“How Many Sleeps ’til Christmas”: Scratch Built Productions’ immersive Christmas show for under 5s

Scratch Built Productions invite families to join them for a cosy Christmas treat at the Creation Space, with their immersive show for under-5s, How Many Sleeps ‘til Christmas.

After three previous sell-out Christmas shows, Scratch Built Productions in association with Proteus Theatre Company return to the Creation Space in Basingstoke this Christmas with their enchanting and interactive festive show aimed at pre-school children and their families…..…..How Many Sleeps ’til Christmas.

The land between waking and sleep is a wonderful place where anything can happen; dreams become reality and reality becomes a dream. Come and meet a colourful host of characters as they lead you on a magical journey where clouds are collected, stories are created, where wishes are welcomed and dreams can come true. Everyone is invited to enjoy this wonderfully cosy Christmas treat.

Following on from the success of last year’s How do Reindeer Fly, Scratch Built Productions are keen not to give away too many details about what is now an eagerly anticipated treat for many local families. However Cbeebies actress and this year’s co-director, Becky Kitter, revealed that there will be plenty of surprises in store to delight little ones:

“Having been part of the cast in the past three productions, I’m really excited to bring all my previous experience to the table as co-director this year, especially as a soon-to-be mum myself! We are creating a dream-like environment for our audiences to snuggle up in, with lots of visual and sensory elements that even babies will enjoy. We are working with some really talented people to create the show, including a visual artist, live musicians and trapeze performers, and of course there will be puppets and plenty of Christmas sparkle!”

“What a magical, beautiful time we had yesterday. We loved every minute” – Katie H, audience member, 2016

“How reindeer fly is possibly the most magical children’s Christmas event going. I cannot recommend it enough. Captured the essence of Christmas beautifully and my daughter was captivated and she’s only 2. We will most definitely be back next year.” Louise E, audience member 2016

Created specifically to be enjoyed by the youngest members of the family and as something a little different from a traditional Christmas show, the Creation Space will be transformed into a walkthrough adventure where children are encouraged to explore, play, create and interact with the enchanting surroundings and colourful characters that they meet along the way.

Tickets are selling fast and some performances have already sold out, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy 45 minutes of unforgettable Christmas magic with your little ones!

Thursday 14th December until Sunday 24th December, with three performances a day at 11am, 2.30pm & 4.30pm weekdays and 11am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm weekends.

The 2.30pm performance on Monday 18th December will be a relaxed performance for those with additional needs and will also include interpretation from a BSL expert.

Tickets are £8 each, children under 12 months of age go free. Tickets available from wegottickets.com/proteustheatre or you can book in person at the Creation Space. For more information, visit www.proteustheatre.com/whats-on or call the Proteus office on 01256 354541. Please note, payments cannot be taken over the phone

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Spotlight Christmas Toy Appeal

Please donate toys for 8-11 year old’s to bring a little happiness to local children!

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Christmas Food Boxes for Basingstoke 2014

I am SOOOOOO excited about this morning’s post.

I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a while but had no idea where to start so I was DELIGHTED when Natascha, from Basingstoke Voluntary Action, contacted me asking if I could publicise their Food Box collection.

The drop off point is in town, opposite the Police Station and behind the White Hart Pub, so it’s fairly easy to get too.

When you make your delivery, please mention that you are a NHM Reader.

Natascha is happy to keep a record of all of the collections from the NHM Community.

Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if the NHM Community, a group of AMAZING Mum’s and Dad’s (and you are!!!), could provide such great practical support for those who are struggling this Christmas, directly in our community????!?!?!

THIS is why I write NHM. To help others!!!

For those of you coming to the NHM Christmas Expo on Friday, why not bring a few tins, or any other items on the lists below, along? I’m happy to take collection and will drop them off on Friday after the event.    

Now, does anyone have any suggestions of where to get photocopying paper boxes in bulk from? 😉                                                          

Christmas Food Boxes for Basingstoke 2014

Last year Basingstoke Voluntary Action appealed to individuals and organisations to join us in providing Christmas Food Boxes to those less fortunate than ourselves, and who would benefit enormously from a little extra at Christmas time. The response was huge, and through your generosity we were able to supply refuges, families and homeless centres in Basingstoke and Deane with Food Boxes filled with Christmas goodies.

We want to do a similar appeal this Christmas, and ask you to consider if your group or organisation could donate any food, food boxes (a box between your group would be amazing!), or additional items to help a homeless person. Last year we were able to distribute 150 boxes and 46 rough sleeper packs to people for whom this time of year really is a struggle – this is a fantastic way of making a huge difference to the wider community!

Why not make it a team challenge? – Last year local companies competed internally to fill the most boxes and a local school was motivated by friendly competition between year groups.

If any of you are interested in joining in, here’s what we recommend:

Option 1 – Christmas Food Box for refuges, hostels and underprivileged families

  1. Take a photocopying paper box and lid:
  2. Picture 1Wrap box and lid separately in Christmas wrapping paper:
  3. Picture 4Fill it up with food for Christmas, selecting from the following suggested items:
  • Tins of salmon, ham or chicken breast
  • Tins of new potatoes, carrots, garden peas
  • Tin or pouch of long life quality casserole meal
  • Christmas pudding, custard, mince pies, Christmas cake
  • Luxury biscuits, chocolates/selection box
  • Jar of coffee
  • Snacks such as crackers, twiglets, savoury twists, nibbles
  • For family boxes a small toy, family game or book

Picture 3

  1. Box all food up
  2. Please list the contents of your box and pop it in so we can ensure everyone receives the right items.
  3. Call us to arrange a collection or delivery to The Orchard
  4. We will donate them to the worthy causes and centres in the Basingstoke and Deane area
  5. Total anticipated costs £25 – £30 per box. 

Option 2 – Donations of food to be distributed to homeless centres and hostels, can be from the list above or any of these:

  • Packs of pasta/rice
  • Pouches of pasta sauces
  • Tea and coffee
  • Long life milk
  • Biscuits
  • Sugar
  • Cereals
  • Cup soups, noodles

Picture 2

Option 3 – For someone who will be homeless this Christmas without fridge or cooker facilities

Many food outlets in the town centre provide hot water for rough sleepers, so we would like to ask you to consider:

  • Food items such as:
    • cup soups/noodles
    • tea bags
    • coffee (any food bags you can add hot water to)
    • ring-pull tins of hot dogs
    • ravioli
    • stews
    • rice puddings
    • high energy protein/cereal bars
    • chocolate biscuits/sweets/small selection boxes
    • multipack crisp/snacks
  • Equipment such as:
    • warm hats
    • scarves
    • gloves
    • socks
    • jumpers
    • coats
    • unwanted rucksacks or draw string bags
    • wind-up torches
    • sleeping bags
    • thermos flasks/cups
    • sturdy boots/shoes
    • toiletries

Finally, many companies in previous years have donated money to help with winter food box appeals.

If you would like to do this please contact Admin@BVAction.org.uk or make cheques payable to Basingstoke Voluntary Action and clearly write on the back Christmas Appeal

Please note we cannot accept any donations of alcohol or food containing alcohol

Dates for Donations

We will gratefully accept donations from Monday 3rd November.

Please deliver any food or items by Friday 5th December to Basingstoke Voluntary Action, The Orchard, White Hart Lane, Basingstoke RG21 4AF, or call us to arrange a collection.

All queries, please contact Natascha Shepherd on 01256 423816 or email Admin@BVAction.org.uk

Many thanks from all of us at BVA!!

If you would like a copy of a pdf to pass around at work or friends, please visit our website: https://www.bvaction.org.uk/

Top tip: Six weeks before Christmas!

(I know, I know, you don’t want to be reminded, but I was a Brownie and Guide so the motto “be prepared” is drummed in to me :-D.) 

In an effort to try to get organised for Christmas early this year, I thought I would put together a quick post about what to prepare roughly 6 weeks in advance of Christmas.

I have a Trello Christmas Reference board which I use every year and this really helps ease the pain.

I spent some time two years ago putting it together and now I don’t need to think about what needs to be done, I just refer to this board!

6 weeks before Christmas!

Do you know who you are buying for?

If not, time to make a list.

Once you know who you are buying for you can then start to think about what to buy them.

Look out for my Top Tip about CamelCamelCamel for saving money via Amazon.

I also keep a record against each person as to what I bought them in previous years.

This is especially important if you have friends with two or more children, so you don’t get a sibling the same gift.

Cheat: if you have to buy presents for several children of roughly the same age, buy them all the same thing! Then you don’t have to think about it! lol.

Are you doing stockings for people?

If yes, check out my 2012 post on stocking filler ideas that don’t end up as landfill. (This post also has a link to the post office with a list of mailing dates).

Are you hosting Christmas dinner?

If yes, what food do you need to buy?

I have a Trello list for food for Christmas day and then a Trello list entertaining food for when people come to visit.

I start buying the long lasting items off this list from the middle of November.

It helps spread the cost of Christmas. I think! lol.

What traditions are you planning to hold for your family?

There are key people that we always catch up with over Christmas and it’s important to us that this happens.

I think at Christmas time you have to be intentional about the things that you do and the people that you see.

One of our traditions is to hand deliver Christmas cards to our friends who live in Reading.

This isn’t particularly environmentally friendly but it gives Miss NHM a great opportunity to go “oooh, ahhhh” at all of the Christmas lights near where I friends live.

We also have another tradition where we go for afternoon tea at a hotel in the New Forest, with friends who live in Dorset.

Do you have a December bucket list?

I can’t remember where I first saw this, but it’s a great idea.

Are there certain things that are important for you all to do as a family during Christmas?

Write them down and add them into the December schedule to ensure they happen!

This year I am going to try to add several of our December bucket list things into our advent calendar.

Do you want to give out handmade gifts?

Time to start cracking on these, if you haven’t already!

This year I am toying with making handmade Christmas crackers, but you can guarantee it won’t happen, even if I do buy all the kits from Baker Ross!!! lol.

Are you doing a personalised advent calendar?

If yes, time to get cracking now! You can get some ideas about advent calendars via a post I wrote in 2014.

Are you posting parcels abroad?

Time to start thinking about the parcels you need to put together and the delivery times as they are sooner than for cards abroad.

Are you posting cards abroad?

Also check out the delivery times for cards abroad to ensure they arrive in time.

Are you putting together a Christmas Eve parcel?

If yes, time to start buying those Christmas Eve pyjamas!

Are you making Christmas cookies in a jar?

I’m probably going to regret sharing this post, but we made Cookies in a jar  last year and it went down a storm.

They took MUCH longer to make than expected though, so schedule at least 3 hours to make 12 jars!!!

Please, to all my friends who read NHM, don’t give us all “Cookies in a jar” as I’m trying to watch my waist line! haha.

Are you putting together a Christmas newsletter for your Christmas cards?

I’ve never done this but I’m toying with it this year.

So much has happened to our little family this year and I know our extended families that we don’t see very often would probably like to know what is actually happening, rather than the version that my Mum and my in-laws tell them! lol.

I probably won’t get round to it though!

Things to check

Do you have enough:

  • Sellotape
  • Christmas wrapping paper
  • Christmas tags
  • Christmas cards
  • Christmas table decorations
  • Christmas movies
  • Booze 😉

and check this post out for 14 things you don’t want to forget for Christmas!

In a perfect world, I would do all of the above.

I never do though! lol.

What have I missed?

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Stocking Filler Ideas & Posting Dates

Stocking Filler Ideas

  • Body Sprays
  • Fun Showergels
  • Toothbrushes
  • Sweets
  • CD’s
  • A Book
  • Pencils/Pens
  • Bubble Bath
  • Colouring or Activity Books/Pencils
  • Torch
  • Post It Notes
  • Bubble Wands
  • Socks
  • Oranges/Apples
  • Chocolate
  • Socks
  • Coal (My husband’s from up Norf, so this one really appeals!)
  • Hair Toggles
  • Large Chocolate Coin
  • Travel Bag
  • Bubbles
  • Satsuma
  • crayons
  • modeling clay or play dough
  • a Slinky
  • miniature Lego kits
  • travel games
  • decks of cards
  • mini jigsaw puzzles
  • wind-up toys
  • squirt guns
  • balloons
  • beach balls
  • high bounce balls
  • small stuffed animals
  • toy cars
  • fancy shoelaces.
  • Gift vouchers (clothing, restaurants, groceries, music download cards, new experiences).
  • Pocket or desktop calendars.
  • Pens
  • pencils
  • erasers
  • highlighters
  • colour pens – I really like the Staedtler 334 Triplus
  • notepads
  • Wristwatches or small alarm clocks
  • Torch
  • kitchen utensils
  • Try a favourite sweet, jam, mustard, or ice cream sauce
  • Orange
  • Candy canes
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste (travel sized)
  • Pretty stones or minerals
  • Music CDs.
  • New hairbrush
  • jewellery
  • hair clips, hair bands, hair toggles
  • hot chocolate
  • bar of chocolate
  • Christmas chocolate
  • Novelty chocolate
  • key rings
  • fun shower gels
  • Bubble Bath – coloured and/or sparkly!
  • Colouring or Activity Books/Pencils
  • Post It Notes
  • Large Chocolate Coin
  • Cookies in Christmas shapes, such as Santa or Reindeer.
  • Mince pies
  • Silly putty
  • Army Men or small action figures or dolls
  • Clothing for Barbie dolls or other dolls
  • School supplies
  • Books
  • Art supplies

Christmas Posting Dates

14 Things you don’t want to forget for Christmas

I’ve been thinking of all those things you don’t want to run out of at Christmas. You might want to double up on these items beforehand so you don’t have to make a special trip to the shops during Christmas with little ones in tow.

This is what I’ve come up with so far:

  1. Tin Foil
  2. Batteries for all of those new Toys
  3. Greaseproof paper
  4. Toilet Rolls
  5. Dishwasher Tablets (if you are blessed to have a dishwasher) or washing up liquid
  6. Bin liners
  7. Lightbulbs
  8. Nappies (if your children are using them still)
  9. Wetwipes and Nappy Sacks (If your children are using them still)
  10. Pet Food
  11. Matches (you never know when you will need them!)
  12. Formula (if using)
  13. Washing powder
  14. Alcohol 😀

PS: Have I missed anything?