Raring2go! Hertford


3 Raring2go! Copyright © 2024 Mojo Publishing Ltd. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical or electronic, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage & retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Requests for permission or further information should be addressed to the publishers. All information in this magazine is published in good faith and cannot be reproduced without prior written permission.The publisher makes every effort to ensure that the businesses which are featured in this magazine are of the highest quality, we do not guarantee the services and products from any businesses featured. Printed by Gemini Print Group. Website Member E-newsletter emailed monthly with latest offers and events Download vouchers and save £££’s Access all our online competitions with great prizes to be won Become a Join today by visiting www.raring2go.co.uk THIS? READ ARE Y every quarter… Dad and Mums local tho e tens of Well, so ar of ? DING YOU ds ousands arin R with business e tur a e to fe be sur ng2go! your Hello! Spring is finally here, and we are so ready for it, bringing much wanted longer days and the awakening of nature. Now is the time to get out and about and enjoy this fresh new season. Our Spring magazine is full of things to do, we hope you enjoy it as much as we did creating it! Until next time, best wishes The Raring2go! Team

4 raring2go.co.uk Raring2go! WHAT’S ON Challenge your science skills, put your knowledge to the test and find out more about the universe with a wide range of family fun activities and workshops.These include cosmic robot races, an out of this world planetarium, an extremely competitive paper jet making contest, drone racing and much, much more including by popular demand Airfix Make and Take Sessions! Charges apply for some activities. Visitors can also explore the Museum’s world beating collection of aircraft and catch up with friends in restaurant.The Museum is open daily from 10.00am. Entry is free. The Royal Air Force Museum London, Grahame Park Way Colindale NW9 5LL email: london@rafmuseum.org website: rafmuseum.org/london T: 020 8205 2266 This Easter explore space, race and fly! The countdown has started, so book your visit now to join in a host of fun family activities that celebrate the RAF’s leading role in helping the U.K. and our allies to reach higher and further, than ever before.


Picnic in the Park: Pack a delicious picnic and head to a nearby park. Enjoy the fresh spring air, play some outdoor games like frisbee or badminton, and relax on a blanket surrounded by nature. Bike Ride Adventure: Explore local bike trails or ride through your neighbourhood together. Spring is the perfect time to enjoy the budding flowers and greenery while getting some exercise as a family. DIY Bird Feeders: Make simple bird feeders using pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed. Hang them in your back garden or a nearby park, and watch as birds come to enjoy the tasty treats. Nature Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of items to find in nature, such as specific flowers, leaves, or even certain types of insects. Go on a scavenger hunt as a family and see who can find everything on the list first. Outdoor Movie Night: Set up a makeshift outdoor cinema in your back garden. Use a projector and a white sheet, and enjoy a family movie night under the stars. Don't forget the popcorn! 10 fun things to do as

Plant a Family Garden: Start a small garden together with flowers, herbs or vegetables. It's a great way to teach children about nature and responsibility while enjoying the process of watching plants blossom and grow. Pavement Chalk Art: Head to your driveway or a local park with colourful pavement chalk. Encourage creativity and create vibrant spring-themed artwork on the pavement. Make sure you take a selfie before a spring rain shower washes your creation away! Fly a Kite: Take advantage of the spring winds and fly a kite in an open field. It's a simple yet enjoyable activity for the whole family. It’s still one of those things that makes us stare in wonder! Go on a Nature Walk: Take a leisurely stroll through a nature reserve or on a hiking trail. Bring a guidebook to identify different plants and animals and take the time to appreciate the beauty of the changing season. Spring is such a lovely time to be outdoors so make the most of it! Outdoor Yoga or Exercise Session: Find a peaceful spot in a park or your back garden and practice yoga as a family. Alternatively, engage in a fun and energetic outdoor exercise session, such as a family friendly workout or a game of ultimate frisbee. a family this Spring

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9 Raring2go! WHAT’S ON On each day of the challenge schools compete to record the greatest proportion of their pupils walking, wheeling, scooting, and cycling to school. Sustrans are delivering the challenge with headline sponsors Schwalbe Tyres UK, to make active travel the easiest choice for everyone. Since data collection for the challenge began in 2011, a staggering 23.9 million miles (1) have been travelled by pupils taking over 15.9 million active travel journeys to school. That equates to around 200 trips to the moon, or over 1,900 journeys around the Earth (1), saving 12,700 tonnes of CO2 polluting the air on the school run, from 31.7 million car journeys had the participants been driven to and from school (1). Just under 2.7million active journeys to 1,862 participating schools took place during the 2023 challenge, saving an estimated 1,890 tonnes of CO2 emissions if the journeys logged had otherwise been made by car (2). Xavier Brice, CEO at Sustrans, said: 15 years of the Big Walk and Wheel challenge Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel is celebrating its 15th year as the UK’s largest inter-school active travel challenge from 11- 22 March 2024. 1. These figures are an estimation only, and depend on a number of assumptions and national or regional averages. 2. Based on approximations of assumed modes of travel. "For 15 years, millions of pupils across the UK have enjoyed taking part in the Sustrans Big Walk and Wheel by walking, wheeling and cycling to school with friends and family…and winning prizes along the way! “The challenge shows how people of all ages want to travel actively. Parents save money by not having to drive and children get to be out and about exploring their world.This gives our children healthy habits they can take with them into adulthood.”

10 raring2go.co.uk Raring2go! FEATURE In a world where screens often take centre stage in our children's lives, the call for promoting physical activity has never been more critical. As parents, we hold the key to unlocking a healthier, more vibrant future for our kids. Let's delve into why fostering a culture of movement is crucial and explore practical ways to make physical activity an integral part of our children's daily lives. Physical activity is not just about exercise; it's a cornerstone of healthy development. Regular movement can act to enhance cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles and bones, and contributes to better mental well-being. Beyond the physical benefits, active play also builds crucial social skills, such as teamwork as well as a genuine feeling of personal accomplishment. As parents we have the opportunity to be the architects of an environment that really encourages our children to move. Start by incorporating family activities that revolve around physical play – be it a weekend bike ride, a nature hike or a simple game of tag in the back garden. These shared experiences not only promote physical health but also strengthen family bonds. Consider the power of play in everyday life. Encourage unstructured playtime, allowing your children the freedom to explore and invent games on their own. Whether it's dancing to their favorite tunes, building forts, or engaging in imaginative play, these activities not only promote physical fitness but also ignite creativity. Limit screen time to make room for active pursuits. The sedentary nature of excessive screen use has been linked to various health concerns. Establish screen-time boundaries and replace some of that time with activities that get your children moving. The benefits extend beyond physical health, positively impacting academic performance and emotional well-being. Be a role model for an truly active lifestyle. Children are more likely to adopt healthy habits when they see their parents making physical activity a priority. Make exercise a family affair, showing them that staying active is not a chore but a joyful part of daily life. By embracing and promoting physical activity in our children's lives, we sow the seeds for a healthier, more resilient generation. Let's encourage them to play, move, and thrive, cultivating habits that will serve them well throughout their lives. Together, as parents, we can build a future where our children's vitality knows no bounds. Play, Move, Thrive: Creating a Culture of Physical Activity in Our Children

12 raring2go.co.uk Raring2go! WHAT’S ON Last year people up and down the country came together to clean up more than 400,000 bags of litter. This year, as the Keep Britain Tidy charity marks its 70th anniversary, the event, from 15-31 March will encourage people across the country to come together to clean up streets, parks, beaches and other public spaces. This could be from individual volunteers – dubbed #LitterHeroes by the charity – to families, schools, groups of friends, businesses, community groups and local authorities – the charity is keen to stress the environment belongs to everyone. People can take pride in their area by pledging from February 23 on Keep Britain Tidy’s website to pick a bag or more of litter, to help make a huge difference to the environment. After the 2023 campaign, 96% of participants agreed that they felt they had made a difference to their local area. The Great British Spring Clean Now in its ninth year, mass litter-picking campaign the Great British Spring Clean is back in 2024. To make your pledge visit keepbritaintidy.org

13 Raring2go! ACTIVITY As the world awakens with the vibrant colours and fragrances of spring, it's the perfect time to channel our newfound energy into creative activity with your little ones. Involving children in do-it-yourself spring crafts not only nurtures their artistic abilities but also provides an outlet for fun, learning, and the joy of self-expression. 1. Flower Power Collages: Celebrate the beauty of spring blooms with flower power collages. Collect a variety of colourful petals, leaves, and blossoms, and let children arrange them imaginatively. Whether it's a floral masterpiece or an abstract creation, this activity encourages an appreciation for nature's artistry, textures and colours. 2. Egg Box Caterpillars: Turn ordinary egg boxes adorable caterpillars. Cut sections of the box, let children paint each segment, and attach googly eyes for that whimsical touch. It's a delightful way to recycle and repurpose materials which also spark the creative senses and fine motor skills. 3. Butterfly Mobiles: Capture the enchanting spirit of butterflies in a DIY mobile project. Cut butterfly shapes from coloured paper or use printable templates. Then decorate with markers, stickers or glitter and attach them to strings to hang from a wooden hoop or a branch. This craft not only encourages creativity but also introduces children to the beauty of symmetry. 4. Rainy Day Puddle Paintings: Embrace the unpredictable spring weather with a craft that celebrates rain. On a rainy day, place paper on the ground and let raindrops create unique puddle paintings. Add a splash of colour with watercolour paints or powdered drink mix for an interesting and whimsical twist. Beautiful art will be created! 5. Garden Rock Markers: Transform ordinary garden rocks into decorative plant markers. Paint the rocks with vibrant colours and add the names of herbs or flowers with acrylic paint or markers. It's a practical and charming way to involve children in gardening while personalising the family garden. 6. DIY Nature Journals: Encourage young explorers to document their springtime adventures with DIY nature journals. Provide blank notebooks and allow children to decorate the covers with drawings or collages of items they find in nature. Take the journals on outdoor walks to record observations, sketches or pressed flowers. Engaging children in DIY spring crafts not only stimulates their imagination but also provides a platform for learning about the season's natural wonders. These simple and enjoyable activities build creativity, motor skills, and appreciation for the beauty that surrounds us during this season. So, roll up your sleeves, buy crafting supplies, and let the artistic exploration begin in your home this spring. Blooms and Brushes: DIY Spring Crafts to Ignite Children's Creativity

We partnered with experts (such as the Geographical ʴ˦˦ˢ˖˜˔˧˜ˢˡІ ˧˛˘ ˁ˔˧˜ˢˡ˔˟ ʴ˦˦ˢ˖˜˔˧˜ˢˡ ˙ˢ˥ ˧˛˘ ˇ˘˔˖˛˜ˡ˚ ˢ˙ ʸˡ˚˟˜˦˛ ˔ˡ˗ ˃˥ˢ˙ ʷ˔˩˜˗ ˂˟˨˦ˢ˚˔І ˔ˠˢˡ˚ ˢ˧˛˘˥˦ʜ ˧ˢ ˕˥˜ˡ˚ ˧˘˔˖˛˘˥˦ ˜ˠˣ˔˖˧˙˨˟ ˥˘˦ˢ˨˥˖˘˦І ˖ˢˠˣ˟˘˧˘ ˪˜˧˛ ˕˘˔˨˧˜˙˨˟ ˜ˠ˔˚˘˥ˬ ˔ˡ˗ ˘˫˖˜˧˜ˡ˚ ˔ˡ˜ˠ˔˧˜ˢˡ˦Ї ʸ˫˖˟˨˦˜˩˘ ˜ʶ˛˜˟˗ ˢ˙˙˘˥ ˙ˢ˥ ˅˔˥˜ˡ˚ʥ˚ˢЅ ˥˘˔˗˘˥˦ ʠ ʨʣʘ ˗˜˦˖ˢ˨ˡ˧Ѕ PlusІ ˢ˨˥ Captivating Classrooms ˦˘˥˩˜˖˘ ˢ˙˙˘˥˦ ˛˜˚˛ʠˤ˨˔˟˜˧ˬ ˧˘˔˖˛˜ˡ˚ ˥˘˦ˢ˨˥˖˘˦ ˧ˢ ˘ˡ˛˔ˡ˖˘ ˖˟˔˦˦˥ˢˢˠ ˘ˡ˚˔˚˘ˠ˘ˡ˧ ˔ˡ˗ ˛˘˟ˣ ˜ˠˣ˟˘ˠ˘ˡ˧ ˔ ˥˜˖˛І ˗˜˩˘˥˦˘ ˖˨˥˥˜˖˨˟˨ˠІ ˪˜˧˛ ˦˨˕˝˘˖˧˦ ˙˥ˢˠ ʵ˟˔˖˞ ʵ˥˜˧˜˦˛ ʻ˜˦˧ˢ˥ˬ ˧ˢ ʸ˩ˢ˟˨˧˜ˢˡ ˔ˡ˗ ʼˡ˛˘˥˜˧˔ˡ˖˘Ї ʽˢ˜ˡ ˨˦І ˕˘˖ˢˠ˘ ˔ˡ ˜ʶ˛˜˟˗ ʺˢ˟˗ ˠ˘ˠ˕˘˥І ˔ˡ˗ ˚˔˜ˡ ˙˨˟˟ ˔˖˖˘˦˦ ˧ˢ ˢ˨˥ lsІʣʣʣʞ ˣ˥˘ˠ˜˨ˠ ˖˥˔˙˧˦ ˔ˡ˗ ˥˘˦ˢ˨˥˖˘˦Ѕ ˃˘˥˙˘˖˧ ˧ˢ ˔˕˦ˢ˥˕ ˘ˡˤ˨˜˥˜ˡ˚ ˠ˜ˡ˗˦ ˔ˡ˗ ˕˨˦ˬ ˟˜˧˧˟˘ ˙˜ˡ˚˘˥˦ ˢ˥ ˦˨ˣˣˢ˥˧ ˖˛˜˟˗˥˘ˡ ˪˜˧˛ ˧˛˘˜˥ ˦˖˛ˢˢ˟˪ˢ˥˞Ї ˂˨˥ ˦ˣ˘˖˜˔˟ ʨʣʘ ˅˔˥˜ˡ˚ʥ˚ˢЅ ˢ˙˙˘˥ ˦˔˩˘˦ ˵ʨʬ ˔ ˬ˘˔˥Ѕ Visit ˜˖˛˜˟˗Ї˖ˢЇ˨˞ʢ˥˔˥˜ˡ˚ʥ˚ˢ Captivating Classrooms®

17 raring2go.co.uk Raring2go! FEATURE

The government’s recently announced update to its childcare support system aims to allow more parents greater access to detailed and personalised information about what they and their children are entitled to. An Eligibility checker childcarechoices.gov.uk now provides details on the support available to families, based on factors such as the child's age and family income. The government's largest-ever investment in childcare aims to save working parents up to £6,500 per year for those using 30 hours of childcare. Additionally, £100 million has been earmarked to areas around the UK to increase childcare settings' physical space and create thousands of new childcare places across the country. The Education Secretary strongly emphasised the government's commitment to providing accessible and flexible childcare, addressing the many challenges faced by working parents. The initiative includes offering quality childcare outside of school hours and increasing early years places where needed. Parents and care providers are encouraged to visit the Childcare Choices website to determine their eligibility for the various support options. As part of the childcare plan, £289 million has been allocated to local authorities from the wraparound childcare fund, ensuring primary school children can access childcare between 8 am and 6 pm. The goal is to achieve universal access to wraparound childcare for primary age school children in all areas by 2026. This announcement aligns with the Department for Work and Pensions' recent increase in monthly childcare support for parents on Universal Credit, reaching up to £951 for one child or £1,630 for two or more children. To add further support to childcare options, the childminder start-up grant scheme will open for applications by November 30, 2023. This grant, which ranges from £600 to £1,200, has at its core the aim of encouraging more individuals to register as childminders and offer wider, more flexible childcare solutions. Simultaneously, the Department for Education has responded to the early years foundation stage (EYFS) consultation by implementing a range of changes to reduce regulatory burdens and to enhance the early years workforce. These adjustments, such as allowing managers to decide if students and apprentices can count in ratios, demonstrate the ongoing commitment to delivering high-quality, affordable childcare that aligns with parents' working lives. The comprehensive approach to childcare will be discussed at the early years British Irish council, emphasizing the collaborative efforts across member administrations. This synopsis has been prepared as a quick reference guide and is not definitive. For further information plus details on what you and your children are entitled to please visit: www.childcarechoices.gov.uk Revolutionising Childcare in the UK: A guide to recent changes and investment Raring2go! FEATURE 18 raring2go.co.uk

19 raring2go.co.uk Raring2go! READING Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read! Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read! Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read! Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read! Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read! Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read! Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read! Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read! Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read!Raring2Read! British Science Week 5th - 14th March Max & Chaffy stories by Jamie Smart Raring2Read! BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FAMILIES Brilliant age-appropriate books reviewed by a growing army of brilliant junior reviewers www.raring2go.co.uk Raring2go! would like to thank LoveReading4Kids, for this wonderful review. LoveReading4Kids, the UK’s leading children’s book recommendation website, is now a bookstore with social purpose, where 25% of the cover price can be donated to a school to buy books. Because books change lives. Buy a Book. Support a School. Make a Difference. Click anywhere on this page to buy this book or visit: www.lovereading4kids.co.uk I really enjoyed Max and Chaffy: Cupcake Mystery. This book is ideal for 6 and 7 year olds and even though I’m in Year 3, I still enjoyed the story and activities. I loved this book because you had to find Chaffy and if you don’t know who Chaffy is, he is a little snowball with ears and he’s very funny. At the end of every chapter, you need to find Chaffy who will be hidden in a fun picture and it gets harder and harder as you move onto every chapter. This fun story is about a little girl and her partner, Chaffy, as they explore animal island to help Chief Constable Moose find his cupcake for his surprise birthday party. My favourite characters were the main character, called Max, and the pig called Orlando. I really enjoyed it when Orlando kept making spelling mistakes, like writing ‘Happy Bathday’! I loved the pictures because they have loads of details and bright colours. It’s a very funny comic book that’s great for boys and girls. They will laugh and laugh at the silly things that Max and Chaffy get up to. What’s even better is, there are more books on Max and Chaffy to read after this one! Review by Amber, aged 7 from Buckinghamshire

Selecting age-appropriate books for our children is a crucial part of developing their love for reading whilst supporting them in this early cognitive and emotional development. Tailoring this literature to a child’s age makes sure that the content is engaging, easily understandable and of course relevant to their evolving interests and abilities. In the early stages of childhood, board books full of colourful illustrations and simple storylines are ideal for igniting visual and auditory stimulation. As children progress to the preschool and early years foundation, picture books with more complex storylines can capture their expanding attention spans and spark their imaginations. Look for themes that resonate with their daily experiences, so they can connect the literature they read to their own lives. For emerging readers, early chapter books with large fonts and slightly shorter sentences can help with independent reading. Consider stories with relatable characters and straightforward plots that align with the child’s growing reading skills. As they get older and their reading proficiency increases, introduce more challenging texts that encourage critical thinking and vocabulary expansion. When choosing age-appropriate books, it is important to bear in mind your child’s emotional readiness. Themes, stories and characters should be easily relatable and age-sensitive to avoid overwhelming or confusing the child. Also consider diverse perspectives and cultural representation in literature as this can help to broaden a child’s worldview and encourage a sense of empathy. A child’s enthusiasm for reading is often influenced driven by the balance between challenge and accessibility. Getting this balance right is the key. You can regularly reassess their preferences and adjust book choices accordingly to ensure that reading remains an enjoyable, enriching experience throughout this phase of their developmental journey. By carefully selecting and providing a diverse range of age-appropriate books, parents and caregivers can lay the foundation for a lifelong love of reading. Choosing Age Appropriate Books for Children Raring2go! READING 20 raring2go.co.uk

21 Raring2go! READING Bookseller, Deborah from f l 'RHV\RX GXH WRG\ Are they reluctant m Kenilworth Books l k f beautiful l XU FKLOG VWUXJ \VOH[LD RU YLV t to engage with books languages still thriving, even within their d d d f JJOH WR UHDG VXDO VWUHVV" e s or read for pleasure? their shares the wonderful acc publisher Barrington Sto Information for Grown-Up l f a dyslexia-friendly layout, so that even more readers g d well as enablin dyslexic p r books with younger childr WE ARE NOT FROGS! by Michael Morpurgo, Illustrated by Sam Usher (Age 0+) The frogs always beat the to cessible books from oke. ps: These books have f typeface and paper s can enjoy them as n parents to e joy the ren. ! ads own class THE W by Vash Natalie It’s the height of summer in Mor >˜` À>V warden T the heat call for he œ˜Ì i>“ ƂvÌiÀ Ìii paralysed by a fr sroom. Edited to a reading age of 7. WEATHER WELL ti Hardy Illustrated by Smillie (Age 8+) eight of summer in Moreland, Vi Àˆvw˜>˜` iÀviœÜ Tom Eely are sweltering in until they answer a strange elp that comes through “>∘} Àˆvw˜ “>«° i«œÀ̈˜}̜">ŽÜi]Ì iÞw˜`Ì iÌœÜ d by a freezing snowstorm, which is ruining ܘ uining at long jump but the toads don’t mind – anything for a q But then the children and Mu search of some good jumper opportunity to get their own SHEEP SCHOOL (Little by Ross Montgomery illu Morea (Age 5+) William the lamb is the worst Sheep School. He’ ’s always in tr as he loves to sing and danc j t ’t t d till B t h ouble t pupil in quiet life. utt the dog come in rs, and the toads see an back! e Gem) ustrated by Marisa n tr ce and th p the famo and trade >“>∘} cause of from the Ì i>`Ûi *œÀÌ> >˜ NORTH by Phil E Marv’s fo e’ Ther ’s fo ˆ““Þ * ous summer market that brings in visitors e. Using their mystery-solving skills and / ˆ˜Ûi˜Ìˆœ˜Ã] V>˜ À>Vi >˜` /œ“ w˜` Ì the weird weather and restore summer snow? Edited to a reading age of 8. ˜ÌÕÀiÜˆÌ / i Àˆvw˜ >Ìi]/ i*Õvw `/ i,>Ûi˜,ˆ``i>˜`Ài>`Ì iÃiÀ HERN SOUL Earle (Age 11+) ourteen and his life is simple. ootball. And his best mate, *iÀviVÌ œÌ ˆ˜} iÃi “>ÌÌiÀà tors nd Ì i er Start ˜ ˆið just can’t stand still. But whe Big Bad Wolf turns up, can W put his artistic skills to good and save the day …? This bo is part of the Little Gems ran ˆÕÃÌÀ>Ìi`wÀÃÌV >«ÌiÀLœœŽÃ reading speed and stamina. SHONA, WORD DETE by John Agard Illustrated Michael Broad (Age 7+) Shona has always loved word She even has her very own E ge, fully en the William use ook à `iÈ}˜i` ̜ ÃÕ««œÀÌ CTIV d by ds. ˆ““Þ° * until a ne crashes in >Ì wÀÃÌ Ãˆ} upside d Carly will of it – bu of a musi heart pro unforgett the hard Check o more in *iÀviVÌ° œÌ ˆ˜}iÃi“>ÌÌiÀà ew girl at school called Carly , it’ nto his life. For Marv ’s love s love } Ì] ˆÃi“œÌˆœ˜Ãyˆ««i` own, as he knows a girl like never notice him. He needs help – lo t when it miraculously arrives in the s ical idol from the past, the path to Carly’ oves anything but easy …First love is table, and poor Marv is about to lear way – him, and his northern soul … out Barrington Stoke’s website fo formation www.barringtonstoke ots hape arly’ ’s n this or e. strange word thesaurus! Whe she and her classmates learn that some languages are dyi out, Miss Bates tasks them w becoming top-class word de to themselves and their fami en n ng with etectives, proving lies that there are many Kenilw Talisma Kenilw co.uk or recomm worth Books, an Square, worth CV8 1JB r pop into the bookshop for mendations.

22 raring2go.co.uk Raring2go! HEALTH Ensuring the visual health of your children is a responsibility that should not be overlooked. Many parents spend a great deal of time wondering when is it appropriate to schedule their child's first eye test. The answer? Sooner than you might think. Experts have recommended for some time that a child's first comprehensive eye test should occur between the ages of 6 months and 1 year. This initial examination is crucial for identifying any potential issues early on as it allows opticians to properly assess the basic functionality of a child's eyes. It will be able to detect common issues like nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Being able to intervene early in such cases is important as it can significantly impact a child's development, including their ability to learn and interact with the world around them. Follow up eye tests should then be scheduled at around age 3 and again before starting at school. The pre-school years are a critical time for visual development, and identifying issues at this stage can prevent learning difficulties later on. Regular eye tests become even more important as a child progresses through school, given the increasing demands on their visual abilities for reading, writing, and of course computer / screen use. It's important to note that even if a child does not display any obvious signs of diffculty with their vision, regular eye tests are still essential. Children may not always be abel or willing to vocalise issues with their eye sight as they might assume everyone sees the way they do. By incorporating a good eye health regime, which includes regular eye tests, into a child's regular healthcare, parents can ensure that any potential problems are quickly identified and swiftly dealt with. Beyond school age, eye tests should continue to be a regular part of a young person’s healthcare regime. During the teenage years especially, changes in vision can happen and these can affect academic performance and overall well-being. Your optician may adjust the frequency and regularity of eye tests at this stage in a young persons life. In closing, it’s worth acknowledging that the old adage that says ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ is pretty accurate when it comes to a child's vision. Schedule that first eye test early, and make regular eye check-ups a priority throughout your child's formative years. It will be a small investment in their health that will probably yield a lifetime of benefits for them. Optical Illusion: Knowing when to take your child to see as Optician

chasing either a new Have you ever dreamed of taking control of your working We’re looking for a special person to join our network by pur , or existing, magazine franchise ed, with hing g g area. You really can have a rewarding career and bring up your family! Raring2go! The role of Editor is vari everything from research attend sports days, and take time of I decide my working hours, so Raring2go! has allowed me the ff in the school holidays. to try so many new activities and days out. We’ve reviewed after hours events at Marwell and attended opening events at Paultons. Most of all, I love working with organisations. Sometimes, as I’m sat chatting with them over a hot everything from researching what’s on, social media, design, Raring2go! Franchise. No previous an interest in the local area is helpful. investment required to get started. families having fun and you’re love to talk to you. Don’t miss out on this rewarding career and family-friendly lifestyle – apply for details now! Don’t miss out on this rewarding career and family friendly lifestyle. Ask for more details by calling 01273 447101 or by email to info@raring2go.co.uk Have you ever dreamed of taking control of your working life to fit around your family? We’re looking for a special person to join our network by purchasing either a new, or existing, magazine franchise area. Could you be the next Raring2go! Editor? Local Franchises Available! Here’s what one of our franchisees says about Raring2go! You really can have a rewarding career and bring up your family! I decide my working hours. Raring2go! has allowed me the flexibility to do the school run, attend sports days, and take time off in the school holidays. My family & I have been privileged to try so many new activities and days out. We’ve reviewed after hours events at Marwell Zoo and attended opening events at Paultons Park. Most of all, I love working with some fantastic local businesses and amazing organisations. Sometimes, as I’m sat chatting with them over a hot chocolate, I can’t believe how lucky I am that this is part of my job! Being a Raring2go! Editor The role of Editor is very varied, with everything from researching local what’s on info, social media, design, distribution and sales. Support is ALWAYS available from the Raring2go! Franchise. No previous experience is necessary although an interest in the local area is helpful. Please note that a financial investment is required to get started. But, if you’re passionate about local families having fun and you’re eager to be your own boss, we’d love to talk to you. Don’t miss out on this rewarding career and family friendly lifestyle. Ask for more details by calling 01273 447101 or by email to info@raring2go.co.uk

24 raring2go.co.uk Raring2go! PETS Are your little ones nagging you for a four-legged addition to the family? Before you dive head first into the pet-owning pool, let's navigate the seas of fluffiness together. We've concocted a brief guide for families who are about to embark on a quest for their first pet – because, let's face it, choosing your first pet is like picking the perfect dessert; it requires careful consideration and a sprinkle of excitement. Why the Fur-tastic Frenzy? Let's be honest; the thought of your child gently whispering secrets to their new fluffy companion is adorable. But before you succumb to the puppy dog eyes of your own offspring, ask yourself: "Are we ready for the pitter-patter of paws?" The Tail of the Perfect Pet: Think about your family's lifestyle and pace of life. Are you sprinting through life or taking it at a leisurely stroll? A goldfish might be the gentle paddle you need, while a hamster is like a furry fitness coach on a wheel. For the ultimate cuddle factor, a rabbit might be the champion of nap time. Pet-sider Tips for Choosing: Fish Folks: Low maintenance and serene, fish are ideal for families diving into the pet pool for the first time. Plus, their underwater world can be as flashy as your child’s latest trainers. Hamster Heaven: Bursting with energy, these supercharged, pocket-sized pals provide a crash course in responsibility. And don't worry – the wheel doesn't count as cardio for your child. Rabbit Rascals: For those craving fluffy affection, rabbits hop into the spotlight. Just beware: they have been known to pinch carrots! The Ruff Decisions: If you're thinking of going the dog route, remember, a dog isn't just a pet; it's a commitment that will rival your favourite Netflix series. Daily walks, long tummy rubs, and the very occasional game of fetch, so ask yourself if you are ready for the full paw-sibilities... sorry! Pet-iquette: Prepare for the unexpected – like your cat's newfound talent for acrobatics on your curtains. Pets bring joy, but they can also bring, peculiar surprises. Embrace the chaos and you'll find that the quirks make for the best anecdotes. In Paw-suit of Pet Perfection: The journey to finding your first pet is an adventure in itself. From fishy contemplations to bunny considerations, take your time. Remember, the paw-fect match might be waiting just around the corner of the pet shop. Never be in a rush depsite the pleas and wails of ‘but I really love her’ that will accompany you on your travels. So, future pet parents, gear up for a tail-wagging, purr-fectly delightful journey into the wonderful world of pet ownership. The search for your first pet is an adventure best enjoyed with a sprinkle of joy and a whole lot of fur. Happy pet-venturing! Embarking on the Pet-venture: A Brief Guide to Finding Your First Furry Friend!

25 Raring2go! PETS In a groundbreaking move, England has reinforced its protective stance on responsible pet ownership by introducing a new law that makes cat microchipping a legal requirement. Since 2016, dog owners have been required by law to microchip their pets, which makes for the swift return of lost or stray dogs with their families. Now, our feline friends are set to enjoy that very same level of protection....and long overdue this leigislation is too! Announced in 2021, the legislation mandates that all cats in England must be microchipped by the time they reach 20 weeks of age. With a definitive deadline of the 10th June 2024, this new law aims to address an alarming statistic that there may be as many as 2.8 million pet cats currently un-chipped in the UK. The process is relatively straightforward, yet its implications are profound for cat owners. The first step involves ensuring cats are properly microchipped. This is particularly important for kittens before they reach the 20-week mark. Finding a government-approved microchip database is the next crucial step. This allows owners to register their cat's information and with equal significance the option to keep their details up to date. Owners are being encouraged to be proactive and share their cat's microchip number with relevant authorities. Failure to comply with the new law will bring pretty heavy consequences. If a cat is found without a microchip then the owner will have a 21-day period of grace in which to rectify the situation by arranging to have it microchipped. If for any reason they do not, they may face a fine of up to £500. The financial aspect of microchipping should not be a deterent to responsible pet owners, as the average cost of microchipping typically ranges between £20 and £30. This relatively small investment pales in significance when compared to the peace of mind it brings, knowing that your feline companion has a permanent form of identification. The legislation addresses a critical issue which is highlighted by many organisations in the care world. Alarmingly, 8 out of 10 stray cats entering shelters are not microchipped. This oversight often leads to these cats mistakenly being re-homed instead of being reunited with their owners. Beyond the practical benefits, microchipping also promotes responsible pet ownership and ensures accountability when necessary. As we eagerly await the June 2024 deadline, let's celebrate this stride forward in feline welfare, where a simple chip holds the key to a safer and more secure future for our beloved cats. Get ahead of the law and make a note to start your cat's microchip journey today. Your Vet can offer further guidance and assistance. Ensuring Feline Safety: The New Cat Microchipping Law in England

26 raring2go.co.uk Raring2go! ACTIVITY Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make! Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make! Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make! Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make! Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make! Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make!Raring2make! Jakes Mac-and-Cheesefor Spring This is how you do it! 1. Parents! Pre-heat the grill to medium-high. Cook the cauliflower in boiling water for 15mins until soft, drain! 2. Kids! Put the slimy cauliflower in the food prosessor with mum/dad and push the button until pulverised! 3. Parents! Boil the macaroni in boiling water for 10mins and drain. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce in a saucepan, heat the oil gently and stir in the flour. Leave on a gentle heat and whisk in the milk gradually. Simmer shortly until thickened, Remove from heat and whisk in the soft cheese and 2/3 of the grated cheddar. Fold in the cauliflower mush and macaroni! 4. Kids! Help the parents pour the gloop into an ovenproof dish! Careful now! Sprinkle over bread crumbs and the rest of the yummy cheese. 5. Parents! Grill until golden! Then tuck in with the kids! Ingredients 300g Frozen Cauliflower 220g Dried Macaroni 1 tbsp Olive Oil 2 tbsp Plain Flour 250ml Semi-Skimmed Milk 50g Full-Fat Soft Cream Cheese 75g Mature Cheddar, grated 2 tbsp Breadcrumbs Mac and cheese, the undisputed comfort champion of the culinary world, dances on taste buds with a symphony of cheesy decadence. Creamy macaroni squeezed up together in a blanket of gooey, golden cheese that creates a love affair for the palate. It's the ultimate soul-soothing indulgence, a warm cuddle in a bowl that crosses barriers of age and elevates every gathering. Whether in the form of classic elbow macaroni or daring spiral twists, this dish turns ordinary moments into extraordinary experiences. The mere thought of the velvety cheese clinging to the pasta makes you smile, turning mac and cheese into a universally adored masterpiece. In short it’s a culinary love story for the ages loved by all ages! Raring2make! Recipes to make as a family for the family

27 Raring2go! FEATURE In a world inundated with choices, ensuring our children receive the nutrition they need is paramount to their growth, development, and overall well-being. As parents, we play a pivotal role in shaping our children's dietary habits, laying the foundation for a lifetime of health. Here's why a balanced diet is crucial and how we, as carers, can make a positive impact. A balanced diet is like a full symphony of nutrients, with each element playing a unique role in supporting our children's health. From the essential vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables to the energy-providing goodness of whole grains and proteins, every component contributes to their physical and cognitive development. One of the keys to achieving a balanced diet is variety. Encourage your children to explore the colorful spectrum of fruits and vegetables, introducing them to a diverse range of flavors and textures. Make mealtime an adventure by involving them in selecting fresh produce and experimenting with new recipes. Whole grains should be the backbone of their diet, providing sustained energy and essential nutrients. Opt for whole grain bread, pasta, and rice over their refined counterparts to ensure a steady release of energy throughout the day. Protein is the building block of growth, and including a mix of lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy and plant-based sources will ensure your child receives the necessary amounts of Amino-acids for muscle development and overall health. Limiting sugary snacks and beverages is crucial in preventing the pitfalls of excessive sugar intake. Instead, encourage water as the primary beverage and use natural sweeteners like fruits to satisfy their sweet cravings. As parents, we need to lead by example. Children are the keenest of observers and by demonstrating our commitment to a well balanced diet, we instill in them the importance of making nutritious choices. Let's nourish our children's bodies and minds with the gift of a well-rounded and wholesome diet, ensuring a vibrant and healthy future for the next generation. Nourishing Our Future: Why a Balanced Diet for Children matters

28 raring2go.co.uk Raring2go! ACTIVITY Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Raring2grow! Family gardening fun this Springtime Planting Adventures: Embark on exciting planting projects, choosing colourful flowers, aromatic herbs, or easy-to-grow vegetables that capture children's interest. Bug Safari Hunt: Transform your garden into a bug safari. Explore together, identifying insects and their roles in the garden ecosystem. Decorative Plant Markers: Craft decorative plant markers using lolly-pop sticks, letting children unleash their creativity while learning about plant identification. Seed Bombs Creation: Form seed bombs with a mix of clay, compost, and wildflower seeds. Launching these 'bombs' spreads beauty and teaches about seed dispersal. Butterfly-Friendly Blooms: Choose nectar-rich flowers that attract butterflies. Witnessing these colourful insects brings delight and adds an engaging educational touch. Garden Art: Engage in garden art projects. Paint rocks colourfully to use as bright garden decorations or as the chimes of a hand made wind chime set. Weeding Challenges: Turn weeding into a challenge. See who can pull out the most weeds while learning about the importance of regular garden maintenance. Vegetable Harvesting: As vegetables mature, involve children in the exciting harvest process. Getting them involved helps to create a connection to food and nature. A connection that will stay with them forever. Composting Creations: Create a mini composting station. Teach your children the importance of recycling kitchen scraps and witnessing the magic of turning household waste into nutrient-rich soil. They’ll be amazed at what the soil goes on to nurture. Keep A Garden Diary: Maintain a garden journal. Documenting observations and experiences will enhances a child’s understanding of plant growth and the changes it goes through over time. Family gardening fun during spring is a delightful and very simple way to bond, learn and embrace the wonder of nature. These interactive activities not only create a love for gardening in children but also cultivate valuable skills and knowledge. Sow the seeds of curiosity and teamwork with your children and nurture not just plants but a deep appreciation for the beauty and simplicity of the natural world in your very own back garden! Raring2grow! Outdoor fun for budding green-fingers Springtime opens a world of family gardening fun, providing an opportunity for hands on learning where lasting memories are created. Here's a brief guide to enjoyable gardening activities to do as a family.

WORDSEARCH ANSWERS: Tulip, Daffodilm Snowdrop, Bluebell, Rose WORDSEARCH Can you find 5 flowers: Answers at the bottom of the page. No cheating! Spot the difference

30 The Summer Olympics 2024 in Paris promises to be an unforgettable experience for families. If you are planning a visit to the grandest sporting event on the planet, anticipate a rich blend of excitement, cultural enrichment incredible sport and cherished family memories. Child-Friendly Venues: Explore Olympic venues with family-friendly zones, offering interactive exhibits and activities tailored for young sports enthusiasts. Cultural Extravaganza: Immerse children in the rich cultural tapestry of Paris through Olympic themed and inspired arts, performances and exhibits, creating a holistic experience. Educational Adventures: Take advantage of the educational opportunities the Olympics provide. These can teach children about diverse sports, global unity and the true spirit of competition. Interactive Sports Zones: Engage children with hands-on experiences at interactive sports zones, allowing them to try their hand at various Olympic disciplines. Meet the Athletes: Seek out opportunities for children to meet and interact with athletes, inspiring them to pursue their sporting dreams. Family-Friendly Accommodations: Choose accommodation with family-friendly amenities and easy access to the Olympic venues thus ensuring a stress-free stay. Culinary Delights: Explore the city's culinary scene with family friendly eateries that will introduce children to delicious French cuisine as well as to some taste bud tingling international flavours. Themed Souvenirs: Collect themed Olympic souvenirs for children, creating lasting mementos of their time at the historic event. It only happens every four years! Accessible Transportation: Opt for the most convenient and family-friendly transportation options to navigate Paris. This will help ensure easy access to Olympic venues. Safety Measures: Prioritise safety and make sure children carry clear identification. Choose designated meeting points and emergency plans for a worry-free Olympic experience. Visiting the Summer Olympics Paris with children under 12 promises a perfect blend of sporting excitement and family-centric activities. From interactive sports zones to areas of cultural immersion and educational adventures, the event provides a unique opportunity for families to create cherished memories while enjoying the Olympic spirit in the City of Lights. Make It A Family Affair: Visiting the Summer Olympics 2024 Raring2go! FEATURE

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