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Everyone loves a freebie. London Mums partner with selected businesses to offer amazing products for free to members of our organisation and readers of the London Mums magazine.  Don’t miss the opportunity to win our goodies and enter our competitions and prize draws. Over the years we have given away thousands of prizes including children’s DVDs, family films, tickets to events, cinema and West End shows, handbags, beauty products, toys, books for both mums and children.

Win 1 of 3 Winnie the Pooh prizes donated by the Disney Winnie the Pooh Storytelling Academy

Christmas is a time for family; from throwing open the doors to welcome children and grandchildren, to travelling near or far to pay a festive visit. There are opportunities for storytelling aplenty at this time of year; however research from Disney has shown that the amount of time families commit to reading stories is lapsing, with only a tiny margin (3%) of parents and grandparents reading to their children during the festive season.

What better Disney character than Winnie the Pooh to name a storytelling academy!

Disney Winnie the Pooh Storytelling Academy are offering one lucky winner the chance to win a Magical Night Night Pooh from Tomy which is an amazing interactive bedtime feature plush, perfect for creating a soothing bedtime routine. Disney Winnie the Pooh Storytelling Academy also has a Winnie the Pooh Book and DVD for two lucky runners up.

For your chance to win one of these amazing prizes, answer the simple question below in our dedicated competition page (USE ONLY THE DEDICATED PAGE & DO NOT SEND MESSAGES OR DO NOT POST MESSAGES ON THE WEBSITE OR ON THIS PAGE AS THE ENTRY WON’T BE VALID – YOU WON’T BE NOTIFIED OF THE WRONG ENTRY) https://londonmumsmagazine.com/competition-area. The question is: ‘What’s the name of the SCD celebrity who recently launched the Winnie the Pooh storytelling Academy in London?’ The deadline to enter is 15th December 2012.

Here are some great storytelling tips for you to use.

The silver surfer storytellers

While grandparents are beginning to embrace new technologies with a quarter (25%) regularly reading stories down the phone to their grandchildren, and almost a third (29%) telling stories over Skype/video call. In response to this, Disney, has created helpful tips and tricks via the Winnie the Pooh Storytelling Academy on how to put children at ease at bedtime, whether in their home or at a grandparents’ house this Christmas. The tips are offered by the Disney Winnie the Pooh Storytelling Academy Panel made up of celebrity mum and presenter, Zoe Ball, child psychologist Emma Kenny, and Disney’s Justine Finch.

Top tips for festive storytelling for grandparents from the panel:

Storytelling during sleepovers at grandparents’ house:

– Maintain a familiar bedtime routine in order to put grandchildren at ease whilst away from their usual home comforts. A bedtime routine has always been about creating a safe, warm and enjoyable haven. Make sure that children are in their comfiest pyjamas and understand that it’s wind-down time before going to bed

– Set the festive scene for story time and make it cosy and inviting, a toasty fire by the Christmas tree is guaranteed to set the Christmas mood just right!

– Ask grandchildren to write their own story about their Christmas holidays with their grandparents which they can re-read when they return home.

Storytelling in the child’s home:

– Use the festive season to strengthen relationships with grandchildren. Having a regular time slot each day when you sit down together and share a story is a fantastic way of spending quality time

– When visiting their home over the holidays, make a conscious effort to fit in to the children’s bedtime routine and follow story time patterns to maintain consistency and put children at ease

– If children are shy it’s a good idea to get parents involved for the first few festive tales to put children at ease until story time with grandparents becomes second nature

– Inject a bit of fun and expression into the narrative; this is a great way to keep children engaged. Think about ways to incorporate expression into the stories you are reading, whether it is through funny voices for different characters, animated facial expressions like looking frightened or excited and include lots of gestures.

Storytelling from afar:

– Embrace modern technology to bridge the geographical divide. If it is impossible to be with your children this Christmas, storytelling can still be done over the phone or through video messaging – stories can still be dramatised just as effectively on the phone and it’s a great novelty for any child to see their family on screen!

– Storybook apps are also a great way to allow parents and grandparents to record their voice reading the seasonal story, enabling children to listen to them, even if they are in a different time zone and unable to come to the phone .

The Disney Winnie the Pooh Storytelling Academy is a valuable online resource where parents and grandparents who face storytelling challenges can go to pick up tips and tricks from our panel of experts: www.disney.co.uk/winniethepooh/storytelling

Additionally, Robert Webb stars in Tales of Friendship with Winnie the Pooh, which launched on 15th October 2012 and is broadcast on the Disney Junior channel.

Read our piece about Zoe Ball at the launch of the Academy in London earlier this autumn.

* Survey carried out by YouGov of 1,000 parents and grandparents in the UK with children under six in August 2012.

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