The Olympics in Basingstoke/North Hampshire

Olympic Games: 27th July to 12th August

Paralympic Games: 29th August to 9th September

It’s not long to go until the start of the Olympics. If you haven’t been lucky enough to get tickets there are lots of activities happening in and around North Hampshire, so you can still join in all the fun!

The Olympic Torch is spending more time in Hampshire than in any other county and will be coming through Basingstoke on the 11th July.

I understand that several schools have given parents the right to take their children out of school to see the Torch, if they write and request this in advance. It looks like it’s going to be a popular day so have a look at the website for recommendations on the best places to see the Torch.

Large crowds and heavy traffic are expected in parts of the towns the torch will be visiting, so it is recommended that you plan ahead. To see a detailed map of where the torchbearers run in Basingstoke and for information about transport, parking and local torch celebrations, please check HERE.

If you don’t get a chance to watch the Olympic torch come through Basingstoke, there is the opportunity to “Watch the Games at Winchester Live”. Winchester Cathederal Outer Close will play host to a giant outdoor screen showing live BBC coverage throughout the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The screen is one of only 16 community live sites in the country. Winchester Live is open daily from 10am to finish. Why not take a picnic along. For more information click HERE.

There are several other events happening throughout Hampshire such as:

  • Exhibitions, talks and films
  • Olympic inspiration in Hampshire schools
  • Hampshire Welcomes the World
  • “Rings”

For more details about anything to do with the Olympics in Basingstoke and North Hampshire, click HERE.

If you have been lucky enough to get tickets to the Olympics and are planning to take a baby with you, please be aware of this potential issue about counterfeit slings: Parents urged to be wary of counterfeit baby slings as Baby Slings Mandatory for The Olympics “Babes in Arms” Tickets

Hope you have a great time, with or without tickets. I’m very excited and can’t wait!

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.

8 Cheap or Free Rainy Day Activities in Basingstoke

I hope you had a fabulous Jubilee weekend but hasn’t the weather been awful for the past week? Why does it always seem to rain when the children are on their holidays from school? It’s even more galling given how glorious the weather was last week. So, if you are looking for some free or cheap things to do during this half term, I’ve put together a summary of ideas below. Do you have any other suggestions that you would like to share?

1. Visit your local library. Lots of libraries in the area have Children’s libraries with toys and books for little ones to play with.

2. Take the children to a soft play centre. There are several in the area and you can find details of them on this previous NHM post: Soft Play Centres. Also check out my previous review of Kids’n’Action over near Winersh Triangle, Berkshire.

3. I’ve raved about Nature Detectives before. They have great packs that you can download for free to keep your little one’s amused. I especially like the “Outdoor” pack which changes depending on which season it is.

4. Goobeetsa has some great free papercraft toy plans and masks that can be cut out and made.

5. Patterns for Colouring has some very cool patterns that are designed by guest illustrators and are free to print out for colouring or painting. It’s updated regularly.

6. Organise a play date with your child’s friends.

7. Story sack loans. Chineham Library have story sacks which can be borrowed from the Children’s Centre. I’ve tried to find the details about this via the Action for Children website but no luck. Does anyone know if this is still available? I think they were £1 to borrow for a few weeks, but not sure.

8. Go puddle jumping!! You need the right clothes for this though, e.g. a water proof onesie or galoshes!

Related Posts

22 things to do with an under 6 year old in Basingstoke when it’s raining

A Toddler Box of Tricks: Things To Always Have On Hand With A Toddler Or Two

15 Different Experiences for Children

7 More Free Rainy Day Activities

Great Picnic spots in Basingstoke

Following lasts week’s post about Great Picnic spots near Basingstoke, I’ve put together my highlights of places to go for picnics in Basingstoke. Have I missed any?

Don’t forget to check out this post: Great Picnic Spots near Basingstoke.

Basing Lime Pits:  The Common opposite Basing Lime Pits

Carpenters Down/Basing Wood

Crabtree

Eastrop Park

Wootten St Lawrence Park

Odiham Castle

Basingstoke Common

Zebon Copse

Beggarwood

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Pushchair Friendly Walks in Basingstoke

If you are itching to get outside and get some fresh air this weekend, the weather looks like it’s going to be glorious. So I’m republishing a post which has details about walks in Basingstoke, including walks which are suitable for pushchairs. I always find the heat is easier when I’m moving, it’s sitting still which makes it worse! Don’t forget those hats and sunscreen!

This is a brilliant website with details of local parks in the area, including many of the ones mentioned below.

PUSHCHAIR WALKS

Basing lime pits

  • Has the coolest train climbing frame ever!
  • Massive slides
  • BBQ facilities
  • Ampitheatre for rounders, baseball, etc.

Crabtree

  • Olivers fish and chips over the road
  • Lovely (!!) view of Basingstoke
  • Great for flying kites
  • Has a fantastic new play area for children aged 8-14 years at the bottom, including a low zip wire and wooden climbing frame
  • A couple of park benches dotted around

Eastrop Park

  • Has toilets on site
  • Boating Lake
  • Fishing lake
  • Swimming pool in summer for little people
  • Assault Course
  • The perfect bridge for pooh sticks!

War Memorial Park

  • Parking is a bit of a nightmare so recommend parking for free at Eastrop or in a town centre carpark
  • Bird Aviary is quite interesting for little people

OTHER WALKS

Carpenters Down

  • Parking is next to Popley Spotlight Centre
  • Used to be National Trust Land
  • Big Hill to Climb to get into most walks
  • Excellent Blackberry picking
  • See my review of Basing Wood from 2013

Basingstoke Common

Otherside of Crabtree

Blackdam Pond

  • Has a play area for children
  • Nice pond to feed the ducks and swans
  • Has a short walk around the park but connects through to Crabtree

Review 2012 of the new Photography Studio at Viables

Sarah runs the photography studio at Viables that opened earlier this year. After I wrote a blog post about the new studio I contacted Sarah to ask if I could attend a session with my husband and little one. We had a lovely time and the photo’s came out so well. There are some awesome pictures of my little one, I just wish I was more photogenic! Typically my little one wasn’t playing ball that day so after 30 mins we had to stop the session. However, Sarah made us feel so welcome and the shots that came out were very natural and exactly what I was looking for. The session was also very reasonably priced and I get to keep all of the shots taken from the session. Sarah even gave me a letter of permission that allows me to use them for printing, etc.

I know Sarah is looking into offering a number of different packages, for example:

  • Group sessions for Antenatal groups
  • Short sessions for those who are also visiting “Tiny Tots Tuesday” at The Parlour Tea Rooms, also in Viables.

Once I have more details about these (and she’s not quite so busy!) I will add another post with details.

If you would like more details about Sarah’s photography or her studio please check out:

Thanks Sarah! Sorry I didn’t give you pre-warning to this post!

This is NOT a sponsored post and I paid for my session.

Related Posts

New Photography Studio in Viables

“Tiny Tots Tuesday” at The Parlour Tea Room

Family Photographers in North Hampshire

Local Parks and Open Spaces

I stumbled across this website whilst I was researching this weeks “things to do” post. As the weather was so fabulous this weekend I was researching things to do outside and this website popped up with a list of Local Parks and Open spaces in Basingstoke.

I learnt of a few new places, such as Beggardwood Park which has a maze and ampitheatre, that I didn’t know about that I’m hoping to be able to investigate when Spring really kicks in. Hope you find useful.

Local Parks and Open Spaces

Related Posts

Pushchair Friendly Walks in Basingstoke

Pushchair Friendly Walks near Basingstoke

Farm Shops in Basingstoke/North Hampshire

Farm Shops are great places to look for organic/local produce for your children to eat.

Several shops sell weaning boxes at reasonable prices.

April 2013 Post: Pick Your Own Farm’s in North Hampshire and Berkshire

September 2013 Post: Review: NorthDown Orchard Deliveries

Local Farm Shops

Manydown Farm Shop – Worting Road, Basingstoke

Family run award winning butcher, pie and sausage maker and farm shop.

  • Scrapps Hill Farm, 550 Worting Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire
  • Tel: 01256 460 068

Newlyns Farm Shop – North Warnborough, Hook

Newlyns Farm is an award winning farm shop located in North Warnborough and Andover, both in North Hampshire.

  • Lodge Farm, Hook Road, North Warnborough, Hook
  • Tel: 01256 704 128

Portland Farm Shop (no website) – North Waltham

Farm shop selling free range eggs, seasonal local vegetables,fruit, honey and preserves. Some PYO when fruit is ready.

  • Portland Farm, Popham Lane, North Waltham, Basingstoke, Hampshire
  • 01256 398593

Holdshott Farm Shop – Heckfield

We have been providing fine food including free range & organic meat, poultry, fruit and veg to Hampshire, Berkshire and the UK for over 40 years.

  • Holdshott Farm Shop, Holdshott Farm, Heckfield, Hook, Hampshire, UK, RG27 0JZ
    Telephone/Fax: 0118 932 6650

The Wellington Farm Shop – Hook

Offering the highest quality locally sourced fresh meat, cheese and produce, Wellington Farm Shop provides discerning rural residents a shopping experience synonymous with the fine food stores of London.

  • Park Corner Farm, Welsh Lane, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 0LJ
  • Tel: 0118 932 6132

Bowtells Farm Shop – Alton

The Bowtell’s Farm Shop stocks Free Range and traditionally grown Free Range Pork, Free Range Beef, Free Range Lamb, dry cured bacon and award winning sausages.

  • East Tisted, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 3QG
  • Tel: 01420 588418

Mill Farm Organic Shop – Alton

We are a small traditional family run farm, farming to Soil Association Organic Standards. We have had our full organic status for 6 years now. We have two farm trails/walks open throughout the year on and around the farm.

  • Mill Farm, Isington, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 4PN
  • Tel: 01420 22331

Group offers aid for vulnerable mums in Basingstoke

VULNERABLE mums in Basingstoke are being offered support through a group set up especially for them by charity Home-Start.

Women with a variety of problems, including post-natal depression, stress, illness and isolation, are taking advantage of the group, who meet every Wednesday between 10am and midday at All Saints Church Hall.

Organiser Sue Bailey, family group lead worker at Home-Start North West Hampshire, said:

“We help mums of all ages with a variety of issues. The groups offer people somewhere to socialise and often gives mums the push to get out there and meet new people.

We currently have eight |regular members who we support, and everyone is welcome. Most of the people we support come through referrals from health workers and GPs, but people can also self-refer.

All of our volunteers at the group are mums themselves and understand many of the difficulties people can face.

The group was started at Easter and meets every Wednesday in term times. Mums of any age can join.

Home-Start is a national charity that works with families, offering support, advice and also offering practical help with looking after children.

For more information about the group or about all the |services Home-Start offer, call 01256 812333, or visit www.home-start.org.uk.

Taken from Basingstoke Gazette Tuesday 5th July 2011