Cousins, Modroc and Minecraft

Yes, full on Minecraft absorption continues: D is still watching Stampy videos, in particular she loves the Quest ones with his friend Squid.  In fact, we ALL love those ones and can frequently be found giggling together over their silly antics.  M loves to watch Stampy too but mostly she loves to play in my Minecraft world called Babbaville (Babba was a nickname given to me by M before she could talk properly and it stuck: she only started calling me Mum a year or so ago and my niece and nephews still use that name!).

Babbaville has a remarkable effect on M: it really soothes her.  We’ve set the world up so well now that life is pretty peaceful in Babbaville – M loves to spend her time harvesting crops for her shop (she now has a 3 storey department store), fishing (I can well imagine she would love fishing in real life given the comments she makes about it in Minecraft), sorting out and tidying, and killing the odd mob now and then.  Because it’s my world I have to be playing too or M wouldn’t be able to access it so it means we are spending a lot of time playing together!  It’s really lovely as M has never been all that playful like D – from an early age M’s games would be so heavily controlled and scripted that they were not very pleasant for anybody else to play.  I have seen how playing on Minecraft works as a decompresser for children after school but I never really saw it as therapeutic – now I can see that it really is!

D’s angle on Minecraft is the creativity – she spent hours working on a world with her cousin J (7) and they built some incredible structures together.  Plus she has learnt sooooo much from watching Stampy – most of the time I’m listening too but she still manages to come out with some titbit of information I didn’t know so I can’t be listening as hard as her. 😀

At the moment, I’d say about 80% of our time is taken up with Minecraft in some way or other.  I can imagine non-unschoolers reeling in horror at this (“but imagine what they could be doing instead” or “children should be playing outside”).  Well, sometimes I get a small voice in my head saying these things too but I squash them with:

  • Replace Minecraft with any other activity – books, for example – parents boast that their child will ‘have their head in a book all day’, but there seems to be a lot of shame in saying ‘my child will play on screens all day’.  I LOVE books, but they’re limited – imagine how much of a broader spectrum of knowledge and skills a child is getting from an iPad.  Society and it’s shaming ways have to catch up in my opinion.
  • Saying what children ‘should’ be doing isn’t helpful.  When I was a child I ‘should’ have practised the violin more but I didn’t because I didn’t enjoy it enough.  I ‘should’ have had more friends to play but I didn’t because I enjoyed my own company and had 5 other sisters and cousins to play with.  I also ‘should’ have been outside more but I wasn’t because I genuinely don’t enjoy being outdoors – I’m a homebody.  We didn’t even have computers or a lot of kids’ TV in my childhood and I still didn’t do the things society said I ‘should’ be doing, so setting computers and TV up as the reason kids are not doing what they ‘should’ be doing doesn’t even make sense.
  • Adults expect too much of children – those ones who are full of ideas about how children should be behaving rarely examine their own behaviour (I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard a parent say ‘don’t f*****g swear’), or those ones who come onto Facebook to say their child would spend all day on screens if they were allowed to (yet it’s ok for that same adult to spend hours on social media and spend their evenings watching TV).  I’m actually great (if I do say so myself) at seeing how much D in particular needs screentime to recover, decompress, whatever, from life and I’m just coming to terms with my love of games and how I need them too.

Ooh I seem to have gone off on a tangent there, so back to our week. 🙂

The other 20% of sausage time is taken up with playing in the garden – the girls have made up lots of crazy games together and also with J.  I can’t remember why M has only one pyjama leg down in this pic but this is them making up a little dance routine in the garden one evening.  Also note the collapsing trampoline behind them!  Oh dear, it really is time for a replacement…

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I have recently had a food overhaul while I try to figure out what I’m intolerant to.  Which means I’m spending a lot more time in the kitchen while I try out new recipes.  M has been helping me loads – she loves chopping & peeling and collecting herbs from the garden, she loves all the smells and textures on her hands and a couple of times has even joined me for dinner afterwards.

We have also (finally) finished her Perseus sculpture in wire and mod roc after I finally got around to buying wire thick enough to make a stand and some more mod roc to finish what she couldn’t do at the National Gallery a few months ago.  And here it is!

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She has also covered her button jar with tiny pieces of washi tape and Mod Podge:

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They’ve been to the park lots (J loves taking them), looking after our bunnies, getting their eye’s tested (they love the optician’s!) and they had lots and lots of fun with cousins who came to stay for nearly 4 days (their longest visit so far!)

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Next up, my parents are coming to visit so they can look after the sausages while J and I go to a wedding.  Only our second night away away from the sausages – eek!

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