Hello everyone, let's hope this month sees the end of the rain and the beginning of some Spring-like weather so that we can get out and about and enjoy all the wonderful events that are going on across the county!

Ask the Trainer
Ask the Trainer is a new section of the forum where you can put your health and fitness questions to Personal Trainer Zoe Randall. The section has just started so Zoe will be introducing herself soon - keep an eye out! If you're trying to get fit or lose weight yourself, you might also be interested in joining our Weight Loss Support Thread, or reading my weight loss journal on the blog.

School Admissions
Are you one of the many parents across the county who has just found out their child's primary school placement? Why not come and discuss how you feel about this in the forum. There's a special Schools section where you can chat about everything from the school itself to your fears about such a big change. It can be so useful to have support from other parents in your position and to hear the experiences of those who have been there before. 

Pregnancy and Parenting
The Pregnancy and Parenting has been filling up this month with articles written by some of our lovely Essex Mums. It's a work in progress and will take a while before we have everything on but I'm very excited that it's taking shape and am extremely grateful to everyone who has been working hard on it. If you're interested in contributing, take a look at the details here.

I got a lot of positive feedback last month after including more events that usual, so thought I would try to feature more in each newsletter. As always you can see the full listings on the Things to Do section but hopefully this will give you a few ideas about what's on near you this coming month:

5th: Baby and Children's Market, Billericay
6th & 7th: Wooly Weekend at Barleylands, Billericay
21st: Partyman Fun Night, Partyman World of Play, Basildon
22nd: Hatchlings Club, Hanningfield Reservoir
25th: After School Disco, Second Steps Stay and Play, Laindon
31st: The Wheels on the Bus, Towngate Theatre, Basildon
5th: Nature Puzzle Walk, Greenstead Farm
6th: Medieval Battle and May Fayre, Hedingham Castle
7th: Open Day at Bocking Windmill
12th: Activity Day at Marks Hall
13th: Steam with Colin, Colne Valley Railway
26th: Great Notley Stargazing Event 
1st, 8th & 15th: Get Ready for School, Knights Way Community Centre
11th: Bat Experience at Weald Country Park
12th: Come and Meet Ben &Holly at Old MacDonalds Farm
12th & 13th: Robin Hood Game And Country Show, Brentwood
27th: Hopefield Animal Sanctuary Small Animal Event
30th: Exploring Sensory Issues Talk, SNAP centre

Castle Point

6th & 20th: Iron Age Roundhouse Afternoon, Hadleigh Country Park
13th: Shopping Day/Craft Fair, Canvey
19th: Diamond Jubilee Tea Party & Entertainment, Canvey
26th: Canvey Island Wildlife Event 2012

All month: Marconi and the Sea, Chelmsford Museum
2nd: Sing a Song of Bottoms, Just Imagine Story Centre
6th: Chelmsford Miniature Railway Spring Open Day
7th: Traditional May Day Celebration at Marsh Farm
7th: Peppa Pig Visiting Creepy Crawlies
8th: Wam Bam Boomerang SEN events
10th & 11th: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Civic & Cramphorn Theatre
19th: Young Rangers at Danbury Country Park
20th: Essex Young Farmers Country Show, Roxwell
26th: Fairy School Workshops, Chelmsford
28th & 30th: Dogs Don’t Do Ballet, Just Imagine Story Centre


1st & 2nd: The Gruffalo, Mercury Theatre
4th – 7th: Cosmic Puffin Festival, Mersea Island
5th: Wander In The Woods, High Woods Country Park
5th & 6th: Giggle City, Colchester
6th: Kite Festival, Layer Marney Tower
7th: Colchester Lions Family Fun Day & Duck Race at Castle Park
10th & 11th: Science Museum Live, Mercury Theatre
12th: Summer Fete, Colchester
20th: Sunday Funday, Colchester Library
25th – 27th: Childrens World at Castle Park
26th: Kids’ Uni at Firstsite
30th -  1st June: Seussical the Musical at CMPA Live!

Epping Forest
All month: Peeler's Progress, Epping Forest Museum
5th – 7th May: VE Weekend at Royal Gunpowder Mills
7th: St Mary’s Theydon Bois May Fayre
12th: Suntrap Family Orienteering, Epping Forest
12th & 13th: Fyfield Festival

5th & 7th: Harlow Bugs Workshop, Science Alive
19th: Royal Garden Party at Kiddi Caru Day Nursery in Harlow
26th: Cream Tea Anyone? Cooking Workshop
Sparks will Fly, Market Square

5th: The Magic and Mayhem Show! Queens Theatre
7th: Rainham Village Jubilee May Fayre
13th: Family Adventure Day, Stubbers Adventure Centre
18th: Tudor Family Fun, Havering Museum
19th: May Fayre 2012, Havering-atte-Bower
19th: Baby Sensory Free Taster, Romford
26th -16th June: Peter Pan, Queens Theatre


6th: Summer Show, Museum of Power
19th: Junior Rangers Club, Maldon
20th: Dancefit Day, Maldon
26th: Tolleshunt Major Summer Fair 


All month: Razzamatazz Roller Skating Disco, Redbridge Sports and Leisure Centre
1st- 7th: WIld Week of Fun, Ilford
6th: Family Fairtrade Sunday, Valentine’s Mansion
19th: Scrumptious Pumpkin Jubilee Tea, South Woodford
20th: Haven House Summer Fayre, South Woodford
22nd: Under 5s Explore Make and Do – Move It! Valentine’s Mansion


All month: Rayleigh Market
25th: Summer Swap-A-Rama


All month: Dinosaurs Rock, Southend Museum
All month: Southend Film Festival
5th: Free Art Workshop for All, Westcliff Library
7th: Spring Family Fun Day, Leigh
7th: May Day on Strand Wharf at Leigh-on-Sea
12th & 13th: Wacky Weekend at Adventure Island
12th: Spring Fayre, Southchurch
19th: Art workshops for children with Autism, Blenheim Children’s Centre
26th & 27th: Southend Air Festival at Southend Seafront
26th: Fireman Sam, Cliffs Pavilion

Every Saturday & Sunday: Go Bounce, Clacton Family Outlet
7th: Family Fun Afternoon, Delightful Ducks, Fingringhoe Wick
8th: Call of the Wild Family Nature Day, Fingringhoe Wick
12th: Phoenix Trading Fundraiser, Harwich
18th: Sparks will Fly, Harwich Marina
19th: Vienna Festival Ballet Present Swan Lake, Clacton

8th: Open Evening At The New ‘I Can’ Nursery
13th Bushcraft Babes, Chafford Gorge

All month: Sporting Heroes, Saffron Walden Museum
All month: Saffron Walden Film Festival
5th & 6th: May Day at Audley End
5th, 6th & 7th: The Fairies Are Coming! Audley End Miniature Railway
19th: Sparks will Fly at Saffron Walden Museum
26th: Family Fun Day, Dunmow

Focus on... Laindon
Each month I will focus on some of the clubs, groups and classes in different towns across the county. Each month I will focus on some of the clubs, groups and classes in different towns across the county. First up is Laindon, in West Basildon. Laindon has two Sure Start Centres: Laindon Park Children’s Centre on King Edward Road and The All About Centre at James Hornsby High School. Activities at these centres include Parenting Groups, Bumps and Babies Groups, Craft sessions for families, Stay and Play sessions and advice for parents.

For parents of babies and todders, there are a few parent and toddler groups in the area including:
If you’re looking for something for older kids, you might like to try one of the following: And for something more energetic, try the following dance and sports clubs: Other things to do in the Laindon area include a visit to Second Steps Soft Play Centre on Durham Road, Laindon Library, and if you want to go a bit further south, a visit to Langdon Hills Nature Reserve is always worthwhile – it’s lovely for a pleasant walk and has lots of activities for kids.

New newsletter ad rates
With the new look newsletter comes some new ad opportunities. Starting at only £10, take a look at the updated rate card for all opportunities.

Things to win! Check out the great competitions we currently have running. If you would like to run a competition yourself please let me know - it's a great way to advertise for free and also give something lovely to parents in Essex!

Special Offers for Essex Mums
Some of our generous advertisers have some very special offers for you all this month!

  • Little Whispers: 50% off Janod Wooden Oceon Cube Puzzle and Janod Garden Cube Puzzle. Put in code EX50 to get discount. 
  • More Than Gifts: 15% discount (and free delivery) on all orders over £20 for the month of May. Input code EM15 at checkout to receive discount.
  • Tony's Beauty Salon: 10% off any treatment when you quote "Essex mums" valid until the 31st May 2012
  • Born Gifted: 15% discount code (off your first order) for your newsletter is ‘40570’
  • Dizzy Ducks: 1 FREE creche/taster session to ONGAR & HARLOW new parents only (subject to availability - To be booked in advance) & free registration worth £25 for all new parents at any Dizzy Ducks nursery. Just quote Essex Mums.
  • Book 1 Psychotherapeutic Session get 1 at ½ Price. Nadia Wyatt, Psychotherapist, Goals Solutions
  • Stagecoach Chelmsford are offering £10.00 discount on their summer workshops for anyone who quotes "Essex Mums" when applying.
  • Half price Story Art session when you say you have seen the ad on Essex Mums 

Product Reviews

Here's a list of what's been added this month! You can see a bit about each of our reviewers here, or can go straight to the reviews here.

Products Shops
New on the Shopping Guide
The Shopping Guide features both a shop listing and a product listing to help you find that perfect gift, whether it's for someone else, or for yourself! The guide features lots of lovely products that are a bit different to what you'll find on the High Street, and new products are being added all the time. Take a look! If you are interested in being featured, please let me know. 

New additions this month:

On the forum this month

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. Oh, and make sure you enter some of our lovely competitions!

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

Kind regards

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