New Group Starting in June: Baby and Me, Westside Community Centre

Sessions will involve light sensory based activities using music and movement to help you get to know your new baby. Through informal social activities you will have the opportunity to understand your baby’s development and world around them.

Sessions focus on emotional and physical health,
practical support and improving attachment.

This course is perfect for any new parents who want to
improve their confidence and increase their social network.

Any donations towards the cost of this course would be welcomed.

**Please note all sessions need to be attended. **

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NHM Readers Recommend: Free holiday activities for families 2019

In July 2018, a NHM Reader asked: “Do you have a list of free activities over the holiday which includes older siblings?”

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: Free holiday activities for families 2019

Jools said, “Basingstoke children and families page has loads of free stuff or very inexpensive including things at Westside cc, viables community centre, Popley fields and Streetz which happen across Basingstoke and caters for older children. Things on every day mon-fri.”

Vicky said, “We did pets at home workshop. Had booked both girls in, who are 6 and 9, but my 9 year old backed out my my 6 year old got to hold a rat, bunny and guinea pig which she loved then there was a small activity box to take away with you. There were mainly younger ones but only half an hour and free! You do have to book online though as max of 12 kids. The lady was very knowledgeable.”

Becky said, “Good question. With a 4 yr old and a 12 year old it is difficult to find things on offer that allow both younger and older children.”

Louise said, “Blackberry picking?” Also check out the free sessions at your local Apple Store. They do educational sessions twice a day that you can book on for free. 

Rebecca said, “Hobbycraft do lots of free craft activities which both kids might like. Included slime making today and you take home the slime you make, that is good or bad depending on how you look at it!”

Hannah said, “We took our three (eldest 10/youngest 3) to the splash pad in popley (Chineham Splash Park) today….they all loved it and didn’t want to come home. Normally I struggle to entertain the 10 year old but he came away having had the most fun and asked to go back. Best bit was it costed nothing!!!!! The library are also running various craft bits too.”

Kate said, “A trip out to local woods (such as Micheldever) to go exploring?”

Hannah said, “Check out viable community centre as they have lots going on at the mo.”

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Guest Post: Jiggy Wrigglers – Basingstoke, Fleet, Hook and surrounding areas

My name is Kelly and I run Jiggy Wrigglers in Basingstoke, Fleet, Hook and surround areas.  I first started this business as I wanted something that I could flexibility run around my twins and also I wanted to enjoy my job.  I certainly do both every day!

Jiggy Wrigglers is a musical movement and sensory class that uses unique songs to entertain your children along side props, bubbles, parachutes, puppets and more!  The classes are either Jiggy Mixed (5 months to 5 year olds), Jiggy Tots (0-2 years old) or Jiggy Babies (0-12 months old).  We are also proud to be the leaders of intergenerational sessions through our Jiggy Vintage sessions (sessions run in care homes) which we started at the beginning of last year and have had overwhelming feedback on how it has positively impacted care home residents life’s and the little ones that come who don’t have grandparents of their own.

You may not have realised the benefits when you come to our sessions as you are having so much fun but these include:
– Physical fitness for both you and your little one(s)
– encourages creativity
– promotes team work (parachute games)
– may help encourage better naps/sleeping
– fostering friendships
– helps with social skills amongst peers
– helps parents get out of the house and socialise
– aids creativity
– promotes patience
– helps children learn how to share (although we have props for everyone!)
– helps with language development as the children sing along to songs

We welcome all at our classes and have always charged per family, not per child, so why not give us a try? Our sessions start from £4 per family and they are PAYG so you don’t have to worry about your child being unwell and losing your termly payment.

Although we have a different playlist each week, I also include monthly themed session at no extra charge.

Most of our class locations either have a play area, are in a country park or have a playground near by so you can make a morning of activities.

Our current timetable of classes is below:

Tuesdays:

Hook Home and Garden Centre
10.20am – Jiggy Mixed
11.00am – Jiggy Babies

Wednesdays

Wellington Country Park (currently twice a month but will soon be moving to weekly)

10.00am – Jiggy Mixed
10.50am – Jiggy Babies

Mothercare, Hatch Warren (once a month)
10.30am – Jiggy Tots

Thursdays

We are soon to have weekly central Basingstoke location so please keep your keep an eye on our Facebook page and website!

Fridays

Fleet (once a month)
9.45am – Jiggy Mixed
11.00am – Jiggy Babies

Beech Tree Care Home (once a month)
10.00am – Jiggy Mixed

We also cater for parties and nursery session so please do get in touch if you would like to discuss our packages.

www.jiggywrigglers.com

kelly@jiggywrigglers.com

www.facebook.com/jiggybasingstoke

www.facebook.com/jwfleetbasingstoke

www.instagram.com/jiggywrigglersbasingstokefleet

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NHM Readers Recommend: Best Soft Play

I recently had a question from an NHM Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “What are the best soft play places in Hampshire? Or are they all pretty much the same?” 

Many thanks for all of your responses, 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: Best Soft Play

Play Days, Basingstoke

Ellie said “Definitely play days in Basingstoke, have tried them all and this was my favourite. It’s clean, the cafe is nice and the balls are in the ball pit!”

Marie said “Playdays is the best, but the parking is limited. We could do with one the other side of town (hatchwarren/ Brighton hill way).”

Michelle said “Agree playdays is great. Always clean, decent prices, can stay as long as you like and staff all friendly. Has a baby bit and a much larger bit, so good for siblings of different ages…would say probably up to 5/6 years max though”

    • Leah said “depends on the child I think, my 7.5 year old still loves going to Playdays”

Anna said “Playdays is great. My son always had so much fun here!”

Jungle Adventure Soft Play (previously Play Den), Basingstoke

Laura said “Play Gym in Festival place… cleanest place around!”

Helen H said “The play den in town is nice and clean and generally the service is good.”

Active Tots, nr Bramley

Melanie said “For little ones I would highly recommend Active Tots.”

Helen H said “Active Tots near Bramley is lovely and clean, but pricey and the customer service is awful. I’ve been 3x and every time the staff are rude and unhelpful.”

    • Melanie said “Helen I’ve always found the staff lovely and very accommodating to those with allergies.”
    • Helen said “As I say, only been 3x and each time was a horrible experience. But I can’t fault the cleanliness of the place at all. It’s a lovely facility.”
    • Catherine said “and it has windows and natural day light.. which is less depressing for me!”

The Adventure Barn, Winchester

Lisa saidMy favourite is The Adventure Barn its extremely clean (closed every Tuesday 1/2 day to be cleaned) Staff are friendly, it also has a great outdoor play area in the summer. Is suitable for tiny babies up to 9/10 year olds (depending on the child). You can see all areas of the soft play so you can keep an eye on your child and don’t ‘loose’ them. The food is lovely (proper adult food) as well as kids meals, healthy and not so healthy snack for the kids. They do toddler sessions where you get a free biscuit and squash. Its near Marwell. Can be tricky to find the first time. Overall brilliant though…”

360 Play Farnborough

Amy said “It’s really good there. Lots to do but it’s pricey and the food was terrible when I went! Too far for us to go and not have lunch but wouldn’t be in a rush to go again for that reason. That said my little boy had a great time!”

Alison said “Its great but it is expensive. It has great role play areas, carousel, bumper cars, lego building plus usual soft play. My nearly 5 year old loves it. I’ve eaten there a few times and its been fine. Parking is a bit of a pain. The parking outside is time limited so we’ve parked in the multi storey down the road so we can stay all day and make the most especially as its expensive to get in.”

Joellie said “I’m here now! It’s expensive but lots to do

Helen said “Joellie I thought the same about price, especially as on 1st visit you have to register and pay a one off £5 reg fee. But saying that there is loads to do. I agree parking close is limited to 2hrs but next time will park on multi storey as someone else suggested. Definitely will visit again.”

Other and Multiple Recommendations:

Leah said Frankies fun factory in Romsey is big, so much to do & fun! Kids2day in Eastleigh is good. Playdays in Basingstoke. Gym tots in Basingstoke sports centre. Sure there must be one in reading.”

    • Carrie saidkrazy kids is in reading and really good”
    • Leah said “ah knew there would be lol. Not been there yet…”

Leah also said  “Also, fun house in Basingstoke…There’s also one at Finkley Down Farm I think – go for a day out & enjoy. Also, 4 kingdoms play activity centre near Newbury – great outdoors stuff & big soft play centre inside. Marwell zoo has one nearby the zoo – not in the zoo but further down the road (can’t remember what it’s called though)”

    • Lisa said “The Adventure Barn (I’ve mentioned above x )”
    • Leah said “ah yes that one lol.”

Wendy said “I find soft play is very specific to age, active tots is fine for under 1s but a bit pants once they can walk. The sports centre is good for 1 – 4, play days sees them to about year 1. Flip out has a playframe that over 7s absolutely love and my kids love both the indoor and outdoor ones at 4 kingdoms.”

    • Natalie said “Wendy, can you just buy tickets for the soft play bit? Or is it you have to buy for the whole place?”
    • Wendy said “Natalie you have to get tickets for the whole place. Last year they had a ticket sale around March where you could buy discounted tickets with no use by date.”

Steph said “We love the soft play in The sports centre in festival place, it’s clean and reasonably priced. Active Tots is fab for younger children. We love kids in action too but that’s in winnersh”

Alison saidEddie Katz Newbury! (OK Berkshire.. But only just) Also for little ones Active TotsPlay Gym in Basingstoke sports centre”

Vicki said “Love The Adventure Barn near Marwell, Kids n Action in Winnersh and, it’s a bit of a drive, but Sprouts Playbarn near Abingdon is seriously the best I’ve ever been to.”

Kimberley said “Active Tots is really nice for 1-3 year olds however over the top price wise. They even charged a friend of mine over £5 for her 4 month baby which wasn’t going to be using equipment. Play den in town sports centre is also great for younger ones but no cafe anymore. Playdays has a smaller area for younger children and is always clean – not much parking though x”

    • Helen H said “Kimberley they charged us £5 per person to sit in the cafe ! When I had my son with me to use the equipment and two adults who weren’t using it or with kids but would be buying a coffee in the cafe!”
    • Kimberley said “Helen shocking really!”

Julia said “I don’t think anyone has mentioned Madhouse next to the Madejski Stadium in Reading. It’s not too far from Basingstoke, always very clean, staff always friendly when I have been. It does work out pricey if you have lots of kids and eat there too, but I find all the good ones do.”

Michelle saidRosie and Bean cafe in fleet is good for imaginative play, also has a bouncy castle, lovely staff and great food!”

Jessica said “There was a really nice one in Camberley . Magic Kingdom/Dragon or something. That was very good”

Sarah said “Kids n Action is brilliant and something for all ages”

Catherine said fun house

Ruza saidJake’s playworld, with inside and outside space. One of the cleanest I’ve been to and great for the kids. Near tri-lakes”

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Friends of Old Basing Schools Summer Fair, Sunday 7th July 12-3pm

Come and support your local schools, this year we have an African drummer, drumming work shops, arena performances, fun inflatables, an assault course, water play, archery, face painting, a variety of games and stalls for everyone. BBQ, Beer, Pimms, hot & cold drinks, cakes & ice-cream.

Entrance £1.50 per adult, accompanied children free.

At St. Mary’s Junior School Belle Vue Road, Old Basing.

https://www.facebook.com/events/415552792539080/

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NHM Readers Recommend: Best Water Parks and Leisure Centres

I recently had a question from a Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “What are the best water parks / leisure centres in the area for pre-schoolers?”

Many thanks for your responses, 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: Best Water Parks and Leisure Centres

Laura said “I’ve just been to Coral Reef today as we had an inset day. It’s £6.65 for adults, free for under 5s. The big slides aren’t open on weekdays but there’s lots of fun and slides for smaller kids”

Wendy saidAquadrome has just refurbished their toddler bit. Tadley has the best temperature locally. QMC on a Saturday/Sunday afternoon is the best value for money, Just a simple pool but they chuck loads of floats and woggles in. In the summer, Chineham park splash pad in Popley.”

Victoria said “Been to Guildford Spectrum today- great for all ages and loads to do there”

    • Amanda replied “Agreed :)”

Lene said “We went to Windsor leisure park a few weeks ago. We thought it was great. Not massive but had slides, kids bit, wave pool, couple of bigger slides and plenty of changing facilities.”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Punishment at School as well as at Home?

I recently had a question from a Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “After some parenting advice; if your child misbehaved at school and was punished at school would you punish at home as well or not?”

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

NHM Readers Recommend: Punishment at School as well as at Home?

Katie said “I think it depends on what they did. I’ve just gone through this and decided punishing at school wasn’t enough so he also got punished at home.”

Chloe said “I had this issue before, I was unhappy that the school didn’t tell me, luckily my child is honest with me, but because she had already been punished, I chose to talk to her about it but not punish her, I make her reflect on what she does, it always depends on how often it happens and the situation”

Becki said “I don’t usually. If the school has dealt with it, I’d talk to the child about it and see if we can get to the bottom of why it happened so it doesn’t happen again. School won’t punish for bad behaviour at home!”

Jennie said “It’s already been dealt with”

Lorah said “Depends what it was!”

Wendy D said “Agree depends on what they did. If they broke school rules then the school punishment is normally enough but if they broke life rules then I would consider revoking a few home prvillages too. Also depends if they are sorry.”

    • Lorah said “Wendy yes agree with this!!”

Kathryn said “I’d have a chat with them at home about it, there is always 2 sides to a story and discuss different ways they could have dealt with whatever they were feeling but not punish them again.”

Catherine said “There’s not really a lot of punishment the school can doll out. It depends on what it was but I think if it was something you considered serious you should back up at home with a consequence to support the school.”

Rachael said “Depends what happened and the reasons it happened. I would always sit down and talk to them about it so they know that I communicate with the school, also so I can pick up if they are acting out because they are upset, stressed etc”

Kerri said “No. I work in a Pre school and we tell parents when their child misbehaves but only for their information. Depending on the age of the child once a certain amount of time has passed the ‘punishment’ won’t be relevant. I think parents should discuss what’s happened and the fact it’s wrong/they’re disappointed etc and to affirm the fact school have chosen to take it seriously. But not necessarily to punish themselves.”

    • Catherine said “Kerri I wouldn’t consider punishing a preschooler at all, other than sternly saying no and explaining why it’s wrong.”

Emma said “Yes!”

Hayley said “Personally punishment should be done at the time of incident.. else they won’t associate the punishment with the wrong doing. I’m with those who say the school should tell parents and when the child is home to sit down and talk about it.. punishment has been given so a stern talk when home about it is best.”

Amber said “If the child has already been punished at school then I dont punish again at home. I want my child to know that he can tell me anything that happens at school without fear of being told off again. Obviously we do talk about any incident but it is a conversation rather than punishment.”

Wendy S said “No, they’ve already been punished, I’d just say that I know about it.”

Karen said “No. Not if it’s been dealt with. Consequences are much better though…https://www.empoweringparents.com/…/punishments-vs…/

Marion said “If it’s a school rule they broke, no. If they’ve been a proper little for and done something unacceptable to another child, absolutely.”

Ruza said “Well it does depend on what happened. School rules, and discipline at school. However if this is something that you really think needs further dealing with then you need to find out why and then look at what you need to do further. Also remember sometimes something happens that has an underlying reason.”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Classic Tracks to Introduce to Your Kids

I had a bit of a random question from a friend which I thought I’d ask the NHM Community for advice on: “I’m trying to introduce my son and daughter to really good music, especially the classic tracks (not classical) from the last 50 years. What specific tracks would you recommend?”

I LOVED all of the suggestions, now listed below, and decided to steal some myself. THANK YOU!!!!!

NHM Readers Recommend: Classic Tracks to Introduce to Your Kids

Holly said “Queen!”

Matthew said “Acdc just get out classic rock and 80’s etc there are loads but just play them in car that’s what we do and kids love them.”

Natashia said “Bee Gees/ Fleetwood Mac / Roxette / Bryan Adams / ABBA ……that’s just pop……or depending on their age they may prefer rock….otherwise ACDC, Crash Test Dummies, The Doors…list goes on …”

Emma said “I love a bit of rolling stones! Though don’t listen to the lyrics too much so couldn’t say how appropriate they are”

Cerys said “My teenage boys are huge Stones fans. We took them to see them live in Southampton earlier this year and they loved it.”

Kym said “Michael Jackson, Beatles”

Hayley said Requested in our house:
Levellers – One way, Beautiful Day, Angels.
Most songs by Bryan Adams.
Guns’n Roses – Sweet child of mine.
Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil, Paint it black.
Aerosmith – Pink, Crazy.
Most songs by the Beatles.
Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a prayer, Always.
Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t fear the reaper.
Madness – Our house, One step beyond.
Specials – Ghost Town
Fleetwood Mac – The Chain, Landslide”
The girls also like a bit of Metallica, Rob Zombie, Oasis, Coldplay & Pearl Jam too.

Melrose said “Love the Levellers, been a fan since 92! Saw them last week in Bristol as part of their 30th anniversary tour, just as brilliant as ever.”

Hayley said “Melrose Hall I think we’ve spoken about them before actually when I used to take my daughter to playgroup at Melrose…They’re one of our favourite bands, we’ve taken the kids to the Beautiful Days festival for the last few years – they love it”

Cat said “My boys’ current favourites: Nickelback rockstar and MJ bad. We have Amazon prime music and I often ask varied playlists: classic rock, 80s rock, disco, 90s etc….”

Wendy S said “Radio 2!”

Allison said “Don’t forget the Sergeant Pepper album – that’s a real classic with a mass of musical styles and instruments

Laura said “Fleetwood mac
The eagles
Abba
The carpenters
The beatles
The beach boys
Queen
Eva cassidy
Simon and garfunkel”

Genni said “The jam, blur, oasis, pulp, nirvana, the list goes on…”

Wendy D said “Just buy now 100, see what they like on it and go from there. My kids love the Smiths. The ministry compilations are also pretty good for trying out different types of music and kids love songs they know from films.”

Cerys said “My 15 year old is sick of Queen! He likes 2 door cinema club, the Killers, the Gorillaz, 21 Pilots, Jimmy Hendrix, and all sorts of people I’ve never heard of”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Family Friendly Wedding Venues

I recently asked the NHM Community if they could help with a question I had received: “We are looking for a family friendly venue for a wedding breakfast in March. Just lunch or possibly lunch and dinner. Somewhere in Hampshire. Possibly a hotel where we can all stay but there’s only 15 of us so I would like it to feel special. Thank you!”

Many thanks for all of your responses, 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: Family Friendly Wedding Venues

Rachael saidWellington on the reading road”

Charlotte saidSecond the Wellington arms got married there and highly recommend it”

Aimee saidBarton’s Mill….they have lovely accommodation now too”

Helena saidHighfield park is lovely. They have a private dining room for groups too.”

Wendy said Oakley Hall, Four seasons dogmersfield, Tylney Hall. Also the old Mill in Aldermaston, technically not Hampshire but almost.”

Erin asked “ Lizzy what was that lovely place we went for afternoon tea?”

          Lizzy repliedWarbrook House

Kirsten saidThe Mill House restaurant and hotel, Swallowfield. I got married there and they have 12 hotel rooms. Very homely and family friendly”

Sasha saidHoliday inn basingstoke is amazing, had a small wedding (21) there and incredible wedding breakfast

Sue saidEsseborne manor

Siobhan said The Hoddington Arms. They have a lovely barn that will be perfect for a small wedding breakt”

Lainey saidWe got married in a small hotel called The Lismoyne Hotel in Fleet.”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Reusable Nappies

NHM Readers Recommend: Reusable Nappies

I recently had a question from an NHM Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “I use reusable nappies, and would like to connect with mums nearby who do the same if you know of any”.

Many thanks for 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: Reusable Nappies

Karen said: The Basingstoke nappy library. There’s a Facebook page. You’ll find cloth nappy users at the sling library too and look for attachment parenting Basingstoke (I think that’s what it’s called) we’ve moved now but was a lovely group with lots of cloth nappy users.

I expect if you join BOBBIES Basingstoke there will be some too.

Genni Elliot said:  I do and you’ll also find me at the sling library!

Amie said: Sorry jumping in on post, can someone recommend a company they use and where to start….expecting twins 😳 also considering expecting twins am I biting off more than I can chew considering I’m going to have my hands full?? Thanks!

Helen replied to Amie:  I did cloth with my son. We used a mix. Pop-ins and bambino miosolos but to be honest it’s really trial and error which is why the nappy library is so good

And Karen replied to Amie: Check out the nappy lady Amie, loads of great advice.

Catie said:  I do cloth nappies and love them! It’s really not that much more work than disposables, and with twins you stand to save even more money and environment! The nappy library is super helpful explaining the different types and their features and benefits.

Emma said: I use them with my 2.5 yr old😊

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