From Monday to Friday, the Mini Club of Larvotto welcomes children from 3 to 12 years old and offers various activities, such as a visit to the beehives and a sewing workshop.
It is 10 o’clock, near the zoo. Silence reigns. When, suddenly, thin voices and bursts of laughter are heard: “Where are the bees?” The children enrolled in the Larvotto Mini Club are out meeting Laurent Franchet, the foreman who handles hives, until 11:30 am. One activity among the many offered by the centre for 3-12 years each summer.
Awareness of ecology
The group of 16 children, ages 3 to 5, listens attentively to the foreman’s explanations, answering questions candidly. “What are bees for?” “To sting!” The outing aims to make them aware of environmental protection: “This is the age that they learn. It is the new generation; they must be sensitized so that they become aware of the action of man on nature. I tell them that they are the guardians of the bees and that they must protect them,” explains Frachet.
Some kids, after a while, begin to daydream. Then, after the lesson, the children discover how a hive is made … without bees, of course. The bees will arrive a little later, under glass. The questions are fading, the smiles are growing, but not as much as when the “gifts” are distributed: a bee mask to colour and a small jar of Monaco honey. “Outings like this are very enjoyable for them. We were here two weeks ago with the other group … The kids talked about it for two days!” reveals Priscilla and Marie-Ange, the instructors.
Water games, sewing and Wii
In the afternoon, after the siesta, it is water games and Wii for some, and sewing for other children from 6 to 12 years old. On the program: the construction of a money purse using felt as a base. “It’s important for them to be interested in the project and they can take it with them when they leave the centre,” analyzes Erika Lorenzi, who has been in charge of the couture workshop since last summer.
Boys as girls tackle the task with seriousness and pleasure, sometimes encountering some difficulties.
“It teaches them patience and manual practice. We encourage them to play with their creativity by offering several colours,” Erika says. “They do not necessarily have the habit of having fun this way—they are the tablet generation. For two hours we cut them off.
The time to come home is approaching after a busy day. The program will continue until September 1st, at the Larvotto Mini Club. Until then, kids can enjoy the swimming pool, musical awakening, outings to the zoo, visits to the fire station, and carabinieri, or the other pearls of Monaco. There are so many opportunities to hear the resounding voices and laughter of our dear little ones.
For more information:
The Mini-club is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Open to children from 3 to 12 years. The price for a half-day (without meals) is €13.50, the entire day without meals is €16,60 and with meals is €20,80.