Essex Mums Newsletter June 2014
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Essex Mums Awards   *   Summer Holidays
World Cup Crazy   *   Father's Day
Meet-Ups   *   Are You Crafty?   *   
Product Reviews  *  New on the Shopping Guide
Pregnancy & Parenting Articles   *   Recipes
Events   *   New Classes and Groups
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Hello! Summer is here, and the sun is shining... sometimes! I'm sure those of you with school-age children have had a lovely half-term and are wondering how on Earth we are so close to the summer holidays again!

As always, I've tried to bring you a selection of fun-sounding events and some highlights from across the site this month. Look out for a few cross-county events this month as Essex celebrates the beginning of its Summer of Art, with Art Trails and festivals in various towns across the county, and get down on the farm for Open Farm Sunday on the 8th. Hope you enjoy the newsletter!
If you have something you'd like to add to the site, please use one of these buttons to get you there quickly!
Treat Dad to something a little different this Father’s day. 

We work with some of the most iconic bands in the world such as; The Ramones, Run DMC, The Who, Black Sabbath to name just a few.

Together we bring you luxury bathrobes, sleeping bags, onesies and much more, all of which will make the perfect gift for Dad this year, whatever his favourite band is.

Essex Mums Awards
This year sees the first ever Essex Mums Awards! Please help us to recognise the people and things that make family life more enjoyable in Essex.
You can nominate your favourites here. Feel free to nominate as many businesses as you want in each category - the top ten with the most nominations will go through to the next stage and be voted on in July. If you are not sure of who to nominate in a category, just leave it blank. 
As a bonus, one of you will win a £50 voucher for the Essex Mums shop -just for submitting your nominations!Please share with your friends and help us make these awards great!  Local businesses are very welcome to ask their followers for nominations too!

If you're interested in being an awards sponsor, like one of the businesses below, please get in touch!

Summer Holidays
I've already added lots of summer holidays activities and events and will be starting to get our fantastic holiday pages together over the next few weeks. Make sure you have sent your events over to me at or submit them here.

If you are interested in booking an ad for your business or event on these pages, get in touch. Ads start at just £10 so are a great way of getting the word out! Book through our online bookings page in June to get another ad free!
World Cup Crazy!
Are your kids going World Cup Crazy? Check out our Sports section for football clubs near you and look out for a special world cup feature later in the month.
Father's Day
Looking for a Father's Day gift? Take a look at the Alternative Shopping Guide and Product Guide for some ideas, browse our shop and keep an eye out for our Father's Day special coming later this week.
As the weather starts to get nicer it would be really nice to have more meet-ups organised across the county. We always have lots in the Southend area, and have had a couple of picnics this week but it would be great if there were people in other areas who could take charge of organising things near them. I've asked before and I realise people can be a little shy but in my experience people are often keen to go along to things but a bit hesitant to suggest them themselves, so all it takes is one person who can come up with a few places and dates and I'm sure people will come! Are there any volunteers? 

It would mean posting meet-up ideas in this section which I can then share on facebook too and create events for. Would be lovely if we could have one or two people in each area coming up with some ideas. You can even have a lovely title if we can think of one! Let me know if you're interested!
Are you crafty?
We need some regular contributors to our rather neglected arts and crafts section. You just need to come up with some fun crafty ideas for kids to do alone or with parents and send them over to me to publish! If you have a business, anything you post will link back to your website and have a bit about you so it's a nice bit of free promotion too. Get in touch if you're interested!
Fantastic things to win! Enter one of our great competitions or get in touch if you would like to run something yourself. New competitions are always being added so make sure you check the competitions page for new giveaways!

Barracudas Activity Day Camps offers 80+ exciting activities including sports, crafts and creative arts for children aged 4 ½ to 16 years. 
Flexible hours from 8am to 6pm means busy parents can relax knowing their children are well entertained all day! At the kids camps children can try new activities, make new friends and most of all have lots of FUN! With Barracudas camps, holiday childcare is taken care of - activity holidays that are Ofsted registered, giving peace of mind for parents, whilst ensuring maximum FUN for kids.

To book call us now on 0845 123 5299 or visit
Product Reviews
Product reviews added this month! You can see a bit about each of our reviewers here, or can go straight to the reviews here.
Little Yums by Plum – Organic nibbly wafers
There are many brand of baby food on the market but Plum has always been one that stood out to me.  Their packaging is clear and simple.
Read Jenny's full review
Porridge the Two-Faced Parrot by Jaylen Grace
I was really excited to read this book after reading the blurb on the back.
I took the book with me in the car. It’s about a parrot called Porridge who does naughty things behind his owners back and it’s quite funny.
Read Alexa's full review
Me Family Stickers
‘What does your family look like?’  Families are diverse with different likes and no family is the same, which makes these stickers in a variety of designs perfect for families.  
Read Michelle's full review
Hugo Frosch Eco Hot Water Bottle
You wouldn’t think there would be that much to say about a hot water bottle but these are great!
Read Louise's full review
Little Pea and Bertie
Having re-decorated a few years ago, I had a space for a print on the wall which I just hadn’t filled, so reviewing a piece of artwork was perfect.
Read Michelle's full review
Priddy books – Little Friends collection
This set of six books tell simple stories that cover everyday topics such as the weather, a special birthday, bedtime, trying something new and coming home. 
Read Helena's full review
Clothies are baby burp cloths that are designed to be a stylish yet practical alternative to muslin squares, and I have been trying out a set of three with my baby daughter Sofia.
Read Helena's full review
Fairylea photography
From the initial first contact, Lenny (photographer) was very patient with me having to change the appointment due to work commitments and illness, and was very accommodating.
Read Michelle's full review
Alphaprints ABC
My Son is 2 and loves this book. What I love about this book is that its fun and colourful. I love a good routine of books before bed time whether it is myself, my eldest child or my husband reading with our youngest. 

Read Gemma's full review
New on the Shopping Guide
Check out some of the gorgeous new shops added to the Alternative Shopping Guide this month:
  • Poco Baby: Baby hammocks - the best way to give your baby the perfect nights sleep.
  • Slugs and Snails: Luxury for little legs

If you have a shop you would like to advertise on the Shopping Guide, please get in touch on
Pregnancy & Parenting Articles
Some great articles added by our writers this month - take a look! To see all the articles we have on the site, visit the Pregnancy and Parenting section.
Linea Nigra
Over half of all pregnant women discover a dark line that leads from their belly button down to their pubic bone appear during their second trimester. This is called the linea nigra.f
Read more
Lanugo Hair
Lanugo is the name given to the first hair which is produced by your baby’s hair follicles.  Your baby usually starts producing lanugo whilst inside your womb around the fifth month of pregnancy. 
Read more
Fitness and Exercise in Pregnancy
If you’re used to being active and get pregnant, it can be hard to know what’s safe to do and what’s not when you're pregnant. Perhaps because until it happens to you, you never really worry to find out. 
Read more
Buying a changing bag
Although your baby is very small at first, it is amazing how much stuff you will need when you venture out with your baby which is why you will need a changing bag.
Read more
Meconium Aspiration
In approximately 15% of births, the baby may pass a meconium stool before or during labour. This is more common for babies who are overdue. 
Read more
Parent and Baby Yoga
Parent and baby yoga is extremely beneficial as a bonding process. The parent gets a special time to just sit and be with her baby, using touch to create a connection together.
Read more
Coeliac disease
Coeliac disease (also called celiac disease) is an autoimmune condition which causes the immune system to react against the body’s own tissues. This reaction is triggered by eating gluten, which is a common protein found in wheat, oats, barley and rye. 
Read more
Changing Bag Contents
There is no denying the fact that babies need a lot of stuff on a day out and there are a lot of things that you will need to pack in your changing bag for both you and your baby for those first outings.
Read more
Take a look at our recipes section for some tried-and-tested family-friendly feeds! Do you have something you would like to add to this section? If so, please share it here. If anyone is interested in becoming a regular contributor please get in touch
Homemade Burgers & Mini-Sliders
For some reason, we’ve always strayed away from the burger option on children’s menus, but, having thought more about it, surely they’re just the same as lasagne or cottage pie? Healthier in fact as not every little piece of mince is browned in fat first?
Read Hannah's full recipe

Why not come along to Talking Tots Sparkler classes and give your little one a head start?

With a fun and interactive programme structured by paediatric speech therapists, each session is carefully designed to boost communication and language ability as well as helping to develop concentration and listening skills so important for everyday learning and eventually in the classroom. 

The activities help to encourage social confidence, turn taking and sharing in a group setting, whilst also offering an exciting introduction to words, sounds, rhyme and rhythm – vital pre-literacy skills for learning to read and write. This group is aimed at children starting school in September 2015 (younger siblings also welcome).

Click here for the full class schedule. Please contact for more information or to reserve a place. 

Lots going on this month! You can find full listings on the Things to Do section but hopefully this will give you a few ideas about what's on near you and across the county. I have added a few extra half-term events, but there are lots more listed on the website, so make sure you take a look to find fun things to do for your family, and let us know when you try something good. Oh, and remember to say you saw it on Essex Mums!
All month: First World War Exhibition, Valence House
Every Saturday: Kids’ AM, Vue Cinema
4th & 10th: Play in the Park, Old Dagenham Park
6th: Chris and Pui Roadshow, The Broadway
7th: Eastbury Manor House Family Day
8th: Beginners Breeze Bike Ride, Barking Park
14th: Marks Gate Day, Marks Gate Junior School
15th: History in the Baking, Eastbury Manor House
23rd: Den Building and Bushcraft, Mayesbrook Park
24th: Den Building and Bushcraft, Valence Park
25th: Den Building and Bushcraft, Old Dagenham Park
26th: Den Building and Bushcraft, St Chad’s Park
29th: Autism-Friendly Showings, Vue Cinema
3rd: The Get Ready Club Taster Session, My Gym
4th, 10th, 18th, 24th: Caterpillar Club, Langdon Visitor Centre
7th: BBQ and Band, Shotgate Baptist Church
8th: Festival of Sport in Billericay, Lake Meadows
9th: Wick Weeders, The Wick Country Park
14th: Minibeast Mayhem, Westley Heights
15th: Father’s Day, Barleylands
16th: Outdoor Movie Spectacular, Festival Leisure Park
21st: Runwell Village Preschool Community Fun day, Runwell Parish Hall
21st & 22nd: South Essex Armed Forces Day, Barleylands Showground
27th: After School Disco, Stay and Play
28th: Janet Duke Primary School Summer Fete
29th: Fun in the Park, Lake Meadows
3rd: First Aid for Babies and Toddlers, Little Goslings CC
4th: ‘My Life in Education’ Talk, PARC
7th: Fire Station Open Day, Braintree Fire Station
8th: Free Children’s Workshops & Open Farm Sunday, Slamseys Art
11th – 13th: Little Legs Festival, Braintree and Bocking Public Gardens
14th, 20th & 21st: Day Out with Thomas, Colne Valley Railway
14th: Braintree BMX Club Taster Session, Braintree BMX Track
15th: Emily Brown and the Thing, Braintree Arts Theatre
20th: The Hut People, Hedingham Castle
21st: Great Bardfield Summer Fete, Great Bardfield Primary School
28th: NCT Nearly New Sale, Halstead
29th: Operating Day with Steam, Colne Valley
8th: Hopefield Animal Sanctuary Bird Display
12th: Hopefield Animal Sanctuary Veggie BBQ
14th: Essex Outdoor Cinema, Weald Country Park
15th: Peppa Pig, Old MacDonalds Farm
21st: Strawberry Fair, Shenfield Common
21st & 22nd: Re-Enactment: Civil War Historical, Ingatestone Hall
28th: Honk! Brentwood Theatre
29th: Demonstration: Tudor Promenade, Ingatestone Hall
30th: Meet author Eva Katzler, Chicken and Frog
7th: The Big Day Out, Salvation Army Farm
14th: Saturday Kids Art & Nature Club - Let's Make An Insect Hotel!, Rayleigh View Nursery and Craft Centre
21st: St Peter's Church Summer Fair,Thundersley
28th: Armed Forces Day, Canvey Island
29th: Iron Age Roundhouse Open Afternoon, Hadleigh Country Park
All month: The Lost Village of Little Baddow, Little Baddow History Centre
Every Monday: Puddleducks, Danbury Country Park
3rd & 4th: What the Ladybird Heard, Civic and Cramphorn Theatres
4th: I Want to Foster Awareness, High Chelmer Shopping Centre
7th: Comedy Club 4 Kids, Civic and Cramphorn Theatres
8th: Official Opening of Our New Wind in the Willows Wildlife Garden!, Hanningfield Reservoir
13th: Friday Fives – Row Your Boat, Chelmsford Museum
14th: Mum2mum Market Nearly New Sale, South Woodham Ferrers Village Hall
15th: Boys’ Toys, Hylands House and Gardens
17th: Tuesday Toddle, Hylands House and Gardens
19th: Caterpillar Club, Hanningfield Reservoir
20th: World Cup Summer Fair, Collingwood School
21st: Year of the Bear Roadshow, Meadows Shopping Centre
22nd: Midsummer Sponsored Walk and Wild Time Trail, The Wilderness Foundation
23rd: Save a Baby Workshop, Beeches CC
24th – 26th: The 3foot People Festival, Hylands Park
28th & 29th: Peppa Pig visiting Marsh Farm
28th: South Woodham Ferrers Family Night, South Woodham Ferrers Village Hall
29th: Garden Party, RHS Hyde Hall
30th: Save a Baby Roadshow, Bumblebee Children’s Centre
Every Wednesday: Creepy Crawlies Club, Abberton Reservoir
4th: England’s Future Soccer Stars, Jungle Adventure
6h: Samba Party, Jungle Adventure
7th: Wild in Wormingford Family Nature Club, Wormingford Community Education Centre
8th: Dinky Disco, firstsite               
9th: Donald Ducks’ Birthday, Jungle Adventure
10th: Wild Flowers of the Heath, Tiptree Heath
12h: World Cup Membership Kicks Off, Jungle Adventure
14th & 15th: Rowhedge Regatta
14th: Young Children’s Festival, Castle Park
15th: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Wivenhoe House Hotel
19th & 24th: Come On England!, Jungle Adventure
20th: Evening Story Walk, Marks Hall
21st: Rowhedge Strawberry Fair
22nd: Otiz Cannelloni: A History of Magic – Abridged! Colchester Arts Centre
24th: Moth Evening led by Essex Moth Group, Tiptree Heath
27th: Fingringhoe Fledglings, Fingringhoe Wick
28th: Teddy’s Bear’s Picnic, Poplar Nurseries
29th: Living History event -The 1960’s, EARM
5th, 12th, 19th, 26th: Little Lotus Baby Yoga, Sunrise Children’s Centre
6th – 8th: Steam Gala, Epping-Ongar Railway
6th & 20th: Free Portraits for Babies & Toddlers, Snowdon Photography
7th: Pirate Party, Coopersale Hall School
8th: Paws in the Park! In aid of Guide Dogs, Epping Forest
10th 17th 24th: Little Lotus Baby Massage, Bababoom
11th: Parenting the FASD child, Loughton
14th: Family learning event: Getting in the builders – Tudor style!, Epping Forest
15th: Petunia’s Pick - Father’s Day, Lee Valley Park Farm
21st: Meridian Lantern Procession, Waltham Abbey Gardens
21st & 22nd: In the forest, Hainault Forest
28th: Disability Rocks, Lambourne End
Until 20th: Discover Essex Collections, Gibbered Gallery
3rd – 14th: The Museum of Curiosities II, Gatehouse Arts
4th onwards: Harlow Festival 2014
5th – 7th: Carrie’s War, Harlow Playhouse
8th: Sunday Family Funday, Science Alive
15th: Father’s day Survival day, Parndon Wood
18th: Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Parndon Wood
19th: Bat Walk, Parndon Wood
21st: Burntmill Academy Fun Day
23rd & 24th: Media Studies - Free Summer School, University Centre
26th: International Mud Day Event, Parndon Wood
28th: The Midnight Walk
30th: Business - Free Summer School, University Centre
Every parent & carer should know how to deal with an emergency. Thankfully these situations are rare, but having the confidence to act when seconds count can make all the difference. We offer two hour sessions in your own home. Our training is fun, informal & you can practise as much as you like. Our manikins are baby, toddler and child sized, so this session is perfect for anyone with babies or children. For just £20 per person* you can learn how to deal with Choking, Unconsciousness, Minor burns, Seizures & Resuscitation.

Visit for details or call 01206 213987 to leave a message.

Every Saturday: Kids AM, Vue Cinema
3rd – 7th: Godspell, Queens Theatre
4th – 14th: Havering Hedgehogs Exhibition, Havering Museum
7th: Magical Mel, Queens Theatre
8th: Traditional Sports Day, The Old Chapel
11th, 15th: Caterpillar Club, Bedfords Park
12th: Havering Real Nappies Nappuccino coffee morning, Romford Shopping Hall
13th, 20th, 27th: Get Ready for School, Hornchurch
14th: Mum2Mum Market, Harold Hill
15th: Iron Cupcake Challenge, MyPlace
21st – 22nd: Essex Outdoor Cinema, Windmill Field
21st: Trails in the Park – Butterfly Trail, Bedfords Park
22nd: Baby Natal, Mothercare
23rd & 30th: Infant Talking Toolkit, Mothercare
26th: Card Making Class, Havering Museum
28th: Story Play – The Cat in the Hat, Queens Theatre
29th: The Liberty Kids’ Club, The Liberty
Fridays and Saturdays: Roller Skating Disco, Madison Heights
6th & 20th: Beeleigh Abbey Gardens Open Day
7th: Fire Station Open Day, Burnham fire Station
8th: Sport in the Sunshine,Promenade Park
13th – 15th: Castaway on Northey Island
14th: Summer Fruit Fair, Discovery Church
15th: Heavy Horse Show, Museum of Power
21st – 29th: 10th Annual Burnham Art Trail
21st: SamStock Festival, Museum of Power
22nd: Blackwater Country Show, Heybridge
28th: Creeksea Sailing Club Open Day
7th: Summer Fair 2014, Isaac Newton Academy
8th: Best of Music Fest, Valentines Mansion
10th, 17th & 24th: Parenting: Good Children, Great Parents, Gearies Centre
14th: Fun in the Park, Barkingside
19th – 29th: Labyrinth Festival, Redbridge Drama Centre
21st: Children's Theatre - Arthur's Dream Boat, Redbridge Libraries
22nd: Funday Sundays: Silly Sports Day, The Exchange
28th: Learn to Skateboard with Team Extreme!, Seven Kings Park
5th: Monkey Bizzness is… Frozen
7th: Wild Woods Day, Hockley Woods
14th: Amazing Superhero All Day Party, The Fun Factory
15th: How High? The Mills Arts & Events Centre
20th: One Wild Day at Wallasea
22nd: Mutts in The Meadow, Cherry Orchard Way
29th: St Teresas School Summer Fayre
Every Thursday: Squirrel Squad, Belfairs Park
6th – 8th: Horrible Histories - Barmy Britain, Cliffs Pavilion
7th: Family Summer Fayre, Southchurch
7th – 14th: Leigh Art Trail
8th: World Ocean Day, Belfairs Park
13th  & 27th: Little Bears Soft Play, Leigh Community Centre
14th: St Mary's Church Prittlewell Church Fete
15th: Vulcan Open Days, Southend Airport
18th: The Events, Clifftown Theatre
21st: Southend Raspberry Pi Jam, The Old Waterworks
22nd: Learn to Ride June 2014, Civic Centre
26th – 29th: Leigh Folk Festival, Old Leigh
28th: Family Fun Day, Len Forge Centre
6th: Toddler Tea Party, Space Kingdom
7th: Medieval Fayre, Manningtree
13th – 15th: Clacton Crafts Co-operative, Clacton Factory Outlet
15th: Father’s Day, Clacton Pier
20th: Brenalwood Care Home's Fun Farm open day
21st: Magic of Motown, Princes Theatre
25th onwards: Harwich Festival of the Arts
Every Tuesday: Thurrock Trade School
4th – 8th: Santus Circus, King George V Playing Fields
5th, 12th & 19th: 3D Letter Art, Thurrock Adult College
6th: VIP Meet & Greet with Stooshe, intu Lakeside
7th & 8th: Sensational Summer Party Weekend, intu Lakeside
7th: Beaver Scouts Funday, Stanford le Hope
8th: Nature Fair & Family Fun Day, Davy Down
14th: Wildlife Explorers Club, RSPB Rainham Marshes
21st: Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Thameside Nature Park
25th: Incredible Insects, Thameside Nature Park
26h: Dragons and Damsels, RSPB Rainham Marshes
27th: Bats and Moths, Belhus Woods
28th – 29th: Horndon on the hill feast and fayre
29th: Open Day, Coalhouse Fort
All month: Secrets from the Stores, Saffron Walden Museum
Every Weekend: Life Above and Below Stairs at Audley End
3rd & 10th: First Aid Course for Babies and Toddlers, Little Goslings CC
7th & 8th: Horrid History Weekend – The Time of the Black Death, Mountfitchet Castle
7th: Fire Station Open Days, Saffron Walden Fire Station
8th: NCT Nearly New Sale, Flitch Green Community Centre
14th & 15th: 50th Anniversary Weekend, Audley End Miniature Railway
14th: Elsenham Village Fete and Craft Fair
22nd: World War II Day & Concert, The Gardens of Easton Lodge
27th – 29th: Wild Camping and Bushcraft Weekend 2014, Hatfield Forest
Boys Toys 2014 at Hylands Estate, Chelmsford
Sunday 15 June 11am – 8pm

The perfect Father’s Day gift that the whole family can enjoy together. Boys Toys gives something for everyone whether you have a love for extreme stunts, giant robots, fancy a helicopter or Monster Truck ride or stand witness to the world’s only flying Supermarine Spitfire MK XI and a Hawker Hurricane MK IIB performing and LANDING LIVE in front of you; this is a very special day out to be enjoyed together. Information and tickets from tickets from just £10!

New Classes and Groups

A selection of new information about classes and groups added this month.  Some are brand new to the site, some just have updates about new venues, details etc.Take a look at the Things to Do section for complete listings.

Parent and Toddler Groups
Updated Children's Centres Timetables 
Groups for Older Children 
Groups for Parents and Parents-to-Be

Mittymoos supplies 100% Organic Cotton clothes for 0-6 year olds. Our priority is to offer a comprehensive range of clothes that are stylish, affordable and of course, soft! Little ones have delicate skin, particularly children who suffer with eczema, and parents can benefit from using organic clothes.
When you dress your child each day, you want them to be comfortable and happy in lovely soft clothes, not itchy or irritable due to harsh materials rubbing them as they move. As they get more active and want to jump into muddy puddles you can be sure our clothes will wash clean easily and remain beautiful, soft and supple no matter how often they are washed and worn.

Everything else
As always, please send any events, feedback, ideas etc. to me at I love hearing how people use the site and ways I can improve it. The normal newsletter will be back next month - I hope you've enjoyed this overview of the website!

I hope you have a lovely month and that I'll get to see you at a meet-up soon.

Kind regards
Copyright © 2014 Essex Mums, All rights reserved.

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