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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.

How to raise a family on a tight budget

Raising a family on a tight budget can be difficult, and whilst you may need to use your creativity, plan and control your spending in order to feed, clothe and entertain your family, raising a family on a budget is by no means impossible, from spending money on what’s important to seek free or inexpensive entertainment. Even if you aren’t on a tight budget, and simply want to save some extra cash at the end of the month before payday, these top tips can help.

Spend on what’s important

Raising a family on a tight budget can be incredibly challenging, both mentally and physically. After all, you want to give your family everything you never had, or what you were lucky enough to have growing up. Due to this, instead of keeping a close eye on what you spend and cutting back on spending, being mindful of what you spend your money on is much for effective. You might want a manicure or a brand new exhaust for your sports car, but with money tight, being willing to part with it is paramount. Should you find yourself in a financial emergency, Wizzcash loans can help ensure you are able to cope until your next payment.

Find free entertainment

Raising a family on a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Instead of planning a day out in London, for example, squeeze in fun with free or inexpensive outings. A trip to a museum, the park or visiting the beach will cost you pennies, and you can rest assured that the entire family will have a great day. After all, it’s all about the company, not what you do! Whilst it’s not always possible to find free entertainment, low-cost alternatives can help you save money and ensure you can treat your family more regularly.

Make healthy food at home

As the second-most expensive outgoing for families, making healthy food at home can help you better manage raising a family on a tight budget. Luckily, there are a number of ways to save on food, including healthy produce. If you live close to a Costco or Aldi, you can save hundreds of pounds on your weekly shop! Shopping here will also help to keep your food simple, meaning that you don’t need to spend hours on end over a hot stove missing out on invaluable family time.

Buy second-hand 

Buying clothes at full price is a costly affair, let alone buying clothes for children that are still growing. Due to this, instead of buying outfits at full price, buying second-hand can help save you hundreds over time. Charity shops, rummage sales and consignment shops are all great places to find wearable second-hand clothes that can then be passed onto another family member or re-donated when your loved ones have grown out of them. Just imagine the savings!

Intercept health care costs

Health care is another costly expense families are forced to face, and in some cases, cannot be avoided. In order to intercept eye-watering health care costs, ensure both you and your family attend regular check-ups such as the dentist. Whilst not all tooth-related problems can be avoided, teaching your loved ones how to floss will reduce their healthcare needs both now and in the future, potentially saving them from costly fees in the future!

Even though raising a family on a tight budget can seem impossible at times, it certainly is possible. By taking these top tips into consideration, you can be confident that you are providing your family with the best life possible.

Computer coding workshops for kids are engaging, creative and lots of fun!

Easter holiday computer coding workshops for kids in Guildford, Surrey.

A new and vital skill has become as important as numeracy and literacy in today’s digital world. It is a skill that fosters both creativity and logical thinking and is known as  computational thinking. It is basically the instinctive ability to work out exactly how to tell a computer what to do.  

Spark4Kids specialises in teaching kids to code by gently introducing coding through games design, website creation, robotics, electronics and micro-controller programming. In creating a fun, engaging environment where children are actively encouraged to explore and experiment with coding, kids naturally develop their ability to problem solve computationally.

An often overlooked aspect of coding is how much of a creative outlet it can be for kids, allowing them to express their thoughts and ideas. When children learn to code, they start to think of themselves as creators and not just consumers of technology.

If you have a child who loves technology, then attending Spark4Kids’ workshops and learning to write computer code might just be their ultimate holiday activity! Computational thinking, the instinctive ability to work out exactly how to tell a computer what to do, is as important as numeracy and literacy in today’s digital world.

For more information, visit Spark4Kids' website – www.spark4kids.com, or call them on 020 8090 1444.

WIN ticket to the Teletubbies show at GLive

THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED.

The iconic, world-famous Teletubbies, who this year celebrate their 20th anniversary, are to star in their first-ever live theatre show, “Big Hugs,” created especially for the youngest audience. We're so excited to announce that they are coming to Guildford!

And even better, we have 4 tickets to give away to one lucky family. To be in with a chance of winning simply answer the following question (entry form at the bottom of this page).

In which magical world do the Teletubbies live?

a) La La Land b) Disneyland or c) Teletubbyland?

Join Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po in a captivating stage show full of love, laughter, music and “Big Hugs,” as they explore the magical world of Teletubbyland. Look out for the Tubby Phone, Noo-Noo and Sun Baby in a fun, bright and safe world, which captures young children’s imaginations and encourages them to explore the world around them.  

Young audiences will have the opportunity to join in and enjoy beloved features from the TV series along with brand new songs by BAFTA award-winning composer, Mani Svavarsson.

Teletubbies Live has been created and adapted for the stage by Richard Lewis, who has also created and directed the hugely successful Peppa Pig Live shows. The show is produced by leading children’s theatre team, Fiery Light, in collaboration with licensor DHX Brands.

Featuring full-sized Teletubbies characters, bright colours, puppetry, movement, songs and actions, Teletubbies Live is the perfect show for introducing young children to the fun and magic of theatre. For more info go to www.Teletubbieslive.com

Age guidance

  • The recommended age is 6 months+. The perfect age is around 2 years, but pre-school children of any age will enjoy the show too!

Performances at GLive

  • Wednesday 25 April at 10am
  • Wednesday 25 April at 1pm
  • Thursday 26 April at 10am
  • Thursday 26 April at 1pm

Running time

  • 1 hour 10 minutes (including a 20 minute interval) 

Terms & Conditions

  • The prize is non-refundable and non-exchangeable.
  • The competition closes on Sunday 15 April at 8pm.