FREE baby massage taster session – Friday 3rd May

FREE baby massage taster session on Friday 3rd May near Odiham.  Places are limited to help promote a relaxed atmosphere for baby and parent.  Baby Massage strokes and relaxation techniques will be taught to help with bonding, attachment and communication between baby and parent.  Baby Massage can help relieve the symptoms of colic, promote sleep and increase relaxation.  The one hour session will include all that is needed for the massage as well as refreshments. There will also be the opportunity to complete the next 4 sessions of the baby massage course at a discounted rate of £40.   I am a qualified midwife and health visitor and have seen the benefits that baby massage can have on parent and baby.

Please message to book a space 07585 005143. I look forward to meeting you and your baby. Jane

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NHM Readers: Places in the area to see bluebells

In April 2018 I asked the Friends of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook “It’s “bluebell season” now and I’m putting together a post for places in the area to see bluebells. What are your recommendations? (You can find directions to Micheldever bluebell woods on NorthHantsMum).”

Thank you for your responses, which are listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers recommend places in the area to see bluebells

Catherine said “Beech Village Bluebell Wood

Helen said “The woods next to The Vyne have lots of beautiful bluebells”

Claire said “The Vyne

Lisa said “Some out in Bulls Bushes, Oakley. Was there yesterday”

Emma said “The Bramley Frith is stunning.”

Sarah said “Bramley woods”

Stephanie said “Micheldever forest is stunning for them”

Lisa said “Michaeldever Woods”

Hayley said “Micheldever”

Alistair said “Micheldever Woods!!

Shirley said “Manydown woods

Liane said “Bowdown woods near Greenham Common is spectacular!”

Alison said “If you don’t mind going further afield then Cliveden (National Trust) has a bluebell trail. We went weekend before last.”

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Review 2019: Thula Mama, Relax and sing whilst enjoying the soothing therapy of salt!

Review 2019: Thula Mama

Thula Mama is a unique and relaxing activity where mums with babies can enjoy singing together in a group whilst cuddling their babies and generally having a lovely time.  There are groups all over the country, but Basingstoke’s offering stands out from the rest in its venue – The Salt Lounge is Basingstoke’s first salt therapy space and is conveniently located close to Festival Place just off Wote street.  It offers treatments that can help alleviate breathing difficulties such as asthma as well as soothing skin conditions such as eczema.

At my first session it was a small enough group to not feel overwhelmed.  Rebecca, who organises it, was super friendly and we were offered tea and biscuits in lovely reusable mugs with lids (to prevent accidents from little grabbing hands!).  We relaxed in the waiting area and chatted for a while, before heading into the therapy room for our singing session.

The therapy room is a soothing white cave of tranquility.  There are comfortable reclining chairs with low arms and footstools, perfect for feeding baby.  You can choose to go barefoot, or with protection over your shoes, and the salt on the floor feels lovely between your toes.  There are mats and toys laid out on the floor for the babies to play, and the lighting is slightly dimmed for relaxation.

The songs at Thula Mama are simple, easy to learn traditional songs from around the world.  The words are written on a flip chart and the tunes can be picked up after hearing the song once.  We sang each through several times, adding in harmonies as we went, and I felt a real sense of achievement from learning some lovely-sounding music and enjoying singing it in less than 5 minutes!  There are no auditions, and no worrying about having any previous experience of singing – it’s all about joining in and having fun with other mums!

Facilities-wise the venue has everything you need – there are lockers for you to leave valuables if you wish, prams can be left in the waiting area where there is always a member of staff present, and the disabled toilet has a changing table too.  There are a couple of steps into the building, but there is always someone to help get prams in if needed.

I left my first session feeling both physically and emotionally refreshed.  My little one and I both had colds at the time, and I’m sure the salt therapy helped us feel better, and it was such a nice change to do something calming and relaxing with babies (although we are all for the sensory play and bright colours and loud noises of other baby groups too!).  I have since been back every week for the past couple of months and treat it as my weekly retreat!

I give Thula Mama 5 out of 5!  At £10 per week it’s really reasonable, especially considering you get a salt therapy session for free!  The first session is free for you to come along and try, so what are you waiting for?  Get in touch on the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/ThulaMamaBasingstoke

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Relax with Kath – Relaxation Classes for Adults

As well as Relax Kids classes for children I also run relaxation classes for adults! I’m embarking on my Yoga Teacher Training journey and am very excited to be offering the classes below to my timetable.  I advertised my first Monday evening class and it filled within 12 hours which was fabulous but also made me realise that we need things like this in our lives!! I wanted to provide something that offers a bit of everything relaxation-wise (intro to mindful moments, beginners yoga and finishing off with some relaxation) so that people can come along and enjoy some time for themselves.

****NEW TUESDAY DAYTIME CLASS****
Starting Tuesday 23 April
9.45am-10.45am in Popley20 mins of MINDFULNESS techniques
20 mins of beginners YOGA
20 mins of RELAXATION
£30 for 5 week courseBookings can be made at: http://bit.ly/rwktues
****NEW MONDAY EVENING CLASS****
Starting Monday 10 June or Monday 8 July
8-9pm in Popley20 mins of MINDFULNESS techniques
20 mins of beginners YOGA
20 mins of aRELAXATION
£24 for 4 week courseBookings can be made at:

http://bit.ly/rwk10june  for 10 June course

http://bit.ly/rwk8july for 8 July course

Places are limited on the courses and I’m hopeful that the Tuesday morning course will continue during term time after my first course in April.

AND

If classes aren’t what you want, but you still fancy some ‘me’ time, then please check out my Relax with Kath Facebook page as I’m also a qualified massage therapist, offering treatments such as relaxation massage, hot stones massage, thai foot massage, beauty facials (deluxe, hot stones, classic and express) and not so relaxing waxing from my home treatment room in Oakridge.  I’ll soon be offering eyelash lift and tint as well! Check out https://www.facebook.com/relaxwithkath for more info.  I’m offering any North Hants Mum readers £5 off their first treatment with me! Just quote NHM to get £5 off any full price treatment.

Contact Kath Routledge rkbasingstoke@yahoo.co.uk or 07989 476533

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NHM Readers Recommend: Friendly Swimming Teachers for Pre-Schoolers

I recently had a question from an NHM Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “Can anyone recommend a decent and friendly swimming teacher for pre-schooler age. Looking for something a bit more than rhymes and toys, but not constant telling off! Many thanks!”

Thank you for all of your replies, listed below in no particular order.

Please bear in mind that listings may change in subsequent years, but hopefully they will still be a good base point for your own research.

NHM Readers Recommend: Friendly Swimming Teachers for Pre-Schoolers

The Little Swim Club

Debbie said “Try the little swim club in hook”

Lindsay said “The little swim club are excellent.”

Nadira said “Little swim club”

Sally said “Daniel Hawthorne at Little swim school in Hook. Took A from non swimmer to competent in all strokes in under 1 year. L also now 4 can do some front crawl and back crawl”

Basingstoke Sports Centre

Natasha said “Sports centre in town are fab. Excellent price too!”

Joanna said “I second the sports centre”

Lisa said “Agreed Sports Centre”

Kelly T said “My 3 year old has had two months of lessons at the sports centre during the day which have been really good and only two children in his class. Although he is leaving at christmas as he has joined his big brother at bluefins.”

Bluefins

Kelly T said “(Bluefins) is equally as good. Bluefins only normally take preschoolers at their weekend classes”

Sarah G said “ Bluefins at cranbourne school”

Swim Fish

Helena said “Tanya at swimfish is brilliant. She gave my two a really good start to swimming.”

Wendy W said “Tanya at Swimfish is brilliant – she adapts the lessons and works with the children to make sure they get the best out of the session. Sessions are a great size and she has a love of children and swimming which comes through in her lessons and the confidence the children develop. I definitely recommend her”

Sarah P said “Tanya and Kirsty at Swimfish are amazing. She teaches in a small pool at the Basingstoke Country Hotel, Hook. She has helped my little one hugely with confidence and ability in the water.”

Turtle Tots Surrey & North Hampshire

Emma said “Turtle Tots are fab at Hook swimming pool, there’s definitely no telling off there!

Kate M said “Thank You Emma. Hi louise at Turtle Tots we offer child led lessons which means your child learns at their own pace and comfort level. We have lessons around Surrey and North Hampshire and would be delighted to offer you a trial class to see first hand what we are about. Please email us on swim@turtletots.com for further information or to book a trial class.”

Cali Kids

Wendy D said “Alicia Reilly is returning from maternity leave in Jan and has space for pre-schoolers”

Christine said “Alicia Reilly is brilliant. Lots of fun but the kids make amazing progress”

Kate said  “Cali Kids. Alicia has taught my two boys and they’ve done so well with her. Thoroughly recommend”

Michelle said “ Cali Kids with Alicia Reilly”

Alicia said “Thanks for the recommendations everyone. I offer semi private swim lessons on a Sunday morning and during the day on a Monday for preschoolers and babies at Tadley Swimming Pool. I worked for years with Water Babies and owned my own swim school Cali Kids for years too. We have lots of fun in my lessons and learn through play but have a good success rate. Most my kids start swimming independently at 3 or 4 years old. Feel free to DM me if you’d like more info.”

Aqua Kids

Susan said “Mel Bristow is amazing my two girls go to her”

Mel said “Aqua Kids teach a Fri pm and Sat am just outside Hook. Please pm me for info!”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Family Yoga Classes

An NHM Reader recently asked “I need some help if possible, I have an 8 year old who wants to do a yoga class with me. Do you know any that take children of this age in a joint class. I’ve found some that are for kids but no parents allowed or some for adults but no children under 16.”

Thank you for all of your responses, listed below in no particular order.

Please bear in mind that listings may change in subsequent years, but hopefully they will still be a good base point for your own research.

NHM Readers Recommend: Family Yoga Classes

Sue said “I do yoga with my 10yr old, but it’s at home using the 30 day Yoga on Prime. It’s only 20 minutes and it’s great”

Vickie said “We do yoga at home but it’s on YouTube there’s a woman who has her own channel. It’s fab as she does it along to stories! Both my 5 & 9 yo love it and it’s a good wind-down before bed…It’s such a clever idea because it keeps them engaged too!”

Jo S replied “Yes we do this too…cosmic yoga”

Becca said “Nat runs fab classes The Little Yoga Company

Katie replied “I also recommend Nat”

Vicky said “Young yogis Gina at chineham village hall saturdays”

Ruza said “Recommend Young Yogis with Gina at Chineham village hall Saturday mornings. Very flexible and will let parents and children do this together.”

Kath replied “I run Relax Kids Basingstoke and at some point will be adding children/family yoga to my offering but it won’t be for a while”

Sarah said “Karma Kidz Yoga Absolutely brilliant family classes – but in Farnham, so might be too far for you.”

Hana said “There is a class in Chute House in town centre every Sunday. Suitable for ages 4+”

Claire said “loubedfordyoga was going to run childrens classes but didn’t have enough uptake last year. Highly recommended as a teacher for beginners. Based in Basingstoke too”

Jo R said “Sue Cordery did a class just before Xmas and may do more? We really enjoyed it.”

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Action for Happiness – Exploring What Matters Course, 2nd May at Viables

March 20th was the International Day of Happiness. Sounds a bit trite? Well, the national mental health and wellbeing charity, Action for Happiness, is doing its bit to help people find happiness, break isolation and build social cohesion – despite life’s difficulties. Take a look at the BBC’s coverage of AfH on the day.

Locally, AfH will be running a new course called Exploring What Matters to help people discover how to live a happier and kinder life. Evaluation surveys from over 1,000 previous course attendees have showed significant improvements in both the personal wellbeing (+20% Life Satisfaction; +13% Mental Wellbeing) and also in the pro-social behaviour (+9% Compassion; +16% Trust) of the course participants, and we could all use a bit of that.

Jasmine Hodge-Lake came to the course having suffered for over a decade with chronic pain which left her unable to work. She describes how it helped her:

“I wouldn’t be where I am now without Action for Happiness and that course. I found there were things I could do that would make a big difference and started to feel hopeful about the future. I still have bad days and life certainly isn’t perfect. But it has really helped me so much. Now I’m trying to be the change that I want to see.”

The course is based on groups of up to 24 people exploring “big questions” together each week. The questions/themes for the 8 sessions are as follows:

  1. What really matters in life?
  2. What actually makes us happy?
  3. Can we find peace of mind?
  4. How should we treat others?
  5. What makes for great relationships?
  6. Can we be happier at work?
  7. Can we build happier communities?
  8. How can we create a happier world?

Each weekly session follows the same structured format, which includes:

  • Tuning In. Starting each session with short mindfulness and gratitude exercises to create a calm and positive atmosphere and to encourage friendly connections.
  • Expert View. Watching a short video relating to the theme, including talks by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Richard Layard, Karen Armstrong, Ed Diener and Brene Brown.
  • Personal View. Reflecting on personal experiences relating to that week’s theme.
  • Did You Know? Learning interesting new ideas based on the latest research.
  • Group Discussion. Having an in-depth discussion in small groups of 3-4 people.
  • Action. Committing to a personal action to take based on what has been discussed.

Participants are asked to make a donation of £90 to attend. However, there is a genuine pay-what-you-can offer if that is too much – no questions, no embarrassment so that the course remains open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. On the other hand, Participants who are able to donate more help to ensure the course is available for those who have less.

The course will take place at The Viables Community Centre every Thursday for 8 weeks, starting on 2nd May. Please get your tickets now from Eventbrite.

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£5 million investment into new facilities unveiled at Alice Holt Forest

Credit: The Forestry Commission

The Forestry Commission has completed a £5 million project to create a host of new visitor attractions and facilities at Alice Holt Forest, near Farnham. The five year investment in the 2,000 acre public forest has seen the addition of a 120 seater café, a purpose built visitor centre, new outdoor activities plus a brand new activity centre opened to visitors today.

The new activity centre, part funded by National Lottery funding through Sport England, will host a range of new activities including yoga and archery. It is also home to cycle and equipment hire including a fleet of brand new “foot bikes”. These specially designed scooters, available to hire for adults and kids alike, are perfect for using on rough terrain and forest tracks.

The upgrade of the Alice Holt Forest site, owned and managed by the Forestry Commission, began in 2013 with the creation of a new visitor centre and purpose built toilet block. Since then a whole host of improvements have been made including major new play areas, a dedicated outdoor seating and picnic spot, and an expansion of the car park to make the site more accessible for the 450,000 people who visit the site each year.

Several new outdoor activities have recently been made available at the Forest. These include Canicross, an annual event offering dog owners a great way to run with their four legged friend. For those who prefer to walk, there are new orienteering kits including a special Gruffalo themed map for children. For the school holidays, forest adventure camps offering wild learning are now available for children aged five years and above.

Investment at the site has also focussed on the woodland environment. Over the last five years the team who look after the Forest have planted 15 acres of new trees including Oak, Beech, Sweet Chestnut, and Hornbeam trees. With nature in mind a number of environmental improvements have also been made including a new wood pellet boiler providing sustainable energy to the visitor centre and café.

Use of the Forest for outdoor activities has grown with over 20 local sports and community groups now hosting regular events here including weekly Parkruns and regular Buggy Fit groups. Working with environmental charity Groundwork, Alice Holt is now also a key location for schools wanting to benefit from outdoor learning. Over 9,000 school children have visited the Forest over the last three years with many more coming this year.

2019 is set to continue to be a big year for Alice Holt with further new attractions planned. This spring, visitors to the Forest will see two major new play structures being installed to celebrate the Forestry Commission’s centenary year. Made from sustainable materials these large scale installations will be located in the main playground by the visitor centre and café, and on the popular Habitat Trail.

Bruce Rothnie, South Forest Managing Director at the Forestry Commission, said;

“It is our job to care for local forests and ensure that people can enjoy spending time in these special places and build a special connection with them. This major investment at Alice Holt Forest has helped us care for this beautiful woodland and greatly improve what is on offer to local people and visitors.”

He added, “It is fitting that this project has been completed in the same year that we are celebrating our centenary and looking ahead to the next chapter in our development. By investing in sustainable new building and facilities we can ensure that Alice Holt Forest offers a great day out in the woods long into the future.”

Sport England’s Director of Property, Charles Johnston said; “Sport England is working to make it as easy as possible for people to get active so they can enjoy the physical and mental health benefits associated with it. People lead busy lives, so we need to bring fun, accessible activity options to places they already enjoy going, like the Alice Holt Forest.  We’re delighted to be funding a new activity centre which will offer new cycle and scooter hire facilities providing improved opportunities for the local community and visitors to explore the woodland.”

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Guest Post: Surviving Primary

Wendy sent me an email asking me if I could have a look at her blog and see if I had any feedback.

It’s a brilliant blog with lots of really great suggestions and has helped me with supporting and engaging Miss NHM through her journey at Primary.

Hopefully it helps you too!

Thanks for the great blog Wendy!!!

Surviving Primary

http://survivingprimary.com/

I’m a Mum with two kids at Primary School. It’s always a struggle keeping up with all the different subjects that they cover every term or half term. You try and help your kids as best you can but we all know that time is precious and sometimes you don’t have a lot of time at weekends.

I started putting my ideas down into my blog so that I could remember what resources we used and what home activities we all got involved in, to help continue the learning at home. It contains links to books, home craft ideas, days out, costume ideas and even YouTube videos.

I’m hoping that this blog will help other parents, guardians or carers out there.

Remember to share/comment on the blog. The more interaction it has, the more help to other parents. Let’s share our ideas to make things easier for ourselves!

http://survivingprimary.com/

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