NHM Readers Recommend: Friendly Swimming Teachers for Pre-Schoolers

I recently had a question from an NHM Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “Can anyone recommend a decent and friendly swimming teacher for pre-schooler age. Looking for something a bit more than rhymes and toys, but not constant telling off! Many thanks!”

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: Friendly Swimming Teachers for Pre-Schoolers

The Little Swim Club

Debbie said “Try the little swim club in hook”

Lindsay said “The little swim club are excellent.”

Nadira said “Little swim club”

Sally said “Daniel Hawthorne at Little swim school in Hook. Took A from non swimmer to competent in all strokes in under 1 year. L also now 4 can do some front crawl and back crawl”

Basingstoke Sports Centre

Natasha said “Sports centre in town are fab. Excellent price too!”

Joanna said “I second the sports centre”

Lisa said “Agreed Sports Centre”

Kelly T said “My 3 year old has had two months of lessons at the sports centre during the day which have been really good and only two children in his class. Although he is leaving at christmas as he has joined his big brother at bluefins.”


Kelly T said “(Bluefins) is equally as good. Bluefins only normally take preschoolers at their weekend classes”

Sarah G said “ Bluefins at cranbourne school”

Swim Fish

Helena said “Tanya at swimfish is brilliant. She gave my two a really good start to swimming.”

Wendy W said “Tanya at Swimfish is brilliant – she adapts the lessons and works with the children to make sure they get the best out of the session. Sessions are a great size and she has a love of children and swimming which comes through in her lessons and the confidence the children develop. I definitely recommend her”

Sarah P said “Tanya and Kirsty at Swimfish are amazing. She teaches in a small pool at the Basingstoke Country Hotel, Hook. She has helped my little one hugely with confidence and ability in the water.”

Turtle Tots Surrey & North Hampshire

Emma said “Turtle Tots are fab at Hook swimming pool, there’s definitely no telling off there!

Kate M said “Thank You Emma. Hi louise at Turtle Tots we offer child led lessons which means your child learns at their own pace and comfort level. We have lessons around Surrey and North Hampshire and would be delighted to offer you a trial class to see first hand what we are about. Please email us on swim@turtletots.com for further information or to book a trial class.”

Cali Kids

Wendy D said “Alicia Reilly is returning from maternity leave in Jan and has space for pre-schoolers”

Christine said “Alicia Reilly is brilliant. Lots of fun but the kids make amazing progress”

Kate said  “Cali Kids. Alicia has taught my two boys and they’ve done so well with her. Thoroughly recommend”

Michelle said “ Cali Kids with Alicia Reilly”

Alicia said “Thanks for the recommendations everyone. I offer semi private swim lessons on a Sunday morning and during the day on a Monday for preschoolers and babies at Tadley Swimming Pool. I worked for years with Water Babies and owned my own swim school Cali Kids for years too. We have lots of fun in my lessons and learn through play but have a good success rate. Most my kids start swimming independently at 3 or 4 years old. Feel free to DM me if you’d like more info.”

Aqua Kids

Susan said “Mel Bristow is amazing my two girls go to her”

Mel said “Aqua Kids teach a Fri pm and Sat am just outside Hook. Please pm me for info!”

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NHM Readers Recommend after school football sessions for 5+ years

An NHM Reader recently asked “I’m looking for a football after school session if possible for 5 years +… starting in September. Would you be able to put a shout out for me? I know there was one done on pre-schoolers….”

Thank you to all those who replied. The responses are below and in no particular order.

NHM Readers Recommend after school football sessions for 5+ years

Sarah said “Hatch Warren Phoenix are after children in Year R and 1. Runs on Saturday mornings though very professional group and coaches are fabulous”

Evi said “Brighton Hill school power league, https://www.facebook.com/GolElite/ Thu 5-6”

Wendy said “There’s one at Everest on a Wed but the FA website doesn’t have the details. Give the community centre a call for info.”

For a Sat session, Lods Tods is training for 4 to year 1. 10 – 12 on Sherfield village green. £2 pay as you go.”

Candice said “These guys run during term time at Sherfield Park Community Centre on Mondays 5-6pm. They also run coaching workshops over the summer holidays (all 5 weeks here M-F 9am – 3pm or half days) so a great opportunity to maybe have a few trial sessions in advance of September Challenger Sports

Jo said “Tuesdays 6-7 at Richard Aldworth school with these guys…Pro-Skills Coaching Basingstoke

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NHM Readers: Football/dance classes for 2 year old

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if anyone could help this NHM reader: “I am thinking of sending my two year old boy to football and/or dance classes. Does anyone have any recommendations?”

These were the responses I received. They are in no particular order. Thanks very much to Juliet for putting this post together!!! 

NHM Readers recommend football/dance classes for 2 year olds

Leighann said: Basingstoke Academy of Dance is fantastic.

Fiona said: Lisa Beaumont offers ballet classes

Anita said: Lisa Beaumont School of Ballet is amazing!!! Also, my son goes to Pro-Skills Coaching Basingstoke

Vicki said: Tiny Tykes is great for football.

Christine said: My 2.5 year old really enjoys the football classes at Basingstoke Sports Centre. It’s for 2-4 year olds and run by Achieve Sports on a Monday 10-10.45 x

Heidi said: My son has been going to little kickers football since 18 months. He loves it and it helps teach them so many skills including colours, counting, animals etc.

Jessica said: Little Kickers is great for football.

Claire said: Little Kickers definitely. My son went to one at Carnival Hall when he was 2, gained loads of confidence and discipline and he is still playing grass root Sunday football at the age of 13 for a team with two friends from there.

Wendy said: RugbyTots is also worth considering. Great for hand eye coordination

Katie said: Kids Kan Dance specialise in dance for toddlers and preschoolers.

Claire said: JLD school of dancing.

Zoe said: I can recommend Katie at Kids Kan Dance, my girls love her!

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NHM Readers Recommend Dance Classes for 4 and 8 year olds

An NHM Reader recently asked “Are there any children’s dance classes that take mixed age children? I am looking for a class for a 4 year old and an 8 year old. It seems many places only start from age 5 also, my 4 year old will be in school from September.”

Many thanks to the NHM community for the below responses, which are in no particular order.

NHM Readers Recommend Dance Classes for 4 and 8 year olds

Paul said “not sure about dance, but I know Basingstoke Wolverines Cheer Squad are looking for people if that’s any good?”

Wendy said “They should be able to attend together for Irish Dancing. Contact below for times (I believe Basingstoke is a Tues evening) http://www.boyleodowda.com/contact.html

Helena said “Petite school of dance (ballet, tap, Acro) are from preschool to senior school! Very friendly and relaxed but excellent dancing achieved!”

Paula said “JLD school of dancing are amazing – http://www.jldschoolofdancing.co.uk/ Main studio in Kingsclere, other classes are at Cranbourne school in Basingstoke Cranbourne Primary School

Carlie said “North Hampshire Academy of Dance is an excellent dance school, my son and daughter have been there for 10 years and have thrived there. Free trial classes and qualified teachers. Highly recommend.”

Charlene said “JG Dance Basingstoke. My daughter is 6 and has been attending for 2 years now and does several styles of dancing on Saturday mornings. Lovely teachers and all the parents are friendly”

Sarah said “Happy Feet Dance Academy

Julie said “The problem of them being together in most dance schools is that the exam structure is usually based at the beginning around ages – so your 8 year old could be waiting a long time for the 4 year old to be old enough/capable of doing the exams. If you wanted something informal and fun I think that Chandelle Stage School do a mixed modern/tap/ballet class in Winklebury that covers a broader age as they do IDTA dance awards rather than the formal RAD and ISTD ballet and tap etc.”

Julie said “For actual RAD and ISTD there is also Basingstoke Academy of Dancing at Houndmills”

Debbie said “www.lyndendance.co.uk

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Review 2018: Family Bootcamp

Thank you very much to Rachel for today’s NHM Review post!!

Family Bootcamp

When your life revolves around children, family commitments, work and everything else that we have going on, it is difficult to find the time to exercise.  I have often been spotted taking a skipping rope or hula hoop to the park so I can grab the odd few minutes, while the kids are distracted playing, to sneak in a quick workout.  So when I had the opportunity to review a Family Bootcamp for NHM, I (quite literally) jumped at the chance


Family Bootcamp is a series of exercise classes which involve circuit training, a mixture of cardio and resistance work, team games and challenges.  It allows you to exercise and have fun as a family. And we did just that!

I attended the Sunday Family Bootcamp class with my son (age 10). He looked a little apprehensive actually as we arrived and whispered to me “Mum, have the others in the class all been doing this a long time? Is it ok that we haven’t been before?” He needn’t have worried. Sarah, the instructor, was very welcoming and showed us to the studio where we met the other families who were all absolutely lovely. We woke to a lot of snow that morning so I was surprised to see a fairly busy class considering (about 8 others). Obviously a testament to Sarah’s fab class – everyone wanted to be there!

We started with some team games to warm up. Everyone at different levels of fitness, age, ability but everyone moving and having fun. It really didn’t matter that we were newbies as we felt part of the group straight away.

The game of dodgeball was my son’s favourite. I really enjoyed the individual exercises (squats, lunges, skipping, etc) which we did at opposite ends of the studio facing our partners, swapping over at regular intervals. We even got to have a go on the bikes in the next studio – challenging but brilliant.

Sarah’s energy, passion and patience make the class what it is. She explains everything really well, demonstrates, takes part herself, and is always aware of everything that is happening and where she might be needed. Her class is well-planned and the music is fab.  Sarah’s energy is infectious and you can’t help but feel uplifted. We were sweaty but super smiley!

The class is 50 mins with a warm up and cool down, abs and a stretch. The time flies.

Suitable for children age 8 – 14 approx.


Wear comfy sportswear type clothing that you can move around in easily.

Take a water bottle (don’t worry if you forget though, there is a water fountain in the studio).


Family Bootcamp takes place at Basingstoke Sports Centre in town.
Facilities are therefore great.
Easy to get to. Central.
Parking for town or Festival Place (prices apply).

Value for money

Family Bootcamp:  Sundays 11:10-12:00. 15th April to 27th May (7 week course). £17.50 per person for the whole course.

Please note – Basingstoke Sports Centre members receive 10% off.

Sarah also runs the following:

Family Pedal:  Saturdays 12:10-12:40. 21st April to 26th May (6 week course). £12 per person for the whole course.

Junior Bootcamp (term time):  Thursdays or Fridays 16:25-17:25. 19th/20th April to 24th/25th May. £22.80 per person.
Junior Bootcamp taster sessions also run on Thursdays and Fridays in the school holidays. 11:15-12:15.  £3.80 per person per session.


5 out of 5!

I love that I got to spend a bit of time with my son – grinning at each other, laughing, high-fiving, all whilst exercising.

Sarah’s main aim of her classes is to make fitness fun, accessible and engaging and she certainly achieves that.  

Getting fit, happy and spending time together – win win! Thank you Sarah.

Further info

Check out Sarah’s Facebook pages:



Disclaimer: This post is a review of InsideOut’s Family Bootcamp classes. The class was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. We were not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are our own.

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Engaging Children with Premier Sport and Performing Arts

Inspiring sport, dance and physical activities for North Hampshire

I’m Liz, and I now live in Basingstoke with my husband and our 4 year old daughter and 20 month old son. However until two years ago I was an army wife – moving at the will of the MOD!

While my husband was in Afghanistan on his final tour we pondered our future beyond the forces, and decided to set up our own company to use sport to help children to get a better start in life.

We now run Premier Sport and Premier Performing Arts in North Hampshire. In the community this means sport and dance clubs, and Holiday Camps for primary- and secondary-aged children. We work in Primary Schools providing PE in Sport and Dance, and before- during- and after-school clubs. Print


The Premier Education Group is an established, UK-wide, company delivering the support, resources and backing of a significant organisation, but we provide a personal touch since locally we are a family-run company.



Our aim is that children from all walks of life and of all abilities gain the benefits that engaging in physical activities brings – building confidence mentally and physically, increasing self-esteem, and improving communication and social skills. Every activity that we offer is underpinned by the desire to create an environment where every child can feel comfortable and enjoy taking part.


We currently have two Easter camps running at The Vyne Community School

Premier Sport (4-12yo’s) offering lacrosse, fencing, handball, archery, floorball, dodgeball plus the traditional sports, and more

Premier Performing Arts (4-16yo’s) offering creative-performance camps ending in an all-singing, all-dancing showcase for friends and family

This holiday features Frozen Ice, Music Mayhem and Musical MishMash themes!

We’d love to see your child there, please get in touch for more information!

Email: northhampshire@premier-education.com

Web: www.premier-education.com

Facebook: Premier Education Group – North Hampshire

Pamber Physio

Pamber Physio would like to take this opportunity to thank Louise of NHM for giving me the chance to promote my Private Physio clinic based in Pamber Heath.

Louise is one of my good NCT friends :-D.

About me

My name is Laura Chaffé and I run Pamber Physio throughout the week in the evenings and at weekends. I am a registered member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Health and Care Profession Council.

I graduated with a BSc Hons in Physiotherapy at Southampton University in 2005. The last 10 years have been spent treating patients in the NHS; I have a great passion to helping patients to improve/cure their symptoms.

Pamber Physio specialises in musculoskeletal physiotherapy treating patients who have problems with muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, discs, nerves and bones.

My aim is to provide a thorough assessment and management programme tailored to each individuals needs.

Pamber Physio can help patients understand their condition, prevent re-occurrences and learn how to manage it.

The purpose of physiotherapy is to help people who are affected by injury, illness or disability through education and advice, movement and exercise, and manual therapy.

Physiotherapists maintain health for people of all ages, helping patients to manage pain, improve range of movement, increase strength and decrease swelling.

The profession aims to facilitate recovery and helping people to stay in work or recreational hobbies.

For NHM readers

Some of you may be suffering with SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction), low back pain, weak pelvic floor or weak core stability pre or post natal.

At Pamber Physio I can certainly help you to relieve your symptoms, provide good advice and to strengthen weak muscles.

Conditions treated

  • Lower back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Whiplash injury
  • Sciatica
  • Sports injuries
  • Chronic pain
  • Muscle, ligaments and tendon sprains and strains
  • Rheumatoid and osteoarthritic conditions
  • Joint problems which may include stiffness, swelling and pain affecting – shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand, hip, knee, foot and ankle
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Tennis/golfers elbow
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Post fractures
  • Rehabilitation pre and post orthopaedic surgery
  • Ante and post natal care
  • Repetitive strain injuries (RSI)
  • Bursitis

Please note this list is not exhaustive and many other aches and pains can be treated with Physiotherapy.


Pamber Physio will provide a range of treatments, specific to your needs.  Using both traditional and modern techniques with a suitable mix of technology, your condition will receive the specialist physiotherapy care.

  • Joint mobilisation
  • Soft tissue/scar tissue massage
  • Electrotherapy e.g. ultrasound
  • Exercise prescription for increasing range of movement, stretching and strengthening, proprioception and balance exercises
  • Trigger point release
  • Muscle energy techniques
  • Gait re-education
  • Core exercises
  • Gym ball exercises
  • Postural education
  • Taping
  • Theraband exercises
  • Hot and cold therapy

Based in Pamber Heath, Tadley, Pamber Physio is ideally located to treat patients in many surrounding areas within the Basingstoke, Newbury and Reading triangle.

Offering a private appointment at your home or preferred location provides flexibility when you need it most. I work out of my treatment room in Pamber Heath evenings and weekends.

To book an appointment or discuss any aspect of physiotherapy please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Email: laura@pamberphysio.co.uk

Telephone: 07909994433

Website: www.pamberphysio.co.uk this has an enquiry form if you wish to complete and I will get back to you within 24 hours.


How long should I expect the treatment to last?
Initial consultation is 45 minutes to 1 hour and a follow up session is 30 minutes.

What should I wear?
Comfortable clothing – be aware you may be asked to undress.  Women may feel more comfortable to wear a vest top for shoulder and neck assessments.  Shorts can be worn for assessment and treatment for knee and ankle joints.

How much will it cost?
Initial assessment is £45 and follow up sessions are £30.  Home visits for immobile patients incur an additional charge, please enquire for further information.

How would I get referred to Pamber Physio?
Patients may self-refer to Pamber Physio. GP and consultant referrals are also welcome.

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

Baby & Toddler Dance classes in North Hampshire

I’ve been meaning to put this post together for a LONG time…

I’ve finally got around to it. Yay! 😀

Active Life Centre – Houndmills

Basingstoke Academy of Dance – Houndmills

FitMama Mummy and Baby Dance –  Stroudley Road, Basingstoke

Jeannine Greville Dance Academy – The Vyne Community School and Aldworth Science College

Lisa Beaumont School of Ballet – Cliddesden

Marina School of Dance – Whitchurch

Mini Movers Dance Class Spotlight – Popley

The Lynden School of Dance – Basingstoke Sports Centre, Kingsclere & Overton

Related Posts

Dance schools in North Hampshire

Ballet/Dance classes for 2 year olds

A Summer of sport – final

The last Guest post this summer from the lovely Peta at minvra

All good things must come to an end…

…and the end of summer is in sight. My ‘summer of sport’ blogs are also coming to an end, sooner than you think, actually, as I have no sport for you this week. This family is camping!

So in the greater range of camping experiences, what we are doing right now is ‘glamping’. Nearby we have a ‘washing up station’ – complete with sink and hot water (in the afternoon on a sunny day and before it runs out), showers – hot water and better than the ‘London-standard’ water pressure, and a toilet. The toilet, however, is firmly in the ‘camping’ category.

Running off energy and increased appetites are the two most common virtues that come to mind when I think of the great outdoors; camping, by extension, provides much, much more of the same. Opportunities for exciting, hands-on learning activities are in abundant supply out here so I have taken advantage by building on the recent Nature Detectives weekly challenges with Miss and Master. We have been checking out all the new leaves, flowers and berries (shapes, textures, colours) and the how’s and why’s of attracting birds, bees or butterflies (pollen, nectar, food). Sleeping in a tent provides an endless supply of ‘what noise is that?’ subjects, and living out of doors has expanded our bi-daily comparison of ‘morning’ and ‘bedtime’ to include most other parts of the day.

Messy play is practically a foregone conclusion; even the cleanest of parents must accept that no child will go un-muddied while camping. With my significant lean to the ‘neat freak’ side, I am endeavouring to strike a sensible balance between allowing Miss and Master to play uninhibited by my tendencies and ensuring a sufficient stash of spare clothes in the event of a summer downpour at a later point in the camping trip.

So far, so good. It is bank holiday Sunday night at 10 o’clock as I write this blog and I am tired. Very tired. Miss is all rugged up and sleeping soundly – Miss is shattered from days of playing chase with her brother, jumping in muddy puddles (God bless the British summer), naming & feeding farm animals, collecting stones on the beach and all the childish excitement that is Misses first camping trip. Master is, true to form, still fighting sleep (despite an equally active first camp).

Even with the messy clothes, the muddy shoes, the grubby faces (I confess, Mama was too tired for bucket baths tonight), I have a weary, contented smile on my face. I say to you, Summer, “Thanks for coming; it has been grand!”

A big thank you to those of you who have been following my summer of sport guest blogs and I do hope you have enjoyed them; although I am afraid that this is another case of a good thing coming to an end. The good news is that if you are interested in reading more you can visit and follow my regular blog: minrva

Thanks so much for your “Summer of sport” posts this summer Peta. I’ve learnt about a lot about what sporting facilities and events are on in the area.  Thank you!

A Summer of sport VII: “Born to be wild…”

Another fab guest post from Peta at http://minrva.blogspot.co.uk/:

“Born to be wild…”

Last week’s summer of sport subject (ballet) was perhaps a little feminine, although, ballet is not just for Misses. All the same, it is for the sake of fairness that this week is a (stereotypically) masculine sport. But then motor sport is not just for Masters either.

As a young Miss I always wanted to drive, I was forever asking questions about road signs, (what they mean, why they are where they are etc), and every time we went to the farm I recalling whining (a lot) that I wanted to take the ‘Suzie’ out for a ‘spin’ (read: drive the Suzuki utility vehicle). It never mattered to me that my length-challenged legs were far from pedal-reaching proportions, nor that my driving skills were not fully manual-car capable, (Dad would let me sit on his lap and ‘drive’ our automatic car along the untarred lane-way between home and Grandma and Grandpop’s house). I simply just wanted to drive.

My sister, on the other hand, took jazz ballet classes.

The precursor to this driving fascination was probably the dodgem cars I loved to drive at a local theme park of my childhood. But they never went fast enough and it was a stretch to wear the seatbelt and still be able to reach the steering wheel and pedals. The, as I grew older, the track was predictably boring and I was increasingly frustrated with folks always getting in my way. On the farm, however, I only needed to worry about Kangaroos; not for fear of hurting them, it was a fear of them hurting me – which would promptly put an end to taking the Suzie out for a spin (those kangaroos really are brutal).

By the age of 12 or 13 I was adept at reversing the cars off the front garden grass onto the driveway, down the slope, onto the road, along the gutter and around the corner to the garages at the back of our odd-shaped corner block. Next, I would either reverse parallel park on the forecourt or park in the garage. All of this was done, of course, after washing Mum’s, Dad’s and then Nan’s cars. This is also precisely the same way that my father learnt to drive.

Alas, we have no family farm nearby, so it will be dodgem cars and go-karts for my Miss and Master. And I doubt they will sit still long enough to watch the Belgian F1 Grand Prix with Papa this Sunday (25 August). Mind, Master is named after a late legend of the Formula 1 (F1) scene, so perhaps go-karts might be a winner? He would certainly not be the first Briton to get into F1 this way…

Back to my old form, here are some local(-ish) go-kart providers, if you like to “Getcha motor runnin’…”

  • Chineham: The nearest and newest, having opened 27 July 2013, is Absolutely Karting Basingstoke, Wade Road, RG24 8LJ (near Great Binfields Road intersection)
  • Reading: Premier Karting (RG5 4SZ) and Teamworks Reading (RG30 1JT).
  • Andover: Thruxton (SP11 8PW)