City Bingo

“Are we in ‘stan’ now mummy?” Maya uttered as we drove in to Stockholm.

The Swedes refer to the nearest biggest city as ‘stan’ – the immediate translation being ‘town’.

Despite being born in London, UK, neither Leon nor Maya have the understanding of living in a really big town, or city, having moved to a tiny suburban area in California when Leon was just 3, and Maya only 6 months. And three years ago we moved to an even smaller suburban area, barely a village, three and a half years ago here in Sweden.

We only live 20 minutes drive from Stockholm, but we rarely go in to town with the kids – and if we do, it’s usually straight to a museum or park, and home again.

So here we have it – the concept of ‘town’. A rushing, buzzing concrete area full of shops, people, cars, lights and noise. And something very new to the kids.

So we started with ‘city bingo’…

Armed with a bingo sheet and a pen each the kids set off to find the above items – a shoe shop, a phone shop, a cafe, a clothes shop, a church, a jewelers, a restaurant, a toy shop, and an underground station.

Each item found was marked along the way…

Leon and Maya just loved this game, but Alfie, as you can imagine, was a little confused. So many people and places – like this wig shop for example, which he just could not fathom – a shop to buy hair in?!

And I just love this photo of him watching a busker – all the people rushing about, and Alfie just standing still, transfixed, in the midst of it all. Why is that man sitting on the street singing and playing a guitar?

And Leon rather liked this golden owl on the top of a chemist – it reminded him of Harry Potter and the little alley where all the shops are…

And as we passed Sergels Torg (the main city square), Leon had a vague memory of being here before – of going to the fantastic Kulturhuset! And so, it was decided that we should all have a ‘fika’ (cakes and coffee/juice) at Kulturhuset, and Leon excitedly told Alfie about all the things we would find there…

And so after we had our ‘fika’, we spent the rest of the afternoon in the children’s area, Leon reading to Alfie in the library, and Maya trying out felting in the art room…


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