Day 275 in Brazil: What we’ve learnt about entertaining our children, without going crazy…

We’re 9 months into the assignment. This post wasn’t a totally new experience for us since we’ve visited the Country several times before we moved here. Visiting was fun and care-free. Living and adjusting as a family, a little harder than we’d expected, but still very manageable.

The Miranda Family arrived in Recife at the end of July 2010. We had lots to look forward to: a new baby on-the-way, the proximity to the Brazilian grandparents and the opportunity for our children to improve their Portuguese skills, the apartment by the beach and plans to take several short trips while living in Northeastern Brazil.

We’re 9 months into the assignment. This post wasn’t a totally new experience for us since we’ve visited the Country several times before we moved here. Visiting was fun and care-free. Living and adjusting as a family, a little harder than we’d expected, but still very manageable.

Our familial “nucleus” is constituted of 2 adults, 2 toddlers (3 1/2 and 5 1/2 yrs-old) and a 5-month old baby, and being a parent/caretaker requires lots of diplomacy, negotiationpeacekeeping, policy implementation and strategy skills. That said, managing a household, its respective juvenile population and the consequent budgetary implications, is a… HUGE, EXPERIMENTAL and UNFORESEEN task!

There is a never-ending need to keep kids and parents sane (as much as possible). Family outings require loads of planning and logistics management – even if we’re just talking about a Sunday lunch!

  • Here are some suggestions for entertaining the kids (without pulling our hair off), we’ve learnt along the way:
Take advantage of the warm weather and have them learn how to swim at school!
LEGOS, building blocks, puzzles - you name it! Life-savers on a rainy day
Encourage the interaction between siblings - great strategy to avoid "middle child" syndrome
Have friends over for unplanned singing sessions!
Encourage kids to participate in school's cultural events & popular celebrations
Make sure they are exposed to artistic/musical expressions. As much as possible!
Take short trips with kids and have them experience some "cultural blending"
Coordinate for play dates with other children. Include athletic and sports activities. Supervise.
Show your children how to respect, love and appreciate nature
Celebrate every milestone. Show your support. Have fun together!
Be open about trying new activities and experiences. Offer the opportunity to learn new motor skills.
Let your children know it's okay to be silly!
Make a super-extra-conscious effort to be part of the school activities.

And, most important of all: show the children your unconditional, unreserved love. At all times! At the end, our goal is raising happy, self-confident human beings, right? We’re trying to do our part


Surprise your children. Here are some links on good stuff to do around Recife:

  • Praia de Boa Viagem (beach) – natural war water pools protected by coral reefs guarantee a delicious time a the beach. The sand and waters are continuously monitored by the state’s environmental agency, CPRH and are pollution-free.
  • Jardim Botânico de Recife (Botanical Gardens) – a natural reservation measuring 25.7 acres, a member of the Brazilian network of Botanical Gardens.
  • Parque Dois Irmãos (park) – one of the most beautiful and picturesque green areas of the city, the 38.7 ha park is a zoo, botanical and environmental education centre and an
    Atlantic Rainforest reservation. Ecological walking trails are guided by Biologists.
  • Parque da Jaqueira (park) – located by the Capibaribe river, the park covers 7ha and its the city’s largest one. Very green and has got beautiful gardens designed by Burle Marx.
  • Parque 13 de Maio (park) – also designed by Burle Marx, in downtown Recife. Children’s playgrounds, jogging lanes, benches, royal palm trees and sculptures.
  • Museu do Homem do Nordeste (museum) – one of the most historical and anthropological museums in Brazil. Hosts the “Family at the Museum” program.
  • Paço Children’s Project – contemporary arts program in Recife.
  • Escolinha de Arte do Recife (Junior Art School) – dedicated to awakening creativity and love for the arts in children.
  • Mirabilândia – one of the largest amusement parks in NE Brazil, the fairground has more than 20 rides divided into radical, family and children.
  • Game Station – there is an arcade in every major shopping mall, offering electronic games and fun for children and adults.
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Author: 3rdCultureChildren

Welcome! Here I am, 'releasing' my thoughts on traveling, parenting, raising TCKs, teaching, writing, working... and who knows what else! I’m a WIFE, 'geeky-stuff' SCIENTIST, TEACHER, AUTHOR, (aspiring) AMATEUR photographer, MOM of 3, TRAVELER by choice and by marriage, and of course, a HOUSEHOLD QUEEN!!

20 thoughts on “Day 275 in Brazil: What we’ve learnt about entertaining our children, without going crazy…”

    1. Obrigada, Daniel! 😮 Eu creio que o Mirabilandia eh bom para os pequeninos… o meu Cesar adora ir para la com a escola (Madre de Deus)…. Eh onde eles tem a abertura dos jogos da escola…. e nao vao em todos os brinquedos, apenas os mais inocentes… 😮 Eu ainda tenho “toddlers”…. lembre que o meu mais velho apenas completou 6 aninhos…. Abracos, Raquel

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  1. Thank you Dominique!!! soon I’ll have more pics of Cesar (and Marcela) from School – Mother’s Day! Hope all is well with your boys! :o)
    Also, I do have to thank you for all your wonderful work with our César. He’s excelling in his current Montessori School.. and we’re so very happy. His age group began reading in Portuguese, so you imagine how content his Brazilian grandparents must be.. He adores the school, but misses his friends from Maputo. He’s joined now by his sister, a 3 yr-old who believes she’s 13!

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  2. Wow! Brilliant…. Being the best you can be for your children, nothing better. So glad to see all your Happy Smiles xxx
    Dominique

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  3. I love your blog! Everyone looks great! I’m going to have to show Kieran the pictures everyone. He will be so excited. All your tips are right on! I’m trying to manage myself. Adjusting with a family is a whole ‘nother ball of wax.

    All the best!!

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