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