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Kinderpret: Amsterdam Jan 04







I was blown away by some kids theatre at the Kinderpret (kids part of the Binnenpret in Amsterdam) & afterwards cajoled Errika who programs the kids events to answer these questions.


What does Kinderpret mean?

The whole project is called Binnenpret; some fun within yourself. Kinderpret means some fun with children.

So how long have you been involved in this project?

Ten years In the beginning I was helping out on Wednesdays & now I am here almost every day of the week I am programming what will be every Wednesday theatre show programs & some disco for children from 3-9 years they can dance & dress up & play around. The third thing we do is workshops so they can learn how to make little films or how to make circus or dancing.

Are there many social centres that program activities for children in the Netherlands?

There are festivals in summer. There are sometimes things but not so much on a regular base. What I know off there are mainly course where children can learn mainly art & things like that.

How old are the kids that come to the Kiderpret?

They come in the night now. But they come & go what is funny there is very many children under 9 years mostly under 7. They are going to some club or something when theyíre bigger thatís why all the time we have to find new young peple Ėbut they come we donít have to find them

How do you advertise the children's programme?

For the neighbour hood we put posters & we have these programme books & we put them everywhere where kids come & can find it. We also have special mailing list from known people. But we like to get the neighbourhood involved itís also nice when you have a child that you donít have to walk very far to get here.

There where quite a lot of people at the show today. Is it always this popular?

Normally we have more. Depends on what will happen & what people think it will be today it was 5 & older & already thatís a bit less than when you have four or older.

What advice would you give to anyone trying to start this  kinda activity?

The best thing is that children can really participate today there was puppet theatre & after they could play with the puppets but there should always be something that they can do. Let the kids work work together with you. Let them have some space to move & make things. But they like to do things with you. Not only sit & watch but even to help. Itís hard to give general advice depending on the space you have what you can do. They donít mind what it is they like surprises they like crazy things they like rubbish  they like whatever. You donít need to have a lot of money you can tell them that your gonna do something exciting & with some fantasy it can be fun.

Do you have some activities the kids organise themselves?

Well we have a kind of adventure play but we make only once a year now because it takes so much work to create a whole new world in here then they can act as well. They have to help out. They have to really go into this land &create things to save the beings or to solve problems so I like this the most but we a re always taking three days to build up & only a few hours to do it. I would like to do it everyday but itís not possible. You really get them working with you or playing with you & I think itís nice.

Are there any people involved in the Binnenpret now who used to come along to the kids activities?

It is really nice that we have a whole group of people who used to come here when they were kids & now they have children & come here as volunteers & it really nice when you know really well someone from the late night activities but now you can be in the same place & you show your kids where you where itís really different but you make the same atmosphere or the same ideals you can make with them. & Iím very happy that we found people who have kids now as wellas we do maybe in 5 years the children will be so big that they stop coming. We will see there will be a new generation.

The importance of having these beautiful kids here itís really good to share your ideas with the kids & show them how you work & what you are doing. Thatís already very nice but its also really good to have them around so that maybe these young people who are not used to children. People from the concerts & the bands come in & they see the children & they are interested in each other sometimes they play with each other so you get this mix & I really like this & from both sides the children learn Ė the drums are coming in & can we play a bit & the bands are hey kids its not our audience but what can we do. & I think itís good for many kids not coming in the daytime but maybe coming in the night & see what's happening here.













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