Due to unforeseen circumstances I will not be seeing niece and nephew tomorrow so we decided to leave Arabic for another time and we did Russian instead.
They picked up the characters quicker than I did and mostly remembered yes, no, I /my name is and thank you. We watched some Cossack dancing (they had not heard of it) and listened to some beautiful Orthodox then folk music.
Thanks to Russian friend, I managed to get some vellum paper (albeit lined but my nephew liked the smell), no birch bark:
Great summary in this IJOR article (En)
They used fountain pens today. Proud of them both, no prejudices just interest and willingness to learn. They may forget everything for a while but we’re hoping to visit Chinatown, a Russian cafe in Westminster and tbc re Arabic, Hindi and Urdu so they can see characters again etc