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Old 27.09.2010, 13:26
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What to do with the kids during school holidays

What is there to do with kids when the school is closed for holidays???

OK - here's the situation:

Both parents work
Kids off for 2 weeks
Father cannot get time off as freelancer - and works in Germany
Mother is new to her job and cannot get time off yet

Are there any "day camps" for pre-teens in Switzerland?

Yes - I've searched. No - I've not found much that can help...only options right now are stay at friends or hire a tagsmutter - neither of which is very appealing to us (impose heavily on friends or sit around house with babysitter...)

Thanks for any help or advise.
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Old 27.09.2010, 13:40
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Re: What to do with the kids during school holidays

I could almost swear I saw this same question asked this time last year - and it sticks in my head a bit as this is generally not a "holiday" time in the US (not until November anyhow).


My suggestion would be to ask at the school if they have / know of some program to keep the kids occupied while parents are working during holidays. Even if the school doesn't have something, I'm sure the question has come up before so they probably have suggestions.

Also, check with the parents of the friends of your children, they probably know of some things going on as well.

I just asked my husband, he said that usually his mother was off work at the same time (I think she didn't work 100% anyhow). He also says though that the holiday coincided with "Herbstmesse" here in Basel so they'd go out and spend the day at the fair unless the weather was poor. I know his brother is a few years older than he so likely my brother-in-law had to keep an eye on things and be responsible... if your kids are younger (and closer in age) this may not be such an easy option though.
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Old 27.09.2010, 13:42
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Re: What to do with the kids during school holidays

Probably you are too late now, but I think quite a few schools have week long 'camps' during school holidays. This sort of thing might be worth looking at for the future.
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Old 27.09.2010, 13:59
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Re: What to do with the kids during school holidays

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This sort of thing might be worth looking at for the future.
My canton publishes its school holiday calendar up to 2015 - I imagine most cantons plan ahead too, so if you have a look on your canton's website, at least you can be more prepared in future. Perhaps grandparents could come and visit, if they're available..? Paying for their flights would be nothing compared to any options here!

Good luck finding a solution for the short-term, it's a tough one.

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Old 27.09.2010, 14:39
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Re: What to do with the kids during school holidays

Why not hire someone to stay with them? I know you said that you didn't want to, but it seems like the easiest solution. If you or your husband could get the time off, that is what they would be doing anyways. "Sitting around the house"
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Old 27.09.2010, 14:55
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Re: What to do with the kids during school holidays

Put them in the fridge and keep them fresh ?


Seriously there should be some camps and activities you should be able to find. Failing that try an au pair girl maybe ? Day mother in your commune, ask the commune office for a list. Invite your outlaws for a relaxing 2 week holiday in Switzelrand, send them to your parents/other deserving relative.
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Old 27.09.2010, 15:17
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Re: What to do with the kids during school holidays

My kids like to do the soccer camps from Intersoccer. Maybe there is one near you?
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Old 02.06.2015, 09:48
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Re: What to do with the kids (before and during school holidays)

Dear EFers

I'm reviving this thread, to see what options there might be a few years on for my two (5th-6th class) turning up late around 20 June (in KT ZH) with no friends, no German, no permanent address and (therefore) no school. I'll be working office hours, and their dad will be delayed in Sydney for an unspecified amount of time.

Asking a friend or grandparent to fly over is an option, but I'd prefer something more oriented towards integrating in their new home rather than bringing their old with them, if possible.

Is a Tagesmutter up to that kind of thing? A live-out au pair? Babysitter? Without having a fixed address, where can I get more info on the options?
Is a full time language program (or any program that doesn't require any German yet) an option? What about in the few weeks before ZH school finishes; should I just enrol them in whatever school is local (they are mature enough to be latchkey kids for a couple of hours after school and before I arrive home).

Are those last four weeks before summer hols as much of a Mickey Mouse time as they are elsewhere (and therefore it's no big deal to have new arrivals?) or is it exam period etc (and therefore disruptive to others)?
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Old 02.06.2015, 10:47
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Re: What to do with the kids during school holidays

Everything here is planned months in advance, so the possibilities of enrolling the children here in Summer activities, especially as non German speakers, is about zero.

You might get an older local girl to help as an au-pair, but will her English be good enough, and is she mature enough, for a complete day care?

Probably getting a relative to come over for the holidays is the most reliable possibility.

You should enrol your children in the local school as soon as possible. After the holidays start, Monday 13th July, the schools have no communication in place, until 14th August. The last weeks of term are often taken up with school visits & day trips, and once enrolled your children can make friends in time for the school holidays.
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Old 02.06.2015, 12:39
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Re: What to do with the kids during school holidays

One option is to leave them with family abroad (grandparents or others) if this is a possibility. It helps them connect to family and their "tribe"...
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Old 07.06.2015, 11:04
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Re: What to do with the kids during school holidays

Hi ,
I would have a friend or grandparent come over. I would also post an ad in English on the zurich uni marketplatz. It's the uni job board. I would hire a local uni student to come some mornings to act as tour guide, help with some initial language, take them around where you think you will be living and help answer the kids questions about school. It will also help the friend to have a better time if they can be taken out a bit by a local. You can skype interview them. Swiss girls are very nurturing and responsible I have found.
In terms of school if you don't know where you are going to live you won't know what school they will go to ( it sounds like you are going local?) . We arrived late like you but knew the village we would end up. We arranged to send ours on the end of year excursion (forest hike) so they would meet their classmates before the holidays. Sitting in a classroom not understanding a word is very frustrating and isolating so the excursion was a good intro. It has taken time for my kids (and me) to adjust to this country, welcome to pm me if you want.
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Old 07.06.2015, 11:52
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Re: What to do with the kids (before and during school holidays)

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I'm reviving this thread, to see what options there might be a few years on for my two (5th-6th class) turning up late around 20 June (in KT ZH) with no friends, no German, no permanent address and (therefore) no school. I'll be working office hours, and their dad will be delayed in Sydney for an unspecified amount of time.
How old are they?
You don't say if 5th-6th class is per your home country (where is that?) or Switzerland.
You say your husband is in Sydney: which one? The one in Australia or Nova Scotia, Canada??
If you mean 6th Class Switzerland, that makes the child 12yrs old, and if the child is a confident child, there are many things a 12yr old can do by themselves without supervision

Give them a daily plan, example:
Day 1: go to the Zürich Zoo
Day 2: take Tram / Bus xx and explore the tramline to the end and back, both ways
Day 3: Give them an address alike your work, and challenge them to find the address by themselves and meet you for lunch
Day 4: Send them Geocaching (kids just LOVE this)
Day 5: Go to the library

Give them Mobile phones. if they have iPhones, enable Find my Friends and them you can monitor their location. Ensure they carry an extra battery pack with them. Buy them the Geocaching app.

Exploring a new city can be exciting, adventurous, and a bit scary at the same time for a child. But Zurch is a safe place, easy to get around, and has a huge amount of things to do.
Geocaching is something all my kids just love doing and is a fantastic way to get them out and exploring the area and region.
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Old 07.06.2015, 12:27
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Re: What to do with the kids during school holidays

If you have no permanent address yet, which school would you like to send them to? If you know where you are moving to and plan to send them to local schools you could do so straight away. But be warned - kids here come home for lunch from 11:45-13:45. Can your children be at home by themselves for that period if you prepare lunch for them? You most likely won't get a spot for them at the lunch program at this point.

We enrolled our kids at a new school two weeks before the Easter holidays. They already speak French since this was due to an inner-Swiss move. Our reasoning was that it would be nice for them to already have made friends by the time the holidays started and it paid off.
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Old 07.06.2015, 12:45
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Re: What to do with the kids (before and during school holidays)

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Dear EFers, I'm reviving this thread, to see what options there might be a few years on for my two (5th-6th class) turning up late around 20 June (in KT ZH) with no friends, no German, no permanent address and (therefore) no school.
Have you looked at Jobs Wanted? 18 year old lady in Zurich looking for summer job....

18yo girl looking for part time/holiday work
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Old 07.06.2015, 12:58
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Re: What to do with the kids during school holidays

Welcome to Switzerland AliceinWinterland!

You could try the Foundations for Learning summer programme: http://www.foundationsforlearning.ch..._programs.html

Not cheap, but could be a good option for a week or two.
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Old 07.06.2015, 13:04
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Re: What to do with the kids during school holidays

Could this be an option maybe?

http://www.intersoccer.ch
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Old 07.06.2015, 13:47
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Re: What to do with the kids during school holidays

There have been many threads in the past about residential courses for youngers- so perhaps a search here would help. But truly, if you just arrive from OZ, I'd say you just can't just drop kids at a residential camp and another, for the whole Summer. Bring someone over with you to look after them- they will need stability during that period- and see if you can get some activities going in your area and also a student to come talk to them in German and teach them the basics before school end of August.
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Old 10.06.2015, 10:11
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Re: What to do with the kids during school holidays

There really isn't much in English that doesn't cost the earth, and your kids might not appreciate being dropped into a full-on German group straight away.

But if they're willing to have a go you could try this lot:
http://www.kinder-camps.ch/site/inde...47/vsprache/DE

My daughter (10) did a week day camp with them last year and really enjoyed it. They have Polysport camps, where the kids try lots of different activities. It's not all day (10 - 4), although you can pay extra for childcare before and after, and it's all in German. But chances are the teacher will speak a bit of English. The only other issue might be that most of the kids are likely to be a bit younger, as my daughter was one of the oldest last year, although they say the upper limit is 12.

If you can't speak/read German feel free to send me a PM (private message) and I'll give you a bit more info. The website says they still have vacancies.

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Old 10.06.2015, 10:23
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Re: What to do with the kids (before and during school holidays)

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Dear EFers

I'm reviving this thread, to see what options there might be a few years on for my two (5th-6th class) turning up late around 20 June (in KT ZH) with no friends, no German, no permanent address and (therefore) no school. I'll be working office hours, and their dad will be delayed in Sydney for an unspecified amount of time.
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...... as they have thousands of urgent questions that only another kid can answer (like what does it feel like to not wear a school uniform? Does anyone here play Clash of Clans? or only Minecraft?

Enrol them in full time, intensive summer language course - I'm sure there will be something available last minute.
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Old 10.06.2015, 10:24
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Re: What to do with the kids during school holidays

This one in the Portes du Soleil, only about 30 mins from lausanne is great. I can totally recommend Julie, her team and the set up in Torgon

http://www.campsuisse.com/
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