Water pollution – the experiment

I wanted to create a sensory bin for E. connected to Earth Day. What makes this difficult is she doesn’t like to dirty her hands, so we tried the water pollution idea I saw at Every Star Is Different, as she could use some tools to work with rubbish.

What you need:
– clean water in a tub of any kind
– rubbish (banana skin, orange skin, crust of bread, tea bag, plastic packaging of any kind etc.)
– oil (optional – it makes cleaning up difficult)
– tongs
– strainer
– a bowl to put the rubbish in


What to do:

We talked about the clean water and name every piece of rubbish. We also mentioned natural waters (seas, oceans, rivers and lakes) and that animals live in there.

Then I asked E. to throw all the rubbish in the water. She was quite reluctant at first.

– Why Mommy? It will be dirty.

That was the point. I told her about the scarce drinking water on Earth and also about poor animals which try to survive in the dirty waters.

She also poured the oil in, which was a brave move from my part as everything got oily. The cleaning up lasted forever.

Then she fished out the rubbish from the dirty water.

She tried to clean the oil and the small tea leaves too with a strainer but she didn’t managed, of course.

We drew the conclusion: We need to take care of water and keep it clean because we can’t drink it  or animals can’t live in it if it’s dirty. And water is essential for life.

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Earth Day Patterning – free printable

Celebrating our Planet on Earth Day (22 April) is a good occasion to have another patterning activity with the well-known symbols like the recycling sign, bins, bottles, newspaper, plants and the globe itself. In the past we did quite a lot of patterning activities on Valentine’s Day or on St. Patrick’s Day and it has always been a hit with E.

(The link to download the free printable is at the end of this post)

As soon as she saw the prepared material she sat down to work on it. First, we named what she can see in the picture. She could name them all. She didn’t understand why there was a tree among the picture cards:

E.: – Why is the tree here?
M.: – Because they make the oxygen for us.
E.: – Yes, and we need air.

She didn’t ask about the flower, though.
When she found the water drop picture, she simply stated: – We need water too.

She moved from the easier ABAB pattern…

 

 

…to a little bit more difficult AABAAB and ABBABB patterns

 

 

We left the most difficult to the end: ABCABC But she enjoyed it very much, although it was hard for her to concentrate this long.

The four sheets were long enough for her. She didn’t want to make her own patterns on the empty grid. Maybe at another time. But you can do it 🙂

Download the Earth Day pattern activity for free on this link. And have fun!

Easter patterns

We’ve already covered the basic patterns when we were talking about clothes, but decorating Easter eggs has brought the topic up again.

Checked, flowery, stripy, plain, spotty were the words to revise. Much to my surprise E. remembered them.

We did a little painting but E. was not willing to paint patterns, so I followed her lead. It was long time ago when I gave up sticking to a project.

At another occasion I drew Easter eggs on the whiteboard and also the name of their patterns mixed up. She enjoyed matching the words and the patterns. She also mentioned that we can call something spotty polka-dotted as well.

That’s all about patterns at Easter. I’ll come back with another post on our Easter this year.

Baby sister’s 3 months old – beware: a long post

Time flies with 2 kids. L. is already 3 months old and loads have been going on. In this post I’ll try to focus on her development and what I do with her in English though it’ll be hard.

First of all, some parametres:

She is 57 cms “tall”, 5.23 kgs. Her eyes are still blue. Her hair is light brown (showing tinges of ginger) and getting longer in the back and started to grow in the front. She only sleeps on Mommy or Daddy, or in the sling. She can’t push herself up while on her tummy but can lift and turn her head nicely. She’s got her first 2 shots at the age of 2 months. She gurgles and babbles a lot. She’s smiley if her tummy is full, on the changing table or when she can look around. Though she’s got a stomach ache quite often mostly in the evenings then she cries desperately. She’s breastfed and I can see white lines on her lower gum so the crying might be caused by the staring of her teething.

English time:

The routine is the same as it was with E. I just started it earlier (at her birth) with L. Whenever we are just the two of us I speak English to her. I’ve already introduced the little song we always sing with E. before changing languages (showing the Makaton signs to L. as well):

Hello, hello how are you?
Hello, hello, it’s good to see you.
I say hello, I’m happy that you came

I say hello, please tell me, please tell me, please tell me your name
Mommy (pointing at me)
L. (pointing at her)

(This song is -or rather used to be- the theme song of a BBC series Something Special. On the link you can listen to the new version of it. But you can use any song of your choice if you want to signal the beginning or the end of the language usage)

So what we do in English:


1. Lullabies

It seems I sing continuously. Whenever I try to rock L. to sleep I sing the following lullabies:

Rock-a-by baby

Hush little baby

Go to sleep lullabies (Go to sleep, Moonlight so sweet and pale, Golden slumbers)


(This last one I used to sing to E. ALL THE TIME. You can check out a less detailed post about E.’s first 6 months)
2. Changing table fun:

When I need to change L.’s nappy or clothes (and we are in English) I start with this rhyme:

…. (child’ name) ‘s got a dirty nappy.
What shall we do? What shall we do?

Clean is up, clean it up
For Mommy, and for you.

When her legs are free from clothes I make her little feet march:

Oh, the grand old Duke of York

(I march with her feet) Oh, the grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men,
He marched them up to the top of (Lift her feet up) the hill
and he marched them down again. (Put her feet down)
And when they were up they were up. (Lift her feet up)
And when they were down they were down. (Put her feet down)
And when they were only half way up, (Wiggle her legs)
They were neither up nor down.
(When I sing UP I lift her feet up, and when I sing down I put her feet down)
I go through her body parts with this song from the BBC series Something Special- Baby episode (The song starts at 4.03 mins in the video but it’s worth watching the whole episode)

Two little eyes that open and close
Right in the middle a little nose
Two little ears on either side
one little mouth that opens wide

That’s baby (2x)

Two little legs that kick and wiggle
Two little feet that like a tickle
Two little arms that stretch up high
Two little hand that wave goodbye

That’s baby (2x)

The other thing she likes is tickling under her chin (or rather double chin *grin*). I chant these two rhymes:

Round and round the garden (stroking her tummy in a circle)
Like a Teddy Bear (showing the teddy bear sign)
One step, two steps (walking my fingers on her tummy)
Tickle you under there (tickle her under the chin)

Another variation can be you do the circling in the palm, the walking movement up the arm and tickle the armpit in the end


Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake baker’s man (patting the tummy)
Bake me a cake as fast as you can (patting faster)
Pat it and prick it and mark it with B (patting/rolling movements on tummy, forming a B with fingers)
Put it in the oven for baby and me. (2 palms up as if putting a tray in the oven, when saying BABY I tickle her tummy)
If you want to sing a tune here it is.

And finally 2 finger plays:

1. This little piggy went to market
This little piggy went to market
This little piggy stayed at home
This little piggy had roast beef
This little piggy had none
And this llittle piggy cried wee wee wee wee wee all the way home

Have a look at a video of This little piggy by Patty Shukla:


2. Two little dickie birds sitting on the wall
Two little dickie birds sitting on a wall
One named Peter the other named Paul
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul
Come back Peter, come back Paul.

Here is a video about what to do with your fingers:

3. Bath-time
As for bath-time I have a great helper apart from Daddy and that is L.’s big sister, E. She helps taking off L.’s clothes, 

prepares what we can put on her afterwards, checks and throws the nappy into the bin, helps with the splashing too 🙂
Great practice for E. and L. hears not only me but her big sister talk in English. Sometimes we play the changing table games together again before bath-time.
One day E. sang a song for her little sister while I was busy with something and Daddy was preparing E.’s bath (that’s the noise in the background)
—–Oh, no! I can’t find the video anywhere 😦 As soon as I find it I’ll put it on——–
They’re just too cute.
—– 23/07/2016 I found the video 😀 ——-
4. Books
Baby books, of course. Black and white board books, cloth books or touch and feely books. 
Sometimes she just looks at the books while in the playpen/on the play mat and at other times I describe what she sees or tells her a story around the characters on the pages.  I’m working on a short list of useful and fun baby books you can read about in the next post.

5. Baby’s Best Start
When L. has some tummy time or just looking around in her playpen I put on Baby’s Best Start Helen Doron CD about once a day. I’m not showing to her anything (no pictures, no soft toys, nothing) she just getting familiar with the music. I’m planning to start the course with L. soon, maybe September. (And I think we should restart with E. as well.)