Knock On Wood – wood crafting for kids and families

Knock On Wood – wood crafting for kids and families

What kinds of activities do you choose for your kids? Have you ever thought of creative courses? What I am going to talk about now is not bricolage, painting, or drama. We will talk about a badass version of creative activity. The one that involves cool machines and thinking out of the box. It is called Knock On Wood, and, you guessed it, it is all about wood crafting.

If you need some convincing as to why we need to take careful care of our kids’ inborn creative thinking, I am sending you to the best ever TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson “Do SChools kill creativity”. It is the most viewed TED talk of all time! While watching, you will laugh and learn simultaneously and find out that “creativity now is as important in education as literacy”.

Ok, to the point.

THE CRAFT FACTORY

The Craft Factory, Knock On Wood’s home is a fascinating place. Located in an industrial building, big and light, with a lovely patio, it looks like a place full of opportunities. And it is! The most exciting room is just behind the red door. You’ll find some real, big, noisy machinery that helps achieve the projects born in kids’ (and adults’) imagination.

The place is a creative paradise and can open a whole new world to young participants. Woodcrafting is great for them. Practising eye-hand coordination to the point they understand that the tool they’re holding is the extension of their hand. There is lots of fine and gross motor skills involved and the discovery that they can create. Some kids tend to go towards more engineering projects; others will discover the artistic side of wood-crafting. Manual abilities, making with our hands, is even more critical now, in the digital era. Using our hands, seeing them create objects is beneficial for the mind and self-confidence, too.

WOOD-CRAFTING COURSE

During the first lessons, they will get to know the tools, the wood, the rules by completing simple projects. They can swipe through the menu to get inspired or come with their own ideas. Their lovely teacher, Lalo, will be there to assist, teach, and help.

The best part of the game? Each project will need some problem solving, and not every project will finish as they imagined – and this is beautiful! Not receiving the expected result is not a failure. It’s not an embarrassment. It’s discovering what or how not to do next time. What we commonly call a mistake can be a learning curve. And, as Sir Ken Robinson says, “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original”.

WHO IS IT FOR

How old do kids need to be to use saws and other cutting devices?

The general rule is that they can start at the age of 8, but parents’ presence is advised and alone when they are 10 yo. I love this idea and think this is a great activity that families can do together. Just imagine working on a project together: doing decorations, toys, or a cat house. Every family member will have a role to play. It is such an excellent opportunity to see our children in action and to bond.

It is an excellent activity for the whole family and older children. It is a fantastic opportunity for teens to put away screens and make-create.

CAMPS

Knock On Wood also offers camps during school holidays. I especially loved how teen camps were created. Zsuzsanna, the founder of Knock on Wood, went through the teen phase with her kids already, so she knows how hard it is to get them up when school is off. She knew that for them, the camp could not start early in the morning. She knows how to talk to them and get them motivated. The same goes for the teachers of younger kids – they are gentle, fun and incredibly patient.

Just careful: these camps get booked out really fast.

The advantage of enrolling with Knock On Wood is their space, machines and materials. Once your child or family is ready for a bigger or more complex project, Knock On Wood has everything you need – tools, materials, and know-how.

I encourage you to try it out, bond, create and see the creative spark in your child’s eye.

PRACTICAL INFO:

Courses for children: 8+ with an accompanying adult, 10+ autonomously.

Knock On Wood
La Voie Creuse 16,
1202 Geneva.

Find out more about Knock On Wood on their website, Instagram, Facebook.

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored article.

Here at Parentville, we always tell you if content is a result of a paid collaboration. But rest assured, all the information Parentville publishes, paid or not, goes through a careful selection.

September 2021 – family friendly events in Geneva

September 2021 – family friendly events in Geneva

Summer holidays are over but fun for families is in Geneva the whole year. September is the start of new programs in theatres,  outdoors festivals that want to benefit from nice weather till it lasts, and weekend events to give us a breath from all the same weekdays. Not to mention that many hurry before the You-Know-What will dominate again, and deprive us of social lives.

There is a lot going on! Without any further philosophical entries, let me get you straight to the fun ahead.

EVENTS/FESTIVALS

JARDINS DES NATIONS
till 2024, le Grand-Saconnex

Before the construction works will kick in to fill this terrain with more office buildings, good people decided to use this space as a new place for us – people living in Geneva and around. The gardens are located behind the massive ILO building – previously inaccessible to the wide public but from now till 2024 it is ours. What can we do there? We can by fruit and veg growing on the site, we can also work in the gardens. They will organize workshops, cultural events, and other activities. The highlight: enter the Syllepse to enjoy a immersive 360° show presenting works of prestigious artists.

The site is accessible to wheelchair users (aces and restrooms).

There is a buvette on the site, places for picnics, restrooms and all you may need. Check their program regurarly. More info at jardin-des-nations.ch.

Festival La Batie
3-19 September, Various locations

It’s back! La Batie always marks the rentree with fabulous cultural events. This year, I found 6 shows designed to entertain kids, and some others that can work for families – for example music and dance at Col de la Faucille (hiking with cultural dressing). The tickets for each event disappear fast, so don’t wait too long: check the program, book your tickets and enjoy.

The events take place in various locations. Some of them are perfectlya dapted to people with all types of reduced mobility, others make work only for some, some won’t work at all. You can consult the details of some places here, for others please contact La Batie directly.

Festival Chouette Nature
4-5 September, Presinge

This event is designed especially for children. It is an open air festival and it is free. Around 30 associations and organizations are brought together to offer fun activities for kids of all ages. It is also a possibility to eat on the site and to try local bio products from the Domaine de l’Abbaye.

You can consult detailed program of activities here.

ALTERNATIBA
30 August – 4 September, Bastions

Alternatiba is a yearly festival all about sustainability and actions that can save the planet. The main part is in Bastions with stands run by various associations and organizations divided by themes (kids/education is one of them). There are also movie screenings, conferences, and workshops.

Accessible for wheelchair users but no properly adapted restroom on site, also coblestone pavements.

You can see the full program here.

COOL KIDS CORNER
8-22 September, Herstreet (Eaux-Vives)

A pop-up store like no other! Accompanied by events, activities, and workshops. These 15 days of family fun is organized by My Little Room in collaboration with Geneva Discovery. They invited many others to provide yoga classes, cooking workshops, floral decorations activities. MotherStories will be there with a talk on post partum. There is something for all ages and tastes.

Herstreet is accessible to wheelchair users but without an adapted toilet.

You can find out more at mylittleroom.ch.

STREET FOOD FESTIVAL
16-19 September, Jardin Anglais

Street Food Festival is back, and again in the best possible location: Jardin Anglais. Lots of fabulous food, bars, grass for picnicing. Lots of place for kids to run around, pram friendly. What to ask more? It’s a great occasion to make children try new foods, reward with a great dessert, and meet up with friends.

This year of course, some measures are introduced: Covid Certificate necessary to enter (for adults), only cashless payments accepted, but masks not necessary once inside.

This event is fully wheelchair friendly (access and toilets).

More info: gvastreetfoodfest.ch

Firefly Festival
17-18 September, Pregny-Chambesy

This is brand new! The first edition of this music festival looks great! Apart from the concerts, activities for kids are in program such as circus arts by Cirquenbelle. It will also be an opportunity to check out Bubble Ethic and their durable creations, eat, drink and have a wonderful time.

The festival is accessible for wheelchair users.

You can check out more about it and book your tickets by clicking this link.

LES JOURNEES DU SOLEIL
18-19 September, Vernier

The sun will be in the spotlight at École des Ranches on the weekend of September, 18. The event was initiated by the City of Vernier with the collaboration of Industrial Services (SIG) and the association Terragir. “The aim is to change attitudes about renewable energies and promote solar energy,” explains Mathias Buschbeck, mayor of Vernier.

The program of the event is rich and there is something for all ages (5+). So what’s in the program? Demonstration of solar ovens, manufacture of solar cars. observation of the sun with astronomical glasses, conferences on solar and photovoltaic panels, storytelling moments. You can check what is happening when at what time here.

PRM accesisbility: the school yard and the building are accessible, adapted toilets included.

Fête de l’Abeille et du Terroir
25 September, Lancy

The aim of this event is to promote sustainable development. It is free and fun for all ages (I mean kids and adults). Fête de l’Abeille makes it possible to discover and promote products from our region. Through various playful stands run by different producers or associations, the visitors have the opportunity to taste and buy quality products. There will be many workshops and activities, an animal farm, and last but not least lots to learn about bees.

Check it out here: lancy.ch.

La Marche d’Amal
28 September, Geneva

Do you remember the giant marionnetes that walked through the streets of Geneva 3 years ago? Now it’s time for Amal to take a stroll in our city. This 3.5-meter-tall girl, built by the prestigious Handspring Puppet Company and presented by the Good Chance Company (who worked a lot in the migrant camps in Calais), started an 8000 km walk in July. She embarked from the Turkish-Syrian border and is headed to the UK. She aims to draw the world’s attention to the plight of unaccompanied refugee children or  those separated from their families. With the pandemic on everyone’s mind, Amal reminds us that the migration crisis continues, emphasizing the immense potential of the refugees rather than their desperate conditions.
Let’s all come and give her a warm welcome!

THEATRES

AM STRAM GRAM

The special attention this month goes to Geneva’s theather for children – AMSTRAMGRAM. Why? Beacuse they are trying their best to make an offer that will also please those who don’t speak French. There are four shows this season that do not require mastering French language. It’s Runa in December, Wouah in December, Woodbeat in January, and Voler Dans Les Plumes in February. There will be many other shows on scenes before those dates of course but those do require understanding French words.

The season at Am Stram Gram starts in October but now is a good time to check out the detailed program and once the season start book tickets or get the annual pass. Their website is great: you can sort shows by age and dates.

You can also see the show “Babarman – Mon cirque pour un royaume” prepared for the festival La Batie in collaboration with AmStramGram.

The theater is fully accessible for people with reduced mobility.

Go to Am Stram Gram’s website: amstramgram.ch.

SIMPLY THEATRE

We will have to wait till November for the new productions at englishspeaker’s favorite theater in Versoix. This year: Twelth Night, A Christmas Carol, and Peter Pan. Till then, check out their program of kids theater courses.You can find all information here.

The theatre is accessible for wheelchair users (not sure about the toilets).

Theatre des Marionnettes

As all other theaters, this one will also start its shows in October. But before that they have other things for you: Amal’s walk (read above), and october camp – I encourage you to start booking october camps now.

MAZE Cafés, Geneva – parent review

MAZE Cafés, Geneva – parent review

This article was written by Genna Meredith, Parentville’s reader and friend. She was asked to check out a new restaurant for families in Geneva and did a great job! Let’s welcome Genna to Parentville’s writing parents group!

Imagine a café where kids can run and be loud, and you (the parent or caregiver) can enjoy a cupcake and glass of champagne. Sounds blissful, right? In fact, 8 years ago, after the birth of my first child, Olga and I decided we wanted to open a café for parents ourselves. As two new mums, we were dying for a place designed for us—a sort of guilt-free Starbucks.

We researched, looked for venues, thought about menus…we even wrote a business plan. Yet, the more we investigated it, the more we realised we were way out of our depth. It ended up being a long-lost dream.

Then, this year, I heard about MAZE cafés in Geneva. A café designed by parentsfor parents.

Could this be the one we’d been waiting for?

THE REVELATION

MAZE opened right after the first lockdown but, like so many places, had to close as Geneva hit the second wave. It sounded magical. It also sounded too good to be true. Kids can play as long as they like? It works for babies as well as bigger kids? They sell wine? They have food that even the kids can nibble? And it’s in central Geneva?

THE FIRST IMPRESSION

On reopening, I finally got the chance to visit. My 3-month-old and I went along with a group of other mums. I parked my pram outside and waltzed into this luxurious café. Oh dear, I thought… it’s beautiful in here, quite posh; what if my kid makes a mess? I shouldn’t have worried, though, because Paola and Markus, the owners, are parents and are totally aware that kids can make a mess (and lots of noise) and welcome it all.

Paola and Markus accommodated our relentless questions: Can I breastfeed here? Do you have a nappy changing area? Do you have oat milk? Can we have another six coffees? They are obviously parents as well as business owners. 

I’ve been a regular since then, so let me take you through the essentials:

maze cafe parentville

PLAY

MAZE has various play areas, all of which can be accessed for an entry fee of 12 CHF for kids age 18 months and above (with no time limit). For younger crawling babies, it costs 6 CHF to access the downstairs part only. You can also buy entries in bulk.

Upstairs there’s a soft play area in relaxing pastel colours (such a nice change from bright primary colours!) with a slide and ball pit. I managed to squeeze in to rescue one of my little ones (don’t tell anyone, but I secretly loved it too!).

Downstairs there’s a house/castle with three ‘rooms’ full of toys for all ages and tastes. Puzzles, books, trains, dolls, a play kitchen, pretend tools. Even my 8-year-old (who begged to go after seeing the photos) had a blast with all the toys.

If you venture around the corner, there’s a large basketball/soccer court. Your kids can run around and burn off all that energy they got after eating one of MAZE’s yummy cupcakes*.

(*see more about those cupcakes below)

maze cafe parentville geneva

FOOD & DRINK

The menu is tasty and straightforward. By that, I mean simple enough that even the pickiest kids will find something they want to eat (think croissants, avocado toast, hot dogs, a dippy egg and soldiers). On the off chance that you go without kids, you will feel just as comfortable as if you were in a fancy café in Paris thanks to the luxurious aesthetic. The menu also changes depending on the season (think pumpkin soup in Autumn).

They also serve desserts such as delicious cupcakes (which are kid and parent tested!) biscuits, donuts and more.

I decided to treat myself to a glass of wine (ok, three) when I went for the second time, but they also have coffee, juice, tea, gin. Whatever floats your boat at 10am (or whatever time you go!)

THE PARENTING BASICS

There’s only one bathroom, not abnormal for a café. It has a separate toilet and sink (meaning you can wash your kids’ grubby hands whilst someone else uses the facilities). There’s also a changing mat for babies.

You can leave your stroller/pram outside in a small, covered area. There’s room for about three or four, depending on the size of your baby transport. I took mine inside with me when my baby was still tiny, and Paola made sure we had enough room.

There’s one Stokke (posh!) highchair. As far as I can tell, there is only one, so you might have to fight for it, but there may be more hidden away; I’ve just never seen kids sit still long enough to sit in one!

MAZE is closed on Mondays, because it is open on SUNDAYS!

LITTLE EXTRAS

MAZE is open late (7pm), so you can hire a babysitter and enjoy a glass of something. You can even rent out MAYE for your kid’s birthday party. There are three packages, up to 3 hours and up to 20 kids, with no limit on adults (and they do all the food and provide a party host).

More info on the party packages: https://www.mazecafes.com/birthdays#packages

…and they also sell helium balloons – lots of them! https://www.mazecafes.com/balloons

PRACTICAL INFO

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9h00 – 19h00

Visit MAZE CAFES Website

Find MAZE CAFES on Instagram

Phone: +41 78 819 86 68

Address: Rue du 31 Décembre 8, 1207 Genève

Wheelchair access: the entry and the terrace are accessible. There is no adapted restroom and the place is small, so can be hard for a wheelchair user to move around. The downstairs playground is not accessible, the upstairs playground is not accessible but visible from the tables.

Parking: 

Parking is notoriously hard on and around Rue du 31 Décembre (or anywhere in central Geneva), so I suggest making your way via tram, bus, bike, walking – whatever is easiest for you and avoids the never-ending search for parking. Plus, then you can stay as long as you like!

RELATED ARTICLES:

ICE CREAMS HUNT IN CAROUGE

ICE CREAMS HUNT IN CAROUGE

Urban Events Geneva prepared a treasure hunt that makes for a perfect summer activity with kids! If you have kids 4 years old or more that like ice creams, this is an adventure for you (well, for them)! It’s all about solving puzzles, looking for a lost treasure while eating more ice creams than parents would normally allow. Doesn’t it seem perfect?

“Chasse aux Glasse” urban game combines solving puzzles and completing tasks while tasting tasting frozen delicacies from local “gelateries”.

HOW?

Once you book your ticket (10 chf per person) you’ll know the exact location in Carouge. You’ll then meet the Urban Events Geneva animator who will explain the story and the task ahead. They will also equip you little and big adventurers with the “tools” necessary for the mission.

Long story short, Carmen Rouge (C. Rouge, you see?) was a renown pirate whose ship wrecked somewhere near Carouge while crossing the Arve. The treasure the ship was carrying got lost, but the map remains. As well as the ice cream recipes!

Equipped with the map, puzzles booklet, and some other “tools”, you will wander the streets of Carouge getting closer and closer to the lost treasure.

During the journey you will learn some fun facts about Carouge and recive refreshing treats from the ice cream shops in town. The adventure kit contains  special ice creams tickets – 2 per person. You can use these tickets in brilliant places with amazing ice creams!

THE PUZZLES

The game was designed for kids 6 and older but younger adventurers can come as well. They will just need a bit more help from adults to finish the quest. I found it really fun to do puzzles together with my 8 year old – it was a great parent-kid activity.

The difficulty level of the game is perfect: there are very easy puzzles, two rather hard ones, and the rest is somewhere in the middle. It makes the game fun, challenging, but not overwhelming.

Let me add the obvious: the ice creams make for a perfect motivator for kids to solve everything!

We loved this game and can’t wait to try other missions that Urban Events Geneva proposes!

PRACTICAL INFO

Urban Events Geneva: urban-events.ch

Price:
10 CHF per person
8 CHF annulation insurance

Location: Carouge.

Wheelchair accessibility:

The game itself is doable in a wheelchair, although some curbs may be challenging. The ice-creams shops involved in the mission are not accessible. The wheelchair accessible toilets are not available in the area.

Summer recipes by Oksana

Summer recipes by Oksana

Oksana is back on Parentville with her lovely recipes. Her idea is to provide you with easy, healthy and yummy recipes to prepare with kids. Enjoy!

Summertime is berries time! Whether you purchase them in a supermarket, at a farmer’s market or go pick them yourself – they are the summer fruit to be eaten without limits! If you want to pick berries at the farm yourself, check out this article on Parentville. (check them out here).

The variety of desserts using fresh strawberries & raspberries is endless, from baked muffins to raw cheesecakes. On a hot summer day, however, a light & cold dessert is a real treat. Why not try these super simple, no-baking-involved delicacies: Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Bark & Raspberry Cranachan.

These desserts will delight the whole family using fresh local ingredients, especially as the Raspberry Cranachan can easily be turned into grown-ups only treat.

STRAWBERRY FROZEN YOGURT BARK

This is a very easy recipe that contains only two ingredients: yoghurt & berries. The result is a healthy frozen snack that is so refreshing on hot days & is excellent for sharing.

Firstly, choose your favourite yoghurt, be it Greek, lactose-free, non-dairy or flavoured like vanilla, or even chocolate.

The best berries to use are strawberries or raspberries. If using raspberries, just add the whole berries. The strawberries, however, need to be chopped & added to the yoghurt. For the fussy eaters who don’t like the bits of berries, blend the yoghurt with berries for a creamy smooth texture that actually looks like strawberry white chocolate!

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1 (parent).

Line a flat dish with sides with parchment paper and spread evenly with a layer of yoghurt. Make sure the layer isn’t too thin as it breaks easily. Chop the strawberries.

Step 2 (child).

Add the chopped strawberries. Nuts can add an extra crunch. 

Step 3 (parent).

Put the dish into the freezer until the mixture is frozen. Freeze for a few hours until completely frozen. Ours took about 4 hours for an 8″ square pan, but of course, it will depend on the size of your pan. Remove the frozen yoghurt from the pan and peel off the parchment paper. Break into pieces.

Step 4 (child).

Peel the bark off the parchment paper & break it into pieces. Enjoy!

RASPBERRY CRANACHAN

This is actually a traditional Scottish dessert of fresh raspberries folded into cream mixed with honey & oats. It is sure to be a hit with the little ones and adults, especially in the traditional recipe. A splash of whisky is added to the cream, perfect for a nightcap.
It keeps well in the fridge for one day & is really a satisfying snack or a dessert.

Ingredients for 4 servings
2 tbsp medium oats (or gluten-free oats)
300g fresh raspberries
350 g double cream like Gruyere
2tbsp runny honey
4 small glasses to serve

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1 (adult)
Add oats into a small pan & cook on medium heat for about 4 minutes, stirring to make sure the oats don’t turn too brown & burn. Set aside to cool.

Step 2 (adult)
Prepare the electric mixer for whipping the cream

Step 3 (child & parent)
Whip the cream until it just set. Add honey& oats & stir well.

Step 4 (child)
Take half off the raspberries & mash them using the folk.

Step 5 (child & parent)
Fill each serving glass with mashed raspberries, followed by cream & topped with fresh raspberries.

Find more inspirational easy healthy recipes selected by Oksana Petersen head over to Nutrition Right.

Gifts for teachers, Geneva.

Gifts for teachers, Geneva.

Giving gifts at the end of the year is not, to my knowledge, a tradition in Switzerland. Most of the Swiss parents I know, don’t practice it. If they decide to offer a thank you/goodbye something for the teacher, it is usually a kid’s drawing or cookies. But. I don’t know every Swiss parent in Geneva and have seen people coming with flowers or small gift to jardin d’enfants, creche, and the school.

It simply means that if you or your child would like to reward or thank their teacher, the possibility is coming soon!  With the heat that is in the forecast for the next week, nobody will be offended if your child’s gift for the teacher is bought rather than home-made.

This brings us to the selection of locally made/locally designed products, perfect for the end of the school year.

 

Click on the picture to find out more about each idea.

 

groseille teacher gift

Flower notebooks with matching mirrors by Groseille.

Delicious and beautiful cupcakes and cookies from Royaume Melazic! are a perfect thank you gift for teachers, nannies and other people who take care and entertain kids throughout the year!

At Zhandumaya.com, we offer 100% natural Geneva cosmetics and zero waste accessories.

color ta vie teachers gift

How about giving the teachers something fun! Color Ta Vie is a great place to release all the tension from the whole year by splashing paint and jumping around. Check it out here.

sensas geneve

Is your child’s teacher an adventurer? Then they may like to start the vacation by experiencing this crazy place! It’s a kind of a escape game with lots of weird and cool challenges on the way. Check it out here.

teachers gift

Teachers get plenty of flowers, cookies, cosmetics, and kids’ artwork. They surely appreciate these gifts. But maybe, what they need is a day at a SPA or a relaxing massage? Plenty of places in Geneva offer SPA gift cards.

living geneva

A beautiful notebook by Livingeneva is a great gift! It is beautiful, practical, and  can become a lovely summer diary. You can see it closely here.

The too beautiful candles at L’Atelier de Yaël.

The perfect nod to offer teachers before leaving to bask in the sun!

Summer in Geneva with kids

Summer in Geneva with kids

How long are you planning to stay in Geneva with the kids this summer? No matter if it’s one week, eight, or just a few weekends the Staycation Guide by Parentville is here to save the day again!

Since its first edition in 2017, it has been one of the best-received summer helpers for both local families and those who come here for holidays.

Staycation Guide – what’s that?

Staycation Guide is a downloadable PDF with over 100 outings and activities propositions for families. There are simple outings, awesome adventures, places in the canton and beyond. There is something for every age and every budget.

Each outing proposition consists of a description, links, practical info, and an interactive map. Everything to make planning easy. The Staycation Guide saves your time. All you need to do is choose an outing and go. Parentville does all the research for you, chooses the best places, and voila!

Get your Guide

Click on the button below and become the expert on family-friendly destinations in and around Geneva! The price is not fixed – you decide how much you can pay. By purchasing the Guide you will help Parentville exist and continue the work. Payments can be done with Paypal or Twint. 

TESTIMONIALS

Here’s what has been told about the previous editions of the Staycation Guide (2017, 2018):

 

Thank you very much for all these research you are doing and gently sharing for the kiddos!

I love to test new places and try to talk about it a little bit in a far less efficient way you are! Just wanted to say that it is really appreciated! Congrats!

Julie

THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!! I would like to nominate you for the Nobel Peace Prize because of the anxiety you have resolved in my household for this summer. This is clearly a contribution towards world peace. Congratulations!!!
PP

29/06/2020

This year, for the reasons that I don’t need to spell out, we are staycationing. Initially, I planned to make some serious day trips out of the canton, but having flicked through this guide I think we have more than enough to do right on our doorstep! This will be a useful guide for the summer and beyond and I look forward to exploring these hidden gems as well as testing out some of the more well known attractions in the area. Thank you Parentville for making this mum’s planning a LOT easier!

Zoe

S.

29/06/2020

Not just for the summer: keep the guide for fun with kids all year long – well almost. Due to Covid19, there is a heavy focus on the outdoors, so some options might not work in winter. A great mix of options for the many staycations necessary this summer.

Barabara

S.

Global Happiness in Geneva

Global Happiness in Geneva

Quartier Libre by SIG has become a crucial place on Geneva’s map. Each exhibition they organize is fantastic, but the current one, Global Happiness, is incredibly brilliant, heart touching and thought-provoking.

Global Happiness is a very family-friendly exhibition! Adults will learn a lot, children will have fun. We tested it for you, and all agree to make it #parentvillerecommended outing. 

Brought to Geneva by Helvetas.

HAPPY

Are you happy? What makes you happy? What do we truly need to be happy? And more importantly, what do we need to achieve global happiness? Will a peaceful and safe world improve the wellbeing of everyone, and how?

It sure is not about the money in a general sense. Of course, some level of financial freedom is crucial to cover the basic needs. And funds are needed to make changes all around the world.

SDG

Do you know Sustainable Development Goals elaborated by the UN? Clean water for everyone, education, healthcare, no poverty, end of hunger. Clearly, a lot has changed for the last 30 years, but the world needs to get to these goals faster if we want a happy planet.

This is what’s this exhibition is about.

FUN

It is highly interactive and playful. In the beginning, take the packet of seeds and start testing your happiness at the designated stations. It will record your answers and analyze your happiness level at the end.

You can also take a picture with a happy background or leave a note. Using stickers, you can show what you are willing to cut from your life to bring the world closer to global happiness. There are interactive animations, buttons to press, wheels to turn. Lots to see, listen to and read.

The exhibition looks lovely! It has been prepared in a way that lets visitors benefit a lot from it if they don’t have a lot of time and provides tons of insight for those who want to know more about the topic.

TIMELY

I cannot imagine a better exhibition after a year and a half of a global crisis.

This exhibition is a must-see. It is highly educational for people of all ages. Last year and a half showed how tightly connected we are with people on the other side of the globe. We now know more than ever what we need to be happy: freedom, community, safety, healthcare, social security, our families (in random order).

NOW YOU

Did I convince you to visit The Global Happiness exhibition? When you do, I would love to know your thoughts about it and whether you feel affected by its content.

PRACTICAL INFO

Pont de la Machine 1
1204 Geneva
From 6 May till 17 October
Open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Free entry
Wheelchair accessible
French/English/German

 

Merre et Terre is coming to Geneva! Finally.

Merre et Terre is coming to Geneva! Finally.

Merre et Terre is a shop but also so much more than a shop. You can go there to buy lots of  baby-related articles, all organic and planet-friendly. But you can also go for advice, go there to meet other moms. Walk in to be listened, not judged, to join a community, make friends. It is one of these uplifting and heartwarming places that are difficult to describe with words. It is located in Grens (Nyon) but Marianne, the founder, is opening another tsore in Geneva soon!

If I knew about Mere et Terre 9 years ago (as in if my French was good enough to google it) I would probably use cloth diapers, and get solutions for many other problems. Learn from my mistakes, don;t hesitate to go there!

The story

When Marianne gave birth to her first child in 2005, she wanted to use cloth diapers but couldn’t find any in the region. Her midwife was kind enough to give her a couple she found through other families. When two years later, she was awaiting her second baby she tried to find cloth diapers again. And she did, in Lausanne. The lady selling these diapers made Marianne the ambassador of her shop, and this is how it all started.

A couple of leaflets later, parents in the Versoix region were inquiring about the cloth diapers. Marianne saw the interest, the niche and started thinking that there are more interested parents out there for sure.

As she was walking to the birthing house la Grange Rouge in Grens, where she planned to give birth, she saw an empty, free place. Long story short, she gave birth in December and in March this free place became Merre et Terre HQ.

For yeras she has been asked to open also in Geneva and after searching for a perfect location, this dream of many families will come true! Mere et Terre is coming to Geneva: September 2021, Quartier des Grottes!

 

What’s inside

Inside, first of all, you will always find an experienced, gentle and supportive staff. No matter what product you’re looking for they will adapt the offer to your needs. For example not everyone is comfortable with the same baby carrier, not all babies are the same and need different things to reach the same goal (eg babies with reflux can benefit from a different cot setup). I could write for many pages about the products this shop has. 

The important thing to know is that Marianne makes sure the products are eco – from materials, through production, to the end result. Not all bamboo diapers are truly eco – depends on the factory, she tells me. I was impressed with how much thought and work she gives to each product on the shelve: from clothes to cosmetics, from diapers to cariers. 

Cloth diapers are more and more popular but it is still difficult to find answers to all questions, which makes many parents abandon the idea and stick to disposable nappies. If you have questions, if you hesitate, go and ask Marianne or one of her employees (Marianne speaks English). They will tell you all about it, and answer the most troubling questions.

Mere et Terre Geneva

Merre et Terre in Geneva will offer the same asortment of products, the same heartwarming atmoshephere, with a goal to create a community, to build a village parents needs. The staff in the Geneva shop will speak English (yey for acknowledging the international community!).

The shop will occupy half of the premises, while the other part will be used for all kinds of activities. There will be baby yoga by an amazing maternity coach, Debbie. The association Doula Geneve will rent it twice a week to organize meetings for women to talk about different topics (pregnancy, birth, menstruation – and I hope soon also menopause). If you’re up for prenatal hypnose, this will be your place. But if you’re looking more for baby activities, then sign classes should meet your needs. Of course, let’s not forget the babywearing courses. I’m sure there will be more!

Doesn’t it already look like a perfect place?

HELP

Merre et Terre needs a tiny bit of help to assure the smooth opening in September 2021 in Geneva. Their shop in Grens is a proof that this kind of place is appreciated by parents, that mothers need it, and that it offers products and services not easily accessible elsewhere.

For this purpose, there is a crowdunding campaign, with cool perks for you and your baby. Please,  check out the crowfunding website, and consider helping this wonderful project. We need this in Geneva badly!

Click here:

Mère et Terre

May 2021 in Geneva for families

May 2021 in Geneva for families

Spring is here, and as every year (well, second year in a row) places have reopened. There’s more to do outdoors, indoors, and some small festivals, events, and workshops are popping up. A May 2021 round up for families in Geneva is here!

You can always find more family-friendly events, workshops, guided tours, and parenting meet ups in Parentville’s events calendar – IT’S HERE and it is slowly filling up with fun stuff!

Before you jump up please remember that the virus is real and still here. Just because some things are allowed, it doesn’t mean we have to do them. Pick up your autotests from the pharmacy and use them before meeting with others. All that to say: stay  safe and enjoy life.

So, are there really things going on? Yes!

Ready? Here we go!

MOTHERS DAY
May 8&9

Some fun events organized for the occasion:

  • treasure hunt & a creative workshop in Satigny: check here.
  • a guided tour from l’Ile Rousseau to the Old Town following the traces of women important in Geneva’s history. More details here.
  • Winegrower ride in a grape picker trailer, treasure hunt and wine tasting in Soral. You can find out all about it here.
  • “The Mysterious City” treasure hunt in the Old Town of Geneva for families. Check it out here.

FETE DE LA DANSE
MAY 5-9
Geneva City and other municipalities

The Fête de la Danse was redesigned to meet the current safety measures. In 2021, the stages will be replaced by exhibitions in the public space, the lessons turn into a marathon and the festive moments are displayed in the form of a fresco made with your photos! Many fun events around the canton for big and small.

Detailed info here.

 

Global Happiness
From May 6 till October 17
Quartier Libre du SIG

The new Helvetas exhibition follows in the footsteps of happiness, here in Switzerland but also around the world. This exhibition explores an essential question: what makes us happy? Is happiness the same here as it is on the other side of the world? And what does “lasting happiness” look like? Is this happiness that contributes to personal, collective and global well-being and that does not harm the environment, others, or future generations? “GLOBAL HAPPINESS” questions our way of life and prompts us to think about what we really need to be happy.

The Helvetas traveling exhibition is to be discovered at the Espace Quartier Libre SIG in Geneva (Pont de la Machine) from May 6 to October 17, 2021 from 10:00 to 17:00. More info: bonheurglobal.ch

Marché de printemps
May 8
Vernier Village

Curious gardener? Passionate about the vegetable garden? At the spring market of the City of Vernier, you  will be able to find vegetable pieces of rare and endangered varieties. This annual meeting also offers a large assortment of seeds marketed under the ProSpecieRaraara label. To transport your seed pieces, remember to bring a suitable container: bag, cardboard tray, etc.

In addition to various craft stands and activities, sheep will be present to the delight of young and old. Finally, to quench your thirst and awaken your taste buds, plates with flavors of ProSpecieRara products will be prepared for your pleasure from 11:30 am.

Purchasing here is a good deed: a quarter of the sales will be donated to the ProSpecieRara foundation, while the charitable association Lumière pour Haïti will receive 50% of the sale of the geraniums.

More info here.

Ecoute voir
Museum of the History of Science
May 12 2021 – February 27 2022

A new exhibition at the Museum of the History of Science: “Listen to see”. From ear to sound, everything is a matter of waves. Sound is a wave that loves matter. You hear it through your ears but you can also sometimes see it. This physical phenomenon so common in our daily lives is however full of curiosities and mysteries. Come and discover them at the Museum of the History of Science!
Through fun interactive devices,  it offers the visitors to get to know sound better, to discover intriguing ancient scientific instruments and above all to have a good time playing with science.

More about it: here.

Créamobile
PLACE DE LA NAVIGATION, WEDNESDAYS (4-6 p.m.)

The mobile and free Créateliers workshop is back on the Place de la Navigation, every Wednesday until the October holidays! A great opportunity for children and adults to let their imaginations run wild and meet other residents of the neighborhood. No reservation is required.

THEATRE DES MARIONETTES
Ultra Saucisse
May 5-16

The theater show about bullying at schools. It is a story of Charlie, an 8-year-old chipolata, whose quiet and peaceful existence is turned upside down by an unfortunate incident during the school run, is revealed. From then on, Charlie becomes the sufferer – pain of his comrades, whose mockery and abuse are knives stuck in his heart. Nor his parents or his teachers notice his ordeal. Will Charlie manage to extricate herself from the cold room of isolation and humiliation?

On the website the show appears as complete (only 50 spectators are allowed to watch the show) but call them, because places free up every now and then. More info here.

Spectacle de magie
May 14&15
Lancy

“Geneva Magic Cabaret”: two evenings dedicated to magic with the presence of 5 magicians. Come and dream for an evening!
Tickets cost 20 CHF for adults and 10 CHF for children. You can book your place by following this link.

JOURNÉE INTERNATIONALE DES MUSÉES
MAY 16

Plenty of museums, libraries and other cultural institutions in Geneva will celebrate the International Day of the Museums on May 16 2021. It’s a great occasion to visit either favorite museums, or discover new places! Many activities for kids and families will be organized (but for now the link sends to a random page, so best is to check with each institutions). In many places bookings are required and other safety measures against the virus-we-will-not-name are in place.

For more info click here.

Fete du Jardin
Lancy
May 29

It takes place in the heart of Navazza-Oltramare Park, around the communal vegetable garden and under a large tent housing stands selling orderly, seeds and aromatic herbs, as well as fresh produce. Gardening enthusiasts will teach you tips and tricks for gardening on your balcony, window sill or in the ground through thematic workshops (registration required for workshops, places limited). Children will be able to get their hands on the earth or listen to tales around the garden … And for gourmets, food trucks will join in the fun!

All details are on this website.

OTHER EXHIBITIONS:

Espace des Inventions

A new children-friendly exhibition about earthquakes. As always in this museum, very interactive, hands-on, and educational. You can find out all about it here.

Berges de Vessy – Immersion

The Immersions exhibition offers an intimate dive into the amazing aquatic world. Focusing on it’s role, meaning, past and future. Some workshops for ages 6+ and 10+ are accompanying this exhibition. All about it here.

MAMCO – INVENTORY

A new exhibition based on the inventory (done during the lockdown closures). It’s very diverse, and can amuze kids or at least move their imagination. Don’t miss the maze in the wagon and the dark cave you can enter. Mamco also organizes workshops and guided tours for kids. Find out more about it here.

MAH – WALK ON THE WATER

What if  works of art and historical objects were placed in a surrounding that would give them ore context? Paintings with farm animals on wooden sheds, paintings with food in a restaurant-like setting, historical furniture displayed as in a furniture store, or sculptures taking showes? This is how MAH created this exhibition. Entry is free, no registration required. You can learn more about it here.