Home » kids

Tag: kids

5 ‘Staycations’ Near Delft

If you’re looking for a way to get away, without actually getting away, enjoy these five ideas for a staycation option in Delft’s backyard. They are all accessible by public transportation and host more than enough activity for a weekend stay.

Delftse Hout

The Delftse Hout campground is located in the woods to the east of Delft. It is an easy option for a quick staycation. The campground has a variety of lodging options from camping to cottage rental. The campground has a playground, pool and restaurant. With its woodland location you’ll feel like you’ve left the city, despite the fact that you can ride your bike to your staycation.

If the campground entertainment isn’t enough, there is a weekend full of activities within walking distance. Head next door to the Stadsboerderij petting zoo and water playground or across the street to De Papaver Delft nature center. Walk to Cafe du Midi for a bite to eat and some playtime with the goats in their petting zoo. Knus, also just a walk away, has food, a playground and boats to rent. Hoeve Biesland is another perfect outing to see the farm animals and maybe pick up some fruit and veggies for dinner. You could also put together a picnic at this farm by purchasing a loaf of bread, cheese and some fruit.

 

S.S. Rotterdam 

Stay aboard the S.S. Rotterdam, the former flagship of the Holland America Line which is now a hotel docked in Rotterdam. The cruise ship hotel has themed rooms, several restaurants and lounges and even a pool, all overlooking beautiful Rotterdam. The S.S. Rotterdam is easily reached by car or public transportation from Delft.

When you tire of relaxing on board, you can take one of the tours of the ship. There is even a kids tour offered. Head to the Maritime Museum where exhibits are kid-friendly, including outdoor ships to tour and an indoor/outdoor playground on the roof. Pop into the Markthal for a quick snack or a full meal. Take the Pancake Boat for a tour of the incredibly busy Rotterdam harbor while your kids play in the onboard ball pit and eat as many pancakes as they can. You can also take to the water in an amphibious bus with Splash Tours.

 

 

Scheveningen

If the North Sea is calling your name head to Scheveningen for a weekend away from Delft. Try the Carlton Beach Hotel or the Bilderberg Hotel, which both have family-friendly room options. Scheveningen can easily be reached by car or taking Tram 1 from Delft.

At Scheveningen, you have a pristine beach to enjoy for your visit. You can also check out the SeaLife Center, Fairytale Sculptures by the Sea, or one of the many attractions on The Pier. A short tram ride away is Madurodam, Netherlands in miniature, which has plenty to entertain the kids for a day including several large playgrounds. Museon, GEM Museum of Modern Art and the Omniversum IMAX theater are all a short tram ride away as well. The Pathe movie theater offers more English options for kids than its counterpart in Delft. If you’re a World War II history buff, you will want to check out the Atlantic Wall Museum, which explains the bunkers that line the coastline of much of Europe.

Hop beach clubs checking out the menus and variety of kids entertainment from trampolines to playgrounds. There is nearly always something going on down on the beach.

Image: pixabay.com

 

Amsterdam 

Hop the train to Amsterdam and spend a weekend exploring the ‘big city.’ Sure you can pop up for the day, but it’s fun to get away and really experience the city. Consider staying in a House Boat Hotel for a unique experience. Cocomama Hostel has a family room as well as bunk rooms that are perfect for families.The Botel is also a fun option in an artistic corner of Amsterdam.

Take advantage of local activities by checking out Amsterdam Mama’s for a list of whats on in town during your visit. We love exploring the ships at the National Maritime Museum, where kids can win a prize for finding the treasure. The NEMO Science Museum is also perfect for kids. You won’t want to miss the ARTIS Zoo or Vondelpark. Of course Amsterdam is full of great playgrounds with cafes, just choose any one from the Amsterdam Mama’s list and you have the perfect outing.

If you want to hit the water head out on the Pizza Cruise where you enjoy pizza and ice cream as you cruise through Amsterdam’s Canals.

 

 

Alphen Aan Den Rijn 

Head to Alphen Aan Den Rijn just 40 min from Delft and accessible by car and public transport. Stay at the Vander Valk Avifauna and be surrounded by a weekend of activities. Visit the birds and several excellent playgrounds at Avifauna, directly adjacent to the hotel. (The hotel has  stay and play deals, so check online.) The dock just outside the park and hotel is host to river boat tours of varying themes from brunch to day trips to Gouda.

Don’t miss Archeon a museum where history comes to life in several villages ranging from prehistoric to Roman towns. Alternatively spend a day biking around to the various parks. Forest Park is next to the petting zoo and has ample plant and bird life to explore. Europa Park is another great option with playgrounds for older and younger children.

 

If you’re looking for more ideas stop by my blog, Dutch Dutch Goose, for more ideas on how to explore the Netherlands and beyond with kids.

 

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

Style and Comfort – Creating your Child’s Wardrobe

When I found out I was having a girl I was so excited and imagined all the cute outfits I could put her in. I remember creating a Pinterest file designing her perfect imaginary wardrobe, I think I had about nine months of dressing her in what ever I wanted, before I realized that my little girl had her own ideas of what she wanted to wear. When she was two it was nothing but superhero costumes. At two and a half she just wanted to dress like a boy and by age three she was crazy about Hello Kitty.

So how can you merge Style and Comfort into the perfect little wardrobe? I feel like I am far from knowing the answers, but here are a few things I have learnt along the way.

 

Style

Children need to love what they are wearing. Through colour, texture, pattern, a little creativity throw in some accessories and your child can shine with their personal style! It is fun to teach children about colour in clothing and about different colour schemes. Monochromatic is a great word for kids to learn and say while sporting pink from head to toe. You are never to young to learn about neutrals or how to match like colours or contrast light and dark.

 

Similarly, talking about texture is equally intriguing for kids. Fuzzy, smooth, soft, bumpy, ruff, scratchy are all fun to explore while distracting little fingers from pulling shirts off the hangers in the department store.

Kids also love creating their own clothes. One white HEMA t-shirt, a pack of iron on transfers, your aspiring young artist’s drawing and you have the cutest one of a kind graphic tee. Here my little “Odette” has made her own swan princess t-shirt and wears her white tutu to pull off her look. She couldn’t be prouder to wear her masks which we bought at So-Low and decorated herself.

My son had to play the part of the prince and for that a cute black vest (H&M), a simple white band collar button down (Zara), linen pants (H&M) and shoes (Hema).

 

Accessories are a simple, playful and can change up a look in an instant. It is also where you and your child can explore your creativity. I found some cotton jersey fabric at the market for three euros, I decided to try my luck at making little buff scarfs that double as a headband for the kids. My sewing skills are limited but this really was the easiest project and involved sewing only one seem, you don’t even have to finish the hem it rolls on its own.

 


Girls tend to accessorize themselves very easily with necklaces, bracelets, tiaras and fairy wings, while boys aren’t left with much.

Try cute hats, suspenders, neck bows, vests, capes wings and tales and your boy will be just as excited as the girls to prance pretty. Make simple accessories together, it takes no time at all to  string a beaded necklace or glue some cat ears on a headband. Think accessories for everyday life, it is nice to have children look in their costume box before they go out and add a special something to really jazz up their outfit.

 

Comfort

Most of us are familiar with those beautiful Pinterest photos of woolen sweaters, tiny printed floral dresses and perfectly matching tights. As lovely as they are to admire, at five my little princess detests wool sweaters, saying they are too itchy. She will absolutely not wear those cute perfectly matching tights (stockings) either, saying she hates the way they feel and puts her nose up at any lovely corduroy overalls (dungarees), trousers or jeans.

The fact of the matter is, children are going to play, explore and are going to get dirty and if they are anything like mine, they will want something comfortable that allows them to move.

My daughter’s uniform seems to be a pair of leggings, a cotton long sleeve t-shirt for the base, layered with either a dress, tunic or circle skirt – and if I am lucky – a lovely cotton cardigan.

I think it looks adorable on her and seems to be the winning combination that allows her to hop, run, skip, scooter, climb, with out any constraints.

 

 

On the other hand for my son who loves to be warm he is comfortable in wool sweaters, jeans and his fox hat, which I made for him quickly at Halloween and still hasn’t taken it off.

Here my daughter is wearing her simple cotton tee, a darling deer tunic (H&M), her lovely deer antlers of her own creation and red Mary Janes from Start-Rite. When she adds some leggings, she is ready to be on the move. My son is in a fox sweater from Filou & Friends , his fox hat (mama made), a hand-me down plaid button down shirt and sage green cords from his sister that she never did wear.

Budget

I know that you can have great comfortable style for your children with out breaking the bank. For me it’s hard to spend a lot of money on kids’ clothes especially when they outgrow them so quickly. It is nice to spend money on gender neutral classics that can be passed down to their sibling. A great toggle coat in red or navy is classic and adorable for either girl or boy.

 

Personally I love cute shoes, but they can be expensive. I either wait for a sale or order off Limango, a great discount webshop. For affordable basics I go to H&M, HEMA and C&A and usually those come in organic cotton.

 

Here my tiger who came to tea is wearing a pair of leather booties with funky mustard laces a steal from Van Haaren, a pair of jeans on sale from WE with suspenders (H&M) and cotton tee from HEMA with an iron on transfer I sketched.

 

My daughter is in a very inexpensive navy blue shift dress with a white Peter-Pan collar from the French discount grocery chain Monoprix. I love their children’s clothing line, you get that chic French look at a fraction of the price! Her baby blue ribbon is from the market, her knee high socks are one of her many unloved tights I cut, and her navy Mary Janes are from Pepino.

 

 

I spend more money on unique pieces, a special dress or a really cute jumper and for styles that can be repurposed as they grow. A style like this starts off as a dress, turns into a tunic and later maybe a swing top.

 

 

Vintage finds are real scores: I look on Etsy and have raided my mother-in-law’s trunks.  This red hand knit sweater and t-strap clarks was my husbands and it really goes to show some things are worth hanging on to.

 

Seasons

As a kid I always loved the change of season, with it brought fresh colour palettes, new textures and fabrics in clothing. There was nothing better than celebrating the seasons when I received a new raincoat, rain boots and umbrella, and to my joy my children feel no different.

I love getting excited about colour and for this spring I tucked away our rich colour palettes from winter, brought out pale muted colours with pops of intensely saturated colours.

 

 

In these princess and dragon inspired looks my daughter is wearing a dress I splurged from Filou & Friends,  H&M leggings and the perfect pair of riding boots I bought from Decathlon for practically nothing. She picked out her own fuchsia pink umbrella, which I cringed at the time but it actually looks so cute with her pale pink rain coat (Cadet Rousselle.) My son is in a pinstriped navy pant from HEMA and a baby blue button down from H&M. His hat is form Zara and his scarf we made from one of his dad’s. I quickly sewed him up a dragon tale from scrap felt I had in fun shades of green and pale blue. We found his umbrella for 5 euro at Bristol. His boots are Hatley. His favourite colour is yellow at the moment so what better than a bright yellow raincoat from Pluie Pluie.

 

There you have it what I have learnt so far: if you can be a little creative, make it fun and comfortable, accessorize and play with the seasons, kids can have a unique style that both of you will love!

 

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin

Introduction to childcare in The Netherlands

In the last 4 years my children have been cared for in two different daycare centers and one preschool (peuterspeelzaal), and I’ve got only good things to say about them. Children in The Netherlands start going to school at 4 years of age and there are a few options for childcare before that time comes. They are meant to suit different types of families according to their preference, time and budget.

Read more

FacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin