Autumn tree with a dropper

Thanks to our Helen Doron teacher we have 2 really easy-to-use droppers we put in use as soon as we got them.

I took out some cotton pads, coloured some water with food colouring in little cups and the dropping could start.

To be honest, I tried the droppers with Little L. while E. was in kindergarten so the initial excitement fades a little away when E. starts working o the colouring project.

On a tray I put 2 pieces of kitchen roll in front of her, plus the autumn colours: brown, orange, yellow, red and green. (Mind you, not at once. She got 3 colours at a time and I changed one colour from time to time)

And she was mesmerised:

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We went to pick E. up from the kindergarten and when we arrived home this had been waiting for them:

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E. got really excited and L. was also happy to see the droppers again.

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E. noticed that all the colours are connected to autumn. She chose the colour combinations very accurately and used the dropper very gently.

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Not like Little L.

She was pushing, stirring, squeezing the dropper. She had lots of fun too.

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After having finished with 2 sets of cotton pads, we let them dry. Then on another day we took them out and painted a tree for them. E. stuck up all the “leaves”.

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We still had some more painted cotton pads.

– But Mommy I don’t want to make another tree.

– Make a bush, then.

Her eyes started to glow with excitement. I got her a new sheet and she did make a bush.

During the making of the autumn tree and bush Little L. were playing with our new nanny. Yes, yes, we’ve got a new native nanny. But I’ll write about her in another post.

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Fantastic Mr. Fox

This September we read Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl and it was a hit with E. So much that she had a great idea: let’s play the story with some props.

As it was a sudden idea we needed to prepare everything on the spot. There was no time to think it over, still it went smoothly and ideas were coming to our mind quickly.

It wasn’t a question who’s going to play the main role.

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Originally I presented E. with a plush fox so we can play the story of Gruffalo.
First, the three farmers gave me a hard time but with help of kitchen roll/toilet paper tubes (for the bodies) and plastic balls (for the heads) I managed to make them come alive. More balls represented the chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys.

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Mr. Boggis and his chicken farm
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Mr. Bunce and his ducks and geese
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Mr. Bean, his turkeys, and orchard

E. made an apple tree as a symbol of Mr Bean’s orchard. She also placed some tractors on 2 farms.

The fox hole was created with floor mat puzzles. (The tree above it was imaginary)

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Mr Fox is jumping back into his hole when the farmers chase him

E. was really creative. When we realized we didn’t have shovels (the sand toys were in the storage room downstairs) she ran to the kitchen to take some spoons.

As we were creating the props the story unfolded itself.

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Mr Fox’s tail hanging out of his hole
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After the tail was shot off
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Mr Fox is digging a tunnel
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Mr Fox’s arrived at the chicken house
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Mr Fox is stealing some ducks and geese

There was a chapter we left out, the one with the rat as E. wanted the animals to have their feast 🙂
Our story time lasted almost two hours. It was very very spontaneous, imaginative and much fun. A wonderful experience.

Sticky board notes

To increase E.’s reading practice in English I put on a sticky board on the bathroom wall at the end of July. Why? Read on and you’ll see this very simple and motivating reading fun for kids.

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E. loves books and reading. Whatever. Her thirst for reading is endless, still needs practice, needs materials that keeps her interest. This is the reason why I put on the sticky board. And what does a sticky board have to do with reading. Well, I print all kinds of short passages for her to read when she brushes her teeth or taking a bath or on the toilet. (Who doesn’t read on the toilet?)

Among others here are the passage types I’ve stuck up on the board:

  • funny poems for pre-schoolers
  • funny poems about (water) animals
  • Did you know…? – fascinating facts about E.’s current interest
  • poems by famous poets
  • jokes
  • riddles
  • quiz/general knowledge questions
  • quotes from books we’ve read together
  • sayings and proverbs
  • sight words
  • spelling fun (like the magic E – at – ate, mad- made, pan – pane etc.)
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She enjoyes reading them, she gets excited whenever she finds something new on the sticky board. The sticky board makes it possible to take the passage/questions/jokes off easily and stick on a new one.

What’s more she made her own writing to the board:

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I change the content within 2-3 days. I work ahead, so I have a stash of reading material to stick on quickly after she’s gone to bed or before she comes home from kindergarten.

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You can listen to E.’s reading out loud from the sticky board on the link.

How do you practice reading with your pre-schooler or school-aged kids? Let me know in the comment section.

The idea is not mine. I stole it from the fantastic book, Maximize your child blingual ability by Adam Beck. Check out the book to get even mre fantastic hands-on advice how to juggle with the languages in your home.

September books 2017

It would be so nice if I could connect all the books to the season, a topic we talk about a lot, to the month or some special days. Well, I can’t really. So the books are mostly random, though I really try my best to select them according to the girls’ interests. Not always with success.
What’s more, our reading time has decreased as kindergarten has started for E. and the mornings are really busy and in a rush most of the times. In the evenings we have little time together so I don’t read that much after dinner, we rather play a little more.

E. is getting bored with L.’s “baby books” so I read her books separately in bed as her bedtime story or in the  mornings when she cannot be woken up by anything else but a story. When I read for her little sister, E. brushes her teeth or watches Alphablocks on youtube.

So here are the books for a 21-month old toddler (1st list) and a 5 year old kindergartener (2nd list). (E.’s favouriteL.’s favouriteboth loved it)

List 1

  1. Kittens and Puppies (Touch-Feel-Hear)
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    Well, this touchy-feely noisy book is boring. The girls looked at it 2-3 times but weren’t interested at all, although they usually enjoy noisy books. I’ve put it in the “for sale” box.
  2. Wait and See by Sue Heap
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    A nice autumn board book with animals who wait with the bear under a tree. What are they waiting for? I don’t want to spoil the surprise. E. liked this book and joined us whenever I read it for L.
  3. Happy Birthday, Pookie by Sandra Boynton
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    A cute but a little lame board book about a birthday piggy. L. loved it so much she asked the book by the piggy’s name, Pookie, which sounds like passing wind in Hungarian and we always thought she needed to go to the potty to poo.
  4. Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton
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    A really nice bedtime book about pajamas, brushing teeth, and having fun throughout the bedtime routine.
  5. Hug by Jez Alborough
    51bF-k9INOLBoth of my girls liked this short classic about a little monkey who badly needs his Mommy’s hug. Mind you, there are no other words in the book but “hug” and you need to put the story into words. I really like these kind of books as you can say as much as you want; either going into small details or just run through it.
  6. Does the kangaroo have a mother, too by Eric Carl
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    A beautifully illustrated book by the famous Eric Carl about animals, young ones and adults. Look into it in this video. E. really loved what mother, father and baby animals are called (there’s a list at the end of the book). There were some surprises.
  7. Jungle Tales by Kay Widdowson
    9781743464335A brightly illustrated book about jungle animals. As for me I found it too bright. The kids did not enjoy it as much as the other books on this list. The fascinating thing is that the book pages are not rectangular but rather irregular in shapes. Each page has a hole so kids can peep through to the next page. I bought this book as L. find flamingos funny but not in this book.

List 2

  1. Zog by Julia Donaldson
    91mIHNOELQLWell I don’t think I need to popularise this book as it IS very popular and well-known both with children and adults. E. liked it although she’s not into dragons, but the storyline of Julia Donaldson’s books always fascinates her (just like me). Surprisingly, we read it only once.
  2. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
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    One of my all time favourite children books is E.’s favouite. I feel over the moon. As it is a chapterbook we didn’t read it at one sitting. I saw her “secretly” reading it at quiet time at the weekends. One evening when we had 3-4 more chapters to read she told me the story until the end. She had the idea to role play the story with plush toys and other props like in case of Room on the broom. The story in short: Three farmes decided to kill the fox that is killing their poultry. But Mr Fox is smarter than them.
  3. Great Day for Up by Dr. Seuss
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    This wasn’t the first time we’d read this book by Dr. Seus but I wanted L. to have a look as E. was about 2 when she got Great Day for Up and she loved it. Well, L. wasn’t that interested so I’ll save it for later. E. started basic reading with this book.
  4. Whales and Dolphins (Usborne Discovery)
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    This is a gorgeous book about whales and dolphins with real-life photos, all kinds of topics concerning cetaceans like echolocation, swimming long distances, birth-giving, connections with people, being endangered etc. The book includes some internet links where you can listen to whales’ singing for instance.
  5. The Magic Stone (Read it for yourself)
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    Originally I wanted E. to read this book on her own but she wanted me to read it. So be it. There’s a lot of repetition in the book that makes it easy for a beginner reader to read it and enjoy it at the same time. At the end we needed to talk about why the woman felt frustrated, why the tramp tricked the woman  and so on. E. was evidently puzzled by the story.

    Whoops… I left one really important book out. Harold and the purple crayon by Crockett Johnson. E. loooooved it and read it a lot all by herself.

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    If you’ve read something with you little one(s) recently that you think we would enjoy, please share it in the comment section. Check out the earlier posts about books we’ve been reading:
    2017June Book list
    2017July Book list
    2017August Book list

Summer camp 2.0

We wouldn’t have missed this year summer camp at our Helen Doron School. Last year it was a wonderful experience for E., this year she’s been waiting for it with great excitement.

Day 1 – Rex Animal Farm

The more tiring programmes were at the beginning of the week as the kids had more energy. After a short getting to know each other and an English session they headed to Rex Animal farm.

The whole group at the gate of the farm (as you can see they all got a HD hat):

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Lots and lots of animals

 

 

Some playground time:

 

The best thing ever happened at the end of the day on the way home:
E.. – Mommy!
M.: – Yes.
E.: – Do you know what happened today?
M.: – What, Sweetie?
E.: – I made a new friend.  Kapcsolódó kép

It took me quite a while to find out her name and who she was, but ever since the first day they were hanging out together.

Day 2 – Tarzan Park

E. had been waiting for this day a lot. She loves this fun park and she had been there before but had never tried the water playground area. Well, we packed her swimming suit and sunscreen in her backpack. But they started the day with the English session

 

Water playground – the weather was kind to them

 

Of course, they had fun on the other playground areas too:

 

E. did sleep well after the fun-packed day.

Day 3 – Crafts and playground (water bombs, slime)

This day was all about slime, fingerpaint, waterbombs, and fun at the playground apart from the usual English lesson in the morning.

Day 4 – Crafts and ice-chalk

Just like the other days the kids enjoyed themselves mostly in the fresh air. Though they prepared a UFO in the morning (or in the afternoon… I don’t remember. I really need to write the posts when they actually happen.)

I’m not sure if it was this day’s craft or one of the previous days’ but here is the result of some finger painting:

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English lesson – preparation for the performance

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And playground time where the ice-painting took place with some home-made ice-chalk.


Conversation between E and Zs (the teacher):

Teacher: – Did you like the ice chalk?
*no answer*
Teacher: – How was it?
*long pause*
E: – COLD.

Picnic in the park:

 

Day 5 – Performance for the parents

Again I’m uncertain whether the kids got their tattoos on the very last day or on another day but here’s E’s Sunny, the Cat. It lasted for almost 3 weeks much to her delight.

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And of course the final performance, where the kids showed to their parents what they’d learnt throughout the week (though I’m positive this performance was just a tiny piece of what they’d learnt). They were singing, dancing, creeping like a snail 🙂 and it was evident that they all enjoyed it very very much.

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I might add a video soon, so come back and check it out.