NHM Readers Recommend: Toddler and Baby Groups in Romsey

An NHM Reader recently contacted me asking if the NHM Community might be able to help: “I live in Romsey and I’m feeling a bit isolated. There are very few toddler and baby groups. Given your role, I wondered whether you have any connections in that area?” 

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: Toddler and Baby Groups in Romsey

Rebecca said “There’s a lovely coffee shop in Romsey called asante…They don’t do toddler groups but may stop you feeling isolated.”

Luan said “What about contacting RCS as they run all sorts of things. Not sure if groups based any more but worth a try”

Jennifer said “I’d suggest: signing up to Southampton NCT Facebook group and Southampton baby and toddler forum. Loads of great suggestions all over the area. Breastfeeders should get to bosom pals- Thursday morning meets in a room upstairs in the Baptist church and is a friendly place for a chat. The library does a couple of activities I think (and is generally a warm and comfortable place to be). I think I heard murmurs of an abbotswood based buggyfit class….Also thinking: I think there’s still a play cafe at the academy studios and I saw another one is opening up on the base point estate near the luzborough pub.”

Claire said “Toddler Sense runs in Romsey on a Monday”

Claudia said “Trina runs Jolly Babies & Music with Mummy classes in Romsey.”

Leah said “There’s frankies fun factory there – like Playdays but bigger!”

Rachel said “The abbey has a toddler group which was always nice. Lovely toddler group in Awbridge village called the ark. The library does some singing/story stuff for little ones which was really good.”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Play Cafes and Cafes with Toys

I recently had a question from an NHM Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “Does anyone know of any play cafes, or alternatively cafes that have entertainment/ toys for little children?”

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: Play Cafes and Cafes with Toys

Hook Garden Centre

Tracy said “Hook garden centre has a nice play area and cafe.”

Lottie said “Love the garden centre in hook. “

Kelly-Lauren said “Hook Home & Garden Centre, Come along to my session there! Jiggy Wrigglers Basingstoke & Surrounding Villages

Little Roses Coffee Shop

Andy said “Little Roses on the road to tadley is neat.”

Catherine said “Little Roses at Elm Park Garden Centre have toys upstairs”

Katie said “Little roses at Elm Park garden centre has a little play area upstairs for children. And it’s usually fairly quiet.”

More of the Good Stuff

Catherine also said “ More of the Good Stuff in Dummer have a fenced off area within the tea room full of toys”

Ellie said “More of the good stuff at dummer farm has a lovely area”

Andrea said “More of the good stuff cafe in Dummer.”

Samantha said “More of the Good Stuff , Dummer ….. amazing cake and a secure play area for little ones.”

Active Tots

Emma said “Active Tots is good if your kids are under 5”

Sarah A said “Beware – they have to be under 4 and not higher than a meter. Was turned away by my taller than average just turned 4 year old when I had my 2 year old and 6 month old in tow”

Beggarwood Cafe in the Park

Lottie also said “Cafe in the park in beggarwood has lots of toys”

Andrea also said “Beggarwood community centre.”

Redfields Garden Centre

Lottie also said “Bit further but the treetops cafe at Redfields garden centre in fleet is lovely too”

Sarah S said “Redfields garden centre has a little play area in their treetops cafe upstairs”

Rosie and Bean Play Cafe

Michelle said “Rosie and Bean in fleet is fab!!! Worth messaging their Facebook to book a table as they are very busy in the mornings”

The Overton Coffee Shop

Kate said “The Overton Coffee Shop has children’s books/toys and a little table”

The Tea Bar

Abigail said “The Tea Bar in Basingstoke is a lovely independent coffee shop/cafe. They do all sorts of food and they have loads of toys for toddlers and kids to play with”

Wellington Farm Shop

Ruza said Wellington farm shop has an outside area with a great adventure house, some animals to look at and inside a small selection of toys and books for use.”

Proteus Creation Space

Stephany said “Proteus has a little toy corner”

Lasham Gliding Centre

Michelle also said “On a sunny day, Lasham Gliding Centre has a great play park, cafe/restaurant plus you get to see all the gliders and planes”

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New Class!! – Baby Mindful

Baby Mindful classes are an amazing opportunity for parent and baby to connect and spend time getting to know each other in a calm supportive environment. It’s so easy to be caught in a whirlwind of being busy, and Baby Mindful is an opportunity to leave the to-do list and worries behind, and focus on your baby, and also your needs too – Time to just “be” rather than “do”.

You will also learn tools to help you manage the emotional rollercoaster of parenthood (and indeed life!), that will remain valuable throughout your journey as a parent – the ability to respond rather than react to situations, and be the calm your baby seeks.The classes follow a different theme each week and offer a range of activities to support the natural development of your baby, using activities that will gently stimulate and calm them and support their cognitive, communicative, social, emotional and physical development.

Each class has seven sections with different activities in each – Move, Play, Stretch, Feel, Breathe, Believe and Relax – with benefits for both your baby and you.

Classes are for 0-6 month babies at 10am, and also more action based classes for 6-12 month babies at 11:15am.

Overton Community Centre, Overton, RG25 3HB
https://www.facebook.com/babymindfulwithlaura/

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LinguaTastic Languages for Babies and Toddlers

I was absolutely gutted that I didn’t find out about the Baby and Toddler Linguatastic classes until it was too late for Miss NHM.

However, we enrolled her in German with Linguatastic when she started in YR and she thoroughly enjoyed it (Linguatastic do language classes for all ages).

Unfortunately because of her health issues, her energy levels couldn’t cope with it at the time but I still rate the LinguaTastic classes highly!

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FREE baby massage taster session – Friday 3rd May

FREE baby massage taster session on Friday 3rd May near Odiham.  Places are limited to help promote a relaxed atmosphere for baby and parent.

Baby Massage strokes and relaxation techniques will be taught to help with bonding, attachment and communication between baby and parent.

Baby Massage can help relieve the symptoms of colic, promote sleep and increase relaxation.

The one hour session will include all that is needed for the massage as well as refreshments.

There will also be the opportunity to complete the next 4 sessions of the baby massage course at a discounted rate of £40.

I am a qualified midwife and health visitor and have seen the benefits that baby massage can have on parent and baby.

Please message to book a space 07585 005143. I look forward to meeting you and your baby. Jane

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NHM Readers: Places in the area to see bluebells

In April 2018 I asked the Friends of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook “It’s “bluebell season” now and I’m putting together a post for places in the area to see bluebells. What are your recommendations? (You can find directions to Micheldever bluebell woods on NorthHantsMum).”

Thank you for your responses, which are listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers recommend places in the area to see bluebells

Catherine said “Beech Village Bluebell Wood

Helen said “The woods next to The Vyne have lots of beautiful bluebells”

Claire said “The Vyne

Lisa said “Some out in Bulls Bushes, Oakley. Was there yesterday”

Emma said “The Bramley Frith is stunning.”

Sarah said “Bramley woods”

Stephanie said “Micheldever forest is stunning for them”

Lisa said “Michaeldever Woods”

Hayley said “Micheldever”

Alistair said “Micheldever Woods!!

Shirley said “Manydown woods

Liane said “Bowdown woods near Greenham Common is spectacular!”

Alison said “If you don’t mind going further afield then Cliveden (National Trust) has a bluebell trail. We went weekend before last.”

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Review 2019: Thula Mama, Relax and sing whilst enjoying the soothing therapy of salt!

Review 2019: Thula Mama

Thula Mama is a unique and relaxing activity where mums with babies can enjoy singing together in a group whilst cuddling their babies and generally having a lovely time.  There are groups all over the country, but Basingstoke’s offering stands out from the rest in its venue – The Salt Lounge is Basingstoke’s first salt therapy space and is conveniently located close to Festival Place just off Wote street.  It offers treatments that can help alleviate breathing difficulties such as asthma as well as soothing skin conditions such as eczema.

At my first session it was a small enough group to not feel overwhelmed.  Rebecca, who organises it, was super friendly and we were offered tea and biscuits in lovely reusable mugs with lids (to prevent accidents from little grabbing hands!).  We relaxed in the waiting area and chatted for a while, before heading into the therapy room for our singing session.

The therapy room is a soothing white cave of tranquility.  There are comfortable reclining chairs with low arms and footstools, perfect for feeding baby.  You can choose to go barefoot, or with protection over your shoes, and the salt on the floor feels lovely between your toes.  There are mats and toys laid out on the floor for the babies to play, and the lighting is slightly dimmed for relaxation.

The songs at Thula Mama are simple, easy to learn traditional songs from around the world.  The words are written on a flip chart and the tunes can be picked up after hearing the song once.  We sang each through several times, adding in harmonies as we went, and I felt a real sense of achievement from learning some lovely-sounding music and enjoying singing it in less than 5 minutes!  There are no auditions, and no worrying about having any previous experience of singing – it’s all about joining in and having fun with other mums!

Facilities-wise the venue has everything you need – there are lockers for you to leave valuables if you wish, prams can be left in the waiting area where there is always a member of staff present, and the disabled toilet has a changing table too.  There are a couple of steps into the building, but there is always someone to help get prams in if needed.

I left my first session feeling both physically and emotionally refreshed.  My little one and I both had colds at the time, and I’m sure the salt therapy helped us feel better, and it was such a nice change to do something calming and relaxing with babies (although we are all for the sensory play and bright colours and loud noises of other baby groups too!).  I have since been back every week for the past couple of months and treat it as my weekly retreat!

I give Thula Mama 5 out of 5!  At £10 per week it’s really reasonable, especially considering you get a salt therapy session for free!  The first session is free for you to come along and try, so what are you waiting for?  Get in touch on the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/ThulaMamaBasingstoke

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Review 2019: Happy Faces Easter Egg Hunt

Thank you very much to Alison for today’s NHM Secret Review! She’s done a brilliant job!!!

Review 2019: Happy Faces Easter Egg Hunt

Today I took my two year old to the Happy Faces Easter Egg Hunt in Sherfield-on-Loddon. It was on from 10am-12pm at a cost of £2.50 per child. We arrived shortly after 10am to find a queue had already formed at the entrance & most parking spaces taken.

The ladies of Happy Faces were all very friendly and welcoming. We were given a bag to collect eggs, a piece of paper with our clues on and a raffle ticket. Then we set off on our hunt.

Thanks to the sudden glorious bank holiday weather we had a lovely little walk finding clues and mini eggs along the way. For someone who doesn’t know Sherfield-on-Loddon that well we managed to follow others and figure out where each clue was hidden. Knowing that we needed to look out for the ladies wearing bunny ears helped! I especially liked the added touch of the Easter bunny (although my son found him slightly scary, lol)

At each stop the children were allowed two mini eggs for their bags. The distance covered was just enough for young legs and the gap between clues was just right to keep them interested. We had a lovely time and especially enjoyed visiting the ducks.

We worked our way back round to Happy Faces where we exchanged our raffle ticket for a large Easter egg (enough chocolate for any child). After this we had a lovely time exploring the garden, which was much bigger than I had expected.

Inside Happy Faces were many different stalls etc all helping to raise money. There were lots of amazing looking cakes for sale too.

At £2.50 I thought it was great value and my son thoroughly enjoyed himself. I would definitely do this again. It was very popular so I think getting there early is key!

Happy Faces Playgroup, Sherfield on Loddon

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Drama Tots

Is your little one due to start school in September? That time beforehand is one that you want to savour, making special memories along the way. The perfect chance to create those memories awaits you at Drama Tots.

Classes are designed for 18 months-3yr olds Rising Stars and 3-5yr olds Bright Stars. Younger siblings are always welcome as well.

At Drama Tots our programme harnesses imaginations, we use repetition to encourage listening skills and allow expression and confidence to grow. Our classes are nurturing and offer the chance to build friendships along the way. 

The summer term of Drama Tots commences from Thursday the 25th April and runs until July with a half term break in May. A 3wk trial package costs £12 and allows time to have a good overview of the programme. 

We find that children pick up the actions to the songs really quickly and enjoy the weekly familiarity of the class structure. 

Every week we go on a new adventure and explore these with a variety of traditional nursery rhymes, original music, instruments, props and puppets. 

The programme is designed with the EYFS learning goals in mind so there is an educational thought process behind everything we do, of course delivered in a fun and interactive way. 

My name is Kate and I run the Basingstoke branch of Drama Tots. My background was in professional theatre, graduating with an honours degree in musical theatre from GSA. 

I subsequently worked in children’s theatre as well as walk about character work at various locations around the U.K. both on and off stilts!

I have taught music and drama classes to preschoolers in London before having my own children. Seeing their imaginations in use every day has been amazing and I’m passionate that drama and imaginary play has a huge benefit for children of all ages and is a powerful way of learning to express yourself. 

Our current timetable of classes is as follows:

Monday’s 

St Mary’s parish room Old Basing

⭐️Rising Stars 

9.40-10.20 18mnth-3yr olds

⭐️Bright Stars

10.30-11.15 3- school age

Thursday’s 

Lychpit village hall 

⭐️Rising Stars 

9.40-10.20 18mnths-3yr olds

⭐️Bright Stars

10.30-11.15 3-school age

The Drama Tots programme is also designed to be delivered in a nursery or preschool setting, the benefits of having an enrichment activity are extensive.

I have received some excellent feedback regarding the sessions and how well engaged the children were. The programme works alongside the EYFS learning goals and can be used for many observations. 

To find out more and to book a trial please see our website- www.dramatots.co.uk 

Find me on 

Facebook- Drama Tots Basingstoke 

Instagram @dramatotsbasingstoke 

Or email me- kate@dramatots.co.uk 

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