Our Family’s (2nd) Year in the South of France
Kids and Castles - Our year with kids in the South of France

A Tale of Two Toy Castles

One of the biggest challenges when planning a year-long trip is figuring out what you’re going to bring with you.  We limited ourselves to what we could bring on the plane.  We checked 4 bags that were exactly 50 pounds plus a carry-on each.

One thing that got cut from the list was toys.  The girls each had their kid-sized backpacks and were allowed to fill those with whatever they wanted, but that was it.  All books, art supplies, stuffed animals, magnets, dolls, and other playthings had to fit in that one bag. We hoped this trip would be a good exercise in living with less stuff, and we definitely have less toys.

The children have not suffered.  The house we’re renting came with a stash of toys, and an amazing neighbour from the village lent us a stash of her daughters’ Playmobils one really rainy day.

They’re also being creative.  They learn about living in an earth-friendly way at school, so have decided to “reuse” as much of our garbage as I will let them keep. They have a box full of old bottles, boxes, toilet paper tubes, egg cartons, and more. Yesterday they made this creation:

The Garbage Castle

It’s hard to see in the picture, but their garbage castle has towers, ramparts, a stable for the horses, and even a drawbridge!

I did plan to pick up a few small things for them here, so I’m always on the lookout for small, affordable, interesting and time consuming toys. I found this in the museum gift store at Les Baux-de-Provence that seemed like it would be good.

Paper Castle Kit

It looked like a fun project for the girls to do. In reality it turned into a time-consuming project for ME. There were 93 separate pieces that had to be cut out with scissors, the paper was heavy, the glue didn’t stick, and the tape we had was not good. And it took even longer because of all the “help” the girls gave me.

Paper Castle Finished

But I’m proud of my castle, and I will partager (share) it with the kids now that I’m done.

4 Responses to “A Tale of Two Toy Castles”

  1. Val says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the garbage castle! Way to go, girls!

    (Yours is nice, too, Diane )

  2. beth says:

    You’re such a good mama. Way to let them play with garbage! I mean that in a really good way! Very creative.

  3. […] were summoned to see a Spectacle (show) that the kids had prepared. They had taken our “reuse box” and made a family of puppets:  a king, a queen, a princess, a policeman, and a pig.  They […]

  4. Maha says:

    It’s amazing what kids come up with when their normal activities are unavailable. Clearly yours are very creative!