Keeping little kids busy: “play-room” edition

Finding things to do with the little ones can be tricky, particularly during the week when the majority of kids younger than school age will be in nurseries or kindergartens. If you have your kid at home during the week, consider visiting one of Odense’s legestuer (“play-rooms”). It’s a great way for your kid to interact with other kids and you might get to drink a cup of coffee with other grown-ups.

In Denmark, legestuer are run by churches (kirke). They are literally safe play-rooms, filled with toys. Sometimes there will also be some joint activities like games or songs. Participation is free or for a small fee. Everyone is welcome. 

Below I am listing Odense’s legestuer, they all vary a bit in when they are open and how they are organised. Therefore, I am also providing links to more information for each legestue. 

Legestue Fredens Kirke
Open: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9.30 – 12.00
Address: Fredens Kirke, Skibhusvej 162, 5000 Odense C
Price: 10kr per family
Find more information here and here

Bolbro Legestue
Open: Monday, 10.00 – 12.00
Address: Sognehuset of Bolbro Kirke, Stadionvej 68, 5200 Odense V
Price: Free
Find more information here

Legestue Munkebjerg Kirke
Open: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 9.30 – 12.00
Address: Munkebjerg kirke, Østerbæksvej 87, 5230 Odense M
Price: 10 kr.
Find more information here

Legestue Lumby Sognehus
Open: Thursday, 9.30 – 12.00
Address: Lymby Sognegård, H.C. Lumbyes Vej 40 B, 5270 Odense N
Price: Free
No further information online

Legestue Sankt Hans Kirke
Open: Thursday, 10.00 – 12.00
Address: Sankt Hans Kirke (in the menighedshuset), Sct. Hans Plads 1, 5000 Odense C
Price: Free
Find more information here

I only ever went to the legestue at the Fredens Kirke. They had so many cool indoor toys that I hoped they would run evenings for grown-ups to come and play. Let me know if you find out more useful information about legestuer. Happy playing! 

From Denmark with Love, 

Julia

Starting your own gig

Many internationals find themselves in the position that their future career path is unclear. Maybe they came here to study and now have to enter the workforce having their degree in the pocket. Or they came here for love, a very common reason for emigrating, and have to accept a detour to their career. Finding a job that is a good fit for a person’s skills and interests can be tough on the Danish job market.

Speaking Danish is a requirement in all but a few companies, and many of those are located in Copenhagen or Århus. Plus internationals don’t have a large network and many jobs in Denmark are filled by “people who know someone”. Consequently, many internationals find themselves working in a job with little personal rewards other than money.

Not surprisingly, therefore, that many internationals start to think of how they could leverage other skills or interests to create a fulfilling side-project, maybe with the dream to grow it into a fully-fledged business. Once taken the plunge to start something, the to-do list explodes into myriad tasks.

Well, this is where I am right now with this webpage. Setting up an online space, creating a logo, content, and attracting readers, these are all tasks that I have some experience in but no formal training. I am learning something new with every step, glad to find resources that help me reach my goal. And I am happy to share with you the treasures I dig up in my search. I have recently discovered a website, where people from all over the world offer their services. Services that can be done from remote, like graphic design or help with setting up a webpage, all common tasks on the to-do list for new endeavours. Prices often start at $5, so the webpage is called Fiverr. If you also dream of starting a blog or webshop or yoga classes or mindfulness instructions,  whatever it is that floats your boat, Fiverr, is an incredibly good resource to help you get started. This is just a personal recommendation, I am in no way affiliated with this project.

Maybe I’ll buy a product or service from you one day. Until then, stay well.

From Denmark with Love,

Julia

Fiverr is a webpage where people from all over the world offer remote services from logo design and coding to drawing an illustration of you and your dog. Prices often start at $5, hence the name.

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming

Our 2-year-old has been going to baby swimming since he was a few months old. He recently started a class for older toddlers and now he is totally terrified to go. On this week’s drive to the pool, the conversation went, “Mami, home”! To which I answered, “No, Sammy, we are going swimming”. Only to hear, “No, Mami, home”! Repeat that about 30 times on a 15 min drive. Oh dear.

Baby swimming is a family event for us. Both my husband and I are joining the boys for back to back baby and toddler swimming classes. So my husband was with me in the car on the drive. Suddenly I hear myself saying to Sam, “I know you want to go home. But we are going swimming because Daddy and I know something that you don’t know and that is that sometimes, we have to do scary things. Otherwise, our world remains very small.”

That didn’t help Sam but it helped his Dad and me because we felt horrible to force Sam to go swimming against his will. It was also therefore that I was determined to keep swimming classes all light and fun this week. I was prepared to have a little monkey clinging to me for the whole time and to just try to make him feel safe in the water.

But then, suddenly, a few minutes into the swimming class Sam started to be interested, joining into some of the songs and games, and even hopping from the edge of the pool into the water! Who’d thought? So I had to chuckle because he reminded me that my words were actually true: we often have to push through the scary things to get to the fun parts!

If it’s a scary prospect to settle in Denmark, keep pushing. The fun parts are waiting around the corner. Until then, stay well.

From Denmark with Love,

Julia

Baby swimming is a popular activity with babies and toddlers in Denmark.  It strengthens motoric development and teaches them basic survival in the water from a very young age. There are public and private baby-swimming classes all over the country. In Odense, there is baby-swimming in two public swimming pools (Bolbro and Højme, offered by different providers). Those classes usually have a start and end date. Furthermore, there is a private swimming pool in Bullerup, where classes run continuously. All pools can be reached by bus or bike, depending on where in Odense you live, but given that one drags about half the household to swimming, a car makes life easier.