Category Archives: All Posts

Cooking for toddlers, pre-schoolers & young families

(Chocolate & Banana Loaves recipe below!!)

Baking with Mrs Bun the Baker—the Revised and Expanded recipe book—contains 34 recipes (16 are brand new to the new edition released in August 2018).

This easy-to-follow, child-friendly cookbook is packed with toddler favourites and tried and tested, approved and munched recipes from the Young Buns who attend the award-winning cookery school for children and parents/carers, run by Angela Johnson AKA Mrs Bun the Baker!

The new book ‘Baking with Mrs Bun the Baker – Revised and expanded’ includes photos from Mrs Bun’s classes, and allows you to take away the magic that children have cooked-up in her kitchen. Enjoy a sprinkling of “bun fun”, to make and bake these delicious and easy recipes for all the family and help toddlers and pre-schoolers learn confidence in the kitchen.

“The goal for this book is to show that toddlers/children CAN cook, that they love to get involved in the preparation of food, they needn’t be kept out of the kitchen, and that they learn a lot from preparing food.” — Mrs Bun the Baker

About the Author

Five years ago, Angela established her award-winning cooking school in South Oxfordshire to teach cooking skills to all. In cooking classes children get to “Make, Bake and Take Home” all their goodies, gaining confidence and inspiring them to bake at home. Mrs Bun the Baker works with schools, nurseries, charities, communities, garden centres, food festivals and her own independent classes for toddlers, children, teens and families.

Recipe examples…

Snacks: Breakfast Roll Ups, Cheesy Biscuits, Potato Tortilla, Picnic Pies
Mains: Pizza and Dough Balls, Enchiladas, Orzo Veggie Bake, Curry in a Hurry
Sweets: Anzac Biscuits, Bakewell Cakes, St Clement’s Cheesecake



These little loaves are free of added sugar. They are sweetened with the banana, chocolate and a drop of honey.



  • 50g Butter
  • 100g SR Flour
  • 25-50g Chocolate
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Ripe Banana
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract




Preheat the oven to gas 5/190c/170 Fan

You will need 4 mini loaf tins.



Cut the butter into small pieces. Using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until it looks like a breadcrumb mixture. Shake the bowl and, if any lumps come to the top, continue rubbing them into the mixture.

Break the chocolate up into big or small chunks and add them to the flour.



Crack the egg into a jug and beat with a fork.

Use one thumb to make the crack in the egg bigger then, with the other thumb, open up the hole.

Peel the banana and chop it into slices. Mash the slices with a fork.

Place the mashed banana into the jug with the egg. Measure in the tablespoon of honey and the vanilla essence and mix them all together.



Mix the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Using a spoon, divide the mixture between loaf tins.



Place them in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.



  • If you cannot get your hands on mini loaf tins, use a muffin tin, just grease round with some fat to stop them sticking.
  • Use dates instead of chocolate
  • Add a spoon of sugar if you need them a little sweeter

Diary of a Brilliant Kid is the tweenager’s atlas for navigating life




You can read an article by Andy Cope about HUGGS at the bottom of the page


This interactive collection of stories, quotes, theories and yes, science, guides you through the difficult years between ages 8 and 12 to help you make sense of yourself and the world around you. Everything is changing! And that’s okay! It’s actually more than okay it s exciting. These changes are the opening salvo of your gradual transition into grownup, and it’s the perfect time to define who you are, how you think and how you choose to face the world. Is it a lot? Yes. But this book can help you sort things out and come out the other side shining.

The journal format gives away the plot; Spoiler Alert: the Brilliant Kid is you. No matter how you feel, no matter what’s happening in your head right now, you are not broken. You are a unique collection of talents and dreams and wants and surprises, and you have an entire lifetime ahead of you. Aren’t you curious to discover just how awesome life can be? This book takes you inside your own head, out into the world and everywhere your dreams may take you.

  • Learn how to make the kinds of choices that make you feel alive
  • Conquer the three Rs of happiness: relationships, relationships and relationships
  • Get a handle on today, tomorrow and what comes next
  • Bounce back from the tough stuff, and discover the seven words that will change your life

There’s a lot to learn, but one lesson is clear: never be afraid to shine. Stand up, stand out and be spectacular whatever that means to you. Diary of a Brilliant Kid gives you the map and compass so you can start your own journey today.

For more information visit Diary of a Brilliant Kid 




Why your children need HUGGs (and you do too) by Andy Cope


If you want to be truly world class, we advocate that you take a bit of a gamble, go against the tide of traditional thinking and set massive goals. In ‘Diary of a Brilliant Kid’ we call them huge unbelievably great goals, or HUGGS. A HUGG is something that is currently out of reach – you have to grow, innovate and engage in order to achieve it. A HUGG is on the edges of achievability but it’s not out of sight. It might be that you only get half way there – but your achievements will reach far beyond having no HUGG at all. A HUGG isn’t something to be afraid of – it’s something to aspire to.

Maybe a better name would be ‘Everest goals’? Has Mount Everest ever been conquered? Yup. But only by a committed few.

Because, you see, stretching yourself is good. But to maintain your motivation you need to know where you’re stretching to. You need a goal, a mouth-wateringly exciting thing to aim for, and that’s where our HUGG pyramid comes into being.

Rewind. A few years ago I went on a training course run by an heroic genius called David Hyner and he introduced me to HUGGs. So I got home and did one. At that time I had an idea swirling in my head about a children’s book based on my pet dog. What if while I was at work and my kids were at school, my mutt went around town catching baddies and solving crimes? What if she was secret agent, a bit like James Bond but a dog, undercover as an ordinary family pet. What if she was a Spy Dog?

A million ‘Spy Dog’ books sales later, I’m telling you, this HUGG thing works.

It works well with children from age 10 upwards. The trick is to write your huge unbelievable great goal in the bubble at the top of the page, and to make it compelling. That means not only is it a big ambition, but that you really want it. It has to excite you. And when you’re written it, stop and have a think. Chances are, you can write it better. We’re hoping that you’ll ‘get’ that to be an OSCAR winning actress elevates the goal to a HUGG. As does, to smash my A-levels and get into a top 10 Uni. Or to get one of the lead parts in my school play.

Once you’ve nailed what your huge goal is, you then start at the bottom of the pyramid and work out what you’ve got to start doing EVERY SINGLE DAY OF YOUR LIFE – to stand any chance of that goal ever happening. The thing about HUGGs is, of course, that they’re jaw-droppingly big. You aren’t going to get into a top University by accident. Ditto becoming a Prem footballer, top scientist, #1 YouTuber or A-grade mathser.

Life is a never-ending upward spiral. If you think you’ve ever allowed to stop climbing, I’m afraid you’ve missed the point. The joy is in the climb itself. Plain simple English yet again, that means a re-think of your thinking so that when there’s a challenge you move away from rolling your eyes and huffing that ‘it’s not fair’ to a steely-eyed nod of ‘bring it on’.

So, when the bottom rung is filled in, you go to the next level of the pyramid. When you’re started doing the things on the bottom row, what next? And next? And after that?

When you’re finished, you will have a proper HUGG, in all its motivational glory. Stick it on your fridge. It will tell you what the huge goal is and give you a simple set of things to do or habits to adopt, that will move you forward.

There are no guarantees. You will need some luck along the way.

In fact, let me change the guarantees sentence – there is only one guarantee – your huge goal won’t happen by accident. It will only happen if you take sustained action.

And guess what, even if you don’t quite achieve your Huge Unbelievably Great Goal, you’ll have taken some massive strides forward. You’ll be way ahead of the version of you that had no idea what their goal was!

Pass it on…

Will Hussey, Andy Cope and Gavin Oattes are the co-authors of Diary of a Brilliant Kid, a personal development book for 8-12s available now on Amazon.


Indestructibles® HELLO, FARM, Illustrations by Maddie Frost, 

Publication Date: 1 October 2018, Price £4.99,

For ages 0 and up

 ISBN: 9781523504671



Indestructibles®: Hello, Farm! (Workman, £4.99) introduces babies to farm animals: galloping horses, muddy pigs, wooly sheep, and more.  There’s so much to see on every page! Who munches the grass? Hungry Cows! Who rolls in the mud? Playful Pigs! Who greets the day? Crowing Roosters! Say hello to farm animals in a book that’s indestructible.


Built for the way babies read. Sweet, soothing books, uniquely designed for safety and convenience, Indestructibles are printed on lightweight, nontoxic paper material, easy to clean (even dishwasher safe), and 100% chew, rip, bend, and drool proof. Delightful for babies to page through on their own, with Mum, Dad or an older sibling, with its bright pictures and minimal text, it’s ideal for expecting parents or as a welcome-home gift for a newborn.

“While mum and dad might love the closeness of story time, they surely don’t love the ripped pages that come from reading to a curious baby. These tear, bite and spit-proof books have the slimness of a paperback and the durability of a board book.” – RealSimple



Busy Cities, by duopress labs, Illustrated by Josh Cleland, 

Publication Date: 1 October 2018, Price £7.99

 ISBN: 9781947458277

Buses and taxis honk in London, a bullet train zooms in Hong Kong, and a bicycle strolls around Paris. Cities around the world are always on the move, and in Zoom! Beep! Vroom! Busy Cities, illustrated by Josh Cleland, little ones are put in the driver’s seat with a cacophony of sounds right on the streets of some of the most exciting metropolises on the planet, including; San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, Chicago, Vancouver and more.

The sturdy pages feature fire engines, diggers, motorcycles and boats, as well as, police cars, airplanes, and prams in the park. Zoom! Beep! Vroom! Busy Cities will surely charm any young transport enthusiast and anyone intrigued by life in the big city.

We are delighted to have a set of these durable and enjoyable books to give away to TWO lucky winners.  If you would like to be in with a chance of winning a set, please visit our Competitions Page for more information.



Carers encouraged to keep healthy and connected – Carers Week 2018 (11-17 June)

Kent Carers Matter – a county wide campaign developed by five Carer organisations in Kent[1] is supporting Carers Week (11-17 June) with a range of events for Carers reflecting this year’s theme, which is encouraging Carers to keep healthy and connected with their local communities.

1 in 9 adults in Kent look after a family member, partner, friend or neighbour who due to physical or mental illness, disability, age related difficulties or an addiction cannot cope without their support. Carers are all ages, come from all walks of life and backgrounds and unlike care workers, are not paid. For some, it’s a 24/7 role; others may also work or have other caring responsibilities. Many wouldn’t use the term ‘Carer’ to describe themselves, it’s just what they do as a relative, friend or neighbour.

Being a Carer can be a positive experience, but it can also be challenging, exhausting, isolating and impact on your mental and physical health.

Jill Attwell from the Kent Carers Matter campaign says:

“We know that Carers often put their own needs to the back of the queue, delaying doctor’s appointments or breaks from caring which could help them stay well. Whether through work, the community, school, university, at home or among friends, we all have a role to play in helping Carers to access the support they need to look after their health and well-being.”

If you are a Carer

  • Contact one of the Carer organisations in Kent to access a Carer’s Assessment, get information about your rights and entitlements, talk to experts who understand about being a Carer, join a support group to meet other Carers, participate in training or organise a break from caring.
  • Look after your own health and well-being. Tell your GP you are a Carer and how caring is impacting on your physical and mental health.
  • If you also work, you may be able to reduce the stress of juggling being a Carer with work demands by speaking to your employer. There may be some simple changes that could be made to make things easier.
  • Talk to family and friends about your caring role, your concerns and worries if you can.
  • Come along to one of the Carers Week events taking place locally.

Supporting Carers as a friend, relative or colleague

  • Be aware of how being a Carer might affect their lives.
  • Be a listening ear and offer practical help and support when you can.
  • Recognise how valuable and important being a Carer is.
  • Encourage Carers to look after their well-being and to access support.
  • Suggest Carers tell their GP and workplace about their caring role.

More information

For support available in your area and details of all Carers Week events taking place in Kent

[1] Kent Carers Matter has been developed by five Carer organisations – Carers FIRST, Carers’ Support Ashford – Shepway & Swale, Carers’ Support – Canterbury, Dover & Thanet, Crossroads Care Kent and Involve Kent.



Women in Kent and East Sussex are having better births thanks to a birth preparation method created by the Maternity Innovator of the Year, as named in prestigious industry awards on Friday.

Sian Gilmartin, 40, of The Daisy Foundation created a unique peri-natal support method that has helped tens of thousands of parents UK-wide to prepare for positive birth and build their confidence. Sian took the joint title, alongside Rachel Gardner of Sheffield charity Forging Families, at last night’s MaMa Conference awards in Glasgow – the Oscars of the maternity industry.

Anna Hayes has been teaching the Daisy method in Tunbridge Wells, Hawkhurst and surrounding areas for 5 years and has seen first-hand the amazing transformation Daisy classes can have on women.

Anna said: “I see women who are utterly terrified of birth in the first class become calm and confident in just the space of a few classes and go on to have the positive birth that are right for them. It is so rewarding and makes this just the best job in the world.”

“I couldn’t be prouder that Sian has been recognised in this way. Daisy teachers all over the country are seeing the difference that can be made to families when they feel confident, happy and relaxed in birth and parenting.”

Mother-of-2 Mrs Anna Hayes teaches 7 classes each week including Daisy Birthing, Daisy Tinies and Daisy Wrigglers, and also Daisy Parent Workshops regularly at weekends. She juggles running the business with her family commitments and says The Daisy Foundation gave her the flexibility to be her own boss and set her own hours while raising a family.

“The fact that Daisy teachers are mums too means that they know what it is like in those tough first years of parenting and I think that is the magic ingredient in Daisy classes.”

Anna is very excited to be bringing the new Breastfeeding workshops to the area in the summer too.

Parents are flocking to Daisy Birthing classes for their unique mixture of active-antenatal teaching and unconditional non-judgemental support.

Daisy Birthing is a groundbreaking active antenatal class that blends yoga-inspired movement with breathing techniques, birth hypnosis and traditional antenatal education to help women build their confidence as they prepare for labour. Instead of aiming for one particular type of birth The Daisy Foundation is passionately committed to empowering all women to make the informed choices that are right for them and their family.

As well as the yoga-based Birthing classes teachers, who receive comprehensive, in-depth training before they qualify and regular top-up professional development sessions to keep them up-to-date with the very latest in perinatal research, offer classes for mums and their birth partners to support them as they prepare for parenthood.

As a single mum, claiming tax credits so she could return to work, Sian Gilmartin took over the Lazy Daisy business in 2013, turned it into The Daisy Foundation and overhauled its birthing classes to include a ground-breaking programme of Active Antenatal (™) care for parents. Under Sian’s direction the business grew from a small unknown company to a UK-wide network of over 150 women passionate about supporting pregnancy and parenting, all affectionately known as Daisies.

In a health care system where mums and mums-to-be are unlikely to see the same health care professional at each appointment the continuity of care that The Daisy Foundation can offer is invaluable. Once babies are born then parents can return to access a full range of post-natal classes including baby massage and yoga, breastfeeding support, newborn care and calming techniques and even post-natal relaxation classes just for mums.

Sian says; “This award is not about me, it’s about the fabulous network of Daisy teachers who work so hard to support mums and dads through the tough challenges of pregnancy and parenthood.

“The value of the reassurance that mums get when they return with their baby to see a familiar face, someone who has supported you throughout pregnancy and understands your needs, is hard to overestimate.

“It is something that mums miss out on in our current system and it is crucial to improving maternal mental health and that is what drives The Daisy Foundation and all its teachers. This award is a great honour but serves as a reminder of how important our work is and how much more there still is to do. ”

To celebrate the 35th Anniversary Season of the Festival Theatre at Hever Castle we have a family set of four tickets to give away for both ‘The Sea Show’ on 30th May, and ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ on the 1st June.

Winning them is Easy!!  All you need to do is go to our facebook page:  

LIKE & SHARE the post and COMMENT with which show you would like to win tickets for (or both).  Alternatively email [email protected] with ‘HEVER FESTIVAL COMPETITION’ in the heading and the name of the show you would like to win tickets for.  Good Luck!!

Winners will be picked at Random and will be notified by The Festival Theatre after the 22nd May.

Please Note: By entering, all winners agree to their contact information being shared with the competition prize donator.


Little Red Riding Hood

Friday 1st June 2.30pm


This much loved story is reinvented as a playful pantomime for little ones. Moon On A Stick combine enchanting puppetry and absorbing storytelling with all the traditional pantomime elements in a gentle, imaginative show designed especially for our tiniest audience members. There’s plenty of live music, dance and audience interaction to delight the whole family.

This show will have you singing and laughing along and most importantly helping Little Red on her adventure. Packed full of silliness, a feisty heroine and sparkles, this is the perfect introduction to panto for children aged 3 and their families.

‘Really funny, fully of silly jokes. I don’t know who laughed more, me or my son.’ – Audience member Blue Elephant Theatre.

‘My children and I loved the show so much we are coming back to see it again!’ – Audience member Blue Elephant Theatre.


Squashbox Theatre present

The Sea Show

Wednesday 30th May 2.30pm



The Sea Show is a quirky and hilarious mix of puppet show, natural history and comedy cabaret. Meet crazy characters like Morwenna the ‘beautiful’ mermaid, Ruan the reformed seagull and salty seadog, Captain Pemburthy, as well as a cast of mischievous sea-squirts, anemones, limpets, crabs and pilchards. Come and celebrate the sea with tall tales, silly slapstick, fantastic facts, live music and songs – unmissable fun for children and adults of all ages!

The Sea Show is the creation of Craig Johnson, an actor, musician and puppeteer, and long-standing member of Cornwall’s renowned Kneehigh Theatre.

 For children aged 5+ and their families.

‘Craig is a consummate actor of rare skills. Totally at ease with his audience, adult and child alike, he combines an innate understanding and joy in storytelling with fantastic comic and musical skill.’ – Mike Shepherd, Founder and Artistic Director, Kneehigh Theatre

‘Craig’s success lies in the fact that he talks to, rather than at, his young audience, and he does it all with a huge sense of joy and fun that is as inspiring as it is infectious…. An engaging entertainer to be treasured.’ – Frank Ruhrmund, The Cornishman

The Festival Theatre has a vast programme of quality performances between the 25th May and the 26th August to cater for all the family, ranging from Comedy, Music, Jazz and Opera.  You can find more details at 



Tonbridge Parent Support Group – 14th March – 9.00am -10.30am – Tonbridge Methodist Hall, Higham Lane, TN10 4JG

A group of local parents have joined forces to set up a parent support group.  This will be an opportunity for all parents to support each other through the highs and lows of parenthood.

Everyone attending will have the opportunity to offer and receive mutual support and help design future meetings.  The meetings will be relaxed and informal with refreshments available.

If you would like to join the group or help out please do come along.

Tonbridge Methodist Church, Higham Lane, TN10 4JG

For more information please contact [email protected]

WIN A FAMILY TICKET FOR 4 to ‘The Vicar’s Picnic Music Festival’ – Yalding Kent 20th July – 21st July

Kent’s BIGGEST little festival is back with another fantastic event including a kid’s field, Creative Workshops, Artists and Poets and a line up including ‘Cast‘ and ‘The Fun Lovin Criminals’.

To WIN a Family Weekend Ticket for 4 tell us which British band will be one of The Vicar’s Picnic’ headliners.  To enter and view full terms and conditions visit:

The festival takes place on the afternoon on Friday 20th July and all day Saturday 21st July, at The Lees, Yalding, Kent, ME18 6DF.

Closing date: 31st May 2018 – One entry per household

N.B. By entering, all winners agree to their contact information being shared with the competition prize donator.

The Unity Birth Programme

This is a brand new fully comprehensive mind and body antenatal course. Including Yoga, hypnobirth, Active Birth, breathing for birth (and life!), optimum foetal positioning and mindfulness.

Sign up to the Unity Birth Programme and you get loads of fantastic benefits above and beyond the weekly class; Not only will you receive a FREE Pregnancy Yoga Flow DVD and FREE handouts to support your learning but you also gain access to the Unity Birth Partners Scheme where I’ve teamed up with some of Tunbridge Wells’ best local therapists and pregnancy / baby businesses who are offering exclusive discounts to help support your pregnancy and postnatal recovery. Included are reflexology, osteopathy, new born photography, massage, nutrition, family first aid, acupuncture and more!

The classes are held at one of Tunbridge Wells most beautiful Yoga studios, The Yoga House, near the Pantiles.

6 week courses start from April 17th in the evening and Friday mornings from 20th April.

Couples Hypnobirth and Active Birth workshops also starting on Sunday 10th June.

One space is reserved per course at a 50% discount for those in financial difficulty.

I’ve been helping mums get ready for birth for over 16 years. I’m a Senior Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, British Wheel of Yoga teacher, Birthlight Perinatal teacher, Active Birth teacher (trained by Janet Balaskas), KG Hypnobirth teacher and pregnancy and postnatal yoga course tutor at YogaGro.

Pregnancy Yoga and Postnatal Yoga with Baby Massage classes also available in Tunbridge Wells.
[email protected]. 07702751143


Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children returns this spring for nurseries and families

This Spring will see the return of the UK’s muddiest fundraising event for little ones – Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddle Walk for Save the Children. Last year saw 160,000 children across the UK take part, raising an incredible £243,000 for Save the Children’s vital work, and this year the charity hopes even more people will sign up, take part and donate.

Between 23 and 29 April 2018, nurseries, early years groups, families and children up and down the country are being encouraged to take part in a Muddy Puddle Walk to raise money for the international children’s charity.

Organising a Muddy Puddle Walk is a great way for your little ones to explore the world around them and jump in muddy puddles, like Entertainment One’s Peppa Pig, for a worthy cause.  Whether you splash in puddles along a trail at the park or get creative and make your own puddles indoors from paper and foil – your Muddy Puddle Walk will be a fun day to spend together that littles ones won’t forget. Raise funds in the way that suits you – help walkers get sponsored for their walk, ask for a donation to take part or even bake Muddy Puddle cupcakes to sell on the day! The money you raise will help Save the Children’s work to transform the lives of vulnerable children in the UK and around the world.

Sophie Pirouet, Fundraising Campaigns Manager at Save the Children, says: “We hope everyone will get outside this Spring, come rain or shine, and help raise much needed funds for Save the Children. It’s so easy to take part and it’s the perfect excuse to explore the outdoors with your little ones. By jumping in muddy puddles like Peppa Pig and raising money for Save the Children you can help give children a brighter future.”

By taking part in a Muddy Puddle Walk and raising money for Save the Children, you can help vulnerable children around the world have a safe place to play and learn.  Sign up now at  for your free Muddy Puddle Walk Fundraising Pack full of fun Peppa Pig inspired activities to help you get started – with tips for great walks indoors and out, fundraising ideas, fun activities to get your walkers ready for the big day and at the end of the walk, there’s a free Peppa Pig sticker reward for every child. The fundraising pack will also explain what life is like for children in different countries, helping them see how they are making a difference through supporting Save the Children.