I’ve had so many plans for our summer: many English activities, arts and crafts, whole days spent in English, having my best friend B. over a lot, who speaks to the kids English only, learning… More
I saw a great post on facebook in which a parent used painter’s tape to make geometric shapes on their wooden fence, then the child coloured the shapes with chalk of different colours. Finally, they removed the tape and a beautiful piece of artwork remained on the fence.
I loved it but we haven’t got a wooden fence we could use, so I racked my brain quite hard to find a solution. Our garden is mostly grassy and outside the fence the ground is covered with driveway tile. So, I decided to think in small and made the first pattern on the narrow pavement that runs around the house.
The kids got interested and got closer asking what I was doing. I didn’t say anything just started to colour. Of course, they joined in. Both of them scratched their fingers on the pavement as they were colouring with the smaller chalk pieces.
Little L. gave it up. We had to put a plaster on her finger, and she was off to ride her bike instead. But E. stayed with me after her boo-boo was treated.
What’s more, she made her own mosaic chalk picture.
She was generous enough to let her little sister peel off the tape, which they found extremely satisfying.
The two pictures turned out beautifully.
Give it a try! It’s a simple and amazing artistic experience outside in the fresh air. In case of bad weather, you can try to do it on black construction paper or even cardboard and using markers instead of chalk.
Flowers are blooming in our garden, but the weather turned cold, so we brought spring inside our home with this paper plate growing flower craft.
To be honest, I needed to find some craft project for E. as she needed to hand in some spring related craft for school.
While we were listening to the spring songs our hands were busy with doing the craft.
What you need:
- paper plate
- yellow/white/green construction paper
- popsicle stick/spatula
- markers/coloured pencils
- yellow button or bead
How we made it:
To begin with, I advise you to prepare the smaller and more time-consuming elements of the craft, like the leaves, or drawing of the little girls who is watering the flower, with smaller kids even the flower petals.
We started with the painting of the ground brown in the lower section of the paper plate.
Then we let it dry. While it was drying we made the flowers. You can paint the petals with fingertips, but my daughters don’t like to get dirty, so we used dot markers instead. We let them dry as well.
We cut out the green leaves, and coloured and cut the little girl out. (I drew the girl, the kids just coloured it. In case of older kids 10+ you can let them draw their own.)
When everything dried we drew the roots with a black marker, cut the sun and paste it on the paper plate. The kids drew the rays of the sun.
When the petals of our flowers were dry we glued the yellow button on as the pistil.
After that we glued the leaves on the popsicle stick (lucky I had green sticks), then the flower head. The girls also glued the little girl on the paper plate. I did the cutting along the ground line with a sharp hobby knife.
When everything was ready they tried to put the flower through the hole but it always stuck because of the leaves. I folded the middle of the paper plate and problem was solved.
While playing they were singing (to the tune of Head, shoulders, knees and toes):
Flower, stem, leaves and roots, leaves and roots
Flower, stem, leaves and roots, leaves and roots
And all it takes is sun and showers
And the seed grows into a flower.
E. wanted me to report on a game she made up. I was more than happy to do it as she wished. They played this game with Little L. in English.
First, she fixed some elastic band between two stools. This served as a limbo pole. Then, they formed two teams; the teams were sitting opposite each other. Between them there was the rope.
They took two giant dice and equal number of soft toys. Both girls threw the dice.
If you throw 6, you can make a soft toy go under the limbo pole. They cannot touch the limbo pole. If you accidentally touch the rope with the toy you have a second chance to try. If you touch the limbo pole for the second time, your soft toy is out of the game and joins the audience. If they manage to go under the rope without touching it, they stay on the other side. You have to put them aside.
Nothing happens if you throw 2, 3, or 4. The players throw again (at the same time).
If you throw 5, one of the set-aside soft toys go back home.
The game ends when somebody only has toys from the other team, and has no original soft toys. Then the other team wins. If you play it in more than 2 groups, the winner is who has the most original soft toys.
I know it’s sounds a bit complicated as it is written down but in practice it’s easy and FUUUUUN!
Here’s a video as the girls are playing the limbo game.
My elder daughter’s brain is scientifically wired, she’s not so interested in girly things, on the other hand my little one is more influenced by the material world. She’s a girly girl who’s into nail polish, hair clips and pretty dresses. She inspired the beauty salon game.
First, I drew around my hands and made nails. Then I printed a female model head, punched her hair around and tied orange yarn into the holes.
I prepared nail polishes of different colours, eyeshadow and blush. There were a lot of hair bobbles and hairclips, plus some cotton buds and pads.
Then came the girls into the beauty salon. They turned into beauticians.
They started with the nail polish.
We put the hands aside to dry, then came the lady’s hair. She asked for a plait. The girls decorated the hair as they wished. (When the nail polish dried they added rings made out of kitchen foil.)
Little L. needed a tiny bit of help with the plait at the beginning but she did a great job.
E. is a pro at this:
The lady checked her look in the mirror:
With cotton buds they outlined the eyebrows, put blush on the cheeks, eyeshadow on the eyelids and added some blush on the lips too (I have no lipsticks). They also put some blush on their own cheeks afterwards.
They had lots of fun, and we mentioned all these beauty-realted vocabulary items (see the highlighted words in this post) that we usually don’t.
I loved E.’s wise comment: Simple is the best.
Due to the corona virus’ aggressive spread we’re all home to stay safe and decrease the possibility of infections in our community. Schools and kindergartens have closed down, most of my students have cancelled the lessons and my husband has been in home office.
In this post I’ll collect what we’ve been doing this week. Some activities will have a separate post, you’ll find a link attached. I hope this, and the following posts will give you ideas how to kill time if you’re also staying at home with your kids.
E. got her school material early, at the beginning of the week. We’ve been doing the tasks in Hungarian. We spent about 2 hours on tha tasks in the morning and another 1 hour in the afternoon.
Most of the tasks are paper based, supported with online videos, study apps like learning apps (e.g. German word cards), quizizz (e.g. Maths or reading) from the teachers. She does these game-like studying in the breaks of the paper-based tasks. I caught her doing English quizzes too. 🙂
Little L. also wanted to do some “homework” so I took out some of the old activities I’d made for E. when she was little. Thank God, I have lots of stuff, L. was really busy and quick to solve the tasks. (counting, letter tracing, number recognition, sight words.)
E. and I also made her some new activities in her journal.
E. was more than happy to correct the otherwise perfect solutions. Little L. was very proud of herself.
While E. was working on her Roman numbers (put out with matches),
Little L. did some number activities (you can find them by clicking on the link)
E. had quite a lot of writing practice (they learnt 2 new letters this week), maths (additions and take always up to 12), plus reading tasks. As she is more advanced in her studies I gave her some copying of her choice, reading comprehension tasks (a fairy tale) and I also dictated a “short” letter addressed to her teacher. English writing and reading were scarce, much to my disappointment. We simply didn’t have time for it.
L.’s favourite game was the number puzzle game that I hadn’t written about unfortunately. You can find this activity at this reading mamma ( If you click on the link, you can get your own free printable), we did this activity with E. at about the same age as L. is now.
Free time activities:
E.’s got a new hobby i.e. playing the piano. We checked some English children songs online and she learned them to play. She wrote C D E F G A B C all over the keys and practiced a lot. (Old Mac Donald, Rain, rain go away, Twinkle, twinkle little star, Row, row, row your boat, ABC song, This is the way) and some Hungarian folk songs too (Boci, boci tarka, A part alatt)
A part of E.’s crafts studies we prepared our dreamcatchers and put them in our bedroom. You can find a separate post about it on the link above.
As the weather has been beautifully sunny and warm, we spent most of our time outside gardening, playing games, patting the cat or jumping in the trampoline.
Our old Tray Nature Hunt activity was reloaded. I made new pictures of the collectibles that the girls could find in our garden and the hunt could begin. E. didn’t seem to remember this activity, but who can blame her, she was just 2,5 years old when we did it first. (I’m writing a seperate post about it)
They were very excited and were running around the garden.
At the moment the 2 girls are enthusiastically preparing for their Sunday show. We’re looking forward to it. Mainly because it’s in English.
Stay tuned! I’ll come back with some more next week. Until then you can check my earlier posts. Happy reading and stay at home!