The babies are loving our new home. They love playing in the yard and going to all the neighborhood parks. Needless to say we spend a lot of time outside. The community where we live is very family friendly. We haven't even been able to go to all of the fee or low cost programs available for the kids.
Here are some of the activities available..
Monday - Story time at the library
Tuesday in Summer- Out door ride on toys at the park. A large section of the park is flagged off and lots of ride on and push toys are brought out for the children to play on.
Every other Tuesday- Twins play group at the community center
Wednesday- Community Play Center Group (play centers, like books, puzzles, ride toys, dress up, set up all over a room as big as a cultural hall)
Thursday- Toddler Music Group at the Methodist Church
Friday- Library Story time.
There is also a toy library where you can check out some amazing toys for two weeks at a time. We haven't joined yet put plan to in the near future.
Many of the services a coordinated though the Devonport Community House which also has daycare and after school facilities. We are just starting to tap into the local community resources.
I am also amazed by the amount of parks which we visit frequently. Most parks have areas for big kids and little kids. One park we went to even had a zip line and a couple have had swings for children in wheelchairs. Max seems to have no fear of anything and loves to run smiling and giggling up and down the playgrounds and slides. Maya is more hesitant but has recently become more independent and discovered a love to slides which always end with a round of applause.
The ozone is quite thin in New Zealand. Most children wear hats out in the sun. Max and Maya have already gotten quite used to wearing hats and will ask for their hats before going outside.
One of the best things that has helped us to settle into our new place are our wonderful neighbors, Kate, Paul and Gus (4 years old). Max and Maya adore Gus and ask for him every morning when they wake and several times a day. Not only does he kindly share his toys but we have also loved having new friends next door. Paul was raised in the NZ and Kate in the UK where they both lived for several years. They only recently settled in New Zealand. Lonnie has been working long hours (as does Paul) and I love being able to chat with Kate while our kids run around the yard.