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IS YOUR CHILD FULL OF RUBBISH IDEAS? Ben Fogle has teamed up with Kenco to encourage kids aged 6 to 12 to think creatively about waste by drawing or making something brand new out of waste packaging. Enter the Young Eco Designer competition before 30 April and get some enterprising design tips along the way from Ben, who will also be judging entries.
Hello from Mumsnet Towers...
Where it's been a flurry of headline-grabbing happenings, from M&S, John Lewis, Clarks and Debenhams all joining other retailers in backing our Let Girls be Girls campaign to one of our Mumsnet Marginal bloggers finding herself in a cafe with Eddie Izzard.
Do look out for our latest Election Poll: it'll be up on Talk and ready to record your reactions straight after the leaders' TV debate tonight.
If you've been on the piste lately, we'd love you to rate your snowy hols in our Ski Reviews section. And, over at the almost-last-chance-saloon, there's just time to post your questions for top peanut-allergy specialist Dr Andrew Clark (closes Friday) and to vote in our music-themed May Book of the Month poll (closes Monday): four note-worthy (fnar) choices but which one hits your rhythm stick?
Now for this week's parenting news...
Heads to disrupt SATs: The National Association of Head Teachers and the National Union of Teachers say their members will take industrial action to 'frustrate the administration' of next month's SATs tests. Action is expected to start on Tuesday May 4 – two days before the country goes to the polls. The tests in English and maths are due to be taken by 600,000 11-year-olds in the week beginning May 10. The unions argue that the tests are bad for children, teachers and education. (Daily Telegraph 21.04.10)
Leach v Ford: Leaving a distressed baby to cry on a regular basis could damage his or her developing brain, says parenting guru Penelope Leach in her new book. In what is being seen as a head-on confrontation with the tough-love approach of baby experts such as Gina Ford, Leach says that, while all babies cry, denying a response to their call for attention can have long-term emotional consequences. "Early-induced anxiety may relate to anxiety right through adult life," she says. She adds that she knows of no research in the world that supports a system of leaving babies to cry. (Guardian 21.04.10)
UP TO £20 DISCOUNT ON TICKETS FOR GRUMPY OLD WOMEN LIVE 2: CHIN UP BRITAIN! Three of Britain's Top Grumps bring their brand new show to The Novello Theatre in London's West End. "A glorious romp… Their humour is as toned as a teenage gymnast" (Evening Standard; four star rating).
Other stories in brief
Quote of the week: BendyBob galvanises the Good Housekeeping gals after an Iranian cleric blames 'immodest' women for the volcanic ash cloud: "Well, since we caused it, we'd better clear it all up. Has anyone seen my dustpan and brush?"
This month's prizes are:
COUNTRY HOUSE HIDEOUT. If you love Feather Down Farms, then you will love the new Country House Hideout. The same luxury tents, this time with a Victorian Explorer theme, set on the grounds of some of the UK's most exquisite country house estates. Perfect for little explorers!
Looking for a spring day out? Mumsnetters recommend:
Aitch's TV round-up: Five Daughters, BBC1, Sun 25 April, 9pm
In my heart of hearts, I know that I'm really choosing this because its subject – the terrible murders of five prostituted women in Ipswich – led to a world-class MN flaming for Cod, who, in one of the most ill-judged OPs ever, commented that the news story made her think of Alan Partridge. Let's just say that she won't be mixing Norwich and Ipswich up again... Anyway, there's a good solid Sunday-night cast (Juliet Aubrey, Sarah Lancashire, Ian Hart and Jaime Winstone) and the script is formed from personal testimony of those involved. The aim, rightly, is to portray them as women first and sex workers second, and to underline that there but for the grace of God go many vulnerable people. (Just nobody say, "a-HA!")
Discuss this show (and others) in our Telly Addicts Talk forum.
Recipe of the week: StripeyKnickersSpottySocks' spinach and pesto lasagne
Scrummily simple veggie crowdpleaser that makes the most of seasonal spinach (and, with the genius touch of pesto, makes the dreaded green stuff remarkably kid-friendly).
You can review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?
That's all. We're off to bag a place on the sofa to see if Clegg follows your (top-notch) TV-debate tips...
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