9 Foody Places to go as a group of Mums with babies/toddlers

Are you looking for somewhere to meet up with several of your friends, their babies and pushchairs/buggys?

The list below are some of the foody places you could visit that welcome large groups of Mum’s and babies:

1. Queens College Arms – Tadley road

Recommend booking in advance and asking for the “big” table. They have baby changing facilities onsite and bottle warming facilities. Very friendly and welcoming of Mum’s and babies. For bigger children, there is a climbing frame in the pub garden.

2. Little Roses Tea Shop – Elm Tree Garden centre, just up from the Queens College Arms

They have excellent baby changing facilities and even provide free baby wipes and nappy bags! There is a changing station and several highchairs upstairs if you don’t want to take your pushchair in. Recommend looking in the Chests/tables as there is a treasure trove of toys that will keep children amused for a while. Very welcoming of Mums and babies.

3. Dayers – Chineham Business Park

This place is normally empty in the mornings. They do good breakfasts and cake. Gets busy at lunchtime, so maybe not the best place to go for lunch.

Unfortunately they don’t have baby changing facilities (they used too!) but they do have large toilets so if you don’t mind doing emergency nappy changes on your changing mat on the floor, you should be ok.

4. Dobbies Garden Centre – Tilehurst (25 mins from central Basingstoke)

If you fancy going a bit further afield or live near Reading, it’s worth checking out the restaurant of this Garden Centre. They have a large restaurant with a big outside eating area. Seems to be quiet because it’s outside of central Reading.

5. Wyevale Garden Centre – Sherfield on Loddon

They have a large restaurant and outside area. The baby changing facilities are good, but are in the ladies toilets. I recommend signing up for the Gardening Club as you rack up the points quite quickly which give you discounts in the store and restaurant.

6. The Cafe Project, The Dome, behind Asda in Brighton Hill

Open Tuesday to Friday’s from 9.30am.

7. Portsmouth Arms – Hatch Warren

8. Costa Coffee – Hampshire Centrecourt Hotel (Behind the large Tesco’s)

The Service is slow but you can sit indoors or outdoors and there are baby changing facilities

9. Conkers Garden Centre

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First Aid Kit’s

I am taking a few weeks off to rediscover my blogging mojo and do some background work on NHM. The regular “Things to do” posts will still be published on Monday’s and if I receive any Guest Post Wednesday’s these will also be published. You may see the odd post pop up on other days but it depends on whether I find my blogging mojo and whether I can “persuade” anyone else to write some guest posts! lol. Thanks for your patience!

Sophie has very kindly put together another post for NHM about First Aid Kit’s. Thanks Sophie! I really must get my first aid kit sorted out at home! 

Sophie: At my last job I was designated First Aider – it came with a pay rise, I got a day off each year to do my refresher course and I only had to deal with two minor cuts and one concussion in 5 years, well worth it.  But now that it is my child I will be looking after, I’m taking it a bit more seriously!  And after a week of nosebleeds, ear infections and sore throats I realize that my medicine cabinet and first aid kit are seriously lacking.

St John Ambulance say that a first aid kit should contain the following:

  • Assorted waterproof plasters
  • 2 sterile eye pads
  • 1 crepe bandage
  • 4 triangular bandages
  • 6 medium sterile dressing pads
  • 2 large sterile dressing pads
  • 2 pairs sterile gloves
  • 1 pair paramedic (tough-cut) scissors
  • 6 alcohol-free wipes
  • 6 safety pins
  • Tape

But let’s be honest, I would swap all of the above for a single bottle of Calpol (other paracetamol suspensions are available).  So what is important for a mother’s first aid kit?

Painkillers  – Make sure you have an age-appropriate painkiller that contains paracetamol or ibuprofen, which can be used for headaches and fevers. You will also need a measuring spoon or, for younger children, a no-needle dosing syringe. Always follow the dosage instructions on the label.

Antiseptic cream or spray – This can be applied to cuts, grazes or minor burns after cleaning to help prevent infection. Some may also contain a mild local anesthetic to numb the pain.

Calamine lotion – This can help to soothe itching irritated skin, rashes (including chicken pox) and sunburn.

Antihistamine cream – This can reduce swelling and soothe insect bites and stings.

Thermometer

Digital thermometers are quick to use, accurate and can be used under the armpit (always use the thermometer under the armpit with children under five). Hold your child’s arm against his or her body and leave the thermometer in place for the time stated in the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ear (or tympanic) thermometers are put in the child’s ear. They take the child’s temperature in one second and do not disturb the child, but they’re expensive. Ear thermometers may give low readings when not correctly placed in the ear, so read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and familiarise yourself with how the thermometer works (this applies to all thermometers).

Strip-type thermometers, which you hold on your child’s forehead, are not an accurate way of taking their temperature. They show the temperature of the skin, not the body.

Mercury-in-glass thermometers haven’t been used in hospitals for some years and are no longer available to buy. They can break, releasing small shards of glass and highly poisonous mercury. Do not use mercury thermometers. If your child is exposed to mercury, get medical advice immediately.

Antiseptic wipes – These are a handy way to clean cuts and grazes and help prevent infection. To use them, take a fresh wipe and clean the wound, gently working away from the centre to remove dirt and germs.

Saline solution and an eye bath – This is useful for washing specks of dust or foreign bodies out of sore eyes.

Accessories

  • Small pair of scissors for cutting down plasters and tape to size.
  • Tweezers to remove thorns, splinters and bee stings.
  • Ice packs or gel packs can be kept in the fridge and applied to bumps and bruises to relieve swelling. A packet of frozen peas is just as good, but wrap it in a clean tea towel before applying it to skin. Direct contact with ice can cause a ‘cold burn’.
  • Marker pen.  All lotions and medicines have a used by date printed on the bottle but some also have an open use date e.g. use within 12 months of opening.  If this is the case, make sure to write on the label when the bottle was opened, especially if it only gives you this information on an accompanying pamphlet (which may find its way into the bin long before the bottle itself!).

It’s also important to consider what you will be putting your first aid kit into.  Choose a waterproof, durable box that’s easy to carry; it’s much easier to take the box to the child than the child to the box. The box should have a childproof lock and be tall enough to carry bottles of lotion.  Keep the box out of the reach of children, but handy for adults. You don’t want to be hunting for your first aid kit when a child is injured and frightened.  You can either buy a first aid box (green with a white cross) or (if you’re like me and love a craft project) make up your own box.  Whichever way you go make sure it says ‘First Aid’ on it so if you aren’t around, other people know what it is. If someone else is caring for your children, let them know where the kit is kept.

Remember to keep your first aid box up to date. Replace items when stocks have been depleted and check use-by dates of all medicines. Throw away anything past its use-by date. You can take any out-of-date medicines to a pharmacy, which will dispose of them safely.

For more information on first aid for babies visit NHS choices HERE.

There are many specialized First Aid courses available through various agencies but two recognized providers are:

Red Cross – First Aid for Babies and Children – £37.50

St John Ambulance – First Aid for All Ages – £30

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Makaton in Basingstoke

Sophie very kindly offered to help out with writing some posts on NHM. Below she shares some details about Makaton. Hope you find it useful. Thanks Sophie, great post!

When we walk past the park Lucy, my 14 month old, makes L shapes with her index fingers and thumbs and shakes them, this is her sign for swings.  I don’t know where it came from she just started doing it one day and then did it again when we were looking at a picture of a park.  Now she does it every time we pass the park on the way back from taking her big brother to school.  And then in the afternoon, when I say “It’s time to pick up Oscar” Lucy immediately rubs her knuckles together; this is the sign for brother (we picked that one up from a Makaton sign language library book).  So with our swimming lessons finished for the summer I thought I would look into Makaton courses and see if it would help us communicate even better until she finds her voice, which I don’t think will be that long.

Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support and encourage spoken language.  The signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.  With Makaton, children and adults can communicate straight away using signs and symbols. Many people then drop the signs or symbols naturally as their little ones develop speech.  Makaton is extremely flexible as it can be personalised to an individual’s needs and used at a level suitable for them.

Many of the Sure Start/Action for Children centres do Baby Sing and Sign sessions which are centred around the Makaton programme.

Pebbles Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 357028.

  • Story, Song & Sign – Monday 11.00am – 12.00pm.
  • Drop In/no need to book

The Courtyard Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 843955

  • Baby Signing – Tuesday 10.00am – 11.00am.
  • Small cost applies – Must be booked in advance

Honeycomb Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 331574

  • Sing, Song & Sign for Baby – Friday 10.00am – 11.00am – 6 week course from 15 June
  • Ridgeway Centre, Buckskin – Pre-book your place – £12 per child

Buttercups Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 812615

  • Sing, sign and rhyme time – Friday 10.15am – 11.00am
  • Please call to book a space

For more information you can visit the Makaton Charity website HERE.

You can also see Makaton signing in action thanks to Something Special, a programme on the cbeebies channel and it’s supporting section on the BBC website HERE.

A Playmobil secret…

 

If you are a fan of Playmobil and you have children under five years of age, you will LOVE playmobil123. I’d never heard of it before and we discovered it quite by accident when I was looking for wooden food toys on holiday. It’s “classic” Playmobil but is branded as being suitable for 18 months old upwards. The only website that sells it in the UK has Playmobil123 branded as being suitable for ages five years + but I think this is because they’ve lumped it into the “Playmobil” brand.

It’s the little details that are fantastic. There are no small moving parts that can be swallowed and figures “slot” into each toy so that they can be used by small hands. We bought the boat and the motorbike. ( I was slightly gutted when I found out how much we’d paid for them abroad when they are practically half price on the UK website).

With the boat that we have the whale has a float that allows it to either float flat in the water or stand on its tail. The motorbike has a “go faster” button which allows it to go really fast on hard floors. I’m not sure who was more enthusiastic about these details, our little one or my husband and I!

Click here for details about how to order Playmobil123 in the UK: http://www.playmobil123.co.uk/. I’m hoping to buy some more playmobile123 at my next pay day so I’ll let you know whether the site is any good.

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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Play Dough Recipes

Stretchy Dough 

  • 3lb self-raising flour
  • approx. 1 and a quarter pints of water

Mix together until dough is formed. Knead well.

Makes an elastic dough that the children will enjoy pulling and stretching.

Will not keep for any length of time though.

http://childmindinghelp.co.uk/freeresources/PSE/stretchydough.html

Giltter Play Dough

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • Food coloring gel
  • Glitter

Mix all ingredients with the exception of the glitter in a sauce pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture forms a ball (sounds cryptic, but you will know when it happens). Remove from heat, but dough ball in a large bowl. Add the glitter and knead until smooth and uniform. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

http://nanasfablife.blogspot.com/2011/07/lily-and-chloes-fabulous-life-glitter.html

Microwave Play Dough

Don’t want to cook your playdough on the stove? Use a microwave!

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 teaspoon of cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • Food coloring

Mix all of the ingredients, except for the food color. Microwave it for about one minute and stir. Cook for about 30 more seconds. Keep repeating until the playdough is dough-ish. Knead the playdough and place the food coloring in. Its that simple!

http://www.playdoughrecipe.com/microwave-playdough-recipe/

Cooked Play Dough

  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 Tbsp. of cooking oil
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 cups of coloured water
  • 1 cup of salt

Place all of the ingredients in a medium size or large pan. Cook slowly on medium-high and stir it until the playdough thickens. Keeps best in the fridge in plastic containers.
Takes less than 10 minutes.

http://www.playdoughrecipe.com/cooked-playdough-recipe/

Modelling Dough

There are many types of modelling dough that you can buy, but it is just as easy (and much cheaper) to make your  own.  Use food colourings for different colours and you can make it seasonal by adding glitter near Christmas (or to make fairy dough), smooth pebbles in summer etc just use your imagination!

Essential Oils
Used sparingly these make great additions to modelling dough  – a few drops of lavender can have a calming effect (and is antibacterial) and eucalyptus has a great menthol smell which is great for winter (not suitable for use around asthma sufferers).

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup cream of tartar

Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan. Cook and stir over low/medium heat until play dough is completely formed and no longer sticky. Allow to cool slightly before storing in an air tight container or bag.  Keep in the fridge.

Uncooked modelling dough

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • food coloring
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour

Put everything except the flour and cornflour into a bowl.  Gradually add these until you have the consistency of bread dough.  Store in an air tight container or bag in the fridge.

Salt dough

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup flour plus additional flour

Mix all ingredient together in a saucepan over a low heat.  Remove when rubbery.  Once cooled knead with flour to make it workable.  This is a great dough for making Christmas decorations and models out of.  Once made pop them on grease proof paper or a tray on a radiator (or in airing cupboard or bottom shelf of a rayburn) so that they dry very slowly. Once dryed they can be painted.

Fairy dough – just add glitter (great when you are getting festive too)

http://www.netmums.com/activities/arts-and-crafts/modelling-dough

Lily Pad’s Play Dough

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 4 tsp cream tartar
  • Food colouring
  • To make smelly play dough, simply add an
  • essence (vanilla or peppermint).

Mix together ingredients in a sauce pan
Heat for a few minutes on the hob, stirringcontinuously
Remove from heat when the consistency is a doughy texture
Leave to cool before use

http://www3.hants.gov.uk/lily_pads_-_play_dough_download.pdf

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Musical Shakers

Babies – Treasure Baskets

Musical Shakers

Miss NHM and I made a shaker at a baby PEEP class that we visited out in Kingsclere when Miss NHM was 7 months old.

We still have her shaker now, at 3 1/2 years old and she still plays with it!

What you will need

  • ·      1 plastic cup
  • ·      Dried rice or lentils
  • ·      Paper
  • ·      Sellotape
  • ·      Pens, stickers or paints to decorate

Steps to making a shaker

  • ·      Fill your chosen container with lentils or rice
  • ·      Cover the top of the cup with paper and secure with sellotape
  • ·      Decorate the shaker using a range  of pens and paints or other  decorative material

Tips for staying safe …

  • ·      Young children must be supervised at all times.
  • ·       Do not allow your child to ingest the rice or lentils (risk of choking)
  • ·       Do not use ceramic cups

Working together

  • ·      Enhance your child’s communication by asking what they are doing with each stage
  • ·      Ask your child about the colours and shapes they are using to decorate their shaker.
  • ·      Introduce your child to basic beats and rhythms. You might like to use familiar words from nursery rhymes to start with.
  • ·      Use an empty kitchen roll as an alternative to a plastic cup

A guide to learning and development outcomes for your child

By doing this activity with me you will help me to develop my fine motor skills and grasping movements.  This activity will also help to develop my hand eye coordination.  This is called my physical development.

When you make a shaker with me you will help me to learn about sounds, beats and rhythms, colours and shapes.  You will also be helping me with my conversation skills.  This is called my intellectual development.

We can talk about colours and sounds together.  You will be helping me with my range of vocabulary and speech and language development.  Help me to learn words such as shake, rattle, swish, count.

Making a shaker will give me lots of enjoyment and a sense of achievement.

When you praise and encourage me, you will help to raise my self-esteem and build my confidence.  This is good for my emotional development.

By enjoying this activity with siblings, I will learn how to learn to share and take turns which will help me with my social development.

The sound that the shaker makes will help by helping me to understand different sounds.  Colours will stimulate my vision and the essences will introduce me to a range of new scents which will help my sensory development.

All those Questions you’ve been dying to ask your Toddler…

1. What is something Mummy always says to you?

2. What makes Mummy happy?

3. What makes Mummy sad?

4. How does your mummy make you laugh?

5. What did your mummy like to do when she was little?

6. How old is your mummy?

7. How tall is your mummy?

8. What is her favorite thing to watch on TV?

9. What does your mummy do when you’re not there?

10. What is your mummy really good at?

11. What is your mummy not very good at?

12. What does your mummy do for her job?

13. What is your mummy’s favourite food?

14. What makes you proud of your mummy?

15. If your mummy were a cartoon character, who would she be?

16. What do you and your mummy do together?

17. How are you and your mummy the same?

18. How are you and your mummy different?

19. How do you know your mummy loves you?

20. What does your mummy like most about your daddy?

21. Where is your mummy’s favourite place to go?

22. What is one thing you wish you could change about your mummy?

23. What would your mummy do with a million pounds?

24. What do you wish you could go and do with your mummy?

25. What is one thing you hope never changes about your mummy?