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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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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Review 2017: Arbonne Makeup Range

Thank you very much to the NHM secret reviewer who wrote today’s post!!!

Great review and I wish I’d had the time to agree to doing this one myself!!! lol.

Review 2017: Arbonne Makeup Range

When NorthHantsMum asked for a reviewer for makeup the ‘pre-mummy’ me woke up and jumped at the chance for a bit of pampering. I’d come across the Arbonne brand in the form of nappy cream which worked well when Big J was born so was very excited to try their make up range.

Natalie arrived at my house with a lovely bag of goodies and explained a bit about them all, luckily for my sleep deprived brain she also left me some information about them all.

I have to be totally honest and say I wasn’t sure how much time I’d have to apply makeup (or how often the Small J’s would let me) but I did manage to try it all out a few times and most days I used the makeup primer. It only took me 30 seconds to apply and as promised it made my skin feel smooth and look refreshed. Even if there was no time for anything else I could manage this daily.

I’ve always struggled to find foundation to match my pale skin but Natalie explained that Arbonne supplied the foundation for the Twilight movies, thankfully I’m not vampire pale and the Honey Beige perfecting liquid foundation suited me well and had the added benefit of SPF protection. It worked so well I didn’t even have the need to try the liquid concealer with it although when I used it on its own it did a good job of covering up how tired I am!

On the day of Small J’s christening I was able to steal a bit more me time and tested the setting pretty translucent loose powder out. It complemented the foundation well and when I went to remove my makeup that evening it was still there to remove despite running around all day. The bronzer, mascara and lipliner finished off my look and I felt ready for all the photos and live web broadcast of the christening!

The shea butter handcream was declared a winner by Mother in Law J and Mr J got involved testing one of Arbonnes nutrition range. Arriving home from work exhausted he knocked back a energy fizz stick and enjoyed the pomegranate flavour and felt that it was a good pick me up.

The Arbonne brand is dedicated to sustainability with their ‘Evergreen commitment’ which amongst other things includes providing cruelty free formulas, vegan certified and commitments to recycling, water conservation and carbon neutrality.

Natalie Hall can be contacted on 07909334102, at nathallarbonne@hotmail.com or via www.nataliehall.arbonne.com

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Review 2017: Buggys Magic Valeting Basingstoke

 

We have been very excited (and tired) in the J household. Small J has been upgraded to Big J with the arrival of his little sister. With that we found ourselves in need of a buggy with a ‘big brother seat’ for when he is too tired to go any further.

After a bit of online searching I came across a new local business ‘Buggy Magic Valeting Basingstoke.’ Run by Emma Lyons the company buys, makeovers and deep cleans buggies giving them some TLC and a new lease of life for their next owner.

You can also have your existing buggy cleaned thoroughly. I love recycling, reusing and upcycling and the idea that unwanted buggies are getting a new lease of life rather than landing in the rubbish dump makes me very happy.

 

Emma answered my Facebook enquiry very quickly and was able to send me photos of suitable buggys she had ready to go as well as descriptions of some more she was still getting ready. She helped me choose one that met my requirements, my only concern was Big J might be a bit tall for it. So the following day we went to give it a test run with Big J on board.

He was delighted with his big brother seat and Mother in Law J declared it easy to push. Emma gave us a full rundown of how to assemble it and all the different configurations the seating could be in and even loaded it in the boot for me to check it would fit.

We are very happy with our new wheels (for the time being it appears Big J’s legs are permanently ‘too tired!’) and will be returning to Emma after the winters mud to have it all cleaned off.

Buggy Magic Valeting Basingstokes available stock and current valeting price list can be viewed on the facebook page of the same name.

Emma can be contacted via the page for any enquiries.

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Buggymagicvaleting/

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Review 2017: Beale Park

Thank you to the NHM Secret Reviewer who wrote today’s post.

Review 2017: Beale Park

Like many other afflicted parents, I have a boy addicted to trains. I made the mistake of promising a train ride all week, and today I had to deliver. Fortunately I live in an area where there are quite a few options that aren’t solely about trains, and today was Beale Park – a stunning wildlife park and gardens with a fantastic selection of children’s play areas. Perfect!

Beale Park website

Beale Park Facebook Page

About

Beale Park is a wildlife park and gardens about 30-40 minutes away from Basingstoke, between Lower Basildon and Pangbourne, by the River Thames. There are three main features to the park:

Wildlife:
The park has a collection of small exotic animals, farm animals and birds, including meerkats, wallabies, coatis, owls and peacocks to name but a few. The train passes many of these areas, which can be very useful for tired little feet, although the paths are pushchair friendly. There is also a deer park set in a large open space with picnic area and zip wire. We haven’t been that far yet though.

Attractions:
The park’s miniature train runs every day during their open season and your first ride is included with your entry ticket. There is an additional charge for further rides. There is an amazing Little Tikes Outdoor Village, indoor play area, adventure playground, paddling pool, sandpit, Roplay area and aerial cableway. To be honest, there is so much at the central play area alone, we could spend the whole day there and our boys would be happy (with a train ride of course).

Gardens:
We have so far managed to convince our boys that the way to the main play area is through the Jubilee Water Gardens. That’s not strictly true but the gardens are so stunning we don’t see the harm in being a little sneaky in order to enjoy the amazing walk. With a beautiful oriental feel, I can’t imagine leaving them feeling anything other than relaxed. There is also a ‘Dry Garden’ running alongside the inner lake making it a wonderful feature.

Conservation

Not only is Beale Park an amazing day out for all, it is committed to conservation of rare and endangered species, managing several projects and supporting others. Always a bonus having a great day out and knowing you are contributing to a wonderful cause.

Food

The Peacock restaurant offers a good range of hot and cold food and drinks. I was also surprised and impressed to see on our way out a table offering fresh milk for tea/coffee etc, including soya milk. I don’t know if they cater for special diets, but I will definitely be checking next time!

Tips

Don’t forget your swimming costumes and towels if you’re intending on using the paddling pool

We found it useful to eat early as the restaurant got very busy

It’s also worth keeping an eye out on their website or Facebook page for events

Facilities

There are two toilet blocks with baby change facilities in the park.

The routes around the park are pram and wheelchair friendly.

Parking

There is a large car park to the front of the park with no charge for parking.

Prices

Prices for low and high season can be found on the park’s website: Beale Park admissions

Children under two years old go free

Rating out of 5

Has to be 5/5, there is just so much to do and see

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Review 2017: Tot Cross Buns

Thank you very much to the NHM Secret Reviewer who put this post together!

Last month, my son made an amazing toad in the hole. He’s two years old. Before I sign him up for Masterchef, I should probably give some appreciation to the brilliant ladies at Tot Cross Buns.

About

Tot Cross Buns is a cookery course for children aged 2 to 5 years old, with occasional Saturday cookery classes that also welcome school age children. Their website says ‘The aim of Tot Cross Buns is to introduce children to food through taste, smell and touch all in a fun and relaxed environment. They’ll be cooking healthy recipes (some treats too!), which have all been tried and tested, and will involve the children every step of the way – and there will be no washing up to worry about!’ The classes also include a food related activity carried out whilst the food is cooking.

The classes are located at various sites in North Hampshire, close to Basingstoke, with times, locations and prices available on their website Tot Cross Buns. The business is the brainchild of local mum Allison and the classes are run by Allison and another local lady, Kerry, who runs the classes we’ve been attending.

The Class

First off I should admit, I’m a little bit in love with Tot Cross Buns. I went for a taster session last month and we have been back every week since. I’d never heard of the idea of cooking classes for toddlers before and had only seen places offering biscuit decorating etc. Here, not only do recipes include Toad in the Hole, pasta, rosemary biscuits etc, they concentrate on being healthy, with the very occasional cheeky spoily week. They teach about the foods they are using, where they come from, and tend to carry this into the week’s activities.

 

Kerry, as I’m sure Allison does too, takes the time to point out each ingredient and encourages the children to find the right ones and do as much as possible themselves. She goes around and helps where needed with support and a little one-to-one. She encourages involvement, asks lots of questions, and doesn’t miss a trick either; she will hone in on the quiet ones to make sure they feel involved (that includes my little one, and I still can’t believe he now shouts out answers to the group questions). She also encourages independence, getting the children to carry their trays up on their own, put the dirty bits in the washing up box, and collect their baking one at a time, with a round of applause at the end.

The activities themselves are well thought out and relevant to what is being cooked. From colouring, to tasting, to washing up, to planting herbs. Always different and always grabs the children’s attention whilst being educational.

All this, plus you come away with great baking too!

They also recently won the Muddy Stiletto Award for best children’s business in Hampshire 2017. Congratulations! Well deserved.

Rating out of 5

Definitely 5 out of 5

For more information contact Allison on Tot Cross Buns website or Tot Cross Buns Facebook Page

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Review 2017: Tots Play, Social Tots

Thank you very much to today’s NHM Secret Reviewer! Fab job!

“Great value for money, 40 minutes of fun!”

I have attended Michelle groups since my little one was 8 weeks old. We started off attending Baby Development and have graduated to Discovery Tots and finally to Social Tots.

Social Tots does what it says on the tin, it’s a 40 minutes of fun! It’s an interactive social group for for babies from 8 months to tots of 3 years.

This class is a great way for your little ones to meet other Tots, to interact via play and for parents to socialise and to catch up every week.

Every class is full of various activities and we are always met by Michelle and Totsy the class mascot. You can enjoy welcome songs, different hands on themed play each week, involving colour, light, natural objects, fruit and veg, sensory play, massage, yoga and sign language.

With her extensive knowledge, Michelle always explains what we are doing and why we are doing each activity it and how it benefits the little ones. The fun can also continue at home as all the tools and props that are used in the class, including beach balls and sensory fans are all on sale at the end of the class.

Each week brings something different and we are welcomed by Michelle and her smile. We thoroughly enjoy the group and will be booking again for the next session.

Unlike a lots of Toddler groups, Michelle will be running various classes over the summer as well as some Saturday classes.

Check out all Michelle classes on Facebook or totsplay.co.uk

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Review 2017: Thatcham Discovery Centre

Thank you VERY much to the NHM Secret Writer who wrote today’s Review!!!

About

Thatcham Discovery Centre sits within a reserve that has a range of different habitats including a lake, meadow and woodland areas and is adjacent to Thatcham Reedbeds. It also includes adventure playgrounds, cafe, shop and visitor centre with interactive wildlife and natural history displays encouraging visitors to find out about the local wildlife.
Around the reserve are a network of footpaths, ranging from small family-friendly walks to longer walks. A map of the reserve can be found here.

 

The Nature Discovery Centre offers a wide ranging and varied programme of events   throughout the year including hands-on wildlife activities, craft workshops, walks and talks.

You can find out more about the centre on the Thatcham Discovery Centre facebook page.

We had been told about Thatcham Discovery Centre before and so were quite keen to visit. The first thing we saw when we arrived was the adventure playground, which our toddlers loved! It is supposed to be for 8 years plus so they recommend younger children play in the other playground at busier times. Fortunately it was quite quiet so the boys had a really good run around whilst being nicely shaded from the sun on a very hot day! We did visit the other playground, aimed at 3-8 year olds, which was a good size but not shaded so we didn’t stay too long this time.

The centre itself covers a small area over two floors offering interactive displays including jigsaws, soft toys and brass rubbings. The area upstairs has a lovely view over the lake. There is a small shop selling a variety of books, toys and sundries.

In the centre there is also a cafe which opens up onto the lakeside, with tables overlooking the area. There was a limited menu when we were there, and a note apologising for the minimal food that day, but there was still a good amount available and the cake was amazing!

We didn’t go on any of the walks as it was too hot to be dragging toddlers around, but we will definitely be doing so next time. I am also keen to try out some of the events, especially the Bird of Prey event which looked very interesting.

All in all it was a great visit with lots still left to explore, especially with the events programme. Whilst the centre is quite small, it is free and offers a lot of information. The view at the lakeside is amazing, I could have sat there for ages. It is a great place for children to burn some energy, learn about nature, as well as being an enjoyable experience for adults.

Tips and Notices

The older adventure playground is a great place to go when it’s too hot to be out in the sun as it’s shaded by trees.

Dogs are allowed but not in the water and under close control.

No picnics inside during busy periods.

Centre Opening hours (including shop and cafe)

Summer (April-October): Open 7 days a week, including bank holidays. 10:30am-5pm
Winter (November-March): Tuesday-Sunday 10:30am-4pm. Closed Mondays

Silent Space at the Nature Discovery Centre

8am-10am every Saturday and Sunday.

The Silent Space is a secluded meadow area that offers a wonderful spot for quiet contemplation – an opportunity to relax and enjoy this peaceful area within the busy reserve. Find out more here

Facilities

  • Lakeside Café serving homemade hot and cold food
  • Gift shop
  • Toilets, disabled toilet and baby changing facilities
  • Picnic facilities
  • Adventure Playgrounds
  • Bird hide overlooking Thatcham Reedbeds Nature Reserve
  • Signposted walk routes and seasonal trails
    Thatcham Community Orchard

Prices

Admission is free, donations welcome

Charges apply for special events (please see the What’s On web page for more information)

Parking

Car park is open from 8am every day with closing subject to seasonal changes.

Cost is £3 donation

Rating

5 out of 5

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The Ultimate NHM Summer Holiday 2017 Posts!

YAY! The School holidays have officially (or very, very nearly) started!!!

If you are already panicking about how you are going to keep your little ones amused for the next 6 to 7 weeks, then this is the post for you :-D.

Don’t forget, you can also search for key words on NorthHantsMum at any time.

NorthHantsMum is my Hobby! 

NorthHantsMum Summer Break 2016

We are currently working on the “classes that are still running during 2017 Summer Holidays” post and will get it published as soon as we can.

Classes that are still running during the 2016 Summer Holidays!

Summer “Bored” Jar ideas

Top Tip 33: Creamy coconut and berry Lolly’s

NHM Readers Top Tips for Keeping Cool

Summer Fun

24 things to do during the summer holidays with young children in Basingstoke

15 Different Experiences for Children

9 “things” I’m planning to do with my daughter in the future

13 things to do in Basingstoke in Spring with a three year old

In the Garden

DINKY DISCO – Fun, Energetic Weekend Classes for 5 and Unders

Summer Holiday 2012 Activities

Ideas of Things to do for May 2016 Half Term

Top Tip 35: YouTube Kids

Summer Reading

Library Membership for your child

Our favourite books

Swimming

Warm Swimming pools suitable for babies and young children in North Hampshire

Paddling Pools/Splash Pools in Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey

Lido’s in Hampshire

Top Tip 3: Swimming Bags

Swimming Pools in North Hampshire suitable for Babies and Children

Swimming with Babies

Summer Outings

NHM readers recommend child friendly coffee shops

Season Tickets 2013 to local attractions in North Hampshire – please check individual websites for up-to-date prices

Age limits for 2013 attractions  

Hampshire Days out with your children

Berkshire Days Out

Softplay Centres

Places to go for children who love animals

Summer FREE Outings

NHM Readers Favourite places to feed Ducks in Basingstoke and North Hampshire

Great Picnic Spots near Basingstoke

Great Picnic Spots in Basingstoke

Nature Detectives

A week of “free” Activities – Autumn

Poll: Free Activities over the summer holidays

12 Free Activities over the summer holidays 2015

NHM Readers Favourite Beaches

Summer Holiday Clubs

Spotlight summer holiday 2017 clubs

Holiday Clubs in North Hampshire 2016 – please check individual websites for 2017 information

Summer Holidays/Travel

Cheap Transport in North Hampshire

NCT House Swap Reduces Holiday Costs

Family Camping Club

Summer Food

Early Bird Meals with children – please check individual websites as this is a 2012 post and not all are relevant

11 Places to Breakfast “out” with Children in North Hampshire

9 Foody Places to go as a group of Mums with babies/toddlers

8 “Cheap” Restaurants in Basingstoke (Meal for 2 for under £15)

Pick Your Own Farm’s in North Hampshire and Berkshire

Blackberry Picking in North Hampshire

Rain

8 Cheap or Free Rainy Day Activities in Basingstoke

23 things to do with an under 7 year old in Basingstoke when it’s raining

7 More Free Rainy Day Activities

Reviews 2017

Review 2017: Little Street

Review 2017: Kitty’s Tilted Teacup Tea Room

Review 2017: Jump Factory, Mini Jump

Reviews 2016

Review 2016: Cornish Yurts

Review 2016: Beggarwood – FREE

Review 2016: Whitchurch Silk Mill

Review 2016: Museum of Army Flying

Review 2016: Gousto Recipe Delivery

Review 2016: Nelson’s Diner: A Taste of the USA

Review: Reading Eggs and Mathseeds

Jump Factory – First Look!!!!

Reviews 2015

Bucklebury Farm Park

Sundaes Gelato Basingstoke

Frensham Common – FREE

Centreparc’s – Sherwood Forest

The Parlour Tearoom

Ideal Imaging, Lifestyle Bespoke Family Photography by Alistair Jones

The Cafe Project, Brighton Hill

The Natural History Museum

Reviews 2014

Dinton Pastures Country Park, Berkshire

Dinosaur Crazy Golf at the Oracle

Marwell Wildlife

Giraffe in Festival Place

Micheldever Wood– FREE

California Country Park, Finchampstead

Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway

Review 2014: Wagamama’s Basingstoke

Legoland

The Vyne

Swanage

Miller’s Ark, Nr Hook

Reviews 2013

Lakeside Country Park – Parking cost only

Paulton’s Park/Peppa Pig World

NorthDown Orchard Deliveries

Farleigh Mount – FREE

Birdworld

The Hawk Conservancy

Basing Lime Pits – FREE

Basing Wood – FREE

Finkley Down Farm

Wellington Country Park

Basingstoke Aquadrome

Alice Holt, Farnham – Parking cost only

Kids ‘n’ Action, Soft Play Centre, Winersh Triangle nr Reading

The Living Rainforest, nr Newbury, Berkshire

Babies

Treasure Baskets

Swimming Pools in North Hampshire suitable for Babies and Children

11 Songs and Rhymes for Babies and Toddlers

Babies and Chocolate

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

The Importance of Skin to Skin

Toddler Games

Winter “Bored” Jar Ideas

Coloured Spaghetti

Making Gloop!

A Toddler Box of Tricks: Things To Always Have On Hand With A Toddler Or Two

Dry Food Play

Play Dough Recipes

Spring “Bored” Jar Ideas

Coloured water play

Something for Mum’s

I saved the best for last ;-).

If it all gets a bit much and you find yourself dreaming about them going back to school, these posts might help you to plan for a little well deserved “Me” time once your little ones actually do go back!

Review 2017: Thrive Massage Therapy

Spa’s in the North Hampshire Area

Review 2016: Jo Plackett Hairdressing

GPW: Ann Hoad Consultancy Ltd, Training Consultant and Personal Development Life Coach

More ways to make friends via NorthHantsMum!

Love Baking? You’ll love Bakedin!

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 PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Review 2017: Relax Kids

Kath from Relax Kids recently invited me to review one of her classes with Miss NHM.

I was one of the first people that Kath “practised” on a few years ago when she started out. I thought she was brilliant then so was very keen to see how she had developed and for Miss NHM to attend a class.

I saw that Kath was doing classes on a Sunday morning as a taster session to come along and find out what it’s all about before committing to a 5 week course, which was perfect for us. It wasn’t too early in the morning too, which was great. I asked my friend S whether she wanted to bring her son K along, and she decided that she wanted to check out the class too.

Kath sent me an email the week before the class detailing what would be happening for the hours class. It included things about what to wear for the session and a child protection policy that needed completing which is brilliant as it shows what a professional Kath is!

Kath follows a 7 step process in helping the children to relax. She was brilliant at explaining to the children what she was doing and the steps that they were taking.

A couple of people turned up late to the class which I always think is a bit rude but then remembered that some children find coming to classes very intimidating. Kath handled their lateness really well and explained things very clearly to everyone.

All of the exercises that Kath used were sooo clever! I love the “Smile to reach your stretch” moment. That was awesome to see Miss NHM stretch and expand.  I loved the “hedgehog” and seeing Miss NHM in this position made me quite emotional! The Angry thoughts exercise was fantastic and just such a lovely concept.

I also REALLY loved the books that Kath used and have purchased two for home already as they have such wonderful concepts in them.

All through the class children are doing breathing exercises but they don’t even know it!! I particularly loved the “breathing in happy thoughts, breathing out sad thoughts”. I also loved the relaxing music that Kath uses and really want to ask her where she got it from as I think we could do with a copy of this for home! lol .

Miss NHM is quite a confident little girl at the best of times and I was very interested to see how she responded to the class.  My favourite bit of the class was when the children were asked to write out what makes them happy. Miss NHM had written about 9 things within 2 minutes and I was uber proud that she knows what makes her happy and could express this.

I also felt quite privileged seeing all the children relax throughout the class, which was fascinating to watch. There was one little boy who really didn’t want to participate, but by the end of the class he was lying on the floor with the other children and you could see that he had got a lot out of the class even if he hadn’t been actively participating for most of it.

Tips

Book quickly because Kath’s classes sell out REALLY fast. They are very popular and she often has a waiting list!

Parents are allowed in the room. This must have been initially intimidating to Kath, having the parents watching, but she wasn’t bothered.

Rating out of 5

All of the little details were excellent, it’s very obvious that Kath is passionate about what she’s doing as such thought had been put into the whole class.

As you can see, I’m a HUGE fan of Kath’s work. Miss NHM got so much out of just that one class and talked about it for weeks later. I’m very keen to enrol her in a class when she starts Y2 next year!

Definitely 5 out of 5!!

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