The Salt Lounge

The Salt Lounge is Basingstoke’s first salt therapy space. We deliver treatments for adults and children that help to alleviate breathing difficulties in conditions from common cold to asthma as well as soothing skin irritations such as eczema. 100% natural. As winter is approaching cold and flu season is coming, salt therapy strengthens your immune system.

Website: http://thesaltlounge.co.uk/
Email: info@thesaltlounge.co.uk

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FREE baby massage taster session – Friday 14th September 2018

FREE baby massage taster session on Friday 14th September in 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 £35.

I am a qualified midwife and health visitor and have seen the benefits that baby massage can have on parent and baby.

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

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‘My Journal – Summer 2018’

Kath (Relax Kids Basingstoke) and Becky (Movin Monkeez) are very excited to tell you about ‘My Journal – Summer 2018’ – a brand new concept! A chance for children to record their summer memories. Encouraging a little fitness, some relaxation, some healthy eating. Encouraging children to think about the things they’ve enjoyed doing, the things they are grateful for and more!

‘My Summer Journal’ is a downloadable printable – around 50 pages. You can print a day at a time, a week at a time or the whole journal.

Accompanied by a Facebook group for the grown ups to share the exercise videos and relaxation ideas so that children can choose what they do. We will also be posting healthy recipes as well.

Kath and Becky are offering NorthHantsMum fans £1 discount off the £7.50 price. So if you are interested in buying the journal for £6.50 please contact Kath Routledge for details – either through Facebook Messenger or rkbasingstoke@yahoo.co.uk

AND everyone who has bought/anyone who buys a copy will be entered into a prize draw to win either a Movin Monkeez cookbook OR a Relax Kids ‘Elevator of Happiness’ CD!

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New Kids Pilates and Yoga Class

  • Kids Pilates and Yoga @ the Osborne Room, Viables Craft Centre, Basingstoke
  • Thursdays 16:30 – 17:15
  • Toddlers 3 – 7 year olds welcome – moms stay and watch or join in.
  • 4 class pass @ £18
  • Early bird special @ £12 if you book by 31 July
  • Drop in session @ £5
  • To book text “toddleryogapilates” to 07956528671
  • or mail anneke@perpetualenergy.org

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NHM Reader Comments: Homework in Infant and Junior School

Louise posted the following question on her Louise Nhm Smith profile “Good Afternoon Everyone. I’ve had a question from a NHM Reader that I’m intrigued to know the answer myself: “Has anyone advised their child’s school that their children won’t be doing homework in Infants school, and if yes, how did they go about doing this? My understanding is that homework isn’t mandatory until 8 years old…” TIA”

Thank you to all who contributed to this discussion, highlights are below and thank you to Juliet for putting this post together! 

NHM Readers comments on advising infant /junior schools their children wont be doing homework

Jaz said

“We’re clearly lucky as my school doesn’t believe in it so young. We just have to read each day- but I think that’s right! They do have a project over the summer which I think is fine. But also- if it’s making a project or something you don’t want them to be the only child that doesn’t do it and is left out…”

Mary said

“My son is y1 and his homework is a short writing exercise (often draw a picture and write a sentence); practice tricky words, read his book and number bonds. I let him chose to do it when he wants to. It takes no time at all. The teacher says it’s ok if not everything gets done. If I were you I would open the conversation with the school in an open and honest way. You might find they are open to your choice. Plus think about what aspects of homework you won’t do. Be prepared.”

Louise Nhm Smith said

“I have already had this response from a Primary school teacher who obviously wishes to remain anonymous: “I’m currently a Primary school teacher and when my little boy goes to school I will be doing the same and probably withdrawing him from KS1 SATs.

I would write a clear polite letter outlining why you do not want your child doing homework, inc references to official sources to support your view if you think the school will cause a fuss. I would also include what educational activities you will do i.e. read and discuss books, family meals, visits to places that engage your child (whatever is relevant to you). Speak to your child so they don’t rub it in to others and keep track that they are not doing it in break times.

I would however keep an eye on the projects because they can be fun for the family to share in and be aware they may miss out on rewards (merits, stickers). Good luck and I hope the school supports your plans.””

Louise Nhm Smith said

“Response from the same Primary school teacher: “After a very quick google search, there is no formal method to withdraw an able child from SATs that I can find. There is an option to simply not take them in during the week (and risk fines) or take them on an unauthorized holiday (less likely to get fines but as you will have seen in the press it is a hot topic).

From my personal perspective my boy is not due to take KS1 SATs until 2022 and a lot will change in that time. If they do not then I will have a conversation with my school about my concerns, and if not addressed, will consider not sending him in and taking the penalties/fines.

I have a lot of professional concerns about how schools are implementing the tests, especially at KS1 and the pressure that is put on very small minds, bodies and souls.

If you as a parent also have concerns your first port of call should be your child’s teacher. Understand how the school approaches the tests and discuss how your child can be supported so that they are not stressed. If this does not reassure you, I would go to the head as the ethos of a school can shape the exam experience. If you are still not happy you need to reflect on your options. The sad fact is that if you simply withdraw your child for the test week, they will still be taught as if they are sitting them and the stress that might bring. It’s a really hard thing to address and most schools have their hands tied and so (unfairly) pile the pressure on the children.

If you feel the pressure is affecting their mental health (scary at such a young age) or their love of learning/school, then I would bring that to the school’s attention asap. Always be polite and provide evidence: from language used at home (‘I hate school’, ‘I’m not doing well’, ‘I’m not good enough’), examples from work in school, sleep patterns etc. Explain that you are not happy that the year has become about a set of tests when they should be loving learning and see how the school respond.

If you have concerns you could always talk to the LEA to see what they’d expect in a year 2 class. Or consider changing school/home-schooling.

This is not in any way official, just the reflections of a mum who also teaches.””

Susan said

“My child is 5 (year 1) and has reading and maths and now spelling homework (10 words a week) and also “talking homework” but saying that the school is outstanding!!”

Emily said

“Yes. But it took my son’s paediatric consultant saying it three times before they listened…”

Louise Nhm Smith said

“A response from an assistant head at a local junior school who also wishes to remain anonymous: “Homework is not a statutory requirement in infant or junior schools in England. I am not sure it is statutory in KS3 but don’t quote me. However, parental involvement proven to be crucial in child development. There is no set definition of what parental involvement constitutes and it certainly isn’t restricted to ‘formalised homework’.

Many schools have project/topic related homework that is designed to encourage families to share in activities for those who wish to do it and many schools are more than happy to pinpoint parents to the right place to find suitable additional home learning tasks. However, this is again non-statutory.

Personally, as a teacher and a Mum, I do value reading at home (even if that comes in the simple form of a bedtime story). Spelling and multiplication tables/number facts are also areas that can make an impact.

The Sutton Trust report rated homework as having very little impact on children’s progress at school. However, parental involvement is paramount! Parents should feel confident in making a judgement about whether their child actually benefits from homework and schools will respect this if the child is generally supported by their parents in their learning.

By the way…homework is always a nightmare topic at parents evening because it generates such conflicting opinions. It’s very difficult for schools to please everyone on this one.””

Mata said

“Interesting it is not ‘statutory’ in Juniors. I wonder if that means the school does not have to set it or does it mean the child does not have to do it? My daughter’s school give them detention if it’s not done. Tried complaining but it’s hopeless.”

Karen said

“Only an education is statutory. How it is delivered is up to the parents. If you can’t find a school whose ethos you like or can negotiate with don’t forget home education is a perfectly allowable method of delivering education with no constraints on your curriculum or time.”

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NHM Readers Recommend: What to do when your child is frightened of dogs

An NHM Reader recently asked for advice regarding their son’s fear of dogs “He’s 6 and loves all other animals. Nothing has ever happened to make him scared and I don’t know how this has developed. I’m not a dog fan so tend to just ignore them, but he isn’t able to do that.

Obviously have asked him why he feels like this (he doesn’t know but I think it’s their energy and speed) and have explained again and again that most dogs are out to have fun and aren’t remotely interested in him.

We don’t know anyone who has a dog, no one we know well anyway, so aren’t able to help him by spending time with a dog in that way. So I was wondering if anyone had any helpful suggestions of what we could try?

Most mornings on the walk to school we see a dog or two so it’s affecting him pretty much daily.”

Many thanks to the NHM Community for all your offers of help, listed below in no particular order are your suggestions:

NHM Readers recommend what to do when your child is frightened of dogs

Tracy said “Maybe borrow my doggy website may be helpful. If you can find someone with a very calm/older dog that he can get to know.”

Becky said “The library in town used to run dog awareness sessions for children frightened of dogs. Might be worth contacting them to see if they have any sessions running soon. This was last year’s session at the library so ignore the date but may do something similar in the future” https://www.facebook.com/events/120949278409726/

Becki said “I think Dogs trust do something about children and dogs. I’m sure I saw it on a poster once” Is your child frightened of dogs? Dogs Trust is here to help

Lisa said “I don’t have any suggestions but feel your pain, my six year old is similar. He’s got better from being around my friend’s dog who is the most placid dog in the world but dogs he doesn’t know he just gets really overwhelmed. Hope you find a solution”

Libby said “She could try her local facebook page and ask if any dog owners might like to help.”

Emily said “I would say that when he feels panicked by a dog to try to turn his back on it and fold his arms. be a tree. the dog will probably just have a sniff and move on.

Lowri said “I had this with my son and I asked about at school who had a dog. Found a family that were happy for us to join them on dog walks and go round to their house. Lots of reassurance and seeing the other children happily playing with the dog helped. I started this after my son ran off screaming when he had to walk past a lady with a dog on a lead that was smaller than a kitten…”

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NHM Readers Recommend: How to Tell a Child a Pet has Passed Away

I recently had a question from an NHM Reader: “I have a very poorly kitty. Just waiting for the results but I think it’s likely she may need to be put down. My girls are totally attached to her, especially my eldest daughter. I was wondering if you might be able to do a question about how to tell a child a pet has passed away. And how they help with the grieving process?”

Many thanks to the NHM Community for all of your responses, listed below:

NHM Readers recommend how to tell a child a pet has passed away

Rachele said:

“The rainbow bridge is a good way to explain it. You have to be honest about it but just that when they see the brightest star it’s her watching down etc. It’s never easy.”

Marta said:

“This is very sad. I work as a psychotherapist and there are a few things we use in therapy to help with grieving process. The most powerful exercise is to allow children to write (parents can help if the child is too young) their own message”

Andy said:

“So, our daughter is three and a half. Her cat was hit by a car last month…We wrestled with the idea of allowing her to say goodbye. But decided that it was probably the best way to go.”

Wendy said:

“It’s hard because you have no idea how they will react until you have told them. My son has lost two cats, last time it happened he was four. He was OK, we just keep a few photos around and talk about our cat when my son asks. Use honest language, say dead not gone etc. We said our cat was no longer with us, someone then used that term to describe a nursery worker who had left, he thought they had died.”

Zoe said:

“When our elderly cats had to be put down my girls were small and didn’t understand. They came up with the idea that the cats had gone to live with Santa.”

Helen said:

“We said that our pets became stars”

Vicki said:

“There are some great stories about grief – Badgers Parting Gift is nice”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Yoga Classes for Parents and Children

I recently had a question from an NHM Reader: “Are there any local yoga classes that are for parents and children at the same time? I’m a single Mum and would like to do some exercise with my 6 year old at the same time, but can’t find a yoga class that does this anywhere.”

Thank you to the NHM Community for your responses, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers recommend yoga classes for parents and children

Emily said “Not yoga but Vicky runs MummaBfit which is excellent exercise for mums with babies!”

  • Vicky said “Children of all ages welcome”
  • Jaz said “Another recommendation for mummabFit from over here”
  • Aideen said “Mumma b fit is great.”

Aideen said “Also Becky, Movin Monkeez, does a few great classes for this sort of age”

Amor said “I recommend Young Yogis

  • Rachel  said “I second this recommendation”
  • Rebecca said “Definitely Young Yogis at Chineham Village Hall”
  • Rachel B said “Young yogis at Chineham village hall. Best instructor with brilliant classes

Alison said “The Little Yoga Company just relocated to Laverstoke nr Overton

  • Katie said “The Little Yoga Company is back in Laverstoke after a few years in Copenhagen”

Sarah said “I run Family Pedal 12.10-12.40 every Saturday and Family Bootcamp 11.10-12 every Sunday, at Basingstoke Sports Centre

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NHM Readers Recommend – Where to go to Make Mummy Friends

An NHM Reader recently asked: “Hi Louise would it be possible to have a post please? I’ve only lived in Basingstoke just over a Year now and left all my friends/family behind, just wondered if anyone knew anywhere I could go to make mummy friends as I’m starting to feel really lonely and isolated many thanks in advance”. There was an amazing response from the NHM Community, including many offers to meet up! Thank you so much everyone! Suggestions have been listed below in no particular order:

NHM readers recommend – where to go to make mummy friends

Joanna says “BusyBees Hook is a very welcoming toddler group it’s at Elizabeth Hall on a Friday morning at 9.45am”

Cathy says “Brookvale Toddler Group is near the town centre – baby chicks there today”

Louise NHM says “I have a “secret pregnancy” group? It’s a great way to meet other local mums who are also pregnant. I think there are about 50 Mums in the group at the mo… If anyone would like to be added to the groups that I have set up for Mum’s with little ones who would like to make some new friends, please just let me know.”

Wendy says “Gym classes are a pretty good place. There’s a wide range of classes available in Basingstoke. Between them Helena (4fitsake), Kelly (Boogie Bounce Xtreme), Vicky (MummaBfit) and Marie FitMama Behenna cover every type of class and every time slot possible. I think Vicky started her business because of the mum friends she made at gym classes. Also Louise has a NHM night out.”

Erica says “There are lots of toddler groups around and those would be a great place to start but it can be intimidating and difficult as someone who doesn’t know anyone else in these situations. I would maybe find one of those that is close to you and then send out a message to the regulars in that toddler group to say hi this is me… please come and say hi if I’m there next time!”

Cerys says “Coffee & Chat at Brookvale on Fridays (but not this Friday as it’s a bank holiday)”

Lucy says “How old are the children/child? Def look at groups near where living as then hopefully will make friends with children going to the same school”

Laura says “Look for a local nct coffee morning group. Definitely less intimidating than a toddler group and more about mummy chats than most classes are. They’re listed on the nct website.”

Stacey says “Apps like Mush Mums or Mummy Social are a good idea. You can send other mums messages who have kids the same age or have same interests as you. A great idea would be to organise a coffee meet up on there and get chatting!”

Emma says “I felt exactly like this when I had my first son – I moved here from Bournemouth and when I was working it wasn’t so hard as I socialised with work colleagues, but after having baby I needed to meet people in the same situation which was really hard. I found net mums ‘meet a mum’ board good (although it’s a bit like speed dating for mums!) and Louise runs her prosecco meet ups where everyone is encouraged to socialise. Defo look at local baby groups as you’ll probably end up meeting people who live nice and close to you. I totally sympathise with how you feel and you’ve done the right thing to ask for help as everyone needs companionship, loneliness sucks”

Sarah says “Find on Facebook – Basingstoke Mama Tribe. We’re a new group of first time mum’s and mum’s of toddlers but anyone welcome. It’s a casual affair and most of us moved to Basingtoke within the last few years. Hope to see you soon.”

Helen says “Ready Steady Mums is a free walking group mums who meet and have a social walk and chat, they have a Facebook group. Basingstoke Mums is another group where the mums chat and meet up for coffee.”

Sasha says “I know how it feels and i found just joining lots of groups and taking the plunge to go along sorted it in the end”

Lindsey says “Try bouncing beans on Sarum Hill in a Friday. So very friendly and lovely group for pre schoolers”

Rebecca says “If anyone wants to pop into our B Group in Odiham for bumps and babies under one feel free! Find us on Facebook. We set it up so mums could meet each other and support each other”

Becky says “Try the app hoop for ideas, or baby/toddler signing tiny talk classes are fun!”

Kelly says “Www.facebook.com/jiggybasingstoke This is a lovely musical movement class in Basingstoke, Hook and Fleet. Good opportunity to meet new mums. If anyone wants to know about local meet ups, this page is good www.facebook.com/mummymeetupbasingstokeManage

Allison says “There are two parent and toddler groups held at St Mary’s Church Eastrop – Tuesday and Thursday mornings (check website for details). Also there’s a Dad’s and toddler group once a month on a Saturday (bacon butties are involved!).”

Rachael says “Bumps into mums at Sherfield Park on a Friday morning 10am till 12pm, friendly group with little a ones from 0 up to school age and runs through holidays aswell. 0-5 toddler group at Sherfield Park as well on a Tuesday morning 10-12pm very friendly and lots of age groups and people from different back grounds. And mummy social”

Erin says “There is an app called Mush”

Naomi says “ Melrose Hall popley little people on a Tuesday 10 till 11.30. And Melrose Friday Tots 10 till 11.30 (with a stay for Lunch option aswell)”

Jenny says “I organise a weekly Wednesday meet up through ‘Last Minute Mums’ on Facebook. Anyone can be added. There won’t be one now until after Easter though. We are a small group so would be great to have some more mummies who can join us. We usually go to a playgroup or soft play”

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NHM Reader Recommendations: Places to go with an 8 month old and no transport

An NHM Reader asked “I was wondering if you could help me out. I live in Basingstoke and have an 8-month-old son. I would love for us to be able to go out for the day somewhere, but I’m not sure where is good for babies. I don’t drive either, so it would have to be accessible by public transport or walking distance. I do have a railcard though. Do you have any ideas?”

Thank you to the NHM Readers for the below replies. Thank you also to Juliet for putting this post together! 

NHM Reader Recommendations: Places to go with an 8 month old and no transport

Lottie says “There’s a bus to Marwell Zoo which I think you can pick up in Winchester so you could get the train there”

Hannah says “Beale Park is a short train ride away. Also Millers Ark on the way to Hook…. has a bus stop not far from its entrance.”

Helen says “I second the Beale Park suggestion. As well as animals and the train they have a big sand pit and paddling pool. Go during the term time and it’ll be quiet.”

Vicky says “I downloaded this app it’s really good tells you what’s going on groups etc in your area for the age group you are looking for” https://hoop.co.uk

Wendy says “A walk by the Thames at Reading (there’s a park by Reading bridge and lots of swans). The New Forest has tourist buses in the summer. Paultons Park has a bus from Southampton station. The number 11 bus stops outside Manydown. Bus to Shakespeare Road (Popley East) for the Splash Park.

Jason says “The New Forest also has a train station”

Cathy says “Lots of free events coming up around town http://www.basingstokefestival.co.uk/…/cate…/free-events

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