NHM Readers Recommend: Clubs running over the summer for 3 year olds

I recently had the following question from an NHM Reader “There seem to be lots of things going on in the summer break for 4 plus, as my little one doesn’t turn 4 till end of August is there a list of clubs etc that are running in the summer hols for 3 year olds?”

Many thanks to the NHM Community for all of your responses, listed below in no particular order.

NHM Readers Recommend: Clubs running over the summer for 3 year olds

Louise Nhm said “This link might help: http://www.northhantsmum.co.uk/…/classes-still-running…/

Heather saidBasing beans is still on in the holidays. Tuesday 10 till 1130 at Lychpit Village Hall.”

Jo said “We are running our under 5 activities until the last 2 weeks of August, all being well. Our under 5 activities are at The Hurst Leisure Centre. Tomorrow we have Messy Play.

Cerys said “NCT Coffee & Chat is open every Friday at Brookvale Village Hall, 10.00-12.00”

Kim said‘What’s Inside The Box?’ Story Time sessions with Routine Riots are still running over the summer too at Viables…with some extra summer sessions also!”

Andy said “We are running family exercise classes for under 5’s. Check out our page for the times @Tntfamilyfitnessuk

Sarah P saidI am running 3 Hartbeeps classes in Hook. Perfect for toddlers.

HOOK 3 week mini-summer half term
Class 1: Tuesday 24th July
Class 2: Tuesday 31st July
Class 3: Tuesday 7th July

10.00-10.45 Happy House (confident walkers and their older/younger siblings – older siblings up to 8yrs welcome)
11.00-11.45 Baby Beeps (independently sitting babies to walkers)
12.00-12.45 Baby Bells (new born to independently sitting babies)

Location: Elizabeth Hall, Raven Rd, Hook, RG27 9HH
Cost: 3 wk half term = £18.00, (plus £3.00 per class for 1st sibling)

Email me to book your toadstool, sarahjp@hartbeeps.com”

Sarah C replied “Sarah is lovely and fab with kids! Mine love her!!!”

Lee-Anne saidAlphabetty Adventures is running every Friday at Oakridge hall at 10 am. Full of dancing, singing and crafts.”

Kelly T said “The hurst leisure are running lots of activities for under 5’s”

Allison saidTot Cross Buns is running classes – perfect for 3 year olds”

Kelly W said “Jiggy Wrigglers are collaborating with other baby/toddler groups to give little ones memorable summer activities Jiggy Wrigglers – Summer Events

Katie said Check out our classes here…. A few for 3 year olds to try…. https://www.kidskandance.co.uk/our-new-classes We also have dance classes for age 3 on 1st and 3rd August too. Drop me a message and I can send you all the details.”

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August 2018’s “NHM Inspirational Mum”: Aliceja Fisher

I stopped doing the “Inspirational Mum” programme because it felt like I was the one who was deciding who was inspirational and who wasn’t and that’s definitely not my decision to make.

But it looks like the universe is deciding for me on this one after my original “Inspirational Mum” post was automatically re-published on “NorthHantsMum FB Page” a few days ago and I realised that I’m just the “facilitator” for this.

YOU are the ones who nominate a Mum for this, I just have the AWESOME job of passing on the message :-D.

So, I think I’m going to try this one again. I will put out a request each month for nominations and whomever gets the most nominations will “win” for that month. Let’s see how this goes…

August 2018’s NorthHantsMum’s Inspirational Mum, with by far the most email nominations is: Aliceja Fisher!

Congratulations Aliceja! I know we’ve never met but it’s clear that you are an awesome Mum and person based on the number of emails that I received for your nomination!!

As Helen says below, make sure you print the comments out and use them to boost you on those wobbly days 😉 :-D.

Inspiration Mum Nomination 1

Helen: My nomination is Aliceja Fisher

Things changes a lot for her in the last 12 months and the game got a lot harder. She’s embraced it, fought the challenge, become stronger, more empowered and while she has wobbles of self doubt, which she really shouldn’t, she is a wonderful mum to her daughter.
She’s also a huge supporter of community projects, involved with social events for Mums to help their mental health and stop Mums feeling alone. She’s always seen to be pointing mums in the right direction of classes and support. My message to Aliceja would be, always believe in yourself and when this is published and you’re recognised as a Inspirational Mum, print it, keep it and use all the lovely comments to boost you on those wobbly days.

Inspiration Mum Nomination 2

Holly: I’ve seen your FB post and I’d like to nominate Aliceja Fisher as my local mum.

I’ve known Alice a number for years, we went to senior school together, she’s has always put others before herself, she has always be so kind and loved by all even through many trying times.

She truly is a wonderful person and now she’s a wonderful mother. She made my journey in to motherhood so much easier just by being there, our babies are a couple of months apart and they’ve brought her back in to my life and I’m so grateful to have her in it! I love you lots Aliceja!

Inspiration Mum Nomination 3

Lisa Marie: I would love to nominate my friend Aliceja Fisher.

Around a year ago her world was rocked and kind of crashed around her, she could have given up completely. However, she embraced the huge changes happening and became even stronger than she ever was.

As us mums do, she has days where she doubts everything she’s doing, but she’s the most amazing Mum and the best friend anyone could ask for! She helps everyone without any hesitation and she deserves to be recognised for everything she does!

She’s beautiful inside and out and such an inspiration! Aliceja, be proud of everything you’ve achieved!!! We love you loads!Xxx

Inspiration Mum Nomination 4

Jen: I would like to celebrate a local amazing Mum, Aliceja Fisher from Basingstoke. I met her at a Mummy social event which she organised, she has been through a lot this past year and becoming a new mum herself I think has bought out the best in her! She is an amazing inspiration to all Mums and personally has become a very close friend who supports me and everyone around her without even batting an eyelid.

She is an awesome person and one of the most hard working Mums I know always putting others before herself!

This would mean the world to her even though she would be completely overwhelmed and feel like she didn’t deserve it! She really does!

Inspiration Mum Nomination 5

Joanna: I’d like to jump on the bandwagon and nominate Aliceja Fisher as an inspirational Mum. I met her last summer when she set up regular coffee meet-ups using the Mummy Social App. I was a few months into maternity leave and these socials gave me the impetus and confidence to get out of the house with a young baby and meet new friends.

Aliceja has had a tough year but has remained a good friend as well as being active in community events.

Aliceja deserves recognition for her support to new mums and general awesomeness!

Inspiration Mum Nomination 6

Louisa: My nomination is Aliceja Fisher.

Aliceja and I have babies the same age, and without her creating social events when they were small I wouldn’t have a the great friend group I have now.

She always goes out of her way to help everyone and quite often forgets about herself in the process.

She is genuinely one of the most selfless people I have ever met and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this nomination.

A true awesome mummy!!

Inspiration Mum Nomination 7

Jenna: I’d like to nominate Aliceja Fisher!

I don’t even know where to begin with reasons as to why she’s awesome! She walked ( quite literally- at the HV walk) into my life last year as we were finding our feet as first time mums! She introduced me to other mums who now I call my closest friends! She keeps getting curve balls thrown at her but she gets back up and continues on! She is a credit to our mummy group and she needs to know that we are with her ever step of the way!!! She is the most kind person I know and deserves this!

Inspiration Mum Nomination 8

Gayle: Nominate Aliceja Fisher

Aliceja has been a great friend since we both became mums. She makes time to make sure we are ok regardless of what is going on in her own life. She keeps in contact with a large circle of friends and the list gets bigger and bigger as she picks up more and involves more as she goes.

She is truly an inspiration, being a single fantastic mum and now working full time, being open and honest to all she meets making sure no one feels alone, and sharing her feelings on Instagram/ Facebook – she says what we are all feeling.

Inspiration Mum Nomination 9

Odette: My nomination is for Aliceja Fisher, she is an amazing mum and friend! She is my sister in law and she is always willing to listen to everyone and try to help despite whatever happens in her life.

She is always willing to help, everyone specially new mums; giving them right advice or putting them in the right direction.

She also gets involved in social events to support new mums, helping them to meet new people. Always with a smile

She has a golden heart.

Thank you very much to everyone who nominated a Mum for this month’s “NHM Inspirational Mum”!

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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 Reader Recommendations: Local Ironing Services

Louise recently asked: “Good Afternoon Everyone! I hope you are having a lovely day. Mr NHM recently started a new job which he has to wear a shirt for every day. Every Sunday night he goes on and ON about not wanting to iron his shirts for the week. Does anyone have any recommendations for local Mums who offer an ironing service? TIA”

The responses are below, thank you to those in the NHM community who responded. The recommendations are in no particular order:

The Helpful Hedgehog – Karen

The Helpful Hedgehog

Charlene says “Karen (The Helpful Hedgehog)”

EZ Ironing and Home Cleaning – Michelle

EZ ironing and home cleaning

Cheryl says “Michelle”

Helen says “Michelle does ours too!”

Barrett Dry Cleaners – Martinne

Barrett Dry Cleaners

Charlotte says “Martinne”

Martinne says “Yes I can Help … ironing is one of the services we offer in our dry cleaners … FREE local pick up and delivery also!”

Lauren says “Martinne for definitely!”

Blanksons

Blanksons

Diane says “Ours go to Blanksons, they collect and drop back! They are brilliant, we have used them for a number of years!”

Other Suggestions

Lowri says “I bought my husband a round necked jumper to wear over his unironed shirts. Made sure it was a jumper that could be tumble dried. Job done.”

Wendy says “Line dry then Tumble dry for 20 mins, crease free. Charles Trywritt and T M Lewin shirts work best.”

Stefanie says “We have non iron shirts; they go in the tumble dryer and as soon they are dry they go on the hangers… if they are not taken out immediately they go in the tumble dryer again…”

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NHM Readers Recommend: What to do if a sibling is allocated to a different school

I recently had a question from an NHM Reader ” Can anyone help please? My son has been allocated a school different to where his sister attends. Has anyone been in this situation? Any help appreciated.”

Thank you to the NHM Community for your responses, listed below:

NHM Reader’s recommendations for a sibling allocated to a different school

Helena said “It happened to a friend. Her children ended up going to different schools for 18 months until a place became available at her preferred choice (out of catchment) school for her youngest, where her eldest already was. I think she appealed but didn’t get anywhere.”

Joanne said “You can appeal the decision and see if that helps.”

Rebecca said “I’m in exactly the same position. You could appeal, but it’s very stressful (we went through 3 appeals for my son) and unless your second child has undeclared SEN or Hampshire School Admissions made an error (it does happen), then there’s really no point. One thing to bear in mind is that every appeal is pretty expensive for the school. We have decided to ask our son’s school if they can find out if an error has been made without going to appeal because we don’t want the school’s already stretched budget to be used for an appeal that has no grounds. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.”

Further information on the appeals process can be found on the Hampshire County Council’s website:

https://www.hants.gov.uk/educationandlearning/admissions/guidance/appeals

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NHM Readers Recommend: Buggy Friendly Walks with a Tea/Coffee Shop at the End

I recently asked the Friends of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if they could help with the following question: “Do you know of any buggy friendly walks with tea/coffee shop at the end? Know of Eastrop, Beggarwood and War Memorial.”

Many thanks for your responses, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers Recommend: Buggy Friendly Walks with a Tea/Coffee Shop at the End

Rebecca said “There is one in Rooksdown on Thursday morning. We haven’t started to yet but have been talking of ending the walk at a local Costa or with a picnic.”

Mary said “Basingwoods is good for buggies. There is sometimes a cafe in the popley fields community centre but i can’t remember dates etc. Also from there you can walk up to st Gabriel’s which sometimes has a cafe. I think you need to check their websites for times.”

Emma said “Sherfield on London is nice! Take the little ones to see the ducks, play on the park, walk all around the big greens and across the streams and then there’s a lovely cafe on the corner with a post office in the back”

Wendy said “Greenham common are on the verge of opening their cafe in the old control tower. It will be staffed by volunteers so not open every day. Check their facebook page for details. https://www.facebook.com/GreenhamControlTower/

Lauren said “Beggarwood is ok and the community centre has a really nice cafe”

Karen M said “Kempshott/oakley multi user path and jolly ollie’s in oakley or kitty’s in kempshott”

Karen J said “Go on ready steady mum’s group”

Ruza said “Farnham great park, and the cafe is reality good.”

Ruchira said “Ready steady mums walk at Eastrop park on a Wednesday at 1”

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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: Clubs/Meets for a Baby and Toddler

I recently asked the Friends of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if they could help with a question I had received: “just wondered if you could ask people about clubs/meets etc for a baby and toddler.? 1 month and a 2 year old.”

Many thanks for all of your replies, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers Recommend: Clubs/Meets for a Baby and Toddler

Naomi said “Melrose Hall run a tot group on a tues and fri”

Claire said “Coffee & Chat at Brookvale is lovely. Toddler section and baby section. Just £2 donation. Friday’s from 10am https://www.facebook.com/NCTCoffeeandChat/

Debbie said “Michelle runs tots play plus helps (I think) at coffee morning on Fridays at Sherfield Park.” www.facebook.com/totsplaybasingstoke www.facebook.com/bumpintomums

Any said “Basing Beans on Tuesdays 10-11.30 is great. It’s at Lychpit village hall. Lots for toddlers plus baby area and a cup of tea or coffee for you…https://m.facebook.com/groups/204635339562838

Sarah said “I run Hartbeeps multi-sensory classes for newborns through to preschoolers in Hook on a Tuesday morning. You can bring your little one to Happy House Class with your older one. https://www.facebook.com/hartbeepsfarnham/

Jo said “Caterpillar music”

Hayley said “caterpillar music is perfect, took my little one from about 3 weeks old with my 2.5 year old:)”

Jaz said “www.facebook.com/CaterpillarMusicBasingstoke Even better- siblings are FREE!”

Steph said “I run netmums Basingstoke meet ups once a month for people to get out with the little ones and make new friends…you can find the group here: https://m.facebook.com/groups/1833762103604347

Rachael said “Under 5’s at Sherfield Park on a Tuesday morning and bump into mums on a Friday morning both 10am-12pm and both very welcoming and friendly”

Allison said “Two year olds are welcome to Tot Cross Buns…mummies are welcome to bring younger siblings too Www.facebook.com/totcrossbuns

Kelly said “Www.facebook.com/jiggybasingstoke

Anna said “I’m a midwife running a newborn and baby massage courses in Camberley available to book now https://www.mummasandbeans.co.uk/camberley/

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NHM Readers Recommend: Gym Classes for 3 Year Olds

In response to a question from an NHM Reader, I asked the Friends of my Louise nhm Smithprofile on Facebook: “I am new to Basingstoke and looking for a gymnastics class for my nearly 3 year old boy. Could you advise me on any please?”

Thank you very much to everyone who responsed. These are listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers recommend gym classes for 3 year olds

Active Life Centre

http://www.basingstokegym.co.uk/

Rachael said “Active life centre”

Victoria said “Active life, they have drop in groups daily if they aren’t looking for a structured class.”

Edie said “The Active Life Centre is great!”

Laura said “Active Life Centre! I love it there!!”

Natasha said “Active life centre – they do child accompanied with parents, child by self (3yrs), and free style (3yrs, small group in the smaller back room)”

Lucy said “Active Life Centre as the others have mentioned.”

Charlotte “Basingstoke Gymnastics Club, from The Active Life Centre. They’re fantastic, drop in free play, baby zone, parent and toddler, gym juniors (unaccompanied), freestyle.”

Lynden Dance and Gymnastics

http://www.lyndendance.co.uk/gymnastics.html

Sara said “Lynden dance and gymnastics. They do a little tots class. Check out the website”

Louise said “I’d second Lynden!”

Lucy also said “There’s also some classes at the sports centre I believe – a relatively new group also under British Gymnastics”

Mel said “Lynden at The Sports Centre definitely over Active Life!”

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