Thursday Baby and Toddler Classes

Thursday

Toddler and baby classes, playgroups and activities in Woodford Green, Wanstead, Leytonstone, Buckhurst Hill and the local West Essex area held on a Thursday.

Many classes are term time only so you may want to check with the organiser for confirmed dates.

9.40AM*, 10.15AM, 10.50AM, 11.25AM MONKEY MUSIC, BUCKHURST HILL

Music classes where children are encouraged to experience music and join in with percussion instruments.

9.40AM *Heigh- Ho – Toddlers from 12 months (Coming soon)
10.15AM Jiggerty Jig – 2 & 3 year olds
10.50AM Heigh- Ho – Toddlers from 12 months
11.25AM Rock’n’Roll – Babies from 3 months

Price: cost tbc, booking required and classes booked by the term
Address: The Bridge Church, 29 Princes Road, Buckhurst Hill IG9 5EE
Website: Monkey Music website
Contact: Kate Panayi, 0208 989 7017, southwoodford@monkeymusic.co.uk

9.40AM, 10.15AM, 10.50AM, 11.25AM MONKEY MUSIC, BABABOOM LOUGHTON

Music classes where children are encouraged to experience music and join in with percussion instruments.

9.40AM Rock’n’Roll –  Babies from 3 months
10.15AM Jiggerty Jig – 2 & 3 year olds
10.50AM Heigh- Ho – Toddlers from 12 months
11.25AM Rock’n’Roll – Babies from 3 months

Price: cost tbc, booking required and classes booked by the term
Address: Bababoom, 255 High Road, Loughton, IG10 1AD
Website: Monkey Music website
Contact: Kate Panayi, 0208 989 7017, southwoodford@monkeymusic.co.uk

10AM – 11.30AM STAY N PLAY, SOUTH WOODFORD LIBRARY

Suitable for toddlers and pre-schoolers under 5 years old in term time only

Price: Free, no need to book
Address: South Woodford Library & Gym, 116 High Road, London, E18 2QS
Website: South Woodford library website 
Contact: 020 8708 9067 or email southwoodford.library@visionrcl.org.uk

10AM – 11.30AM PARENT & TODDLER GROUP, ST ANDREWS WOODFORD GREEN

Price: £1 or £2
Address: St Andrews Church, Chingford Lane, Woodford Green, IG8 0NH
Website: St Andrew’s Church website
Contact: Contact@asww.org.uk

10.30AM, 11.30AM BABY SENSORY, LEYTONSTONE

A fun class led by the wonderful Sara with various sensory activities designed to support your baby’s sensory development every week and you are welcome to join at any time. Classes are term time only and get booked up early so try to book early or join the waiting list.

10.30AM birth – 13 months
11.30AM birth to 6 months

Price: TBC, term commitment
Address: Leytonstone United Free Church, 55 Wallwood Road Leytonstone E11 1AY
Website: Baby Sensory website
Contact: Sara Marchesi 07506 020039, Baby Sensory Facebook page

10.45AM POST-NATAL & BABY YOGA, WANSTEAD

Bring your baby along while you get in shape, all yoga abilities welcome, including complete beginners. Babies from 6 weeks-1 year. Bring a yoga mat if you have one (spares if not) and a blanket for your baby to lie on – Dads welcome too.

Price: £10, drop in classes
Address: Quaker Meeting House, Bush Road, E11 3AU.
Website: Miriam and George Facebook page
Contact: Miriam 07943 261671 miriammzz@aol.com

1.30PM-3PM LITTLE FISHES, BUCKHURST HILL

A weekly playgroup held during term-time for babies to pre-schoolers. There’s toys, a craft table and stories.
Address: St John’s Church Hall, St. John’s Church, High Road, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5RX
Website: St John’s Church website
Contact: Little Fishes Facebook page

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Wednesday Baby and Toddler Classes

Wednesday

Toddler and baby classes, playgroups and activities in Woodford Green, Wanstead, and the local West Essex area held on a Wednesday.

Many classes are term time only so you may want to check with the organiser for confirmed dates.

9.30AM -11AM ST THOMAS MOTHER & TODDLER GROUP, WOODFORD GREEN

Friendly drop in play group suitable from birth up to 2 years old. Open term time only.

Price: 50p per head, includes tea, coffee and juice
Address: Beckett Centre, St Thomas of Canterbury, 557-559 High Road, Woodford Green, IG8 0RB
Contact: Sheila Browne browne152@btinternet.com

9.40AM, 10.15AM, 10.50AM, 11.25AM, MONKEY MUSIC, SOUTH WOODFORD

Music classes where children are encouraged to experience music and join in with percussion instruments.

9.40AM Heigh- Ho – Toddlers from 12 months
10.15AM Jiggerty Jig – 2 & 3 year olds
10.50AM Heigh- Ho – Toddlers from 12 months
11.25AM Rock’n’Roll – Babies from 3 months

Price: cost tbc, booking required and classes booked by the term
Address: Woodford Methodist Church, Derby Road, South Woodford, E18 2PU
Website: Monkey Music website
Contact: Kate Panayi, 0208 989 7017, southwoodford@monkeymusic.co.uk

9.45AM-10.30AM & 10.45AM – 11.30AM TINY TALENT MUSIC & MOVEMENT, SOUTH WOODFORD

A lively, friendly class with lots of fun singing songs, playing instruments, puppets and props, action songs, parachute fun and bubbles! There’s free tea and coffee after class which gives you a chance to have a chat and get to know the other mums.

Price: £6 per session, payable in advance in half termly slots (usually 6 weeks). Free trial session available. You can turn up any Wednesday for a free trial and then book in and pay for the rest of the half term if you wish to continue.
Address: Redbridge Drama Centre, Churchfields, South Woodford E18 2RB
Contact: Theresa Edwards tinytalent@hotmail.com or you can get in touch via the Redbridge Drama Centre 0208 708 800

10AM – 10.30AM MOVERS AND SHAKERS, WANSTEAD

Movers and shakers

A drop in class of music and movement suitable from birth to 3 years old.

Price: £4.50 and siblings £3, you can reserve a space via the website
Address: Wanstead United Reformed Church, Nightingale Lane, London E11 2HD
Website: Movers and Shakers website
Contact: Erica Bartrum 07871 552141 erica@movers-and-shakers.co.uk

10AM – 11.30AM NCT COFFEE MORNING, COSTA COFFEE WOODFORD BRIDGE

Fortnightly coffee morning open to all mums, you don’t need to be an NCT member to attend. Suitable for mums with new borns up to pre-school children.

Price: Free
Address: Costa, 688 – 690 Chigwell Road, Woodford Bridge, IG8 8AH
Website: NCT Redbridge branch website
Contact: Claudine at ParentSupport.Redbridge@nct.org.uk or NCT Redbridge Facebook page

10AM – 11.30AM NCT COFFEE MORNING, SLUG AND LETTUCE SOUTH WOODFORD

Drop on for a cup of tea to meet other mums in the area, whether you have a newborn or preschooler. You don’t need to be an NCT member to attend. All attendees will be given slug cards which entitles you to a 10% discount.

Price: Free
Address: Slug and Lettuce, 184 George Lane, South Woodford, E18 1AY
Website: NCT Redbridge branch website
Contact: Claudine at ParentSupport.Redbridge@nct.org.uk or NCT Redbridge Facebook page

10AM – 11.15AM MESSY MISCHIEF, ILFORD

A range of stimulating messy play experiences without you experiencing the mess suitable for babies and toddlers. Term time only.

Price: £5.00 per session (first session free, recommend two people and get another free session)
Address: Redbridge Jewish Community Centre, Sinclair House, Woodford Bridge Road, Redbridge, Ilford, Essex IG4 5LN
Website: Messy Mischief webpage
Contact: Laura Davis, 020 8551 0017, messymischief@jcare.org

10.30AM, 11.30AM, 12.30AM, BABY SENSORY, SOUTH WOODFORD

A fun class led by the wonderful Sara with various sensory activities designed to support your baby’s sensory development every week and you are welcome to join at any time. Classes are term time only and get booked up early so try to book early or join the waiting list. Pay and display parking available in the library car park.

10.30AM 4 – 13 months
11.30AM 6 – 13 months
12.30AM birth to 6  months

Price: TBC, term commitment
Address: 52nd EFS Scout Hut, 118 – 126 High Road South Woodford E18 2QS
Website: Baby Sensory website
Contact: Sara Marchesi 07506 020039, Baby Sensory Facebook page

 11AM – 11.30AM STORIES, RHYMES AND SONGS, WANSTEAD LIBRARY

Weekly story time and rhyme sessions that you can just drop in to. Suitable for toddlers and pre-schoolers under 5 years old.

Price: Free, no need to book
Address: Wanstead Library, Spratt Hall Road, Wanstead, London, E11 2RQ
Website: Wanstead library website 
Contact: 020 8708 7400 or email wanstead.library@visionrcl.org.uk

10AM & 11AM HARTBEEPS, WOODFORD GREEN

A multi-sensory, musical experiences for babies and children. Classes use music, innovative props and puppetry together with a vast array of multi-sensory techniques.

10AM Happy House (toddling to 4 years, younger siblings welcome)
11AM Baby Beeps (sitting to toddling)

Price: Taster class £3, Pay as you Go (where space available) £7 or block booking half termly £6 per class
Address: All Saints’ Church, Inmans Row, Woodford Green, Essex, IG8 0NH
Website: Hartbeeps website or Hartbeeps Facebook page 
Contact: Seema call 07903 086 096or email seema@hartbeeps.com

1.30PM – 3PM HOLY TRINITY BABY & TODDLER GROUP, SOUTH WOODFORD 

A friendly stay and playgroup suitable from birth to 5 years old open during term time. There are bikes, scooters and toy cars for the older children to use, and a baby corner with range of baby toys for the little ones. Tea, biscuits and chats for the parents and carers. All welcome.

Price: Donation of about 50p to £1.
Address: Holy Trinity Chuch, 185 Hermon Hill, South Woodford, London, Essex,  E18 1QQ
Website: Holy Trinity Church website

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Tuesday Baby and Toddler Classes

Tuesday

Toddler and baby classes, playgroups and activities in Woodford Green, Wanstead, South Woodford and the local West Essex area held on a Tuesday.

Many classes are term time only so you may want to check with the organiser for confirmed dates.

9.30AM – 11AM ST THOMAS MOTHER & TODDLER GROUP, WOODFORD GREEN

Friendly drop in play group suitable from birth up to 5 years old. Open term time only.

Price: 50p per head, includes tea, coffee and juice
Address: Beckett Centre, St Thomas of Canterbury,  557-559 High Road, Woodford Green, IG8 0RB
Contact: Sheila Browne browne152@btinternet.com

9.40AM, 10.15AM, 10.50AM, 11.25AM MONKEY MUSIC, WOODFORD GREEN

Music classes where children are encouraged to experience music and join in with percussion instruments.

9.45AM Heigh- Ho – Toddlers from 12 months
10.15AM Jiggerty Jig – 2 & 3 year olds
10.50AM Heigh- Ho – Toddlers from 12 months
11.25AM Rock’n’Roll – Babies from 3 months

Price: cost tbc, booking required and classes booked by the term
Address: All Saints’ Church, Inmans Row, Woodford Green, IG8 0NH
Website: Monkey Music website
Contact: Kate Panayi, 0208 989 7017, southwoodford@monkeymusic.co.uk

10AM – 11.30AM BROADMEAD PARENT & TODDLER GROUP, BROADMEAD CHURCH WOODFORD GREEN

Drop in group open to all and suitable for children under 5 years old, operating during term time only. Free parking available.

Price: £1 with tea, juice and biscuits
Address: Broadmead Baptist Church, Chigwell Road, Woodford Green, IG8 8PE
Contact: 020 8504 1073 nfo@broadmeadbaptistchurch.org.uk

10AM-11.30AM SAINTS’ BABIES, ALL SAINTS WOODFORD

Term time baby group with a play area for babies and coffee for the parents and carers.

Price: £1.50 per week
Address: All Saints’ Church, Inmans Row, Woodford Green, Essex IG8 0NH
Website: All Saints Website
Contact: 020 8504 0266, contact@asww.org.uk

10.30AM, 11.30AM, 12.30AM, 1.30PM BABY SENSORY, WANSTEAD

A fun class led by the wonderful Sara with various sensory activities designed to support your baby’s sensory development every week and you are welcome to join at any time. Classes are term time only and get booked up early so try to book early or join the waiting list.

10.30AM 6 – 13 months
11.30AM birth to 6 months
12.30AM 4 to 13 months
1.30PM 4 to 13 months

Price: TBC, term commitment
Address: Quaker Friends Meeting House, Bush Road Wanstead E11 3AU
Website: Baby Sensory website
Contact: Sara Marchesi 07506 020039, Baby Sensory Facebook page

10.30AM HARTBEEPS, RAY LODGE PARK, WOODFORD GREEN

A multi-sensory, musical experiences for babies and children from 4 months to 4 years. Classes use music, innovative props and puppetry together with a vast array of multi-sensory techniques. The class takes places within the James Leal Centre which has an on site cafe, small soft play area and is next to the park. There is a pay and display parking at the top of the park and it is a 2-3minute walk down.

Price: Taster class £3, Pay as you Go (where space available) £7 or block booking half termly £6 per class
Address: James Leal Centre, (situated in Ray Park), Snakes Lane East, Woodford Green, IG8 7JQ
Website: Hartbeeps website or Hartbeeps Facebook page 
Contact: Seema call 07903 086 096or email seema@hartbeeps.com

 

2PM – 2.30PM STORIES, RHYMES AND SONGS, SOUTH WOODFORD LIBRARY

Weekly story time and rhyme sessions that you can just drop in to. Suitable for toddlers and pre-schoolers under 5 years old.

Price: Free, no need to book
Address: South Woodford Library & Gym, 116 High Road, London, E18 2QS
Website: South Woodford library website 
Contact: 020 8708 9067 or email southwoodford.library@visionrcl.org.uk

2.30PM – 3PM STORIES, RHYMES AND SONGS, WOODFORD GREEN LIBRARY

Weekly story time and rhyme sessions that you can just drop in to. Suitable for toddlers and pre-schoolers under 5 years old.

Price: Free, no need to book
Address: Woodford Green Library, Snakes Lane West, Woodford Green, Essex, IG8 0DX
Website: Woodford Green library website 
Contact: 020 8708 9055 or email woodfordgreen.library@visionrcl.org.uk

1.45PM – 3PM MESSY MISCHIEF, ILFORD

A range of stimulating messy play experiences without you experiencing the mess suitable for babies and toddlers. Term time only.

Price: £5.00 per session (first session free, recommend two people and get another free session)
Address: Redbridge Jewish Community Centre, Sinclair House, Woodford Bridge Road, Redbridge, Ilford, Essex IG4 5LN
Website: Messy Mischief webpage
Contact: Laura Davis, 020 8551 0017, messymischief@jcare.org

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Monday Baby and Toddler classes

MONDAY

Toddler and baby classes, playgroups and activities in Woodford Green, Wanstead, Buckhurst Hill and the local West Essex area held on a Monday.

Many classes are term time only so you may want to check with the organiser for confirmed dates.

9.30AM, 10.30AM, 11.30AM, 2PM JO JINGLES, GANTS HILL

A 45 minute music, singing and movement class for babies and young children. Different educational themes are introduced weekly, such as colours and numbers, using action songs and well known rhymes. We also have a wide range of visuals and props to help explain the theme. Children play with percussion instruments, get a chance to meet Jo Jingles the doll as well as interacting with bean bags, streamers and bubbles

9.30AM: Jingle Toddlers, suitable for walking – 2 years
10.30AM: Jo Jinglers, suitable for 2 years +
11.30AM: Jingle Babies, suitable for 3 months to walking
2.30PM Jingle Juniors, suitable for 3-5 years

Price: **Awaiting price**, You need to book a term of classes
Address: St Augustine’s Youth Hall, Cranbrook Road, Gants Hill, Essex IG6 1AU
Website: Jo Jingles website
Contact: Elaine 0208 551 7788 or email Elaine

9.30AM, 10.30AM & 11.20 MINI MUSICIANS, WANSTEAD HOUSE

A lovely music class taught by early years specialists for babies and toddlers including singing, dancing, stories and instruments. Run by Redbridge Music Service during term time.

9.30AM- 10.15AM Babies – (birth-15 months)
10.30AM- 10.45AM & 11.20AM-12.05PM Toddlers (walkers to 4 years)

Price: £70 per term
Address: Wanstead House, 21 The Green, Wanstead E11 2NT
Website: Redbridge Music Service
Contact: 020 8501 3944

9.40AM, 10.15AM, 10.50AM, 11.25AM MONKEY MUSIC, BABABOOM LOUGHTON

Music classes where children are encouraged to experience music and join in with percussion instruments.

9.40AM Rock’n’Roll –  Babies from 3 months
10.15AM Jiggerty Jig – 2 & 3 year olds
10.50AM Heigh- Ho – Toddlers from 12 months
11.25AM Rock’n’Roll – Babies from 3 months

Price: cost tbc, booking required and classes booked by the term
Address: Bababoom, 255 High Road, Loughton, IG10 1AD
Website: Monkey Music website
Contact: Kate Panayi, 0208 989 7017, southwoodford@monkeymusic.co.uk

9.45AM SLING SWING, WANSTEAD

mums dancing at a Sling swing class

A fun  5 week class where you learn simple, gentle dance routines while wearing your baby in a sling. This is a friendly session run by Sally who is a qualified baby-wearing consultant. Even if you don’t usually use a sling or own one, Sally can provide one and offer advice. You don’t have to be a good dancer (I’m pretty rubbish!) but it’s a lovely way to do something different with your baby and they all seem to find it very relaxing.

The next course starts on the 27 March 2017.

Price: £35 for 5 week course (£30 earlybird price or for returning clients)
Address: Wanstead United Reformed Church, Nightingale Lane (just off Wanstead High Street), E11 2HD
Website: Buddha Baby website
Contact: Sally Martin info@buddhababywanstead.co.uk 07723 389 294

9.45AM, 10.45AM, 12.45PM, 1.45PM TUMBLETOTS, BUCKHURST HILL/WOODFORD

child doing Tumble Tots class

Sessions that allow your children to use special Tumble Tots equipment to develop their coordination, balance, agility and climbing skills. Sessions are structured with activities matched to your child’s age and ability and involve parent participation.

The circuit class at 12.45pm is geared up for siblings of various ages with various activity stations to focus on different skills.

9.45AM Walking to 2 years
10.45AM 2 to 3 years
12.45PM Circuit fun – walking to 5 years
1.45PM 3 Years to school age

Price: £7, free trial class
Address: Roding Valley Hall, Buckhurst Hill/Woodford, IG9 6LN
Website: Tumble Tots website
Contact: 020 8559 0617 or 078 4990 3035 or contact Eszter Schmaler via the website

10AM & 1.30PM ALL SAINTS TODDLERS, ALL SAINTS WOODFORD GREEN

An extremely popular toddler group at the All Saints Church hall (which also has a great coffee shop in the atrium that you can use any time). There’s activities and toys, craft and singing for children aged 1 to 3 years old and tea and coffee for the grown ups. The sessions are so popular that there is a waiting list so its best to turn up to a session and chat yo one of the organisers so that they can add you to the waiting list. Session times are 10AM-11.30AM or 1.30PM – 3PM on a Monday and they also have a Thursday session.

Price: TBC
Address: All Saints’ Church, Inmans Row, Woodford Green, Essex IG8 0NH
Website: All Saints Website
Contact: 020 8504 0266, contact@asww.org.uk

10AM PICCOLO SINGING, WANSTEAD

Piccolo music Wanstead

Extremely popular singing and music class with bubbles, puppets and musical instruments. There’s no need to book as it’s a drop-in session but it can get very busy so best to get there early.

Price: £5 per family including tea and cake
Address: Christ Church Hall, Wanstead Place, E11 2SW
Website: http://www.piccolosinging.co.uk
Contact: Lisa O’Connell, lisaoconnell@aol.com, 07971 401769

10.30AM HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE, LOUGHTON

Interactive music fun full of nursery rhymes for pre-school children run by Suzanne with some help from Daisy Diddle the cow. Classes are 45 minutes long and as well as musical instruments different props are also used such as a parachute and the always popular bubbles.

Everyone is welcome, there is no need to book and also no registration fee.  Just drop in and see us at £5 per child and £2.50 for siblings.

Price: £5 per child & £2.50 for siblings. Drop in classes so no need to book and no registration fee
Address: Wesley Hall, Loughton Methodist Church, Loughton, IG10 1RB
Website: Hey Diddle Diddle website
Contact: Suzanne Coyte 07768 262 509, Hey Diddle Diddle facebook page or via  Twitter @HeyDidDid

10.30AM – 12 NOON NCT COFFEE MORNING, COSTA BUCKHURST HILL

Friendly drop in coffee morning for mums with newborns up to pre-schoolers. You don’t have to be a member to attend.

Price: Free, no need to book
Address: Costa, 48 Queen’s Road, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5BY
Website: NCT Redbridge branch website
Contact: Claudine at ParentSupport.Redbridge@nct.org.uk or NCT Redbridge Facebook page

11AM – 12.30PM NCT COFFEE MORNING, MANOR HOUSE WANSTEAD

Weekly drop in coffee morning for mums with newborns up to pre-schoolers. You don’t have to be a member to attend. There is space for buggies and there are a few steps but staff are happy to help.

Price: Free, no need to book
Address: The Manor House, 129 High Street, Wanstead E11 2RL
Website: NCT Redbridge branch website
Contact: Claudine at ParentSupport.Redbridge@nct.org.uk or NCT Redbridge Facebook page

11.45AM GYMBABES, BUCKHURST HILL/WOODFORD

Gymbabes

Suitable for babies from 6 months to walking these sessions are the baby-friendly version of Tumble Tots. Parents get involved in the 40 minutes sessions which focus on encouraging babies to use their senses and play, explore and crawl.

Price: £7, free trial class
Address: The Roding Valley Hall, Buckhurst Hill/Woodford, IG9 6LN
Website: Tumble Tots website
Contact: 020 8559 0617 or 078 4990 3035 or contact Eszter Schmaler via the website 

 

Baby being massaged at Buddha baby class

 

The Buddha Baby massage (5 week) course teaches you massage strokes and techniques and includes the IAIM guidance on relieving colic and digestive problems. Most parents come along when their baby is approximately 3 months old, but you can attend with a younger baby. The atmosphere is very relaxed and there is plenty of time for discussions and informal chat.  Everything you need is provided including baby mats, towels and tissue, guidance booklet and organic massage oil to take home.  Refreshments, including tea and coffee and fresh fruit are served as part of the session as well as her traditional homemade cakes.

The next course starts on the 27 March January 2017.

Price: £85 for 5 week course
Address: Sally’s house, just off Wanstead High Street.
Website: Buddha Baby website
Contact: Sally Martin info@buddhababywanstead.co.uk 07723 389 294

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What’s on in half term in West Essex: 13 – 21 February 2016

If you’re busy planning what to do with the kids this half term in West Essex, here’s some inspiration for activities in Stratford, Chigwell, South Woodford and the local area as well as some day trips into London.

SATURDAY 13 FEBRUARY

BUSHCRAFT ON CHIGWELL MEADOWS, CHIGWELL
A session promising an adventurous time outdoors learning bushcraft skills, such as how to track animals while camouflaging yourself, cooking on a campfire and building a den.

Time: 1pm -3pm
Age: unspecified but I’m guessing this is for older children, call to confirm
Tickets & booking info: £6 booking essential, call 020 8500 3094
Address: Grange Farm Lane (off High Rd), Chigwell IG7 6DP
Further information: Chigwell Meadows website 

ELEPHANT STORY TIME WITH DAVID BARROW, FOYLES WESTFIELD STRATFORD

Have you Seen Elephant book cover by David Barrow

A story time session with a difference as it involves a game of hide and seek with an elephant! Author and illustrator, David Barrow will also be reading from his comic illustrated children’s book, Have You Seen Elephant?

Time: 11am-12
Age: 5-7 years
Tickets & booking info: Email events@foyles.co.uk
Address: Foyles, Lower Ground Floor, Westfield Stratford
Further information: Westfield Stratford website

ALL WEEK: MONDAY 15 FEBRUARY – FRIDAY 19 FEBRUARY

PLAY-DOH ACTIVITIES, V&A MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD BETHNAL GREEN

Vintage play doh tin
Everyone loves Play-doh, it’s cheap, versatile and most of us remember playing with it when we were young too. It’s hard to believe it was launched 60 years ago. The Museum of Childhood is marking the occasion with a series of half term activities. Artist-illustrator Amy Brown will lead animation workshops from Monday to Wednesday and Imagined World workshops Thursday to Friday. There will also be daily Story Modeling workshops with artist Helen Rousseau who will work with classic children’s picture books as inspiration for modeling fun. There will also be daily drop-in sessions as well throughout the week

The Museum of Childhood is easy to get to, just take the Central Line to Bethnal Green tube. If you have younger children or babies, be aware that there is no lift at the station although kindly strangers will usually help you get a buggy up the stairs.

Time: Various between 10am-5.30pm, check the website for details
Age: All ages but workshops vary: Animation and Imagined World workshops suitable for 5-12 year olds, Story Modeling Workshop 4-8 year olds.
Tickets & booking info: Entrance to the museum and some daily drop in activities are free, workshops cost £5 per child with a parent/carer. Booking in advance recommended either on the Museum of Childhood website or call 020 8983 5200
Address: V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road
, E2 9PA
Further information: Museum of Childhood website 

HALF TERM FUN, DISCOVER CENTRE STRATFORD

Michael Rosen Going on a Bear Hunt exhibition Discover Centre Stratford
There’s a packed diary of events on at the Children’s Story Centre Discover over the half term week. As well as a week of activities focused around drawing, the Michael Rosen exhibition Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake & Bad Things is still on and is worth a visit. There will be poems from Michael Rosen, a drawing trail, craft events, a wall of heroes that kids can add to with their own superhero and a toddler storytelling event.

Authors and illustrators such as Rob Biddulph and Jane Foster will be bringing their books to live with interactive workshops throughout the week.

Time: The centre is open from 10am- 5pm Tuesdays to Friday and 11am – 5pm at the weekends. Note it is closed on Mondays. Times of activities and workshops vary, check the website for more details.
Age: Activities vary so check the suitability of each event
Tickets & booking info: 020 8536 5555, bookings@discover.org.uk
Address: Discover Children’s Story Centre, 383-387 High Street, Stratford E15 4QZ
Further information: Discover Children’s Story Centre website 

IMAGINE CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL, SOUTHBANK CENTRE WATERLOO

Imagine children's festival at the Southbank Centre illustration

The focus of this year’s festival is celebrating 100 years since Roald Dahl’s birth and there will be daily performances including music, theatre and literature with workshops and free activities.
There’s a huge selection of events, so have a look at the Imagine website, with Matilda the Musical, an exhibition about Roald Dahl’s Wondercrump World and a performance of The Minpins with a live orchestra.
There are also Story Slam events, the opportunity to meet famous children’s authors and illustrators, poetry, movement, messy play and face painting sessions.

Time: Every day from 10.30am to 4pm
Age: All ages, up to 12 years old, there is a special programme of events for Under-5s 
Tickets & booking info: ticket prices vary depending on the event so check the Imagine website for details, but there are also a number of free events
Address: Southbank Centre,
Further information: Imagine website 

MONDAY 15 FEBRUARY

Marvellous Magic, Valentine’s Mansion & Garden
Be prepared to be amazed by Mrs Back to Front and her marvellous magic tricks. Tickets include both the magic show and a workshop to learn magical secrets that will amaze your friends.

Time: 11.30am-12.30pm and 1pm-2pm
Age: 5 years+
Tickets & booking info: £10 per child (1 adult per child) Pre-booking essential on 020 8708 8100
Address: Valentine’s Mansion & Gardens, Emerson Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 4XA
Further information: Valentine’s Mansion website 

TUESDAY 16 FEBRUARY

February Forest Fun, The View, High Beach Visitor Centre, The Temple and the Forest around Chingford
From Tuesday until Thursday 18 February there will be a range of activities at various Epping Forest sites such as laser tag deep in the Forest and special activities taking place in the View, including traditional skipping, storytelling and Tudor toddler time. There will also be drop-in arts and crafts at High Beach Visitor Centre and The Temple.
Time: 10am – 3pm
Age: various, depending on activity
Tickets & booking info: No booking required

Further information: Call 020 7332 1911 or visit The View events website

Classical Mosaic Workshop, Valentine’s Mansion
A workshop devoted to creating your own mosaic in the style of Classical Roman and Greek mosaics from around the ancient world. Please bring a packed lunch.

Time: 10am-2.30pm
Age: 8 years+
Tickets & booking info: £30 per person. Pre-booking essential on 020 8708 8100
Address: Valentine’s Mansion & Gardens, Emerson Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 4XA
Further information: Valentine’s Mansion website 

WEDNESDAY 17 FEBRUARY

Exotic Animal Encounters, Valentine’s Mansion
Meet Vincent the Siberian Fox, Squirt the Skunk and their lovable friends at this fantastic event. You will learn all about the animals, have the chance to pet them all and make a mask of your favourite species to take home with you.

Time: 11.30am-1pm and 12.30pm-2pm
Age: 3 years+
Tickets & booking info: £10 per child (1 adult per child). Pre-booking essential on 020 8708 8100
Address: Valentine’s Mansion & Gardens, Emerson Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 4XA
Further information: Valentine’s Mansion website 

THURSDAY 18 FEBRUARY

SNOW CHILD, REDBRIDGE DRAMA CENTRE

This looks like a lovely show of Snow Child by Emma Reeves, and if you haven’t been before the Redbridge Drama Centre is a great resource for local children’s theatre. It’s a magical story of a couple who want a child so desperately they build one out of snow which comes to life as a wild child bringing joy to the villagers and talking to the animals.

There will also be Snow Child activity workshops on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 February

Time: Performances at 1.30pm & 5pm, workshops 10am- 1pm
Age: The show is suitable for 3-7 years, the workshops are aimed at children 4-8 years old.
Tickets & booking info: £7 each for adults and children, to book tickets for the performances visit the Redbride Drama Centre website. Workshops are £20 and to book tickets for the workshops  call 020 8708 8803 or email Emily.Thorpe@redbridge.gov.uk or Sally.Polden@redbridge.gov.uk. There’s a special offer with joint workshop and Snow Child Show tickets – £25.
Address: Redbridge Drama Centre, Churchfields, South Woodford E18 2RB
Further information: Redbridge Drama Centre website

LITTLE DUKES ARTS’N’CRAFTS

The Duke pub in Wanstead was refurbished last year and has fast developed a reputation as a community pub, putting on events to bring people together including a big street festival and regular events such as comedy and music as well as film screenings for children. This half term they will be running an arts and crafts event for kids with lots of messy activities such as mask decorating, lantern making and leaf rubbing. And obviously there’s the bonus for parents that it’s in a pub with easy access to food and, more importantly, wine!

Time: 12 – 3pm
Age: All ages welcome
Tickets & booking info: £3 and you can book in advance on the Eventbrite website
Address: The Duke, 79 Nightingale Lane, Wanstead, London E11 2EY
Further information:The Duke Facebook page

FRIDAY 19 FEBRUARY 

RAVE-A-ROO, MINISTRY OF SOUND, ELEPHANT & CASTLE

Rave a roo childrens disco illustration

For those of us who used to go our clubbing before children came along, the growing number of kids raves is very welcome. We’ve previously been to the excellent Big Fish Little Fish rave parties for children and would thoroughly recommend them. If you grew up with dance music the idea of having to endure One Direction in a room full of kids isn’t exactly appealing, so the idea behind these sorts of events is to have music that parents and also children appreciate along with a mini festival vibe.

Rave-A-Roo is billing itself as “a new clubbing mash-up of festival fun for all the family” and their inaugural London event is launching on Friday during half term at the iconic Ministry of Sound club. There’ll be top DJs, a Big Fish Little Fish takeover, confetti, live performances, a UV tattoo station and a glow chill out room with an area for babies. For the adults there’ll be a bar as well as a cafe and the convenience of a buggy park. They are already looking to announce more dates around the country soon.

Time: Sessions are 1pm -3pm and 4pm – 6pm.
Age: Suitable for all ages
Tickets & booking info: £7.50 (earlybird), £10.00 (advanced) and £12.50 (on the door). Babes in arms go free. Book online on the Rave-A-Roo website.
Address: Ministry of Sound, 103 Gaunt St, Elephant and Castle, 
Further information: Rave-A-Roo website

Mini Moments: Holiday Smiles

Boy on beach in Oman

It’s been very quiet here on the blog for a while. Juggling Christmas preparations and a hectic job in December meant that blogging has taken a back seat and I make no apologies for that. Sometimes living life has to take priority over trying to reflect it online.

We were lucky enough to go away over Christmas to visit my parents in Oman in the Middle East and we had an amazing time. They’ll soon be retiring after living there for 18 years so it was bittersweet saying goodbye to such a wonderful and fascinating country. Luckily the Little Guy enjoyed himself, was totally spoilt by his grandparents and managed to get over his initial reluctance to go swimming and was happily splashing around in the big pool with armbands by the end.

Now I think I might finally be on top of the post-holiday washing and unpacking, so I’m just about ready to focus on 2016. Probably with every other blogger in the land, my resolutions for the year involve trying to post more and finally writing up all the ideas I’ve been meaning to publish since last year.

Hopefully that means lots of useful posts for other mums coming soon.

Bach to Baby classical music concerts for babies and toddlers launch in West Essex

Like many toddlers, my Little One loves music and I’m always trying to find baby and child-friendly gigs and concerts. While searching online, I came across Bach to Baby which hosts classical concerts across London, Kent, Surrey and the Thames Valley. Last year, we attended one in Victoria Park in Hackney and thankfully noisy toddlers, nappies and breastfeeding babies were all welcomed without even a raised eyebrow. While two lovely ladies played the piano and sang animal-related songs our children toddled around the church pews and munched rice cakes while other mums sat around looking pretty relieved that their gurgling babies were accepted rather than frowned upon.

Bach to Baby classical music concert Loughton

Bach to Baby’s first concert in Loughton

So I was thrilled to hear that a local series of Bach to Baby classical concerts have now been set up near us in Wanstead and West Essex. Buckhurst Hill-based musician Annabelle Lawson will be leading concerts in Loughton, Epping and Chelmsford following a very successful, sold-out concert in Loughton earlier in the year. Annabelle has an impressive musical background and aside from performing on BBC radio, Wigmore Hall and at the Southbank Centre she teaches piano at Forest School, Snaresbrook and the Royal Academy of Music. She is keen to pass on the wonder of music to children, she says “Music plays a huge role in cognition, positive social interaction and in building memory and physical co-ordination. Perhaps even more importantly, it also provides a lifelong source of joy and creativity. I am hugely excited to be bringing Bach to Baby to West Essex and to be able to communicate to people, from newborns up, the thrill of live performance – on their doorsteps!

The launch concert already happened this week in Epping but I’m sure more dates will be coming soon and the next two concerts coming up will be in Loughton and Chelmsford.

Chelmsford
Friday 16 October, 10.30am
Christ Church Chelmsford URC, 164 New London Road, CM2 0AW
Programme: I Got Rhythm
Featuring Annabelle Lawson, piano

Loughton
Friday 23 October, 10.30am
Loughton Methodist Church, 260 High Road, Loughton, IG10 1RB
Programme: TBC
Featuring Andrew Keeping, guitar

West Essex concerts will run from 10.30am to 11.30am at all locations with an half hour pre-concert ‘coffee mingle’. Tickets cost £10 if you book in advance online or £12 cash at the door and children are free.

For more information visit the Bach to Baby West Essex website.

If you attend one of the concerts, please let me know what you think by adding a comment or tweeting me @WestEssexMums and feel free to share news of any other upcoming local gigs and musical concerts for babies and children.

You can also read my review of the OAE Tots classical concert at the Southbank here.