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Win £20 Worth Of Crafts And Help Bring Creativity Back Into Childhood

Have you heard of our friends at The Creation Station? They are passionate about inspiring children’s imaginations and have a team of 97 franchise owners across the UK. It was started by Sarah Cressall, proud mum to Sam. Ollie and Josh.

“Our fantastic team of Creation Station franchise owners have already inspired over 250,000 children and families with the award winning art and craft classes, parties, clubs, events and products. We have ambitious growth plans for 2020 to help inspire the nation’s imagination”.

Creation Station pitch to Rich

Sarah has pitched to Richard Branson online to help bring creativity back into childhood and are now at position 3. They would love it if you can click to vote to help them reach number 1 and make a difference to more children and families.

If you believe more children should have the opportunity to unleash their creative spirit so they can dream, believe and achieve, we would really appreciate your support by voting for our project: https://www.vmbvoom.com/pitches/the-creation-station

Voting takes just a few seconds and as thank you, when you share on Facebook with #creation station you‘ll have a chance to win a daily £20 craft giveaway!

Thank you from all at The Creation Station. It would mean a lot to many…

pitch to rich video


#VOOM 2016 is the UK and Ireland’s biggest and most valuable pitching competition, from Virgin Media Business. There’s £1 million (€1.2 million) in prizes and the chance to pitch to Richard Branson. Public voting is open until 9th May 2016.



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Filed under Arts & Crafts, Little Ones, Parenting, School Kids, Uncategorized

Now anyone can get their dancing shoes on with babyballet …and ‘Big Ballet’ on Channel 4

Thousands of British babies and youngsters have fallen in love with dance – and exercise – over the past eight yeaImagers thanks to Yorkshire mum-of-four Claire O’Connor.

The 40-year-old set up her own song and dance academy, babyballet in Halifax in 2005 and can now lay claim to running the UK’s leading pre-school dance concept.  She has 58 franchisees across the country with over 10,000 youngsters attending 996 classes, and has won numerous awards for her work, including ITV’s Mumpreneur and Best Business Parent.

These days, babyballet is a recognised children’s brand. Alongside classes it has a thriving gift shop selling branded goods, its own distinctive babyballet car for franchisees, and loveable characters Twinkle and Teddy and Fluttery the Fairy who take part in numerous children’s festivals across the country.

Claire, who started theImage company with no capital investment and only a handful of staff, spotted a gap in the market for non-competitive dance classes that not only accepted the best, and has spent the last nine years spreading the word that ballet can be enjoyed by everyone, not just the elite. This year has got off to a great start for her.  She was handpicked to take part in a new three-part documentary, Big Ballet which follows a troupe of plus-size dancers as they realise their dream of dancing Swan Lake.  The Channel 4 series started on Thursday, February 6 and has attracted media attention from across the globe, along with a great deal of controversy.

Here Claire tells us about her involvement in the series and why she believes dance is good for all of us – no matter what our shape or size.

“I think it would be fair to say that taking part in Big Ballet has been the most uplifting and inspiring experience of my life.  My feet literally haven’t touched the ground since word broke about the life-affirming new documentary series, and it feels like the country has gone ballet mad.

I’ve appeared on The One Show, This Morning and ITV’s Yorkshire regional news programme Calendar, along with numImageerous newspapers and magazines.  What’s thrilled me most of all however is the reviews the programme has had from critics. They have called it sweet, heart-warming and a triumph over adversity. It’s certainly been a personal triumph for me.

I was picked to take part in the series because of my painful experiences with ballet. I attended classes ran by my mum, Barbra Peters, but discovered ballet and I didn’t fit because I was the wrong shape. I gave up at 14 and it left me with a lack of self-confidence and poor body image.

I started babyballet because I didn’t want this to happen to others, and while it has been a huge success, I’ve never really laid my personal ghosts to rest – until I took part in the show.  I feel like my life has now gone full circle. I loved ballet, I fell out with it and now thanks to the series not only do I love it again but I have finally accepted my body shape and ability and am happy to be me.

Best of all, the programme echoes the ethos of babyballet, that ballet and dance isn’t just for the super skinny, it’s for everyone, and the benefits are truly amazing.  Whether it’s ballet or ballroom, modern or tap, dancing is a great way for people of all ages and physical abilities to get and stay in shape.  Simply put, dancing just doesn’t feel like exercise but the truth is, dance offers a total body workout using all the major muscles groups and provides heart-healthy benefits.

ImageBabies develop through being active and exploring the environment so moving and grooving activities helps them develop key skills in all areas of their development such as coordination, balance, flexibility and strength.  Being physical in a creative way also helps their self-esteem and self-confidence and encourages them to explore the world around them. babyballet is all about self-awareness and inspiring confidence. Learning to move to dance is quite an advanced skill. It helps develop children’s bodies and brains. Research shows babies are born to dance and really enjoy it.

Dancing is great for other things too as you age, including reducing stress, and because it increases serotonin levels, your general sense of well-being improves. But by far the best news is that dancing makes you smarter.  Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that stimulating one’s mind by dancing improves your memory and cognitive function and can help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia.  It says that more is better and the sooner you start the better too.

I have seen first-hand how dancing keeps you fit and young thanks to my mum.  She started dancing at the age of two and at 76 is still dancing now.  After Big Ballet I decided I wanted to encourage women to put their dancing shoes back on and I have recently started adult classes, which are proving really popular.

Big Ballet currently goes out at 9pm on a Thursday and stars former Royal Ballet principal Wayne Sleep and ballerina Monica Loughman.  I hope you will tune in to the frank and refreshing glimpse into a world obsessed with size and make up your own minds.”

Click here to find out more about babyballet >>>

Visit What’s On 4 Little Ones to search for babyballet classes in your region >>>

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What Makes A Winner?

What makes a winner?! Suzanne and Family from What’s On 4 found out during their visit to ‘Fishers Farm Park’ Image– winners of the What’s On 4 Junior award ‘Best Family Day Out’ in 2013!

The Farm Park is well signposted and easily found, surrounded by acres of Sussex countryside and very accessible from surrounding counties Surrey and Hampshire.  We received a very warm welcome at the ticket desk and lots of information on all there was to do plus the special timetabled extra activities. It was then I realised we should have arrived earlier!

ImageFisher’s Farm Park is just full to bursting with attractions, activities, features and fun. We visited with Ruby (aged 4) and George (aged 8) and they were non-stop all day – horse riding, climbing walls, small animal petting, zip wires (with a handy toddler version!), water-play, paddle boats, trampolines, tractor rides, squirrel scrambles, galleons, mini fairground rides, play areas, massive jumping pillows, mini golf – the list goes on and on. The excitement of the sheep racing will stay with me for some time! Inside was a fab, spacious soft play area with comfy chairs alongside and a great little café for grown-ups needing a sit down!

We visited on an August Sunday but because there’s so much to do and the park is on such big site we hardly had to queue for any activities – unlike other attractions we had visited previously where you can spend the best part of the day in line! There was great picnic areas and cafes and a really nice shop with lots of ‘pocket money’ prices. One element which really made the visit was the atImagetitude of the many staff who were so friendly, helpful and smiley all day – even when it was raining! I don’t know how they did it!

My over-riding impression of Fishers Farm Park is that it’s an attraction run by a very committed, focused team. Secondly that it offers excellent value for money – we didn’t manage to do everything and so my son went back less than a week later to celebrate his birthday!  We are really not surprised that they won the award therefore – it’s an excellent place for all the family – just make sure you go for the whole day – you won’t regret it!

You can see Imagemore at their website here – www.fishersfarmpark.co.uk and they are building even more attractions soon and we’ll be back at half-term for the Halloween special!

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September 9, 2013 · 10:29 am

Win a Babyzen YOYO buggy!

Enter our new competition to win one of the brand new Babyzen YOYO buggies worth £309!

Buggies have always been cumbersome and parents often face a struggle getting them up and down stairs, forcing them into car boots and on to packed tubes and busses and storing them away at home.

Anyone who has flown with a young child will also be familiar with the hassle of having to get the buggy packed away into the main luggage hold as it is simply too bulky to take on as hand luggage. These days are now over as the new YOYO buggy by Babyzen is set to revolutionize travelling with a child. YOYO is the first buggy in the world to fully comply with size recommendation for cabin baggage. Perfect for urban parents and fantastic for globetrotters!

This innovative buggy has already become a phenomenon in much of Europe and is about to hit the UK. Weighing just 5.8kg, this unique buggy is the most compact ever imagined when folded (52 x 44 x 18 cm). The featherweight buggy has a one of a kind folding mechanism which allows it to be opened and folded in seconds with just one hand and it can then be carried over your shoulder with the detachable shoulder strap.

To be one of the first to pre-order the Babyzen YOYO simply register your details at www.whitestep.co.uk.

Become a Fan on Facebook:www.facebook.com/WhitestepUK

To win a YOYO buggy worth £309 just click here and answer the simple question

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Filed under Babies, Childcare, Competitions, Little Ones, Mums, New Babies, News, Parenting

Very Merry Christmas from all at What’s On 4 and BabyExpo!

There’s no question, I love this time of year. As soon as the leaves start to turn and the evenings draw in I am itching to get at the tinsel and make sure the Turkey’s on order. Suddenly it’s upon us however, faster than you can say jingle and all the sentimental notions go by the wayside as, with the opening of each advent window, the pressure mounts, especially on mums.

I don’t know about you but the older the children get, the more mad the season becomes. Time seems to be at its most limited this time of year as we are all pulled from pillar to post – it’s all enjoyable, don’t get me wrong – school fairs with donkeys and ice rinks, beautiful carol services, drinks with good friends, parties, pantos but it’s manic. This year after a roller-coaster few months I actually can’t wait until the BIG day when we can I hope breathe a sigh of relief and just sit back and enjoy. To that end I told our extended family early on they could either host, feed and water us all or we’d stay home alone enjoying what we wanted to eat, possibly even in front of the telly all day in our PJ’s! And either option is wonderful.

Saturday we have 1 x diddi-dance party, 1 x nursery Xmas Fair, 2 x santa visits, 1 x tennis Christmas party, ‘Festive Fun’ at our local library, no doubt some final hectic trawling of the shops and 2 grown up parties and there’s at least 2 times when I am supposed to be in 2 different places at exactly the same time …….you know the drill I’m sure…..

‘All I want for Christmas’ is a rest therefore, a break for everyone from the fun and frenetic build-up and some quality time with my little family while they are small enough still to adore the magic of it all. As with most homes the Christmas tree is our focus and I know our happiest times will be curled up in the warm by the tree, opening presents, watching TV and probably eating far too much chocolate. Ruby was entranced by the tree this year with the fabulous lights from Notcutts and George is enjoying very much being in charge of all the different settings – from static to strobe – depending on our mood!  Check out all their lovely Christmas stuff here – http://www.notcutts.co.uk/Christmas/S/C – (we especially like the look of the snowflake projector!)

Have a lovely cosy, restful Christmas and a fabulous, sparkly new year…….

With tons of love,

Suzanne & the WO4 Team xxx

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Giant Spiders and the Smell of Bonfires

Summer Holidays seem an age away now don’t they with the kids very much back in the swing of school. The nights are drawing in, X-Factor and Strictly are Back (yay!), our garden seems full of giant spiders and webs and there’s the smell of bonfires in the air.

With poorer weather and shorter days, kids inevitably spend less time outside having fun so it’s even more important to ensure they keep fit and active with classes and clubs. Have you checked out our new advertisers Farm Park Adventure Hobbledown with their unique farm park adventure. Don’t forget you can now follow us on twitter to get immediate updates of what’s on in your region.

What else is going on? Half term is fast approaching so check out our award winning websites for lots of stuff to do and of course Autumn brings Halloween and Bonfire night – 2 of our favourite dates in the calendar! If you are entertaining over Halloween or planning a party check out some of these fab recipes courtesy of our BabyExpoMK special guest Annabel Karmel here – http://www.annabelkarmel.com/recipes/exclusive-recipes/exclusive-halloween-recipes Annabel delighted audiences at What’s On 4 BabyExpo in Milton Keynes last month along with 150 exhibitors and some fantastic parenting experts from TV! We’ll bring you lots more film and photos soon but check out this fantastic video of Amanda from Amanda’s Action Club with our VIP Humphrey! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIv-umhAqVE  and all those who are signed up to PJ Week with Humphrey this month good luck, have fun and raise lots of money for The Children’s Trust!

See you soon!

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Something to get excited about…

Here at What’s On 4 HQ we are really excited about next month’s BabyExpoMK and welcoming very special guest, Humphrey from popular pre-school brand, Humphrey’s Corner.

Humphrey will be officially opening the show with Jo Tantum – the UK’s #1 BabySleep Expert as seen on TV – and then staying with us throughout the show, delighting visiting children, joining in the fun demo classes and enjoying story time at the end of each day! Pre-register to attend or join us as VIP shopper and you could even be taking home a very special Humphrey’s Corner Prize! To learn more about Humphrey and his friends and to see more on their beautiful product range just visit  www.humphreys-corner.com

You will also find information at BabyExpo on The Children’s Trust – a cause very close to Humphrey’s heart. The Children’s Trust is a wonderful, national charity, based in Tadworth, Surrey which provides care, education and therapy for children with multiple disabilities and complex health needs as well as rehabilitation for children with an acquired brain injury. They offer a unique combination of services helping hundreds of children, young people and their families from across the UK, rebuilding shattered lives and they rely on voluntary donations from supporters like YOU. To see more on the wonderful work they do just watch this short film – ‘Three Reasons to Support The Children’s Trust’ below:

Three reasons to support The Children's Trust, Tadworth
Three reasons to support The Children’s Trust, Tadworth

Every year, Humphrey’s Corner and The Children’s Trust invite nurseries, pre-schools and clubs up and down the country to be part of Humphrey’s PJ Week to raise much needed funds for this very deserving cause. For a voluntary £2 donation, children (and staff!) get to wear their favourite sleepwear and enjoy Humphrey themed activities, games and stories, all provided through the special fundraising pack which includes posters, activity booklets, stickers, a certificate for each child, a ‘Humphrey’s Special Day’ story booklet, party hats and bunting!

This year, PJ Week will take place nationwide from 8-12 October and, as the event grows in popularity & success, there’s even  more to celebrate! 2012 sees PJ Week’s 5th anniversary, the event has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Best Licensed Marketing Communication Campaign AND CBEEBIES presenter, Sid Sloane will be wearing his pyjamas to support this great cause! Sid explains

“Humphrey’s Pyjama Week is a fun opportunity for nurseries, schools and playgroups to raise money for a very important charity that helps children who are poorly or who need special care… I am so excited to be supporting this awesome cause and can’t wait to hear about all your events!’

So don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to raise money and have a lot of fun with Humphrey’s Corner and The Children’s Trust. To find out more or to register visit: www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/humphrey or email humphrey@thechildrenstrust.org.uk

To see Humphrey and enjoy a fun-filled weekend at BabyExpo, join us at the UK’s Biggest & Brightest Free BabyShow experience, thecentre:mk, September 29 & 30 2012 – for more details go to www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk

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August 21, 2012 · 8:59 am