What can we do during parental leaving in Oslo | pappaperm

While we wait to start to send our kid in the kindergarten/barnehage/nursery school, we need a way to keep her busy. She is a very active girl, and keeping her home all the day is not possible at all. It became a very stressful situation, as we live in an apartment. In addition, my wife is home studying, so keeping her home is basically an impossible task, as otherwise she want to stay all the time with the mother, hence she cannot study at all.

Luckily, the helsestajon/health centre where we go to check that my girl’s going good did provide us the tip that some special places exists where you can play with your children, like as you are in a barnehage.
They said that is also very good for the kid development, as it allow to practice more activities/games than at home (manual/physical development), meet more people/kids (social development), and they can learn from each other (general development).
It’s also very useful to parents, as you meet other parents with the same problems as you, and you can share tips and information. You can also speak with someone that can reply to you something more structured than “blabla” 😁

Our girl started to crab a little bit after started to go there, and it has had a very good development curve, in my opinion, compared to other babies.
Basically these are the services I’m aware of, so I hope this can help other families to have a better time while waiting to start to bring their kids to the barnehage.
All of these services require that an adult person is keeping care of the baby, and it’s under his responsibility, so it’s not like a real “barnehage”.

Åpen barnehage

One example: Bjerke/Veitvet Oslo municipality website

The municipality of Oslo offer a free service called “åpen barnehage” where all the parents can bring their children and play together. Usually it’s attended by a “kindergarten assistant” that is responsible for the place, and they have free toys, organize songs and other activities. They have all you need to change diapers (stellebord, changing table), and a food area (baby chair, tables, etc), but you need to bring with you all you need. Usually the opening hours are pretty limited, and it’s open few days a week, but it’s a good service.


Lillelab website.

It’s a business-driven place where you can bring your baby.
It has been one of the first of this type of service opened in Oslo, so it’s the most famous and used.
It provides
– many different toys, kick scooter/sparkesykkel, baby walker/gåvogn, etc
– slides and swings,
– climbing structures,
– a food area,
– a changing-diapers area (stellerom), with free diapers and wet wipes,
– a breastfeeding room,
– a fridge and they sell also baby food,
– you can rent the location after kl. 16 for birthdays parties, just for you.
As today it has 3 locations: Hasle (Vinslottet), Torshov and Oslo centrum (Steen & Strøm). The opening hours in Hasle are 10-16, but I know some location have some variations to this, take a look at their website. Are you trying to book with their website and it looks extremely slow? Yep, it’s normal. It can take 2/3 minutes to complete the booking.
You can pay per-day, or you can be member, and then the price is only 365 nok/month (2024).

I’m mostly experienced with the Hasle location, that has been – unfortunately – upgraded lately, to be used for bigger kids and for parties, so it’s not baby-friendly.
I went once to Torshov but it was so cold that my little baby got the feber. Basically it’s located in a shed underground. They said they have improved the location, but I think it’s impossibile (at least for my standards). I never went to the location in Oslo Sentrum because who went there said it was the worst of them all.

In Hasle during the week is not so crowded, but in the weekends with bad weather, there are a lot of bigger kids, and the place become pretty unsafe for a baby. To be clear: it’s not because of the kids, but because the parents don’t want to follow their kids: they keep locking to their smartphone, chatting, drinking coffee, etc.
I personally witnessed several events that could have been very serious (even fatal) for my daughter. So honestly I cannot suggest to go there during weekends. The employees do not want to follow parents who doesn’t follow their rules, mainly that they need to keep care of their toddlers, so the responsibility it’s on you.


Småtroll website

It is very similar to Lillelab (amenities, price, membership, etc), but it’s smaller and more focused to small babies.
The amount of people allowed inside is limited and this create a safer environment.
As today they have only one location near the Grorud station, opened 10-18.
There aren’t employees in the location, as it’s self-service, you can book via their website ad get a token to open the door.
The booking system is fast and it works very well.

Oslo Mikrolekeri

I haven’t tried this one, because it’s closed on Tuesdays, and this was a problem for me. I evaluated the place after Lillelab did renovate their Hasle location, but I never went there.
The feedback I got from other parents is that is more focused – again – on toddler than on babies.

Other places

Do you know other places that are worth to share to other parents? Have you found a mistake in my article? Write me a message, I will gladly update it!

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