Our one month stay in Novi Banovci was full of indoor play. We found the heat unbearably hot outside and filled with mosquitos on most days, so we preferred to stay in the air-conditioned living area for our play time.’
We found out that our tap water was not drinkable due to old pipes in the house, so we initially bought bottles of water until we found a filtered jug. That meant we had lots of plastic bottles that could not be recycled (Serbia doesn’t do any recycling). So we created junk play. It was great to see that over the months of travelling light Kenzo and Lui had developed their own ideas on how to design their bottles and had increased their engagement when playing with the finished product. Kenzo put a torch in one of his submarines.
It’s daunting for these littles ones to watch their older siblings draw so well so they often ask for someone else to draw them a train. But we found that by asking them what a train needs, they begin by drawing the wheels and then the windows and so-on.
I’d been avoiding play dough for months because we never needed to buy flour. But because we had no outside textured play I decided we should make some. Unfortunately we couldn’t find cream of tartar but we were able to find a simple flour, water, salt and oil recipe. The kids loved it, even if it was a bit more greasy.
We incorporated some clippings of the long grass to create a dinosaur forest. Soon, this was more interesting than the play dough. Kenzo was loving the scissors, using them to cut string, ribbon, paper, leaves, grass, and even his own hair.
We’d been ramping up the schooling while in Spain but it was apparent that we had spent too much time on holiday. We needed to do a lot of catch up. Dusk began at 4am and the sun woke us up at 6am sharp – there were no curtains in our bedroom. So we decided to start schooling at 6am and get six hours of school work out of the way as early as possible. Some days dragged and some days worked well. Overall, we were making progressing.
Overall I’ve been noticing that having so few toys and such little access to our usual facilities and activities has enhanced all of our imaginations. We’ve had to entertain Kenzo and Lui on long bus and train rides, in the mornings when they wake up too early, in the evenings when they are awake too late, during the day when they are full of beans with nothing to play with and nowhere to go, so our go-to became imaginary play. It is the quickest way to engage them and they will happily take your lead. These days they initiate it. And that’s inspire of watching loads of Netflix. In fact, their tv programmes seem to enhance our play as they become more informed about the world we live in and they make sense of it all through role playing.