Launch Your Child’s Future with TechSpark Academy

*Sponsored Post

As a parent I found it challenging to set a balance over many things in my children’s daily life. One huge challenge is their screen time. On one hand I’d like to unplug them from screens and digital life, and instead enjoy the physical life of their childhood. On the other hand, I feel the pressure to give them the necessary tools for their future life, and one is undoubtedly computer skill.

In the latter case, TechSpark Academy offers exactly that, and more. They go far beyond teaching word processors and spreadsheets. Through the themes that they run in their courses they teach children how to work with professional-grade “off-the-shelf” programs such as Digital Photography and Film or 3D printing, as well as with the basic of robotics and mobile app programming. Instead of playing games or using apps, their students create ones. Their newest offer is Cyber Awareness: Hacking and Defense, which in my opinion, has became more needed than ever before.

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Summer Holiday Activities in Lausanne and Around (2017)

ouchy-summer

Easter holiday has passed, kids are back to school, it’s time to think of school summer holiday! :)

For those not yet familiar with the school here, school kids in Switzerland have holidays often, approximately every 6 weeks (find the list here). This may create problems to many parents, especially ones who are employed. Chatting around, I found that most employed couple rely on help from grandparents or families (who sometimes fly from another side of the planet). Or hire a temporary nanny when they can afford one. Or they take turns taking off days from their office. But considering the active life of kids, even the stay-at-home parents need programs to keep those little ones and teens happily occupied.

Below I complied different kinds of activities and camps that are offered during the school holidays in Lausanne and surrounding areas. Please click the links for more info.

As a general rule, the winter holiday after Christmas and the Relâches (February) are considered ski holiday thus most of the sport camps offered concentrated into this. For other holidays, activities are more varied.


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What to do with Kids: Easter 2017

This is already the last week before Easter holiday for children in Vaud public schools! I have blogged about the available holiday camps here, and below you can find more Easter-related events and activities:

  • Easter egg hunt in Flon, Saturday 8 April 2017 – with make up artist, mini train and egg decorating workshop. Free and without registration (info)
  • Easter Bunny at Micasa Etoy Saturday 8 April 2017 – with make up artist and craft workshop. Free (info)
  • Marché de Pâques in Nyon, 8-9 April 2017 (info)
  • Pâkomuzé offers many programs during the Easter weekend. Registration for most activities started 28 March 2017 (info)
  • Easter egg hunt at Swiss Vapeur Parc in Le Bouveret (Canton Valais), all day during Easter holiday 14-23 April 2017 (info)
  • Coop offers a children workshop to decorate Easter Bunnies on 12 April 2017 (register asap as space is limited)

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Swiss Museum Pass – Our Experience with Breakdown of Real Cost

Swiss Museum of Transport – Lucerne

Our family loves museums. We love them so much that we regularly spend our holidays in big cities, so that we could visit museums. Last year, as we only had one big holiday in Asia, and would spend the other school holidays inside la Suisse, we decided to try the Swiss Museum Pass.

We bought a family Museum Pass through the Swiss Train, directly at the station. As I was a holder of CFF Half-Card, we had a special price of chf 269 (instead of the normal price chf 288).

Now, a year later, our museum pass has expired. I am writing this post to let you know how we had used it and what we felt about it.

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Where to go with children on a Sunday

It’s probably safe to say that many of us who were used to shops open on Sunday were shocked to find “nothing is open on Sunday in Switzerland”. But now that I know so much more, I can prove that it is not true. Almost all shops and supermarkets are closed but there are a lot of things that one can do as a family. So many in fact that I spent 3 days compiling them into this post! We just have to adopt some Swiss-ness, by enjoying outdoor more. After all, we are living in such a beautiful country! But worry not, I included options for those rainy windy Sundays you’d rather be indoor.

OUTDOOR

Vallee de la Jeunesse

Vallee de la Jeunesse is a huge playground for all ages. There is a massive green area for picnic and running around. There are all kinds of slides, climbing and balancing structures, a skate park, and a huge water fountain among other things. The hilly landscape is popular for skateboarders.

The children’s science museum Espace des inventions is located here and open on Sundays. We are fans of this museum.

Ouchy

We all know Ouchy is strong magnet for locals as well as tourists. Beside the view and the abundance of restaurants, there are many green spots and playgrounds for families to relax and do a picnic. Our favorite spot is the grassy area close to the Thai Pagoda.

The playground and Thai pagoda in Ouchy

The park of the Olympic Museum is great to stroll with children. All area are accessible for strollers and wheelchairs. Mine could never resist to race on the 100m athletic track. They often have free temporary exhibition and their TOM’s café Sunday brunch is very popular.

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Espace des inventions – T’es sûr-e ? + Les portes de la fantaisie

On the last day of our annual Museum Pass validity, we squeezed in Espace des inventions. It then became the only one we visited twice within one year. And I think it is worth at least one visit per new temporary exhibition. We always had fun there! As usual, when we were there, there were 2 temporary exhibitions running. I begin with the one on the upper level…

…..

T’es sûr-e ?

T’es sûr-e ? is a science exhibition, it will run until 15 July 2018. The target audience are children from 7y, which I felt to be correct, though I think older ones (9-12y) may find it even more interesting due to the science.

As always in this museum, everything was hands-on. The “experiment stations” were superbly done. Each came with a scientific question and a set of answers. We were supposed to select our answer (or best bet) and test whether it was correct by doing an experiment.

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Easter School Holiday Activities in Lausanne and Around (2017)

easterhols

I usually posted this after the February school holiday, but many popular workshops get easily full so I hope publishing this earlier will help with your planning! :) I will update this post when I have new info to add!

For those not yet familiar with this subject, public schools in Switzerland have holidays often, approximately every 6 weeks (find the list here), to the total of 14 weeks per year. This may create complications to many parents, especially ones who are employed. Chatting around, I found that most employed couple rely on help from grandparents or families (who sometimes fly from another side of the planet). Or hire a temporary nanny when they can afford one. Or they take turns taking off days from their office. But considering the active life of kids, even the stay-at-home parents need programs to keep those little ones and teens happily occupied.

Below I complied different kinds of activities and camps that are offered during the school holidays in Lausanne and surrounding areas. Please click the links for more info.

As a general rule, the winter holiday after Christmas and the Relâches (February) are considered ski holiday thus most of the sport camps offered concentrated into this. For other holidays, activities are more varied.


Read more

Child-care Options for School-aged Children

This is an updated post (originally published June 2015). Last update: 13 February 2017.

after-school-drawing

Shortly after I published my blog “Ten Reasons We Love Our First Two Years at Public School“, I received a question from Miya, a local mom.

“How do working moms negotiate the strange hours for 1p and 2p? Here, it’s Mon-Wed mornings, Thursdays till 3 and Fri off. Our local UAPE costs more than if we put our son in private school.”

I have to agree with Miya in regards to expensive child care in Switzerland. A few years ago I was talking to a friend who lived in Germany, I almost fell off my chair when she told me that their day-care cost EUR190 PER MONTH for a 5-day week, while I used to pay CHF125 PER DAY. While the quality of Swiss child care is outstanding, the price IS astronomical.

So how do the employed parents deal with the before-, between- and after-school care when they sent their kids to public school? Here are some possibilities that I gathered from own experience as well as other parents I know.

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Winter with Kids – 2017

snowinthesun

This winter has been dry, then super cold, and now wet! But at least we had snow and can expect more to come! I know that as with everything, some people like winter and some don’t. I happen to be the one who love it, and I think the key is by having quality winter outfit for everyone in the family, so that everyone stays warm and dry. No one will like winter when they feel cold and wet!

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Musée de Zoologie Lausanne : Parasites! L’exposition qui démange

zoologie-parasite3

Another museum we visited during Christmas holiday was the Museum of Zoology (Musée de zoologie) in Riponne-Lausanne. This museum must be the museum we visited the most as they regularly have temporary exhibitions (previous blog posts here). This time the theme was parasite.

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