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

Are you looking for somewhere to meet up with several of your friends, their babies and pushchairs/buggys?

The list below are some of the foody places you could visit that welcome large groups of Mum’s and babies:

1. Queens College Arms – Tadley road

Recommend booking in advance and asking for the “big” table. They have baby changing facilities onsite and bottle warming facilities. Very friendly and welcoming of Mum’s and babies. For bigger children, there is a climbing frame in the pub garden.

2. Little Roses Tea Shop – Elm Tree Garden centre, just up from the Queens College Arms

They have excellent baby changing facilities and even provide free baby wipes and nappy bags! There is a changing station and several highchairs upstairs if you don’t want to take your pushchair in. Recommend looking in the Chests/tables as there is a treasure trove of toys that will keep children amused for a while. Very welcoming of Mums and babies.

3. Dayers – Chineham Business Park

This place is normally empty in the mornings. They do good breakfasts and cake. Gets busy at lunchtime, so maybe not the best place to go for lunch.

Unfortunately they don’t have baby changing facilities (they used too!) but they do have large toilets so if you don’t mind doing emergency nappy changes on your changing mat on the floor, you should be ok.

4. Dobbies Garden Centre – Tilehurst (25 mins from central Basingstoke)

If you fancy going a bit further afield or live near Reading, it’s worth checking out the restaurant of this Garden Centre. They have a large restaurant with a big outside eating area. Seems to be quiet because it’s outside of central Reading.

5. Wyevale Garden Centre – Sherfield on Loddon

They have a large restaurant and outside area. The baby changing facilities are good, but are in the ladies toilets. I recommend signing up for the Gardening Club as you rack up the points quite quickly which give you discounts in the store and restaurant.

6. The Cafe Project, The Dome, behind Asda in Brighton Hill

Open Tuesday to Friday’s from 9.30am.

7. Portsmouth Arms – Hatch Warren

8. Costa Coffee – Hampshire Centrecourt Hotel (Behind the large Tesco’s)

The Service is slow but you can sit indoors or outdoors and there are baby changing facilities

9. Conkers Garden Centre

Related Posts

9 things to do in Basingstoke with a newborn

8 Cheap Restaurants in Basingstoke

11 Places to Breakfast with children in North Hampshire

8 Reasonably Priced Restaurants in Basingstoke (Meal for 2 for under £15)

Sometimes I really miss the lifestyle I had before having a family. Specifically the spontaneity of being able to eat out. We still try to eat out when we can justify the cost, which is why I’m always looking for cheaper places to eat that don’t mind children and won’t break the bank. Let me know if there is a restaurant or cafe that I’ve missed!

1. Debenhams Restaurant

There is a baby room next to the Restaurant. They also offer a special children’s menu and provide baby food and bottle warming facilities, free bibs and wipes.

The restaurant is open until 8pm most week days

2. Olivers Fish and Chips

They have an early Bird Deal at the moment.

The restaurant is open every day until 10.30pm, but check the website to confirm this.

They do have baby changing facilities and colouring and crayons for bigger children. Maybe a place to visit if you are lucky enough to have a night out alone with your partner/husband.

3. The Trawlerman, Chineham Shopping Centre

(Couldn’t find a website)

4. Marks and Spencers Cafe – Chineham

Please see a previous post HERE for details about the cafe at M&S in Chineham.

5. Sainsburys Cafe at Hatchwarren

The restaurant is open until 8pm every day except Sunday. However, I think they stop serving hot meals at 7pm.

6. Festival Plaice

I haven’t eaten here and I’m not sure if they have baby changing facilities or are very children friendly.

7. Nando’s

Open until 11pm most nights and has baby changing facilities.

8. Pizza Hut

There are two Pizza Hut restaurants in Basingstoke, one in Festival Place and one near Toys R Us. They seem to have a pretty good set up for children although I wonder how healthy the meals are.

 

The Olympics in Basingstoke/North Hampshire

Olympic Games: 27th July to 12th August

Paralympic Games: 29th August to 9th September

It’s not long to go until the start of the Olympics. If you haven’t been lucky enough to get tickets there are lots of activities happening in and around North Hampshire, so you can still join in all the fun!

The Olympic Torch is spending more time in Hampshire than in any other county and will be coming through Basingstoke on the 11th July.

I understand that several schools have given parents the right to take their children out of school to see the Torch, if they write and request this in advance. It looks like it’s going to be a popular day so have a look at the website for recommendations on the best places to see the Torch.

Large crowds and heavy traffic are expected in parts of the towns the torch will be visiting, so it is recommended that you plan ahead. To see a detailed map of where the torchbearers run in Basingstoke and for information about transport, parking and local torch celebrations, please check HERE.

If you don’t get a chance to watch the Olympic torch come through Basingstoke, there is the opportunity to “Watch the Games at Winchester Live”. Winchester Cathederal Outer Close will play host to a giant outdoor screen showing live BBC coverage throughout the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The screen is one of only 16 community live sites in the country. Winchester Live is open daily from 10am to finish. Why not take a picnic along. For more information click HERE.

There are several other events happening throughout Hampshire such as:

  • Exhibitions, talks and films
  • Olympic inspiration in Hampshire schools
  • Hampshire Welcomes the World
  • “Rings”

For more details about anything to do with the Olympics in Basingstoke and North Hampshire, click HERE.

If you have been lucky enough to get tickets to the Olympics and are planning to take a baby with you, please be aware of this potential issue about counterfeit slings: Parents urged to be wary of counterfeit baby slings as Baby Slings Mandatory for The Olympics “Babes in Arms” Tickets

Hope you have a great time, with or without tickets. I’m very excited and can’t wait!

Makaton in Basingstoke

Sophie very kindly offered to help out with writing some posts on NHM. Below she shares some details about Makaton. Hope you find it useful. Thanks Sophie, great post!

When we walk past the park Lucy, my 14 month old, makes L shapes with her index fingers and thumbs and shakes them, this is her sign for swings.  I don’t know where it came from she just started doing it one day and then did it again when we were looking at a picture of a park.  Now she does it every time we pass the park on the way back from taking her big brother to school.  And then in the afternoon, when I say “It’s time to pick up Oscar” Lucy immediately rubs her knuckles together; this is the sign for brother (we picked that one up from a Makaton sign language library book).  So with our swimming lessons finished for the summer I thought I would look into Makaton courses and see if it would help us communicate even better until she finds her voice, which I don’t think will be that long.

Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support and encourage spoken language.  The signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.  With Makaton, children and adults can communicate straight away using signs and symbols. Many people then drop the signs or symbols naturally as their little ones develop speech.  Makaton is extremely flexible as it can be personalised to an individual’s needs and used at a level suitable for them.

Many of the Sure Start/Action for Children centres do Baby Sing and Sign sessions which are centred around the Makaton programme.

Pebbles Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 357028.

  • Story, Song & Sign – Monday 11.00am – 12.00pm.
  • Drop In/no need to book

The Courtyard Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 843955

  • Baby Signing – Tuesday 10.00am – 11.00am.
  • Small cost applies – Must be booked in advance

Honeycomb Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 331574

  • Sing, Song & Sign for Baby – Friday 10.00am – 11.00am – 6 week course from 15 June
  • Ridgeway Centre, Buckskin – Pre-book your place – £12 per child

Buttercups Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 812615

  • Sing, sign and rhyme time – Friday 10.15am – 11.00am
  • Please call to book a space

For more information you can visit the Makaton Charity website HERE.

You can also see Makaton signing in action thanks to Something Special, a programme on the cbeebies channel and it’s supporting section on the BBC website HERE.

Breastfeeding: My Experience

Breastfeeding Support in Basingstoke – Jan 2014

I breastfed my little one for the first 8 months of her life. I’m not one of those Breastfeeding Nazi Mum’s (at least I hope I’m not!) but I wanted to try to do what I thought was the best for my baby. She wasn’t exclusively breastfed as we had several complications. The first 9 weeks of feeding were hellish. However, without the support of the the staff at North Hants Hospital and the Basingstoke Breastfeeding Counsellors we wouldn’t have managed more than a day.

I would have liked to have gone on beyond 8 months but I was forced to return to work when my little one was 5 1/2 months old. By the time she was 8 months old I was so exhausted from having to get up at 6am to express. Nobody mentioned to me that I didn’t need to stop breastfeeding completely, that I could have carried on doing the last feed of the day.

If you are hoping to breastfeed your baby I recommend checking some of the links below in advance of giving birth. I also recommend touching base with one of the breastfeeding counsellors in the last few weeks of your pregnancy, if only so you have a face you recognise if you need to see a counsellor. The counsellors at North Hants Hospital will only allow you to visit them up to your babies 28th day. I know this because I needed an appointment and they wouldn’t make one for me because my baby would have been 29 days old.

So I went to see Rachel at the Baby clinic at Chineham Christchurch. She is lovely and incredibly knowledgable. She picked up on feeding problems that many in the medical profession had missed. I had been to see Rachel in my first few weeks of maternity leave, before my baby was born and I was so glad I had met her before “needing” her support in those first few weeks. I also saw Sarah who was at the Nest, Basingstoke Baptist Church, Brighton Hill. She was so lovely when I collapsed in a heap of tears at about week four when things were just awful.

These ladies and their colleagues do an absolutely fantastic job. I cannot thank them enough for their support during one of the most intense periods of my life. If you are finding breastfeeding a struggle I urge you to reach out to these wonderful ladies.

Another recommendation I would make is that you find out in advance who can take you to the breastfeeding clinics if your partner cannot get time off work and/or you need support after the first two weeks. You never know if you will be able to drive after giving birth (emergency caesarean’s). The Health visitors are great but they cannot come and see you every day. I wish I’d had that list of people I could have called who were able, or prepared, to take me to the clinic when I needed them too. Even a list of taxi numbers would have been a start. Those first few weeks are challenging enough!

Remember though, if you cannot or choose not to breastfeed it DOESN’T make you a bad Mum. I lost sight of this at the beginning and I wish someone had said this to me at the time. Best of luck and if you need help, PLEASE reach out.

Related Links 

“Breastfeeding Welcome” places in North Hampshire – Feb 2015

Breastfeeding Support in Basingstoke – Feb 2015

A Map of Breastfeeding support in Hampshire: http://www.breastfeedingcommunity.co.uk/interactivemap/south.htm

The Breast Feeding network – Basingstoke on Facebook is also a great resource and I wish I’d known of it beforehand.

The official Basingstoke Breastfeeding Network web page. Another great resource.

http://bfsupport.me.uk/basingstokewinchesterandover/

Several of the Children’s Centres in Basingstoke also provide breastfeeding support, e.g. Octopus and Pebbles. Click here for details on Children Centres in Basingstoke

Please also see the great comment from Fumblina below about the NCT breastfeeding support in Basingstoke. My bad for not including the NCT in the original post!

Related Pages

Pregnancy

Basingstoke Babies

UK Babies

Ballet/Dance classes for 2 year olds (Nov 2011)

Baby & Toddler Dance classes in North Hampshire

Vicky asked the question on NorthHants Mum on Facebook: can anyone recommend ballet/dance classes for 2yr olds?

I’m not able to recommend any specific classes but I’ve done some research about what is available at the moment. Details are below. If you have any recommendations, please don’t hesitate to add them. Vicky – thanks for your question, hope this is what you were looking for.

Dance Classes

Bopping Babies

Toddle-time disco fun, dance and play session for 0-5’s.

Active Life Centre

Modern Dance: The Modern Dance class involves learning dance moves to current popular music. Mondays 14.00 – 14.45hrs. Cost: £40.00 for 10 weeks

Ballet Classes

Basingstoke Academy of Dancing

One of the more professional dance schools in Basingstoke.  They hold Mother and Toddler Classes – 18 mnths – 3yrs, Monday morning 9.30am to 10.30am

J.L.D. School of Dancing

They say: Being easily accessed from anywhere in Basingstoke & Deane, J.L.D. School of Dancing has 50 scheduled classes per week and offers dancing lessons for boys and girls from 2 – 18 years of age. Dance classes for children aged 2 – 5 years are lively and fun, exploring music, movement and mime.

M&M Academy of Arts

They have a boogie babies class on Saturday morning: Pre-school Dance Classes, 45 minutes, Fun and stimulating class for 3 & 4 Years olds. These classes introduce basic ballet, tap and modern/jazz movements incorporating mime and stories.

Centre Stage Ballet

Centre Stage Ballet 3-4 years 4.30-5pm. Ballet 4-5 years 5-5.30pm. Ballet & Tap 5-9 years 5.30-6.15pm

Thursdays at Sherfield Park Community Centre.

Active Life Centre

Ballet (3-4 years): Working from the Royal Acadamy of Dance syllabus, this class involves dancing to classical and contemporary music whilst incorporating ballet steps, miming and free dance. The children have fun working to develop

Lynden School of Dance

I couldn’t find the timetable online for this dance school but I know they do Ka Motion classes at Basingstoke Sports Centre for little people and I’m sure they will have classes for under four’s. To find details you can contact them through their website.

Loose Moose – Hook

Loose Moose Theatre Arts is an exciting, vibrant and creative theatre arts school offering a range of programmes for toddlers to teens to adults.

Chandelle Stage School

I don’t have any further details about this apart from that it’s based in the Sycamore centre in Winklebury.

Stage School’s

There is also a stage school in Basingstoke:

http://www.basingstokestageschool.co.uk/

Please add a comment if you know of more dance classes for toddlers in or near Basingstoke. Thanks!

Related Posts

Baby & Toddler Dance classes in North Hampshire

Dance Schools in North Hampshire

North Hampshire Academy of Dance

Basingstoke Toddlers

Mum Top Tips

Places to go for Children who love Animals

School catchment finder, Report on school admissions and Ofsted Reports in North Hampshire

Following on from the Education posts there are some very interesting links below (Thanks Su for forwarding them on!).  I don’t want to scare anyone but you may be intrigued to see where your little one falls in the catchment lottery for when they start Infants school  in North Hampshire and where they will be allotted for Junior’s and Senior schools:

School catchment finder

The report on School Admissions is a really interesting read, particularly at the end of the report where it is listed the number of children that have been accepted into the school and whether brothers and sisters have also been accepted:

Report on school admissions

If you have a little one starting nursery soon you may also find the following website useful as you should be able to check up on the Nursery’s latest Ofsted report. You can also find Infants, Juniors and Senior schools Ofsted reports from this linky:

Ofsted Early years and Childcare

Sorry if I’ve scared anyone but I hope you find the above useful. It would be great to hear your feedback…

Related Posts

Montessori Education

Home Schooling

Waldorf Steiner Education

Bookstart

Bookstart is a national programme that encourages parents and carers to enjoy books with children from as early an age as possible.

Bookstart gives the gift of free books to children at three stages in their early life, along with guidance materials for parents and carers.

The scheme enjoys sponsorship from around 25 children’s publishers, Red House Books and government funding via the Sure Start Unit.

Bookstart Book Crawls

For children aged 0 – 4 years old.
You will be given a collector’s card when you join the Book Crawl and a sticker for the card each time your child visits the library.
When your card is full your child will qualify for a Bookstart Book Crawl certificate, which may be presented at a special event.

Rhymetimes

Fun and free Rhymetimes for babies, toddlers and their parents or carers are organised in many libraries around the county.  They aim to encourage parents and carers to share action songs and rhymes with babies from birth onwards.

Waldorf Steiner Education in North Hampshire

There are no Steiner education schools in Basingstoke.

The nearest schools are listed below:

READING
Alder Bridge School * (1989)
EC-6 (70)
Bridge House, Mill Lane, Padworth, Berks. RG7 4JU
DfE: 869/6013
Tel 0118 971 4471
Fax 07092042631

info@alderbridge.w-berks.sch.uk

http://www.alderbridge.w-berks.sch.uk/

RINGWOOD
Ringwood Waldorf School (1974)
EC to 10 (270)
Folly Farm lane, Ashley, Ringwood, Hampshire BH24 2NN
DfE: 835/6022
Tel 01425 472664

mail@ringwoodwaldorfschool.org.uk

http://www.ringwoodwaldorfschool.org.uk/

Interest Groups (non-accredited by SWSF)

HAMPSHIRE
Wildflowers Kindergarten, Kilmeston Village Hall, Alresford Hants SO24 ONR
Enquiries: Brockwood Park School, Bramdean, Hants SO24 0LQ
Tel 01962 771458

helena@wildflowers-kindergartens.co.uk

http://www.wildflowers-kindergartens.co.uk/

What is Steiner education?

Steiner education…

  • Works for all children irrespective of academic ability, class, ethnicity or religion;
  • Takes account of the needs of the whole child – academic, physical, emotional and spiritual;
  • Is based on an understanding of the relevance of the different phases of child development;
  • Develops a love of learning and an enthusiasm for school;
  • Sees artistic activity and the development of the imagination as integral to learning;
  • Is tried and tested and is part of state funded, mainstream provision in most European countries;
  • Is respected worldwide for its ability to produce very able young people who have a strong sense of self and diverse capacities that enable them to become socially and economically responsible citizens.

Who was Rudolf Steiner?

Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925) was an innovative academic born in Austria whose ideas founded the basis of Anthroposophy.

He applied his ideas to education as well as agriculture, medicine, architecture and social reform. The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship acknowledges Rudolf Steiner as the founding inspiration of modern day Steiner schools, but does not promote Anthroposophy or endorse every aspect of it.

For more details check out: http://www.steinerwaldorf.org/whatissteinereducation.html

Further Reading

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldorf_education

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/mortarboard/2008/nov/12/home-schooling-steiner

Related Pages

Education

Montessori Education in North Hampshire

The only Montessori nurseries/school’s found in Basingstoke are:

Chineham: http://www.abacusnurseryschool.co.uk/index.html – But this nursery is under new management so they may no longer be registered as a Montessori nursery

Near Basingstoke

Overton: http://steventonchildrenshouse.co.uk/

Alton: The Beehive Montessori

Alton: http://www.privettmontessori.co.uk/

Bishops Waltham: http://www.bishopswalthammontessori.co.uk/

Hartley Witney: http://www.caterpillarspreschool.co.uk/

Baughurst: http://www.granthamfarm.org/granthamfarm/

Grayshott: jane.m.fisher@btinternet.com

Winchester: http://www.hartley-house.co.uk/

Andover: magic.tower@foxcotte.force9.co.uk

Alresford: Meon Springs Montessori

North Warnborough: http://www.puddleducksmontessori.co.uk/

What is Montessori

“The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth.” Maria Montessori

For more information about Montessori education, please check out the links below: