Stretch n Grow

I met Kate when she came along to the NorthHantsMum Meet up last month. I can confirm that she’s lovely! I didn’t get to chat to her for as long as I would have liked but she’s very enthusiastic about Stretch n Grow and you can see that she loves children. These classes sound so much fun! See further down the post for the exclusive offer for NHM Readers.

2012 SNG logo

Why Movement Matters by

The Worlds Leading Fun Fitness & Health Programme for Children!

**Fun Classes, Birthday Parties & Holiday Clubs for Young Children are all available through Stretch-n-Grow.

In my job, it’s not hard to get out of bed in the morning. I can’t think of many jobs that involve spending the day wriggling around on the floor, jumping around the room and singing loudly with a bunch of energetic toddlers and preschoolers who just want to have FUN!

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And we do have fun, buckets of it, but one of the best bits of my job is that underneath the laughter and noise, there is a very serious purpose to what we do. The biggest kick comes from knowing that not only can our work help children to develop fine motor skills, but by educating them about their body, good nutrition and the importance of keeping active, we can encourage them to develop good habits that can impact on their longer term health. Essentially we can increase their chances of a healthier life.

So that’s why I have particularly enjoyed February, the month of love! At Stretch-n-Grow, the learning worksheet module for the month was children’s heart health. In the different settings we visit we speak to the children, (even as young as 1!) about their muscles, healthy eating and what their heart does. We also got their pulses racing with fun movements using active adventure stories & routines, exciting music, age appropriate props & even some obstacle courses & parachute fun. All this is always based around an imaginative theme!

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By teaching children in their formative years about the importance of healthy eating and taking the right amount of exercise, we are hoping to have some healthier hearts in years to come. 😀

So, I hope you were showered in flowers, chocolates and romantic gestures this Valentine’s Day, but let’s show some more love for our your children’s hearts by taking them for a walk up a hill, an adventure in the park, a jump in some puddles, OR even come along to a STRETCH-N-GROW class and let us help make their “Hearts Happy & Bodies Healthy”!

**NEW drop in STRETCH-N-GROW CLASS NOW RUNNING WEEKLY!

For families with children aged 18mths and above. (younger siblings welcome) Wednesdays in Term Time, 1.30 – 2.15pm, at Curves Studio in Brighton Hill (free parking at Asda.) This class has the option of a pay-as-you-go drop in price or offers are available for advance bookings, whichever suits you.

FREE TRIAL FOR NHM READERS! 😀

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Stretch-n-Grow classes are Fun Fun Fun! They are designed to help the development of your child in exciting & interactive ways. It’s all about fun & imagination…our disguise for hard work & strength building. We keep it fresh & exciting every month by creating new & challenging routines to themes our “Stars” will love! 🙂 Our curriculum is endorsed by fitness & child development experts around the world and links closely to the goverment EYFS framework. Each Stretch-n-Grow coach is a certified youth fitness specialist and has only one passion – to show our Stars an Ex-ER-citing time 🙂

**EASTER CLUBS WILL ALSO BE RUNNING IN THE EASTER HOLIDAYS!!

At Chineham Village Hall, for ages 3 -7yr olds.

Children are left with us for 2 hrs of Easter Stretch-n-Grow FUN!

 I look forward to Stretching-n-Growing with your children (& maybe even youJ)

Come and see why Children and Families Love Stretch-n-Grow!

Please contact me for more information on our Fun but Educational Programme, or why not Like us on Facebook:   ‘Stretch-n-Grow Basingstoke’ 

Kate, 07887 993207

Email: basingstoke@stretch-n-grow.co.uk. Website: www.stretch-n-grow.co.uk

NetMums: http://www.netmums.com/north-hants/local/view/preschool-classes/sports-and-action/stretch-n-grow-basingstoke

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Gym-Mini’s

These classes look so much fun! I just wish I didn’t work Monday to Thursday otherwise I would totally be taking up Shelley’s offer for NHM Readers! See further down the post for the exclusive offer for NHM Readers.

My name is Shelley and I run Gym-Minis (www.gym-minis.co.uk) which holds fun balancing, climbing and agility sessions for children from crawling to 5 years all over North Hampshire and has done since 1992 (gosh that’s a long time) !

We currently run classes during school term time in Basingstoke, Hook, Crondall and Alton. There are three classes each morning to cater for children from ‘crawling’ to 5 year old, each class lasts approximately 45 minutes.

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The classes begin and end with a song or rhyme and the children move around the equipment in small groups forming ‘trains’ to move from one station to the next. At each station they encounter a new challenge, learn new skills and will have the opportunity to explore balancing, climbing and agility using our colourful and safe equipment. The ‘floor equipment’ section helps with co-ordination skills and introduces them to simple games.

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All of the classes encompass tasks to encourage Agility, Climbing and Balance, Co-ordination and Self-confidence

The equipment used allows your child to experience all manner of actions, such as rolling, climbing, balancing, jumping and a variety of floor exercises. The layout is altered regularly to provide new challenges.

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Over the years thousands of children have enjoyed our fun filled classes helping them to develop lifeskills, agility, social skills and confidence. If you have a look at our facebook page we have got lots of lovely testimonials from our past and present Mum’s and some photos of the action at the classes! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gym-Minis/439707346074833#!/pages/Gym-Minis/439707346074833

We run classes on the following days/locations:

Mondays –  Chineham Village Hall,  Thornhill Way, Chineham, Basingstoke, Hants, RG24 8YE

Tuesdays – Hook Community Centre, Ravenscroft, Hook, Hants, RG27 9NN

Wednesdays – Four Marks Village Hall, Lymington Bottom, Four Marks, Nr. Alton, GU34 5AA

Thursdays – Crondall Village Hall, Croft Lane, Crondall, Nr Farnham, GU10 5QG

We have two classes each morning with the equipment arranged to suit the age groups:

  • Early years’ (crawling to 2 yrs) class at 9.40 am
  • 2 to 3 year class at 10.30 am

Each class is set up for specific age groups and the child’s parent is expected to work with their child until the child is three years old.

  • The ‘early years’ class which caters for children from crawling to 2 yrs allows the children to explore the equipment in an informal session and includes group rhymes and songs.
  • The 2 to 3 year class is a little more structured and the tasks a little more adventurous. The children work and play in small groups (max 6) with their parent and a trainer to help and assist.

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We also offer wonderful exclusive children’s birthday parties during the school holidays or at weekends where we will come out to a location of your choice and setup the equipment for the party for your child. Please let me know if you would like any further details on these.

So why not come and give us a try…we guarantee they (and you) will enjoy it and make lots of new friends! We would like to offer all northhantsmum readers their 1st session with us completely FREE (you must be a new mum that has not been to Gym-Minis before, sorry)!

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Spaces for all classes are limited and we do have waiting lists for some of them so please get in touch ASAP if you would your child to be put down (even if they are too little at the moment we can put them down for future ones).

Please feel free to email or call me with any enquiries:

shelleykerr@btinternet.com

01420 562461

or visit www.gym-minis.co.uk for further information on us.

I look forward to hopefully seeing some of you soon 🙂

Shelley x

New Toddler and Baby Group Survey

In 2012 Karen asked me if I could ask all of you if you wouldn’t mind responding to a survey for her, so she could guage interest in a new PlayGroup. Jumble Bees was formed as a result of this feedback and has been so successful that Karen is now looking for further support regarding a new song and craft group.

Please can you complete the survey below for Karen. The survey won’t take more than 2 minutes to complete as it is just 7 questions long and is anonymous, but I know Karen will be very grateful if you could complete it for her so she could understand the demand for a new group.

You can find the survey here:  www.surveymonkey.com/s/KY93F3V

I would be really interested in any classes that run on weekends as my husband works every other weekend, so classes on Sunday would be of particular interest to me. If they would be of interest to you, please make sure you highlight this in the survey.

Thanks Karen and thanks to all you NHM Readers who will respond! I know NHM readers will provide Karen with lots of good responses!! 😀

Related Posts

New PlayGroup – Market Research

The New FitMama Studio

So, do you have your New Year’s Resolutions sorted and are you raring to go? If exercise is high on you new years resolutions, check out the new FitMama Studio in Stroudley Road.

The studio is run by Marie Bahena and Lola, the ladies who have very successfully developed the FitMama Method. See a previous blog HERE about FitMama.

(I stole this from the welcome page of the FitMama studio, but I don’t think Marie or Lola will mind! ;-)):

 The FitMama Studio, Basingstoke, is a place where exercise meets motherhood!  It is a home away from home, a support structure and place of self discovery, a hub of health and helping hands to get you to your goals.

We may not have hairdryers and steam rooms, but we do have your goals and ambitions at heart, and will be with you through your journey of motherhood, whether you are pregnant or the mother of a 24 year old!

With lashings of advice, honest assistance and downright good fun, we will never judge you, only help you. We will never give up on you, only continue to support you. We will be a shoulder when you need it and a jolly good laugh when the time is right.

So don’t feel frumpy and alone, become a member of The FitMama Studio and start spreading the Fitmama Love… cheesy? yes, of course!!!!!

 The FitMama Studio is the Basingstoke HQ of the Fitmama family, including The FitMama Method Book (Souvenir Press) and Fitmama Ltd.  All of which are dedicated to the health and well being of mothers and the professionals who work with them.

The FitMama Studio is the flagship venue for all Fitmama classes, and used as a training centre for our exceptional FitMama Trainers who are expanding across the UK.

The FitMama Studio Ltd, Unit 41 Basepoint Centre, Stroudley Rd, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 8UP

The studio is incredibly Mum and Baby/Toddler friendly. They have classes in the evening time and during the day and also hosts one of the only Sling Meets in the area. You can join as a Pay as you Go member or you can pay a monthly fee. For more details, check out the FitMama studio website.

If you would like more details about the Studio, please contact Marie, Lola and their team on the following: 01256 369 291 or email hello@thefitmamastudio.com.

It’s on my list of things to do to check out one of the classes at the Studio very soon!

Related Posts

Guest Post Wednesday: “1,000,000,000 sit ups – The end of an era!”

PlayDays Parent and Baby Club

Kirsty sent me a lovely message asking me to publicise the new Parent and Baby Club at PlayDays every Tuesday. So if you are looking for something to do today with your baby, pop down to PlayDays 😉

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Every Tuesday (term-time only), 10:30am-12:30noon

£1.50 per child (0-18ths), Free tea or coffee for parent

Come and enjoy a focused session for your babies, whilst you enjoy a complimentary tea or coffee and the company of other parents with babies, who you can share experiences with. The session will be run by a qualified Nursery Practitioner and will end with singing a few nursery rhymes or a story.

Please check out our Facebook Page: Playdays Indoor Playcentre, Basingstoke for more information and dates, or email us on: playdays.newbabyclub@gmail.com.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Halloween Parties for the Younger Age Group in North Hampshire – 2012

A NHM reader asked a great question on NorthHants Mum and I thought the response deserved blog post. (Plus, I feel guilty that I didn’t post much this week because of internet issues.) Thanks for your question Kaela! I’ve put together a short post for you on Halloween Parties for little ones. Hope it helps!

Kaela asked: “Do you know anywhere that are doing children’s Halloween parties for the more younger age group? Many thanks”

Bopping Babies: Wednesday 24th (Chineham)  and Friday 26th October (Bramley)

BOPPING BABIES RETURNS FOR THE AUTUMN TERM (Chineham)
Bopping Babies is back with a ‘bang’ with the Halloween special themed
party.

Toddler Sense “Spooky Wooky Party”

Toddler Sense Spooky Wooky Party on the 28th October! Places are filling so please do contact me if you would like to come along for some fabby “more Wooky than Spooky” fun especially for your little one! Email at basingstoke@toddlersense.co.uk

PlayDays is having a Halloween Party: TICKETS ON SALE NOW!!!

Playdays Halloween Party, Fri 26th Oct And Sat 27th Oct 6-8:30pm. They have prices for children under 18 months, so will probably be appropriate for little people.

Active Tots Halloween Party

Join us for some HALLOWEEN FUN on Wednesday 31st October! Its a chance to show off your fancy dress! Soft Play as usual, with a few extras in our Activities Room which will be transformed to provide themed activities throughout the day!

The Green Gloop will be simmering in the cauldron for those that wish to give it a stir! Decorate yummy themed biscuits and more….. Usual Play Price plus £2.00 for those wishing to take part in the Halloween Activities! Fancy Dress is a must with prizes for the best dressed!

JJ’s

JJ’s has a halloween Party on, but it’s for older children and is from 6pm to 10pm

Children’s Centres

The Big Children’s Centres: Pebbles, Octopus and Buttercups used to do Halloween themed parties  and events (I think), but I can’t find anything about this on each of their websites and they may not be happening because of the change to Action for Children.

If there are any other events that are happening in the area for younger children, it would be great if you could share so others can see. Thanks everyone!

MAD Academy

Elaine contacted me asking if I could publicise the new MAD Academy classes for her. Here is her post…

MAD Academy classes for preschool children are bursting with energy and fun!  Each week we combine lively music and dance, with carefully structured learning, designed for the specific age and developmental stage of your child.

We sing and dance to lots of popular songs which you will already know, as well as a few new funky ones of our own.  Children are introduced to a wide range of music, whilst being given the chance to explore different rhythms, musical instruments and musical styles.  Dance and movement are key elements of every session and we play lots of games which are guaranteed to be fun and motivational!

As well as ensuring each child has a fantastic time, we give them the opportunity to develop confidence, motor control, physical co-ordination, and social skills, whilst learning to express themselves creatively and encouraging their natural passion for music.

Children are accompanied by an adult and we hope you will enjoy the opportunity to share some fun time with your child.  At MAD we believe in a free-spirited approach to learning which means that if your child doesn’t want to join in an element that’s fine.  The ethos at MAD Academy is a relaxed and fun time for the children and this will, we hope, rub off on you!  Come and experience it for yourself!

We’re actually restarting. The classes used to be run by Cathy, who’s now teaching classes at Hatch Warren on Friday for us…9.30 walkers to 2 yrs, 10.25 2-4 yrs, and 11.20 walkers to 4s. And it’s now run by Sarah Maskell , who’s been teaching for many years and she’ll be doing a class at 9.30 in Chineham Village Hall on a Tuesday for walkers to 4yr olds, and a class at the Salvation Army Hall in Tadley on a Wednesday for walkers to 4 year olds at 9.30.

www.madacademy.com or the MAD Facebook Page

People do need to call to book, as we only put a limited number in each class.

If you mention NorthHantsMum then the first class is free and we do a special rate for siblings and childminders.

Please call us on 01189391055 or 07771850298 to reserve a space.

13 Things to do in Basingstoke with a newborn

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1. Subscribe to NorthHantsMum

Obviously! :-D. 

The best way to ensure that you receive each post is subscribe using the “Email Sign Up” box” on the right hand side of the home page of NorthHantsMum.co.uk. Every time there is a new post on NHM you will receive an email in your inbox.

I get the most interaction on” Louise NHM Smith” on Facebook . The best discussions and comments are always via “Louise NHM Smith“, so I also recommend adding me as a friend. Don’t worry, I don’t ever look at anyones’ profiles. I don’t have the time or interest! lol.

Also ask to join the secret “Newborn”  (or “Pregnancy”) facebook group that I have set up on “Louise NHM Smith” for parents of Newborns. It’s a great way to meet other Mum’s who are in the same stage of babyhood as you.

2. Join a Baby PEEP course

Click for more details about what a PEEP course and Baby Sensory.

3. Go swimming with your baby

Go swimming with your baby (after 12 weeks old) at the Sports Centre in the week or QMC swimming pool at the weekend. See Swimming with Babies for more details. You can check out other baby and child friendly swimming pools. Or maybe look into structured classes with Water Babies.

4. Go to a baby weighing clinic

Go to The Nest at Chineham Church on a Monday morning. I always found the cafe area to be lovely as everyone was very friendly and willing to chat to each other, even if you didn’t know them beforehand! You can check out other baby weighing clinics: Baby Weighing Clinics in Basingstoke. 

5. Visit a local coffee or tea shop

Visit the Little Roses Coffee Shop in Elm Tree Garden Centre for coffee and cake with your friends who are also on maternity leave. You can find other baby friendly tea and coffee shops: Reasonably Priced Afternoon Tea‘s and NHM Recommended Children friendly Coffee Shops.  I also recently reviewed The Parlour TeaRoom which also comes highly recommended.

6. Go to the Newbies cinema

Go to Newbies cinema on a Monday morning at the Odeon. It’s specifically for parents with babies. The sound is reduced and it’s half lighting so you can still see your baby. Much cheaper than normal cinema tickets and includes free biscuits and tea and coffee (if you get there before the Senior cinema oldies demolish the lot at 11am!). Also recommend signing up to their Odeon Club as you get points and it’s amazing how quickly they rack up and convert into free tickets or free food! Miss NHM went to the cinema every week from 3 weeks old till 6 months old!

7. Take a Baby Massage Course

You can book independently here or investigate whether one of the local children’s centres has a course. (this tends to work out much cheaper!) Gail who often does the courses is lovely and a real calming influence.

8. Go to a Baby Rhymetime session

Go to a Baby RhymeTime session (normally hosted at one of the libraries).

9. Visit “Coffee and Chat on a Friday morning

Visit “Coffee and Chat” on a Friday morning. This group also host a “Sling Day” on the 1st Friday of the month (see Slings for previous posts about slings) and they also do bra fittings on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month.

10. Have a photography session with your newborn

You can click Family Photographers in North Hampshire for a list of family friendly photographers in the area. Some do specific newborn packages, so have a look through.

11. Join a local baby class

There are LOADS going on in the area (Tots Play, Buggy Fit, Baby Signing and Baby Sensory are just a few). To find more details about which classes are available have a look at the Activities Page on NorthHantsMum.co.uk which lists classes by day.

12. Take some hand prints whilst your baby is tiny

Get a head start on those all important first Christmas presents at Pots2Paint. Perfect for creating keepsakes from your baby for your loved ones.

Finally…

I found it really important to get out and about with my little one in those first few months. The house became thoroughly neglected but it was totally worth it for my sanity!

If you have any friends who have just had a baby, don’t forget to share this post with them!

Related Pages

Things to do/Places to go with a baby when it’s raining

What to do when you first join the NorthHantsMum Community

Important Local Information (e.g. family phographers, birthday parties, day nurseries, outings)

Subscribe to NHM!!

Baby Weighing Clinics in Basingstoke 

NHM Mum Top Tips

NHM Reader Questions

NHM Business Directory

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Google+Facebook Profile, LinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

NHM Reader Question: Weekend Playgroups

Sue asked on the Facebook Page: Does anyone know if there are any coffee and play groups in Basingstoke at weekends? If not, is it because no-one wants them or because no-one has set one up? I have real problems keeping my 19 month entertained especially as his Daddy works 3 weekends out of 4 and this weekend he is on nights 🙁

Thanks for your question Sue. I’ve done a bit of research and unfortunately I can’t find any coffee or play groups on the weekend in the area :-(.

I know how challenging it is to try to keep a little one entertained on the weekend as my husband is often away for a Sunday or Saturday. Maybe this is a gap in the market that needs filling? I know of the perfect place for this, so if any of you are interested in a weekend play group please let me know. If there is enough interest I will see what I can do to arrange something under the NHM brand.

In the meantime, below is a list of indoor places that you could take your little one on a weekend:

  • Active Tots – open on Saturday
  • PlayDays
  • JJ’s

For details about these and further Soft Play areas in the area check out this NHM page HERE.

Also, have a look at the following post for places to go in Hampshire HERE or this post for Walks in the local area HERE.

Hopefully the weather will improve soon so our little ones can spend more time outside. Having said that, when I was in North Germany earlier in the year I discovered a playgroup that spends ALL of their time outside, whatever the weather. The children are never sick and spend all morning playing outside, come rain, shine or snow!  Apparently there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing! I try to keep this in mind whilst looking out the window at the rain again!

Does anyone else know of any groups that meet on the weekends?

If you have any questions that you would like me to investigate, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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.