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Month: September 2018

Birthday Party Resources in and Around Delft

by Amanda de Souza, with Onica King

One of the enduring memories I have of childhood are birthday parties, the ones my mother held for my brother and I. She was a born extrovert and revelled in entertaining children. She would come to life during those parties, jettisoning daily cares for a few hours and casting everyone in her magical spell.

Lasting birthday memories

Like most parents, mine were busy with the day-to- day challenges of raising us, feeding us and clothing us while maintaining a semblance of normality amidst the chaos. But birthdays were special – a time when both working parents could put some time aside to be with us and our friends.

My mother did everything from scratch for those parties and while that is an admirable endeavour, there are now numerous other options to help parents along. I don’t have the personality or inclination to imitate my mother – indeed my rudimentary Dutch precludes me from major festivity orchestration. With that in mind, I’ve colluded with Onica to identify some ideas for birthdays (including some for having parties at home).

Please keep in mind that most of these activities are best suited for school age children who have the ability to focus on activities, take simple instructions, or play in groups. And yes, we’ve focused on indoor activities given the unpredictable Dutch weather.

Your starting point in Delft

From pony parties at Buyten Delft to scientific experiments at the Delft Science Center,  or climbing fun at the Bouldercentrum to making mosaics at Atelier Zeven, the DMM Get Out! post from earlier this year provides a great point of departure for birthday party options. Most of the resources identified offer children party packages that include time learning or practicing the given activity along with snacks or a meal and drinks for each child. Some have minimum (4 – 6) or maximum (12 – 20) participant requirements, while pricing typically ranges between €10 – €15 per child. Though for some activities like skiing or go-karting, you can expect to pay upwards of €20 per child.

A few other options here in Delft that did not make the Get Out! list include:

Beyond Delft city limits

If you’re willing to venture a little further afield to entertain your little and their friends, here are a few notable options that may be worth the trip.

The wonders of Museums

Let’s not overlook some of the great museums in the area. They provide fantastic options for birthday celebrations. Here are a few to consider for younger and older children alike.

The comfort of home

Not inclined to stray from home and you’re up for the challenge of having 4 – 12 little munchkins barrelling around your house (along with the inevitable clean-up associated with that). There are quite a few options to help you organize fun filled festivities at home.

Right here in Delft you’ll find Funny’s, Flying Tiger, HEMA, SoLow, and Xenos for most of your party supply needs. Alternatively, head online to Baker RossParty City, or Pipoos if you still can’t find what you need.

Looking to bring the entertainment to you? 

  • Consider a Henna workshop via the Hand of Fatima
  • Get their faces painted from Inge at Kinderfeest En Zo
  • Invite a few reptiles to the party with Exotus Serpenti
  • Jump onto a bouncy castle from MTR, or simply do a search for “springkussen verhuur” to choose from the many options.
  • Organize your own survival games with gear rental from 123FUN
  • Rent a party box filled with toys from an old Delft favorite, Poppedijn
  • Twist and turn a balloon figure or two with Miko the Clown

Intrigued by these “home” options, but daunted by that aforementioned associated clean-up? Then consider holding the event at one of the local sport halls or school gyms around town. The Delft municipality rents out these facilities when not in use for nominal fees. Have a look for yourself at Sportfondsen.

Let’s get this party started

Whatever your approach or the interest of your little, there are lots of resources at your fingertips right here in Delft – including your fellow Delftians (or is that Delftinars?). Take advantage and reach out. Check websites for up to date details and call or email for confirmation.

Now go forth, have fun, and party on!

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Parents’ Evenings at DULI

In See you at DULI, we met easy-going Carolina Nesi of DULI, a place where you can find international/multilingual books for children and adults, as well as workshops and courses aimed at both children and adults. Carolina has a passion for books and it shows in the book-filled interior of the small shop. The centerpiece of the shop, however, is a long table that can seat children and/or adults for courses and workshops. This piece focuses on one series of workshops for parents: the Parents’ Evenings at DULI.

Long wooden table in bookshop
PC: Carolina Nesi

Engaging topics made accessible

Sitting with Carolina over a cup of coffee, she described how she started to feel suffocated by the lack of adult stimulation in the daily grind of raising young children (sound familiar?). This was her biggest motivation in setting up Parents’ Evenings at DULI. Held in the shop after-hours, these evenings create a space for parents to participate in a discussion, usually of a philosophical nature, led by an expert in the field.

Carolina admits that English is not a strong language for her, and she was committed to ensuring the workshops would be accessible to a diverse group. To facilitate the accessibility, group sizes are limited, with an expert giving a presentation to no more than 10 people seated around the table. The presentation is interspersed with opportunities for questions and discussions. In fact, as a deaf person who normally struggles with lipreading and following conversations in a group environment, I found it easy to follow along with everyone in this format.

Starting last spring, the Parents’ Evenings covered topics ranging from happiness to internet safety and international childhood. When asked how she chose the topics, Carolina replied that she simply asked people what they were curious about. She then looked around for experts that best fit the topics. While the coordination of it all can be quite daunting at times, Carolina maintains a ‘learn-by-doing’ attitude as she plans more Parents’ Evenings in the coming months. [From the editor: there’s a sneak peek at the autumn Parents’ Evenings schedule at the end of this article!]

So, what are these Parents’ Evenings like? Last April I joined one; let’s take a look!

A first-hand look at Parents’ Evening at DULI

Three images of TV monitor and wooden table in a bookshop
PC: Ute Limacher-Riebold

“Raising a Child of the World”—held at DULI last April—was led by Dr. Ute Limacher-Riebold of Ute’s International Lounge. Ute was perfectly suited to lead this talk both personally and professionally. Her research focuses on multilingualism and international families, and she herself grew up as an expat and is raising her expat family in the Netherlands.

The description of her talk referred to “third culture kids” – children who grow up in a country/culture different from that of their parents (first defined by Ruth Hill Useem). I’d read a bit of Pollock and van Reken’s Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, so I was curious to see what Ute would bring to the table (no pun intended).

There were six of us in attendance, all of us representing different nationalities and language backgrounds. After starting with introductions, we learned about collective experiences of international children growing up outside their parents’ home culture.

Ute likened our international kids to plants in pots—a plant in a pot is much more mobile than a plant in the ground. However, it needs special nurturing in order to thrive. Depending where that plant-in-a-pot is located, different kinds of nurturing is needed. When transitioning to a new place, our kids also need different kinds of special nurturing to ensure that they can adjust well and thrive in the new environment.

Throughout Ute’s talk, we had opportunities to ask questions and share our own observations. Ute’s personable approach made us feel that our input was valuable to the discussion. The setting of the talk created a feeling of information-sharing rather than being lectured at by an expert. I left feeling empowered with more tools in my mama toolkit to help my daughter thrive as a multilingual and multicultural child.

Parents’ Evenings at DULI in a nutshell

Parents’ Evenings give us the opportunity to explore engaging topics in an accessible format, and allows us to bring up burning questions with an expert in the field. On top of that, it is a chance to have stimulating and eye-opening conversations with a dynamic group of people. All in all, a fabulous night out.

I look forward to seeing the new talks Carolina arranges next. On my wish list is a talk about balancing personal goals with the responsibilities of parenthood. What kinds of topics are on your wish list?

Resources

DULI Delft (www.dulidelft.nl) is located at Nieuwe Langedijk, 13, just off Markt in Delft. Check their website for opening hours, and check out this blog post introducing us to DULI.

Ute’s International Lounge – The homepage of Dr. Ute Limacher-Riebold, showcasing her work and current offerings—including, consultancy, book club meetings, and courses.

TCK World: The official home of Third Culture Kids – describes Ruth Hill Useem’s research in this area and provides some useful links for networking with other TCKs.

Third Culture Kids: Growing up among worlds, written by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken (sends you to Amazon.de page)


From the editor:

Curious about upcoming Parents’ Evenings at DULI?

Thursday, 13 September | Elegance of Living – Introduction to Access Bars. Aimed at creating a world of consciousness and oneness, where everything exists and nothing is judged, Access Bars is a gentle hands-on technique that quiets the mind.

Thursday, 18 October | The Science of Happiness—led by Mrs. Anna Blasiak—introduces us to scientific facts about happiness; and we discuss the role of our actions and attitude on attaining happiness.

Thursday, 22 November | Book discussion of How To Talk So Kids Will Listen. And Listen So Kids Will Talk.

[Editor’s note: 22 November has been changed to 8 November.]

For more information, contact DULI. Happy discussing!

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