Simply Magical ART

 

About Simply Magical ART 

My name is Helen Heath and I am the founder and Manager of SmART.

I am 37 and live with my husband and 8 year old son in Basingstoke. Art has always been a big part of my son’s home experiences from when he was very young, recently I have noticed he seems to use it as a way of calming himself or de-stressing.

The club is something I have been considering for some time and felt that now was the right moment to move forward with it. I am just starting out with this new venture and am as excited as i am nervous! This club is very close to my heart, as well as something I think is really needed in our local community.

After an almost overwhelming response from the local school’s Facebook page I decided to steam onwards. 

What is it?

Simply Magical Art (SmART) is an opportunity for Junior aged children to explore and develop a range of skills, though the focus will be to use art as a way of relaxing and escaping. There will be no pressure to do something a particular way instead children will be encouraged to explore doing things using their own creativeness.  Each child will have an A3 display book (provided by us) in which to keep their ongoing projects. Though all children work at a different tempo we will attempt to give each one the time they need for each new skill we learn.

Projects

I am looking at teaching a range of skills that I learnt when younger and went to Art classes at the end of a Local artists garden, she had a tiny shed that was her art studio. I remember these classes with great clarity, they were my favourite time, my parents still have some of the things I made hanging in their houses. I hope we do as well, and make things parent’s treasure and children are proud of.

Some planned projects include: Pencil drawing, watercolour, studying a range of famous Artists styles, graffiti Art, Modelling animals, mosaic, decoupage and many, many more.

Children will also have a chance to put their ideas on the ‘ideas tree’ letting me know anything they would really like to spend some time studying. Throughout the year we will also have special projects for mothers day, easter, christmas etc 

Exciting Developments

We have already been awarded a small grant, and are in the process of getting permission to decorate a local underpass as part of next years Art in Unexpected places Festival being run by Basingstoke and Dean borough council.

I am also looking at including other sessions for Infant aged children as well as whole day sessions during the holidays.

Contact and details

At present classes are planned to be held in Westside community centre in Oakridge (beside Oakridge Junior school). They will be held on Wednesday from 3.30 until 5pm with a collection from the Oakridge Junior School. Also Saturdays from 9.30 – 11am. I am currently charging £5 per session and asking for half terms fee in advance. Classes will start as soon as I have enough children registered to cover hall and resources costs.

To contact me with an enquiry please contact me at: simplymagicalart@outlook.com

Add us on Facebook:  @SimplyMagicalART

 

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“How Many Sleeps ’til Christmas”: Scratch Built Productions’ immersive Christmas show for under 5s

Scratch Built Productions invite families to join them for a cosy Christmas treat at the Creation Space, with their immersive show for under-5s, How Many Sleeps ‘til Christmas.

After three previous sell-out Christmas shows, Scratch Built Productions in association with Proteus Theatre Company return to the Creation Space in Basingstoke this Christmas with their enchanting and interactive festive show aimed at pre-school children and their families…..…..How Many Sleeps ’til Christmas.

The land between waking and sleep is a wonderful place where anything can happen; dreams become reality and reality becomes a dream. Come and meet a colourful host of characters as they lead you on a magical journey where clouds are collected, stories are created, where wishes are welcomed and dreams can come true. Everyone is invited to enjoy this wonderfully cosy Christmas treat.

Following on from the success of last year’s How do Reindeer Fly, Scratch Built Productions are keen not to give away too many details about what is now an eagerly anticipated treat for many local families. However Cbeebies actress and this year’s co-director, Becky Kitter, revealed that there will be plenty of surprises in store to delight little ones:

“Having been part of the cast in the past three productions, I’m really excited to bring all my previous experience to the table as co-director this year, especially as a soon-to-be mum myself! We are creating a dream-like environment for our audiences to snuggle up in, with lots of visual and sensory elements that even babies will enjoy. We are working with some really talented people to create the show, including a visual artist, live musicians and trapeze performers, and of course there will be puppets and plenty of Christmas sparkle!”

“What a magical, beautiful time we had yesterday. We loved every minute” – Katie H, audience member, 2016

“How reindeer fly is possibly the most magical children’s Christmas event going. I cannot recommend it enough. Captured the essence of Christmas beautifully and my daughter was captivated and she’s only 2. We will most definitely be back next year.” Louise E, audience member 2016

Created specifically to be enjoyed by the youngest members of the family and as something a little different from a traditional Christmas show, the Creation Space will be transformed into a walkthrough adventure where children are encouraged to explore, play, create and interact with the enchanting surroundings and colourful characters that they meet along the way.

Tickets are selling fast and some performances have already sold out, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy 45 minutes of unforgettable Christmas magic with your little ones!

Thursday 14th December until Sunday 24th December, with three performances a day at 11am, 2.30pm & 4.30pm weekdays and 11am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm weekends.

The 2.30pm performance on Monday 18th December will be a relaxed performance for those with additional needs and will also include interpretation from a BSL expert.

Tickets are £8 each, children under 12 months of age go free. Tickets available from wegottickets.com/proteustheatre or you can book in person at the Creation Space. For more information, visit www.proteustheatre.com/whats-on or call the Proteus office on 01256 354541. Please note, payments cannot be taken over the phone

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Spotlight Christmas Toy Appeal

Please donate toys for 8-11 year old’s to bring a little happiness to local children!

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Review 2017: “A Christmas Carol”, a Proteus production

Thank you VERY much to the NHM Secret Reviewer who wrote today’s post!!! She did a fab job!

“A Christmas Carol”

A Christmas play for school-aged children and grown ups alike

About

A Christmas Carol is a Proteus production that is currently on tour in North Hants and surrounding areas. The show tells an adapted version of Dickens’ classic tale. It stays true to the political undertones and moral of the original but is set in current times and adapted to be more suitable for a family audience.

The play includes a cast of three who are accompanied by some amazing, creative puppets. The set is simple but effective and the team use light and sound creatively to bring the story to life.

The show is advertised as being suitable for children aged 6+. I went to see it with my 5-year-old having had a chat with him in advance to warn him there might be some scary parts.

There are some adult themes that would pass over the heads of most children (e.g. the moral obligation to serve humanity) but that give the show enough depth to be entertaining to adult audience members.

There are also some more overtly ‘scary’ scenes (e.g. a scene involving a grave stone/scrooge being ‘buried alive’) but these are short-lived and didn’t seem to rattle any of the children in the audience.

The puppetry is incredible and it was fascinating to watch how the children engaged with the puppet characters and ignored the actors who were sometimes visible behind them.  The creative use of puppets, especially to enact the roles of the ghosts of Christmas past and ghost of Christmas present gave the show a lighter tone and made the audience laugh out loud many times. Overall, Proteus have done a fantastic job adapting what is a challenging story, to be entertaining to a range of audiences. This is show you could go and see without the kids or one to take the kids along to. We both had a brilliant time but I would suggest it’s not ideal for children with a more sensitive temperament who are likely to be upset by some scenes and story lines.

For show dates see: http://www.proteustheatre.com/productions/a-christmas-carol/tour-schedule-296

Tips

The advertised run time is 80 minutes but with the 15 minute interval we were there for 2 hours. This was a little too long for my son whose attention was wavering towards the end so it is probably not ideal for children who struggle to sit still.

This is suitable for children and adults, I don’t think there’s an upper age limit and if you wanted to go without the kids that would also be ok. There were audience members without children at the show I attended. The average age of children in the audience was probably around 7 or 8 years.

Facilities

Every venue will be different but Proteus has baby changing, toilets, a café and parking.

Price

£8 per adult, £4 per child

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Christmas Events & Fayres 2017

I will be updating this post as and when I receive details of Christmas Events, so please keep checking back!

If you would like to include a Christmas event, party of fayre in this listing, please email me the very short details, or picture, to NorthHantsMum@gmail.com. Please make sure all pictures are in .jpeg format. Thanks!

Christmas Events & Fayres 2017

Wildchild Parent & Toddlers – Xmas session.

Monday 11th Dec 10-11am. Carols and woodland decorations on Sherfield Village Green.

See our facebook page for more details. Www.facebook.com/wildchildtoddlers

Sycamore Halls Community Centre Christmas Party

SHCA Kids’ Christmas Party

Saturday 16th December 14:00-17:00

Sycamore Halls Community Centre, Sycamore Way, Winklebury, Basingstoke RG23 8AB

St. Johns School – Christmas Fayre 2017

Friday 15th December from 5.30pm to 7.30pm

St. John’s School, Kingsmill Road, Basingstoke, RG21 3JU

Free Entry!

Refreshments, Candy Floss, Crafts and plenty of Family Activities!

North Waltham School Christmas Fayre 2017

Friday 1st December 3.30pm-5.30pm entry is free.

Melrose Tot Group 

Please join us for our Christmas Party on the 22nd December from 10am till 12.30pm. £2 per child.

We have an amazing raffle with some great prizes to be won. We also have Higgledy-piggledy, Jiggy Wrigglers Bournemouth and Poole and a bouncy castle for all of the children.

Whitewater C of E Primary School Fair

Thursday 7th December, Whitewater C of E Primary School Fair held at Rotherwick Village Hall, from 6-8pm.

We will have a super grotto, stalls, games, mulled wine and more!

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Proteus present their retelling of A Christmas Carol this winter 2017

Prepare to be visited by the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future this winter!

Join Proteus Theatre Company as they bring their fast-paced, funny and highly physical contemporary adaptation of Dickens best-loved story, A Christmas Carol to the stage.

Brought right up to date for modern family audiences, A Christmas Carol will delight you with plenty of laughs and high-jinks, a fabulous cast of actors and puppets and even a talking Christmas tree…

It’s Christmas Eve in the city, a rich man sits alone in his gilded tower and awaits the ghosts of his past and his future. In Scrooge’s office, somewhere in the City of London, the spirits are gathering in the darkening gloom to take this selfish, greedy man on a journey to his own salvation – but will he heed their lesson? He has just one night to change his ways or face a terrible fate….

A story of redemption and enlightenment, A Christmas Carol has much to say to audiences about our society, and the responsibilities we owe to others through our actions.

“All children and adults were kept totally engaged throughout the whole show, it was fantastic.”
Families Magazine on BRRR! 2016/17

“Keeping the traditional spirit of a classic tale, this is an adaptation which opens contemporary doors….a seasonal, smile-inducing winner” The Stage on Alice in Wonderland 2013/14

“The best of British theatre in Basingstoke” The Independent on Proteus Theatre Company

With a fabulous cast of familiar Proteus faces; Danny Charles (Little Mermaid, Arabian Nights), Paul Huntley-Thomas (The Secret Garden, Rapunzel) and Ashley Christmas (Becoming Hattie, Little Red and the Wolves), plus puppets from acclaimed puppet maker Nick Ash, of Scratch Built Productions (Polka, The Globe, Little Angel) this is a Christmas Carol for our times.

Bring the whole family to along to see A Christmas Carol for a show that promises to be funny, a little scary, action-packed but above all a thoroughly enjoyable treat this festive season.

A Christmas Carol will open at Proteus Creation Space in Basingstoke on 25/ 26th November 2017 before embarking on the tour. The full tour schedule can be found at www.proteustheatre.com.

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Free Winter Wonderland: Kiddi Caru

Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries are holding their Christmas Winter Wonderland events throughout December. Fun for all the family – come and soak up the festive atmosphere together and join in some seasonal fun with Santa and the Kiddi Caru Elves.

All events are free to attend, but any kind donations on the day will be gratefully received for Home-Start’s Snowflake appeal which Kiddi Caru support all year round.

Find an event near you http://ow.ly/tTJp30gqYAQ

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Review 2017: Farnham Park and Castle

We were recently on our travels to Richmond for a day out, pretending to be posh. Except we hadn’t realised that the M3 would be closed and would make our journey epically complicated, so once off the slip road we decided to head home and find somewhere else to go.

One of my friends had recommended Farnham Park to me and as it was on the way back I suggested we check it out. It’s about 20-25 minutes drive from Basingstoke. We had a brilliant time exploring just the park. We then went back a few months later with the same friends who took us to the Castle and Miss NHM and her playmate had a fantastic time!!!

Play

Farnham Park has an AWESOME wooden play park. It’s HUGE! We spent about 1.5 hours playing in the park, playing on all of the different wooden structures

We walked for miles and miles and still only did a fraction of the park. We completely missed one of the play parks which is a bit further round from the Wooden play park!

Mr NHM may or may not have played “I’m the king of the castle” on this structure! lol.

Castle

We then decided to go and look at the Castle. The Castle is free to enter but they ask for a donation.

We had a BRILLIANT time in the Castle! I couldn’t believe that it was free entry!

We spent about 5 minutes in the room which explained the history of the Castle. The children were too excited to stay any longer here as they wanted to explore the castle itself.


We did pick up a leaflet which explained “The Keep at Farnham Castle” and gave a short tour of what it all was.

I didn’t get many pictures of the Castle itself because I couldn’t get any without there being someone in it!!! But we spent ages in the Castle exploring and went down into the Central Tower and the Well. The children were fascinated with the Latrines, as children would be! lol.

We were incredibly lucky to visit on a day when the weather was absolutely glorious. As you can see, the views from the castle across Farnham were spectacular!

Tips

You can’t park at the Castle unless you have a disabled badge, so we parked in the car park which said it was for the Golf Course which was about a 5 minute walk away. There is lots of parking and it’s for users of the gold course and the park, but it can get VERY busy after lunch and people park in very haphazard ways, so be warned if you have toddlers who like to run of!!

The steps into the Castle itself are very steep so it’s not recommended to take a pushchair. If you can take a sling that would work although it is possible to park your pushchair down at the main entrance. It is a very steep set of steps into the castle though.

Definitely pick up one of the leaflets which explains where everything is. This helped us to ensure we’d explored everything.

Food

The Cafe is very independent to the point where dogs are allowed in the cafe! It’s like going back in time to 30 years ago when dogs were allowed everywhere! Which I love but I know lots of people won’t.

The price of food is really cheap and it’s very popular so you can sometimes queue for a bit. If you like golf, the golf shop is also attached. I can imagine the cafe being very busy in the summer with all of the requests for ice cream!

Facilities

There are toilets in the Cafe in the park and also really good toilets at the Castle.

Baby Facilities

There are baby facilities but the ones in the Castle are better.

Parking

As mentioned above, there is no parking at the Castle for the general public so you can either park in Farnham and walk up the hill or park in the golf course car park and walk round. You can either walk through the park and then along the castle ramparts to get to the castle or there is a path which is very close to the main road but has a flimsy fence. Keep a very close eye on little people as the cars go really fast.

Prices

It was free to park.

The Park is free to enter and so is Farnham Castle.

Rating out of 5

5 out of 5. Miss NHM and her friend absolutely loved the open space, the wooden playground and exploring the castle. Even better that the whole day out was free!!!

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Celebrate Christmas with Festival Place

Christmas is now just around the corner and, once again, Festival Place has lots of exciting activities planned to delight and entertain the whole family.

The season officially commences on Thursday 16th November with the ever-popular Christmas Light Switch-on, hosted this year by Matt and Michelle from Heart Breakfast. The evening will feature live entertainment from The Halo Glow Show – an explosive visual stage act featuring virtuoso circus artists; the Wonderful West End cast performing songs from The Lion King, plus the stars of the Anvil’s production of Peter Pan. Santa and his elves will carry out the ceremonial pushing of the ‘on’ button to light up Festival Place and visitors will also be able to enjoy a firework display and see the shopping centre’s brand new Christmas decorations.

Santa’s Woodland Walk and Grotto will be in centre from Saturday 18th November to 24th December, where kids can not only come to meet Santa but also have fun with some augmented reality dancing penguins, an animatronic Christmas tree and Rudolph’s Naughty or Nice-o-meter! Visits cost £4.50, including a free gift, and some dates can be booked in advance here: http://www.bookfatherchristmas.co.uk/festivalplace

The famous Santa Parade will return on Sunday 3rd December at 12pm with Santa leading a whole host of Christmassy characters on a march from Porchester Square to Festival Square, sharing Christmas cheer with shoppers along the way.

With over 200 big brands and plenty of restaurants and cafés to choose from, it’s easy to make this year’s Christmas shopping a fantastic family day out.

Further activities are yet to be announced so keep an eye on the Festival Place website at www.festivalplace.co.uk/events or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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