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Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

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Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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Festive Family Fun: Dear Santa

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas, Competition, Days Out, Product Reviews | Posted on 13-12-2012

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If you are lucky enough to live within reach of Horsham, West Sussex and are looking for something festive to do with your little ones this Christmas I implore you to go to the Capitol and see their production of “Dear Santa”. Its based on the lovely book by Rod Campbell and is ideal for children under 5.

We’ve never been to the Capitol before and Little Man has never seen any kind of stage production so I was a little nervous heading in there on my own. Santa is a new concept to Little Man, but he is beginning to recognise him in shops and on decorations so I was hopeful for some enthusiasm. Upon arrival we collected our tickets from the Box Office and Little Man immediately made himself at home in the foyer.

About ten minutes before the performance was due to begin we began making our way to the “Studio”. It is upstairs at the Capitol but there’s a good sized lift as well as a flight of stairs. Prams can be left downstairs in the bar area. The “Studio” is a compact room with tiered seating which is essential for a performance aimed at little children, and has a small stage area which was set up and ready. It looked magical.

The stage was split into two rooms – the bedroom of Sarah, the little girl who writes to Santa, and Santa’s workshop where he and his Elf wrap and sort presents ready for Christmas Eve. By having both rooms on the same stage at the same time it allowed the production to flow easily and kept it to about 30 minutes. We were sat three rows back and Little Man had a great view from my knee pointing out things he could see on the stage. It took me a while to spot most of them myself!

The length of the production is ideal for even the most fidgety child and the cast of just three characters – Sarah, the Elf, and Santa – are a joy to watch. There is plenty of interaction with the audience and the chance to sing songs, clap along and call out for Santa when he makes his big entrance. The story itself is a simple one but gives a great message to the young and old members of the audience as Christmas nears and the great shopping fest begins. After the production ends there is even a chance to meet Santa himself and get your photo taken with him, and there are small presents for the children too. An amazing and magical family treat.

I would hugely recommend this to anyone who can get to Horsham this winter to see it. The show is on now until Christmas Eve with at least two performances a day, with extra on Saturdays and the days before Christmas. Tickets are £9 for adults and £7.50 for children, and if you book online you can choose your own seats. Full details can be found at the Capitol website.

Competition: I have a copy of the lovely Rod Campbell book “Dear Santa” to give away to one lucky reader. To enter just tweet the following message:

“I Want To Win #DearSanta This Christmas With @SussexMummy!”

The competition ends at 8pm on Tuesday 18th December and the winner will be notified asap. I will also endeavor to get the book to you in time for Christmas!!

Book Review: New Books For Children

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Book Review | Posted on 10-09-2012

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From Smellessence…

I’ve previously featured a title from Smellessence on here before – “Chocolate Chipped” – which though a brilliant book was written for children who suffer a bereavement. This Autumn sees the release of two more Smellessence titles which are more of an everyday read for your little ones. First we have “Theo“. Theo is a dog who has lost his sense of smell, and sets out on an adventure to find it. Theo visits some of his most favourite smelly places, and we get to go along too. The smells in this book are hugely realistic and I love the idea of having them included to add an extra dimension to the stories. Little Man loves this book because there is a dog on the front cover, but I’m sure once he understands the smelly factor he’ll love it for that too.
Next is “The Story Of The Famous Farter“. This book is not for the faint hearted! This book regales the story of artist Joseph Pujol who was a famous entertainer at the Moulin Rouge in the late 1890s. Pujol was famous for being a ‘Professional Farter’ – imagine writing that next to occupation! – who had the ability to fart on demand. The story is delightful and the drawings inside are so good and, along with the aroma, bring the story to life. This book is definitely educational, whilst being somewhat witty too. It is bound to appeal to all children who no doubt think farting is hilarious fun.

From Macmillan…

This year marks the 30th Birthday of the excellent “Dear Zoo” book. To commemorate a new title has been released – “Dear Zoo: Touch & Feel“. This is ideal for little children as each animal has a touchable part to it. There’s the lions mane, the frogs sticky feet, the snakes basket, and many more. Little Man has thoroughly enjoyed looking through this book. Whilst he sometimes lacks the patience to listen to you reading a story to him, he likes to be able to interact with his books when he’s looking at them by himself. Books with flaps, pop-ups, or touchable parts are big favourites, and this one is no different. I love this book too. I am a big fan of the original Rod Campbell classic and I do enjoy reading that to Little Man when he lets me, but this allows him to enjoy the story himself, even if he’s doesn’t know entirely what’s going on. A must for all “Dear Zoo” fans.