosse, touch rugby, Surrey Storm netball, cricket, tennis, fencing and Archery Tag to climbing, zip wiring, dance acrobatics, paddleboarding, trampolining, scuba diving, Underwater hockey, Laser Tag and loads more.  It’s guaranteed to be a fun filled, active weekend for kids and parents. 

For a chance to win this fabulous prize, please comment on the form below (bottom of this page) with your favourite activity and we’ll select a winner. 

It’s the UK’s biggest family festival of sport, dance, health & fitness, where everyone is welcome regardless of age and ability. It’s all about getting you and your family to have fun together, perhaps doing an activity that you have never tried before with a raft of experienced coaches and sporting partners in an inspirational sporting environment. There will be even more going on this year, but make sure you get your tickets soon because the most popular activities like scuba diving, climbing, and paddleboarding do tend to get booked up very quickly. Plus there are some new sports and activities this year, which are likely to be very popular including zip wiring, tree climbing and laser tag AND have you ever tried underwater hockey or VX International?

GoFest South 2018 logo

GoFest is about just "having a go" with family friendly 30 - 45 minute coaching sessions from a raft of experienced partners in a fantastic, fun and supportive festival environment. With main stage music and dance acts, talent competition, tournaments, food outlets, bars, massage and a brilliant exhibition and retail area there is something for everyone! About 40% of GoFest is indoors so it’s even weather proof! 

For more info about GoFest go to www.gofest.co.uk

Terms & Conditions:

  • Only one entry per family.
  • We have one prize, consisting of four tickets.
  • Tickets for GoFest South only.
  • Prize cannot be transferred for cash value.
  • Competition closes on Monday 16 July at 8pm.

WIN four tickets to Cirque Berserk at Richmond Theatre

THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED.

We’re giving away four tickets to the jaw-dropping circus spectacular made just for theatre, Cirque Berserk!

Direct from London's West End and showcasing the finest in traditional circus thrills and skills, Cirque Berserk! celebrates the 250th anniversary of the invention of Circus by bringing this treasured form of live entertainment bang up-to-date and ready to amaze.

Combining contemporary cirque-style artistry with adrenaline-fuelled stunt action, this astoundingly talented international troupe includes over thirty jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, dancers, drummers and daredevil stuntmen. Featuring the world’s most hair-raising circus act - the legendary motorcycle ‘Globe of Death’.

Great for kids and even better for adults, a trip to Cirque Berserk! is something the whole family can enjoy this summer.

★★★★★ 'A NutriBullet of contemporary circus! Properly thrilling...your eyes will be fixed on the stage' The Times

★★★★★ 'Pitched perfectly between being a traditional circus experience and a theatrical production like Cirque Soleil -this is a show not to be missed!' Birmingham Mail

★★★★ 'Fast-paced circus-with-a-difference - a veritable feast for the eyes and ears!' Manchester Evening News

We're giving one lucky family the chance to win 4 tickets (must include 1 adult) for the performance of the show on Monday 2 July at 7.30pm. Simply answer the following question (entry box below): 

What circus act does the show contain? a) Globe of Life b) Globe of Breath or c) Globe of Death ??

For a chance to win four tickets, simply answer the question above and a winner will be picked at random and contacted by 5pm on Wednesday 28 June. Terms and conditions apply, the family ticket applies to the performance on Monday 2 July at 7.30pm and is for 4 tickets. T & C’s apply, see below.

Cirque Berserk promises to be the perfect theatre show for the family. For more info about the show click here.

Terms & Conditions:

  • We have 1 prize, consisting of four tickets.
  • Minimum 1 adult in attendance.
  • Ticket for Monday 2 July, 7.30pm performance only..
  • Tickets cannot be transferred for another show or cash value.
  • Competition closes on Wednesday 27 June 2018 at 8pm.

Importance of encouraging social skills in children

Children are the future; today’s tots could be tomorrow’s executives, doctors or leaders. So, it’s important that children are given the opportunity to socialise from a young age. Particularly as social skills are considered one of the most important skills we develop through our childhood. Affecting our job success, relationships and personal emotional health. 

Research in the past has shown that children who did receive sufficient socialisation while young had a higher chanceof developing social anxiety during their teens. This can be carried through to adult life leading to anxiety and even depression.

Every child will be different, some will of course be shyer, and it’s important that socialisation is never forced, but instead encouraged. Small steps towards positive socialisation at a young age will make it easier for children to socialise once they start school. The importance of starting young cannot be promoted strongly enough, as social skills can be harder to teach as children develop. Should you be concerned about your young child’s socialisation skills, you can approach their teacher or enrol them into a social skills group. Targeted social skills groups are good for bringing children of a similar age group together, to enable positive communication with their future classmates and colleagues. 

We look at some other ways social skills can be beneficial to our adult life;

Positive Relationships

Social skills go a long way when forming positive relationships with others. Good social skills are required for encouraging trust but also ensure a healthy understanding of setting and following relationship boundaries. Personal relationships help you progress in life, from emotional development to advancing in your career. 

An adult with healthy socialisation skills is less likely to be taken advantage of in or out of the workplace. They will also be able to better build positive relationships with their colleagues, promoting an optimistic workplace where everyone is well supported and happy. 

Team building exercises are popular in the workplace for promoting communication, co-operation and relationships between colleagues. They can particularly helpful for encouraging quieter members of the workforce to get involved and can be beneficial to adults that may be lacking in their social skills. Potentially, these exercises can be adapted to younger groups and can be a great, fun way of promoting social skills in youngsters, click here to learn more.

Enhanced Communication

Communication between individuals is important, it allows us to bond with others, build trust and forge lasting friendships which will support us in our adult life. Without practised, positive social skills, communication can break down leading to misunderstandings and conflict. Good social skills will also encourage healthy communication with the right people. Ensuring individuals can recognise negative communication and take action that shows empathy or where necessary, self-preservation.

Increased Quality of Life

Although it may not be obvious to all straight away why social skills will encourage an increased quality of life, it’s all down to the opportunities good social skills bring. A healthier approach to forming and keeping relationships that are beneficial and encouraging. More self-confidence which often leads to taking charge in the workplace opening more prospects for promotion and self-development. 

Positive social skills also assist in resolving disagreements, meaning less exposure to negative communication and promoting empathy. This encourages healthy boundaries and helps individuals know when to remove or restrict a person’s poor influence in their life. 

While there is plenty of information available on developing social skills in children and promoting interpersonal skills in adults. Make sure to approach a social development professional if you suspect your child is falling behind in their social skills. Alternatively, contact a team building co-operation should you be seeking social development activities for your workplace in order to build positive relationships withcolleagues. 

WIN four tickets to see AniMalcolm at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.

Surrey Mummy and Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre are offering you the chance to win a family ticket (4 seats) to David Baddiel’s ANiMALCOLM on Thursday 14 June at 7pm.  For a chance to WIN, simply answer the following question (entry form at the bottom of this page):

What doesn't Malcom like?

a) Fossils b) Vegetables or c) Animals

Malcolm doesn’t really like animals which is a problem as his family are crazy about them. The house is full of pets but what Malcom really wants is a new laptop for his birthday. Instead he gets a pet chinchilla and a ticket for the annual three-day school trip to a farm… full of animals. 

During the most bizarre weekend adventure, Malcolm learns what it’s like to BE an animal and starts to appreciate just how amazing animals really are.  He also learns that sometimes the hardest thing to become is yourself.  But will he end up the same as before?

Six actors portray 35 different characters – including more than 20 animals – combining outstandingphysical performances with great music, puppetry and a gloriously funny script to create one of the biggest family theatre events of the year. 

David Baddiel’s bestseller has won rave reviews and massive sales, delighting young readers as they follow Malcolm’s weird and wonderful journey of discovery about life as an animal. 

Story Pocket Theatre was formed in 2013 and had instant success. The company won the Primary Times Children’s Choice Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2014 and the coveted Three Weeks Editors’ Choice Award at Edinburgh in 2015. 

Faithful to Baddiel’s novel, this production is full of witty dialogue, ingenious puppetry, hugely energetic performances and a score that reflects the characteristics of all the animals Malcolm meets along the way.  Suitable for everyone ages 5 years and above.

http://www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk/production/david-baddiels-animalcolm

WIN a family ticket to Peppa Pig's Adventure at Richmond Theatre

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.

Peppa Pig and friends are back in the live show Peppa Pig’s Adventure ! The much-loved children's TV character and her friends appear in Peppa Pig's Adventure, which comes to Richmond Theatre on Wednesday 23 May (1pm & 4pm) and Thursday 24 May (10am & 1pm).

Peppa Pig’s Adventure features a new story, loads of songs and heaps of fun.

Join Peppa as she gets ready to go on an exciting camping trip to the woods with George and her school friends, including Pedro Pony, Suzy Sheep and Gerald Giraffe. With lunch-boxes packed and Daddy Pig driving the bus, Peppa and friends are excited about their outdoor adventure, full of games, laughter and live music!

The happy campers soon settle down to sleep and listen to the gentle pitter patter of rain.  Safe and warm inside their tents the excited group can look forward to morning time, when there will be lots of muddy puddles to play in!

We're giving one lucky family the chance to win a family ticket (must include 1 adult) for the performance of the show on Wednesday 23 May at 4pm. Simply answer the following question (entry box below): 

What is the name of Peppa Pig's friend? a) Malcolm Mule b) Harry Horse or c) Pedro Pony ??

For a chance to win a family ticket, simply answer the question below and a winner will be picked at random and contacted by 5pm on Tuesday 15thMay. Terms and conditions apply, the family ticket applies to the performance on Wednesday 23 May at 4pm and is for 4 tickets (either 1 x adult and 3 x children OR 2 x adults and 2 x children). T & C’s apply, see below.

Peppa Pig’s Adventure promises to be the perfect theatre show for all pre-schoolers aged three and upwards. For more info about the show click here.

Terms & Conditions:

  • We have 1 prizes, consisting of a family (4) tickets, either 2x adults and 2x children or 1x adult and 3x children.
  • Minimum 1 adult in attendance.
  • Ticket for Wednesday 4pm performance only..
  • Tickets cannot be transferred for another show or cash value.
  • Competition closes on Monday 14 May 2018 at 8pm.

Surrey Mummy is loving..Sandy Lagoon Water Park from Little Tikes

We’re hoping that the amazing warm weather in mid April was just a glimpse of the weather we have in store for us for Summer 2018.  Indeed, the shops are already full of toys and games for outdoor play.  One that really caught our eye is the Sandy Lagoon Water Park from Little Tikes (RRP £49.99).  Our family made the most of a weekend in the garden to play for as long as possible with one of these…

The concept is straightforward – one half is sand pit and the other half is for water play.  The sand can be covered over and the water played with on its own.  There is a tower structure in the middle which contains slides and a flipper mechanism to enable your characters to jump off the top and whizz down the slides, even racing them if you want a competitive element!  There are two colourful characters all decked out in their diving/ beachwear and a few other additional pouring mechanisms/ features, such as a dump bucket for pouring water on a character unexpectedly and a double ended spade/rake for playing in the sand.  All in all, a good number of features which enables more than one child to play with it at a time.  The sand and water trays are at perfect toddler height – both my 9 year old and my nearly 3 year old were able to comfortably play with it.  Even cruisers would be able to have fun with it.

You know you’re going to get a good robust outdoor toy when you see the Little Tikes brand and that is really appealing when you know a heavy-handed toddler is going to be let loose with it!  I’m not known in the family for my flatpack assembly skills, but I managed to assemble it single-handed and it took me roughly 30 minutes (with MANY interruptions!!) 

In summary, it is a very valuable addition to the outdoor toys (indoor play would be possible too) and I know it would keep my children entertained all summer long… and beyond. 

5 top tips for planning an eco-friendly children’s party

Children’s parties usually take a huge amount of planning and preparation work, from the invite list through to the party bag fillers. So much work goes into the smaller details but one thing that is often overlooked is what happens after the party. Hosting the party at home will inevitably involve a big clean-up party in the aftermath of the party but how much thought has gone into disposing of waste and trying to ensure the party is as eco-friendly as possible?

Due to the nature of parties for children and the catering, games, wrapping paper etc. they can generate a lot of waste. If you are looking for a way to help the environment and host an eco-friendly children’s party then read on.

1. Use biodegradable balloons

Balloons, either ones that blow away or ones that get put into landfill as rubbish can cause a lot of issues. Animals often mistake them for food and this leads to death when the balloons are consumed. They can also cause animals to get tangled up or block their airways, so balloons are a huge danger. That is why it is better to get ones that are biodegradable to reduce the risks as much as possible.

2. Eco-friendly party bags

It is a similar situation with party bags and the materials of standard party bags are harmful to the environment. Buying biodegradable party bags or materials that are recyclable or reusable is the most eco-friendly option. Similarly, you should also make sure to incorporate green party bag fillers.

3. Send email/online invitations

Traditional paper invitations might look nice but it is a lot more eco-friendly to send online invitations, either by email, Facebook invitation, or even text message. It doesn’t mean that you can’t send attractive, well-designed invitations; it just means that you send them through Internet-based methods. It also means that you do not have to wait for RSVPs to come back and you can remind people through the relevant channel rather than relying on kids to take them home from school to their parents.

4. No disposable cutlery

Plastic plates and cutlery are often bought and used for a few minutes during a party then thrown away. This makes them particularly bad for the environment when you take into account how much use you get out of them. Of course, you can get ones that are biodegradable these days, which is much better for the environment.

5. Food compost

If you are throwing the party at home then you can prepare for there being lots of food waste by setting up a food compost to dispose of all of the food that is left over. Good planning around how much food to buy will help to reduce the food waste. You can also send people home with some of the food if you have lots remaining after the party or you can go round to your neighbours to ask them if they want some.

Or you can get creative in the kitchen and use it for ingredients for food the next day! It is relatively easy to set up a food compost, but you need to know which items you can put onto a food compost, for example, dairy products and meats should not be added as they can attract rodents. Fruits and vegetables are fine, as are eggshells, bread, pasta, rice, chips and plenty of other foods that are typically served at parties. You can use a compost food list to check whether you are okay to put the food item into the food compost.

Have you ever wondered what Teletubby custard tastes like? We interview the Teletubbies!

The Teletubbies have arrived in Surrey! This is the first ever LIVE show that the Teletubbies have appeared in and there is much excitement up and down the country about this nationwide, year long tour.

The show is packed with fun and antics from the nations best-loved toddlers, the Teletubbies. It also features old favourites such as Naughty Noo-noo.

The show is aimed at pre-schoolers but anyone over six months will enjoy it. Even babes in arms can get something from the sensory stimulation provided by the show. The show is very interactive with a lot of audience participation. With brand new shows to learn and sing along to, the audience are kept on their toes. Each act is 30 minutes long, with a short interval.

So, we had the great pleasure of getting to chat to the Teletubbies and ask lots of silly questions, posed by the children of our Surrey Mummy readers. Spokesperson Naomi, who plays Sam, was happy to provide the low down, with the Teletubbies nodding and waving by her side.

  1. Which is greener, Surrey or Tellytubbyland? Probably Teletubbyland, per square cm!
  2. Who has the tidiest bedroom? They are all in one bedroom in the pod and are very good at making their beds themselves. But of course if there is any mess, Naught Noo-noo is on hand to clear it up!
  3. Do you go back to Teletubbyland after each show? Yes of course.
  4. Is Naughty Noo-noo still naughty? Yes, definitely and it still loves to play hide and seek.
  5. Are there any other Teletubbies in Teletubbyland? No, it’s just Dipsy, Tinky Winky, Laa Laa and Po, but there are eight Tiddlytubbies who are smaller than the Teletubbies but they do not feature in the Live show.
  6. What are your favourite things to eat? Tubby custard and Tubby toast of course!
  7. What does Teletubby custard taste like? A bit like custard but with a little sprinkle of magic added in.

We hope you will join the Teletubbies for their show at GLive later this week. To purchase tickets please click here https://glive.co.uk/Online/tickets-teletubbies-live-guildford-2018

Who says revising can't be fun? Tips to help your child study

Big sigh all round for both children and parents as exam season is upon us. Whether it is the SATs, GCSEs or just the usual end-of-term tests, revising is difficult for children of all ages and tends to hang over family life like a dark cloud.

So what tips can you give your children to help them study? Children’s health and wellbeing charity the Sunflower Trust has some advice to make it just a bit less painful:

Keep it moving

They’ve had to sit still at school all day so the last thing they want to do is sit down and learn again when then get home. Good news - revising doesn’t have to be done at a table or desk; many people learn better if they are moving about – this is called kinaesthetic learning. Your child might find it really works for them to read their notes while pacing up and down or jiggling around on an exercise ball.

Perhaps you can suggest testing them verbally on what they have learned while they jump on the trampoline or play with a stress toy. Who says revising can’t be fun?

In through the ears

Many people are auditory learners – meaning they find it easier to take in and retain information by hearing it, rather than reading. If your child is an auditory learner, they may find it works to record themselves reading the facts they need to learn so they can listen to it over and over again. It will probably make them laugh, but again, who says revising can’t be fun?

The advantage of this system is that they can revise on the go! Perhaps they could listen to their work on the way to school, or even in bed before they go to sleep.

Auditory learners may also prefer to find educational videos online to watch.

Bright colours are a bright idea

For children who are visual learners, there are lots of ideas that can help them:

  • Make posters/visual mind maps to stick up around their bedroom
  • Use lots of different colours/highlighter pens in revision notes
  • Make revision notes into cards that can be flicked through or to make games out of
  • Find educational videos about the topic/subject to watch

General revision tips and ideas

They’ve sat and listened to teachers all day so why not encourage them to be the teacher for a change. Children of all ages love being able to teach their parents about a topic. Older children might also enjoy teaching a younger sibling.

Teach your children to have sensible revision targets – study for 20 mins and then give themselves a treat. They could have a snack and drink, a 10-minute kick about in the garden, a play with the dog.

Create a pleasant environment for your child to study in. Temperature, lighting, aroma, noise and seating can all make a big difference to their learning.

Sunflower Trust CEO, Nichola Atkinson, says: “Make sure your child is as physically resilient as possible by getting a good night’s sleep – not just the night before but for the whole week on the run up to an exam.  Ensure their diet is varied with foods high in probiotics which can settle the gut and help them feel alert and think more clearly.   Slow-release carbohydrates will keep their energy levels high and foods high in antioxidants are excellent at combating the physical effects of stress.  Don’t forget that whole milk is fortified with Vitamin D - a vitamin essential for happiness.  And, last but not least, don't worry about household jobs that are left undone or untidy bedrooms – they can wait for another day.”

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If you think your child would benefit from the Sunflower Programme, more information can be found here: www.sunflowertrust.com. Or you can call 01483 531498 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month: Spotting, treating and preventing it during pregnancy

As March is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month, now is the perfect time to learn more about this common and potentially life-threatening condition; and, most importantly, how to prevent it from impacting your life during and after your pregnancy.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is one of the most common types of blood clots that women suffer from and it typically occurs in the legs, with clotting in the veins running through the calf and thigh muscles.  If left untreated the effects can be deadly.

Eddie Chaloner, a London based vascular surgeon, explains why DVT Awareness Month is so important, especially for pregnant women! The campaign is focused on promoting the essential information all women should know about the risks of blood clots, how to spot the symptoms and how to treat the condition or ideally prevent it from developing in the first place. This year, the campaign has been split into five separate themes, each providing all the information necessary to fully understand the risks. Topics include information about groups who may be at higher risk, personal testimonies on how to manage the condition on a day to day basis as well as everything you need to know about staying healthy and avoiding DVT.

How do you know if you have deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

Sometimes DVT can be symptomless, but usually you will experience some of the more common symptoms including a pain or ache in your legs as well as increased tenderness or swelling. In some cases you may see a reddening of the skin, usually around the calf area. 

The most serious effect of blood clots such as DVT is that these can lead to further complications such as the development of pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a section of the blood clot travels in the bloodstream and blocks the blood vessels in the lungs. If a pulmonary embolism is caused as a result of DVT then it is known as venous thromboembolism (VTE). This condition will affect around 10% of sufferers of DVT if the clot is left untreated. Pulmonary embolism can cause chest pains, difficulty breathing and in the most severe cases can lead to heart failure and fatalities.

There can also be a longer-term impact of failing to effectively treat DVT, with between 20-40% of DVT sufferers developing post-thrombotic syndrome which is an increase in pressure in the veins as a result of diverted blood flow from the veins affected by the blood clot. Common symptoms of post-thrombotic syndrome include calf pain, swelling or rashes and even ulcers in severe cases. Some symptoms can indicate whether you are at increased risk of developing post-thrombotic syndrome including:

  • If the initial clotting occurs in your thigh
  • If you are overweight
  • If you have suffered from more than one blood clot in the past.

Are pregnant women more likely to suffer from DVT?

As the rate of blood clotting increases during pregnancy; pregnant women can be at a significantly higher risk of suffering from DVT. With some studies showing that pregnant women are up to ten times more likely to develop the condition, DVT Awareness Month is playing a vital role in raising awareness among women who may be at greater risk. Clotting can be a serious issue for women throughout their pregnancy and even six months after giving birth.

You could be more susceptible to developing the condition during pregnancy if you already have thrombophilia, where the blood clots at a faster rate, or you have a close family member who has had a thrombosis in the past. There are also other risk factors which women should be aware of to ensure that they are prepared for the signs of a potential blood clot including being pregnant over the age of 35 or expecting twin or triplets. In addition, women who are obese or already suffer from varicose veins should be aware that they are at a higher risk of developing DVT. 

If you do develop DVT whilst pregnant there are several treatments available that a medical professional can advise you on. One of the most common treatments is the prescription of anticoagulation medicines which makes it more difficult for blood clots to form and prevent the condition from worsening.  Heparin is the most popular anticoagulant for pregnant women, particularly low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) which does not require a hospital stay and has no effect on your baby. There are side effects including an increase in bleeding but these are less severe than the standard treatment. If you start this treatment during your pregnancy you will need to continue the course until at least six weeks after you have given birth.

Increased exercise can be hugely beneficial and can prevent the symptoms of DVT from worsening or returning, while even something as simple as keeping your leg raised while resting can help. This assists in the blood flow and prevents blood pooling in the calf which can lead to the development of DVT.

DVT Awareness Month has long been incredibly successful at raising awareness of this serious condition and ensuring that pregnant women especially have all the information they need to stay healthy during and after pregnancy.