NHM Readers Recommend: Toddler and Baby Groups in Romsey

An NHM Reader recently contacted me asking if the NHM Community might be able to help: “I live in Romsey and I’m feeling a bit isolated. There are very few toddler and baby groups. Given your role, I wondered whether you have any connections in that area?” 

Thank you for all of your replies, listed below in no particular order.

Please bear in mind that listings may change in subsequent years, but hopefully they will still be a good base point for your own research.

NHM Readers Recommend: Toddler and Baby Groups in Romsey

Rebecca said “There’s a lovely coffee shop in Romsey called asante…They don’t do toddler groups but may stop you feeling isolated.”

Luan said “What about contacting RCS as they run all sorts of things. Not sure if groups based any more but worth a try”

Jennifer said “I’d suggest: signing up to Southampton NCT Facebook group and Southampton baby and toddler forum. Loads of great suggestions all over the area. Breastfeeders should get to bosom pals- Thursday morning meets in a room upstairs in the Baptist church and is a friendly place for a chat. The library does a couple of activities I think (and is generally a warm and comfortable place to be). I think I heard murmurs of an abbotswood based buggyfit class….Also thinking: I think there’s still a play cafe at the academy studios and I saw another one is opening up on the base point estate near the luzborough pub.”

Claire said “Toddler Sense runs in Romsey on a Monday”

Claudia said “Trina runs Jolly Babies & Music with Mummy classes in Romsey.”

Leah said “There’s frankies fun factory there – like Playdays but bigger!”

Rachel said “The abbey has a toddler group which was always nice. Lovely toddler group in Awbridge village called the ark. The library does some singing/story stuff for little ones which was really good.”

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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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NHM Readers Recommend: Dance Classes for two-year-olds

In November 2018, a NHM Reader asked: “Hi, I am trying to find a dance class for my little girl who is 2, I’m struggling as most seem to start at 3, do you know of any?”

Thank you for all your responses, they are listed below in no particular order.

Please bear in mind that listings may change in subsequent years, but hopefully they will still be a good base point for your own research.

NHM Readers Recommend: Dance classes for two-year-olds

Lisa Beaumont School of Ballet

Jo said, ” I would highly recommend Lisa Beaumont ballet class on a Friday. My little girl started there and is 2 year 4 months. It’s a parent and baby class so parent does it alongside.”

Hayley said, “I second Lisa Beaumont School of Ballet too.”

Lottie said, “Another vote for Lisa Beaumont here too! Marnie has just turned 3 and started back in April and loves it!!!!”

Marion said, “A fourth vote for Lisa Beaumont. She’s very good. I danced professionally for a while in my youth (and still teach Zumba now) and I’m really flipping picky about who teaches my kids to dance. I recommend her highly.”

Tracey said, “I’ve just been to Lisa’ Beaumont’s class in Cliddesden painting pottery presents with everyone and they all have such a lovely time at the class and there were 2 year olds dancing too!”

The Lynden School of Dance & Gymnastics

Sarah said, “The Lynden School of Dance & Gymnastics take them from 2 and a half and have a parent and toddler class before this. They’ve been great for both my girls”

Debbie suggested, “Www.lyndendance.co.uk”

Moo Music

Ellie said, “I took my daughter to kids kan dance but she was a bit too young for it. I’m now taking her to moo music and she enjoyed it so much fun.”

Footsteps Dance School

Lindsey said, “Footsteps Dance School – my daughter and nieces have been there since they were 2 and half and Kelly who teaches the class is just fantastic. Would highly recommend.”

Kids Kan Dance

Kat said, “My daughter loved kids kan dance when she was younger.”

Lucy said, “Kids kan dance is great.”

Katie said, “Kids Kan Dance we have two classes for two year olds. Dance with Mummy and Twinkle 2’s…”

Leanne said, “Kids Kan Dance dance with Mummy classes are the best!!”

The M&M Academy of Arts

Lauren said,  “The M&M Academy of Arts in basingstoke take from 2 and a half and is on a Saturday.”

MG School of Dance

Jessica suggested, “MG School of Dance

Angela said, “MG school of dance at Popley fields community centre are a local dance school catering for all ages and abilities. We run classes in Modern, Tap, Ballet and Acro We have places on our Saturday classes offering the First lesson free.”

*Please note, in December 2018, MG School of Dance changed hands and became Poppies School of Dance*

Basingstoke Tappers

Kimberley said, ” Basingstoke Tappers is a good one.”

Basingstoke Tappers replied, “Performing Arts Tots from 18 months ….Also Classes for all aged children & Adults…

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NHM Readers Recommend: Support groups for babies with additional needs and epilepsy 2018

In August 2018, an NHM reader asked: “Are there support groups or meet ups for babies with additional needs and epilepsy in the area.”

Thank you for all your responses, please be aware that listings may change over time but this should still be helpful as a basis for your own research. All opinions are the readers own and are not that of NHM.

Support groups for babies with additional needs and epilepsy 2018

Wendy said, “May be worth asking Spotlight UK if they know of any others.”

Debbie said,HPCN Basingstoke Share Together  is a Facebook group which may help.”

Colleen said, “There’s Barntots SEN at Viables too. I second Debbie’s suggestion to ask on HPCN Basingstoke Share Together .”

Shirley said, “Hazie Days run by Marti Hayes .”

Louise said,  “New epilepsy group starting 28th August please do come along for a coffee and chat”


Clare said, “Yes! Lovely bunch of people supported by amazing staff  Tree tots at the Firvale centre in Rooksdown.

Every Wednesday 10-12. Term time

It’s free. Sensory room can be accessed. 

Aimed at 0-5yrs but some mums come by selves whilst children at nursery etc. Happy to answer any questions or meet you outside on 1st time trying it.”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Groups for Children with Hearing Loss

In November 2018, a NHM Reader asked: “I have recently had my 5 week old daughter diagnosed with moderate hearing loss and will be having hearing aids. I just wondered if there were any groups or organisations In the area for parents with children who have hearing loss!”

Thank you for all your responses, they are listed below in no particular order.

Please bear in mind that listings may change in subsequent years, but hopefully they will still be a good base point for your own research.

NHM Readers Recommend: Groups for Children with Hearing Loss

Amanda said, “Chloe and Sophie’s special ears will be able to help – look them up, they are an amazing charity not far from Basingstoke.”

Luan said, “She could join the Basingstoke Voice group too as there may be advice for support on there.”

Rebecca said, “My son was diagnosed with a moderate hearing impairment at 6 weeks. He is 8 yrs old now and has had hearing aids since he was 6 months. My other son also has a hearing impairment and went through grommets and now has hearing aids. Happy to chat to this lady if she wants to message me.”

Sarah said, “There is a local group called the North Hampshire deaf children’s society. They have a Facebook page. There is also a toddler group run at park view infants by the specialist teachers for the deaf.”

Georgina said, “If she’s on instagram, Lucieandthebump has a son who is profoundly deaf and wears cochlear implants and their story may be of help.”  

Tina said, “I am a mum to an almost 5 year old daughter whom was born deaf and been wearing hearing aids since she was about 10/14 days old. There is a toddler group think it run monthly at Park View the teachers of the deaf run it.”

Samantha said, “My baby boy is 12 weeks and has been diagnosed with same condition he got his hearing aids last weekend so in the same boat as this reader, happy to be put in touch.”

Sarah said, “…the North Hampshire deaf children’s society and the toddler group at Park View were brilliant. Thankfully my sons hearing problems were due to glue ear and sorted by grommets but the year he wrote hearing aids I found both groups useful.”

Victoria said, “My daughter (almost three years) has one sided hearing. There is a wonderful group that is run by specialist teacher advisors for Hearing Impairment. It’s called- “Early years stay and play sessions” and they run once a month from Park View…”

Rebecca said, “Welcome to the emotional, scary but wonderful world of a child with a hearing loss. I second what Victoria said… The stay and play run at Park View is great. And North Hampshire Deaf children Society are a wonderful welcoming group. She’ll have a teacher of the deaf soon who will be able to give her lots of advice soon too.”

**Since this post was made, NHM has set up the Facebook group NHM Supporting those with hearing loss/Deafness**

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Warren Tots: What’s on in December 2018

Hatch Warren Community Centre

Sessions run from 9.15-10.30 & 10.45-12

£3.50 per family (adult plus 2 children, additional children £1)

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Kingsclere Village Bunnies Under 5’s Group 2018

We meet weekly at the Village club in Kingsclere where the children have fun playing and experimenting with different toys and activities in a relaxed environment, with a cuppa and chit chat for the parents, grandparents and helpers.

Each week a different art or craft activity is available for children to enjoy. Different toy stations are laid out around the hall and Village Bunnies provide the children with a snack before rounding off the morning with a sing-song. There is a garden with outdoor ride-ons, slides, for those sunnier outdoors days and lots to do indoors on rainy days and through the winter.

You do not need to have had your baby to join us – come along to as many sessions as you want to before his or her arrival. Once your baby is here, we have a protected baby area with bouncy chairs, rugs and baby toys for them to use.

We are here every Tuesday morning 9am – 11am. The first session is free so you can try us on for size and after that sessions cost just £1 for bumps and unweaned babies, £2 for first child (including snack donated by Swan Street Stores) and 50p for additional children.

Kingsclere Bunnies is run by a committee of volunteers and always on the lookout for new members, find us on Facebook to find out more!  

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Bramley Toddler Group 0-5 Club

Bramley Toddler Group is a small, friendly group who meet every Tuesday from 10.15-11.45 during term time at The Clift Meadow Pavilion in Minchens Lane. There is a lovely mixture of mums, dads, grandmas and children aged from just a few weeks old up to 4 years old. Everyone is welcome and it’s always great to meet new people. As well as the children having a great time playing with all the toys, it’s a brilliant opportunity for the adults to socialise and chat over a cuppa!

We have a big selection of toys and equipment from dolls to trains, to slides and seesaws, a play kitchen and a massive collection of dressing up costumes. We have loads of baby toys and baby mats and bouncers so that the babies can also play safely and join in the fun.

As well as the usual play activities, we regularly have guest activities such as pottery painting, Usborne Books and a photographer, along with crafts such as cookie decorating and painting. We always have story time each week and the children can spend a few minutes enjoying a biscuit and drink while sitting and listening to the story.

We run as a small voluntary committee of mums and grandmas and we are always looking for new people to come on board. The main thing we need help with us opening up and setting up all the toys at the start of a session, and putting everything away again at the end.

You can keep up to date by joining the Bramley Toddler 0-5 Facebook group.

Tuesday 10.15-11.45 (Term Time only)
The Clift Meadow Pavilion, Minchens Lane, Bramley. RG26 5BH

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NHM Reader Recommendations: Toddler groups for socialising children and parents

I recently had a question from an NHM Reader that I was really hoping the NHM Community could help with. I know that there are groups on NHM but thought maybe there were other support groups that could also help: “I have 2 children, a 2yr old and a 4year old. My 4 year old is very shy and I do not have any friends with children. I feel really isolated. I would love to find out about some groups (regular ones that I can keep going to) to give my 4yr old an opportunity to mix with other children and me to make some friends.”

Thank you so much for all the responses and also for the kind offers to meet up. The group suggestions are listed below in no particular order:

NHM Reader Recommendations: Toddler groups for socialising children and parents

Edie said “Sherborne St John baby and toddler group on a Wednesday in term time at 9.45-11.30am in the village hall is a very friendly group that is a good way to meet other mums.”

Shirley said “Sycamore Halls Community Centre has two parent and toddler groups… Monday 10 til 12 and Thursday 10 til 12… term time only”

Hannah said “Basing beans is a lovely friendly group. They have a Facebook page. Also places like fun house are good as the kids kind of gravitate towards each other.”

  • Stephanie asked “Hi,is basing beans still running? We’ve been twice(term time) in the last 2 months and the building was in darkness and locked”
  • Jenni replied “Hi Stephanie, I’m not sure if you know but Basing Beans moved to Lychpit Village Hall a while ago, it’s still great fun!”

Rebecca said “Mini Professors is good for 2-4 year olds.”

Allison R said “Two friendly toddler groups held at St Mary’s Church, Goat Lane Eastrop. Tues and Thurs term time, 10am – 11.30am. Many parents bring pack lunches and stay on for more chats and social ‘indoor picnic’!”

Lene said “I run Little Learners Basingstoke (aimed at 5 months to 5 years). A messy play group developing early writing skills and mark making. The classes are small and very relaxed. https://www.facebook.com/LLBasingstoke/

Joanna said “BusyBees Hook is a lovely craft toddler group, Friday mornings at 9.45am”

Laura said “I really recommend Muddy Puddles forest school. Being outside gives shyer children space to make friendships at their own pace. And brilliant for my 2 who are almost 2 and almost 4.”

  • Edie said “Second that actually, we’ve just started our second term”
  • Sarah said “Muddy Puddle Forest School is amazing!”

Erica said “Come and join the fun at Pop Up Play Village on a Wednesday morning in Beggarwood Community Centre. We’ve had a few people come who have felt like that… It’s hard feeling like that. Once your 4 year old gets school visits underway that might help as they meet Classmates. Www.facebook.com/popupplayvillagebasingstoke

Mary said “Do you use your preschool hours? If you find the one where most children go to the school your child will go to you maybe able to benefit for the rest of the term and then meet up with people in the holidays. My issue with lots of groups is they stop in the holidays so you might need to arrange to meet people through the holidays to maintain friendships.”

Mandy said “The Link, Newchurch Road in Tadley have various toddler groups on, all very friendly. Monday 1.15 to 2.45pm cheeky cherubs, Tuesday Little Squigglers Messy Play 9.30am to 11am, Wednesday Cheeky Chimps 9.30am to 11.30am, 2nd and 4th Thursday 9.30 to 11.30am Little Explorers Soft Play. There is also groups run by others like Totcross Buns on Thursday Mornings and Caterpillar Music on a Friday. All the groups are really friendly.”

  • Allison (Tot Cross Buns) replied “Thank you for the recommendation Mandy. We have spaces on Thursday and love meeting new mini bakers and their grown ups.

Wendy said “Basingstoke gymnastics run classes everyday that would accommodate both children.”

Rachael said “Sherfield Park community centre 0-5 toddler group on a Tuesday 10am-12pm. Very friendly group. If you want a smaller group to get her used to people first there is also Bumps into mums every Friday morning at Sherfield Park community centre just pay for drinks and cakes. Runs every week throughout the year (apart from bank holidays and Christmas) 10am-12pm. Kids ages range from newborns through to school starters”

Cerys said “NCT Coffee & Chat, Friday mornings 10.00 at Brookvale Village Hall”

Rachel said “TinyTalk Basingstoke – Baby signing and Toddler Talking classes have a social time as part of the class and I have had so many Mummies and little ones make firm friendships in class!”

Katie said “Join us at Cookery Doodle Doo – with a max preschool class size of 6, the children sit together and cook with me. You’re welcome to help her, or sit at my kitchen table with your littler one and watch/chat/drink coffee. Whatever works for you on the day. Trial class only £5 if you contact me to book. Or try our short pop-up on Thursday 10th May at the Overton Coffee Shop – all the adults join in and help at this fun Flowerpot Cheesecake class for little tots (walking/talking) up to preschool. Both your kids could do that one Www.Cookerydoodledoo.Com/northhants

Naomi said “Melrose Hall has two tot groups running one on a Tues and one on a Friday. The Friday one is very small in numbers so all are welcome”

Sasha said “Oakridge hall does a lovely playgroup on a Tuesday 9:45 -11:15 I have a 4yr and 2yr old and moved here not knowing anyone and felt isolated too.”

Juliet said “I started taking my shy boy to Tot Cross Buns about a year ago when he was two, the class size was perfect for him and the involvement has done wonders for his confidence. It‘s great for meeting other mums too”

  • Allison (Tot Cross Buns) said “Thank you for the recommendation Juliet. We love our mini bakers and enjoy meeting new faces”

Jaz said “Caterpillar Music is suitable for both ages and siblings are free too. I hated playgroups as would sit on my own and not be brave enough to talk to anyone. Structured classes I find much better and less scary. Being a mum is so daunting when you go to new places. I’m only more confident now I have a 3rd and even now don’t dare try playgroups!!!”

Kim said “‘What’s Inside The Box’ Story Time Sessions with Routine Riots. Teas and coffees for mums and dad’s whilst we explore a story, sing, dance and play. Themed each session. Every two weeks and next one is Thursday 3rd May from 1-2pm at Viables Community Centre. £4 and you’ll need to contact the Centre to book”

Yvette said “I went to caterpillar music this morning and usually I find new places and groups daunting. Being a structured class eased my uncomfortable side! Little ones 5 months and thoroughly enjoyed it!!!”

Kelly-Lauren said “Jiggy Wrigglers is a great class for all your children’s ages and is priced per family and not per child. All children love the music, dancing, props and bubbles! There is also social time with toys at the end where you can relax and have free tea/coffees and biscuits whilst your little ones play.”

  • Emma asked “Where is this one please? I have a baby and need to find classes to go to. All the ones I used to do with my first had stopped coz of the children’s centres cutbacks
  • Kelly-Lauren replied “Hi Emma, we are currently at Hook Home and Garden Centre on Tuesday 10-10.30 and 10.45-11.15 (no refreshments here or social time but there is a free play area you can use afterwards inside) which is £3 per child, Thursdays Melrose Hall in Popley 10-11am and Fridays Crookham WI Hall 10-11am. It’s such a shame about the cut backs as a lot of people are missing out on vital connections and support!”

Kath said” Zoe runs zingtastic and mumbaba. Zoe would definitely make you feel welcome and introduce you to other mums”

  • Hayley replied “Another recommendation for Zoe. I’ve been to her groups with both of my children and she will absolutely make you feel welcome”
  • Lisa said “I second that, Zoe is lovely and we have been going to Mumbaba for 3 years now.”
  • Julia said “Zoe is awesome and so welcoming – as a first time mum I went along to Mumbaba having had no mummy friends. My little girl and I were given such a warm welcome and made wonderful new friends”

Lizzie said “I run forest school sessions in Bramley and in morgaston woods at The Vyne. We have a few parents who bring 2 children along as the child led nature of forest School means children of all ages can join in. The parents are all lovely and welcoming and it’s a great place to make new friends as people attend every week. Facebook.com/muddypuddleclub

Sarah said “I run Hartbeeps multi-sensory classes suitable for both ages and siblings. It is a structured class with lots of fun. Classes in Hook are on a Tuesday morning and I have a special offer of 3 introductory classes for £12.00 on at the moment. sarahjp@hartbeeps.com https://www.facebook.com/hartbeepsfarnham/

Hayley said “Little angels in hatch warren on a Thursday morning is good for mixed ages too. My 4 year old and 19 month old go every week. It’s very relaxed and a nice bunch”

Louise NHM said “I was thinking, maybe we need a “code word” for Mum’s who are a bit shy or nervous, so that when they turn up, the organisers know to make them feel very welcomed and introduce them to others. Would that be a good idea?”

  • Rachael said “I think it’s a great idea just a shame it needs to be done, why can’t people just be more welcoming and introduce themselves when they see a new face walk in the door”
  • Jade said “This has never changed. I first had my first child 7 years ago and I was always the one sat on my own at baby group. 7 years later I take my 8month old little girl to one for her sake. Not mine. I don’t feel welcome no one wants to chat they’ve all got their friends I just go purely to get out the house now and no longer worry about having any ‘mummy friends’”
  • Rebecca said “I know exactly how you feel. This is why I prefer structured classes rather than playgroups.”
  • Mary said “I actually think the organiser needs to be more obvious so you know to introduce yourself to. Also most people who are talking in groups will let someone into the group.
  • The other thing to do is get there early and help to set up or put stuff away, that’s another way to get chatting. I don’t think I’m overly confident but i won’t sit on my own either.”
  • Helena said “Our village playgroup had a designated ‘welcomer’ who would instantly spot a new face, explain the set up and introduce them to the adults who she knew would be friendly and chatty Because let’s face it, not everyone is! It worked really well and no one was ever sat alone.
  • Sasha said “Louise NHM that’s a really good idea, make it easier for people”

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