The Summer Holidays in Basingstoke with an 8 year old

I was having a cuppa with a friend this morning and we were talking about what to do in the summer holidays and we realised that I know LOADS of things, so thought I would share ;-).

Each week of the holidays I also put together a printed schedule for each week and pin it to a wall, so Miss NHM can see what’s happening for the rest of the week. It shows what we are doing each morning, lunchtime, afternoon and evening.  I find that it stops the “what are we doing today” questions that I used to get all through the summer holidays!! :-D.

  1. Book at least one pyjama day during the summer holidays! If only to “celebrate” not having to do the school run!!!

2. Our local Hobbycraft have FREE craft sessions on a Saturday for an hour in the morning.

3. Go paddling in a local stream 

4. Take a picnic and explore near to where you live. There is something awesome about eating outside. We are huge fans of breakfast picnics for something a little bit different!

5. If the weather is good, go to a local splash park like Eastrop Park or Chineham Splash Park 

6. Find out all of your local parks and go for a skate or bike ride to each one. This post is really good for finding good play parks and parks local to you: Local Parks and open spaces

7. Go Geo-cashing in your local woods. It’s really easy to do. Just download the app to your phone and off you go. It’s a great way to get children outside. Or Pokemon or Harry Potter hunting if that’s your thing ;-).

8. Book up a FREE session at our local Apple store in Festival Place. There at least two sessions every day and more in the summer holidays and they are a great way to occupy your child/children for an hour or two. You need to book in advance though and you have to stay with your child.

9. Boring as it is, school shoes are a necessity if you’re child is in school. I highly recommend Diane at Shoes2Adore on the way to Tadley. But book soon because she gets VERY booked up in the summer holidays.

10. If you’re child can’t ride their bike yet, make a plan to teacher them over the summer.

11. Go swimming at once of our local swimming pools. Lots of them do special deals and/or events over the summer holidays so check out their websites for more information. QMC Swimming pool does really reasonably priced swimming sessions during the summer holidays.

12. Sign up to the Reading Challenge that our local Libraries run every summer. You can sign children up from ages 4+ I think and they only need to read 6 books over the 6 weeks. If they complete the challenge and are at school they get a medal and a certificate that’s presented to them in school. Miss NHM is very proud of her previous reading challenge certificates and medals and it’s been a great way to get her to read more. Popping into the library for an hour a week during the school holidays is also a great time killer!!

13. Take the children to a local museum, especially the Willis Museum as it’s FREE!!

14. Kids cinema in the mornings during the summer holidays at around 10am. Both Vue and Odeon do reduce tickets for “kids Club” and I think it’s less than £2 per ticket.

15. Cash in your Tesco’s clubcard points or your nectar points to do something fun with your children.

16. Find somewhere to visit where the entrance ticket becomes an annual pass. If you buy a ticket to Milestones Museum, The Living Rainforest or the Army Flying Museum the ticket lasts for a year so you can re-use during other holiday times or after school.

17. Check out the “NHM Reviews” page for ideas of where to go and where to visit. Lots of places reviewed on NHM are FREE, although you may have to pay for parking.

18. Check out the Season Tickets to local attractions in North Hampshire – updated 2017 post which lists out local season tickets.

19. Miss NHM loves listening to audio books, so I splash out for the summer holidays and treat her to a new audio book. I buy mine from “The Book People” as they are very reasonably priced and Miss NHM has easy control over which cd’s she listens too.

20. Try “Bored Jar’s” when you are at your wits end!! These posts are tailored to toddlers but you can easily update them for older children.

21. Visit Hampshire Farmers Market. The nearest one to Basingstoke is in Winchester on a Sunday morning.

22. Check out the Nature Detectives website for some ideas of activities you can do outside.

23. Take a walk to Odiham Castle, along the Basingstoke Canal.

24. If it’s windy, fly a kite at Crabtree.

25. Visit a Pick Your Own farm.

26. Go for a day trip to the beach. There is also a great post by NHM Readers of their Favourite local beaches.

At Home

27. Blackberries are now ready in August so make sure you go blackberry picking at some point.

28. I’m planning on trying to drop some food off at our local food bank with Miss NHM.

29. Play boardgames together or try to create your own boardgame.

30. Put the tent up in the garden and sleep in it over night. If you don’t have a tent see if you can borrow a small one from friends and family.

31. This year I’m going to create a “Summer Holiday box” which will be very similar to the “Christmas Eve Box” that I put together every Christmas. Each Monday I plan to fill it with different things, like an audiobook that Miss NHM hasn’t listened too in a while, some party bag fillers that I’ve kept back, sticker books that Miss NHM hasn’t got round to using, some books she hasn’t read yet that have been in her bookcase for AGES, and little things like that which can keep her occupied for a while.

32. Clean a neighbours car in exchange for some money that will go towards charity.

33. Ask your child if there is anything in their bedroom that they no longer need or want as the summer holidays is a great chance to declutter.

34. Something we are going to do this summer is clean out the kitchen cupboards together!!

35. Have a look at Baker Ross for some cheap craft activities you can do together or use something from the recyling bin as a craft project.

36. Create a summer scrapbook where your child or children can write in what they have done over the summer holidays. It will be a great memory for when they are older.

37. Bake some fairy cakes or buy a baking kit such as the ones you can get from local company BakedIn.

38. Ensure you schedule in some “boring” days where you have nothing planned, so your children can occupy themselves for a while. It’s supposed to help with their resilience, although it may drive you batty listening to the “I’m bored” whining <facepalm>!

New Group Starting in June: Baby and Me, Westside Community Centre

Sessions will involve light sensory based activities using music and movement to help you get to know your new baby. Through informal social activities you will have the opportunity to understand your baby’s development and world around them.

Sessions focus on emotional and physical health,
practical support and improving attachment.

This course is perfect for any new parents who want to
improve their confidence and increase their social network.

Any donations towards the cost of this course would be welcomed.

**Please note all sessions need to be attended. **

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Guest Post: Jiggy Wrigglers – Basingstoke, Fleet, Hook and surrounding areas

My name is Kelly and I run Jiggy Wrigglers in Basingstoke, Fleet, Hook and surround areas.  I first started this business as I wanted something that I could flexibility run around my twins and also I wanted to enjoy my job.  I certainly do both every day!

Jiggy Wrigglers is a musical movement and sensory class that uses unique songs to entertain your children along side props, bubbles, parachutes, puppets and more!  The classes are either Jiggy Mixed (5 months to 5 year olds), Jiggy Tots (0-2 years old) or Jiggy Babies (0-12 months old).  We are also proud to be the leaders of intergenerational sessions through our Jiggy Vintage sessions (sessions run in care homes) which we started at the beginning of last year and have had overwhelming feedback on how it has positively impacted care home residents life’s and the little ones that come who don’t have grandparents of their own.

You may not have realised the benefits when you come to our sessions as you are having so much fun but these include:
– Physical fitness for both you and your little one(s)
– encourages creativity
– promotes team work (parachute games)
– may help encourage better naps/sleeping
– fostering friendships
– helps with social skills amongst peers
– helps parents get out of the house and socialise
– aids creativity
– promotes patience
– helps children learn how to share (although we have props for everyone!)
– helps with language development as the children sing along to songs

We welcome all at our classes and have always charged per family, not per child, so why not give us a try? Our sessions start from £4 per family and they are PAYG so you don’t have to worry about your child being unwell and losing your termly payment.

Although we have a different playlist each week, I also include monthly themed session at no extra charge.

Most of our class locations either have a play area, are in a country park or have a playground near by so you can make a morning of activities.

Our current timetable of classes is below:

Tuesdays:

Hook Home and Garden Centre
10.20am – Jiggy Mixed
11.00am – Jiggy Babies

Wednesdays

Wellington Country Park (currently twice a month but will soon be moving to weekly)

10.00am – Jiggy Mixed
10.50am – Jiggy Babies

Mothercare, Hatch Warren (once a month)
10.30am – Jiggy Tots

Thursdays

We are soon to have weekly central Basingstoke location so please keep your keep an eye on our Facebook page and website!

Fridays

Fleet (once a month)
9.45am – Jiggy Mixed
11.00am – Jiggy Babies

Beech Tree Care Home (once a month)
10.00am – Jiggy Mixed

We also cater for parties and nursery session so please do get in touch if you would like to discuss our packages.

www.jiggywrigglers.com

kelly@jiggywrigglers.com

www.facebook.com/jiggybasingstoke

www.facebook.com/jwfleetbasingstoke

www.instagram.com/jiggywrigglersbasingstokefleet

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Friends of Old Basing Schools Summer Fair, Sunday 7th July 12-3pm

Come and support your local schools, this year we have an African drummer, drumming work shops, arena performances, fun inflatables, an assault course, water play, archery, face painting, a variety of games and stalls for everyone. BBQ, Beer, Pimms, hot & cold drinks, cakes & ice-cream.

Entrance £1.50 per adult, accompanied children free.

At St. Mary’s Junior School Belle Vue Road, Old Basing.

https://www.facebook.com/events/415552792539080/

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Half-term fun at Anvil Arts Basingstoke

Anvil Arts has some great shows during half-term.  The stage adaptation of Zog, based on the book by Julia Donaldson, will be at The Haymarket on Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 May.

Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks

Large in size, and keen in nature, Zog is eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon’s school, where dragons learn all the things that dragons need to know.  Zog tries so very hard, perhaps too hard, and he bumps, burns and roars his way through years one, two and three. Luckily, the plucky Princess Pearl patches him up ready to face his biggest challenge yet… a duel with Gadabout the Great!

The production features an original folk score performed live by the actors and colourful puppets which come to life on stage.

Black Magic

On Friday 31 May, kids, tweens, teens and adults alike can enjoy the energetic tribute Black Magic – The Little Mix Show at The Anvil.

Following in the footsteps of the award-winning girl band Little Mix, the show includes lots of added extras including dance competitions, free giveaways and even a meet and greet with the girls after the show.

Featuring the chart topping hits including the most recent releases from the Glory Days album plus Black Magic, Power, No More Sad Songs, Wings, Shoutout to My Ex and even a few covers from their time on X Factor.

For more information, and tickets, call the Anvil Arts box office on 01256 844244, or visit anvilarts.org.uk

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Play Yoga

‘If the children are happy, then we’re happy!’ – a phrase widely used by parents! As a mum of two daughters myself, I am a total advocate of this! However, in more recent years, the importance of good mental health in children has come to the forefront of the news and media.

I have worked for over 20 years in the childcare and education sector, ranging from nurseries, to primary schools, to working closely with children with Special Educational Needs. I feel that there is no greater reward than working with children. But, as any parent will tell you, it is also one of the hardest jobs in the world. In the past few years there has been significant change in our society, causing more and more children great anxiety, and an inability to cope with their emotions so well. Research has shown that if the concept of wellbeing can be introduced at an early age, it will provide the child with the strategies to cope with life at a later age.

Play Yoga is a preschool class (2 ½ to 5 years old), dedicated to promoting healthy children, with happy minds. All classes are designed as an introduction to Yoga and Wellbeing. The sessions are all devised by myself, using techniques and experience from my childcare background.

All sessions use props, games and songs to help us to learn such things as breathing techniques, calm down strategies, and mindfulness activities that help us to calm ourselves in moments of high energy and anxiety. Yoga moves are introduced to the group, with the help of Buddy Bear. This is not always a ‘calm’ time, but a great introduction to the concept of Yoga for future use. Creative time plays a huge part in our sessions too. If children are allowed to be creative and express themselves now, they will be more confident at expressing themselves in years to come.

Each session ends with a time for ‘reflection’, which encourages children to talk about what they have enjoyed about the session, thus increasing their confidence and giving them security that they are being listened to and valued by others.

Some weeks are themed to suit the time of the year or even the interests of the children. One of our group last term was keen to show off some dinosaur yoga moves that he had created at home! Our Mother’s Day session included baking a pretend cake for our Mummies, and using our breathing techniques ‘to blow out the candles’. We practised some partner poses with our grown-ups, followed up by decorating some biscuits for our Mummies!

Finally, for our mindfulness activity, we cuddled up with our grown-ups under a blanket to play a listening game. We listened to short and long sounds, noticing when the sound actually finished, encouraging the children to take note of the sounds around us in everyday life.

Play Yoga is preparing to roll out our new Monday sessions from 3rd June to 22nd July 2019. We will be at Viables Community Centre, Basingstoke, starting at 10am. I am a small, independent, local business which started operating in February 2019, and I am keen to meet lots of children and their parents.

If you are interested in joining us, a trial session is £4.50. If you wish to continue then your space can be booked for the remainder of the half term at a rate of £6 per session.

Please take a look at my Facebook page – http://Facebook.com/AlisonPlay.Yoga or feel free to email me with any queries at Play.Yoga@yahoo.com. (You can message me also directly through Facebook.)

Thank you for taking the time out to read my post.

Alison

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Coloured Whispers

Hi, I am Iulia, mother of two and owner of Coloured Whispers – a re-invention of the typical flower arrangement business, i.e. unusual flower arrangements and table centrepieces that last up to 10 years.

What sets these arrangements apart from the live and artificial ones is not only the unique melange of natural elements, but also their longevity; lack of maintenance required; the fact that they are dust-free and they absorb all the moisture in the room. We use only natural, organic elements throughout the whole process – including packaging. Every piece that we create is a unique hybrid – made up of real, preserved flowers along with Iceland reindeer moss.

We are definitely not the typical high-street florists but more of a shabby chic, boutique type of business. We cater to anyone who wants to offer a special, long-lasting gift; pubs; restaurants; coffee shops; wedding suppliers and offices.

https://www.facebook.com/colouredwhispers/

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25 Live – The Anvil Celebrates its 25th Birthday

The Anvil concert hall celebrates its 25th birthday this year.  Basingstoke’s key arts venue is renowned as one of the top five concert halls in the country and has a great reputation in Hampshire and beyond, as well as internationally.

The Anvil was built by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and opened in May 1994.  It has become one of the country’s leading venues, putting Basingstoke on the map and bringing to the town audiences from all over England.  With seating which sweeps from the stalls to the circle without a break, audiences have a great view from wherever they sit; there is an intimate feel no matter how far from the stage you are.

The Anvil is highly thought of by both audiences and performers alike.  The last survey undertaken showed a 96% audience satisfaction rating for the third year running, and people who first came to The Anvil as children in 1994 are now bringing their own children to the venue.  The Anvil is also a favourite venue for artists and those giving enthusiastic compliments range from Dara O’Briain to Sir Simon Rattle.

The Anvil is run by Anvil Arts, a not-for-profit trust.  As well as the performance programme, Anvil Arts works in the community taking musicians into mainstream and special schools, residential homes and hospitals.  Every year more than 30,000 children perform on its stages.

The Anvil will be marking this special anniversary on Friday 3 May with a spectacular birthday concert performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra.  Jonathan Mayes, the orchestra’s Concert Director, said “The Philharmonia is delighted to have a long-standing relationship with The Anvil as Orchestra in Partnership.  Since our first performance in Basingstoke in May 1994, the same month that the hall opened, we have continued to bring many of the world’s great conductors and soloists to Basingstoke.  Our players love performing in The Anvil’s outstanding acoustics and we are thrilled to be participating in the 25th anniversary celebrations. Here’s to the next 25 years!

The programme will feature Sheku Kanneh-Mason performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto, and the world premiere of Breathing Space, a new commission by highly-rated British composer Samantha Fernando.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason – credit Lars Borges
Samantha Fernando

Speaking about the piece, Samantha said “The Anvil was the place I saw some of my first orchestral concerts as a child so it is particularly meaningful to be writing a piece for a performance there“.

Over the last 25 years, The Anvil has helped to transform the image of Basingstoke.  With the continued support of its audiences, funders and artistic partners, the next 25 years look set to be even more exciting and successful.

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