The Summer Holidays in Basingstoke with an 8 year old

I was having a cuppa with a friend this morning and we were talking about what to do in the summer holidays and we realised that I know LOADS of things, so thought I would share ;-).

Each week of the holidays I also put together a printed schedule for each week and pin it to a wall, so Miss NHM can see what’s happening for the rest of the week. It shows what we are doing each morning, lunchtime, afternoon and evening.  I find that it stops the “what are we doing today” questions that I used to get all through the summer holidays!! :-D.

  1. Book at least one pyjama day during the summer holidays! If only to “celebrate” not having to do the school run!!!

2. Our local Hobbycraft have FREE craft sessions on a Saturday for an hour in the morning.

3. Go paddling in a local stream 

4. Take a picnic and explore near to where you live. There is something awesome about eating outside. We are huge fans of breakfast picnics for something a little bit different!

5. If the weather is good, go to a local splash park like Eastrop Park or Chineham Splash Park 

6. Find out all of your local parks and go for a skate or bike ride to each one. This post is really good for finding good play parks and parks local to you: Local Parks and open spaces

7. Go Geo-cashing in your local woods. It’s really easy to do. Just download the app to your phone and off you go. It’s a great way to get children outside. Or Pokemon or Harry Potter hunting if that’s your thing ;-).

8. Book up a FREE session at our local Apple store in Festival Place. There at least two sessions every day and more in the summer holidays and they are a great way to occupy your child/children for an hour or two. You need to book in advance though and you have to stay with your child.

9. Boring as it is, school shoes are a necessity if you’re child is in school. I highly recommend Diane at Shoes2Adore on the way to Tadley. But book soon because she gets VERY booked up in the summer holidays.

10. If you’re child can’t ride their bike yet, make a plan to teacher them over the summer.

11. Go swimming at once of our local swimming pools. Lots of them do special deals and/or events over the summer holidays so check out their websites for more information. QMC Swimming pool does really reasonably priced swimming sessions during the summer holidays.

12. Sign up to the Reading Challenge that our local Libraries run every summer. You can sign children up from ages 4+ I think and they only need to read 6 books over the 6 weeks. If they complete the challenge and are at school they get a medal and a certificate that’s presented to them in school. Miss NHM is very proud of her previous reading challenge certificates and medals and it’s been a great way to get her to read more. Popping into the library for an hour a week during the school holidays is also a great time killer!!

13. Take the children to a local museum, especially the Willis Museum as it’s FREE!!

14. Kids cinema in the mornings during the summer holidays at around 10am. Both Vue and Odeon do reduce tickets for “kids Club” and I think it’s less than £2 per ticket.

15. Cash in your Tesco’s clubcard points or your nectar points to do something fun with your children.

16. Find somewhere to visit where the entrance ticket becomes an annual pass. If you buy a ticket to Milestones Museum, The Living Rainforest or the Army Flying Museum the ticket lasts for a year so you can re-use during other holiday times or after school.

17. Check out the “NHM Reviews” page for ideas of where to go and where to visit. Lots of places reviewed on NHM are FREE, although you may have to pay for parking.

18. Check out the Season Tickets to local attractions in North Hampshire – updated 2017 post which lists out local season tickets.

19. Miss NHM loves listening to audio books, so I splash out for the summer holidays and treat her to a new audio book. I buy mine from “The Book People” as they are very reasonably priced and Miss NHM has easy control over which cd’s she listens too.

20. Try “Bored Jar’s” when you are at your wits end!! These posts are tailored to toddlers but you can easily update them for older children.

21. Visit Hampshire Farmers Market. The nearest one to Basingstoke is in Winchester on a Sunday morning.

22. Check out the Nature Detectives website for some ideas of activities you can do outside.

23. Take a walk to Odiham Castle, along the Basingstoke Canal.

24. If it’s windy, fly a kite at Crabtree.

25. Visit a Pick Your Own farm.

26. Go for a day trip to the beach. There is also a great post by NHM Readers of their Favourite local beaches.

At Home

27. Blackberries are now ready in August so make sure you go blackberry picking at some point.

28. I’m planning on trying to drop some food off at our local food bank with Miss NHM.

29. Play boardgames together or try to create your own boardgame.

30. Put the tent up in the garden and sleep in it over night. If you don’t have a tent see if you can borrow a small one from friends and family.

31. This year I’m going to create a “Summer Holiday box” which will be very similar to the “Christmas Eve Box” that I put together every Christmas. Each Monday I plan to fill it with different things, like an audiobook that Miss NHM hasn’t listened too in a while, some party bag fillers that I’ve kept back, sticker books that Miss NHM hasn’t got round to using, some books she hasn’t read yet that have been in her bookcase for AGES, and little things like that which can keep her occupied for a while.

32. Clean a neighbours car in exchange for some money that will go towards charity.

33. Ask your child if there is anything in their bedroom that they no longer need or want as the summer holidays is a great chance to declutter.

34. Something we are going to do this summer is clean out the kitchen cupboards together!!

35. Have a look at Baker Ross for some cheap craft activities you can do together or use something from the recyling bin as a craft project.

36. Create a summer scrapbook where your child or children can write in what they have done over the summer holidays. It will be a great memory for when they are older.

37. Bake some fairy cakes or buy a baking kit such as the ones you can get from local company BakedIn.

38. Ensure you schedule in some “boring” days where you have nothing planned, so your children can occupy themselves for a while. It’s supposed to help with their resilience, although it may drive you batty listening to the “I’m bored” whining <facepalm>!

NHM Readers Recommend: Local Country Parks

An NHM Reader recently asked: “Would anyone be able to recommend some local country parks? We like Wellington but it’s so expensive!” 

Many thanks to the NHM Community 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: Local Country Parks

Andrea said “All about a 30-50 min drive away. Dinton Pastures, Itchen Valley, Moors Valley, Royal Victoria, all free except for parking.

Clare saidAlice Holt has the gruffalo trail and in the summer  Moors Valley in the New Forest is great for a while day with only parking to pay”

Charlene saidAlice Holt, Virginia Waters

Dan saidFleet ponds is lovely to walk around.”

Sarah saidCalifornia country park just pay parking”

Jo R saidAlice Holt, Bracknell look out (cheaper later in day) outside free. California country park. Dinton Pastures. Frensham big and little ponds. Elizabeth Country Park. Sign up to National Trust for less than £10 a month then go as many times as you can!

Vicky saidSome great suggestions! We went to California country park for the first time in October and we’ll be going back in the summer to try out the paddling pool (think it’s a £2.50 charge for the pool).”

Tracy saidBeale Park season ticket is very very good value!”

Emma L said “Defo Alice Holt and there’s one in Reading Dinton I think”

Rebecca said I love California country park

Aimee saidDinton Pastures is awesome”

Jo W saidVirginia Waters is beautiful”

Alison saidThatcham discovery centre and Charlton lakes are great

Heather saidQueen Elizabeth Country Park in Petersfield. All free exc small parking fee and brilliant. Drive right to the top for excellent play areas and open spaces. And an obstacle course.”

Jenny saidAlice Holt and Dinton both fab – only pay for parking”

Rachel saidDinton Pastures is brill and free apart from parking. Also nature discovery in Newbury which you just have to pay parking for.”

Emma H saidMoors Valley, you just pay for parking. It’s ace!! There’s also one in eastleigh but I can’t remember the name”

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Snow!!! House Bound Things to do

If you’re going a bit stir crazy in the house and can’t face taking everyone out in the snow again because it means tonnes of coats, socks, boots, etc. that you need to dry after (no, just me? :-D), these are some historical posts from NHM that might be useful today.

Older children will also find some of these fun, as sensory activities don’t have an age limit.

What suggestions do you have?

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Be rewarded for your loyalty with new Basingstoke shopping scheme!!

Shoppers in Basingstoke can now reap the benefits of supporting the Hampshire high street as a new loyalty card scheme has been launched to encourage residents to love local.

The Basingstoke Rewards scheme, which is available from today (Thursday 1 November) courtesy of Basingstoke Together, gives shoppers access to a wide range of offers and discounts. A wealth of Basingstoke businesses and national chains are supporting the scheme including shops, restaurants, solicitors, recruitment agencies, insurance companies, sports and leisure facilities.

The card boasts discounts including 10% off in Topshop, Monsoon, Accessorize and Yankee Candle as well as 20% off in Zizzi, a month’s free membership at Anytime Fitness, 40% off Taylor’s Hair & Beauty plus many more.

Lucy Boazman, Chief Executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “The new Basingstoke Rewards card is packed with brilliant ways to save money from an impressive range of retailers throughout the town centre.

“There is huge pressure on high streets throughout the UK to combat the ever-popular trend of shopping online. So, we hope that people in Basingstoke will support local businesses by visiting the town for all of their shopping, leisure and business needs. They can also be happy in the knowledge that their money will be going further by doing so.”

Basingstoke Together is the public face of the Basingstoke Business Improvement District (BID). The BID’s aim is to help Basingstoke town centre to thrive by creating destination events, engaging with consumers and supporting retailers and businesses. The organisation hopes that the loyalty card will encourage more shoppers to visit Festival Place, The Malls and the Top of Town as value-for-money shopping destinations.

Shoppers can save every time they make a purchase at participating venues by showing the specially created loyalty cards. The card, which will be valid until 31 March 2021, costs £2 as a one-off purchase and it is available from the Basingstoke Together website from today (Thursday 1 November).

Fran Balogh from The Salt Lounge, in Feathers Yard, which is offering 20% off treatments to Basingstoke Rewards card holders, said: “We try to encourage people to use a more natural way to heal their respiratory and skin problems. This new loyalty card enables us to achieve this by making treatments more affordable. Being able to get involved in the project and offer customers discounts in businesses like ours really is a great opportunity for us and our valued clients.”

Shops and brands who are part of the Basingstoke Rewards scheme include:

National brands

  • Monsoon

  • Zizzi’s

  • Caffe Nero

  • Gourmet Burger Kitchen

  • Yankee Candle

  • Oasis

  • Mountain Warehouse

  • Moss Bros

  • Pizza Hut

  • A Plan Insurance

Independent businesses:

  • Wax Works

  • Exciting Escapes

  • The Tea Bar

  • Basingstoke Sports Centre

  • Basingstoke Service Centre

  • Taylors Hair and Beauty

  • Clarke and Son Solicitors

  • Lamb Brooks Solicitors

For more information or to purchase a Basingstoke Rewards card, visit https://www.basingstoketogether.co.uk

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NHM Readers Recommend: Where to Donate Old Duvets

I recently asked the Friends of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if they could help with a question I had been asked by an NHM Reader: “I’ve 3 duvets (2 singles and a king) all old but still usable. I wanted to donate them for the homeless or shelters but the Salvation Army bins don’t accept them, charity shops can’t take them due to hygiene, I contacted Camrose and they can’t take them as they can’t store them. Does anyone know where I can donate them? It seems a shame to throw them away when they could keep someone warm this winter.” 

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

NHM Readers Recommend: Where to Donate Old Duvets

Vicky said “Perhaps the Popley spotlight centre has a family in need?”

Sarah said “Pets at home will take them”

Rebecca said “You could try emailing the Night Shelter Coordinator?”

Louise said “Dog/cat charities will take them. Also old towels”

Jo said “Try Christ Church in Chineham. They took pillows which is kinda the same thing”

Sian said “Dogs kennels or animal charities”

Susan said “We have an organisation in Dorchester, Dorset Reclaim which helps destitute people set up in homes. They take clean quilts which other charities refused. Is there something similar in the Basingstoke area?”

Kerrie said “There is an organisation in Reading that has a homeless bus that may be in need of support.”

Naomi said “I know pro dogs direct take them”

Wendy said “The Dog Warden used to take them. The homeless shelters only wanted singles.”

Ruth said “I’m pretty sure AWE will take old bedding for their dog kennels, dont know about feather duvets though…what about community furniture?”

Rachael said “Why don’t you ask the homeless direct if they want them?”

Sian said “Julian House is a homelessness charity based in Basingstoke town centre. They may be interested”

Susan said “Try Julian House in Basingstoke, next to the Bridge Centre.”

Sammy said “There’s a lady involved with a night shelter bus, can’t think of her name. She was asking for some last week”

Sarah said “May Place have always taken ours”

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Basingstoke Mum2Mum Market, Sunday 15th July 2018

Hundreds of Baby and Children’s Bargains!

Basingstoke Mum2Mum Market – Sunday 15th July 2018

2pm to 4pm Hatch Warren Community Centre

Save a Fortune!

If you’ve not been to one of our Mum2Mum Market nearly new sales before, you might not know that you will find a hall packed with a huge range of high quality nearly new baby and children’s goodies, being sold at bargain prices by local Mums and Dads.

Our friendly, popular events are held regularly in Basingstoke and our next market is on Sunday 15th July from 2pm until 4pm at Hatch Warren Community Centre. As always, our stalls will be brimming with almost everything for age 0 to 6 years – toys, games, books, buggies, clothing, shoes, walkers, play mats, bedding, bouncers, feeding equipment, baby baths, travel cots, ride-on toys, sterilisers, baby seats, nursery equipment, maternity items – and more!

You don’t need to book to shop, just come along and join us on the day. Adult entry is £2, children are free and there’s free entry for everyone for the last 30 minutes of the market. You can also download a 2for1 entry voucher from our website and bring a friend for free (or pay £1 each of
course!). There is free parking available on site at the Community Centre.

If you’re on Facebook, join the event page here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/938023552989601/ for updates, event news and previews of items which will be for sale on the day!

After this market, we won’t be back in Basingstoke again until October, so don’t miss your chance to seek out some fantastic bargains!

Do you have items to sell?

At the time of writing, we have just two stalls remaining for 15th July. To book a stall at any of our markets, simply visit our bookings website at https://www.mum2mummarket.co.uk/book-a-stall.html. We supply the tables, and you keep 100% of your takings on the day! Each stallholder
receives our useful Information Pack, which is bursting with details, tips and advice on sorting, displaying and pricing their goodies.

Find out more!

There are a number of ways to keep up to date with our latest news and event dates, or to ask any questions about our Basingstoke, Eastleigh and Southampton markets:
Email: linda@mum2mummarket.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mum2mum-Market-Hampshire-166582593693636/
Website: https://www.mum2mummarket.co.uk/

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday 15th July – and of course at our future events too!
Linda x

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NHM Readers Recommend: Where to Buy Second Hand Maternity Clothes

An NHM Reader recently asked “”Could you please ask the community where I can buy second hand maternity clothes? Is so expensive, I’m size 10.” The NHM Community were amazing in their responses. Thank you for all of your suggestions, listed below in no particular order, and thank you very much to all of those who offered clothes!

NHM Readers recommend – where to buy second hand maternity clothes

Claire says “The NCT nearly new sale always has a good range. Whole section of maternity clothes. But that’s not till 28th April. https://www.facebook.com/BasingstokeNCTNNS/. You could also ask a question on facebay etc whether anyone selling any”

Jo says “VarageSale have tons of maternity stuff too. It’s an online selling/buying app. You join your local community (basingstoke) and then there’s tons of stuff to buy and you can sell your stuff for free too! https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/varagesale/id622859960?mt=8

Wendy says “Lots of people donate them to Spotlight but I needed different coats second time round and eBay was the best place. Also ask if the hospice shops if they have got their acts together and put all their baby bits in one place yet. Fitmama selling normally has a few too.”

Sally says “I used to look on ebay”

Karen says “Online groups. Put ‘maternity clothes’ in the search bar and there’s lots of Facebook groups. There’s even jo jo maman bebe only ones.

Becki says “I bought most of my maternity clothes on Facebook market place, charity shops and the nearly new sales”

Heather says “I used eBay”

Becky says “Market place on Facebook! Got all mine for £20”

Helen says “VarageSale”

Sandhya says “VarageSale for anything buy/sell local. It has categories and sort through size. Need to download the app or use the website.”

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NHM Readers: Getting Pictures Printed

I recently asked the Friends of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook where is the best and cheapest place/way to get pictures printed?

Thank you for your replies, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers recommend where to get pictures printed

Charlotte said “Free prints app”

Gemma said “Free prints, download the app and you get so many free a month, just pay for postage”

Jo said “Snapfish”

Debbie said “Costco”

Sue said “I vary between Boots, Snapfish and photobox”

Shima said “Costco is very reasonable but more than that the quality is excellent”

Jade said “Jessops”

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NHM Readers: 7 free things to do in and around Basingstoke with children

I recently asked the Friends of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook “I’m currently putting a post together with the following subject and wondered if you had any suggestions?: “7 free things to do in and around Basingstoke with children”.”

Thank you for your replies, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers recommend 7 free things to do in and around Basingstoke

1. Local Libraries

Vanessa said “Board games and Lego club at Basingstoke Discovery Centre on alternate Saturdays. Board games this week, Lego next. Lego construction club at South Ham library, weekly on a Tuesday afternoon. Ages 3-12. They also do free crafts on the first Saturday each month.”

Helen said “Go to the library. We have so many lovely libraries and events at them.”

Jo said “Borrowing books from the library…timeless!”

Karen said “Lego Club Saturdays 2pm Chineham library. They do crafts too, I think 1st Sat of the month at 10:30. Library’s, books rhyme time, use the computers.”

  1. Willis Museum

Louise said “The Willis Museum, they always have craft upstairs as well”

Karen said “ Crafts at the Willis museum (donation)”

  1. Basing Wood

Rebekah said “Basing Woods”

  1. Black Dam and Crabtree

Cesca said “Feeding the ducks at Black Dam and then walk over to Crabtree”

  1. Beggarwood Park

Gemma said “Beggarwood Park. Beggarwood is a fab place for using scooters and bikes”

  1. Wyevale Garden Centre

Karen said “Wyevale Garden Centre have turkeys and goats and a fish shop”

  1. Pets at Home

Gemma said “A visit to Pets at Home in Hatch Warren”

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BASINGSTONES: Top Tips

The Basics

All you need to do is paint a stone and write “Basingstones” on it. Then hide it somewhere safe for someone to find and hopefully brighten their day!

If you find a Basingstone, please post a photo of it on our Facebook Group page so we can see how far it travels. Either keep it and replace, or just hide it again somewhere new.

 

The Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/groups/basingstones/ The magic of Basingstones is what happens off social media ie the spending time together, being creative, getting outdoors, sharing and the small acts of kindness concept.

Our facebook page allows the wonderful Basingstones community to come together online to share photos and smiles but it shouldn’t be the focus.  That said, here are a few tips on using the facebook group page:

  • Pinned Post

Please make sure you have a read of the Pinned Post – lots of important information in there!

  • Searching

There is a SEARCH bar which allows you to search out key words in posts – very helpful for when you are looking for a particular post by an individual or regarding a certain topic. Just type the person’s name for example and hit SEARCH.

  • Reporting posts

Please help us to keep the page free of sales posts, unrelated page links and spam. If you see anything inappropriate or disrespectful, please press the three dots in the right hand corner of the post, then select the option to “Report post”

  • Sharing photos

Note that this group is public and can be seen and accessed by anyone, so please be mindful when sharing details and posting pics. Do NOT post photos of other people’s children.

Did you know…?

…there are often competition basingstones for you to keep a lookout for!
Try searching “competition” to see what you could win

…there is a Basingstones Admin photo album for Basingstones news
hit Albums and select Basingstones Admin

…there is a thread to track international Basingstones so that we can see them pop up all over the world! (This can be found in the Basingstones Admin album)

…Basingstones has been on the radio, in the newspaper and even nominated for a community project award!  Check out the Basingstones Admin Album for details

FAQs

Where can I get stones from?

Lots of garden centres and large DIY stores sell big bags of stones/cobbles for about £5.  Locally, you can try The Range, Wickes, Conkers, Home Bargains, B&M, Bunnings and many more.

Taking rocks from beaches is discouraged and you could actually be fined.  Whilst taking the odd stone will do no damage, we don’t want to have a negative impact on the environment.

How should I decorate basingstones?

You can paint the stone however you wish, perhaps with a pretty pattern, a fun cartoon character, an inspirational quote or an artistic design.

Please avoid sticking things to the stones though which could potentially fall off and be harmful to wildlife. We want to be friendly towards our environment and our furry friends too.

What paint is best to use?

Sharpie pens, permanent markers, nail polish, acrylic paints and clear varnish or spray (to make it weather proof) all work really well.

Why haven’t I seen a photo of the basingstone I hid?

There are thousands of group members and hundreds of posts each day. You cannot keep track of them all.  Also, some people may choose not to share their photos or finds online.

Don’t worry that not all hidden basingstones get a finder post – each one makes someone smile and each one is special!

I hope this helps.

Have fun!

Rachel x
Basingstones Admin

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