France ... and Normandy in particular ... is crammed full of toddler friendly places to visit but rather than writing another "Best Toddler Places to Visit in Normandy" blog this blog post is all about why I think it is such a good idea to bring toddlers toddlers abroad, both generally and with some specific references to Normandy.
Toddler Friendly France
Culture and LanguageChildren are never too young to be introduced to another culture and language - they will have no problem conversing with children from other countries as language barriers do not exist when they are young. They will often love saying new foreign words and this could be the first steps towards a love of languages as they grow older. Opening young children's eyes to other cultures makes them so much accepting to all that is different and wonderful about the world.
Food AdventuresWhat a great way to get toddlers to try new foods - ours happily tucked into mussels, at a young age, when we were on a holiday in France before we moved over here. If young children see their parents eating unusual foods with relish they will much more likely to copy and you may well find you have an international gourmet on your hands before too long. French restaurants are very welcoming to young children and will often bring their food out quicker than the adults to save the "Hungry Grumps" setting in.
The French adore Les EnfantsThe French love children and if you can get your toddler to say a few words in French to the locals they'll be a big hit. Tom loved saying Bonjour Monsieur/Madame to everyone we met when on holiday and they loved him for it ... although by the time we got home we realised he actually thought everyone was called M. Bonjour or Mme Bonjour!
...and Normandy in particular
Toddler Friendly BeachesThe beaches here are wonderful - clean sand, shallow waters and no big waves - very toddler friendly. Beach fronts are not crowded full of shops selling all sorts of "Must-have things" that your toddler never realised they needed until they saw them and went into meltdown when you said "No!". Just sand, sea and fun.
Toddler Friendly Swimming PoolsThe swimming pools are great for toddlers - almost all have shallow baby and toddler pools with lots of toys supplied free so if the weather isn't beach friendly you'll still get them into their swimming trunks!
Fabulous CountrysideNormandy is a beautiful part of France with miles of footpaths just waiting to be discovered. Toddlers will marvel at the local farm animals, wild flowers, tractors etc and there is simply oodles of space to run around in. Grab some cheese, baguette and local cider/apple juice and have a picnic in the tranquil landscape. Great memories are not always made on expensive days out ...
Getting ThereIf you are coming from the UK (or Europe) then there are no long haul flights and Normandy is just a short journey away. For toddlers, time spent on a ferry is much easier than being cooped up in a car and there is space to run around, cabins to have a proper sleep in and on-board entertainment to keep them amused. For anyone travelling with Brittany Ferries we have a code to give you 20% off your crossing. If you don't fancy the ferry then the Channel Tunnel is an exciting experience for a toddler. The car journey at the other side is no more than 4 hours with plenty of toddler friendly Aires (service stations/rest areas) along the way where there is always space for some exercise and invariably also a play area. Live in Paris? Normandy is an ideal destination for a long weekend in the country.
And of course for accommodation please consider our gite, Eco-Gites of Lenault which has been set up to welcome you and your youngster with loads of toddler kit supplied free of charge, a large play area and our animals. And as you are not yet tied to going away in school holidays then you'll find we have plenty of availability in mid and low season.
Toddler Friendly NormandyYou can't deny it - there is absolutely bucket loads of things to do with toddlers here in Normandy and whilst this post isn't about these specifically I couldn't really finish without a link to some of the best places you can visit. For more details click here - Children Friendly Holidays in Normandy.
Have you been to Normandy with a toddler? If so, what would you recommend?