Friday, February 24, 2017

Mr Mischief

Don't be surprised to find me under, behind or on top of anything! I take on any challenge I see.

I might have hurt my older brother already in my enthousiasm. Sorry it was not intentional, so I claim.

Cupboards and wardrobes are for opening...and emptying ...or I can test if I can fit in it myself

I've taken over the role of street waver at the kitchen window... or at least I use that as an excuse to play with the curtain.

The bath is a source of entertainment, either from outside or from inside the tub. Ha, who thought I'd not be able to get in there, huh?? If you can't find me, you might need to look in the tub now (because once I'm in, I can't get out even though I make good attempts).

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Visiting the Science Museum with a toddler

After our succesful visit to the Tate Modern Museum, I figured another museum visit on Sunday morning would be a good idea. After some googling,  we figured the Natural History Museum with dinosaurs would be a brilliant idea.   We'd spoil Kabouter with a ride on the Tube and then visit a totally different type of museum and show him a real dinosaur.

But when we got out of the metro station and walked to the Natural History Museum, we bumped into a huge line. Gosh, it had only opened and you had to queue zigzag outside.  Jan and I looked at each other, at the children and shook our heads.  Nope, we'd not do that. We only had couple of hours left and if the texts on the ropes were right, people were queuing for 1h30 minutes!? Bloody hell.

I was so relieved we had not told Kabouter we'd go and see dinosaurs. Hey, the biggest European dinosaur exposition is in Brussels and we have not visited it yet, so we'd better work on that this year. We had only told Kabouter we'd visit another museum. I quickly turned around and said "Hey , there's the entrance of the Science Museum, surely they have something cool".   While there also was a constant flow of people entering, you did not have to queue.  Kabouter noticed the posters announcing a robot exposition and got totally exited to go and see Robodog from Paw Patrol. 

We didn't see anywhere immediately that would guide us to kids activities, except for the kids sticker books that were being pushed for sale at the entrance but that didn't guide us through the museum. Not entirely what I had hoped for.
But the museum had plenty of topics that could tickle a child's brain eg the old trains, cars, space discovery...for the evolution of transport and an entire floor on aircraft

The other halls on energy, digital evolution, etc etc were a bit lost on Kabouter. He couldn't get excited by the weird big cabinets that were the "first computers" etc...

He kept vigorously searching for Robodog...but we skipped the paying exposition on roboids. Fortunately the shop had some robots on display so he "found" them and then it was time to return to our hotel and pack up. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Lessons how to crawl on the stairs

Kabouter is teaching his little brother.

Going up like this:

Going down: Not facing forward!!! No no, don't. Turn! Look turn. Then slide down.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Royal London - Chinatown and shopping time

On Saturday we crossed Westminster (along the 'Tower from Cars') and the royal parks where we searched succesfully for squirrels, up to see Buckingham palace (the palace from the queen from Cars).  Although not visible on the pictures, it was snowing big flakes of snow but it melted on the ground. Kabouter tried to touch, taste the snow and wondered why his gloves got so wet?


We took another much needed break to snack and warm up and try some trendy smoothies.

We did some shopping but gosh I find Oxford street stressfully busy and most shops there aren't that different from what we have.  So I was glad we went to have lunch in SOHO, crossed Chinatown and hang out in Jan's old professional area around Leicestar square. 

We got back in the hotel at the end of the afternoon, tired after a day of walking and very glad to just hang out in our room together to play and to dine in the hotel. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Tate modern with a toddler

I've listed in the past that I consider London a museum wonderland. I love the fact how the city center is filled with high quality museums with free access. It is heaven.

It also makes the threshold to visit a museum very low: you can hop in and since you didn't pay any entrance fee it doesn't matter if you stay 3 hours or just 20 minutes to absorb one hall.  When Jan worked at Leicester square in the past and I had to kill time for just a short moment to wait for him, I jumped into the National Gallery just around the corner.

Tate Modern is also a museum I've visited multiple times for short moments while passing by.  This time was no different: we were all frozen so it looked like a good opportunity to go and visit the museum. Yet it was the first time we were visiting with small children.

Most museums nowadays have child activities available, so we simply went to check with the Cole Learning Center inside the Tate Modern Museum.  We promptly received a fun little suitcase filled with seamingly all kinds of random objects, for Kabouter to take along to the 4th floor "Materials" exhibition.  He was so cute running around with his suitcase!   We had some activity cards to trigger him in different rooms. Not all activities were related to the art exposed in the room eg: open up your suitcase, put all the objects around it and put them in pairs where you think they are linked.  In other rooms there was a clear link however: eg try to build with the things in your suitcase a similar tower or do you find a similar material in your suitcase as the art displayed in this room.

Kabouter was too small to follow the instructions dilligently but had fun and also jumped in other rooms without assignment on the floor, often in front of the feet of other people, to open up his suitcase again and show off the weird collection of objects in it. I was happy to take him in the museum and try to tickle his curiosity and senses by the displays around him, even though they were really abstract, also to us.  But I don't think a museum visit is about rationally capturing everything but about emotions, discovery, senses, marvel, ... so I hope we managed to pass a little bit of that to Kabouter.

"the bandits have been trapped" art according to Kabouter

On different floors we had received a few post cards with art and we had to go and seek the image from the card.  The info on the cards was too hard for a toddler but we made up some tiny assignments as copying the pose from the photograph or ...

Finally we went to the drawing bar, which was a rather quiet room with comfy sofa's where Beertje enjoyed some freedom to crawl and explore while Jan and Kabouter were making digital art on the available digital drawing boards.   You could save them and then they showed up on a large dashboard in the room (and they were e-mailed to you). We spent quite some time here.

In the end I have truly enjoyed visiting Tate Modern with the children.