“The Best Baby Changing in Basingstoke Town Centre” 2014 Poll

It occurred to me today, whilst in town, that it would be really useful to know which are the best baby changing places.

So, I thought I would put a poll together and see what everyone else thinks.

I don’t often go into town, so please add any places that I’ve missed as I could only think of three!!! lol.

Thank you!

[polldaddy poll=7942184]

Treasure Baskets

I’ve been trying to write this post for nearly three years! It was one of the reasons I started NHM, but I was too inexperienced at the beginning to use my own words. I know this is the cardinal sin of blogging, so I’ve finally got around to putting this down in my own words!

I discovered the joy of Treasure Baskets when my little one was very small and I joined a Baby PEEP class at a local Children’s Centre. The PEEP class was by far the best class I attended and I learnt an awful lot.  I’m so disappointed to see that baby PEEP is no longer on the Children’s centre timetables.

Treasure baskets and boxes are such a simple idea, but so effective. Miss NHM was 10 weeks old when we were both introduced to treasure baskets and I was amazed at how enthralled she was with them, even at 10 weeks old!

I still remember vividly how absorbed she became with each of the items and how she was leaning into the basket, at 10 weeks old, to see what she could find. It was one of the defining moments for me, of the first few months of her life.

Apparently Treasure baskets have been used for decades by childcare professionals as a means of teaching young babies how to select, touch, taste and feel. They are closely linked to the Montessori teaching method.

You don’t need to spend any money on your treasure baskets and boxes. After the PEEP class, I remember getting home and going through the house finding things that I thought would be suitable. I found things that were too big for Miss NHM to swallow but had lots of different textures.

The items in the basket changed over the months as Miss NHM’s understanding grew. She still plays with several of the items now, including a plastic hand held juicer that I’ve never actually used!

Over the past three years, I’ve read a lot about treasure baskets and spent a lot of time putting them together. Below are some ideas for treasure baskets that I’ve used. I hope you find them useful, especially if this rain continues!

Ideas for Treasure Baskets

Natural objects

  • Pine Cones – make sure all the seeds have been removed/shaken out
  • big shells
  • Large walnuts
  • Pumice stones
  • Fruit


  • rattles
  • spoons
  • bowls
  • napkin rings 


  • Spoons
  • tea strainer
  • bunch of keys
  • garlic squeezer

Here are some tips to enhance the experience:

  • Place the basket close to your child so they can reach each object and move things around easily
  • Pick a time when they are well fed and alert – their enjoyment will last longer.
  • Whilst it’s really an experience for them to indulge in by themselves, it’s important to be close by so you can step in if they need help.
  • Change and move the items around in the basket to keep the activity fresh.
  • Check the basket regularly to ensure all of the items are still intact and therefore, not dangerous for your child to play with.
  • Once your baby becomes mobile, place baskets on shelves low to the ground so they can help themselves to different objects.

Treasure Box Resources

Etsy treasure baskets (you can buy an already made treasure basket from here…but where’s the fun in that!)

Treasure Basket Play (American website but still has some good ideas)

Netmums: treasure baskets (a great list for treasure baskets with themes)

Do you have any other suggestions for treasure baskets for other Mum’s to use?

A Toddler Box of Tricks: Things To Always Have On Hand With A Toddler Or Two

This is a really hard post for today. I’m conscious that it’s half term and have loads of posts I could have finished but none felt appropriate for Half Term.

Recently I’ve noticed that Miss NHM isn’t as interested in her toys as I think she should be (given how much they cost!). She seems to have much more fun playing with things that are either free or relatively cheap.

I’m saving up for a plastic drawer set system (4 sets of the drawers in the link) for under our stairs. We already have one set of drawers which have different things in, like a dressing up drawer, a playdoh drawer with cutters, and a colouring and pens drawer.

Miss NHM enjoys these drawers under the stairs more than any of her other toys. I think it’s because she can choose what she wants to play with.

I’m hoping to put together lots of drawers with lots of different activities in, including a paint drawer (ARRRGGHHHHH!!!!). This is where The Range floor matting (see below!) comes in VERY useful.

Anyway, this is a bit of a cop out post but hopefully it will be useful for someone! 😉

A Toddler Box of Tricks

Bottles of bubbles or a bubble machine


Paint (if you are brave enough, and I’m generally not!)

Glitter (I hate this stuff, I really do.)

Sequins (great stuff, until you go to the office with one stuck to your bottom. This may, or may not, have happened to me.)

Cornflower for making Gloop

Food colouring for making coloured Gloop or coloured water

Cheap dried spaghetti for making Coloured Spaghetti

Buttons for Gloop or just for sorting through

Lots of different types of bowls

Dry Food for dry food play

Spoons and spatulas


Ice cube trays

Icing sugar

A box of straws (This was Mr NHM’s contribution. When I asked why, he said ” for cutting up and making things”. No comment.)

An easy fairy cake or cookie recipe. (I have one and if you would like a copy, please email me at northhantsmum@gmail.com ;-))

A big wooden dice or small dice in lots of different colours. (Miss NHM LOVES playing with dice. She pretends they are food. However, we supervise this play as I’m still worried about her putting them in her mouth!)

Toilet rolls

Paper plates

Coloured lolly sticks for arts and crafts or Winter “Bored Sticks” Jar – 40 ideas

An MP3 player with dock. (We have one which Miss NHM can operate herself. She’s loved playing with it since she was 18 months.)

Floor matting. (My friend Kate had a great tip to buy PVC cut fabric from The Range. There is one in Reading, Andover and Aldershot. We have one pattern as a table cloth and another pattern for arts and crafts. It’s great stuff, is very cheap, you can choose how much you want and it lasts for ages. Although what’s showing on the website is very expensive compared to what’s in store, so I would recommend going into the store and having a look. Thanks Kate!)

Playdoh. (I have a recipe for making your own playdoh but haven’t tried it out yet. It’s on my very long list of things to do with Miss NHM soon!)

Easel paper on a roll. (We’ve had hours of fun with this. Mr NHM starts at one end, I’m at the other and Miss NHM is in the middle. We vary between coloured pencils and crayons!).

Toy cars (Again, Mr NHM’s suggestion. He suggests using them in paint on the “paper on a roll”. Over my dead body is he doing this our house!!!!! :-D)

What else would you add to this list?

iPads and toddlers

iPAD and toddler use is a bit of a controversial topic in our house.

We are very lucky  because both Mr NHM and I both have an iPAD. Yes, I know these are a huge extravagance and I know I am a little bit addicted to mine, but so much of my organisation is now done via my iPAD. (See HERE for the apps that I use).

I was very lucky at Christmas and was given a new iPAD as mine was one of the original versions and was a lot of functionality was failing on it. We decided that we would “give” my old iPAD to Miss NHM.

Now, she absolutely LOVES the iPAD and it’s the one thing that I physically have to wrestle off her when I think she’s been on it too long.

On her iPAD she now has lots of storybooks and lots of “educational” apps. I’ve made a very concerted effort to ensure that no “games” outside of the storybooks, are downloaded to her iPAD (I am an evil Mummy! lol).

We have downloaded a lot of storybooks when they were free or very cheap (App shopper is a god send for this!) and there are several storybooks where she just jumps to the songs.

She will listen to them repeatedly and I have no idea if this is a good thing or a bad thing. (I do know that if I hear “bibidybobidyboo” from Cinderella one more time, I may throw the iPAD out the window :-D).

I’ve seen her progress on things like Jigsaw’s, because several of the apps have different levels of Jigsaw’s.

I have seen her skills improve radically on matching up trains in the Thomas the Tank Engine Misty Island app and I’m fairly sure that the reason she can sing her ABC’s is because of one of the apps she uses.

However, I do worry about how much time she should be using the iPAD.

I do my very best to ensure that she has at least 4 days a week screen free. Although on the days when Mr NHM is on Night shift and he needs to sleep in the morning, the only way I can keep Miss NHM quiet enough is with the iPAD.

I know that this is a very first world problem and I sound very spoiled worrying about this, but our generation is the first set of parents that have had to deal with this level of technology for our children.

I saw something recently on another blog about a Mum who is letting her three year old self-regulate when it comes to iPAD’s and TV. After only a week, the three year old was already starting to limit her time in front of the TV and iPAD.

Miss NHM isn’t three yet, so I’m not ready to start the self regulation yet. 

I’m just a bit perplexed about how much iPAD time a toddler should have. No time would be preferable, but if she loves it, isn’t it a bit cruel of me to try to take that away from her? 

What are your thoughts on iPAD and toddler use?

Breastfeeding Support in Basingstoke – Jan 2014

Timetable for Breastfeeding Support in Basingstoke – April 2014

Mindy sent me a message letting me know the full listing of breastfeeding support in Basingstoke.

Apologies to the Mum who found the details on a historical NHM post that are now out of date. Hopefully this post will help!

Breastfeeding Support in Basingstoke

More help needed!! Some of our Basingstoke breastfeeding drop ins have changed in the last 6 months with at least one new addition so I thought it was time to give you the full listing – they are listed according to day of the week and I have also added Andover and Winchester for those of you who are in that direction.

Anyone, wherever they live is welcome to attend for support. Note that some locations have a reduced service in holiday periods so please check this facebook page (Hampshire Breastfeeding Counselling) or message us for full details if you are unsure.

Breastfeeding Drop-Ins: One-to-one support available from qualified and registered NCT trained Breastfeeding Counsellors. No appointment necessary, just turn up. Come and register with us antenatally and discuss any feeding questions. Contact numbers at the end or follow this facebook page for details.

Basingstoke, Chineham: Every Monday 9:30 to 11:30am at Christ Church, Reading Road, Chineham RG24 8LT alongside the health visitor clinic.

Overton: 2nd, 4th & 5th Mondays of month at Overton Children’s Centre (in the library, Community Centre, Overton RG25 3HB) 10 –11:30am. Alongside the parent and baby / toddler group

Whitchurch: 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of month at the Gill Nethercote Centre in Whitchurch RG28 7HP 10 – 11.30 am, alongside the health visitor clinic

Tadley: Every Tuesday 9:30am – 11am at the Home Tree Children’s Centre, Newchurch Road, Tadley RG26 4HN. Tel: 0118 982 1571. Alongside the health visitor clinic

Winchester BABIES: Every Wednesday 9:30am to 12:00pm at Lanterns Children’s Centre, Bereweeke Road, Winchester SO22 6AJ.

Kingsclere: Every Thursday 2pm – 3pm at Kingsclere Medical Practice, North St, Kingsclere, RG20 5QX. Alongside the health visitor clinic once a month and alongside “Kingsclere Moms” on the other weeks

Andover: Every Friday 1pm – 2:30pm at Spring Meadow Children’s Centre, Smannell Road, Andover SP11 6JP. Tel: 01264 336718

Basingstoke, Brookvale: Every Friday 10am to 11:30am at Brookvale Village Hall, Basingstoke RG21 7RU.

For further information, you can contact:

Fiona 01256 334343 (Tadley, Basingstoke)

Mindy 07769 040509 (Overton, Whitchurch, Kingsclere)

Sarah 01256 321890 (Basingstoke Brookvale and Chineham), Jane 07824 375871 (Winchester), Jennie 07502 213811 (Winchester), Paula 01256 892938 (Andover)

You can also contact the team via their Facebook page HERE.

Related Posts

“Breastfeeding Welcome” places in North Hampshire – Feb 2015

Breastfeeding Support in Basingstoke – Feb 2012

New Breastfeeding Drop In’s – July 2013

Baby Weighing Clinic’s in Basingstoke

Basingstoke Babies

Relax and Stretch with Baby

NCT Relax & Stretch with Baby is a unique and fun exercise programme designed for mother and baby. Classes provide a wonderful opportunity for you as a new mother to ease your way back into exercise after the birth of your baby. Each class comprises gentle yoga-based exercises for both you and your baby to do together.

Baby’s are central to the class with yoga and massage especially for them, music features highly throughout the classes, creating a fun and relaxed atmosphere re-learning those nursery rhymes and perhaps picking up a few new ones.

Classes are offered during term time in 6 week blocks on Tuesday mornings from 10.30am to midday. Mum needs to have had her 6 weeks check before staring classes and they are suitable for babies up to 12 months.

Cost is £45 for 6 weeks, but as a registered Charity (England and Wales no: 801395) reduced fees are available from £4.50 for the whole 6 week block. Please contact libby with any questions or to book rswb@basingstokenct.org.uk

For more details, please click on the link HERE.

You can also see Libby’s previous Guest post about the classes from May last year:

Guest Post: NCT Relax, Stretch and Breathe

Two new clubs for children with additional needs and their siblings: Basingstoke Go! Club Mini’s

Fiona from the Great Opportunities Team sent me a lovely email asking me to let you know about two clubs which are for children with additional needs in Basingstoke and their siblings. Mini’s is for children ages 3-8 and the older club is for 8-19yrs.

They have a really exciting program of events for this Spring term with professional coaches running football clubs to clay foam painting, nerf  party (NHM: um, no idea what a nerf party is! lol)  and circus and drumming club.

The first club starts on Saturday 25th January in Basingstoke.

Please review the flyers below for more details or contact the team on  Telephone:   0118 907 6397 or Freephone:  0800 328 9148

Website:     www.greatopportunities.org.uk

Basingstoke Go! Club Mini’s

Basingstoke Minis Spring timetable 2014PDF

As the team want to ensure that all those who could benefit know about the clubs, I’ve made an exception and included the flyer for the 8-19 year olds:

Basingstoke Go! Club

Basingstoke Spring timetable 2014PNG

Cornerstone Holiday Club for February Half Term 2014

Cornerstone’s Nursery are running a Holiday club in February Half Term:

We are running a full time OFSTED registered holiday club, 8am-6pm mon – fri, for children aged 4-8yrs ….

We can offer flexibility in sessions, full week, full day, half day, school hours, whatever is required, at affordable prices.

For more details, please visit Cornerstone Nurseries’ website or call the nursery on 01256 818118.

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook Profile, LinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Baby & Toddler Dance classes in North Hampshire

I’ve been meaning to put this post together for a LONG time…

I’ve finally got around to it. Yay! 😀

Active Life Centre – Houndmills

Basingstoke Academy of Dance – Houndmills

Becky Lane Fitness Studio Move and Grove Dance School – Dummer

Bopping Babies – Chineham Village Hall & Wellington Country Park (starts the end of February)

FitMama Mummy and Baby Dance –  Stroudley Road, Basingstoke

Jeannine Greville Dance Academy – The Vyne Community School and Aldworth Science College

Lisa Beaumont School of Ballet – Cliddesden

Marina School of Dance – Whitchurch

Mini Movers Dance Class Spotlight – Popley

Monkey Music – Chineham, Odiham and Alton

North Hampshire Academy of Dance – Central Studio, QMC

On Your Toes – Carnival Hall, Council Road, Basingstoke

The Dance Department – Hatch Warren Community Centre & Kempshott (Ballet Babes, Kids Zumba and Ballet Tots)

The Lynden School of Dance – Basingstoke Sports Centre, Kingsclere & Overton

Related Posts

Dance schools in North Hampshire

Ballet/Dance classes for 2 year olds

GPW: Bopping Babies

Toddler Games: Dry Food Play

Sometimes something is SO obvious that when you finally twig, you feel the need to slap yourself silly for not thinking of it earlier. No? Just me? oh well. 😉

This is one of those activities. It kept Miss NHM busy for well over an hour and wasn’t too messy.

What you will need

  • Red or Green lentils
  • Oats
  • Brown Rice
  • Pasta (coloured looks good)
  • Lots of different types of bowls and plates
  • Cooking implements like wooden spoons, spatula’s and children’s knives and forks

Dry Food Play

I raided the cupboard for dried food. I found red lentils, oats and some brown rice.

I put them all into different bowls and put them on the table with some cooking implements like spatula’s, wooden spoons and Miss NHM’s knife and fork. 


I recently bought some multi-coloured pasta from Sainsburys that was on offer, so I put out a bowl of this.


Miss NHM had so much fun playing with this activity. She kept telling me that she was “cooking like Mummy”. Bless.



It’s probably best to do this somewhere that you don’t mind being made a bit messy. We did this in the kitchen as it’s easy to sweep up.

Have lots of different types of texture of dried food.

Probably not a good idea to do this with your little one if they are still experimenting by putting things in their mouth…


Don’t add water unless you REALLY want your little one to create havoc :-D.

Let me know if you enjoyed this activity as much as we did.