Guest Post: Muddy Fingers

Hi, I’m Lauren. I set up Muddy Fingers last September, after a long career in global fashion buying. As a mother of two boys, I’ve found that gardening, and creating outdoor spaces we can share, has been a wonderfully connecting experience. Playing with colour, textures, form and design, I realised that everything I’d loved about fashion was present in my own garden – my passion for horticulture grew and grew. Encouraged by my fellow mum-friends, I developed our small back garden and allotment pastime into classes for every child to enjoy.

Whether you’re planting seeds in pots on windowsills or in vast community spaces and allotments – the enjoyable benefits of gardening are well documented. Muddy Fingers teaches the joy of gardening and nature through children’s education and curiosity.

With the UK’s children spending an average of 4 hours a day on screens, I believe that teaching them about the beauty and importance of the outdoors is more essential than ever. I encourage the next generation that by growing food and flowers, they are engaging and re-connecting with the natural world at a pace that provides a welcome break.

Operating across Basingstoke and the surrounding areas, I run hands-on gardening classes with pre-schoolers and primary school aged children.

During our classes, I teach children about:

  • Nutrition, cooking and where their food comes from.
  • Looking after the environment, from recycling to protecting wildlife.
  • Wellbeing and how nurturing plants are good for both physical and mental health.
  • Teamwork and self confidence in a cooperative setting.

My fun and practical activities give the opportunity to incorporate numeric skills, problem solving and basic science. The children are also given a sense of responsibility, looking after their own seedlings or, for example, taking their seed potatoes home to chit. I incorporate literacy skills by bringing relevant books and stories into classes. When learning about and growing potatoes, we read Supertato and create our own potato superheroes!

It is a very exciting time for Muddy Fingers. It has recently been shortlisted for Best Outdoor Activity for the Hoops Awards and Most Loved New Activity by What’s On 4 Kids Awards which I am very proud about. But, I am most excited that from the 6th April, the first Saturday of each month, children of all ages can join me at the Muddy Fingers garden at Clift Meadow, Bramley for hands on gardening activities. This new space is a lovely size to enable the children to grow a variety of fruit and vegetables, as well as ornamental flowers. It also allows for creative and fun stations like a runner bean tepee den, herbs planted into ‘pizza slices’ and a water wall! I have lots of exciting plans for the space, all of which the children will be helping to develop and build.

Preschool classes are every Tuesday at Brookvale Village Hall and Thursday at Brocas Hall, Bramley during term time at 10am for 50 minutes. Your first class is free and children get to take home what they have planted and made during the class.

Children have a natural curiosity for the world around them. Muddy Fingers nurtures that curiosity, encourages experimentation and mess, and pulls children away from their technology – even just for a little while. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get muddy!

More information can be found at www.muddyfingersgardenclub.co.uk or my social media accounts

https://www.facebook.com/pg/MuddyFingersGardenClub/ https://www.instagram.com/muddyfingersgardenclub/

To contact me directly please email info@muddyfingersgardenclub.co.uk or 07775594463

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Guest Post: Buggy Magic Valeting

Hi guys🤗, im Emma, I am the proud owner of Buggy Magic Valeting, which is an established buggy valeting/rescue service for Basingstoke surrounding areas & beyond!. We buy, refurbish professionally clean & makeover/deep clean used & unwanted buggies & pushchairs etc, ready for new lil passengers & parents and give them a new lease of life! I also provide a cleaning only service if you just wanted a makeover for your own pushchair to increase sales value 😁. Xx

I know how busy mum & dad’s can be with little ones and find it hard to have the time to clean your pushchairs properly, so I’m here to help take that burden away from you, so you can spend more quality time with your little ones! We at Buggy Magic ‘take the stress out of mess’ and my mission ultimately is to reduce the amount of waste from pushchairs going to landfill 😉. So. It’s saving the environment as well as family’s finances by refurbishing and not buying brand new! 👌🤞

I am a professional, knowledgeable and very experienced buggy valet service/buggy business seller. I’m also the ONLY registered approved, and experienced buggy cleaning business/seller locally in Hampshire. Xx 👌🌟

What exactly do I do?! Well il tell you 😉, I COMPLETELY strip every single buggy and car seat down off their frames including hoods, baskets, straps etc, I remove & clean wheels inside and out and degut wheel axles where debris forms and give it a completely deep professional clean. I have very high standards and like to maintain excellent customer service. I have over 100, 5 star reviews and recommendations on my page.👌☺💕

If you would like some BUGGY Magic on your buggy or if youre looking for an as new condition buggy, travel system, stroller etc… please message me .. And pls feel free to like My page.

Thanks for looking & supporting a small local business. 😍 Ps I can also post buggys so it doesn’t matter if youre not local to me 🤩Xx

Feel free to share or take a look at my page and pm me if u need anything, x

www.facebook.com/Buggymagicvaleting

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Relax and harmonise with Thula Mama at The Salt Lounge for physical and mental well-being!

Hi, I’m Rebecca and I run a singing group called Thula Mama (pronounced ‘Tula Mama’) for mothers of bumps and pre-crawling babies. Thula Mama is a national franchise but this is the only group in this area. I’ve just teamed up with The Salt Lounge in central Basingstoke to run my sessions in their salt room, meaning that Thula Mama sessions now come with the added bonus of salt therapy!

In contrast to most musical groups for mothers and babies, the focus of a Thula Mama session is on the mothers and allowing them a chance to relax and unwind and do something for themselves. It offers mums an hour and a half of social time and provides both mothers and babies with the many benefits of soothing singing. Babies love listening to the sound of their mothers’ voices singing gently to them.

Refreshments are provided in the seating area at The Salt Lounge at the start of the session, in a comfy place to sit while you meet other mums and catch up.  We then move into the salt room which is furnished with easy chairs and where the floor is covered with salt – like a soft winter wonderland. During the next hour, we learn a mix of gentle lullabies and more upbeat songs from around the world with simple but effective harmonies. Singing in this way in a group creates a positive and peaceful atmosphere and has been proven to be great for mental well-being. Absolutely no experience is necessary! All are welcome and all the songs are taken at a gentle pace appropriate to the group. We also benefit from a salt therapy session in the salt room, which is helpful for breathing and skin conditions. Find out more at www.thesaltlounge.co.uk.

Sessions are every Thursday from 9:30am and costs £10 per session. Normally a salt therapy session is £30, so this represents excellent value for money! For details, please contact me on 07971 798945, email rebecca.cooch@gmail.com or visit www.Facebook.com/ThulaMamaBasingstoke. The first session is free. You can also find out more and listen at www.thulamama.co.uk .

Some recent reviews of Thula Mama:

“This is such a lovely group, so friendly and welcoming. You don’t need to be a great singer to join, the songs are great, so different and really fun. I find myself singing them all the time, this group is fantastic and Rebecca is so nice.” (Holly Wakefield, September 2018)

“I am so pleased I came across this group – it is something so different from the usual Mother and Baby classes, and it is a rare combination of doing something for your child as well as for yourself. The songs are different, some joyful, some soulful. My baby has loved attending and listening to the group – it is interesting how mesmerised the babies are!
…Thanks for a lovely time Rebecca – it has been my favourite activity with my baby this year.” (Amanda McKechan, November 2017)

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ARTventurers

Hi I’m Marcia and I’m very excited to be bringing the award winning ARTventurers classes to Basingstoke. Classes begin in Hatch Warren in November and are full of fun and creative art and play opportunities for babies and young children.

Please pop along to my website to find out more or to book a class.

Hope to see you soon, Marcia x

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Kids Kan Dance, September 2018

Kids Kan Dance have been super busy over the summer getting ready to bring you some amazing dance classes!  We have brand new themes and brand new classes and we can’t wait to share them with you!

We have a variety of classes for children aged 18 months to 8 years and you can find out all about them on our newly updated website www.kidskandance.co.uk.

Dance and movement classes offer children such a great number of skills including
Improving coordination
Improving balance
Physical Activity
Creativity
Patience and self-control
Imagination
Confidence building
And much more…..
Our classes are also a great place for mummies and children to make friends.

Many of our current dancers started with us when they were 18 months old in Dance with Mummy and have now just started school and have joined our Inspiring Infants classes! Find out why both kids and mummies love Kids Kan Dance classes by coming along to a trial session.  We offer a range of trial options and, as we’ve just opened some new classes, we have a few spaces too !!  We look forward to dancing with you soon !!

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Messy Monkey Makers

Hi my name is Kerry and I am the owner of Messy Monkey Makers in Basingstoke, some of you may remember it previously being called Messy Monsters!  I bought and took over the business in April of this year and since then I have been busy rebranding and putting lots of new exciting messy play classes, it’s all been very exciting.

So more about Messy Monkey Makers, my classes are fun, exciting, sensory and messy exploration classes for age 6 months to 5 years!

Our classes offer your little monkey an environment to explore their imagination, concentration and freedom of expression in a fun, safe and non-restricted environment.  We can offer them the chance to explore using resources such as sand, water, slime, paint, playdough and much more! This enables them to understand how things feel, smell, sound, taste all which can support their development.

At Messy Monkey Makers it’s not about the finished product, it’s about the process. We do not make things that are perfect we make things that are squidgy, squelchy, crafty, creative, splodgy, sparkly and most of all messy. Our aim is to empower children of all ages and ability through creativity.

Mess without the stress!

Classes run during term time on a Tuesday and Friday starting at 10:30am and are ran out of Popley Fields Community Centre.  I also run special events once a month on a Sunday and also have events during the school holidays.

Drop in’s are available for £6 but need to be booked in advance and are subject to availability.

For more information or to get booked on please go to www.messymonkeymakers.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/messymonkeymakers/
Instagram @messymonkeymakers
Or via email kerry@messymonkeymakers.com

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The Salt Lounge

The Salt Lounge is Basingstoke’s first salt therapy space. We deliver treatments for adults and children that help to alleviate breathing difficulties in conditions from common cold to asthma as well as soothing skin irritations such as eczema. 100% natural. As winter is approaching cold and flu season is coming, salt therapy strengthens your immune system.

Website: http://thesaltlounge.co.uk/
Email: info@thesaltlounge.co.uk

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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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Drama Tots Basingstoke

Hi, my name is Kate and I run Drama Tots Basingstoke, an award winning preschool activity for 18mnth-4 yr olds. Having trained professionally in musical theatre, I have worked extensively with children, both in a theatrical and teaching capacity.

Our classes use original music, props, puppets and our imaginations to take you and your little ones on new and exciting adventures each week. Having been designed with the EYFS curriculum in mind, many of our activities have educational benefits as well as being lots of fun. Our nurturing environment means that our classes help to bring confidence to shyer children as well as harnessing the creative sides of those who are already more extrovert.

Classes start back from Monday the 10th September and run on a weekly basis during term time. We offer 3 week trial packages for £12 which give you a good overview of what it is all about.

I will also be doing a taster session at Playdays soft-play on Tuesday the 18th September at 10am, (normal entrance fee applies) where you can take part in a class and have time in the soft play as well.

For more information and to book a trial please see our website: www.dramatots.co.uk
Facebook page – Drama Tots Basingstoke
Instagram- @dramatotsbasingstoke
or contact me: kate@dramatots.co.uk

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Glamping in Devon: The Best of Both Worlds

Do you like the idea of camping – being at one with nature and in the outdoors – but dread the idea of sleeping on the floor and trekking across the field to the toilet block in the middle of the night? Or perhaps you had a bad experience as a child and vowed never to go again? If any of these thoughts sound familiar maybe you should think about trying glamping – AKA glamorous camping.

We have just launched Valleyside Escapes; a luxury family-friendly glampsite in the historic village of Bickleigh-on-Exe in Devon. We have three safari-style tents which sleep up to six. There is a king-sized bedroom, a twin bedroom and an enclosed cabin bed which can sleep two children, or adults! At the back of the tent, accessible by both bedrooms, is a bathroom ‘pod’ containing a walk-in shower, toilet and sink – so no getting spooked if you need the toilet in the middle of the night! The beds are comfy and made with premium quality bedding – you may feel like you’re in a hotel room – but just remember the walls are canvas so you may need to bring some ear plugs if any of your friends or family snore!

In the living area there is a small kitchen with fridge freezer and gas hob – so you won’t need to wait hours for the camp fire to start before you have a tea or coffee in the morning, and if you don’t want to have a BBQ every night you can also whip up a quick bowl of pasta. There is also a lounge area for putting your feet up and chilling out.

The best bit though is the outside – a veranda overlooking the beautiful Exe valley countryside with rolling patchwork hills and you can even see a vineyard! It’s a great backdrop to enjoy a family meal together or just sip on an ice cold beer or wine and take in the scenery. For the children there is a play area with swing, slide and various balancing beams and tyres to keep them amused, for a little while at least. The whole family can join in playing the various garden games that are also provided and really make the most of the space and being together.

There is also nature on your doorstep…we have sheep grazing in our Orchard and in our lower pasture, you will see and hear all sorts of different bird song including pheasants and peacocks and the odd fox or rabbit may drop by as well.

If you want to get out and about locally there is a pub and bistro within 200 metres and even more within a short drive – a night off cooking is definitely in order. There is also the Devon Railway Centre a two-minute walk away, with train rides, model railways, play areas including a soft play, ball and sand pit! There are numerous other attractions in both north and south Devon that can be reached from Valleyside Escapes that make it a very accessible and convenient base.

If you have never been glamping then now is definitely the time to give it a go – embrace being outdoors with the added comforts of home. We hope guests will leave Valleyside Escapes relaxed and with some special holiday memories to cherish forever.

As this is our first season we are offering discounted rates.  Further information and booking can be found on our website: www.valleysideescapes.co.uk or give us a call on 01884 855538 and you can also follow us on facebook, Instagram and twitter.

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