Posts

class
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More kids per class in Dutch primary school

According to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences (ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap -OCW) school classes still average around 23 pupils. But a reaserch conducted by AD newspaper with government figures obtained using…
Jip & Janneke (image: Annie M.G. Schmidt)
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Crafting a lantern for Sint Maarten

On November 11, it's Sint Maarten (Saint Martin)' s Day. Sint Maarten is a great children’s event! Ringing doorbells, singing songs at the doors in exchange for a treat (sweets, mandarins or even some small coins) and - as darkness falls -…
Sint Maarten
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Sint Maarten's Day

St. Martin's Day or Sint Maarten in Dutch is a popular children's feast day in many parts of the Netherlands and it is celebrated on 11 November.  Typically, in the early winter evening of 11 November, small groups of children can…
Family
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The Netherlands is voted one of the best countries for raising a family.

InterNations, the world's largest network of expats, conducted a survey in which they rated 43 different aspects of life abroad on a scale of 1-7. Expats scored everything from children's health and safety, to childcare and education. Each…
Baby Names
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The most popular Dutch baby name list has been published by SVB

The popular names list is published every year by the social insurance bank, SVB. 88,494 boys and 84,286 girls in total were born in the Netherlands in 2016. Here is the list of the most popular names; TOP 10 Girl Names 2016 (with various…
Interview of the month
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Interview of the month November 2016

Arriving in a new country is such a change, and  how to feel ‘’at Home’’ can be a challenge. How can an expat integrate easily? In my goal to support people with confidence and languages, I hear many real-life stories.  Through…
Ollie is ready for Halloween pumpkins. Are you?
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Ollie is ready for Halloween pumpkins. Are you?

Looking for indoor activities for your little one on a rainy day? How about helping Ollie to find pumpkins for upcoming Halloween? Looking for How to Carve a Halloween Pumpkin? Check it out here.
travelling abroad airport
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Travelling abroad with a minor child: check State rules

If you are travelling abroad with a minor child, you must take into account additional rules and extensive checks at the country borders. Check the information provided by the State to ensure your next holiday goes smoothly. Children now…
'Buurman & Buurman'
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'Buurman & Buurman' turns 40!

The Dutch very popular characters, loved by adults and kids, are turning 40. To celebrate Pathé Cinemas are showing an hour long special daily until the 6th April 2016.  For those who do not know what 'Buurman & Buurman' is 'Two…
Bloemencorso
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Bloemencorso 2016 Flower Parade

Hey, did you know that the annual Flower Parade of the Bollenstreek is starting soon? The Flower Parade is a parade of about twenty floats and more than thirty special floats, decorated with an abundance of flowers. The theme for 2016…
Gifts
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Top tips in choosing gifts for children for the holiday season

The holiday season can be a period of frenzy for most parents. With all the assortment of toys and gadgets, parents feel the pressure in choosing the right gifts that not only will be appreciated but would hopefully also benefit their development. So…
Terrorism (photo: Ksayer1 ob Flickr)
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Answering our kids' WHY question on terrorism

Since the events of 13/11 in Paris, perhaps you've seen the articles on “How to talk with your kids about terrorism.” I read several useful tips, yet for me, as most parenting guide go, I especially liked "trust your intuition—you know…
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De Vrije School

The range of types of education and schools is large. What to choose depends on your own needs and preferences. This month I present to you: De Vrije School (The free school/Waldorf education). What is the idea and how does this work out in…
multilingualism
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Multilingualism Is Not An Excuse!

So often, I found myself saying or thinking: “She doesn’t do this or that, she’s multilingual”. When asked whether K. already says something, I sometimes have to reply: “No”. And I am very tempted to add: “She’s multilingual,…
Luilak
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Luilak Day

Saturday before Pentecost: little wagons and a lot of noise? Sunday of Pentecost: dirty windows? LUILAK DAY! Luilak, or Lazybones Day, is a youth festival celebrated in Zaandam, Haarlem, Amsterdam and other towns in the western Netherlands.…
makeup
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Australian mum turns Bratz dolls into Regular Girls by Removing their Heavy MakeUp

“These dolls have been rescued and rehabilitated from op-shops and tip shops around Tasmania. These lil fashion dolls have opted for a “tree change”, swapping high-maintenance glitz ‘n’ glamour for down-to-earth style. I hand repaint…
Nonviolent (Photo: Imgarcade)
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In Search of Clarity and Connection (what Nonviolent Communication can bring)

There I was, inside a circle of 30 workshop participants. I’ve never liked being in the spotlight, never saw myself teaching, and I was feeling quite nervous and scared. And then, within the span of about one minute, I felt calm, safe, and…
Peuterspeelzaal

Five forms of childcare in the Netherlands – Part 3: Peuterspeelzaal (Playgroup)

Doesn't your child go to a crèche or day care? But does he/she starts to get the age that interacting with other children may be important for him or her? Then it might be a good idea to bring your toddler to a "peuterspeelzaal". Peuterspeelzaal A…
Arrangements regarding children drastically revised as of 2015
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Arrangements regarding children drastically revised as of 2015

As of 2015 a number of tax benefits regarding the cost for your children have disappeared.  Which benefits are gone? compensation single parents, changes in child related budget. Which benefits are gone? * Single parent credit (Alleenstaande…
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My CB Said What? Ridiculous Advice From The Consultatiebureau

To provide a little background for this post, the Consultatiebureau, also known as CB, is a place where parents bring their children in for baby well check ups. Babies are weighted, measured and vaccinated. Parents get advice on parenting, feeding…
ESPRESSO LOUNGE: COOL!
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ESPRESSO LOUNGE: COOL!

Espresso Lounge opened its doors in the Kleine Houtstraat in May this year. It is is a relaxed café with good coffee, cake and sandwiches for a fair price. Plus a special Kids Lounge. During the whole month of NOVEMBER expatsHaarlem Parents…
Could parental leave be why Dutch kids are the world’s happiest?
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Could parental leave be why Dutch kids are the world’s happiest?

Unicef calls the Dutch the happiest children in the world and they rank second in the OECD for life/work balance. How big a factor is parental leave? Robbin Haasnoot, 33, greets his daughter and wife as they return from swimming. It’s…
Primary school in the Netherlands (Photo: Arianna Ardia)
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Primary school in the Netherlands

Compulsory education under Dutch law applies to children of all nationalities from 5 to 18 years who are residing in the Netherlands. Primary school starts at the age of four and is obligatory from five years old. In this article a basic explanation…
Five forms of childcare in the Netherlands - Part 2: Nanny Care/Childminder Care (Photo: Arianna Ardia)

Five forms of childcare in the Netherlands - Part 2: Nanny Care/Childminder Care

Are you looking for high quality childcare for your baby or toddler? Or thinking at changing type of childcare? Read more about the five most common types of childcare in the Netherlands in a series of five articles. Today part 2: Nanny Care…
12 things parents raising bilingual children need to know (Photo: Rachel Ranting)

12 things parents raising bilingual children need to know

1 – It doesn’t happen by magic Children do not become bilingual “by magic”. There is a persistent myth claiming that “children are like sponges when it comes to language” and that they will learn all languages they hear regularly…
How to fit into Dutch society, have a home birth (Photo: Sofeminine)
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How to fit into Dutch society, have a home birth

The Shallow Man, after ten years in the Netherlands has learned many things about the Nederlandse samenleving. One of the things that has puzzled both myself and many other expats is why Dutch women are so loud. There have been many theories…
Dad
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Father's Day

Father’s Day (Vaderdag) in the Netherlands is always the third Sunday of June: this year on June 15th.  What's Father's Day? According to Wikipedia Father's Day is a celebration honouring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds…
Clothing industry revises children's sizes (Photo: NOS)
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Clothing industry revises children's sizes

Dutch children are on average 2 kilos heavier than they were 12 years ago, and their waists are 4 cm thicker, according to research institute TNO. "The current children sizes, of 12 years ago, are too small nowadays. Children have become…
Luilak Day
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Luilak Day

Saturday before Pentecost: little wagons and a lot of noise? Sunday of Pentecost: dirty windows? LUILAK DAY! Luilak, or Lazybones Day, is a youth festival celebrated in Zaandam, Haarlem, Amsterdam and other towns in the western Netherlands.…