Categories
Marrakech

LL Guide: Les Terres D’Anamar

We have teamed up with The Sensible Nutritionist for our new LL Guide blog series. The series will provide you with a handy guide for family fun in Morocco!

What: Low ropes obstacle course (green route) / ACRO-PARK (Vert)

Where: Les Terres D’Anamar

Children: Z (7), D (5), W (5), B (4)

Cost: 100MAD (€10) per child (price varies depending on activity*)

Website: http://www.terresdamanar.com/

Verdict: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Les Terres D’Anamar is a scenic drive from the city of Marrakech, near the town of Tahnaout. Nestled in a woodland area within the luscious valleys that are spoiled with breathtaking views of the Atlas Mountains, the scenery alone is worth the visit.

Anamar, offers something for everybody in the family (there’s a zip line that skims the trees and a wobbly bridge spanning the valley for brave adults!). The children did the low ropes obstacle course, green route which allowed for some adult assurance when required.

After paying for our tickets, we walked along a path that meandered through the trees, crossing over a bridge until we got to a wooden log cabin type hut. The children were fitted with helmets and ropes, after a quick safety demo they were set loose on the obstacle course.

They all loved it, the older ones racing ahead with screams of joy echoing through the woods. B used his trademark ‘slow and steady’ method to get around the course, until we happened upon our first rope swing.

Although it was completely safe, he was overcome with fear and naughty mummy got impatient and pushed him (oops!). It was only later on I realised that there were plenty of small ramps dotted around the course which allowed children to opt out of the ‘scary’ parts!

The children all enjoyed themselves (excuse B’s face below – he was still traumatised from me pushing him) and I’d definitely recommend it for anybody looking for something a little more active to do with the kids one afternoon.

* Activities offered at Les Terres D’Anamar

  • ACCRO-PARK from 100MAD-300MAD (€10-€30), there are courses and packages available for 3-7 year olds, under 12s, over 12s and over 16s.
  • PARK AÉRIEN from 165MAD (€16.50) for over 12s, there are packages available and a nighttime option.
  • HORSE RIDING from 180MAD (€18) for one hour with options up to 600MAD (€60) for a full day plus breakfast available.
  • Hiking, rock climbing and canyoning are available activities.
  • Birthday party packages are also provided.
  • Some activities are free for hotel guests.
Categories
Activity Ideas Marrakech

Activity Idea: Moroccan Tiles

There’s nothing we love more, when walking through the medina, than popping our heads through unassuming doorways to peek at the beautiful riads hidden behind them.

The highlight has to be the detailed Moroccan mosaic tilework, known as zellige. The boys love seeing the different coloured patterns of the zellige and asked me to create an inspired activity for them to do.

Now I’m not artist and I still need to build up our art supplies here but I have two simple activity suggestions below:

Activity 1

You will need:

  • Plain paper/printout
  • Colouring pencils/felt tips
  • Small mirror (optional)

You can printout a Moroccan tile pattern (easily found via a quick Google search) to colour in, or have a go at drawing one yourself. If you have a small mirror, it would be a great activity to introduce symmetry. Maybe draw half a pattern and get your child to draw the other half.

Activity 2

You will need:

  • Coloured paper (cut into shapes)
  • Glue
  • Sheet of paper (white/coloured)

Use the glue to stick the coloured pieces of paper to create your own Moroccan mosaic on the plain paper. Look up different patterns on Google for inspiration.

Being the person I am, I will probably take this current interest and use it as a new learning topic for us all to do together, looking at the history, the craftsmanship (videos) and more.

Categories
Education Marrakech

LL Shorts: Education in Morocco

We’ve had an interesting experience trying to find the right school for our family here in Marrakech. If you’re thinking of sending your child to school in Morocco, here are the top 5 things you need to know:

  1. What type of school?

There is a public education system here but the class sizes are large and noisy. There are international schools as well but these tend be a huge expense and then there are the Moroccan private schools which I felt would give the boys the best chance at learning the language and being introduced to the culture while also enjoying the privileges a private school has to offer.

2. Entry requirements

This can vary wildly depending on the school, one school required the children to sit a 3 hour French exam and W to sit an Arabic exam despite only knowing English and both of them going into Maternelle/Kindergarten.

3. School day

The boys’ school is from 8.30am-3.30pm, some schools are from 8am-5pm allowing students to go home for lunch and a short rest between 12pm-2pm.

4. School supplies

You have to pay for school supplies! This was an extra fee we paid for registration but next year when W goes into Primarie, I will be given a list of supplies and textbooks for him to buy. This doesn’t happen in the UK, but apparently there is a shop where everybody goes and they can put a little pack together for you to ease some of the back to school pressure.

5. Food

In England, W would get a carton of milk and a piece of fruit at break time. School lunches where also free but I packed him a bento box everyday anywhere. Here they need to bring their lunch or buy one from the school canteen (if the school has one) and they also need to bring in a little snack such as fruit, a small homemade cake and a juice for snack time as well.

I’m sure as we get further into the school year the list will grow, but for now these are the top 5 things that I find very different to the school system in England!

Categories
Marrakech Travel

Marrakesh, Morocco

This was the second time we had been out to Marrakesh (in 2016), it’s one of my favourite places to visit with young children, so I’m going to combine my experiences from both trips into this one post.

Getting there

First things first, if you’re a single parent like I am, you need to find the most effective way that works for your children when it comes to navigating the airport. I try to make the airport as part of the holiday experience for the children as well so they don’t pick up on any anxious energy I may have about everything going smoothly. Here are my tips:

  • get to the airport early, I’m talking at least 4 hours early! We flew from Gatwick and used their family security lane which made things a bit easier and the boys got some stickers. It also meant we had time to sit down, get something to eat, look at the shops and do any nappy changes/toilet runs – minimising the risk of unhappy and hungry children being hustled onto a plane.
  • British Airways every time, we flew with Ryanair last time as I couldn’t justify the extra cost for a seat for a toddler but I’m so glad we flew with BA this time. Everything was a lot easier, didn’t need to worry about where to sit (or feel cheated by being asked to pay extra to chose a seat!). Drinks and snacks are complimentary as well, and actually decent food I’d give to my children rather than an £8 mini hot dog.
  • Trunkis, they are an absolute headache, causing accidents, knocking over displays etc but it keeps the children occupied and happy. Wynter pulled his along behind him and Bodhi enjoyed being pulled on his. They also both have mini backpacks from Cath Kidston, they each had a water bottle, snacks (yoghurt bar, raisins and a snack bag of pretzels), crayons, blank paper, two small books and a small toy.

***A positive aspect is what a child-friendly country it is,  only one adult accompanying young children could be whisked through and jump ahead of a good few hundred people in the queue at passport control (really helps cut down time waiting in a queue with miserable children)***

Weather

We went during late spring and winter. In the spring it was HOT, far too hot for the boys, but during the winter while it was warm enough for shorts and t-shirts, maybe a light jacket or cardigan/jumper it was very cold in the mornings and evenings. We stayed indoors for the hotter parts of the day in the spring and made the most of the pool, also water, water, water, you can never drink enough. During the winter we went out late morning until late afternoon when it was warmer (around 17-19 degrees Celsius).

Places to go

TIP: Car seats are virtually unheard of, if you don’t fancy risking your child using a seat belt then bring car seats/booster seats with you, especially for long journeys.

Here is a list of places we visited and I would highly recommend:

  • The souks – Jemma El Fna Square, Marrakesh, Morocco (I would avoid bringing children here, especially SEN as it’s quite crowded and noisy but still something to check off your list).
  • A drive up to Atlas Mountains, there are waterfalls and snow, you can also stop off in some villages for donkey rides up the mountains
  • The Palmerie, you can do camel rides out here as well and ‘dress up’
  • Jardin Majorelle, absolutely beautiful and perfect photo opportunity

Overall it was a very relaxed visit both times, there are also shopping malls like Carre Eden where you have shops like H&M and there are a few Starbucks and MacDonald’s if that’s your thing as well, which brings me on to…

Food

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There is nothing better than refreshing Moroccan tea and biscuits, I could quite happily live off it for the rest of my life.

You need to eat:

  • authentic Moroccan cous cous – we ate in silence, you could hear a pin drop (sign of a good meal!)
  • lunch and doughnuts from Amoud
  • cakes and pastries from Amandine (our daily vice)

 

NUMBER ONE TIP? Brush up on your French GCSE and throw in a few Arabic words if you can. They’ll love you for trying!