Why do people die? Where do they go?

mnberksAwkward Questions Children Ask Part SevenGood Toy Guide Logo_MED

Dr Amanda Gummer, Play & Parenting Psychologist and founder of Fundamentally Children has been helping Mumsnetters with how to answer those awkward questions that children ask.

So today’s question is:

Why do people die? Where do they go?

tshirt sat at tableAmanda says…..

Your answer to this will be heavily influenced by the age of the child, the circumstances surrounding the timing of question, their personal experiences and your own beliefs.  If a child is suffering from grief, it is important to provide reassurance in the answer.  Ultimately, honesty in many cases is the best policy.  Younger children tend to take things literally so explaining that the family has ‘lost’ someone or he/she has ‘gone to sleep’ could lead to problems such as sleepness nights as the child will be afraid to fall asleep for fear of not waking.  As children get older you can explain in more detail but using clear, simple and accurate details is recommended.

If it is just one of those questions, you can encourage children to be more philosophical and think about concepts such as the circle of life, overcrowding of the world and even issues such as quality v quantity of life with older children.  Religious explanations aside, a child will benefit from hearing an adult acknowledge their own uncertainty.  Encourage questions from your child but be honest if you are unsure of how to answer them.  There’s no right or wrong answers.  It is fine to say that no one really knows but lots of people have ideas that they believe and that it is ok to believe whatever you want to.

Young children don’t have a mature concept of the permanence and irreversibility of death so they need an explanation that they can relate to. The butterfly analogy works well – a caterpillar on the ground goes into a cocoon not having any idea that it’s about to grow wings and emerge from its sleep as a beautiful butterfly.  This explanation can help take away the fear of dying that many children experience at some point.

A note from the Mumsnet Berkshire Local Editor: I hope I am not asked this question any time soon. The only thing I can really add to Amanda’s answer is to learn about the signs of grief in children if they have lost a loved one (be that a family member, friend or pet). For example, a change in behaviour (this could be many weeks or months after the initial bereavement), fascination with death, anxiety over certain things i.e. going to sleep, being ill etc. Please feel free to add your comments or email thoughts to berkshire@mumsnetlocal.com

Read more awkward questions here:

Read Part One: Who is lying?

Read Part Two: Why do grown ups argue?

Read Part Three:  What does the tooth fairy do with the teeth they collect?

Read Part Four: How do I explain that we can’t afford what their friends can afford?

Read Part Five: How does a baby get in Mummy’s tummy?

Read Part Six: My Friends say I am ugly. Is it true?


The Berkshire Show

mnberksMy Trip to the Berkshire Show

The Berkshire Show, organised annually by the Newbury & District Agricultural Society, is a weekend jam packed full of things of family friendly things to do and see all related to country life. There is so much to see including lots of animals, agricultural machinery, areas to shop for hand-made goods and so much more.

My husband and I took our two year old and our one year old to the Berkshire Show on Saturday 20th September. The first thing that struck us was that it was quite well organised. There are plenty of car parks (some that are free and one that charges £5 for the day) each labelled with a colour and they even had row numbers. They do pack you in and we did complain that there wasn’t a lot of room to reverse your car without risking hitting a car parked in the row behind. There was also poor sign posting for getting out of the rows of cars in the car park to leave the car park but that was our bugbear for the day.

My two year old was amazed from the start because we started off looking at some beautiful birds of prey and although we have plenty of Red Kite where we live, you don’t often get a close up view. We also saw a variety of snakes & lizards, enjoyed the petting zoo with goats, chickens, rabbits & donkeys, and enjoyed going to look at all the show animals including Lamas, pigs, sheep and poultry. On that note, I didn’t like the Poultry tent because all the animals were in very small cages and I felt quite uncomfortable about that. Whilst I appreciate it is only for a weekend event, the thought of them being cooped up and crammed in really rather upset me. The larger animals had a lot more space to roam about.

bs1There were tractors, diggers, combine harvesters and all sorts of machinery on show. Whilst it’s not really my interest, my husband and son both really enjoyed looking at them all. I was very entertained to discover that there is also a Police tractor – something I had never given any thought to.

As well as lots to see, there were many tents with kids areas for them to sit down for a bit and do some drawing, enter competitions and get some nice freebies! I was particularly happy to see a tent specifically for baby changing and feeding with a nice play area for the little ones to let off steam. I had been walking around for a few minutes trying to work out where I was going to change a nappy without being right in everyone’s way. There were also volunteers walking around telling parents where this tent was which I think was very handy.

The animals were in lots of competitions so you could listen to the judges and commentary on what was being looked for amongst the animals to pick a winner.

I was really impressed by and really enjoyed looking at all the hand made wooden crafts from benches and chairs to garden animals & walking sticks. The talent is fantastic. I only wish a few more had been Berkshire based!

Some of you would recognise them from Britians Got Talent – Bolddog Lings Freestyle FMX team were there doing a Motorcycle stunt display. We didn’t get to see it but heard from others that it was fantastic to see. The Main arena also featured show jumping and heavy horses.


Along with crafts, photography and cookery demonstrations there was something for everyone. We noticed that most of the people there were older and not so many families. That’s a bit disappointing for us because we thought it was a great place to take the children.

berkshire showThere was plenty of seating but not enough toilets. The toilers they did have always seemed to be a long walk from where I was and at one point I had a debate about whether I could hold it or not. So for future years they really need more toilets especially with the huge number of visitors attending.

Overall, a great day with lots to see and do for all the family. You can buy tickets in advance or on the day but it is obviously more expensive on the day. For more information on the Berkshire show, visit their website here: http://www.berkshireshow.co.uk/

My tickets were free but this in no way influenced the outcome of my review.

Low Expectations….left with Great Impressions!

mnberksGreat Expectations by London Contemporary Theatre

I was invited to the theatre at South Hill Park, Bracknell to watch the opening performance of Great Expectations by the London Contemporary Theatre group who are celebrating their second birthday!

I have to admit I haven’t been to the theatre in a long time and I wasn’t sure Great Expectations would really be something I’d enjoy. I have never read the book and I am sure I have seen one of the films somewhere many years ago but couldn’t tell you the story at all. So I decided to take someone along who would know all about it. My awesome Mum!

South Hill Park Arts Centre is one of my favourite places to go just to walk around its beautiful grounds and lake, take my kids to the sandpit and enjoy the nearby play park. Before the show Mum and I enjoyed a peaceful drink listening to some live music whilst sat outside overlooking these beautiful grounds. It set the scene for a lovely evening.

great expectationsWe went into the theatre which is a really nice size. It’s not massive so where ever you are sat, I think you’d have a good seat. But we were lucky to have our tickets in the middle. The stage was already set up with actors on it with a woman in a wedding dress laid dead on the stage. This sparked anticipation in me immediately. When the show started I was immediately drawn in to the story of a young Boy called Pip and the relationship he was to form with the cold hearted Estelle. I was so drawn in that when there was a break in the performance I was really disappointed so consoled myself with a nice ice cream.

The changes of scene were done to the sound of a clock along with music and the actors & actresses used dance to to move across the stage ready for the next scene to start. I thought it was really cleverly done. Great Expectations (or this version of) was a modern version, set in modern times and I felt it adapted well. I was able to follow the story line which I thoroughly enjoyed. I only got a bit confused near the end when the parents of Estelle were revealed. There was also a suitable amount of humour to break up from the seriousness of the story.

I have to say I was incredibly impressed with the cast. I thought the chemistry between Pip and his Mum was great and the portrayal of Miss Haversham was brilliant. Estelle was also portrayed brilliantly. I hated her but I could also see why Pip would fall for her and I was excited to see whether or not they would end up together! The performance was about 2 hours long which was just about right with the interval too.

I’d really recommend going to see Great Expectations by the London Contemporary Theatre. I can’t wait to see their up and coming versions performances including one by Roald Dahl. My tickets were free but this in no way influences the reviews I give.

Great Expectations is currently touring in the UK now. to find out more you can visit the website http://www.londoncontemporarytheatre.com/Greatexpectations.html

Mumsnet Berkshire does Pan Asian dining!


My review of Cosmo Restaurant, Reading, Berkshire

I love food. I love eating out. It’s something I rarely do these days with a toddler and a baby because it’s usually too much hard work entertaining a toddler and not really relaxing. So when Cosmo, Reading invited me to come along for a free meal with my husband to see what their restaurant is like, I called in the babysitters AKA Nanny & Grandad!

Cosmo is a pan Asian, world food banquet dining restaurant – or to you and me, an all you can eat comprising Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Pizza and good old English food.

As you enter through the front door, the queue is split into two lines – those who have booked and those who haven’t. This makes it so much quicker to get in if you have booked a table and the queue did get very long so its clearly a popular restaurant. There is also a small area to leave your buggy. Unfortunately, its not possibly to take your buggies into the restaurant.

03292013022001-2We went on a Sunday lunchtime at midday so it had only just opened when we arrived. As you walk in the room is split into three dinstinct areas: seating, food, more seating. It’s massive!! The food was laid out and presented beautifully. As well as looking fresh and smelling great, you can also watch some of the food being cooked at live cooking stations.

I was struck by the décor. The walls are a modern grey and the chairs are cream and very comfortable to sit on. It was very atmospheric. We were shown to our seats and ordered our refillable soft drinks (sadly no alcohol to consume when you have to go back to looking after the littlies) and the staff explained we could go up when we were ready. So we did!

You go up and take a plate, help yourselves to what you want and then go eat it! Simple. I like buffet dining because it is instant and being a mum, time is usually of the essence. I don’t like buffet style because I always worry about freshness of food and hygiene. But it was very clean and the majority of dishes had lids on which I appreciated. There is an area in front of each row of food where you can place your plate which is really useful for having a nosey under the lids of the food before making your choice.

As well as starter, main and side options, they also have a wide variety of small desserts. So even when you are stuffed from the mains, there is ALWAYS room for a small pud. There was a fruit option, was well as cakes & ice cream. Children were well catered for with many simple kiddy foods as well as sweeties for on your ice cream. But if they were feeling adventurous we definitely thought it is a great place to introduce children to new flavours.

Cosmo is family friendly. I didn’t see any high chairs but then I didn’t see any really young children when we arrived. There were people of all ages there enjoying their lunch and it got very busy. It was a little bit weird to finish your plateful to have it whisked away before you have even put your fork down but it stops the table getting cluttered.

We did stop and rest for a while between platefuls so I could assess how full I was and just enjoy some people watching. This was the only time I felt rushed because the staff assumed we had finished and were tidying around us and asking if we wanted any tea or coffee. I don’t think that was meant purposefully to hurry us up though. It is run in an efficient manner and we found the staff very polite.

The tables are very close together so if you had lots of bags, it would be quite a squeeze to get through to your seat and if you love to know what others are talking about then you can easily listen in because you are so close. But this is the problem of modern dining and not something I’ve seen only at Cosmo.

The food was delicious. The mains were tasty and flavoursome (and I tried as many as a could haha!) but I found the desserts a little bland. That said, my husband liked his choices of dessert. It would have been nice to have the desserts labelled because it wasn’t always obvious what it was i.e you think its chocolate but its coffee flavoured (this always upsets me because I hate coffee – love the smell of it though!).

Overall, we really enjoyed our meal out at Cosmo and would recommend it as somewhere for the whole family, meals out with friends, and it has the space for larger parties too.

You can find out more about Cosmo Reading here.

Tips for choosing a toddler activity class by Sport4Kids


There are so many toddler activity classes  on offer to parents. However, choosing the best activity classes can be a challenge, with options ranging from local clubs to professionally run classes. It is often the case that classes can be badly organized, inconsistently staffed and poorly run. This can ultimately lead to toddlers becoming disengaged with the activity and forming a negative association with the hobby.

Sport4Kids have provided the following five key tips for parents when selecting a toddler activity class…

1. Is the class tailored to your toddler’s stage of development?

Tots Small 5

When introducing your child to any toddler activity, it is vital that the class pitches itself at the correct level for the children involved. Take a look at what the toddlers are being asked to do – is the aim of the game understood? Do the children in the class have the capability to learn the skills needed to play the game? We would expect most toddler activity classes to need parental assistance at this age, but it is important that the toddlers are able to grasp the concept of the game so that they remain enthused.

2. Does the class give your toddler a fun time?

Tots 10

Fun is the precursor to engagement in terms of toddler activity. If a toddler is not having fun, they will not be engaged with the class – no matter how much the parent can see the benefit! Is your toddler laughing and smiling with their peers and coaches or teachers? Do they babble about wanting to attend the class during the week when you are at home? Do they perform little actions that mimic the class content around the house? These are all signs that your little one is having fun –oh and of course beaming smiles during the class!

3. Are the teachers of a quality that you are happy with?

Most classes will advertise that their coaches are DBS registered and qualified to coach or teach the toddler activity that you have chosen. This is a good start and should not be overlooked. However, this does not provide an overall picture of the teacher. Is the teacher good at communication with the toddler age group? For example, in the instance of toddler football classes , a large number of coaches claim to have FA recognized qualifications. However, the FA courses provide no information on toddlers or indeed children under the age of 5 years. Can we guarantee that a FA qualified football coach would be suitable for a toddler class? Not at all! Qualities to look out for include…How caring the teaching team is? Are they trained in a child-centric approach to toddler teaching?   Are they well turned out and looking as though they take care of their appearance and therefore the appearance of the organization? Without respect for their appearance and the organization they represent how can we be sure they will respect your child – well the answer is we can’t.

4. Will The Toddlers Learn Something?

Tots Small 6

All toddlers behave differently and will ultimately develop different interests. Some like to draw, others like to bang a tambourine and others will love kicking a football – the crucial part of any toddler activity class though, is that the toddler learns something. Whether this be learning new colours, shapes, sounds or movements, one of the primary focuses of the class should be that every child takes something away…along with the expected smile!

5. Does the class have an ongoing development path?

Many toddler activity class teachers will pitch up and make a set of routines up for the class for the day on the spot. These individuals possess great talent – the ability to entertain children at the drop of a hat is hard enough for parents, so to watch another person do it often leaves us in awe. The only issue with this approach is that it often fails to consider the developmental trajectory of the toddler. It is important that the organization that you select for your child follows a curriculum based approach, with clear milestones for your toddler to develop over time. Toddlers are little bundles of senses, but psychologically and physically they are always developing and need to be challenged. Many organizations also offer classes beyond the toddler years, meaning that if you find a trusted provider for your child’s activity, you can pursue it with them and watch them grow throughout childhood. Ask your provider about the structure of classes and why they are structured this way – the absence or inclusion of a curriculum based approach will soon become apparent!

We encourage all parents to pursue taking part in some form of activity with their toddler. The best providers will always offer free taster sessions for parents and this will allow you to check out all of our tips in person!

Dr Mark Gould

Dr Mark Gould is an innovator of child sport, entertainment, learning and development.  He has a PhD in Psychology and is a champion of women’s sport, with over 10 years coaching experience.

This post was sponsored by Sports4Kids.

To find out  more about toddler activities organised by Sports4Kids please visit their website http://sport4kids.biz/activities/toddler-activities and visit http://sport4kids.biz/classes/s4k-tots for information on football for tots.

How do I explain that we can’t afford to go on holiday like all their other friends? And dance classes, and expensive day trips?

mnberksAwkward Questions Children Ask Part Four

Good Toy Guide Logo_MED



Dr Amanda Gummer, Play & Parenting Psychologist and founder of Fundamentally Children has been helping Mumsnetters with how to answer those awkward questions that children ask.

How do I explain that we can’t afford to go on holiday like all their other friends? And dance classes, and expensive day trips?

tshirt sat at tableAmanda says……

Most things in life cost money and it’s important for children to understand its value and to know that everyone has differing amounts.  This can be really difficult concept for young children who think that meals or days out are free.

Why not ask them to save some pocket money towards a day trip out, this will really help them to relate to how much things cost and make them understand that if they spend all their money on this trip they will miss out on other things such as sweets/magazines. If parents are going out to work, you can also explain that mummy and daddy work really hard to earn the money to pay for nice things and try to explain the process.

Some people have lots of money and can do whatever they like; lots of days out, holidays and dance classes. However the majority of people earn less and have to budget or pick and choose what they do as they can’t afford to do everything.

Explain to your child that having lots of money can buy you nice things but it doesn’t mean you will be happier, there are plenty of lovely things you can do that are free, such as visiting your closest beach for the day, having picnics in the park and these can be equally as special.  Try not to mention the cost of activities – a child won’t normally know the cost of a DVD and pizza night at home versus a cinema trip, they will take their lead from you.  Don’t feel pressured to supply endless treats as often a child will want to stay at home and play lego even more than going out for a day – it’s often the pressure we put on ourselves as parents that is an issue.

If there are certain things they really want to do, for example, dance classes why not get them to ask for these to be Christmas or birthday presents.

A note from the Mumsnet Berkshire Editor: Money is such a hard concept for children to understand. What’s most important is making the use of free activities where possible and also just making sure you actually have time as a family. Depending on the age of the child, most just want to have someone/their parents to play with them and to spend time with them.  Don’t forget you can use things such as Tesco Clubcard vouchers to pay for days out if you save them up. Plan things like Christmas in advance, consider second hand toys (you can get some bargain toys in great condition). When it comes to activities such as dance classes, work with your child to see how much they really want to do the activity. i.e. prove that they will stick at it and not just want to stop two classes in. You could ask them to help you for x no. of weeks with a house hold chore and if they do it regularly with no fuss they are showing they can commit and perhaps it is a worthwhile investment. Shop around for classes and don’t be afraid to ask for discount or to do pay as you go.

Read Part One: Who is lying?

Read Part Two: Why do grown ups argue?

Read Part Three: What does the tooth fairy do with the teeth they collect?

Free or cheap summer holiday activities in Berkshire (and at home!)


How many of you struggle to come up with ideas to entertain the children over the summer holidays? Whether your kids are constant balls of energy or lethargic teenagers who need to be dragged away from a computer there will be something here for you!

Summer holidays can be expensive. As its the one time of year when we are (usually) guaranteed some nice weather, we all like to make the most of it. Days out, breaks away, meals out and more. So I thought I’d compile a list with my ideas and the ideas of many Berkshire Mumsnetters of activities you can do and places you can visit that are relatively inexpensive or free.

I will be updating this regularly throughout the summer and you can of course see Mumsnet Berkshire for other listings

Explore Nature

Go on a nature exploration looking for bugs and insects galore. Pack up a magnifying glass and a few clear plastic pots to (temporarily) capture your finds and examine. See how many you can find! Berkshire has a great variety of nature reserves. Here are just a few:

1) Hoselake Theale http://local.mumsnet.com/berkshire/parks-playgrounds/233454-good-for-a-relaxing-stroll

A beautiful lake you can walk around with lots to explore. Free parking near by and you can always pack some snacks or a picnic.

2) Inkpen Common Newbury http://local.mumsnet.com/berkshire/parks-playgrounds/233460-flower-filled-woodland

This flower filled common will be teaming with wildlife such as butterflies, bees & dragonflies!

3) Bray Pit Maidenhead http://local.mumsnet.com/berkshire/parks-playgrounds/233432-teaming-with-nature

With a little lake and beautiful scenary you are bound to spot some great wildlife here! Definitely take your camera. It’s very pretty!

4) Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre http://local.mumsnet.com/berkshire/parks-playgrounds/229962-thatcham-nature-discovery-centre

5) Englemere Pond Winkfield http://local.mumsnet.com/berkshire/parks-playgrounds/230555-nature-reserve

Have a stroll around the pond, take some bread and enjoy the simple task of feeding the ducks

For more nature reserves to visit across Berkshire visit Mumsnet Berkshire http://local.mumsnet.com/berkshire/parks-playgrounds

Activity & Discovery Centres

1) Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre http://local.mumsnet.com/berkshire/parks-playgrounds/229962-thatcham-nature-discovery-centre

With family friendly walks, a visitors centre packed with interactive wildlife and a natural history display, there is lots to see and do here

2) The Lookout Discovery Centre Bracknell http://local.mumsnet.com/berkshire/parks-playgrounds/235515-the-lookout-discovery-centre-park-woodland

Don’t forget your car park gives you a discount into the Discovery centre! Fun for the whole family inside, as well as three parks with play equipment designed that it can be used by children and families with special needs, equipment designed for older children and lots of things for the little ones to do too. There are loads of walks, you can hire bikes and a lovely café for something to eat if you don’t take a picnic.

3) Horse Shoe Lake Sandhurst http://local.mumsnet.com/berkshire/parks-playgrounds/230567-walking-watersports-more

Popular with those who enjoy walks, dinghy sailing, birdwatching and other water sports.

Toddler Groups

1) Wokingham Salvation Army Toddler Group is on during the school holidays. http://local.mumsnet.com/berkshire/baby-toddler-groups/165318-salvation-army-parent-toddlers

A lovely little toddler group on Monday & Friday mornings where you’ll get a warm welcome

2) Not a toddler group as such but Toddler Sense have a number of classes on for only £5.50 per class covering Winnersh, Bracknell & Twyford. It’s worth contacting your local Toddler Sense to see what’s on.


3) Diddi Dance Classes have a few summer specials on too in the Reading area



Never underestimate how awesome your local library is for activities for children of all ages. Not only do they have books to read, they also offer crafts, singing and much more! Please note not all rhymetime and storytimes are mentioned here. Please assume you need to book places on activities, especially those with a charge.

1) Under 5’s at the libraries in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

Library Time Day Activity Dates
Ascot 10.30am Wednesday Story & Rhymetime 30 Apr, 14 May, 11 Jun, 25 Jun, 9 Jul
Boyn Grove 2pm Tuesday Story & Rhymetime Fortnightly: 17 Jun, 1 Jul, 15 Jul
Cookham 2pm Thursday Storytime & colouring Fortnightly: 17 Apr, 1 May, 15 May, 29 May *
Cox Green 10.30am Wednesday Story & Rhymetime 23 Apr, 30 Apr, 14 May, 28 May, 11 Jun, 25 Jun, 9 Jul
Cox Green 11.30am Sunday Storytime 18 May, 15 Jun, 20 Jul, 17 Aug, 21 Sep, 19 Oct, 16 Nov, 21 Dec
Datchet 10am Wednesday Story &
30 Apr, 14 May, 28 May *
Dedworth 9.30am Thursday Storytime 24 Apr, 8 May, 22 May, 5 Jun, 19 Jun, 3 Jul, 17 Jul
Eton 2.30pm Friday Storytime 25 Apr, 23 May, 20 Jun
Eton Wick 10.30am Wednesday Story & Rhymetime 23 Apr, 7 May, 4 Jun, 18 Jun, 2 Jul, 16 Jul
Maidenhead 10.30am Tuesday (term time only) Storytime & colouring Every Tuesday during term time
Maidenhead 10.30am Saturday Story & Rhymetime 26 Apr, 24 May, 21 Jun, 19 Jul
Maidenhead 12.30pm Sunday Storytime Fortnightly: 3 August, 17 August, 31 August, 14 September, 28 September, 12 October, 26 October
Windsor 10am Friday Storytime & colouring Every Friday (including holidays)
Windsor 10.30am Saturday Story & Rhymetime 10 May, 14 Jun, 12 Jul
Windsor 11.30am Sunday Storytime 27 Apr, 25 May, 29 Jun

2) Newbury Library

Tuesdays & Wednesdays throughout August -11am Rhymetime for under 3s

Fridays 11am & 2pm – Story time for under 5’s

Tuesday 26 August, 2pm & 3.30pm- ZooLab workshop for 8-11 year olds, in connection with this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. Come and meet some of the extraordinary creatures from the world of myth and fairy tale. £2 per ticket in advance.

3) Hungerford Library

Thursday 21st August – 12pm ZooLab workshop for 4-11 year olds, in connection with this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. Come and meet some of the extraordinary creatures from the world of myth and fairy tale. £2 per ticket in advance.

4) Lamborne Library

Thursday 21st August 10am – ZooLab workshop for 4-11 year olds, in connection with this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. Come and meet some of the extraordinary creatures from the world of myth and fairy tale. £2 per ticket in advance.

Wednesday 27th August 10:30am – Rhyme time for under 5’s

5) Pangbourne Library

Monday 4th August -2pm, Tuesday 5th August 1030am & Thursday 7th August 930am – Pangbourne Heritage Group WW1 exhibition

Thursday 21st August 230pm – ZooLab workshop for 4-11 year olds, in connection with this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. Come and meet some of the extraordinary creatures from the world of myth and fairy tale. £2 per ticket in advance.

6) Thatcham Library

Mondays throughout August 215pm – Storytime for under 5’s

Tuesday 12th August 11am – Rhymetime for under 3’s

Tuesday 26th August 11am – ZooLab workshop for 4-11 year olds, in connection with this year’s Summer Reading Challenge. Come and meet some of the extraordinary creatures from the world of myth and fairy tale. £2 per ticket in advance.

7) Theale Library

Fridays in August 11am – Storytime for under 5’s

8) Aborfield Library

Monday 4th August-  215pm Mythical Maze Stories & Crafts, ages 4-12 £1.50

Monday 4th August – 3pm Elmer Parade – listen to Elmer and make your own Elmer mask, age 5 & under

9) Finchampstead Library

Get Creative Tuesday August 5, 12, 19, and 26. Session 1: 2pm to 2.45pm Session2: 3pm to 3.45pm For children aged 12 and under, £1 charge Please book at the FBC Centre, (0118) 908 8155

Beading Workshop for children Create different creatures with tutor Caroline Marriot. Wednesday August 6 Session 1: 9.45am to 10.45am Session2: 11am to 12noon For children aged 8-12 years old £4 charge, places must be booked at the Library.

Mythical Story Morning Friday August 8, 15, 22, and 29 10am to 10.50am For children aged 4 to 12 years, Free, just drop in.

Rainforest Discovery Thursday August 21 1pm to 2pm For children aged 4 to 12 years old £3.50 charge, places must be booked at the Library.

10) Lower Early Library

Thursday 7th August – 245pm Fizzlebert Stump, age 6 and over £3, meet the author and hear stories and poems

Thursday 14th August 2pm – Circus Workshop, age 4-12 £3.50

Thursday 21st August 11am – Rainforest Discovery & Quirks Animal Roadshow, age 4-12, £3.50

Tuesday 26th August 1pm – Alice In Wonderland, free explore learning ages 6-9.

Tuesday Augyst 26th 1pm – Tracey Beaker, free explore learning, ages 8-11

11) Maiden Erlegh

Monday 11th August 2pm – Mythical Maze story & craft session, age 4-12 £1.50

Thursday 14th August 1pm – Mythical Puppet Workshop, age 4-12 £3.50

12) Spencers Wood

Mythical Maze Story and Craft Session Monday August 11 2.30pm to 3.30pm For children aged 4 to 12 years old £1.50 charge, places must be booked.

Mythical Puppet Workshop Thursday August 14 10.30am to 11.30am For children aged 4 to 12 years old £3.50 charge, places must be booked.

13) Twyford Library

Mythical Maze Story and Craft Session Tuesday August 12 10.30am to 11.30am For children aged 4 to 12 years old £1.50 charge, places must be booked.
Rainforest Discovery Thursday August 21 9am to 10am For children ages 4-12 years old £3.50 charge, places must be booked

14) Wargrave Library

Fridays throughout August 230pm – Get Arty, £1.50 ages 4-12

Wednesday 6th August 1030am –  Circus Skills, £3.50, age 4-12

Wednesday 13th August 1030am – Mythical Puppet Workshop £3.50 age 4-12

14) Winnersh Library

Circus Workshop Come along and learn some circus skills. Wednesday August 6 2pm to 3pm For children aged 4 to 12 years old. £3.50 charge, places must be booked.

Mythical Puppet workshop Wednesday August 13 1pm to 2pm For children aged 4 to 12 years old. £3.50 charge, places must be booked.

Mythical Maze Stories and Crafts Listen to tales of dragons, with mythical craft. Thursday August 28 2pm to 3pm For children aged 4 to 12 years old. £1.50 charge, Just drop in!

Children’s Games Club A selection of Chess, Draught, Connect Four or bring your favourite game. Every Wednesday 2pm to 4pm For children aged 4 to 12 years old, just drop in!

15) Wokingham Library

Heritage Walk around Wokingham Find out about the story of James ‘Sooty’ Seaward, from child chimney sweep to town councillor and probable inspiration for Tom in The Water Babies Monday July 28, 11am For children aged 7 years old and over. Free to attend, places must be booked.

“I’m a Little Alien” Poetry Workshop with James Carter Wednesday July 30, 1pm to 1.30pm and 1.45pm to 2.15pm For children aged 6 and under, £2 charge, places must be booked.

“Journey to the Centre of my Brain” Poetry Show with James Carter Wednesday July 30, 2.30pm to 3.30pm For children aged 6 to 12 years old, £3 charge, places must be booked.

World War 1 Vehicle Session Friday August 1, 10am to 11am For children aged 4 to 12 years old, £1.50 charge, places must be booked.

Fizzlebert Stump and Poems Galore with Author A.F. Harrold Thursday August 7, 10.30am to 11.30am For children aged 6-12 years old, £3 charge, places must be booked.

Get Arty Thursday August 21, 10.30am to 11.30am For children aged 4 to 12 years old, £1.50 charge, just drop in

Rainforest Discovery Thursday August 21, 3pm to 4pm For children aged 4 to 12 years old, £3.50 charge, places must be booked.

16) Woodley Library

“I’m a Little Alien” Poetry Workshop with James Carter Wednesday July 30, 9.45am to 10.15am For children aged 6 and under, £2 charge, places must be booked.

“Journey to the Centre of my Brain” Poetry Show with James Carter Wednesday July 30, 10.45am to 11.45am For children aged 6 to 12 years old, £3 charge, places must be booked.

Fizzlebert Stump Come and meet author AF Harrold, hear about Fizzlebert Stump and his adventures. Thursday August 7, 1pm to 2pm For children aged 6 and over. £3 charge, places must be booked.

Circus Workshop Come along and learn some circus skills. Thursday August 14, 10.30am to 11.30am For children aged 4 to 12 years old. £3.50 charge, places must be booked.

Get Arty Thursday August 21, 10.30am to 11.30am For children aged 4 to 12 years old. £1.50 charge, Just drop in!

The Famous Five  Create a picnic collage and try out our Famous Five treasure hunt. Tuesday August 12, 10.30am to 11.30am For children aged 7 to 11 years old. £2 charge, places must be booked.

Mythical Maze event with Author Margaret Bateson-Hill Thursday August 21, 2pm to 3.30pm For children aged 7 to 12 years old.

Free session courtesy of local Federation of Children’s Book Group – ‘Getting Reading Reading’, places must be booked.

17) Bracknell Forest Council Libraries

As part of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge we have some puppetry workshops arranged with ‘Arm Chair Puppets’. These workshops last for approximately 2 hours and cost £3.50 per person. Places are limited and so booking is essential.

  • Binfield Library – Tuesday 5 August at 10.30am
  • Crowthorne Library – Tuesday 5 August at 2.30pm
  • Bracknell Library – Wednesday 6 August at 10.30am
  • Sandhurst Library – Wednesday 6 August at 2.30pm
  • Birch Hill Library – Thursday 7 August at 10.30am
  • Harmanswater Library – Thursday 7 August at 2.30pm
  • Great Hollands Library – Friday 8 August at 10.30am
  • Whitegrove Library – Friday 8 August at 2.30pm

Mondays’ Harmans Water Library – Bounce and rhyme – 10am to 10.30am (weekly – beginning on 2 June 2014)

Tuesdays – Birch Hill Library Bounce and rhyme – 2.30pm fortnightly – please check with the library for dates

Tuesdays Bracknell Library – Children’s Tuesday Club with stories, bounce and rhyme, and crafts. Takes place fortnightly from 10am to 11am. All welcome.

Thursdays Binfield Library – Drop-in – the library opens at 9am for refreshments and the activities start at 9.30am – stories, rhymes and craft

Thursday – Binfield Library Crafts – first Thursday of the month – 10am to 10.30am

Thursdays in August Bracknell Library – Children’s story time and music – 9.30am – this session is run by Willows and Maples Children’s Centre.

Thursdays in August, Sandhurt Library – Storytime – 2.15pm for under 5s Free.

Fridays, Great Hollands Library, Storytime – 3.40pm for under 5s free.

Fridays Great Hollands Library, Bounce and rhyme – 11am under 3s free.

Fridays, Sandhurst Library, Bounce and rhyme – 9.30am – 2nd and 4th Friday of the month