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: Top Tips when Visiting Orlando

An NHM Reader recently asked “We are off to Orlando for the last few weeks of August and I was wondering if the NHM Community had any top tips? It will be a “once in a lifetime trip” so we want to ensure we get the most out of our time there.”

Thank you for all of your responses, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers Recommend: Top Tips when Visiting Orlando

Rhiannon said “There are often Facebook groups that give hints and tips on certain trips, especially if youre planning on doing the parks.”

Jo said “I would say join a fb Orlando group…I did this before we went to Disneyland Paris in March and got some fab insider tips”

Kerri said “You will need to take plenty of fluids with you so buy cheap water bottles and pack. In Disney and universal there are drinking water refill stations. Food at the parks is pricey and even more so because of the exchange rate so stock up on snacks at a local store. Although you’ll read that you can’t take picnics in we did on many occasions and the staff always let us through. There’s a lot of walking. We hired a pushchair for our then 5 year old as it was too much for him in the heat. It’s pricey to hire pushchairs in the park but we bought one from Walmart for $20 which was basically a days hire. The queues can be long but they’re well prepared for it and there’s often things to see and do in the lines. You can pre book your fast track rides months in advance and it’s worth doing.”

Rachel H replied “Where did you read you can’t take picnics into Disney? Just curious. We’ve never had an issue taking food in with us and I’ve never read you can’t.”

Susan said “Look up ‘Everything free to do at Disney’ You can go behind the scenes in one of the restaurants, ride the monorails etc https://www.bestoforlando.com/…/10-free-things-you-can…/. Also http://stepstomagic.com/free-water-disney/

Vicky saidI’d highly recommend signing up to the website The Dibb. It’s a fantastic source of Disney and Orlando information. There’s a forum which has great advice and free planners you can use to maximise your time. There is a ‘busy day’ calculator so you can plan which parks will be best to visit on which days (it uses data collected from previous years) & pretty much advice on any aspect of your holiday. Have a great time (I’m not jealous in the slightest!!).”

Rachel H saidTake a picnic and/or snacks (not as important if free dining offer). Quick service locations offer free water (ice water), no need to buy bottled. Avoid the water fountains, warm and strange taste. Quick service locations, adults can order kids meals (they are big portions).

Use the my Disney experience app in the parks to book the next fast pass once the initial 3 have been used (as soon as you scan into the last ride you can book the 4th).

Hit the parks early, you’ll get lots done in the first two hours.

We love Boma for breakfast (Animal Kingdom Lodge), if doing Princess dining, we preferred Akershaus, but there is something amazing about eating in the castle.

Check opening hours, Magic Kingdom will close early some nights for the Halloween Parties.

The balloons are ridiculously expensive, if getting one, purchase at the start of the holiday.

If staying onsite without a car, allow plenty of time to get to reservations. The buses can take a while.

Sign up for a Landry card if eating in their restaurants (rainforest cafe is one).

We were impressed with Red Lobster food, quality and price.

Crazy golf is great.

It’s impossible to do everything, so don’t try to. Pick what is most important to you, not what others say has to be done.”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Clubs running over the summer for 3 year olds

I recently had the following question from an NHM Reader “There seem to be lots of things going on in the summer break for 4 plus, as my little one doesn’t turn 4 till end of August is there a list of clubs etc that are running in the summer hols for 3 year olds?”

Many thanks to the NHM Community for all of your responses, listed below in no particular order.

NHM Readers Recommend: Clubs running over the summer for 3 year olds

Louise Nhm said “This link might help: http://www.northhantsmum.co.uk/…/classes-still-running…/

Heather saidBasing beans is still on in the holidays. Tuesday 10 till 1130 at Lychpit Village Hall.”

Jo said “We are running our under 5 activities until the last 2 weeks of August, all being well. Our under 5 activities are at The Hurst Leisure Centre. Tomorrow we have Messy Play.

Cerys said “NCT Coffee & Chat is open every Friday at Brookvale Village Hall, 10.00-12.00”

Kim said‘What’s Inside The Box?’ Story Time sessions with Routine Riots are still running over the summer too at Viables…with some extra summer sessions also!”

Andy said “We are running family exercise classes for under 5’s. Check out our page for the times @Tntfamilyfitnessuk

Sarah P saidI am running 3 Hartbeeps classes in Hook. Perfect for toddlers.

HOOK 3 week mini-summer half term
Class 1: Tuesday 24th July
Class 2: Tuesday 31st July
Class 3: Tuesday 7th July

10.00-10.45 Happy House (confident walkers and their older/younger siblings – older siblings up to 8yrs welcome)
11.00-11.45 Baby Beeps (independently sitting babies to walkers)
12.00-12.45 Baby Bells (new born to independently sitting babies)

Location: Elizabeth Hall, Raven Rd, Hook, RG27 9HH
Cost: 3 wk half term = £18.00, (plus £3.00 per class for 1st sibling)

Email me to book your toadstool, sarahjp@hartbeeps.com”

Sarah C replied “Sarah is lovely and fab with kids! Mine love her!!!”

Lee-Anne saidAlphabetty Adventures is running every Friday at Oakridge hall at 10 am. Full of dancing, singing and crafts.”

Kelly T said “The hurst leisure are running lots of activities for under 5’s”

Allison saidTot Cross Buns is running classes – perfect for 3 year olds”

Kelly W said “Jiggy Wrigglers are collaborating with other baby/toddler groups to give little ones memorable summer activities Jiggy Wrigglers – Summer Events

Katie said Check out our classes here…. A few for 3 year olds to try…. https://www.kidskandance.co.uk/our-new-classes We also have dance classes for age 3 on 1st and 3rd August too. Drop me a message and I can send you all the details.”

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I’m now on holiday until the 4th of September 2018! WHOOOP!!!!

As I mentioned a few weeks ago I’m going to (properly) take the summer off from NHM this year.

This means that I won’t be posting daily on NorthHantsMum.co.uk although I will still have “recur” post working which means that historical posts will be re-published to NorthHantsMum FB Page every afternoon, around 4pm.

I also have a backlog of posts that I’ve promised to publish so will get to those at some point next week, but I won’t be “accepting” any new posts on NHM for the rest of the summer.

I need a break! 

I am still happy to take anonymous questions on “Louise NHM Smith” over the summer and I will continue to share posts from others that are useful for the NorthHantsMum Community.

However, I will be out of the country from Friday 17th August until Tuesday 4th September so will be doing NOTHING on NHM then.

I will still be working on my “day job” during the summer but I plan to spend more time with Miss NHM and to dramatically reduce the amount of stress that I normally have to deal with during the academic year.

It definitely feels like the last few years are catching up with me and I desperately need a “proper” break.

September Emails

I am quite worried about being bombarded with emails in early September, so if you already know about class changes, etc, please email them to me now and the NHM team and we will work on them in the background.

If you plan to send me emails about class schedule changes, etc, please note that it may take me a few weeks to get through them when I get back from holidays.

Please also ensure that what you send me can just be copied and pasted into the Class list as I don’t have time to format stuff anymore.

If you have any questions at any point, please don’t hesitate to get in touch but apologies if I don’t come back to you quickly.

I’m really, really, reeeeaaaalllllyyyy looking forward to a bit of a break!!! I hope you have an AWESOME summer too!

As always thank you for your amazing support!

Louisex

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NHM Readers Recommend: Great Summer Holidays with Kids

An NHM Reader recently asked: “I was wondering if you could ask everyone for recommendations for great summer holidays with kids? Our specifics are a big sandy beach, hotel with kids facilities, but in a place that’s not too touristy & heaving in the summer. This may be a big ask!” Many thanks to the NHM Community for their responses, listed below in no particular order.

NHM Readers recommend – great summer holidays with kids

Wendy said “If you don’t like it too busy consider the end of August rather than the start. We stayed in mestral and llebeig in Menorca. Quiet resort. The buildings are spread over three sites, one apartments around the busy noisy pool, one side apartments around the not so noisy pool and food and entertainment plus trampolines etc across the road. It’s not the best resort if you like restaurants (as there aren’t that many, although a few good choices for breakfast) but if you like all inclusive it works. Another thing to look at would be a villa that’s owned by a hotel that lets you use their facilities. There are lots of these in Menorca.”

Louise said “https://www.facebook.com/clairebelseypersonaltravelagent/  Claire is great at finding family holidays to suit and has two children of her own”

Lizzy said “Alcudia is amazing in Majorca massive long sandy beach (miles) with really shallow calm seas. Lots of family friendly hotels. Look at Zafiro hotels. Nearer old town side is less touristy. Not been over summer holiday but been quiet in other holidays. https://www.facebook.com/ZafiroHotels/

Edie said “Would highly recommend Tots To Travel. All their properties and hotels are perfect with kids and they give you all the kit and toys so you don’t need to bring anything apart from clothes. All their pools are gated for child safety too. You pay a bit of a premium but I think it’s worth it. We’ve just booked our next holiday with them – berry farm in Brittany. Can’t wait! https://www.facebook.com/totstotravel/

Catherine said “This place was recommended to me by a friend who has 3 and 6 yr old: https://en.riviera-villages.com/Prairies-de-la-Mer

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Holiday Clubs in North Hampshire

Thank you very much to Shona for putting this post together!

Holiday Clubs in North Hampshire

Koosa Kids – from 4 years to 13 years

Koosa Kids offers holiday activities in various place. Locally there is Alton, Tadley and Fleet. There are over 350 activities including; drama, water play, cricket, football and Go Karts. Children are grouped by age and will be allocated a Coach and Assistant Coach. There are Paediatric First Aiders around at all times. Koosa kids accept childcare vouchers. If you book 2 children a 3rd goes free.

Prices: Days start from £19.75 per day and you get an 8% discount if you book a whole week.

Session times: Open from 8.15am to 6pm daily.

Koosa Kids

TGZ Holiday Club – from 4 years to 12 years

Based at Farnborough Grange Nursery and Community Infant School this holiday club includes a wide range of activities such as arts, sports and games.

Price: £10 per session (8.30am – 12.30pm or 1.30pm to 5.30pm), £15 per short day (10am-4pm) or £20 per longer day (8.30am – 5.30pm)

To book please email: Claire Dixon

Premier Performing Arts Creative Holiday Camps – 5 years to 16 years

This club is at the Vyne School. It gives children the opportunity to be creative, perform and make new friends. All staff are DBS checked and experienced performing arts coaches. The fun filled workshops are themed and enable children to have an unforgettable dance and drama experience. At the end of the workshop, come and see how they have developed! Week 1: Meet the BFG, Week 2: The Lion King Week 3: Olympic Super Hero Training Camp, Week 4: Introducing… the Pop Icons!

Prices: £20 per day (special 15% discount if booked by 2 weeks in advance. To become a Premier member (FREE) go to the book online link below and you then can get sibling discounts and other discounts.

Session times: Sessions are 9am to 3.30pm but can book extended time (8.30am-5pm) for only £5 which includes a healthy snack.

For more information call 01953499040.

Book online

To book with Childcare Vouchers email using this link requesting the form.

Premier Sport ‘Inspire to Engage’ Holiday Sports Camp – From 4 years to 13 years

This club is at the Vyne School. It gives children the opportunity to experience a varied range of sports in a safe and enriching environment. All staff are DBS checked. The days are designed to have a healthy sporting experience with other children their age.There will be lots of games and activities including fencing, archery, lacrosse, dodgeball, football, tennis and many more. There are 4-5 different sports per day

Prices: (£17 if booked more than 2 weeks in advance). 9am – 12.30pm is £12 per day (£10.20 if booked more than 2 weeks in advance) and 8.30am – 5pm is £25 per day (£21.25 if booked more than 2 weeks in advance). To become a Premier member (FREE) go to the book online link below and you then can get sibling discounts and other discounts.

For more information call 01953499040.

Book online

SCL – Club Energy & Soccer Schools – 4 years to 12 years

SCL has been running holiday activities for more than 10 years and have been awarded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted for their holiday activities at Easter. They run across Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire and the London Boroughs. For 4-5 year olds, their days will be like they are at nursery; activities will be set out to cover the EYFS 7 areas of learning with a key worker for each child. Within Club energy these are the plans: For 6-8 year olds there is an activity programme where children can improve their social skills, team building and individuality. For 9-12 year olds there will be a wide range of activities to challenge and motivate them. There is also the Soccer Schools which provide: 4-5 year olds with an introduction to football through fun and imaginative games and practices. 6-8 year olds with a focus on player development through enjoyable drills and sessions. 9-12 year olds with skill specific drills and tactical awareness.

Prices: Standard day (9.45am – 4pm) £22 per day or £88 per week. Extended day (8.,30am – 5.30pm) £25 per day or £100 per week. There is a 25% sibling discount and they also accept childcare

vouchers.

For more information call 03456445747

SCL – Education through sport

Fun House – 4 years to 14 years

Fun House runs a Holiday Club from their location at Daneshill Industrial Estate. They were awarded a ‘Good’ from Ofsted. They provide a well planned and organised play environment which allows children to explore, experiment and make decisions for themselves.

Prices: Long days are charged at £25 per child per day or £105 per week. Short days are charged at £19.50 per child per day. There is a £3.50 per child per day charge for lunch. They do accept childcare vouchers.

Sessions: A full day is from 8am – 6pm. A short day is 9am – 3.30pm

Fun House

Cornerstone Holiday Club – 6 years to 11 years

Cornerstone offer a Holiday Club during school holidays which is held in a private contained room at Playdays Play Centre. For more information send an email. You can also have a look at their facebook page.

For more information call 01256818118

Spotlight Centre – 5 years to 16 years

Spotlight is a charity working with over 600 children every week during term time providing fun activities. They run a holiday club where all staff are DBS checked which includes art and crafts, games, sports, dance and drama plus much more.

For more information call 01256325420

Spotlight Centre

ISIS Holiday Club

ISIS run an after school club during term time and offer a Holiday Club during all the holidays. They have a big outdoor space and a park very close by which they use for outdoor games. Indoors they provide arts and crafts, games, computers, a reading area and a quiet area. There is also a place for children to complete their homework.

Prices: £25 per full day which includes all activities, mid morning and afternoon snacks. £3.50 per hour for a minimum of 5 hours.

For more information call 07516828567 or 07516209578

ISIS Afterschool and Holiday Club

Willowdene Funky Monkey Holiday Club – Pre-school children

Funky Monkey is the pre-school holiday club. Children have access to a broad range of activities and resources including games, craft, cooking, reading, construction and role play plus many more. There are also opportunities for outings to the park and on nature walks.

Prices: £5.90 per hour for 2 year olds and £5.60 per hour for children aged 3+. Breakfast served between 7.30am and 8.30am for a charge of £1. Lunch served between 11.30am and 12.30pm for £2.50. Tea is served between 4pm and 5pm for £2.50.

Sessions: from 7.30am to 6pm.

Funky Monkey Holiday Club

Willowdene Club Holiday Club – Reception age +

Willowdene Club Holiday Club offers children a wide range of activities including free areas for reading, writing, role play and computing as well as activities such as arts and crafts, cookery and games.

Prices: £2.70 per hour for school aged children. Breakfast served between 7.30am and 8.15am for a charge of £1. Lunch served between 11.30am and 12.30pm for £2.50. Tea is served between 4pm and 5pm for £2.50.

Sessions: from 7.30am to 6pm.

Willowdene Club Holiday Club

Tetra Brazil – from 5 years to 15 years

Tetra Brazil works from Sherfield Park Community Centre during the summer holidays. They provide players with an authentic Brazilian based coaching for football based on techniques and tactics used by some of the world’s best players. Tetra Brazil has 5 phases (age groups) however for holiday clubs they only operate phases 2 -4. Phase 2 (5-7 year olds) focus on ball familiarity and developing a passion for the game. Phase 3 (8-11 year olds) focus on technical proficiency in a competitive environment. Phase 4 (12 – 15 year olds) learn team tactics, performing under pressure and understanding good match preparation.

Prices: Half days cost £7.50 per session and full days cost £15 per day. For Monday – Friday half days £30 and Monday – Friday full days £60.

Session times: Half day is 9am – 12pm and a full day is 9am – 3pm. You can also book a full week of half days or full days

For more information please call 03302233613

Tetra Brazil

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12 Free Activities over the summer holidays

I will keep adding to this list as I think of them. Feel free to add your suggestions too! Thanks!

12 Free Activities over the summer holidays

1. Hug a tree in Basing Wood, Basingstoke

2. Play on the wooden structures in Micheldever Wood, near Micheldever

3. Explore Farleigh Mount, Winchester

4. Spend a few hours going up and down the slide at Basing Lime Pits, Basingstoke

5. Splash in the water park at California Country Park, Finchampstead

6. Go fishing at Eastrop Park

7. Go paddling at the tiny beach at Fleet Pond

8. Sleep under the stars (in the garden)

9. Make some daisy chains

10. Visit your local library

11. Print off the latest Nature Detectives activity

12. Go paddling at the “beach” in Frensham Ponds

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NHM’s Summer Holiday 2015…

I’m planning to step back from NHM a little bit over the summer holidays.

The last 12 months have been awesome but hard work because I now get a lot more requests for posts that I used too! (I’m not moaning, just saying :-D).

So I need a bit of a break.

I will still publish the regular Monday “Things to do” post and the Wednesday “Guest Post” but I’m going to see how it pans out for the rest of the week.

In the meantime, I have lots of posts in my “floating posts” list in Todoist (and half drafted in Evernote) and I would like to get lots of them finished and ready for you!

I also need some time to get the new NorthHantsMum website ready, clean up the site and get things in order, ready for September.

If you have any events, new classes, etc. that you would like to be publicised over the Summer Holidays or for September please can you email me atNorthHantsMum@gmail.com with at least THREE weeks notice so I have time to get everything scheduled.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding!

Yay for Summer holidays 😀

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Payable Events over the Summer Holidays 2015

Payable Events over the Summer Holidays 2015

Caterpillar Music has Summer parties on Tues 25th & Wed 26th August. 9-10:30am & 10:45-12:15pm

New Forest & Hampshire County Show: 28th, 29th & 30th JULY 2015

Day out with Thomas at Watercress Link: 8th – 16th August 2015

Premier Performing Arts and Premier Sport holiday camps at The Vyne Community School and Aldershot Garrison

Battle Proms at Highclere: Saturday 1st August (I went to the first “Battle of the Proms” when it started. We took an M&S sandwiches with us for our picnic and thought we were the height of poshness! lol)

Stretch-n-Grow summer holiday clubs, Wed 12th August to Friday 28th August 2015

The Royal County of Berkshire Show: 19th Sep & 20th September 2015

Great Dorset Steam Fair: Wednesday 2nd September to Sunday 6th September 2015

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