NHM Readers Recommend: Board Games

I recently received a question from an NHM Reader: “Do the NHM Community have any boardgame recommendations for toddlers, 5-8 year olds and tweens? I’d like to get one for Christmas each year but want something that we will actually play more than once.” 

Many thanks for all of your responses, listed below in no particular order.

NHM Readers Recommend: Board Games

Lottie said “I don’t know if it’s still a thing as mine are a bit young but I used to love mouse trap at that age!!!”

Lian said “Articulate kids is good for the older ones and adults to play”

Wendy saidI like games that have as few parts as possible so crocodile dentist and toilet trouble are our favourites, also any of the pie faces games. We use them at birthday parties and there’s always a queue.”

Joy said “Rondo! Friends bought it for us, ours are between 9 & 16, we’ve been enjoying it for the past 2 years!”

Ruth said “Or anything in the brainbox range – covers a wide age range, quick and simple to play for as long or as little as interest lasts, and really interesting at the same time!

Jason saidPayday. Love it with my 6 and 10 year old”

Lisa M said “My 7&9 yo have been playing Ticket to Ride for a couple of years. We also love Survive & Catan our three favourites. All great for kids up to adults”

Rachel H said “Hungry hippos is great for my two. They were 3 and 5 last Christmas and has the added bonus that they can play it themselves with no help. I’ve bought a lot of orchard games before but am finding the old favourites are much more suitable and are getting a lot more use”

Lisa B said “Exploding Kittens for the middle age bracket”

Rachael W said “Who am I, popping pirate, piranhas, spot the difference cards”

Sue said “Bugs in the kitchen”

Helena said “Ufo alarm is fab, easy, funny and not many parts!”

Rachael S said “Hullabaloo not a board game but loved by all. Orchard games are loved by 3 years up. Crash bang wallop is fabulous”

Libby said “Exploding kittens!”

Emma T said “Ours love battleships because it’s different every time they play and it gets very competitive!”

Claire said “Ours love Dobble”

Emma C said “Code names is a great game”

Alison said “UNO is a good card game that covers a range of ages”

Liz said “Looping Louie is good for young to mid age range”

Ruza said “Operation, tummy ache, Mmmm!”

Sam said “Orchard games are great for toddlers. We’ve got about 5 of them!”

Helen saidSnakes and ladders, twister, hungry hippos, frustration, tick tack toe”

Angela said “Can’t recommend Smelly Wellies by Orchard Games highly enough for a preschooler. My son loves it, we play many times a day (And if you want variety you can use the two sets of wellies to play pairs)”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Board Games for Older Children

In December 2018, a NHM Reader asked: “Do the NHM Community have any board game recommendations for toddlers, 5-8 year olds and tweens? I’d like to get one for Christmas each year but want something that we will actually play more than once.”

Thank you for all your responses, they are listed below in no particular order. All opinions are the readers own and are not that of NHM.

NHM Readers Recommend: Board Games for Older Children

Lian said, “Articulate kids is good for the older ones and adults to play”

Wendy said, “I like games that have as few parts as possible so crocodile dentist and toilet trouble are our favourites, also any of the pie faces games. We use them at birthday parties and there’s always a queue.”

Joy said, “Rondo! Friends bought it for us, ours are between 9 & 16, we’ve been enjoying it for the past 2 years!”

Ruth said, “…anything in the brainbox range – covers a wide age range, quick and simple to play for as long or as little as interest lasts, and really interesting at the same time!”

Jason said, “Payday. Love it with my 6 and 10 year old.”

Lisa said, “My 7&9 yo have been playing ‘Ticket to Ride, Europe’ for a couple of years…we also love ‘Survive’ & Catan our three favourites. All great for kids up to adults”

Rachel said, “Hungry hippos is great for my two. They were 3 and 5 last Christmas and has the added bonus that they can play it themselves with no help. I’ve bought a lot of orchard games before but am finding the old favourites are much more suitable and are getting a lot more use.”

Lisa said, “Exploding Kittens for the middle age bracket.

Rachael said, “Who am I, popping pirate, piranhas, spot the difference cards.”

Sue said, “Bugs in the kitchen.”

Helena said, “Ufo alarm is fab, easy, funny and not many parts!”

Rachael said, “Hullabaloo not a board game but loved by all. 
Orchard games are loved by 3 years up. Crash bang wallop is fabulous”

Libby said, “Exploding kittens!”

Emma said, “Ours love battleships because it’s different every time they play and it gets very competitive!”

Claire said, “Ours love Dobble.”

Emma said, “Code names is a great game.”

Alison said, “UNO is a good card game that covers a range of ages.”

Liz said, “Looping Louie is good for young to mid age range.”

Ruza said, “Operation, tummy ache, Mmmm!”

Sam said,”Orchard games are great for toddlers. We’ve got about 5 of them!”

Helen said, “Snakes and ladders, twister, hungry hippos, frustration, tick tack toe.”

Angela said, “Can’t recommend Smelly Wellies Orchard Games highly enough for a preschooler. My son loves it, we play many times a day  (And if you want variety you can use the two sets of wellies to play pairs)”

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NHM Readers Recommend: iPad Apps for 4 to 7 year olds

In response to a question from a NHM Reader, I asked the Friends of my  “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook “What are people’s suggested iPad apps for children aged 4-7?”

The responses are below, in particular order.

The following link may also be useful: NMH Readers: Suggested iPad Apps for 2 to 4 Year Olds

NHM Readers recommend iPad apps for 4 to 7 year olds

Toco Boca

As recommended by Jonathan

Sago Mini

As recommended by Jonathan

Lego

Emma says I’m biased because I work for them but the Lego apps are great because they don’t have in app purchases and are nice and simple to play”

My Very Hungry Caterpillar

Melanie says “My 4yo enjoys My Caterpillar (based on the Very Hungry Caterpillar)”

Pepi Play

Melanie says “The Pepi range (Pepi House, Pepi Doctor, Pepi Tree, Pepi Bath, Pepi Ride)”

Nessy

Liane says “The Nessy phonics apps are cheap, fun and amazing for teaching early reading”

ScratchJr

Jonathan says “Scratch Jr for coding”

Tinybop

Jonathan says “TinyBop apps for Science and understanding of the world”

YouTube Kids

As recommended by Jonathan
Emma says “You tube kids!”
Sue said “YouTube kids”

BBC iPlayer Kids

As recommended by Jonathan

Cbeebies

Andy said “BBC cbeebies”
Sue said “CBeebies playtime island”
Marie said “Cbeebies playtime app is quite good”

Apps for Mindfulness

Breathe for Kids
Pause
As recommended by Jonathan

Good App Guide

Lyndsey said “TheGoodAppGuide is best for this type of advice. Free isn’t always good, consider the lure of inapp purchases and the downsides of advertising.”

 

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NHM Reader Recommendations: Memory/Keepsake Bears

An NHM Reader asked: “can anyone recommend someone locally who makes memory/keepsake bears from newborn clothes?”

Thank you the the NHM community for your responses, these are below, in no particular order. Thank you also to Juliet for putting this post together!!! 

NHM Reader’s recommendations for Memory/Keepsake bears

Sarah’s Handmade

Sarah’s Handmade

Linda said “Sarah’s Handmade – She’s brilliant.”

Debra Designs

Debra Designs

Emma said “This lady is amazing, the teddy we had made for our youngest is amazing”

Stacey said “Debra Designs”

Debra said “Yes I do, Basingstoke based, but can post if needs be! My page is Debra Designs Keepsakes Feel free to pop over and have a look!!”

Kellbells keepsakes

Kellbells keepsakes

Claudia said “Kelly of Kellbells keepsakes – she also makes school memory beats which are fab.”

Kelly said “Thanks for the recommendation Claudia. I make memory keepsake animals. Please check out my page.”

Graces Creations

Graces Creations

Lucy said “My friend makes beautiful bits she’s online and posts highly recommended”

Memory Bears From The Heart By Paula

Memory Bears From The Heart By Paula

Nicole said “Memory Bears By Paula Not local but great quality and prices and willing to ship.”

Sew Memorable

Sew Memorable

Amber said “Hi…I am Bramley, Hampshire and I am Sew Memorable…have a look at my facebook page… My Bears have moveable arms and legs and you can choose where each fabric goes…”

Sarah’s Handmade

Sarah’s Handmade

Sarah said “I’m in Hook, Hampshire. I post worldwide.”

Other Suggestions

Wendy said “I intended to do this but I didn’t like the idea of the clothes being cut up so my kids cuddly toys wear them. Jelly cat toys fit newborn socks perfectly.”

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NHM Reader Recommendations: Toddlers on an Aeroplane Journey

Louise recently posted on “Louise nhm Smith”: “Good Evening Everyone! I can’t help myself but I saw on a friends fb that she’s looking for ideas for keeping a toddler quiet on a long aeroplane journey. My initial suggestions were the Playmobil 123 motorbike and “pip squeak” crayolas with any of the Usborne activity books. I’ve also wrapped toys up as that was a nice distraction for at least half a minute! What would your suggestions be?”

Members of the NHM community responded with the below, many thanks for your contributions!

Thank you very much also to Juliet for putting this post together!

NHM Reader Recommendations: Toddlers on an Aeroplane Journey

Fiona says “CBeebies app with games and stories on.”

Sarah says “Aqua draw”

Beckie says “I have taken colouring, plasticine, stories, iPad, snacks, duplo etc. I have just bought some travel activity books on amazon for our holiday. That might be worth a look.”

Lisa says “We had Julia Donaldson activity sticker books”

Abigail says “A new book that has lots to look at such as Richard Scarry books, Where’s Wally or Just Imagine and You Choose by Nick Sharrat and Pippa Goodhart.”

Becky says “My friend wrapped little presents up for her son to unwrap every hour”

Skye says “iPad and don’t worry about a child making noise. It’s a flight not a day spa.”

Lucy says “Def sticker books, keeps mine entertained for hours… and snacks that take forever to eat.”

Wendy says “Wallpaper border is very good to use as drawing paper on planes. My friend also has tips on his travel blog. https://www.lifeofreilly.tv/how-to-survive-a-long-haul…/

Caroline says “Cbeebies app works really well for our daughter”

Marie says “Does she have a tablet? Mr Maker has a good app and there is a peppa pig paint and draw one that my little boy used to love. If she’s into watching movies maybe there will be a kids movie on the flight?”

Colleen says “Tablet, headphones, battery pack.”

Bridget says “We travelled over 10 hours to the US with our 19 month old on Feb and I brought her some toddler headphones because the airlines often have the buds and I thought they would be bad for her ears. Also if you are travelling from Heathrow Terminal 3 they have an excellent family lounge which is free. It has a quiet room, soft play areas and loads of toys. Was so good for tiring our toddler out before the flight. Also make a pack lunch because if your baby is under 2 and travelling on your lap they won’t get any food on board so think ahead. Snack attack things are great, raisins, cheesy ritz etc”

Karen says “When we went on a long car journey I bought various new toys to buy us time… Aqua doodles, toy car, cheap baby doll (which had odd bits with it), new book, fuzzy felt books, craft pack from Baker Ross, basically a variety of different things to buy a bit of time”

Jeni says “Shape sorter eggs. I have two sets of them for each car and they entertain mine for a good while”

Rachel says “We’ve flown abroad twice recently (2 & 4 first trip, 3 & 4 the second)….they have their own tablets which were great as could download films/cartoons in advance. Colouring books and crayons (small) were appreciated by my daughter on both trips, along with some crafty bits. My son (younger) played with a selection of vehicles the first time (free with a magazine we bought for the plane), the second time he just wanted to watch the on board entertainment. Pack some snacks too, things you know they love. I packed too many bits the first time….I followed all the advice I could get and packed EVERYTHING. Completely forgetting to take into account the fact that my children are individuals, and my daughter enjoys sitting and colouring/drawing/making but my son gets bored of those easily.”

Rachel says “I’ve heard tablets can’t be used on all flights but phones can so make sure you have some apps on your phone too!”

Lauren says “Crayola colour wonder packs are great as the pens don’t have ink in them! Keep snacks handy!!”

Kelly says “I’ve been known to take small pots of playdough for the lap tray and a couple of cutters. Small puzzles. Mini Etch a sketch type thing. New books that they haven’t seen before. Daughter had a baby and little blanket. Def snacks. Lollys! Don’t normally like them but for take off and landing they’re great if ears are an issue. Made sure we had a pillow and blanket as soon as we got on too.”

Bridget says “If you have a lap baby (under 2) call up the airline and ask for a bassinet set, these are on the bulk heads so you get extra leg room which is helpful. They can’t 100% guarantee and they will tell you to ask again at check in to confirm but it’s always worked for me. The bassinets are great for letting babies lay down and sleep comfortably. They can take up to 25lbs which is about 19 months ish”

Sarah says “Usborne sticker activity books helped us on flights when the girls were little. Good distraction for take off and landing.”

Marie says “I’ve recently done a 13hour flight with a 6 week old and a 3 year old. My biggest tip is to travel over night. Our flight left at around 9pm. The baby was easy. Slept most of the way and only woke to be fed.  The 3 year old was my biggest fear. But with his own tv and kindle. It kept him occupied for the first couple of hours. Then he slept for 7 1/2 hours. The remainder of the journey he was mesmerised with the games and cartoons on the entertainment system provided. We had cars/books/toys etc in a bag but he barely touched these. Sticker books were a life saver when he started to get fed up. (Don’t forget pull ups or nappies, saves any accidents). Of course snacks are a given. We are planning the same flight (returning to England) for Christmas and again plan to come overnight. My son I’m not worried about but my daughter will be 15 months old this time and I’m dreading it. Easier when she was a baby!”

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NHM Readers: Suggested iPad Apps for 2 to 4 year olds

In response to a question from a NHM Reader, I asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook What suggested iPad Apps (Free or Paid) for 2-3 year olds and 3-4 year olds do people recommend? Specifically educational ones, not games.” . (Thank you very much to everyone who responded!)

Please note, these are in no particular order!

1. Minion Rush

Despicable Me: Minion Rush on the App Store – iTunes – Apple

Lisa says “If you put in children’s number games there is one kids can trace in the number, there’s the same one for letters…. My son likes Minion Rush it helps with hand eye co-ordination”.

2. Todo Math

Todo Math on the App Store – iTunes – Apple

Claire says “Todo Math is brill”.

3. Jolly Phonics

Jolly Phonics Letter Sounds App – Jolly Learning Jolly Learning

As recommended by Jason.

4. Bugs and …

Bugs and Buttons on the App Store – iTunes – Apple

Bugs and Numbers on the App Store – iTunes – Apple

Bugs and Bubbles on the App Store – iTunes – Apple

As recommended by Susan.

5. Pirate phonics

Buried Treasure phonics game – Phonics Play

As recommended by Susan.

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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: Little Play Town

Thank you VERY much to the NHM Secret Writer who wrote this review!!

Review 2017: Little Play Town

I was really excited when I saw that Little Play Town was opening in Odiham. We’ve been to Little Street in Frimley before and really enjoyed it. Little Play Town looked similar, focusing on role play with the play space divided into different themes, but it is much closer to us in Basingstoke – bonus! It opened early October and I visited with my 2 year old a few weeks later. We had a brilliant time!! There were serious tears from my little one when it was time to leave. We can’t wait to go again.

The play space is quite large and includes a building site, hairdressers, vets, firestation, race track, café, play kitchen and more. The space is immaculate and the toys are really high quality. As my friend said to me ‘the toys are the ones I would buy for my child if I had an unlimited budget’. It feels like a high quality, clean, safe place for little people to play. My son enjoyed exploring each play area and an hour and half seemed about the right amount of time for him to play with everything without getting bored.

Tips

Little Play Town run 4 x 1.5 hour sessions throughout the day 7 days a week so you book online (or just turn up and hope there’s space) for the session that you want to go to. At the end of the session everyone leaves giving the staff time to tidy everything up and get it ready for the next group. This means that at the start of each session everything is tidy and in the right place.

I wasn’t sure what age it would be appropriate for but I think I will take my 5 year old next time. I’m pretty sure he’d still really enjoy it. I would guess up to around age 7 would be ok.

There are no shoes allowed inside and adults and children all need to wear socks.

Little Play Town is upstairs and there’s no lift. You can store a pushchair upstairs but you’d need to be able to collapse it and carry it up.

Food

There’s a small café with a soft play space for pre-walkers. The café has good quality drinks and snacks, including some child-friendly healthier options. The café is next to the play space but you can’t see all of it from the café so with younger children you wouldn’t be able to sit in the café whilst they played.

Baby facilities

There are two toilets and a baby change area that is large and clean.

Parking

There are two pay and display carparks in Odiham that are within easy walking distance. Spaces on the street are free for 2 hours so if you can get one these are ideal. We went for the 9:30 session and on-street parking was easy. I can imagine it might be harder later on in the day or at the weekend.

It took me a while to find exactly where it is. The entrance is on the side of the building down the small driveway that goes down the side of the Bel and Dragon from the high street.

Prices

£5.95 for 1 child aged 1-7 years with one adult. £3.50 for an extra adult. £1 for a child under 1 year. If you only have a child under 1 you’d need to pay £1 for them and £3.50 for you.

Other info

Little Play Town also do children’s parties and are starting a children’s yoga class. More details on their webpage (www.littleplaytown.co.uk.

Rating

5 out of 5 – we loved it!!

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