Family Friendly Festivals 2012

I read an article recently which prompted me to do some research on this year’s Festivals that are appropriate for little children. I know that festivals aren’t everyone’s thing but if you are interested in taking your little one along, you should be able to find something appriopriate below. Note that there is a festival in Hampshire in July which is appropriate for children. Now, let’s hope the weather catches up with the idea that summer’s on it’s way!!!

Wychwood Festival, 8-10 June, wychwoodfestival.com

The Eden Festival, 15-17th June, edenfestival.co.uk

Blissfields Festival 2012 (in Hampshire!), 29th June – 1st July, blissfields.co.uk

Cornbury, 29th June – 1st July, cornburyfestival.com

Larmer Tree festival, 11th to 15th July, larmertreefestival.co.uk

Latitude Festival, 13th to 15th July, latitudefestival.co.uk

The Deer Shed Festival, 20 – 22nd July, deershedfestival.com

Lollibop Festival lollibop is the only festival where all the entertainment is for children. August – date TBA, lollibopfestival.co.uk

Chatterbox Shows – Planetarium shows for chatty people!

This looks SO brilliant! I can’t wait till my little one is a little bit bigger so I can take her to one of these.

Winchester Intech Science Centre Chatterbox Shows

Mondays , 5 March, 14 May, 11 June 2pm & Monday 2 April (during Easter holidays), time tbc.
They say:

“It’s natural for younger children or those with special needs to want to call out when they come into the planetarium. They like to share the experience, ask questions or just call out with surprise and amazement.

We normally ask visitors to watch quietly so that everyone can enjoy the show without distraction. But here is a show with a difference:

All the stars with no shushhing!

Come along to a Chatterbox Monday show and we promise not to shhhh you up*! It could get a little noisy but it should be great fun for the chatty ones. Shows are charged at our normal rate.

We’re currently running “Secret of the Cardboard Rocket” (30min) in this slot as it is the most child-friendly of our shows and the least likely to scare or overwhelm younger children. However, please do be aware that some children under 5yrs don’t enjoy planetarium shows, especially those scared by the dark.

If you’d be interesting in seeing other shows in this slot, please let us know!”

Games to play with your baby or toddler

Are you looking for ideas for games to play with your baby or toddler?

The following link, from cow and gate, shows a play time planner which allows you to input the time you have available, whether you want to play indoors or outdoors and the age of your child. You hit return and at the bottom of the screen are a list of relevant games to play with your child:

http://letstoddle.com/my_toddler/playtime-planner

BabyCentre also have some great ideas for games to play with your little one. If you have signed up for the weekly email from BabyCentre it will include the games that are relevant for your toddler or baby’s age. If you haven’t signed up, you can find the list of games at the links below:

Baby: http://www.babycentre.co.uk/baby/development/letsplay/?intcmp=tnav_baby_play

Toddler: http://www.babycentre.co.uk/toddler/development/stimulating/letsplay/

Do you know of any other websites that have a great list of games to play with your little one? Please add to the comments section or on the Facebook page. Thanks!

Relevant Posts

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Valentine’s Day Inspiration

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’ve included a couple of links below that could help if you are stuck for valentines ideas or activities:

Tasty Valentines gifts on a budget

Setting a table for two for valentines day

Free Printable Valentines Cards Robot Hearts

How kids can create a love heart necklace

6 affordable valentines gifts that aren’t boring

Pinterest finds Valentines ideas

 

Childcare Vouchers

If you know that you will have to return to work after Maternity Leave, you will need to use a nursery or childminder, and your employer offers the vouchers, register for Childcare vouchers with your employer AS SOON as your baby is born.

Your Employer will pay the Childcare vouchers whilst you are on Maternity Leave. Don’t wait until you return to work because you could miss out on an awful lot of money. If you register for childcare vouchers as soon as your child is born, and request the full amount (£243 a month), you could rack up £2187 in vouchers for the 9 months you are on maternity leave, or £2916 for the full year.

Even if you plan on handing your notice in at the end of your maternity leave, you should still register for the vouchers as I think they are valid for up to 18 months after you leave your employment. If you find a childminder that takes childcare vouchers you will be able to use the vouchers as and when you need childcare for the following 18 months. Handy if you need an afternoon or a day off occasionally as you won’t have to pay for the childcare!

If your employer doesn’t offer childcare vouchers there is some guidance from the HMRC website about this:  http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/calcs/ccin.htm. This link also includes a link to a PDF with details about what childcare vouchers are.

Obviously, I’m not an expert on these things and you will need to double check with your employer as I am only basing this on my experience. It’s definitely something worth investigating though.

Amber Teething necklace’s

I was incredibly sceptical about the Amber teething necklaces. Someone at my Husband’s work recommended them to him and gave him the link so he ordered one. I thought it was a total waste of money and probably wouldn’t work. However, my husband isn’t the kind of guy to buy into “New Age B****ks” (his words, not mine) but the fact that he’d gone to such effort made me think I ought to at least try the necklace out on our little one.

Much to his delight, I’ve had to eat my words. I cannot praise this small necklace enough. You can totally tell when my little one isn’t wearing her necklace. Without it she’s grimbly, she dribbles lots more and she constantly has her fingers in her mouth pressing against her gums. With it, she’s a delightful, smiley, happy child. In fact, several people have commented that she’s one of the happiest babies they have met and I often wonder if it isn’t down to this little necklace.

She also looks very cute when she’s wearing it and is just in her nappy. Like a little Oompaloompa or Pygmy Tribal Warrior! Annnyway, I couldn’t recommend the necklaces enough. Just don’t lose it at swimming like I did so we had to buy another one!

Amber Teething Necklaces

One point I hadn’t picked up on but have just seen whilst reading the blurb is to: Avoid getting the necklaces wet and occasionally allow the amber to recharge by exposing to natural sunlight.

This is NOT a sponsored post and I’m receiving no money or any other perks for recommending Amber necklaces. 

The Marshmallow Test – The Secrets of Self-Control in Children

I’ve been reading a number of Parenting Books in an effort to try to be a good parent. Not sure if it’s working, but I’ve read a lot of really interesting stuff. Enclosed is a link about the “marshmallow test” which I read about in “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman. Although this book was written by an American author his findings are still very interesting. The book was written over 40 years ago so much has been written about this test since.

The concept of the Marshmallow Test is that you place a marshmallow in front of a 4 year old for 15 minutes. The tester tells the child that if they can wait 15 minutes before eating the marshmallow they will be allowed two marshmallow’s, rather than just the one in front of them. Those children that were able to resist grabbing the marshmallow placed in front of them had better life outcomes.

This is the best link I could find which explains self control in children and links to the concept of the Marshmallow Test: http://healthland.time.com/2011/09/06/the-secrets-of-self-control-the-marshmallow-test-40-years-later/

There has been a lot of research around this if you are interested in discovering more. I would recommend reading “Emotional Intelligence”. It is pretty heavy going though and one of the downsides is that the author doesn’t describe what you can do to help your child improve their self control (although I haven’t finished the book yet!). This is something I am researching and plan to do a future post on.

I thought this was fascinating and that some of you might be interested. Let me know your thoughts.

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Ballet/Dance classes for 2 year olds (Nov 2011)

Baby & Toddler Dance classes in North Hampshire

Vicky asked the question on NorthHants Mum on Facebook: can anyone recommend ballet/dance classes for 2yr olds?

I’m not able to recommend any specific classes but I’ve done some research about what is available at the moment. Details are below. If you have any recommendations, please don’t hesitate to add them. Vicky – thanks for your question, hope this is what you were looking for.

Dance Classes

Bopping Babies

Toddle-time disco fun, dance and play session for 0-5’s.

Active Life Centre

Modern Dance: The Modern Dance class involves learning dance moves to current popular music. Mondays 14.00 – 14.45hrs. Cost: £40.00 for 10 weeks

Ballet Classes

Basingstoke Academy of Dancing

One of the more professional dance schools in Basingstoke.  They hold Mother and Toddler Classes – 18 mnths – 3yrs, Monday morning 9.30am to 10.30am

J.L.D. School of Dancing

They say: Being easily accessed from anywhere in Basingstoke & Deane, J.L.D. School of Dancing has 50 scheduled classes per week and offers dancing lessons for boys and girls from 2 – 18 years of age. Dance classes for children aged 2 – 5 years are lively and fun, exploring music, movement and mime.

M&M Academy of Arts

They have a boogie babies class on Saturday morning: Pre-school Dance Classes, 45 minutes, Fun and stimulating class for 3 & 4 Years olds. These classes introduce basic ballet, tap and modern/jazz movements incorporating mime and stories.

Centre Stage Ballet

Centre Stage Ballet 3-4 years 4.30-5pm. Ballet 4-5 years 5-5.30pm. Ballet & Tap 5-9 years 5.30-6.15pm

Thursdays at Sherfield Park Community Centre.

Active Life Centre

Ballet (3-4 years): Working from the Royal Acadamy of Dance syllabus, this class involves dancing to classical and contemporary music whilst incorporating ballet steps, miming and free dance. The children have fun working to develop

Lynden School of Dance

I couldn’t find the timetable online for this dance school but I know they do Ka Motion classes at Basingstoke Sports Centre for little people and I’m sure they will have classes for under four’s. To find details you can contact them through their website.

Loose Moose – Hook

Loose Moose Theatre Arts is an exciting, vibrant and creative theatre arts school offering a range of programmes for toddlers to teens to adults.

Chandelle Stage School

I don’t have any further details about this apart from that it’s based in the Sycamore centre in Winklebury.

Stage School’s

There is also a stage school in Basingstoke:

http://www.basingstokestageschool.co.uk/

Please add a comment if you know of more dance classes for toddlers in or near Basingstoke. Thanks!

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What is Elimination Communication for babies?

I’d never heard about Elimination Communication before someone added a comment to this site. They were running a blog which documented their experience of E.C. I suddenly discovered a whole new area that I’d never even really considered. Now I get how Indians used to be able to carry their little one’s in Papooses for such a long time! lol.

It was a fascinating subject and I was surprised I’d never heard of it before. Although, when you think about who runs most of our media and the advertising we see it’s not surprising that EC isn’t more widely known off, as nobody in Business benefits from it. The Nappy companies don’t make any money if you don’t use nappies, the nappy cream companies don’t make any money. So I guess the concept of EC isn’t more widely known because there aren’t huge companies behind the advertising trying to drive the knowledge.

I would have loved the opportunity to try this out with my little one, but by the time I found out about it I was back to work and it wasn’t really feasible. However, I’m thinking that now the weather is warmer (Summer? What summer?) and we can spend more time outside, where nappies aren’t always a requirement, I might do a bit more research into this and see if we can try it out. I’ve also been spurred on by reading a blog where the Mum potty trained her little one at 15 months old. I didn’t even know that was a possibility! In fact, the whole potty training experience scares me as it just seems to be a bit of a drama. I am wondering though if I’m putting myself under more pressure because I’ve also read plenty more posts about how seasoned Mum’s (Mum’s with 3+ children) recommend waiting until your little one is really ready.

 

Further Reading

http://eliminationcommunication.wordpress.com/

http://ecomamasays.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/ecnatural-infant-hygiene/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elimination_communication