Trying new words

Baby L. is very talkative. I wish I could understand what she wants to say but most of the times I don’t. She’s babbling a lot with funny intonations. She often sounds as if she were complaining, explaining some academic topic or cheering her favourite soccer team on.

However, more and more words and expressions are coming out of her that we also understand.

The funniest is a new Hungarian phrase: “nemba(j)” i.e. no problem. (I think I use it quite a lot when she messes everything up while eating, throwing thing down on the floor, or dirtying herself at the playground etc.)

She’s trying to say the English version of it too “no-pro”

Here is what she’s been saying recently:

L. 15 months words (2)

There is one new word that is missing from the chart above: one and “egy” in Hungarian. When we ask her how old she is she says one. So sweet!

No St. Patrick’s Day in 2017

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 came 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
  • scissors
  • 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.PICT0054_JPG

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.
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When we gave it back to her (after having shown how to spread the paint on her shamrock) she wanted to open the bag.

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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.

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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.

"Amimals" – in zoos

Going to the zoo was always my favourite activity as a child (still love it today) so I could hardly wait for E. to get at least a little bit interested. And the time has come.

Our first time to the Budapest zoo was when she was 6 months old. It was more fun for me than for her. She had a look at the camels (and smiled when saw them pee) and the farmyard and then fell asleep. She only woke up for nursing (which I managed in the disabled loo) then went back to sleep again.

But now as she is over 1 (15 months old more precisely) she takes pleasure in walking around and looking at animals.

Visiting relatives in Debrecen gave us the sudden idea to visit the zoo there. It was actually a great idea. We all loved it. We were already in the zoo for half an hour (saw some parrots, giraffes and monkeys) when I realised what a good occasion would this be to use English (our Hungarian relatives didn’t accompany us). So we just sang our song to signal the change in using languages and continued our animal adventure in English.

As we were walking around, we described everything to her in English (and as usual she was repeating everything like a parrot):

  • what animals we saw (turtles, a hippo, penguins  – her favourites, more monkeys, laughing doves, roosters and hens, camels, goats, ostriches and lions)
  • what they looked like (“Look, the camel has two big humps”; “Wow, this rooster has a huge red comb on his head”)
  • what sounds they gave (roar, squeak, cock-a-doodle-do, coo-coo etc.)
  • what the animals were served for dinner (fruits, vegetables, mouse, rabbit etc.)

At the end of our visit we found a wooden playground where there were a lot of animals. E.’s favourite was the caterpillar. She climbed on it and rode it for about 15 minutes. We also counted and named the caterpillar’s legs, eyes, mouth and antennae.

Our second English tour in the zoo was in Budapest with our native nanny, A.
I learnt some new animal names (e.g.:cassowary) and we had a wonderful day with a lot of English (I tried to stay in the background and let A. and E. interact with each other a lot). The photos speak for themselves.

E.’s favourite place was the Butterfly House, where we could see how butterflies come out of their pupa, and of course, there were plenty of different types of butterflies flying around, eating oranges or just resting on the plants. We had to go back once again before leaving the zoo. E. was running around and one could see on her little face how amazed she was. Her favourite animals are butterflies at the moment.

Morpho peleides butterfly – blue on the inside
E.’s pointing at the butterfly she liked the most, saying: “orange”

After the zoo experience I found a nice page where the metamorphosis of a butterfly can be seen quite nicely. So I printed it and E.”coloured” it 🙂 with my help.

We also watched the seal show at 11 o’clock. A big crowd gathered to see the seals but everything was explained in Hungarian only. (Sorry A., I didn’t interpret it at all 😦  )

E. was fascinated by the ball (and not the seal…)

 

Baby Giraffe

E. was sleeping when we went to see the Neanderthals. It’s a relatively new exhibition of a (wax) Neanderthal family. This little boy with the cave drawing was my favourite.

After E. woke up we had some lunch (vegetable dish for E. and sandwiches for A. and myself – I wish E. hadn’t said “people” for the first time while I put a spoonful of her dish into her mouth)

 

Flamingoes

We also went to see the baby elephant, but E. was more interested in a turtle shell:

Another favourite place was the traditional Hungarian farmyard. Rabbits were E.’s favourite. We had to return for a second visit. E. was repeating the words like “rabbit”, “hop”, “carrot” and “apple” all the way through. E. had an incident with the foal, which wanted to eat her shoes.

All in all, we enjoyed ourselves to a great extent and will return to practise our English as well as having fun around “amimals” – as E. says.

New flashcards – flags

I have created another pack of flashcards: the European flags. The pack is not full yet, but quite a lot is done. First, I just wanted to check if E. is interested in them or not. As they are very colourful, she loved them at first sight.



I tried to concentrate on countries which are neighbouring countries of Hungary, or I have some information about, or we have already been to etc. I, myself, coloured them AGAIN. (I hope baby Jesus will bring me a colour printer for Christmas). To make the flashcards more durable I laminated them (that was the easier part).

Activities  you can do with flags:

  1. just have a look and say the name of the country
  2. name the colours on the flag
  3. say if the stripes are vertical or horizontal (E. loves long words)
  4. tell your child the capital
  5. talk about the country if you know it (in our case for instance: Ireland, Mommy lived there for a year a long time ago, the U.K. – this is where A. (our native nanny) comes from, Turkey – this is where Mommy and Daddy were on their honeymoon, Hungary –  we live in Hungary etc.
  6. show two flags and ask: which one is … ? and your child can pick the right one (E. likes this activity not only with cards, but also with soft toys, building blocks, flowers or coloured pencils…. whatever)
  7. turn down three cards and let your child turn them up one by one, then say the name of the country (and the capital or the colours – combination of 1.-2.-4.)
  8. spread all the cards on the floor and tell your child to choose his or her favourite one (maximum three – E. would give me all the cards 🙂 )
  9. pick the flags with the same colours and group them (redwhite: Switzerland, Poland and Austria, bluewhitered: the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands, Russia, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, redwhitegreen: Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, blackyellowred: Germany, Belgium)
  10. if you make 2 sets you can play a memory game (I had neither time, nor energy to make two sets)

More flags are on the way:

  • I want to make England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • I cannot leave out the USA and Australia as they are among the most important English speaking countries
  • Countries of Asia, Africa and South America  are coming too

I wish a day would be about 36-38 hours long…

More and more words

Just a short post on how our language development is going. E. is 15,5 months old and about a few weeks ago I stopped counting how many English and Hungarian words she knows.
Now here are some random interesting features of her language knowledge:

English:

  • she knows all the main colours (in both languages)
  • loves saying 3 (or more) -syllable words (aubergine, apricot, butterfly)
  • started to say combination of words (green peas, red rose, purple plum, yellow balloon)
  • she says what she really wants in both languages (more-még, drink-inni, bread-kenyér etc.)
  • her functional language is outstanding – she says thank you, Mommy – when she gives something back to me or when I give her something, here you are (not clearly though – it sounds like: heeyaa), please – when she asks for something, don’t like it – if she doesn’t want to eat something
  • sometimes she sounds like saying a sentence that she doesn’t do in Hungarian (it’s incomprehensible, though)
  • when she points at a spider she says: incywincy
  • potty time is mostly in English so she rather says poopy and peepee
  • prefers songs in English

    Favourite songs now:

  • loves to watch/sing/chant the English alphabet
  • E. likes certain books in English, though I “read” most books in both languages
  • Still, her favourite is Fran Manushkin: How Mamma Brought the Spring

    But she also takes pleasure in Great Day for Up! by Dr. Seuss and Goodnight, Spot by Eric Hill nowadays.

    Hungarian:

    • she is trying to say long words (more than 4 syllables) – palacsinta
    • prefers the countries in this language (her favoutite one to say is Svájc, and her favourite flag is the Belgian – because of the black in it -, though she cannot pronounce it clearly)
    • when she sees the Turkish flag she starts to chant: pont, pont vesszőcske, készen van a fejecske, kicsi nyaka, nagy a hasa, készen van a TÖRÖK basa – her utterence is 50% right, but the intonation is perfect
    • prefers rhymes in Hungarian (Boci, boci tarka, A török és a tehenek)
    • she says tetszik  if she likes something or someone (doesn’t say it in English)



    Some cute details:

    • her favourite animal is the penguin at the moment
    • out of nowhere she calls out her native nanny’s name
    • her favourite colour is black, though she says pink or purple
    • her favourite body part is her belly button (when she has a look at her own, she makes us show ours)
    • her favourite flower is carnation
    • she claps after pooping
    • she loves drawing (onto the parquet, at the playground, on sheets of paper, on the door – but not on the wall yet)
    • she pronounces Peppa Pig as if she were a little native British girl  🙂