Posts

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…
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.
How To Carve A Halloween Pumpkin
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How To Carve A Halloween Pumpkin

Many people would like to carve Halloween pumpkins! Getting in the mood, preparing the atmosphere for a party, surprising kids.... Plus, what could be more therapeutic than hacking a pumpkin to bits? But Pumpkin carving isn't just for…
Happy Mother's Day! (Picture: Arianna Ardia)
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Happy Mother's Day!

Moederdag or Mother's Day in the Netherlands is always the second Sunday of May: this year on May 8th. What, how, since when, ideas for Mother's Day, what to write in Dutch on a Mother's Day card. And... a drawing. Download and let your kid(s)…
Linnaeushof, Europe's biggest playground, is open
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Linnaeushof, Europe's biggest playground is open again

Speelparadijs Linnaeushof: the biggest playground of Europe! So close! Linnaeushof is located in Bennebroek, a 15 minute drive from Haarlem and Leiden, just some more from Amsterdam and The Hague.  During the whole season (April till…
Toddler Tips: The “No!” Phase

Toddler Tips: The “No!” Phase

Your toddler is developing at a very fast pace. One day they he is a helpless little baby, not being able to communicate effectively and making an effort to crawl, and the other he can suddenly walk, talk and make choices. Well, it’s not that…
Important facts for the first step to elementary school (Photo: Leóny Lasschuit)

Important facts for the first step to elementary school

  In this article I focus on the first step towards the (regular) education: Elementary School Where should I start picking a good elementary school? Once your child is 4, it's time to attend school. But before the 4th anniversary…
4 & 5 May: Remembrance Day and Liberation Day (Photo: Melanie Caitlin)
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4 & 5 May: Remembrance Day and Liberation Day 2015

The Netherlands is unique among the other European countries in having two national ceremony days originating from the Second World War: Remembrance Day – ‘Dodenherdenking’ and Liberation Day – ‘Bevrijdingsdag’. On 4 May there…
Teen
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Teen sex in Holland

Would You Allow Your Teen to Have Sex at Home? One of the most challenging and satisfying aspects of expat life is discovering and considering new traditions and ideas about life that are perhaps different from what you’re used to.…
Newborn
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Born yesterday: mothers and their newborn babies - in pictures

Photographer Jenny Lewis took 150 photographs of new mothers and their babies in their second day of life. Forty of these portraits of mums and their newborn babies, have been published as a book, One Day Young, by Hoxton Mini Press “All…
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…
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…
Dutch lessons for kids on funny DVDs - watch this video: animals
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Dutch lessons for kids on funny DVDs

Effective and funny Dutch teaching program for kids - and adults too? ;-) -  Watch this video lesson: animals. Dutch lessons on DVDs for kids Dino Lingo Dutch for Kids learning program teaches the most common 200 Dutch words and phrases…
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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…
Circus Tricks - How do you juggle ex-pat life, children and still try to follow your dream? (Illustrations by Sarah-Leigh Wills and copyright Rembrandt & Kiki 2014)
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Circus Tricks - How do you juggle ex-pat life, children and still try to follow your dream?

Jane Archer-Wilms, British ex-pat, explains how she puts pen to paper, publishes and promotes in between the pooey nappies, playdates and pick-ups. Breed. This was the standard answer if you asked the 16 year old me what I wanted to do…
Book Review: “Rembrandt and Kiki Move to the Netherlands” / “Rembrandt and Kiki Verhuizen naar Nederland”
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Book Review: “Rembrandt and Kiki Move to the Netherlands” / “Rembrandt and Kiki Verhuizen naar Nederland”

This new book on the bilingual block is the first of a planned series written in both Dutch and English. It tells the story of red headed twins, Kiki and Rembrandt, who move from England to the Netherlands. They have a Dutch mother and their…
October children's month: more tips
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October children's month: more tips

October is children's month in Haarlem In addition to the 7 tips that I gave you last week, in the Brochure Oktober Kindermaand 2014 of the Gemeente/Municipality of Haarlem there are much more. Below, a selection of them. Every…
Drongo Festival (Photo BIMU)
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Drongo Festival

Drongo Festival: "Languages for your Future", Professional information on multilingualism and playful experimentation with language-jamming, 27 September 2014, Public Library in Amsterdam.  Linguistic matters, as "displaced people"…
I know you mean well but perhaps you might want to try these lines instead (Photo: Shutterstock)

I know you mean well but perhaps you might want to try these lines instead

I didn't realize I have been riding on a dark cloud to strangers, acquaintances or even friends when I respond my usual remark of “but why shouldn't I be positive? Why shouldn't I be happy and be grateful and be alive while dealing with cancer?” I…
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…
Being a Third Culture Kid - Part 1: The Challenges (Photo: Chaud)
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Being a Third Culture Kid - Part 1: The Challenges

Do you have small children and are you thinking of moving abroad? Did you shift between cultures as a child? Are your children spending a significant part of their development years in a culture that isn’t their original one? If any of the…
World Breastfeeding Week 2014 and special invitation for our Haarlem breastfeeding mums (Photo: Breastfeeding Chicago)
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World Breastfeeding Week 2014 and special invitation for our Haarlem breastfeeding mums

The World Breastfeeding Week 2014 is this week, between Aug 1-7. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action WABA has announced the slogan and theme for WBW 2014: BREASTFEEDING: A Winning Goal - For Life! This year's WABA World Breastfeeding…
NLs in top five countries for mothers (Photo; Arianna Ardia)
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NLs in top five countries for mothers

The chance of a woman in the Netherlands dying during pregnancy or childbirth has decreased by over half since the start of the century. This makes the Netherlands the fifth-safest country in the world to have a baby. While at the end…
Letter To the Young Mum in the Mammacare Waiting Area
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Letter To the Young Mum in the Mammacare Waiting Area

Yesterday in the waiting area I noticed you. You came out of the doctor's office, the same room that I came in a few minutes after. But in that fleeting moment that I was waiting to be called, I saw you. Your back lounged, partly seated…
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…
Dutch crèches refusing non-vaccinated children
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Dutch crèches refusing non-vaccinated children

At least 5 crèches in the Netherlands now refuse children who have not been vaccinated, according to a survey conducted by RTL News. Of 560 daycare organizations that responded to RTL’s questions about vaccination policies, 118 said…
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…