THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS DURING LOCKDOWN

Parents in lockdown, we feel you. This lockdown situation isn’t easy for anyone. But if you have kids, it can be a little bit more tricky.

Whether you share the house with babies, toddlers or teenagers, most kids have attention span of a maximum of 15 minutes. This means parents are in need of some creative ideas to keep them occupied so you can do some work from home.

Create a schedule

This mainly applies to kids older than 4 years old. A daily routine and rhythm is the key. This doesn’t mean you need to play the strict parent, but getting up at a decent time of day and follow a reasonable routine can be quite good for kids. If you home-school (well done, by the way!) you can try to do so at the same time each day. Discuss the schedule with your kid(s) so they understand. Needless to say that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to schedule every kid. “Some children find security in following a school-like timetable, others thrive on a more child-led, free-flowing approach, but all children need some predictability in their lives”. Source

Bake something

It doesn’t really matter what, kids love to bake! That being said, as long as they can lick the sugary spoon, watch their creation bake in the oven, and eat it afterwards. But there is a bonus to this; your kid will love the interaction with you, plus you are teaching them something without them realising it. In all honestly, I’m not the baking-type person, but this lockdown has certainly opened the gate for some new skills! This week I baked a banana cake that we now eat for breakfast, lunch and dessert. Who knows what next week will bring to the table.

Baking with kids during lockdown

Netflix is great but it isn’t always the solution to keep your kids entertained without them becoming too passive.

Digital storytime

If you need to join a conference call with your quarantine colleagues or you simply need some you-time, this is a great temporary solution. Children love stories, especially when images are involved. There are several businesses that have (partly) free book stories available such as Bol.com for the Netherlands where books are being read by local celebrities. For English we refer you to Freechildrenstories.com where you can pick stories for every age and pick your theme! If you have headphones around you can also check out onlinebibliotheek.nl. All you need is a smartphone or tablet. Bol.com offers books for 1 cent and you need to download the app.

Go on a Bear Hunt

If you live in the Netherlands, you may have heard of this new phenomenon. If you look behind the windows of people’s houses, you may spot a teddybear. This is no coincident. The Facebook group Berenjacht in NL called all people to put a stuffed bear by the window. This resulted in children going on a bear hunt whilst going for their daily walk around the block. Have you spotted the bears yet? Note: always remember to keep 1,5 meters distance from other people.

Things to do with your kids during lockdown, bear hunt

Let them clean their toys

I’m not sure about you, but my kid loves to clean his toys. Whether it’s his bicycle (which he calls his motor), animal toys or something else that can stand water. If you have a garden or balcony it’s the perfect thing for kids to keep them busy for a while. Grab a bucket or low basket, fill it with lukewarm water and a few drops of detergent. Don’t forget about a towel for drying of course.

Crafts for the people they miss

With no cuddles from the grandparents or friends, you can imagine that it’s not a nice feeling after a few weeks. In order to keep the connection you can ask them to create a card, drawing or craft for their loved ones and bring it to the mailbox. Tip: ask your family members or friends to video call you when they receive it, your kid will most likely be proud of the work they’ve put in.

Things to do with your kids during lockdown, drawing

Digital learning 

Obviously, we don’t want to ignore the maximum screen-time for kids, but there are loads of fun digital learning platforms where children can be educated in a fun way. First of all, create a learning space. Use this space for learning only, a place where they can concentrate. This could be a small desk/table, or the same spot on the dining table. This can also be the place where they can do schoolwork. Here are some websites that offer digital learning games:

  • www.zappelin.nl/kinderspelletjes
  • kids.nationalgeographic.com/games
  • www.sheppardsoftware.com
  • pbskids.org/games

Travel the world, virtually

With Google Earth for Chrome, you can fly anywhere in seconds and explore hundreds of 3D cities from your browser. Let your child be adventurous and discover something new, they can take a tour with Voyager and create their own maps and stories. 

Order a new Toy

You don’t have to shower your kids with gifts, but something new is always interesting. It can be a game, new colouring materials or a book. We bought a tipi tent, filled them with stuffed animals which resulted in hours of fun and imagination! This may buy you some time for, let’s say, a few days! 

Build a house!

Build a what? We mean a dollhouse, a house for children, whatever you want to call it, this is fun! Use cardboard and paint/cut a house which they can then paint. When it’s dry they can use it to play with.

Crafts during lockdown with kids

Exercise together

Stay fit is one of the things doctors and professionals advise us during lockdown. Try to involve your kids! (My little boy now knows what a Downward Facing Dog is). Plus, exercises can help kids to release their energy plus you can get your workout done. Be the trainer yourself or use YouTube for a training session. This can be fun!

All in all, we hope the above shown examples can make it a little easier to get though the days of lockdown. Good luck, you can do it!

Distantly yours,

Elke

Backpacking with Children » 5 Reasons To Do It

Do you know what backpacking means? If you type the word into Google you will find about 235.00 results. To many, backpacking means freedom, adventure, fun, meeting new people, and having little or nothing to fall back on. In short, a journey of discovery!

So when you have children, does this all change? As a mother of two, people often me and my partner how we ‘do it’ and they wonder if backpacking with children is even possible. I wasn’t always this flexible about travelling with my children so I understand where this question is coming from. It sounds exciting and adventurous but maybe it’s a bit too much? Here are 5 reasons why backpacking with children is always a good idea.

1. Create Forever Lasting Memories!

The great advantage of backpacking is that you get to travel and therefore you experience more. For children, it is often an impressive experience. They experience new things they have never seen before. We make the lives of our children richer by showing them the world. And best of all, you and your  family will create memories that will never be forgotten.

create-memories
Cheryl’s family Backpacking through Asia

I loved traveling when I was single. I love traveling with my wife. But I love it more now that I have kids. – Santorini Dave 

2. Freedom and Adventure

Backpacking means travelling around from location to location. You don’t need a fixed plan. The whole idea of backpacking is to be flexible. Arrived some place and want to stay longer? Then do! Our advice for backpacking with children is to prepare your trip. For us this means we select a view accommodations at each location (so when we arrive we can make fast decisions). Flights we book in advance, any other transport we arrange at the destination. Choose train & bus above the plane (unless your kids are very young, then travel less locations or lower the distance). Any other preparation is not necessary, you’ll handle it!

3. It’s good for your budget

Feel like exploring the world with your children but you don’t have a large budget? Backpacking is low budget travel. Sometimes you’ll find a hidden gem, sometimes you end up in a little less more pleasant environment. Don’t focus to much on what the accommodation looks like, as long as it’s clean it will be fine (and the kids will be ok). Try to select your next stay with the children. Keep their wishes in mind!

Taking care of their own backpack makes them more independent

4. They learn to be a little bit independent

It starts even before you head off on your little adventure. Give older children in your family some responsibility during traveling. It makes them grow in their self esteem because they contribute to family interests. Taking care of their own backpack makes them more independent and last year our daughter Jessie (then 11 years old) purchased and carried her own backpack. Of course you need to decide as a parent if your child is physically able to handle this. Not every eleven-year-old is the same. Our daughter liked to have her own backpack. Because she’d have to carry her own stuff she packed less! responsible!

5. You realise anything is possible

If you decide to take your children on an adventure, you are taking a leap of faith and yes, it can be scary. But how cool is it when you’ve actually done it! Backpacking is all about surprises and backpacking with children is the 3.0 version of that. A lot of people regret things in life, just because they didn’t do something. Break the rules and be different. Be that person that has no regrets. And look back at it with pride, no matter how the experience was. A fact is, that you did it and that itself, is pretty damn awesome.

Backpacking with children
Traveling by boat, Cheryl has done it all

Tip! Lower your expectations

If you are a hardcore adventurer and backpacker, you might want to lower your expectations a little bit. The truth is, backpacking with children will be a bit different from doing it by yourself. You have more responsibilities and it starts with the items you pack. This time, bring the first aid kit that you would normally leave at home, research the area you’re traveling to and the list goes on. Once you are prepared, your backpacking adventure will be a lot more relaxing.

Tip! The less you bring, the better!

A suitcase with 30 kg of clothes, shoes (and more) sounds interesting until you have to travel from one location to another (and you have to carry that large heavy thing everywhere). From my own experience: this will make you cry. The suitcase is a NO-GO, buy or borrow a backpack.

Tip! Take care of yourself and invest in a backpack!

Find an outdoor shop and try a number of different backpacks. You will see (and experience) that there’s a real difference in types. Find a store on and try several (including weights!), but we love this backpack for kids.

Love,

Cheryl

Wander-Lust now has a TRAVELING WITH KIDS section, check it out!

7 tips to make traveling with your kids as relaxed as possible

6 X INDOOR PLAYGROUNDS IN AMSTERDAM

Keeping your kids entertained when the weather fails you, can be a day job to say the least! Luckily, there are a lot of indoor playgrounds around to make the day less gloomy nowadays.

As a parent, you know you need to be a little inventive when it pours outside. We’ve lined up 7 indoor playgrounds in and around Amsterdam, so your kids won’t be bored on a rainy day.

Monkey Town, Zuidermolenweg 32

If you live in Amsterdam New West, this is the perfect location for you. What we love about Monkey Town is the big lounge chairs where parents can sit in, and the staff is really helpful. Because Monkey Town isn’t located in the centre of Amsterdam, it’s never too busy. If you come before 11am on a weekday, you only pay €4,95! 

Indoor playground Amsterdam
We love the lounge chairs at Monkey Town!

Candy Castle, Erik de Roodestraat

Because of the huge size of this indoor playground, your kids can run free and will never get bored here. On the other hand this also means that you need to climb, slide and help your little one if they are below the age of 4 years old. Located in an old Church, there are trampolines, countless slides, ball pits and a separate play area for the little ones. Of course you can book a birthday party here in one of the themed rooms downstairs. There is even a kart track downstairs! www.candycastle.nl

Indoor Playgrounds Amsterdam
The Massive Candy Castle

TunFun

In general, this is probably the largest indoor playground in Amsterdam. The location is perfect, right next to Waterloopplein and tucked underneath the street. Once in there, you may need some earplugs because it can be extremely busy, especially in weekends. That said, your kids will love it because there is so much to play with!

Amsterdam indoor playground
The largest indoor playground of them all, TunFun.

Ballorig, ArenA Boulevard 240 & Valburgdreef 1001

This indoor playground can be compared to the others above, and it was one of the first places to offer such indoor fun for kids up to 12 years old. There are 2 locations in Amsterdam, so plenty of choice!

Indoor Playground Amsterdam

Speelparadijs Raceplanet, Herwijk 10

This indoor kart-track has a special area that has been designed for kids. Children from all ages get the opportunity to race and ride cars, but also run, climb and play. Additionally, you can also book laser games, bowling and kart racing for older kids. Currently, there are construction works going on to upgrade the playground, follow their Instagram account to stay updated.

The Little Gym, Henkenshage 4

Equally popular are the many upcoming gyms for kids in Amsterdam. In fact, we’ve seen a lot of new businesses that have opened in the last couple of years. Children and babies get the opportunity to practise their movement skills and balance, which is great for development. The Little Gym is probably the most well known gym of all, but if you google, you’ll find the nearest kiddies gym near you. www.amsterdam.thelittlegym.eu

As shown above, there are plenty of indoor options for a rainy day!

Wander-Lust

Check out our Travelling With Kids section!

Greentom » The stroller created out of plastic bottles

As you might know, 2 years ago I became a new mummy to a baby boy. I couldn’t imagine it any different now, but I have thought long about becoming a mom and this is why. I worry a lot about our planet because it doesn’t look good for the next generations and I want to leave my child with a healthy planet that he can be proud of. But yes, I decided to have a child, so I want to teach him about the world so he can see all the beauty and hopefully contribute to a sustainable planet.

Sustainability

You’ve guessed it, sustainability is extremely important to me. I’m a vegetarian (almost vegan), I shower in less than 5 minutes and organize events about climate change to inspire and educate the younger generation. Oh, and one day I’ll own a Tesla. (yes, I can keep the dream alive!)
I’m also selective about the products I buy (boycotting palm oil is a daily struggle) and especially with a baby! It’s hard and often more expensive to remain sustainable at all times. This is when I came across the Greentom, a product that was going to be a huge part of my new life as a mother.

Greentom

Greentom’s mission is to create 100 percent green products

Greentom

Greentom is a brand that has created a stroller recycled from plastic bottles. Dutch designer Bart Bost wanted to create the first truly honest stroller. It needed to be particularly practical and sustainable. Well, it has Elke written all over it. Buying baby stuff can be quite overwhelming let me tell you! With all the different brands from luxury-expensive-over the top to bad quality strollers out there, this was exactly what I was looking for. Greentom’s mission is to create 100 percent green products. The fabrics are entirely made out of recycled drinking bottles. They collect bottles all over the world. That limits the impact of shipping. It also means a stroller is made from natural and recycled sources nearby. And it stimulates local economies!

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
Walking around in the Amsterdam Vondelpark

Greentom on the beach
Nature in nature

My Review

I decided to go for the 2-in-1 edition that most parents choose. Meaning; you use it flat for the first few months and once your child can sit up straight, you can change it into a reversible. Besides being sustainable, I think one of the best features is that it’s one of the lightest strollers out there at the moment. Light as a feather! You can easily turn it around with one hand or lift it when you need grab a few stairs. It also folds in real easy, so no need to stress when you need to get into your car. The wheels are not filled with air like most strollers so you need to be a little careful when you ride over a sidewalk, simply lift it up a little to avoid a full stop.

combi3-white-9
The 3 options to convert the Greentom

Greentom
Always the eyecatcher

I’ve seriously gotten more comments on my GreenTom than on my outfits

The stroller also comes with several extra’s that you can buy online. I also got myself the rain cover (need to have one if you live in The Netherlands!), and a car seat adapter. The organic fabrics come in many different colors so you can certainly find your favorite. I picked mint green and I get so many positive comments out on the street! It’s a true eye catcher and a great conversation maker, which then results in me talking about the beauty of this product. And guess what, it’s very affordable too. You pay around 1200 euro for a stroller nowadays but the Greentom 2-in-1 is available from just €499,-! That includes the carrycot and reversible.

The GreenTom is one of those brands that is making planet earth a little better and I’m totally for it.

For more info and online shop visit their Website.

Love,

Elke

Must have for traveling parents » JetKids BedBox by Stokke

Traveling with kids can be challenging. The traveling parent knows that when you’re kid is happy, you are happy. Thank god for the JetKids BedBox that I tested on my latest flight.

Family Time
When I was 11 years old, my sister moved to Germany and she has been living there for over 25 years. I lived in London for over seven years, traveled the world since then, and my parents stay in Bali every winter. Because of our exploring nature, we are not always together during the holidays. And since I have become a mum, the need to see each other is getting bigger. This year is no different, I’m traveling to Asia during the holiday season, so it was time for a quick pre- Christmas visit to my sisters house in Germany, and I took my little boy and my mum along to surprise them.

Freiburg Germany
Flying to Freiburg, Germany

Flying home for Christmas

Christmas hug
Surprise! My son and niece are reunited just in time for Christmas

The JetKids by Stokke Collection is specially designed so that parents can travel smarter with their children.

Hassle Free Travel
My sis lives near The Black Forest in the south of Germany, so it’s only a short flight to Basel. However, if you are traveling with a young child, any minute in the plane has to be accounted for. I bring books, drawing materials, toys and food, but kids are kids, and you should make them as comfortable as you can, to survive a hassle free travel experience. If you are a parent, you must have heard of Stokke, famous for their innovating and award winning kids chair. Since of May 2018, they own 51% of JetKids. This new collaboration between the 2 Norwegian brands means that they can offer even better solutions in the ever growing market of family travel.

JetKids Stokke
Stokke famous for their kids chair, owns 51% of JetKids since May 2018

Traveling with JetKids

Business Class Treatment for your child
And aren’t they lucky, these kids nowadays! You can turn their economy seat into a business class experience by transforming their chair into a bed or seat extender in no time. I brought my JetKids BedBox for the first time, and even though it was a short flight, I can totally see the advantages. This is how it works;

  1. Pack your JetKids Bedbox with your child’s favourite items. Don’t forget to include the mattress that comes along with this version. (I was pleasantly surprised how much actually fit into the JetKids Bedbox!)
  2. When you arrive in the plane, store the JetKids Bedbox under the seat in front of you. Once the seatbelt signs are off, it’s easier to install!
  3. Click off the cover by pressing the sides, turn it around and attach again. You can adjust the height to your need.
  4. Use the long strap and attach it to your child’s seat (there is a bar under the seat where you can wrap the strap around. And attach it back to the JetKids.
  5. Slide out the extension towards the seat your child will be sitting on.
  6. Roll out the mattress onto the seat and attach the sides.
  7. Your little one is ready to chill!

JetKids Bedbox
Chillin’ to the max

JetKids by Stokke

The Jetkids BedBox comes in three new colours; Pink Lemonade, Green Aurora en Blue Sky. You can pimp your JetKids suitcase with the stickers that are included. Pretty cool!

JetKids BedBox

Jetkids Bedbox or Ridebox?
Is there no need for a bed during your trip, or is the BedBox not (yet) allowed by the airline company or is your child just too big for the bed? Then choose the JetKids by Stokke RideBox. This new case offers the same features as the BedBox, except for the parts to make a bed. It is therefore possible to ride on the suitcase and it can easily be pulled by both child and parents by the adjustable strap. The BedBox and RideBox both have wheels, and are suitable to ride from the age of 3 up until 7 years old.

There remains just one question.. when will Stokke create a BedBox for adults? Sincerely, a jealous mum 😉

JetKids by Stokke is available ONLINE.

Love,

Elke

Bali With Kids » 5 Activities to do with your Family

Last year Cheryl flew to Bali with her family & friends. Two years ago, her group of 38 friends (that also have kids) decided to get together at a destination outside Europe. The destination was quickly picked decision: Bali. Back in Holland, with a bag full of tips Cheryl will share her best tips on what to do in Bali with kids.

Go Surfing

If your kids are older and love the ocean: go surfing. Ok, I must admit, this was actually a dream come true for myself (and I persuaded my daughter of twelve, to come along). I always wanted to learn how to ride the waves. In the South of Bali there are many surf schools to choose from. I found my surf teacher, as cheeky as it sounds, on TripAdvisor. For a two-hour private lesson, you’ll pay around 450K IRP(which is about €27,-) per person.  In these two hours, I’ve learned to stand on the board while surfing. (worth a shoulder brush right?)

Bali with kids

Chasing Waterfalls

Kids love visiting waterfalls during holiday’s. I’ve did some research before we left and decided to go for 2 waterfalls:

  • The Sekumpul waterfall is the most breathtaking waterfall I’ve ever seen. Mind you, this waterfall is not suitable for little children (babies or toddlers) because of the difficult hike to get there. But my O my, what a view! Be prepared for this trail. Make sure you have good shoes and enough water for the kids! Costs: 20.000 IRP p/p.
  • At the Aling-Aling waterfalls are some thrilling activities for adults and older children (+8). Cliff jumping (5 and 10 meters) and there are also natural water slides. After I tried the 12-meter-high waterslide, my little daredevil also took her chance for this once in a life time experience! For this waterfall we had to pay 125K IRP p/p because there are many guides who help with the activities and watch the children.


The impressive Sekumpul waterfall with the kids

Waterbom Park

Personally, I’m not a waterpark kind of girl. But this one you have to try if you go to Bali with kids. This Waterbom Park happens to be number one in Asia and number three in the world! It had 22 rides and attractions and you can even relax, eat or just go crazy on all the rides. For the adrenaline junkies; go to the Climax. Stand in a small chamber before the trap door opens, and you plummet 16 meters down a near vertical drop. Fly through the rest of the ride at 70kph, and don’t forget to breathe again when you get to the end. For more info and video’s check www.facebook.com/Waterbom


WaterBom park (source)

Visit Menjangan Island

Even though you have some coral bleaching here too, it is still a fantastic place to dive or snorkel! The ridges and slopes are super dramatic, and the fish are beautiful! You can also spot the occasional reef shark or sea turtle if you’re lucky, so all in one: a great and exiting place for kids. Also, you can actually find Nemo. Snorkling here will cost around 15,- per person.

Bali with kids
Hey there little buddy!

Spot Some MANTA’s (or not)

We traveled to Nusa Lembongan to spot some manta’s. Most of time they are easy to spot (they said). Unfortunately, not always. It’s difficult to predict their presence but in July, August and September is the best time to spot some manta’s. If you book a day-boat and can’t spot the manta’s: don’t be sad: there are also lots of nice snorkling places with nice coral around the area. Don’t miss out the spot where the Giant Trevally Fish swim. It might be bit scary at first, because these fish can become 1.7 meters long! I was assured that they are not dangerous so took a dive with my little daredevils! 200K IRP (per person).

Bali with Kids
Bali with kids and friends? A vacation not to forget!

Don’t forget to love, enjoy and treasure every moment with your loved ones. After all, LIFE IS A PARTY, also when you have kids! Are you visiting Bali for the first time? Find out what to expect and what you should know before heading to the island of gods.

Love,

Cheryl

*Cheryl is a mother of 2, with a love for travel. Having 2 kids didn’t stop her from traveling the world and she has become somewhat of an expert when it comes to traveling with children. 

Tried & Tested » Nemo, Science Museum in Amsterdam

Did you know there are so many cool things to do in Amsterdam if you have kids? One of those is Nemo, the science Museum. I had a look and checked out why it’s so popular.

When you enter the museum, the first thing you see is what my niece calls the “soap bubble area“. You can create giant soap bubbles and some are even big enough to stand in. There are several floors in Nemo and perhaps it’s best to describe them one by one.

The “Fenomena“ area is full with science we encounter every day like sound and movement. This is also the floor that is most suitable for smaller children. They can learn here how the reflection of sound waves works, why some objects that look the same but are made of an other material, move faster then others and what happends when you mix different colours of light. Here they also have the 15 minute Chain Reaction that they show several times a day. This is great fun for young and old and is moderated in dutch and english.

At the “Technium“ there is a very big machine with coloured balls that show you how a logistic process can work. You can set off an order and see how the balls move around the machine and in the end reach their intended destination. In this area you can also visit the world of shapes, huge or tiny chairs to sit on, a big wheel that slowly turns and in which you can create beautiful patterns and a room where you can trick your brain, because small kids turn into giants and the other way around…my nieces favourite!

NEMO;
Is it real or just an illusion?

At the “Elementa“ you can find the exhibition: Life in the Universe. They have this huge screen where you can play a videogame and protect the earth from dangers from outta space such as comets, meteorites and Solar Wind. The kids take a shield and hold them above their heads and the movement is shown on the screen. Kids from every age love this exhibition. They also offer 30 min. science workshops, that starts at 11:00 during the weekends, and during the week at 12:30pm. Kids from age 6 can attent. Unfortunately we ran out of time and didn’t have time for it.

NEMO; Leven in het heelal

NEMO; Living in space

At the top floor there is, among other things, an exhibition about puberty. For my 7 year old niece this wasn’t so interesting, although the french-kiss-machine caught her eye! haha. Most of the experiments and tests on this floor are for older kids. The same applies to the journey through the mind on the same floor. Very interesting though!

NEMO; Erfgoedwand
At the top floor you can also find objects from the past and future

NEMO; Exterieur
Nemo is located near the central station and surrounded by water

Food and Drink
Nemo has a very nice restaurant with a large outdoor terrace which is also accessible without a museum ticket. Totally worth a visit, because it has a nice view over Amsterdam. There is an outdoor exhibition called “energetica“ with wind- and water-sculptures, pretty cool! There are also 2 smaller cafés inside the museum where you can get drinks or enjoy a Dutch “tosti”. Prices in the restaurant are above average but still ok. 

Nemo Rooftop

Good to Know

  • There are free lockers which are video surveillance, so you can leave your stroller or buggy there if you do not want to take it into the museum.
  • If you can, go on Saturdays rather then on a Sunday, it is a little less busy. Rush hour is between 12 and 2 pm because the early birds and the people that arrive a little later, overlap. Most people stay around 3-4 hours in the museum, so manage your time carefully.
  • It’s not encouraged, but you can bring your own food into the museum. Great for people with allergies!
  • Prizes: kids up to 3 years old are free!  From 3+ years, you pay €16,50,-

Verdict:

Nemo rocks. It’s so cool that they’ve designed a massive museum, just for children and their families. More importantly, Nemo triggers, teaches and inspire, all at the same time. All in all, I had a great day and spent 3 hours in the museum,  but I could have easily stayed much longer. 

Nemo, Science Museum
Oosterdok 2, Amsterdam
Website

Love,

Elke

*All photo’s are shot by DigiDaan

7 unmissable travel gadgets for kids

When you’re traveling with children you might wonder which gadgets cannot be missed whilst travelling. Which gadgets you need also depends on the age of your children. A baby has different needs than a teenager obviously. I have created a list of the 7 most important travel gadgets for kids that will make traveling as comfortable as possible. 

1. Ipad (or tablet)
A well-deserved first place because where would we be without the iPad? It doesn’t matter which model you take with you, just download a few nice movies and apps and your traveling is a success. A tip for parents: download a few series from Netflix in advance so you and hubby can watch your favorite serie while the kids are asleep.

2. Bluetooth headset
A headphone specially designed for children, often have smaller ear cups and are available in the most beautiful and funky colors. Headphones for children are limited to prevent hearing damage so pay attention when using the maximum volume for a long time. Our children (12 and 8) have a JBL T450BT and are very satisfied with it!

3. Powerbanks
Traveling without electronic equipment is almost unthinkable nowadays. Mobile phones, iPads, Bluetooth headset, camera’s and I can go on and on. During a long flight, power banks are a must have. Nothing is more annoying when the iPad drops dead during a fun movie for the children. Be prepared.

4. Kelty-Child-Carrier
If you are an adventurous traveler and you have kids, you’re going to love the Kelty Child Carrier. This way you and your child can enjoy the view plus you can store your belongings, food and water inside the attached backpack. The 5-point child harness has a convenient child leg-secure system and is comfortable. It was voted as one of the best hiking essentials if you’re traveling with kids and can carry a child up to 18kg! Get it here.


The best travel gadget for kids?

5. Go Pro
Ok, this gadget is also fun for parents. The Go Pro is an action camera and is especially suitable for filming during extreme conditions. Adventurous journeys must be recorded right?  The Go Pro is especially recommended with kids because you can also take the camera into the sea and the pool. Children can play with it for hours and you end up beautiful images and movies. There are also special accessories available for children that make filming even easier (the chest harness for example).

6. Jetkids Bedbox
OH MY … if only I had done this discovery sooner … What an innovative solution for sleeping on the plane. I’ve had some night flights with my kids let me tell you! Picture this: four chairs where two children sleep across their two parents (not very comfortable). This invention is a gift from heaven for parents with young children. The time of giving up your own personal space on the plane is a thing of the past!

7. MIFI
Are you a family with teenagers? Then you understand how important WIFI is. There is no existence without WIFI for teenagers (this is an outright disaster). A MIFI can be a godsend! Buy a SIM card with data at your destination and you have Wi-Fi throughout. Your teenager will be so so happy with you! We have the Mifi of TP-link M7350. Works perfectly!

TIP: Although we understand that kids like to spend time on their iPads and other electronic devices, it’s of course much more important to enjoy new adventures and cultures. After all, to travel is to live.

Love,

Cheryl

*Cheryl is a mother of 2, with a love for travel. Having 2 kids didn’t stop her from traveling the world and she has become somewhat of an expert when it comes to traveling with children. She will write for Wander-Lust once a month where she will provide you with the best traveling tips for and with children! Find out more on her blog: travellingwithkids.nl

Wander-Lust now has a TRAVELING WITH KIDS section, check it out!

7 x Child & Baby Friendly Cafés in Amsterdam West

My baby boy is almost 9 months old now and I am getting more and more used to the life as a working mom. I used to work a lot from home but after a couple of months, I felt comfortable enough to spend my afternoon’s at some of Amsterdam’s best mummy’s & daddy’s hang-outs. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy finding those places where you can drink a great cup of coffee and fit your stroller/buggy inside without annoying everyone. Because I live in Amsterdam New West, I have selected my favourite child & baby friendly cafés in Amsterdam West.

Wijs West, Bilderdijkstraat 62
This is a children’s shop and café all in one. Great for parents and even better for kids because there is a corner where they can safely play. The shop offers a range of beautiful children and baby clothes of mostly organic cotton. It’s also a great shop for buying toys, cutlery and gifts. The store also offers a hairdresser especially for kids. The café offers smoothies, salads or healthy sandwiches, also for the little ones. Across the street you can find the little brother store of OnWijs West. Here you can go all out on toys and more clothes for kids from 4 years and older. www.wijswest.nl

wijswest-amsterdam
Enough space to eat, play and shop. Source

Boezemvriend, Overtoom 205
This is still one of my favourite hang-outs. I have brought many of my mummy friends here for a coffee or lunch. It’s great because it’s so relaxed and especially great for new mums who are still a bit conscious of breastfeeding in public. Here it’s more than normal because Boezemvriend is actually a breast consultancy, shop and café in one. The shop is beautiful and the lunch is really good! (try the humus and grilled veggie sandwich). There are toys for little ones and many baby chairs that they also sell in the store. Another great thing is the spacious and beautiful set-up baby change area which you can find upstairs. I can sit here for hours! Find out more about Boezemvriend here.

Boezemvriend Cafe Amsterdam

Café Belcampo, Hannie Dankbaarpassage 10 (De Hallen)
This one has been around since the popular De Hallen opened in Amsterdam West but until you are a parent, you probably didn’t know that this is a great stopover if you have a child. It’s a library cafe with all sorts of customers. Freelancers with laptops, granny’s, mum’s and dad’s, they all come here to drink coffee or have lunch. There are plenty of baby chairs and you can even order a baby cappuccino. www.cafebelcampo.nl

child & baby friendly Cafés
A save corner to play at Belcampo

Mini Chi Chi Club, Spaardammerstraat 43
Located near the Westerpark, this awesome spot was founded by mother of two, Sabine and is now run by Yil and her sister in law Nadya. Together they offers activities for children; moments4kids. What you can do at the Mini Chi Chi Club? So much! It’s a place to shop, eat, play and practise. This place even offers yoga, music and even massages for children and babies. The café offers warm and cold drinks, sweets and tasty tosti’s. It’s also worth checking out the webshop for high quality musthaves. www.minichichi.com

mini-chi-chi-club
Enough space for playing at the Mini Chi Chi Club! Source

Suikertantes Cafe, Postjeskade 200
They call themselves the nicest children’s café in Amsterdam and I think they’re not far off. It’s especially good for children who like to join in activities like making pizza’s, cupcakes and cookies. There is even an outside play area! Breakfast and lunch is simpel but nice and you there is no need to reserve a table for making cookies. You just pay and create from as little as 2 euro. The venue can also be hired for birthdays or parties. They are open on Fri to Sunday and on Wednesday from 10am till 5pm. They only accept cash or phone payments. www.suikertantescafe.nl

Van de Buurt, Gerard Callenburgstraat 1
Tucked away in Amsterdam New West, you need to know this place! It’s not designed for kids or babies but it’s extremely spacious and fits many people including kids. With 8 children chairs and a place for nappy changing, it’s very kids proof. www.vandebuurt.nl

van-de-buurt
Van de Buurt also has a nice outside terrace. Source

Marvin, Kinkerstraat 66
Not your typical café  but still worth mentioning. It’s mainly used as an event location so it’s more than perfect for babyshowers and children’s birthday’s. Marvin can accommodate up to 25 people and has a catering facility on site so that’s super handy! It’s situated on the Kinkerstraat which is a buzzing area full of funky hotspots so great to combine this place with a afternoon stroll with your baby. www.marvin.amsterdam

cafe Marvin
Perfect for a party!

Plenty of options for child & baby friendly cafés in Amsterdam West right? Next time, I will tackle the East-side, until then…enjoy!

Love,

Elke

7 tips to make traveling with your kids as relaxed as possible

Do you have children? Then you might recognise yourself in this daunting thought; traveling with your kids. This fear may even lead to the decision of not traveling long distance at all. I have some good news for you, it’s not that hard! It’s even possible to sit down relax and enjoy the ride… These are 7 useful tips to make travelling with kids as relaxed as possible.

1. You will survive
Inhale and take a deep breathe. Accept the fact that travelling with your kids won’t always go as planned. It might be an overwhelming thought, but the most important thing to remember is: this will end. You will get to the destination. You will survive!

2. Well begun is half done
Do yourself (and others!) a favor and prepare yourself and your kids for the trip. If your children are old enough, the best thing to do is inform them about the travelling time and what the day will look like. For example: ask them what they need during the 12-hour flight. My kids love their Donald Duck magazines or books they can read. Bring some snacks, travel games and their favorite cuddly toy. The little screens in the chairs are a godsend for those traveling with small children, and for those sitting around them. If you have your own technology, bring it!

Traveling with kids
Keep them busy

3. Pack smart
In 2014, we traveled through Asia with our family (2 adults, 2 kids, age 6 & 10) with only two backpacks! We seemed to forget that almost everything can be bought abroad. It might not be ‘your’ favorite brand but you’ll manage. When your kids are old and strong enough; let them carry their own stuff (it will make them think twice about all those clothing and footwear they want to pack! My tip for smart & easy packing: packing cubes. Travel packing cubes are the ultimate luggage organizers and maximize the space in your bag.

wander-lust-3
Traveling with your kids to Thailand? No problem!

Be flexible on your trip, because a child’s mood and interests can change constantly.

4. Track your kids
It’s THE worst horror scenario for parents: your child lost. From our own experience, we can strongly advise: never assume a friend or relative is watching over your kid. We did this once and lost our daughter for about 30 minutes at the airport (not cool, and thankfully she was OK). A simple solution is to write your own name and phone number on their arm. That way, if they are found, you can be contacted easily. It’s also possible to invest in a GPS tracking device. These days you cannot be careful enough and this way you might feel a lot more at ease.

5. Necessary preps
Some country’s really need some good preparation, for both pre- and during the journey. Does your baby need a visa? Should you bring medication, e.g. malaria tablets or get vaccinations? You don’t want to get caught out last minute. Check your local health authority for all the info.

6. Be flexible and go with the flow
Of course, the goal of your travel is to create memories. Keep in mind that children need time to burn off energy and enjoy the company of other kids of their own age. Parents also need quiet periods to rest and some other adult-company as well. Be flexible on your trip, because a child’s mood and interests can change constantly. (but i’m sure you knew that!) If you and your kids find something else you’d rather do, be spontaneous and go with the flow. No stress means happy holidays!

7. Keep calm and enjoy
Go easy on your kids and leave the over-disciplining at home. This doesn’t mean you should let your kids run wild (this will not be appreciated by the people around you) but if you’re working on something with your child and it comes up on the plane, well you’re probably best to not use this as a learning experience. Keeping the kids calm is more valuable than using every teachable moment. Those around you will appreciate it. This certainly made my traveling experience a lot more relaxing!

Hope these tips help!

Love,

Cheryl

*Cheryl is a mother of 2, with a love for travel. Having 2 kids didn’t stop her from traveling the world and she has become somewhat of an expert when it comes to traveling with children. She will write for Wander-Lust once a month where she will provide you with the best traveling tips for and with children! Find out more on her blog: travellingwithkids.extrememedia.nl