We spent most of last term looking forward to them, the first weeks enjoying them and now it seems many of you are counting down the however many weeks until school starts back as kids start to winge, bicker and fight amongst themselves. I initially thought to put together a nice little list of “things to do” but it quickly turned into a series of mini blog posts to share a few local(ish) ideas that I enjoy and have either taken students to as part of the Kensington English Holiday Camps or have taken friends’ children to for our special days out together; and some of my favourite books and activities to keep your little learners busy, and you sane!
Today I will be sharing some outdoor activities for the whole family.
We all know that fresh air is good for us both physically and mentally. In fact, my favourite thing to do to unwind from a busy day of teaching is to take Kensington English’s favourite teaching assistant, Milo, out for a walk and/or swim. Seems like he enjoys it too! Although, the #showerofshame wasn’t too popular afterwards:
Everybody has their favourite parks and spots along Lac Léman to swim but these are a few little gems that you may not have heard of, including an Alice in Wonderland themed walk:
Coop Rando Famille “Alice par Monts et Merveilles” across Switzerland
Coop Rando Famille is a series of 10 free walks, ideal for families with children between 4 and 12 years old, across French and German-speaking Switzerland.
The Cheshire Cat and The White Rabbit will accompany you on each walk, a multi-step circuit varying in distance and difficulty, to an end point where you have to save Alice from a rather precarious situation.
Dates and Locations: https://www.coop-randofamille.ch/ (Available in French and German).
Pick Your Own Fruit and Veg, Chez Perroud, Attalens FR
Our lovely downstairs neighbours often take their little boy berry picking Chez Perroud and always bring us back some wonderful, fresh fruit. We have been enjoying them with some crumbled meringues or made into tarts and sorbets.
Berry picking season is already over due to the glorious weather we have been having but there’s still plenty of other fruit and veg to go and pick. Be sure to check back soon to read the Cookery Post for some recipes.
Details and Availability: https://selffruitsperroud.ch/
AstroPléiades, Les Pléiades VD
For an astronomical day out, take the train up to Les Pléiades from Blonay and follow the trail to learn all about stars, seasons and our solar system. There are a few barbeque spots but only a few are under the shade so do take a hat and lots of water on a hot day!
You can extend your learning by following the parcours Claude Nicollier back down to Blonay and looking out for the different didactic stones (1h30-2h).
Free tours in French during the months of July and August:
La Ferme du Château, St Barthélemy VD
I used to love Odds Farm in the UK and was desperately looking for a similar place to take the children to as part of my Harvest themed Holiday Camp in October 2016. I fell upon La Ferme du Château almost by accident and have been recommending it ever since!
It is a working farm about 5 minutes from Echallens, linked to the Therapy Centre for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. The farm and its bakery are staffed by residents as part of their Rehabilitation Programme under the supervision of a carer.
The animal park includes cows, pigs, goats, chickens, deer, lamas… and there is a lovely little courtyard with a park and other toys available for inside and out.
Summer Hours: Sunday-Thursday from 08h30 to 17h30 (closed Fri and Sat)
Winter Hours: Monday-Friday from 08h30 to 17h00 (closed weekends)
As a family, we love to explore new places but it’s been so hot that our hikes are often planned to end with a dip. This loisirs.ch post has a few lovely spots for swimming in natural pools and lakes. I’m yet to try these ones so please do let me know your thoughts: https://www.loisirs.ch/dossiers/21019/baignades-sauvages
Stay safe with sun cream, bug spray, swimming aids and awareness of secondary drowning:
The next instalment in this mini blog post series will detail some exciting Indoor Activities to keep your little learners busy and you sane. Like the Kensington English Facebook page and sign up to the mailing list at the top of this page to get it hot off the proverbial press!