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How to find playmates for 5yr old in Rapallo

How to find playmates for 5yr old in Rapallo

Sep 9th, 2009, 04:45 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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How to find playmates for 5yr old in Rapallo

Will be in Rapallo, Italy in a few days. How can we find American or English speaking Playmates for a 5 yr old grandson. How to find American or English DVD's to rent.

Any schools that will take him by the day? Any babysitters that have young children he could play with?

Please respong asap, THANKS
Adriennejoan is offline  
Sep 9th, 2009, 04:51 PM
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A 5yr old may be more interested in playing around other kids as opposed to actually having a playmate.

I recommend you find a neighborhood park with swings, slides, etc. Be careful hyping it up too much. If you promise or otherwise imply other kids will be there he may be disappointed.
J62 is online now  
Sep 9th, 2009, 04:54 PM
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Are you staying in a hotel - if so would ask the concierge.

You could also google the town tourist office and email or call them for info.

Don;t think you'll find tons of 5 year olds that speak English. If you head to a local playground he should meet other kids though - and learn a little Italian.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 9th, 2009, 06:19 PM
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Why not just enjoy the beautiful town of Rapallo with him-there is so much to see and do there that you will enjoy being together.Take the train to Cinque Terre,Genoa and the aquarium or even the boat over to Portofino.
Are his parents with you or are you traveling alone with him?
dutyfree is offline  
Sep 9th, 2009, 06:59 PM
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As a parent of a 5yo, he could survive a few days without same-age playmates or DVDs. He would be thrilled to have some one on one adult attention... read to him, go to the park, go for a walk, play in the water... draw pictures, play cars, go for ice cream, play with playdo, make popsicles...

write postcards to every friend he can think of. they don't have to be mailed, just carry them home and hand them out. try to find the just right blue crayon that matches the sky, the water, the right green combination that matches the grass.

give him kids scissors and a piece of paper. make confetti. throw it off a balcony. do it again. make paper airplanes and see how far they fly.

Honestly, you can make anything fun for a kid if you make it one on one... my 5 yo son is good at helping me do laundry b/c he likes to turn on the machine (and likes to do it, so I let him start the machines).

another favorite is to play with cookie dough. sure he gets a mess and we don't cook any of 'his' stuff, but he loves to roll it, shape it, play with it.

another fun one is water... give him some plastic tupperwares, bowls, cups and let him sit outside and make a mess. he'll have fun just pouring them and playing with the cups and water! then take a bunch of random things around the house and test if they will float or sink.

paint with condensed milk and food coloring and q-tips. or brushes. or fingers. (altho fingers will stain with food coloring - it does come out of clothes easily).

take a train ride, a boat ride, a walk. Go at his pace. try to find 20 bugs along the way. don't step on the cracks. count the number of people you see along the way.

play ball. roll it, play hockey (brooms work), throw it. bounce it. see if it floats.

just a few ideas off the top of my head : )
surfmom is offline  
Sep 9th, 2009, 07:58 PM
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Help him make a scrapbook of his trip by using his drawings, ticket stubs, etc., photos, post cards, etc. He could begin by drawing a picture of the plane he flew over in.

My 6 yr old granddaughter has a very cute little scrapbook from our trip to Paris this past spring. We saved all kinds of memorabilia along the way.
grandmere is offline  
Sep 9th, 2009, 08:06 PM
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Many, many years ago, we took our almost 2 year old to various European cities. Each day after some sightseeing etc. we would try to find a park somewhere with benches, fountains, flowers and maybe a playground.
So, our son got a good hour or so to just run around and play with stuff we carried or he would find pigeons and birds, dogs to watch or pet etc.
And very, very often there were children around of all ages. All speaking their language--French, Italian, Spanish or German but usually no English.
The kids would just see him playing with something and come over and we always encouraged it (their parents were always there too).
One little 10 year old girl took him in his stoller just around the flower pathway once. I walked right behind. Another boy took our bubble bottle and played for a long time. Both kids chasing the bubbles. I too k many photographs and still cherish that trip as it was interesting to note that kids playing requires no real language skills. They just played and laughed. We were all so happy.
ileen is offline  
Sep 9th, 2009, 11:13 PM
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The American Women's Club of Genoa has groups that meet all up and down the coast, and you might try contacting them when you are in Italy.

0039 010 316179

As for DVDs, you can often find American and English-language ones at newspaper kiosks. (In Rapallo, I've bought them at the kiosk at the main bus terminus, opposite the train station.)

Also, your hotel concierge should be able to help you out.

Boat rides to Portofino might amuse him and, if none of you are afraid of heights, there is the cable car ride up to Monteallegro. The best gelateria in Rapallo is Frigidarium, right opposite the castle on the seafront. (It's one of the best gelateria in Italy.)
zeppole is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 11:11 AM
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Kids are usually more flexible and adaptable than their parents, or even grandparents.
I took my kids (then 11 and 9)to Germany for 2 weeks vacation. Stayed the week before at a farmhouse just outside a village. I didn't worry about the kids, thinking they would play with each other. Before I left for the plant the first day, they'd made German friends. By the time I returned that night, they learned enough German to play with the locals (and vice versa English).
tomboy is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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Take him to a park - there will be other young children. Why do they have to speak English???

And you are only there for a 'few days' - why do you want to put him in a school?

If it was me and I was in ITALY - I wouldn't want him to have an "American Experience". Guess I just don't understand . . . . .
janisj is online now  
Sep 10th, 2009, 11:38 AM
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Why do you want to do this? If you're taking him, show him the town.
Gretchen is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 11:41 AM
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The DVD's you rent at a shop will most likely all have English as one of the language options. It will say so on the back of the cover.
lincasanova is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 03:16 PM
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If I were going to put him in a school (which I can't imagine would work - do your local schools take in foreign travelers' kids for the day?), or leave him with a babysitter, I think I'd prefer to leave him home.

What are your intentions with regard to bringing him? You certainly don't sound enthusiastic about it. And why does he need English playmates or DVDs? Why so protective of him, particularly since he's a child and will absorb stuff SO much better and faster even than you will?

I traveled a lot in Italy and elsewhere in Europe when my kids were infants, toddlers, and youngsters. We went to gardens and playgrounds and would stop at cafés and outdoor restaurants where other kids were in evidence and let them "make friends." They usually had a soccer ball and some other toys with them, and it was never long before they were engaged with kids their own ages. If we stayed in a place with a pool, they inevitably got to know other kids splashing around in the water. Language isn't a barrier at that age (or any other, really). At night, if we watched television or movies, it was in the local language. What better way for kids - who are sponges when it comes to absorbing other languages - to get a sense of the sounds of a foreign tongue and to match up visuals with the sounds and begin to comprehend what's going on?
StCirq is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 10:03 PM
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Is it too much to ask why everybody has to travel like the rest of you do -- or raise your children like the rest of you do? Or is all this just a cover for being unable to answer a question about Rapallo? How many of you have ever spent a few days there?

I was recently talking to my mother about my long-desceased grandmother, and said my happiest memory of her was when she would let me come along with her on her forays to Elvis Presley movies. My grandmother did many things that would no doubt more readily meet with your approval, but I'd like to remind people that that the world is full of individuals, including individual children and grandparents -- and maybe they are asking the question for reasons you can't fathom -- but why all the scolding and overparenting?
zeppole is offline  
Sep 11th, 2009, 01:33 AM
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Don't worry about keeping him entertained. He will really enjoy the novelty of new places. I've traveled a lot with my preschool grandchildren and as long as they have a fairly regular schedule and get fed often ( especially gelato ) and have enough rest, they really enjoy the new adventures.
Saraho is online now  
Sep 11th, 2009, 04:01 AM
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Well,Zeppole, I cannot imagine letting my 8 year old grandson out of my sight in a foreign country (or even in a large American city--or in MY city) if I am only in a place for a few days. And that probably includes a babysitter. Your grandmother was WITH you.
Gretchen is offline  
Sep 11th, 2009, 04:29 AM
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lincasanova is offline  

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