Ijsboerderij op de Nieuwekampen, Vinkel

For the second day in a row the kids visited a farm with their class and as I have a big car and nothing but free time til my class starts, I volunteered to drive and join them.  It was a lot of fun. Not only that I’m there for my kids, but I can learn a lot of Dutch too – which I did.  This time we visited Ijsboerderij op de Nieuwekampen in Vinkel.

We learned:
Baby pigs = biggetjes
Moeder varken = Zueg  (and there are Super Moeders – can’t seem to figure out how one becomes that 🙂
Father pig = bear
Female farmer = Boerin 🙂   I also learned about insemination of the pigs and how they are fed and raised and then slaughtered.  Not too far from us is a pig slaughter house were we often see the large trucks full of pigs going there.

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Look at this cute bigetije.

The kids had some free time to play on the tractors and the milking cow.

After a slide show and explaination of how the farm works and how the pigs are kept, born and live, the kids were brought into make ice cream – ijs.   Each child first got to take part in measuring the cream, sugar, chocolate, etc and then it is poured into a machine to first heat it to kill bacteria and then cool.  Later we all had a lovely ice cream.

The girls made ice cream. First each had a part in the measuring and then later had a taste.

They have little shop which was closed when we were there, but it had loads of little treats to buy and of course, ice cream!  They have kids birthday parties and other events.  You can find out more about them online.

 

Kinderboerderij De Bossche Hoeve, Den Bosch

The kids are settling in well here in the The Netherlands. As expected the language goes quickly and the kids are picking up so much Dutch each day.   On Wednesday, I joined them and drove them  +3, to the Kinderboerderij De Bossche Hoeve which is not to far from their school. It is nothing fancy like Davis Farmland but rather a simple, well-run urban farm where schools and families can visit while in the city.  It’s still early Spring so they were very busy putting together equipment like a new slides and pavement, etc.

The nieuwkomersklaas of 13 kids learned about the animals, fed them and enjoyed playing for a bit after some hot chocolate inside.

They have an albino peacock, along with some turquoise ones, but unfortunately it didn’t open it’s feathers while we were there.  First photo is mine but the second is from the internet web search.

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kinderboederij - rectangle eye sheepkinderboerij maebh and sheep

soren with goatssoren feeding deer

Entry is FREE so you can support by donating cash into the box, buying feed and Soren and I bought 6 eggs which we ate for breakfast the next day.

Location: 
Kinderboerderij De Bossche Hoeve
Kruiskampsingel 565A
5224 KL ‘s Hertogenbosch
Telefoon 073-6233592

Opening times & more information: 
https://www.facebook.com/bossche.hoeve

Thursday, they are visiting a pig farm in Vinkle where they’ll learn about the pigs and make ice cream and if lucky, taste it.

There are several kinderboederij’s in the area, which we will also explore in time.  This website has a handy list and information about each one.

https://www.kidsproof.nl/DenBosch/eropuit/kinderboerderij-dierentuin-dieren

 

De SteenUil Kinderboerderij – Oirschot, Netherlands

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Yesterday we all visited a Boerderij (Dutch for farm) De SteenUil which has been transformed into a restaurant with kids play area but at the same time still a working farm.  It was sort of like Davis Farmland where there are activities for the kids including feeding the animals, but with great looking food and beer – and as an added bonus for me they have white beer! My beer snobbery is showing.  But I have been lucky on this trip and had some yummy white beers so will post those later when I get around to it.

What 6-year-old girl doesn’t love a pair of wooden clogs!?  I meant to pick her up a pair of slippers but forgot – next trip!

The kids loved it.  Inside there is a slide which you go down on snow tubes – it was hard to get the tubes up at first but with some adult help they were on a roll.  Sometimes they’d go one at a time, other times altogether. Here are a few videos of their slide adventures.  Only one injury which Soren feels on this head going up the ramp but with two broken arms, we’re used to these boy injuries.

There is also an indoor sandbox and a smaller area for toddlers – but when we were there it was a free for all of all age groups so definitely not a ‘safe toddler area.’

After doing the slide load of times, they went outside to the swings, go-carts, and sand area – which I would avoid – cats love to use it as a giant litter box (which we witnessed ourselves).

Then on to my favorite part -feeding the animals which required some working for it.  The farmer first had them feed the baby goats, then donkey, cats, and then had to bring their individual wheelbarrows outside to the scoop hay.

After all the feeding the cows, they got to give them a cookie… in this next video, you’ll see their long tongues were a bit too much for all three of them, including Nils.

They had a barn full of ride-on toys and bicycles [most of which were broken with flat tires] which if you found a working one, you could use.  At his time Maebh still is not stable enough to ride but had some trying and the next day kept talking about the Dutch bicycle she’d love to own.

In the summer the place has more stuff like pony rides and more things outdoors, but it was still fun and we’ll definitely visit one more time before we leave back to Dublin.  If we lived in the area, we’d buy a family membership.

Website: http://www.desteenuil.nl/  Which I believe is all in Dutch but you can still decipher the basics like entry price and location, etc.

Newgrange Farm: Meath, Ireland

Today I accompanied Maebh’s Senior Infants class to Newgrange Farm in Meath, Ireland.  We’ve been having a great stretch of weather and then of course, their trip day the forecast called for rain. We set out from Dublin in the rain but fortunately while it was pouring rain in Dublin, we were dry at the farm.

The kids went from station to station including play areas, hold a chick, cuddle a kitten, pet a rabbit, milk the fake cow, feed the ducks and silkies, cuddle a black lab puppy, take a ride in a wagon being pulled by a big tractor etc. Still not quite the same as an American farm and far from Davis Family Farmland, but still good and perfect for kids ages 5 & 6!

All the photos below are just of Maebh….. due to school privacy policy, etc, I didn’t take any photos of the other kids.

Based on how much Maebh had with her class, I know together both our kids would love to return as a family so that will be on the list of places to visit.  28. for a family of four – it’s a good value for a day out.  We could pack a picnic and stay all day. Easter appears to be a popular time to visit this farm, so if we’re not away next year, we’ll keep it in mind.

Church Farm Stow Bardolph – Rare Breeds Centre

As it’s lambing season, we thought it would be fun to visit a farm where the kids could feed baby lambs.  After doing some searching, we opted to head towards Downham Market in West Norfolk to Church Farm – Stow Bardolf.  Although it was not raining, it still was a bit chilly – but we went anyway and had a nice day.   If it was closer, I would consider getting a membership to go more often.

The place was cute – they had a tea room and gift shop which had typical English country kitchen things Emma Bridgewater cups, tins, trays – most of which I’d love to buy.  While we didn’t eat there, the food which I saw looked good.  You could also pack a picnic and sit outside under the covered area – but as it was chilly, only a couple families did it.
As you past through the shop, you to go outside, there is an indoor play area for the kids. It was divided into two – a section for under 4’s and one for the bigger kids.  Maebh being almost 4 is right in between as she doesn’t like the large, curved slide which was so dark inside and has trouble crossing the rope bridges which her foot can go between.  Unlike some indoor places, who put a second layer of netting to avoid that, they have not.  Soren was so sweet and stayed with her as she made her way across the bridges and they had a race down the slide.  At the end, they both ventured in the under 4’s area and were playing at the train table.  I took a cute photo of them from outside.

 

 

 

Outside, there is a large play area with a few trampolines built into the ground – which we all loved! Back in the States, you don’t have them often as they are a “liability” and most insurance policies ban them.  But the way the built them into the ground was great.  I’d get one and hope that my in-laws do the same in their garden for the grand kids.

 

 

 

 

They had an obstacle course, like the Pirate Ship playground in Wells, which Soren loved to do.

And a covered sandpit with tons of plastic digging toys, but we didn’t head over there.  Soren spent most of his play time in the play tractor section.  They had about 10 large green & red tractors like the yellow one in our garden.  Next to it they had one for the smaller kids. Once again, Maebh was in between both.  The little ones had no pedals but had squeaky horns but she said they were for babies.  The large ones had to be pedaled, but that was a problem for her, she couldn’t do it.   So she tried and said she liked them, but it was not without loads of time asking to be pushed.

 

 

And my favorite area as the animals.  At first you walk by a pig pen, which housed a huge pig which we named “Big Fat Mama Pig” and her super cute piglets.  She was so busy trying to get her back scratched she’d rub up against the house and then came to the fence hoping to get scratched by the kids.  When the little piggies awoke, two came out to play and get scratched too.

 

 

Then there was an covered area with more pigs, which the kids could get in with.  Maebh lasted a couple seconds, Soren loved it.

And there were more pigs around, which I found so cute.

 

 

Inside were also three beautiful white cows of some sort (Texas long horns?) which are believed to be pregnant so they have them indoors to give birth.

And in another section where the Ewes with their babies in pens.  One was born the day before followed by others who were born just days and weeks before.  Even a set of triplets!  It was so funny to see a little goat poking his head over the fence to see the baby lamb in the next pen, then suddenly the mother smashed her horns against the fence to scare him off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the highlights of the day at the farm was that hey allowed kids to feed the orphaned baby lambs. They were very sweet little guys which were numbered to ensure they got fed properly.  Before the start of the feed, number five was very curious towards me and was nearly out of the pen.

 

 

Again, while it’s not as large and fancy as Davis Family Farm Land, which we may visit when in the Sates for the month of April, it was fun and glad we visited.