Food we can’t eat

E. had a week in kindergarten which was dedicated to healthy lifestyle. Among others they were talking about (and making a poster about) healthy food. And this bugged my 6,5-year-old daughter. You wonder why?

Well, since she was 4 she’s been on a special diet. At that time it turned out she has intolerance towards a lot of food. So food that is considered healthy by the general public cause her serious illnesses, behavioural problems and lack of sleep.

Hence she decided to make her own poster. She had been collecting supermarket catalogues, brochures and leaflets and one Sunday I found her seriously cutting in the living-room. At first I couldn’t see the bigger picture and didn’t know what she was into.. Then she explained it so I sat down on the floor and helped her with cutting and sticking.

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She made 2 posters: Food we can eat and Food we can’t eat (she was responsible for the latter, my task was the former) and sticking and our discussion about foodstuff started.
And the result is … WOW!

A lot of talking in English and these wonderful posters:

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I find it very important to make my children be aware of what we eat. I don’t say whatever we eat is healthy but varied and we try to keep a balance and be moderate. It’s never too early to start. And you can reuse those supermarket brochures

Carnival Clown

We haven’t been playing any new home-made games, but I saw this video and I immediately knew my girls would love it for the carnival season.

As we moved at the end of the last year we still have a lot of boxes around. I picked one of the boxes and drew a clown inside. It was quite a challenge since the box was bumpy and the best markers are still packed away.  (You can see it in the picture below that I had a hard time to draw the clown. The first trial didn’t work out)

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I cut a hole in the place of the nose and collected 10 colourful (plastic) balls. I couldn’t find red ones as in the video, but other colours will do.

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The girls loved it at once. E. was patient and carefully rolled the balls into the hole. Even the very last one, which is quite difficult.

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On the other hand Little L. shook the balls and when the last one didn’t want to go through she assisted with her hand.

Not only did it help practise balancing and fine movements  but it gave a great opportunity to play other games which develop oral skills as well:

  • say the different colours as they fall in
  • count from 1-10 or backwards as the balls fall in
  • collect the balls with the box (do not look under the box just “feel” it) and count or say the colours
  • name other body parts on the clown
  • say the colours of the clown

An activity easy and quick to make and a hit with kids (even older ones).

Have fun!

J. our Australian nanny

To be perfectly honest I’ve forgotten to write about our latest native nannies. But better late than never.

J. was from Australia with some Hungarian origin. She came to us in September 2018 for the first time and stayed with us until January 2019, five months altogether.

When she visited us twice a week she played with Little L. after nap time. J. stayed with Little L. at home having some snacks, reading books and playing while I went to the kindergarten to pick E. up.

Little L. spent an hour with J, then it was E.’s turn to play with her for 90 minutes.
She had more playtime with J. as she can be so immersed in a game that it was hard to “stop” her after an hour.

J. was great with the kids; she was talking to them a lot using (I think quite consciously) varied language. She always did some reading at snack time with Little L. I didn’t tell her to do so, she just took a book off the shelf and Little L was listening to the story with her mouth wide open in awe.

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She also followed the kids’ lead. She did whatever they were interested in. E. was in her Lego phase when she found out a character (Fighting Lady) that was originally one of the Lego Friends (Emma) and found out stories about her with J. J. and E. made vehicles, houses, bedrooms, kitchens and other special locations for Fighting Lady. They also drew some stories like comic books, and at these times J. built in some educational material like cold and warm colours just to mention one example.

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E. likes making up her own language and with J. she put together a little dictionary with pictures.

Little L. wanted to play with the choo-choo train most of the time. J didn’t mind the repetitive games and was into anything the kids had found out.

She helped us around Halloween when we were carving our Jack-o-lantern.

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In the middle of December, we moved to our new home but for another month she stayed with us.

One day E. found an old vinyl LP record and wanted to make a bowl out of it (she’d seen a video of melting the LP into a candy bowl). J. was around when we made it and gave a helping hand.

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In our last month (January) the kids wanted to play together with J. I could see how well she handled sensitive situations, sister fights and disagreements as well as behavioural problems.

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Unfortunately (for us) she found a more reliable job than babysitting. (Who can blame her?) We are so thankful for her to be with us and very sorry that she left.

We’ll miss you J. Good luck!

Roll painting

L. got ill after the first week in kimdregarten. Nothing special, she’s well enough to play around at home so I needed to come up with something I could keep her busy with.

She’d been bringing in a lot of cones, walnuts and other seeds from the garden and I wanted to put them in good use.DSC05238

After our moving I’ve still got a lot of boxes so I took one’s lid and cut some paper sheets into it. I also provided her with some paint and the fun could begin.

She squirted paint on the sheet with great concentration and dropped in some her findings.

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Then she picked up the lid and moved it about and spread the paint on the sheet.

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We used different colour combinations.

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Then she stamped with them to make different prints.

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Finally Little L went for some sensory fun with her fingers and hands.

She was happy to notice that all the colours ended up making a brownish shade.

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Her painting took a while to dry but after drying we dispayed them in our living-room.

A little artist was born 🙂

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Little L is 3.

20180724_210132My baby is not a baby anymore she’s a big toddler ready for kindergarten with exceptional communicational skills both in Hungarian and English.

First of all, her personality is very different from my elder. She is very open with people in general, smiley and friendly. She likes people, mainly kids (babies) who she pats, hugs and kisses at the playground or wherever we are. She’s gentle and affectionate.

As for her language abilities, she has no problem whatsoever to change between the 2 languages and uses them very creatively:

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She loves tractors and one of her favourite sons is Tractors by Blippi. One evening we were having dinner and she was singing to herself eating buckwheat: – Oh, buckwheat oh buckwheat there’s so much buckwheat (sic)

Another funny example of her fantastic acquisition of the language:

– Mommy don’t turn the page I’m look-at-ing it.

She herself asks for being in English. Most of the time she just states:

We’re in English, Mommy.

And of course, I take every opportunity to change into our minority language happily.
Apart from her sweet personality traits she’s got a dark side. We just call her a destroyer. She takes great pleasure in ruining, taking apart, tearing almost everything. I hope this will go with the age.

In her 3rd year we were very lucky with native nannies, which meant a lot concerning her English. We had 3 of them: N, from London, who stayed with us for almost a whole year and had great connection with both of my girls.

For the summer we had a Canadian nanny, C., who came to us only for 2 months but they hit it off almost immediately and had great fun.

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The the Australian J, turned up towards the end of the year, who is still with us for a little more while.

All the nannies were really chatty to L, and they quickly learned what she wanted to play:

  • with N., she mainly played trains, play dough and Mr Potato Head or rode the motorbike to the playground and slid

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  • with C, she liked sliding on our sofa and played in the tunnel

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  • with J, they’ve been reading books a lot and played with the toy kitchen, plus Lego when Little L joined in E.’s playtime

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Another important person in her English language development in B, my best friend who could spend more time with the girls towards the end of the year. We had day trips, like visiting the Tropicarium together as well as sleepovers.

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Another important impact was Daddy’s business/educational trip to America, when he was away for 3 weeks and I was alone with the girls. 80-90% of time we were in English. It was the most natural thing to do, and the girls’ brain was rewired. They behaved and talked like perfectly native speakers of English. Little L benefitted from this period a lot and I felt great about it as at the beginning of January she was supposed to start kindergarten, which is only in Hungarian. This was her final push and reinforcement of the importance of English in her life.

It is more difficult to make arts and crafts or other educational games with her as she can’t sit still (which is perfectly normal at her age but I’m used to E.’s attitude who is really calm, peaceful and very focused). So, I usually concentrated on activities that involve a lot of moving around or splashing in water etc.

 

She also helps around the house but she loses interest very quickly. She follows whatever her Big Sister does or wherever she goes.

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We still take part in Helen Doron Early English sessions. L. finished Baby’s Best Start and started It’s a Baby Dragon course. She got a little more reserved at the lessons but she enjoys them all the same.

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All these different exposures improved her English to a great extent. She’s got no problem understanding and replying in English. Mixing the languages happens very rarely, only if a word doesn’t come to her mind, and when she realises she used Hungarian in her English sentence she chuckles. An amusing example: Little L wants to crawl under the bed: – Mommy, I can’t put my “fej” in.

Favourite topics: cars, construction vehicles

Favourite toys: cars, playdough

Favourite activities: sliding, riding a motorbike, jumping in puddles, hugging

Favourite food: pasta, meat soup

Favourite colours: red and blue

Favourite books: Fox’s socks by Julia Donaldson, Pip and Posy by Axel Sheffler, Goldilocks and the three bears

Favourite cartoons: Paw Patrol, Top Wing, Gyerekdalok és mondókák

Favourite songs: Tractros by Blippi, Hídló végén

Happy birthday, my sweetest Baby!