Another year has gone and we celebrated E.’s 5th birthday last weekend. This year seemed faster than the others. With 2 kids, with many programmes the days are long but the year is short. She… More
St. Patrick’s Day was cancelled in our home this year although this is one of MY favourite holidays. Baby L. is too small to understand any of it, and E. was totally uninterested. She didn’t even want to read a book about it.
E. has been into painting recently so I can up with a very easy no-mess painting idea that both of the girls could do. (Like this baby painting)
What you need:
- green paint
- construction paper or cardboard
- zip-lock back
What we did:
I cut 2 shamrocks out of construction paper, put blobs of green paint on them and slipped them in the zip-lock bags.
I cello-taped L.’s on her highchair but after few poking movements she grabbed the whole thing and pull it off of the tray then threw it away.
When we gave it back to her (after having shown how to spread the paint on her shamrock) she wanted to open the bag.
E. was working on it a little while, pushing the paint into all directions, but I didn’t add enough so she had hard time to spread it everywhere. She needed my help.
At least we finished it but the interest fell from 0 to -5…
Well, I’ve learnt something today… If they’re not interested, don’t push it. Lucky I didn’t spend more than 5 minutes to prepare the activity.
After the first few worksheets I made for E., she insisted on having some more so I made these:
She did the first 2 sheets all by herself:
The last sheet with the situations was really challenging. When she was ready with the first 2 she called me to have a look. I did and talked them through, then sat down to discuss the last page.
I chose situations that she often experiences, for instance, with her sister or when trying to get dressed. We discussed the situation itself (when it happens, or when it last happened, who is involved, how she felt, how the other felt etc.). Next we agreed whether it’s a good or a bad feeling. Finally we looked at the 3 bunny faces, named which shows what feeling and tried to pick the right one. She was very hesitant even though we’d gone through them in details. She still wasn’t sure about the feeling. I tried to encourage her but we stopped at the 3rd situation and got back to it later.
She managed to finish the whole sheet in 3 goes and she was pretty proud of herself. And I was unspeakably proud of her.
How do YOU feel today?
Whenever E, is in the mood (more and more frequently) she shows Baby L. how we do things around a house, how she should eat with a spoon or drink with a straw. Baby Sis always has a great time whenever her Big Sister pays a close attention to her.
Of course, we do it in both languages. It’s great practice for E. and learning opportunity for L.
“Teaching” started when L. was about 6 months old. With flashcards and books:
Later on E. enjoyed feeding Baby Sis to show how to use a spoon.
After a few months now Baby Sis can do it all by herself.
E. is explaining Baby Sis how to unload the dishwasher.
Big Sister is teaching baby L. how to place the dish-washer tablet in.
Then starting the dishwasher.
It’s still housework time. Loading the washing-machine.
“These are your tights” – said E. and put them in the washing-machine. Then L. gave her a purple onesie.
It’s baby L.’s privilege to push the start button.
Drinking with a straw is not a problem if you can watch your Big Sister how to do it.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all sunshine and lollipops. There are quite a lot of screaming, and some hitting, pinching, scratching when the girls get frustrated in some tense situations. But it’s getting better and better. Now I (and E. too) see the light at the end of the tunnel. All in all, it’s great to have a Big Sister, as well as a Baby Sis.
E. has always had difficulties expressing, then later on naming, emotions. Probably, I’m not helping her much as it isn’t easy for me to express emotions so that others can understand it easily.
I’ve tried talking about feelings with her, or identify emotions in different situations but she wasn’t interested, she wasn’t ready to discuss such issues.
But now the time has come. She’s been watching this video for a while and she’s been talking about it ever since. The most frequent question in our home lately is: – Mommy, how do you feel now?
So I’ve made this ad hoc activity on the basis of the character in the video (a rabbit). Hopefully I’ll have time to make a digital version of it and make it available for you to use with your little ones. I have to admit I can’t draw…
The activities are not only the traditional matching ones. I wanted to make them more fun and help E. be able to focus on them for a longer time. (there were 5 pages altogether)
Apart from “match with a line”, she needed to colour, use building blocks, copying, drawing symbols to match the faces and the emotions.
Towards the end (4th and 5th pages) the emotions become more and more difficult to identify.
On the way of doing this task we were talking about when we feel in certain ways. She also added some really good examples:
I feel angry when water friends don’t do what I say.
I’m frustrated when I can’t put on my boots.
We’ve reached a very important topic. We must talk about emotions in Hungarian, too. I never make activities that have anything to do translations. I hardly ever draw a parallel between English and Hungarian, but this time I definitely will. Stay tuned, there will be more on feelings and emotions.
In the last couple of years there hasn’t been a fixed timetable as for our English usage. There used to be a daily/weekly routine when E. was little but now life has become a little more spontaneous … or shall I say chaotic?
There are 3 fixed activities for the week and these are the following:
- Helen Doron English class with L.
- Mums’ English Club with both kids
- E.’s nanny’s visit
What you see above is the plan, however, several times it is overwritten by illnesses, emergencies or simple laziness. I’m trying hard to include 1-2 hours of active playtime with Baby L., but if I want to be perfectly honest sometimes we go 2-3 days without any English. It makes me sad and worried about her English language development.
I was planning to take E. for a Saturday drama class that is in English but we’ve been ill quite a lot or we had to make up for the lost time at the weekend so I decided to postpone this activity for September.
My hope is to find another nanny for Baby L. as our Canadian nanny only comes to play with E.
I clearly remember the time when E. was as little as Baby L. now and A., our British nanny at that time came to play baby games with her. Such a vivid and lovely memory. I’d like L. to experience the same.
I was checking sitters.hu and also contacted 3 of them but I haven’t received any replies yet. Still hopeful.
So that’s all about our English activities for the year.