NHM Readers: Places in the area to see bluebells

In April 2018 I asked the Friends of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook “It’s “bluebell season” now and I’m putting together a post for places in the area to see bluebells. What are your recommendations? (You can find directions to Micheldever bluebell woods on NorthHantsMum).”

Thank you for your responses, which are listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers recommend places in the area to see bluebells

Catherine said “Beech Village Bluebell Wood

Helen said “The woods next to The Vyne have lots of beautiful bluebells”

Claire said “The Vyne

Lisa said “Some out in Bulls Bushes, Oakley. Was there yesterday”

Emma said “The Bramley Frith is stunning.”

Sarah said “Bramley woods”

Stephanie said “Micheldever forest is stunning for them”

Lisa said “Michaeldever Woods”

Hayley said “Micheldever”

Alistair said “Micheldever Woods!!

Shirley said “Manydown woods

Liane said “Bowdown woods near Greenham Common is spectacular!”

Alison said “If you don’t mind going further afield then Cliveden (National Trust) has a bluebell trail. We went weekend before last.”

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Review 2019: Thula Mama, Relax and sing whilst enjoying the soothing therapy of salt!

Review 2019: Thula Mama

Thula Mama is a unique and relaxing activity where mums with babies can enjoy singing together in a group whilst cuddling their babies and generally having a lovely time.  There are groups all over the country, but Basingstoke’s offering stands out from the rest in its venue – The Salt Lounge is Basingstoke’s first salt therapy space and is conveniently located close to Festival Place just off Wote street.  It offers treatments that can help alleviate breathing difficulties such as asthma as well as soothing skin conditions such as eczema.

At my first session it was a small enough group to not feel overwhelmed.  Rebecca, who organises it, was super friendly and we were offered tea and biscuits in lovely reusable mugs with lids (to prevent accidents from little grabbing hands!).  We relaxed in the waiting area and chatted for a while, before heading into the therapy room for our singing session.

The therapy room is a soothing white cave of tranquility.  There are comfortable reclining chairs with low arms and footstools, perfect for feeding baby.  You can choose to go barefoot, or with protection over your shoes, and the salt on the floor feels lovely between your toes.  There are mats and toys laid out on the floor for the babies to play, and the lighting is slightly dimmed for relaxation.

The songs at Thula Mama are simple, easy to learn traditional songs from around the world.  The words are written on a flip chart and the tunes can be picked up after hearing the song once.  We sang each through several times, adding in harmonies as we went, and I felt a real sense of achievement from learning some lovely-sounding music and enjoying singing it in less than 5 minutes!  There are no auditions, and no worrying about having any previous experience of singing – it’s all about joining in and having fun with other mums!

Facilities-wise the venue has everything you need – there are lockers for you to leave valuables if you wish, prams can be left in the waiting area where there is always a member of staff present, and the disabled toilet has a changing table too.  There are a couple of steps into the building, but there is always someone to help get prams in if needed.

I left my first session feeling both physically and emotionally refreshed.  My little one and I both had colds at the time, and I’m sure the salt therapy helped us feel better, and it was such a nice change to do something calming and relaxing with babies (although we are all for the sensory play and bright colours and loud noises of other baby groups too!).  I have since been back every week for the past couple of months and treat it as my weekly retreat!

I give Thula Mama 5 out of 5!  At £10 per week it’s really reasonable, especially considering you get a salt therapy session for free!  The first session is free for you to come along and try, so what are you waiting for?  Get in touch on the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/ThulaMamaBasingstoke

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Drama Tots

Is your little one due to start school in September? That time beforehand is one that you want to savour, making special memories along the way. The perfect chance to create those memories awaits you at Drama Tots.

Classes are designed for 18 months-3yr olds Rising Stars and 3-5yr olds Bright Stars. Younger siblings are always welcome as well.

At Drama Tots our programme harnesses imaginations, we use repetition to encourage listening skills and allow expression and confidence to grow. Our classes are nurturing and offer the chance to build friendships along the way. 

The summer term of Drama Tots commences from Thursday the 25th April and runs until July with a half term break in May. A 3wk trial package costs £12 and allows time to have a good overview of the programme. 

We find that children pick up the actions to the songs really quickly and enjoy the weekly familiarity of the class structure. 

Every week we go on a new adventure and explore these with a variety of traditional nursery rhymes, original music, instruments, props and puppets. 

The programme is designed with the EYFS learning goals in mind so there is an educational thought process behind everything we do, of course delivered in a fun and interactive way. 

My name is Kate and I run the Basingstoke branch of Drama Tots. My background was in professional theatre, graduating with an honours degree in musical theatre from GSA. 

I subsequently worked in children’s theatre as well as walk about character work at various locations around the U.K. both on and off stilts!

I have taught music and drama classes to preschoolers in London before having my own children. Seeing their imaginations in use every day has been amazing and I’m passionate that drama and imaginary play has a huge benefit for children of all ages and is a powerful way of learning to express yourself. 

Our current timetable of classes is as follows:

Monday’s 

St Mary’s parish room Old Basing

⭐️Rising Stars 

9.40-10.20 18mnth-3yr olds

⭐️Bright Stars

10.30-11.15 3- school age

Thursday’s 

Lychpit village hall 

⭐️Rising Stars 

9.40-10.20 18mnths-3yr olds

⭐️Bright Stars

10.30-11.15 3-school age

The Drama Tots programme is also designed to be delivered in a nursery or preschool setting, the benefits of having an enrichment activity are extensive.

I have received some excellent feedback regarding the sessions and how well engaged the children were. The programme works alongside the EYFS learning goals and can be used for many observations. 

To find out more and to book a trial please see our website- www.dramatots.co.uk 

Find me on 

Facebook- Drama Tots Basingstoke 

Instagram @dramatotsbasingstoke 

Or email me- kate@dramatots.co.uk 

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Relax with Kath – Relaxation Classes for Adults

As well as Relax Kids classes for children I also run relaxation classes for adults! I’m embarking on my Yoga Teacher Training journey and am very excited to be offering the classes below to my timetable.  I advertised my first Monday evening class and it filled within 12 hours which was fabulous but also made me realise that we need things like this in our lives!! I wanted to provide something that offers a bit of everything relaxation-wise (intro to mindful moments, beginners yoga and finishing off with some relaxation) so that people can come along and enjoy some time for themselves.

****NEW TUESDAY DAYTIME CLASS****
Starting Tuesday 23 April
9.45am-10.45am in Popley20 mins of MINDFULNESS techniques
20 mins of beginners YOGA
20 mins of RELAXATION
£30 for 5 week courseBookings can be made at: http://bit.ly/rwktues
****NEW MONDAY EVENING CLASS****
Starting Monday 10 June or Monday 8 July
8-9pm in Popley20 mins of MINDFULNESS techniques
20 mins of beginners YOGA
20 mins of aRELAXATION
£24 for 4 week courseBookings can be made at:

http://bit.ly/rwk10june  for 10 June course

http://bit.ly/rwk8july for 8 July course

Places are limited on the courses and I’m hopeful that the Tuesday morning course will continue during term time after my first course in April.

AND

If classes aren’t what you want, but you still fancy some ‘me’ time, then please check out my Relax with Kath Facebook page as I’m also a qualified massage therapist, offering treatments such as relaxation massage, hot stones massage, thai foot massage, beauty facials (deluxe, hot stones, classic and express) and not so relaxing waxing from my home treatment room in Oakridge.  I’ll soon be offering eyelash lift and tint as well! Check out https://www.facebook.com/relaxwithkath for more info.  I’m offering any North Hants Mum readers £5 off their first treatment with me! Just quote NHM to get £5 off any full price treatment.

Contact Kath Routledge rkbasingstoke@yahoo.co.uk or 07989 476533

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Action for Happiness – Exploring What Matters Course, 2nd May at Viables

March 20th was the International Day of Happiness. Sounds a bit trite? Well, the national mental health and wellbeing charity, Action for Happiness, is doing its bit to help people find happiness, break isolation and build social cohesion – despite life’s difficulties. Take a look at the BBC’s coverage of AfH on the day.

Locally, AfH will be running a new course called Exploring What Matters to help people discover how to live a happier and kinder life. Evaluation surveys from over 1,000 previous course attendees have showed significant improvements in both the personal wellbeing (+20% Life Satisfaction; +13% Mental Wellbeing) and also in the pro-social behaviour (+9% Compassion; +16% Trust) of the course participants, and we could all use a bit of that.

Jasmine Hodge-Lake came to the course having suffered for over a decade with chronic pain which left her unable to work. She describes how it helped her:

“I wouldn’t be where I am now without Action for Happiness and that course. I found there were things I could do that would make a big difference and started to feel hopeful about the future. I still have bad days and life certainly isn’t perfect. But it has really helped me so much. Now I’m trying to be the change that I want to see.”

The course is based on groups of up to 24 people exploring “big questions” together each week. The questions/themes for the 8 sessions are as follows:

  1. What really matters in life?
  2. What actually makes us happy?
  3. Can we find peace of mind?
  4. How should we treat others?
  5. What makes for great relationships?
  6. Can we be happier at work?
  7. Can we build happier communities?
  8. How can we create a happier world?

Each weekly session follows the same structured format, which includes:

  • Tuning In. Starting each session with short mindfulness and gratitude exercises to create a calm and positive atmosphere and to encourage friendly connections.
  • Expert View. Watching a short video relating to the theme, including talks by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Richard Layard, Karen Armstrong, Ed Diener and Brene Brown.
  • Personal View. Reflecting on personal experiences relating to that week’s theme.
  • Did You Know? Learning interesting new ideas based on the latest research.
  • Group Discussion. Having an in-depth discussion in small groups of 3-4 people.
  • Action. Committing to a personal action to take based on what has been discussed.

Participants are asked to make a donation of £90 to attend. However, there is a genuine pay-what-you-can offer if that is too much – no questions, no embarrassment so that the course remains open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. On the other hand, Participants who are able to donate more help to ensure the course is available for those who have less.

The course will take place at The Viables Community Centre every Thursday for 8 weeks, starting on 2nd May. Please get your tickets now from Eventbrite.

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Guest Post: Muddy Fingers

Hi, I’m Lauren. I set up Muddy Fingers last September, after a long career in global fashion buying. As a mother of two boys, I’ve found that gardening, and creating outdoor spaces we can share, has been a wonderfully connecting experience. Playing with colour, textures, form and design, I realised that everything I’d loved about fashion was present in my own garden – my passion for horticulture grew and grew. Encouraged by my fellow mum-friends, I developed our small back garden and allotment pastime into classes for every child to enjoy.

Whether you’re planting seeds in pots on windowsills or in vast community spaces and allotments – the enjoyable benefits of gardening are well documented. Muddy Fingers teaches the joy of gardening and nature through children’s education and curiosity.

With the UK’s children spending an average of 4 hours a day on screens, I believe that teaching them about the beauty and importance of the outdoors is more essential than ever. I encourage the next generation that by growing food and flowers, they are engaging and re-connecting with the natural world at a pace that provides a welcome break.

Operating across Basingstoke and the surrounding areas, I run hands-on gardening classes with pre-schoolers and primary school aged children.

During our classes, I teach children about:

  • Nutrition, cooking and where their food comes from.
  • Looking after the environment, from recycling to protecting wildlife.
  • Wellbeing and how nurturing plants are good for both physical and mental health.
  • Teamwork and self confidence in a cooperative setting.

My fun and practical activities give the opportunity to incorporate numeric skills, problem solving and basic science. The children are also given a sense of responsibility, looking after their own seedlings or, for example, taking their seed potatoes home to chit. I incorporate literacy skills by bringing relevant books and stories into classes. When learning about and growing potatoes, we read Supertato and create our own potato superheroes!

It is a very exciting time for Muddy Fingers. It has recently been shortlisted for Best Outdoor Activity for the Hoops Awards and Most Loved New Activity by What’s On 4 Kids Awards which I am very proud about. But, I am most excited that from the 6th April, the first Saturday of each month, children of all ages can join me at the Muddy Fingers garden at Clift Meadow, Bramley for hands on gardening activities. This new space is a lovely size to enable the children to grow a variety of fruit and vegetables, as well as ornamental flowers. It also allows for creative and fun stations like a runner bean tepee den, herbs planted into ‘pizza slices’ and a water wall! I have lots of exciting plans for the space, all of which the children will be helping to develop and build.

Preschool classes are every Tuesday at Brookvale Village Hall and Thursday at Brocas Hall, Bramley during term time at 10am for 50 minutes. Your first class is free and children get to take home what they have planted and made during the class.

Children have a natural curiosity for the world around them. Muddy Fingers nurtures that curiosity, encourages experimentation and mess, and pulls children away from their technology – even just for a little while. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get muddy!

More information can be found at www.muddyfingersgardenclub.co.uk or my social media accounts

https://www.facebook.com/pg/MuddyFingersGardenClub/ https://www.instagram.com/muddyfingersgardenclub/

To contact me directly please email info@muddyfingersgardenclub.co.uk or 07775594463

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Messy Monkey Makers is coming to Lychpit Community Hall!

 

www.messymonkeymakers.com
https://www.facebook.com/messymonkeymakers/

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Junior and Family Classes at Basingstoke Sports Centre

Junior Bootcamp at Basingstoke Sports Centre Thursdays and Fridays 4.25-5.25pm (this half term started last Thur and Fri and is £22.80 for the six weeks, there are still spaces). Next half terms starts 25th&26th April.

Mini Movers at Basingstoke Sports Centre Thursdays 11.15-11.45am (pre-school movement class), this half term is 6 weeks long and is £12 for the course, (works out at £2 a class).

Family Pedal at Basingstoke Sports Centre Saturdays 12.10-12.40pm. Spin class for the whole family. Also £12 for 6 weeks this half term (spaces left).

For more info: https://www.mybst.org/basingstoke

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Charity Disco – Saturday 6th April, Sherfield Park Community Centre

Charity Disco in aid of Oliver’s Fund and Asthma UK

Evening of classic tunes to get you moving. Fully licensed bar selling beers and ales, wine and prosecco. Adults £5, under 16s £2, tickets purchasable in advance.

Further info: https://www.facebook.com/events/2234020003486285/

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