teaching children about switzerland


Apr 3rd, 2008, 06:38 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 20
teaching children about switzerland

Please help! We are taking our small children(3 & 5) to Switzerland for a month. We would like to teach them about Switzerland (history, customs,food ect.) before we go. I am looking for ideas on children's books, movies, websites - anything that might give them a better understanding of where we are going.
kerryfsu is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 3rd, 2008, 06:46 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 9,262
Read Heidi but tell them children really don't live that way anymore.

Get on Youtube and find Swiss videos with yodeling, mountains and train rides. There are some nice ones on Lucerne, Pilatus and Titlis and Berner Oberland.

Teach them: Hallo, danke. Tell them about the languages spoken.

I'm not sure if they need much more info.
kleeblatt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 3rd, 2008, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 89,402
Switzerland's trickier than most countries... because there is the French-speaking, German-, and Italian- areas. And each has very different customs, food, traditions.
suze is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 3rd, 2008, 07:45 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 20
Thanks for the info! Love the you tube ideas..we were actually on there today, but you gave me some more ideas! We will be in the German part (Bern) I was told they speak a different dialect of German. We've been listening to tapes anyway.
Does anyone know the history of yodeling in Switzerland? I know this sounds naïve, but what are those long pipes called that they play?
Who do you think is the most famous artist in Switzerland?
Thank you again!
kerryfsu is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 3rd, 2008, 07:54 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,298
Paul Klee (sp?) seems to be their most well known artist. Bern has a museum just for his stuff.

There's also an open-air museum near Brienz which has lots of authentic traditional Swiss buildings where they makes stuff using traditional methods. Bread, cheese, etc.

I'm not sure either of these is right for 3-5yo, but that's your call.
Edward2005 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 3rd, 2008, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 636
I do not want to be pesimistic but I am afraid your children will not remember their swiss seminars.
My suggestion, out of expirience.
Make lots of Photos with them on and sites when visiting.
This will prove for them in the future that they where there.
car is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 3rd, 2008, 08:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,056
The history of yodeling is simple....it was a means to shout messages across distances.

My husbands Uncle is a yodeler.
Lawchick is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 3rd, 2008, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 665
what are those long pipes called that they play

Alphorn (singular)
Alphörner (plural)
grrr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 3rd, 2008, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 156
If you happen to be going to Switzerland in June, the national "Jodlerfest", essentially the global championships of yodelling, alphorn playing, and flag throwing (the latter being a swiss tradition apparently) will be staged. It's difficult to write "championships of yodelling" without snickering, but I attended the event a couple years ago and had a really great time. I was astonished at how many Swiss showed up to watch the final day parade, and I was slightly more astonished to see how many people, both in the parade and in the stands, were quite interested in these, um, disciplines. Lots of people wore traditional costumes also. www.jodlerfestluzern.ch

The story of William Tell is from Switzerland. Of course it occurs to me that you might not want to plant the idea of shooting things off of people's heads in their little minds
global_guy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 3rd, 2008, 11:46 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 19,419
Kerry, sorry can't help with your question, but if you are in Zurich, don't miss the toy museum. They have toys from 1850s!


or on Frommer's

FainaAgain is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 3rd, 2008, 12:58 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 20
I'm so bummed! We are going to miss
Jodlerfest by a few days. It sounds like so much fun!! What would be the best way to see someone playing the Alphorn or yodeling? You guys have been SO helpful!!
kerryfsu is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 3rd, 2008, 12:58 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 9,262
The Jodelfest is great for adults. Wish I could go to one... maybe this year.

It's boring for kids though. After one yodel, they've had enough.

Switzerland is not into idolizing people and they have no real famous artists like Picasso, etc. Not that they don't have artists, it's just that they don't idolize them.

Don't overdo the train rides when you're here. The gondolas and the funiculars are exciting, the rest gets boring quickly.
kleeblatt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 3rd, 2008, 01:17 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,607
I'll be darned! I didn't know Paul Kless was Swiss.
Pegontheroad is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 3rd, 2008, 06:30 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 197
Hey kerryfsu,

We took our 4-year-old to Switzerland as part of a longer trip last summer. Just there for three days.

I applaud your interest in preparing your children for the trip -- preparation makes a huge difference to my little boy's enjoyment of just about anything.

One thing I can suggest is that you check out a couple of books about Switzerland from your local library's juvenile nonfiction section. Much of the text may be above their heads -- a lot of these type of things seem to be geared to school-age report writers -- but they will often have great photos which can spark a question or an interest.

There is a video series for kids about life in other countries -- I'm sorry that the title escapes me for now -- with a different tape for each country. And I know there is a video/DVD called something like "The Big Plane Trip" which follows the preparations and progress of a flight from Atlanta to Zurich. When the flight is over, the program has a little travelogue about Switzerland. We liked that one so much, I ended up buying it from half.com.

You might try a toned-down fondue (easy on the wine) to give them a taste of what to expect, and I'm sure they'll be willing to try some Swiss chocolate.

One more thing: Edward2005 mentioned the folk museum near Brienz. It's called Ballenburg(berg?) and it was fantastic! We headed there straight from the airport (and our transatlantic flight) before we could check into our apartment in Lauterbrunnen.

They have buildings and animals from all over Switzerland, and the setting is wonderful. They also had a little merry-go-round. The museum had a really helpful website. It was a GREAT way to kick-off our visit, pleasing everyone on our three-generation trip. If you can arrange a visit, I urge you to do so. My son still talks about watching the calves playing in the field, and he remembers hearing all those cowbells. (So your tykes may take away a few memories after all).

Have a great trip.
phyllis_stein is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 3rd, 2008, 08:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,496
Be careful with reading them Heidi.

I read it when I was around 7 and have been in love with Switzerland ever since.

Of course when I finally made it there at age 54, it was quite different from the book, but I still love it there and return every chance I get.
enzian is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 4th, 2008, 04:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 20
I have already used a lot of your ideas!THANK YOU! We did see and read Heidi. Both the movie and book were just a little old for the girls. I am going to try and find a little younger version. You tube has been great for showing them yodeling and the Alphorn. We've ordered the "big plane trip" on netflix.
We plan on video taping a lot while we are there in hopes of helping them remember. I know they will forget most of the trip - We hope to travel with them some more in the future and use this as a building block.
kerryfsu is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 4th, 2008, 04:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 780
We took my son, then 7 years old, to Switzerland for a couple of weeks. The first two train, funicular and cable car rides were exciting and the rest pretty much bored him to death. He only remembers tiny bits from that trip as far as history, customs or food but what stands out were the rodelbahn rides at First, the feeding of cows in a farm we stayed at, trying his hand, with another kid,(who later became his penpal)at the sculptures in the ice cave.....

I hope, like car said, that you won't overload them too much with Swiss seminars at such a young age. Unexpected surprises are much more fun and memorable!!
JoyC is online now  
Reply With Quote
Apr 4th, 2008, 05:45 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 2,833
I have to say Joy C's suggestion of Rodelbahn & funicular will be the most memorable experience for your children. I've taken my children to Switzerland every other year since they were toddlers and the mountain & lake experience are what they enjoy the most. They didn't enjoy watching the bears in the bearpit in Bern because they felt sad/sorry for the the bears.

I've taken my son to the Jodelfest in Beckenried just south of Lucerne. It was very festive because there were tons of Jodel groups wandering around in every direction and performing in different corners. Their costumes, gregarious chatter and jodeling just make the lake & mountain come alive. For our kids, it was fun because the Jodlers greeted and even chatted with our kids, so it;s not boring at all. Hopefully you can rearrange your dates to experience it.

On this website you may enjoy listening to the champion Jodler group from Nidwalden who has been performing all over the world.
You can listen to their top hit jodel song "Ewigi Liebi" (Everlasting love). They are just a bunch of farmers getting together to Jodel, so they are not necessarily professional performers. That's the fun part of going to the Jodelfest. They also had a few Alphorn performances when we were there.
DAX is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 4th, 2008, 06:04 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 9,262
Dax: OMG! I've been looking for a link to that song. The director of the that yodel club was my song teacher in Giswil. Small world, huh? The original of this song is a pop song, written by a group called Mash from Arth-Goldau and Brunnen. It was voted the second most popular song in Switzerland.

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ax3HmHUK3I

I'm glad you're kids liked the Jodlerfest. I adore the festival because it shows Switzerland's traditions at its best but my kids get bored with stuff like this after awhile. Maybe I should join kerryfsu?
kleeblatt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Apr 4th, 2008, 06:10 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 9,262
Here's a video of the Wiesenberg Jodlerklub singing "Ewige Liebi". It's a playback so it's a bit corny but nevertheless true Swiss culture.

It was filmed in Interlaken.


Sorry, Swiss traditions can get me quite excited.
kleeblatt is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:49 AM.