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 whine, 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!
The sun'll come out tomorrow… So far, we’ve had the most amazing weather this summer. It almost makes you forget what that wet substance that occasionally drops from the sky actually is.
Today I will be sharing a few ideas of indoor activities for when it does make an appearance that can either take you out of the house or can keep your little learners amused off-screen.
Aquatis Aquarium-Vivarium, Lausanne
A multi-floored aquarium and vivarium just off the motorway in Lausanne, Aquatis offers a superb and informative day out. The tour is divided up into zones and natural environments presenting Fresh Water across the ages and from all over the world. The decoration was great - the girls and I particularly enjoyed watching reflections of the ceiling installations, especially in the Asia section. The videos were a little tricky to understand when other groups were passing by but the interactive screens were really interesting. They opened up much discussion about extinction and what we can do to help our planet.
The real highlight of our visit as part of the Summer 2018 Holiday Camp was the tunnel. We spent ages totally in awe. However, the dinosaur/crocodile/beast just around the corner, going up the steps was not quite as popular… We had to scuttle past when he was looking the other way!
Adults CHF 29.- Concessions CHF 27.- Children 5-15 CHF 19.-
Look out for Happy Monday Deals for entry at CHF 19.- (excluding School Holidays and Bank Holidays)
Musée de Zoologie, Palais de Rumine, Lausanne
This museum, along with others in the same Palais de Rumine complex, is a fascinating centre of discovery. There are permanent features but the temporary exhibits are definitely the main attraction. The themes change somewhat regularly so be sure to look up what’s on via their website.
NB the signs are in French so if you’re not a total polyglot, be sure to download a translation app to make the most of your visit.
Fun Planet / JayLand
… because sometimes your little learners just want to let loose and run around like loonies, somewhere other than your living room!
JayLand, with centres in Lausanne and Gland, is a great Soft Play spot for younger kids and their adults, whilst Fun Planet is for your big kids with activities such as bowling, minigolf, karting and arcade games. They pretty much do what they say on the tin but do check opening times and possible age restrictions on their respective websites:
Lego. The Danish toy company whose
little plastic blocks allow little learners, and the not so little learners, to imagine and create a range of environments and stories. Lego-Mania Challenges is a fun way to extend building and learning and can include one, or many, of the following:
□ Against the Clock: your little learners have a pile of bricks and have to make a chosen something within a time frame eg a working lorry in 60 seconds
□ Paperbag: your little learners have a pile of bricks and have to make something interesting inside a paperbag ie a blind build
□ Touch the sky: your little learners have a pile of bricks and have to make the tallest structure they can. Bonus points if it is able to stay upright by itself.
You could also give them problems to solve requiring an added level of planning and engineering, such as:
□ You are a little lego man. You have crashed your car and the engine has completely blown. Fortunately, the big humans had a birthday party yesterday so there are lots of spare parts, ribbons, wrapping paper, tape and balloons to use in order to repair your car and get it moving again by itself.
Please post a picture in the comments section to let me know how you get on!
Scavenger Hunt to a new Board Game
As a big kid still, I love board games. Mr Kensington English and I played a game of Monopoly Bristol Edition last week and racing around the board brought back so many wonderful memories of living there. Recently, I met a wonderful lady named Karine who is just as big a fan as I. So much so, she helps run a toy shop in Lausanne: Jouets Davidson.
To prolong the fun, prepare a set of clues for your little learners to then be dotted around the house. These ones from WildFlower Blog are great. Give them the first clue and set them off to find a brand new board game, hidden in spot 10. Ready, steady, go for hours of fun and laughter.
The next instalment in this mini blog post series will detail some Good Reads 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!