Europe beaches + English for kiddo
She turns 5 in April and asked to go to the beach for her birthday and I thought it would be nice if we could go somewhere where there might be kids that also speak English. She has been quite a trooper about all the adjustments from moving to a country with none of her stuff or friends where she doesn't speak the language so I was hoping this would be a nice treat for her. (she is also getting a baby brother in January so that is another adjustment for her)
Any suggestions on where to go? I was looking at Malta but I don't know much about it. I could take her to England but the beach would be rather cold. She wants to make sand castles.
It can be a bit challenging to learn a new language, but she is at a great age for it & she'll adapt in no time. I see it constantly here in Spain where we have been wintering for the last 4 winters & my daughter has attended the local school since we bean our world tour when she was 5.
Spain is a great idea because there are lots of Brits, but a LOT depends on exactly where you are. Sounds like you might want the built up package tour kinds of locations. This restaurant & beach is in an area where lots of Brits take a holiday. http://www.soultravelers3.com/2009/07/best-beach-restaurants-on-costa-del-sol-puerto-marina-.html
We love this beach resort in Barcelona that is near a beach, has 3 pools (indoor & out), zoo & kids club plus more:
There always seem to be lots of kids from UK, Ireland, Scotland etc & lots of other countries & they have lots of fun activities for the kids.
Maybe try to set up play dates for her too for 1 on 1 time with German speaking playmates, so she can build relationships with locals. I'm always amazed at how well kids can play together even without a common language. It would be good to maybe get her some private lessons too which will speed her progress (look for a teen or grandmother type to help for little or no cost). The quicker she is fluent, the happier she will be & kids this age can do that in a few short months.
I am always doing that
which I can not do,
in order that
I may learn how to do it.
Spain is a good idea, DH and I've been there and we loved it (pre-kids) and we are definitely going to England to visit a good friend of ours before he moves back to New Zealand. Her birthday coincides with Easter holiday at school so I will have to see about prices and such before deciding what to do when.
My daughter is in the local Swiss school and is learning Swiss German, unfortunately she is lonely now. The move was a surprise so I couldn't do a lot to prepare her language-wise, in fact I barely got the house packed up in time. She will adapt eventually, it just makes me sad to see her so lonely. Part of it was my fault, being huge and pregnant I couldn't do much to facilitate friendships. Now that I am no longer huge or pregnant, I am trying to do more.
It sounds as though she needs to get her confidence up by going somewhere where she feels comfortable to start up conversations with other kids, in her own language, which would, I reckon, be a tourist destination.
Why not take a holiday to England? Cornwall's beaches are nice. Rather cold, as you say, but nice all the same... Or do one of those very British holidays, like Butlins or Pontins? (Probably hell on earth for you, but she'd get plenty of opportunity to mix with other kids...)
Or do the Disneyland thing? Guaranteed warmth. Beaches. Everyone speaks English. And she will have something to talk to her peers about when she gets back to school...
Your daughter is fortunate to have a mum and dad who clearly care for her. She is also now fortunate to have a little sibling who will become her best friend if you talk enough that way, and who she can devote herself to. Sure the baby will not *play* with her for quite some time, but she can read or show it books, give cuddles, bring wipes or whatever you need - she can get busy in loving this little one and will find herself not so lonely.
Make sure you snuggle up with her on the couch every day and enjoy stories together and she will feel your love oozing out - this will make her secure and other troubles will fade, if not disappear completely.
When I had little ones circumstances dictated that we were home all week on our own. Once a week a couple of older kids were dropped off at my place and I looked after them, but apart from that my family was my life and my kids were each others' only friends. Deciding to view this restriction as an opportunity to bond our family meant it became both bearable and valuable. To this day I think it's one of the reasons we were able to travel for fifteen months in very close quarters with kids ranging in age from toddler to teen.
Don't ignore your daughter's wails about loneliness, but proactively seek to encourage positive thinking about your special family time.
If you want to, that is. I didn't mean to sound so bossy!
(Oh, and if you decide to go to England, remember to check if the beach is sandy or pebbly - coming from NZ we had never encountered a pebbly beach like Brighton! The kids made towers instead of sandcastles!!)
We never did make it to the beach because my daughter elected to have a big party instead. I am actually here to get some information for a quick trip to Italy before school starts.
The first year here was quite rough but we are settling in. I think.
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