Another pleasant morning brought us back to the Obdorf school premises, this time on a relaxed, winding day, a Friday after a public holiday in Austria. Although we had been told in advance that the number of pupils might be lower on this day, we were amazed to see eight curious children – even though two of them had gone on vacation early.
Our efforts to create a “stamp program” tailored to the children bore fruit. We started with a round of “stamp bingo”, in which each child received a card with five stamps from one country. One of the supervisors gradually drew cards from a lottery pot with the descriptions of stamps on them. The children looked to see if the description matched one of their stamps. If so, they could tick off the stamp on the game card. The first person to tick off all five stamps was the proud winner.
After this captivating competition, we moved on seamlessly to the fascinating world of stamp science. An entertaining “question and answer session” on the subject of stamps aroused the children’s curiosity. They were then allowed to enthusiastically design their own silent stamps from potatoes, inspired by the philatelic examples they had seen previously. Care was taken to ensure that no one cut their fingers. But creativity blossomed and the children designed silent stamps in the shape of Christmas trees, hearts, checks, cheerful smileys and the first letters of their names, which they used to print on envelopes.
Next, we demonstrated how to create an engaging story using ten randomly selected stamps. This inspired the children to tell their own stories with stamps. One boy enthusiastically illustrated a story about a poisonous bug at his grandmother’s house with stamps, while a girl presented a heartwarming tale of a young king’s daughter who got lost in the forest and had to feed on local plants before her mold tracked her down and brought her home safely. The children’s imagination was admirable.
As a reward, the children were proud to take home the stamps they had captured from the bingo game, their self-designed silent stamps and the stamps they had used to tell their unique stories. A day full of lively creativity and harmony came to an end, and we hope that it will remain a positive memory not only for us but also for the children.