FREE baby massage taster session – Friday 14th September 2018

FREE baby massage taster session on Friday 14th September in 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 £35.

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

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

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Free Life Insurance for One Year! (it’s true! no tricks, no selling anything, just free life insurance!)

Did you know new parents can have free life insurance for a year?? The details below are for the Post Office but there are lots of other insurers who administer this too!

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Get your summer on with Festival Place’s Sound Stage – starts Saturday 11th July 2015

This could be a really great opportunity to expose your little one’s to some live music in town and it’s free too!

Let’s just hope the performers are warned in advance that swearing won’t be acceptable. (Wow, do I sound old! lol. )

Get your summer on with Festival Place’s Sound Stage

As part of Festival Place’s ongoing Summer Festival of activities and entertainment, the centre is looking forward to the exciting launch of its Festival Sound Stage on Saturday 11th July. Running from 4pm – 8pm, and subsequently every Sunday throughout the summer, the stage provides a terrific platform for local up and coming music talent to showcase their abilities through performing acoustically or a cappella.

Live acts will perform in the newly transformed Summer Garden in Festival Square, after being chosen from the initial auditions on 6th June. The line-up includes local artists, Chris Holden, Rich Jacobs, Irene Nazimbwa and Mark Furmston to name a few and will run in partnership with one of the longest serving music retailers in the UK, Dawsons Music.

Marketing and Business Performance Manager at Festival Place, Sarah Murphy, commented: “Festival Place is delighted to launch the Festival Sound Stage to provide some fantastic live entertainment for the people of Basingstoke and to give the region’s future stars a chance to shine. I can’t wait to see the artists take to the stage and am grateful for the ongoing support of Dawsons Music who have really helped bring this event to life.”

If you are interested in being part of the Festival Sound Stage simply email through a link to your YouTube video to

To keep up to date with details of other upcoming events at Festival Place visit or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Share your photos of the Summer Festival on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram tagging Festival Place and using #fpsummer for your chance to win fantastic prizes!


Please view the timetable below for full event timings for Saturday 11th July:

Time Name YouTube video
4.00 – 4.30 Chris Holden
4.30 – 5.00 Sam Brett
5.00 – 5.30 Rich Jacobs
6.00 – 6.30 Irene Nazimbwa
6.30 – 7.00 Simon Vincent
7.30 – 8.00 Mark Furmston N/A

For further information contact the Festival Place PR team on 02380 828525 or email



National Playdays 2015 and Basingstoke and Deane "Love Parks Week"!

“Love Parks Week” looks absolutely brilliant!

Plus, a VERY important date for your diary: National Playdays 2015 will be on Wednesday 5th August at Eastrop Park from 11am to 4pm.

If you’ve been to National Playdays before you will know that it’s an AWESOME free event that is a key date in any local parents calendar.

I’ve written about National Playdays before, which will give you some idea of what to expect: National Playdays 2014 and National Playdays 2013.

Basingstoke and Deane Love Parks Week

We’ve got loads of great, FREE, family friendly events taking place across the borough between 25th July and 5th August 2015.

For more details and the schedule of what is happening every day during these ten days, please have a look at the following website:

Love Parks Week


Love Parks Week 2

Love Parks Week 3

Love Parks Week 4

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Free photo portrait for mums to be! – Seeking potential participants for an Arts research project

Dear Mums & Mums to be,

I’m a mature female art student seeking potential participants for my arts research project, which is a portrait study of pre and postnatal mums.

I have begun this and successfully completed a couple of studies with good feedback.

I now need more subjects and hope to hear from anybody who would be happy to sit for me, for an hour.

I can provide a digital copy of photos via email and I’m happy to answer any questions.

The study is academically assessed and not for commercial purposes.

If you are interested I can be contacted on: 07467085898 or

I look forward to hearing from you


National PlayDay – 7th August 2013 – Free Event!!!

Apologies to those of you weren’t able to see yesterday’s “Things to do” post on your phones. I am hoping the problem is resolved today. If it isn’t could you please let me know again. Thanks! (Apologies that this post is a little late today too, it’s already one of those weeks! lol)

I went to the National Play day at Eastrop Park in 2011 when I was on Maternity Leave and it was brilliant! It’s a free event and they have lots to do, although it’s mainly for children aged 3 and over. There is special parking, at the top of Eastrop and a bus that runs all day, so you don’t have to walk up and down the hill. I am hoping this is still running this year, although if the bus isn’t running, it’s not so far to walk.

For those of you who aren’t in Basingstoke, there are Playday events happening all over the country, so please check the website at the bottom of this post to find a free event near you.

I wasn’t able to take the time off last year to go to this event, but I am hoping to be able to go this year with my little one. It’s a fabulous day out! A great date for your diaries during the summer holidays. If you’re there, and you see me, please do come and say hello! I’m not wearing my NHM T-shirt though :-D.

Basingstoke National Play Day- Eastrop Park

Date: 7 August 2013

Time: 11:00 – 16:00

Details: Circus skills, a bouncy castle and craft activities are just some of the free activities for families at Play Day in Basingstoke.

The fun starts at 11am and runs until 4pm, giving families the opportunity to play and learn together.

Other activities on offer are pond dipping, sport activities, face painting and scarecrow making. A children’s farm will also be visiting the Basingstoke.

Organised by: Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council

Open to the public or invite only:  Open to the public


  • Eastrop Park
  • Eastrop Lane
  • Basingstoke
  • Hampshire
  • RG21 4QF

Contact details

Contact name: Mike Nicholls/Sarah Elkins

Contact number: 01256 844844

Contact email address: 

For more details about National Play days, you can check the website here:

Review 2013: Basing Wood


Basing Wood

Did you know, that we have our own equivalent to Alice Holt Forest in Basingstoke? Basing Wood, or Carpenters Down as I’ve always known it, is a fantastic huge expanse of woodland, with trails, picnic benches, a Woodland Trail, a nature play ground and the chance to spot a Deer. It’s completely free, you don’t even need to pay parking.

I’ve been walking in Basing Wood for more than 30 years. Eek!! I remember when it used to have the National Trust sign at the entrance.  I realised yesterday, when we were walking through the forest, that I remember when certain bits of the forest were originally planted with sapplings. Those trees are fully flourished now, and you can’t tell that they are less than 30 years old. Gosh, that makes me sounds ancient! lol.

We were there on Sunday and we had most of the forest to ourselves. In fact, we didn’t see a soul for over an hour, as we went deeper into the forest. It’s a great place for getting away from it all, for getting some fresh air, rain or shine, and  for exhausting your children so they sleep well ;-).

If you would prefer that someone showed you the trails within the Forest, Emma at BuggyFit does a class on Monday’s and Friday’s in the Wood.

This is the address to find Basing Wood: Popley Fields Community Centre/Carpenters Down Basingstoke RG24 9AE


There is a “natural” play park at the top of the hill (no idea what the official term of it is). You can see from the photo’s below that its great for Toddlers. The few times we have been in the forest recently, we have had it to ourselves (although, I may regret this post soon! lol). They have swings, tunnels, tree stumps, stone blocks and all sorts of other things that you can swing, clamber, climb, run through, jump over, etc. etc. We always spend at least 30 minutes here, just running around the park.


I absolutely love the woodland trail, which is just a short walk away from the play park. The wooden animals are brilliant and my Little One loves crawling over them, stroking them, and trying to feed them stones! lol.  When I’ve been on my own with my Little One, we have walked up to the end of the woodland trail, as I can’t push the pushchair up the hill because of the remnants of my SPD. She can manage to walk to the end of the Woodland trail and back, at 2 years, 3 months old. (This may help, if you are wondering if you can take your little one without a pushchair).


We also walked through the outdoor Parkour site (as it’s called on Google Maps) and this was great to explore. It’s good for older children, as they can swing on the pipes that are attached to the roof. This is half way up the hill, on the way in, and is a large wooden structure with extra “bits” to it.


The forest is a great place for a picnic. There are picnic benches in the play park at the top of the hill and the odd bench dotted through the forest. However, if you take a picnic blanket with you, you don’t need to worry about where you sit. ;-). There is also a really large grassy area next to the forest, but a lot of dog walkers use this area, so beware of where you are sitting.


One of the great things that I love about this forest, is that you can nearly always spot a deer if you are quiet and standing in the right place. We saw one with my little one a few weeks ago and she was mesmerised. We couldn’t have been more than 25 meters away from it.


Not available


Not available. But as it’s outside, it doesn’t matter where you change your little one, as there’s generally no one in view!

Baby Facilities

Not available. So maybe not as good as Alice Holt for this reason.

Most of the paths are suitable for pushchairs, but you do need to go up one big hill. So if you have SPD…be careful! However, you could walk around the grassy field next to the forest if the hills look like being too much of an issue. Or, you can dodge the hills by accessing the forest from Chineham Business Park.


is Free!!! There are about 40 parking spaces too, so you should always be able to find a space.



Rating 4.9 out of 5

Basing Wood/Carpenters Down, like Finkley Down Farm, has a special place in my heart because I’ve been going there so long. I took 0.1 off the rating because sometimes there is a lot of litter because local youths use the forest in the late evenings/night times and leave their rubbish.


Related Posts

Review: Finkley Down Farm

Review: Alice Holt, Farnham

Review: Basing Lime Pits

Previous Other Reviews

Mum Top Tips

15 Different experiences for children

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A Children’s Easter Extravaganza

Playdays are hosting a Free Easter Event to be held at Cornerstone Nursery on Priestly Road (near the Post Office Headoffice, just past the hospital). It’s on this Sunday (24th March) from 2pm to 4pm at the Nursery and is free entry. You will also receive a £1 entry ticket for Playdays on Easter Sunday. For more information please call on the number listed in the poster.

I’m hoping to be able to make it along on Sunday, so I might see you there!

Playdays Easter Extravaganza



In the Garden

This weeks theme is Outdoors, so I’ve been doing some research on things to do in the garden with your little ones and this is what I’ve come up with. Not very original, but might give you some ideas for activities:

Painting Rocks and Flowerpots

Gardening/Weeding (but be careful when trying to explain the differences between weeds and plants, especially to Toddlers!)

Have a tea party: All you need is a picnic blanket, some teddies, dolls or dinosaurs and a children’s tea set. It’s a shame the Basingstoke Toy Library doesn’t run anymore as that would have been a great place to borrow a tea set from.

Painting in the garden: This is a great idea if you like your home furnishings and don’t want them covered in Paint! A friend of mine came up with this fabulous idea. Get hold of one of those tablecloth rolls that you can get for parties (I think its called a Banquet roll) and use that as really large paper for your little one to paint with their toes, hands, feet and anything else you don’t mind getting covered in paint. Recommend to do this on a sunny day, because then you can hose the paint off outside!

Camping: If you don’t have a tent and don’t want to pay out for one, have a look on the Basingstoke Freegle site to see if anyone is giving any away. It’s also possible to put up Requests for Items. Or you could just take some chairs and a big sheet out and build a tent from those.

Take the toys outside: But only those ones you don’t mind washing grass stains off.

Obstacle course in the garden: Even more fun if you have pets that want to get involved!

Home sports day: Egg and Spoon race, Pillow case (sack) racing (preferably not your best ones!) and the three legged race. Hours of fun!

Do you have any other suggestions?