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Bulgaria for Kids

Is Bulgaria for kids? This is a question very commonly asked by many hesitant parents who are contemplating the big move.

 

Back in 'the good old days' kids spent nearly all their time outdoors. Now, UK children tend to be almost permanently in front of the screen, be that tv or computer. In Bulgaria, it's like being in a simpler time, where kids are out in the morning and back in at night - a real alternative to the indoor blues! So much space and a safe environment is a wake-up call to parents to get their children into the healthy outdoors.

The computer no doubt is full of a myriad of emails for you and your enthusiasm for playing with the kids is under stress but they could do with a bit more time getting grubby in the forests and playing like 'savages' on the pretend hunt for something. Bulgarian parents do not leave quality time with their children to others, even if the phrase "willl you play with me" strikes an arrow of boredom straight to their heart. Most weekends, you'll see whole families out walking in the parks, fields and forests, with adults playing with the children and grandchildren.

Whilst out walking the dog recently, I came across a family who were playing games they had made up with their children. They told me that for them, 'playing with the children was of great importance and cost no more than a part of their time - but turning off the mobile phone was a must! We don't have the money for computer games but anyway playing outside is so much better for them. They need our time and it is our responsibility to give them plenty of it.'

 In Bulgaria, parents know the value of outdoor time to their children and don't believe that you have to be doing a sport to spend time outside. They don't drive for miles to go white water rafting with their children but just use the garden, the parks or the beautiful countryside in the immediate surrounds of their homes.

As I sat on the park bench watching the family, I noticed a couple of games they were playing:

The parents marked out an area of about 1 sq.m and sent the kids on a 'mini nature safari', asking them to find everything they could in the square - you name it, bugs, twigs, slugs, beetles... They had one magnifying glass between them and were scrabbling around on hands and knees investigating everything together.

For the second game, one parent went off tying ribbons into the trees, marking a trail for the children to follow. They were having a picnic at the end, I understood. When Mum came back, the kids were then gathered together to start off tracking the trail. I lost sight of them not soon after that but could hear them chattering and laughing as they went.

It was a pleasure to see a family enjoying their quality time like this and the kids had nothing more expensive than one magnifying glass and a few twigs they had gathered between them. The pleasure in the simple things of life proves that there is a lot to offer in Bulgaria for kids.