A German author once wrote:
“Being forced to be alone is one of the most difficult things. But being able to be alone is one of the most beautiful ones.“
For me it is easy to grasp what Hans Krailsheimer meant, for I am an expert in being with myself. Just me. Myself. And I. In fact, I enjoy being alone very much and it has always been like that. As a teenager I often stayed at home, in my room, listening to music and reading or writing. Even at school, it did not represent a problem for me if my friends were not there during the break and I hanged out on my own.
As an adult I consider myself quite reserved as well. Not introverted but reserved and that is something different. I can spend hours with my own thoughts and if I have a good content to read, I can just stay at home and go with the flow. It made me wonder what it is like for children.
As a parent we tend to keep our offspring busy and to offer them all kinds of activities that promote their development: games, puzzles and toys. Our own unability to be alone and “to sit around” is immediately projected in our children and we are constantely keeping them busy. But by doing that we are imposing our own expectations about how free time should be spent. We are not really allowing them to find out what they are able to do and what they like to do… and that is not helping them in their development.
Some of us – parents – even feel guilty if we only sit in the living room reading a newspaper and not playing with our kids… so we keep stimulating their creativity by offering them fun activities at home. That is perfectly fine and it can be a lot of fun. BUT it is what happens when we are not the ones suggesting something that can be even more exciting!
I love watching my son playing on his own without any interference. He makes up his own role plays and immitates different voices. He gets immersed in his own fantasy world and he does it all based on what his creative mind has to offer. It is fascinating and sometimes (on good days) this is all we do in the afternoon. Just stay home. Do nothing. Let it flow and leave the cold outdoors 🙂
Children aged 1-3 are the audience of a series of concerts taking place at Orpheum starting in November ’12 and with dates in 2013 as well.
As far as I know, these are the only concerts for such a young audience here in Graz.
Don’t miss the chance and enjoy the music with your baby. Click here for the program.
What a lovely idea. The Kinderatelier Vasata in Graz started a project especially meant for children and teenagers. The atelier is a place where kids can give their creativity room and space without being subject to pressure or competitive thinking. However, Vasata is a European project and it’s not just located in Graz/Austria but also in other places in Switzerland, Greece and Germany.
Through the arts work, the little artists build on their self-esteem. It is not important to be the best! It is important to feel welcome and accepted and to have a place where they can concentrate on the creative process alone.
This process of concentrating on their artworks alone without any negative feelings from the outside can also support the young artists in dealing with any issues that might be stressing them.
In our ever changing and incredibly fast world where children often need to “function” without being left with room for their own interests and moods, I believe this kind of offer is very meaningful. I will surely check it out!
For all details you can visit the website: www.kinderatelier-vasata.eu or find them on Facebook!
Due to the question raised by Pilar to Graz for Kids, I decided to write a short information on flexible, short-time children care services in Graz. As some expats only pass through Graz and stay here only for short periods, it gets difficult for their kids to be integrated in the regular preschool system, which is rather conservative from an organisational viewpoint.
To be more precise, the application process for preschool (nursery and kindergarden) goes like this:
a. at the beginning of each year, around January or February, preschools organise so called open days and all families are welcome to get to know the institution and the staff
b. in March there is an enrollment phase
c. around June you get to know if you got a lucky draw (well based on specific criteria, such as being a resident) and then your offspring would start in September.
For those staying only for short periods it gets more difficult, especially if you are a non permanent resident…
However, there is a childcare care from the Karl Franzens University of Graz, which was initially founded to support university staff needing punctual child care. This is open to everybody and it is called MAMA. It stands for “Mit allen Menschen Arbeiten”, i.e. “To work with everybody”.
At MAMA they take kids from 0-6 years old.
It’s a drop-off group, the child stays there without the parents.
It’s closed on weekends and public holidays.
You need to book in advance!
You can choose the number of hours for your kid’s care between 8:00 and 18:00.
Costs: 59,00€ for 10 hours or on an hourly basis (as per 2012).
According to their website all teachers have been trained to work with children, so they are kindergarden teachers.
Their website is http://www.mama.co.at but unfortunately it’s only in German.
I’ll keep you updated on further services of this nature!
Beira de Mar is the name of a capoeira school in Graz. The roots of this school are in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. Since 2006 the Brazilian Professor Nico is living in Austria and teaching the amazing art of capoeira.
For the older kids there are trainings on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 8 pm.
Location: Primary School Ferdinandeum
Färbergasse 11, 8020 Graz
Check out their website if you are interested: www.capoeira-graz.at.
From October to December 2012 there is a serious of cultural events taking place in Graz for children aged 4 – 8.
These are organized by Kultum: Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten.
The serious is named “Junge Augen” – “Young Eyes” and it is a Winter edition. The events go from puppet shows to theatre and there are different times and locations. My favourite is already:
“Es Weihnachtet bei Mimi und Brumm” / Puppet theatre by Margrit Gysin from Switzerland! It surely sounds like a lovely story of two little bears, who celebrate Christmas in the forest with lots of candles, the sound of violins and gold glitter…!
Dates: 12 + 13.12.2012
- For all details (in German) please follow this link:www.kultum.at/junge-augen