What do Dutch children like?


According to research by Unicef Germany, Dutch children have the best lives of all children living in industrialised countries. They have been rated the most fortunate children in Europe. So what is it that Dutch children love and makes them happy that is typical of Holland?

Food and Drink

RoosVicee
Roosvicee is the typical Dutch drink for children, compare it to Ribena. It is mixed with water and comes in many flavours. What most adults probably don’t know is that it is actually quite nice mixed with vodka too!
Hagelslag

Now every expat, either loves this or hates it. Basically to me and you, its sprinkles but the Dutch have it on buttered bread, especially the children . It comes in all shapes and sizes . The traditional flavour is chocolate but now you can get fruit flavoured, liquorice flavoured …. you name it there is any taste you like. It is an extremely commercial product for frantic mums too, as they have many endorsed brands. We have a packet in the cupboard that has sprinkles but also has chocolate bunnies in too from Easter.

On a similar wavelength to the hagelslag you can also get gestampte muisjes literally meaning “Stamped on mice” which is crushed aniseed, also to put onto bread.

There is one rule regarding all this chocolate and sweetness. That is always eat something healthy first and then something sweet.

Television

So what’s on that all-important box that keeps them entertained for a few minutes every day while you do something equally important?

Meet Kabouter Plop, Piet Piraat , Mega Mindy and Bumba, all in fact Belgian but endorsed by the biggest children’s television channel KRO Kindertijd.

Children across Holland love them and they all have their own stage shows every year. We have yet to go to one but I am sure we will one day soon, as my daughter really is into them all. Although she is not too keen on Piet Piraat and looking at him, I’m not sure I would be either, he isn’t that attractive now is he?

One of the biggest children’s authors in Holland was Annie Schmidt. I wrote a post about her a while ago on my blog. She wrote about a little boy and girl called Jip and Janneke. Think Topsy and Tim, Do you remember them?

Days out

The Efteling
The largest theme park in Holland. In 1992 the Efteling was awarded the IAAPA Applause Award for best theme park in the world. It is all about magic and fairy tales. I think every Dutch child will have been there more than once. Many children living in this area, where it is located, have a season ticket. It also has its own TV show and radio station. One of the most popular attractions is the new talking “sprookjesboom” a tree that tells fairy tales.

I can’t help but notice, that it may want to be careful for not being sued for copyright by the vegetable family , as its resemblance to broccoli is uncanny.

Latest Crazes

These are normally endorsed by the supermarkets. Every so often they run campaigns where for every 10 euros of shopping or so you get something in return. Lately we have had animal collecting cards at the Albert Heijn Supermarket and World Cup gogos, the least useful things in the world that just get spread all over the house. I am still finding them one year on under the sofa.

Music

And last but not least I leave you with K3, three girls ( who am I kidding, middle-aged women, who I can’t believe can still look like this, manage a career and have families ) They sing, dance and generally make many little girls truly happy.

A little secret many mums quite like them too (Oh and quite a few dads,too

wonder why?)

Me? No I’m not humming along. Dancing? No I’m not doing that either. OK, maybe just a few moves then!

Mini monkeys back to school

So less than 2 weeks left and the Monkeys will be going back to school and daycare. Funky Monkey will be starting  in Group 4. That means taking a lot of things to school like lunch boxes,flasks, a tea towel ( no she won’t wash up but they use them as tablecloths on their desks) gym clothes and much more…..Mini Monkey will be starting playgroup (peuterspeelzaal) and that means a few things for her too…

So today we are off to the shops to equip them with the back to school items.

Shops we will be visiting are:

H&M – many of you know this store and it’s great for good quality kids clothes, because there are no uniforms in the Netherlands., morning times can be a struggle if you have to choose what to wear and let’s be honest who wants a fight at 7 in the morning because they want to wear their K 3 princess dresses
So we stock up on a uniform 5 sets of normal and easy to wear clothes and we put them in 5 baskets in her wardrobe so they are easy to pick out. We then combine them with any jumper etc depending on the weather.

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Hema: Great for school supplies, they have a lot of really cute stuff that always get me wanting a) that I was back at school and needing all of it and b) gets me wishing that I hadn’t switched over to digital agendas and lists.
But I get to indulge with Funky Monkey so that’s good enough for me.

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Lastly we have also done some online shopping at Goedgermerkt.nl
Stickers and Labels! We don’t want any of the girls new stuff getting lost and this is the best company I have found. I used to be a distributor for this company in Spain and they are one of the best out there, the labels actually stick on and don’t fall off. They have iron on clothes labels cause let’s face it who sews them on nowadays and if you do then well done you, mine never stay on.
Plus the girls had good fun this morning choosing the text, colour and logo for their stickers.

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So if your about to buy school supplies, good luck! And have fun, remember it’s less two weeks away, not that I’m counting or anything.

Oh and if you have any back to school tips, don’t forget to post them below

Monkeying around with apps

The girls aren’t allowed on the Ipad very often, Baby monkey is a bit too small anyhow just yet! though she seems to think otherwise. Funky Monkey knows it exists and has games on it but we only allow her time every so often.

What I find hard is finding good apps and games for them to play. There are so many out there and quite often you download one only to find that half the game isn’t there as you have to buy the other levels or puzzles.

A dangerous thing if you have a credit card set up with your Itunes account as with just a click of a finger if you are already logged in your kids could be buying the next 45 levels of that really annoying Dora game!

We have found a few good free ones though some for Ipad and some Android or both. A favourite in our house at the moment is Magic Piano. In Magic piano you get a few free songs and then you earn points to go up levels and earn more. By pressing little circles in time you play real piano songs. A great app but should be played together.

For the little ones the Fisher Price apps are great even Baby Monkey loves the Fruit gang, though the characters are slightly annoying.

The lovely people over at Mammietalks have many app reviews of both English and Dutch apps. A great way to find out about new apps and see what they are about before you download. Watch this video to learn more.