The moment you packed your luggage and decided to move into another country, you know that it’s not only you whose life is going to have a Somersault. When you moved to another country, your kids moved with you too. I, myself, knew for a fact that settling in Germany is a big change for my family and for my little girl, Natalie is who just turned 2 last month. Right now she’s slowly adapting to German ways & practically devours a ‘Pretzel’ everyday. Does she love it here?
Absolutely, and I will tell you why.
I observed that there’s so much emphasis on Family and children here that makes you want to have a kid on your own. Children are so welcome in almost every situation and regarded as important part of the society. Where in the world can you find a playing area almost everywhere, like just beside a restaurant inside a shop- or with a changing area with free baby supplies? ( Aside from Ikea! ) Or a play area in the Biergarten for an instance?
I wanna share with you 5 Surprisingly Fun reasons why I think it’s more fun to be a kid in Germany.
*A world of playgrounds and beautiful green parks
The variety of playgrounds in Germany is simply amazing! You have never seen such beautiful playgrounds in the world until you see one in Germany. Call it a German efficiency-but the playgrounds are so kid-friendly ( should be!) and even have catergories. ‘Spielplatz‘-playground, ‘Bauspielplatz‘- building playground, ‘Naturspielplatz‘-natural playground, ‘Wasserspielplatz’ –water playground and the most promising one-‘Abenteuerspielplatz (adventure playground).Most are custom-built wooden jobs that incorporate slides, climbing walls, elevated rope walkways and tunnels. Even the Rockers that we saw in Munich is made of wood. There’s a giant water pump where kids learn to pump themselves and the water just naturally flows into the wood pipes. It’s one great summer fun seeing kids carrying each of their colorful buckets with spades and shovel.Water play is always fun.
German kids tends to be out for at least for 1 hour, every single day! It’s like in the photosynthesis, that they need more chlorophyll. No matter what is the weather, they make it a point to take kids outside.Even while they are already in a Krippe/Kindergarten, there are days where they just take a walk & explore outdoors. The whole class is brought outside! I love the German approach on Returning back to nature for learning and playing. Talk about Biophilia and the love for outdoors.
Here in Bavaria, the parks rocks! You need to see the ‘Klenzepark’ and Baggersee which has both ‘Naturspielsplatz & Wasserspielplatz’that has wonderful scenic views too. I find it so hard to get her out from playing with the lake waters.The huge field in Klenzepark is her world.This place is indeed a child’s haven-with lots of playground approx. every 900 meters! 10 minutes away and we are in the playground within a forest in Luitpodlpark, after 15 minutes we are in another park with sandbox and slides in St. Anton, A bit further there’s a trampoline and a sandpit where my daughter practically masters getting dirty playing with mud and building sand castles and from 20 mins., we are trekking near the lake and wild park where we see wild deers!
As an Expat mama, you know what playtime means to your child.When your child is happy, you are happy too.Parents are given a chance to enjoy the outdoors as well and you don’t see it as a chore to do. The health & safety risks is totally on 0 level. Everything is clean, even the pebbles.Wood is omnipresent ( as opposed to plastics) so you can be totally lax. It’s a perfect place to get to know other moms and my daughter has the chance to mingle with kids of her age. Who says parks & playgrounds are only for kids? For parents, there are always benches around the playground. Some even have a place to hang out and meet with friends or just have a picnic.
*Public transport has never been so friendly !
Need I say more?
From buses to trains, Germany has a great public transport with accessibility for carrying strollers & carriers without the hassle. Most parents cycle with their kids and getting around is done almost in two wheels!
*Getting intoxicated with ‘the Gummy Bears’mania
If France has the croissant, Italy has Gelato,Belgium has the chocolates and The Netherlands has Hagelslag , then in Germany, they have ‘Gummi’.
I never knew that Gummy Bears is part of German Kid culture, and adults too! Since the time we came here, I noticed that kids are showered with Gummy Bears for no special reasons. It’s like a trick or threat everyday. When we are at the Bakery, at the Doctor’s office, and even in the playhouses in Malls, people just give away Gummy bears to kids-and it’s absolutely Free! My daughter at first just play with it and throw into the ground, but the moment she started to taste it-she got hooked.Take it from me, don’t underestimate the power of Gummy Bears in the mind of a super-hyper toddler. It saves me all the time when I’m in the long lines, doing groceries, or even just in the middle of important errands.
*Germany’s generosity for child support financially.Period.
Although Germany has a low Fertility rate of 1.44 ( #206 ) as per CIA World Factbook and is lowest in Europe, German government is considered one of the most generous family policies in Europe. Parents can receive up to 65% of their salary (capped at €1,800) per month over a period of up to 14 months through ‘Elterngeld’. German and Expat kids both have this benefit to receive ‘Kindergeld’ or child’s allowance amounting from 190 Euros for the first & second child and up to 221 Euros for every subsequent child. These are paid monthly through German bank account.They can receive Kindergeld up until they reached the age of 18 and lives in Germany.
*Accessible to multiculturalism and travel
Aside from growing up as a TCK ( Third Culture Kid) and learning German language, the easy access to travel within Europe is a delight to any child. Holiday planning has never been so fun. Geographically, Germany is in the center of Europe. From us here in Bavaria, Austria & Czech Republic are just within 2.5 hours by car, 3 hours and you’re in Switzerland, 4 hours by car to Italy and just about 6.5 hours by train to visit family & friends in the Netherlands. Beside the fact that there are so many neighboring cities within Germany that can be reached by day trips. Should I mention that your kids are free on all public transport up until 6 years old?
Quite fun I think to be a kid in Germany, my daughter approves so.
Did I missed anything from this list?
Do you think you would like to raise your own kid in Germany if given the chance?