Monday, 30 April 2012



Award winning SHREK THE MUSICAL® will celebrate its first year in the West End on May 6, 2012. 
Produced by DreamWorks Theatricals and Neal Street Productions, SHREK THE MUSICAL® has staged more than 400 performances and been seen  by more than 600,000 people at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane since its first preview performance on May 6, 2011.
To mark the first anniversary, SHREK THE MUSICAL® will open its doors to the public for a FREE, ogre-sized, family fete at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on May 6, 2012.  There will be party games, competitions, sweet treats, storytelling, theatre tours and opportunities to meet the cast from 11am to 2pm.
More details of the day’s activities are available on the website:

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Brighton Festival 2012

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Brighton Festival 2012
children's parade 2
Something for all ages this May
Our family events programmer picks her Festival highlights
"A warm welcome to our family programme which features noisy animals, buzzing bees and some very insistant birds. Check the age recommendations to find a show that works for you.
If you want to be really involved in the action then come to our special family classical concert Tweet Chirp and Flap (that’s the birdie one) or drag your parents along to the Festival Ceilidh at The Old Market (that’s the one with silly dancing!)
Enjoy Brighton Festival 2012 and don’t forget to tell us what you think of the things you see and what you would like to see next year."
Pippa Smith, Children & Family Events Programmer

Don't miss the Children's Parade kick-starting the Festival on 5 May, as well as all these other fantastic family friendly events...

Britten Sinfonia presents Tweet Chirp and Flap
Bee Detective
Cloud Man
Graphic Novel Workshop
Wake Up World
Circus Klezmer

Thursday, 12 April 2012

UK Children ate 4,000 Calories over the Easter Weekend – In Treats Alone!

After seeing an increase in searches for ‘cheap Easter eggs’ over the Easter weekend, the UK’s leading discount website conducted a flash poll to see how many calories children ate over the four day Easter break. 
Throughout the Easter weekend, the UK’s leading discount website witnessed a 130% increase in searches for ‘cheap Easter eggs’ when compared to the two previous weekends. As a result of the increases in searches, the site conducted a study to discover how many Easter treats children consumed over the four day weekend and the calories in those treats.  

The study, conducted by, asked 1,038 parents across the UK, all with a minimum of one child aged between four and ten years, the average number of Easter eggs, hot cross buns, fizzy drinks and Easter treats they ate over the long Bank Holiday weekend.  

According to the research, the average child aged between 4 – 10 years ate four Easter eggs over the four day break. Respondents were shown a size chart of Easter eggs and asked, on average, what size Easter eggs their child mostly ate over the Easter weekend, to which the most common answer was ‘medium’.   

In the size guide, the respondents were shown that the average medium sized Easter egg (200 grams) contained 550 calories; therefore, throughout the Easter weekend, British children consumed an average of 2,200 calories from Easter eggs alone. 

In addition to the Easter eggs, the study found that, on average, children ate 4 hot cross buns over the Easter weekend, totalling 744 calories. Furthermore, according to the results, an average of four cans of fizzy drinks were drank over the four day weekend, totalling approximately 556 calories. 

Further to the Easter eggs and fizzy drinks, the respondents stated that their children ate approximately five ‘small’ Easter treats over the weekend. With each ‘small’ Easter treat representing around 100 calories, something which respondents were aware of, this equates to a further 500 calories consumed by children over the Easter weekend.

To calculate the total amount of calories consumed by children over the Easter break, added all averages stated in the poll together to reveal that over the four day Easter weekend, children aged between four and ten consumed approximately 4,000 calories in Easter treats alone.

What about the Mums and Dads out there...........?

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Olympic garden anybody?

What a year we have in store! 
The 2012 Olympics comes to London. Massive media coverage will be 'all eyes' on the athletics. With such a variety of events in store, even the most unenthusiastic gym fanatic cannot help but be both inspired and motivated.  

Having two children, as exciting as it would be to attend the Olympic Stadium for the day, I fear that the television may be the more realistic option. Though spending hours a week glued to the TV is hardly reciprocating our on screen heroes' passion for sport, and will surely end up a family of couch potatoes! So, with that in mind, I have devised our very own 2012 Olympics. This comes in the form of our children’s play house, with built in slide, scramble nets, ladders and climbing ropes. What a fantastic way of keeping the children fit whilst enjoying quality family fun time, all in one! With training now well underway, the lucky competitors selected, the various circuits planned, the children are fired up raring to go, adrenalin pumping with the dream of becoming one of their Olympic heroes foremost in their minds…. Let the tournament begin!!

Why not use the Olympics to develop your garden and install the ultimate family athletic play frame. So Mums and Dads get inspired! With every structure personalised to suit your family needs, including your budget, you can be as elaborate as you dare. This sort of 'in house equipment' can be adapted for all the family, so when designing your ultimate play house or activity play frame, it’s worth bearing in mind all the family’s needs, as even the most simple of play frames can be imaginatively used. Make it your New Year’s fitness plan. Imagine, after the school run, there’s nothing to stop you using it as your own personalised circuit training, developing stamina and muscle tone, saving on gym fees and travelling.
The Olympics will inevitably end, medals be presented and the grand farewell celebrations held.  Why not end your Olympics with your own celebration, an evening to remember with a BBQ supper served in the play house, reminiscing about the past weeks' escapades with affection.
Remember, the children’s play house may return to just that, as the Olympics become a distant memory, but you will be left with an outside entertainment centre for many years to come; not only for your children, but their friends as well.

Don’t let the 2012 Olympics pass you by, be part of it and add your family to this legendary year.

Anthony Dartnell, AD Timber Structures, tel 01732 763 114 or 07790 036 871

Sunday, 1 April 2012


  • Parents drive 230 million miles a week taking their children to social, sporting and recreational eventsthe equivalent distance of a journey from Earth to Mars
  • Dads bear the brunt of parental taxi duties, clocking up 28 miles a week compared to 21 for mums(3)
  • London parents have the highest parental taxi value on average at £103 a week
  • New Facebook page lets mums and dads find out their own taxi value to their children: 
Mums and dads in Britain provide over £32 billion worth of free taxi services to their children every year, according to new research from Sainsbury’s Finance.  Parents collectively clock up over 230 million miles a week, the equivalent distance of driving from Earth to Mars at their furthest points apart, transporting their children to social, sporting and recreational events outside of school.  If charged at hackney carriage rates this would total over £621 million every week.

The study shows that over 9.3 million parents spend time driving their children around, covering an average of 24.7 miles a week worth £46.17. On top of this, parents spend an average of around one hour 14 minutes sitting in their cars waiting around for their children.

Additional findings: 
  • 30% of parents say taxi duties provide one of the few opportunities to talk to their children without them being distracted by gadgets like TV or mobile phones
  • Parents in London have the highest average taxi value to their children, providing over £103 of taxi services to their offspring
  • Parents in Scotland are worth around £73 a week to their children in taxi value