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Morocco with Children

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Morocco with Children

My wife, 18 month old toddler and I were on a trip buying rugs in Morocco for a couple months this winter. Since returning, we've had a lot of questions about traveling in Morocco in general, and specifically about traveling there with kids. There is a much better and more complete blog about these subjects here at the indispensable Maroc Mama, a blog we read all the time while we were in Morocco.

There is an a lot of stuff to see and do in Morocco and children love it.

Morocco is endlessly enthralling for children and adults alike. The nature, the culture, the color. We started off in Taghazout, where we surfed for a few weeks with a hippie German couple and their 3 year old. They had been bumming around Europe in a VW camper van for 7 months, chasing the endless summer down to Morocco before starting teaching jobs in Dresden, and they were very interesting and bohemian people. The kids would play on the beach for hours and hours, and we pretended not to notice when the town's sewers would dump into the water and you would see pieces of poop bobbing in the waves. I've been told that this is good for the developing immune system. 

After Taghazout, we drove through the Atlas mountains to Marrakesh. The colors and sounds of the medinas of Marrakesh are fabulous for children, but do beware the motorcycles, donkeys, and the rug touts snapping their fingers in your child's face. Jemaa El Fna square has to be seen to be believed, and will make even the most seasoned traveler feel like a kid again.

Moroccans in general love children

Like everyone else they know that children represent everything in the world that is pure and perfect and innocent. Unlike people from other, colder (both meteorologically and socially) countries that shall remain unnamed, Moroccans will approach your children and interact with them. Not just the old ladies either. Teenage boys, surly looking men, everyone. Prepare to have a lot of conversations with strangers.

Moroccans are not shy about giving unsolicited parenting advice - in fact they are total scolds.

Zelda was going through a phase where she did not want to wear a shirt. After a few minutes of us forcing her to put one on, she would tear it off, run away from us and start drumming on her tummy while yelling "bongo baby." She would do this wherever we happened to be, which could get awkward at times. Moroccan women would shake their heads at us and tell us "il fait trop froid" even if it was 25 degrees and sunny out (which was every day). We would try to explain to them that we were committed to an authoritative, not authoritarian parenting style, and we wanted to provide a loving, democratic environment with strong but flexible boundaries and fair, consistent, and understandable discipline. To that they would tell us to please put her shirt on.

Morocco was safe, interesting, and the people were fantastic. It has the perfect mix of cool cities and breathtaking nature, and our daughter Zelda loved it. She was really unhappy to return to the Canadian winter in Toronto, but eventually got over it.










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