Clouds

Autumn has arrived and the weather has changed. E. is busy with identifying different forms of clouds and predicting the weather. Little L. started to get interested in the weather board that we haven’t used for several months. So our new topic for the time being is weather.

E. has been reading 3 new weather related books lately:

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Clouds have had a great effect on her. She’s been examining the clouds as soon as we get outside.

I saw an excellent activity concerning clouds on pinayhomeschooler.com and I’ve been waiting to do it with E. The time has come.

I took out some cotton balls, pillow filler, some gray and black markers. We needed a blue surface/background serving as the sky.

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I chose it to be light blue felt sheets (except for mine as we had only 2 and Little L wanted to join in. So mine is a black construction paper sheet.)

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We had a look at the book Clouds by Anne Rockwell and checked the clouds from the top layer downward and made them out of the cotton balls or the pillow filler (The latter is not the best option for making it grey but much better for the fluffy, thin clouds)

Little L. lost interest quite quickly after the 2nd type of clouds and started to play with the cotton balls, then went to the toy kitchen. When she started to feel bored I asked her to got and play with Daddy as she began destroying our clouds. She said: – I’m not playing with you. – sulkily and added: – I go play with Daddy.

E. was reading the descriptions from the book (you can watch a video of her reading out loud) and we made the clouds accordingly (pulled them out to make them long if they were stratus clouds and make them round and puffy if they were cumulus clouds.)

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For me it was extremely challenging as I had not had any memories of cloud types from my studies and I couldn’t make a difference among the many kinds of clouds. Even when we finished I wasn’t able tell which is which apart from 2 or 3. Well. E could…

At the very end of this activity E. collected all the cotton balls and pillow filler and played the so-called “cotton ball bag” game. She was throwing the bag of cotton balls into the air and either her or Little L. caught it. They laughed lot.

 

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Paw Patrol Activity Pack for Toddlers

The girls are still crazy about Paw Patrol and I wanted to make some activities for my 2-and-a half-year old, because the earlier Paw Patrol activity that E. got for her 4th birthday is too challenging for her. So here (at the end of this post) you can download your free copy of the activities.

A Sunday morning when we were all free, I gave Little L.  (2,5) the activity pack and she got really excited. She wanted to open all the activities but I decided to hand them one by one instead to avoid mixing up and confusion.

Of course, Big Sister (6) joined in. She also finds these games fun although these tasks were too easy for her.

The first game Little L. picked was roll and count. I wasn’t sure what the counter should be as Little L. is often more fascinated by the counter than the activity itself. Finally, I picked some colourful buttons, but the counters can be anything, from beans to beads, or even little bone shaped manipulatives if you find them. (I couldn’t get them).

Then Little L. chose the puzzles. Her favourite character is Everest so she put her  together first.

Then came the others. She was commenting like: – This is Rubble. Rubble is on the double. etc. (Of course, when I wanted to record it she didn’t say a thing.)

The third activity was size sorting. What did she start with? Yes, with Everest. Her interest lasted up to 5 characters. Good job, Love!

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She also wanted to try the pre-writing sheets. She was a pro at it. I was really amazed how well she could do it. Maybe I should have made more challenging pre-writing pages for her.

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She also enjoyed the card matching activity. She’s not really into memory games but the time will come and then I’ll cut up the board part too.

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“Rocky”

Finally came the cutting practice. She LOVES cutting (I remember the time when E was in this phase and she was cutting all day. Somehow I have a deja vu feeling).

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After all this she got tired and lost interest, so we stopped playing with the pack. At another time we’ll do the colouring sheets and the patterning task. I think she had lots of fun. It’s enough to have a look at her sweet face, not to mention how much she chattered during the activities.

What we left out is also fun: colouring the pups and the patterning activity. (The reason why she didn’t choose these ones at the beginning is that she doesn’t like them. Colouring is not her favourite activity (E. got to like colouring around the age of 4-4.5) and patterning is a little too difficult for her.

Here you can download your free copy of Paw Patrol Activity Pack for Toddlers. Have as much fun as we had.

Bye-bye N!

Again the time has come to say good-bye to our 5th, and one of the best nannies we’ve had so far. Our hearts sink but we are lucky to have met her and had her around for such a long time.

We met N, our British nanny, in October 2017 and she stayed with us until the end of June this year. With this length of stay she’s the silver medalist among our nannies (just kidding). However, to be honest, she is the first real nanny to Little L.

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As usual the beginning went a bit difficult; it took more time for E to warm up with her, but after a few weeks she was playing happily with N. Little L was more open from the very beginning and wanted to play with N whenever she was around (even when it was E’s session.)

She came 3 times a week: a session with E only, a session with Little L, and a double session with both girls (theoretically it would have been 1 hour for L and 90 minutes for E but towards the end Little L. wanted to play with them too and it was hard for me to keep her away. Though E needed her time with N as they played more “big-girl” games together.)

We had lots of fun with N, who was always in, no matter how crazy ideas the girls had.

L loved playing cars, trains, play dough, football, catch and boom monster, a game the girls made up with N. But they also drew, painted, read books together. L also enjoyed when we went to the playground together with N.

E took N to the land of her imagination i.e. “Waterland”, or forever and ever talked about chemical elements or birds to her and she didn’t seem to get bored with it. What’s more, she came up with great activities within E.’s favourite topics.

The girls loved when N could stay for dinner, once she even had to watch a Paw Patrol episode with them and few time N supervised the girls during their bath-time.

On her last day we had dinner together again one last time, and handed her a memory book that E and L had prepared for her.

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I suppose she really liked it 🙂

We stuck pictures in, E. drew the three of them

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and of course, anglers; L drew fire engines, trees and cars.

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Ice cream time and an angler fishing
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The red blob is the tree top, the blue lines is a police car by L

E. noted down all the fantastic memories we had together with N and we also wrote a little poem about the great times.

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No memory book without stickers!

N also gave lovely good-bye presents to the girls: their adventures in rhymes and with funny pictures, E. got a Harry Potter book, L. was gifted with a special jeep, and they also had many boom monsters 🙂 (that E. put on the end of her coloured pencils)

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boom monsters
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the jeep

Bye for now N! We were really glad to have you around and although you’ve left you’ll stay with us for good. Thanks for everything!

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Mix it up!

New York is book lovers’ heaven. After our NYC trip, we returned with tons of children books we bough at a really low price. One of them was Mix it up! by Hervé Tullet. It’s an interactive book about colours and colour mixing.

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There are several activities online based on the book. You can check them out on pinterest, but I decided to make our own. A simple but fun activity that my 2 and a half year old could do easily and with joy. (You can download your free copy at the end of this blog post.)

Before starting the worksheet, they were just painting for fun in their journals. (We put a piece of cardboard under the page so the paint doesn’t bleed through.)

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Next, I gave them the Mix it up! copy for each of them. First, they painted the primary colours, blue, red and yellow.

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Then came the mixing. Little L. needed help with washing the colours out of her paint brush, but she wanted to do it all by herself.

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E. painted and mixed the colour like  a pro.

In the meantime our native nanny, N. arrived and joined in. They wanted to paint some more so everyone got a sheet of paper and free painting continued.

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Little L. got tired of the limitation of paint brushes and she started to use her fingers. She used more water than paint. In the end she decided to throw her last work of art into the bin. (lucky I could save the others.)

The difficult part came: cleaning up. The girls could choose what to clean up at the end. E. chose to wash the paintbrushes out, L. helped me put away the paint and clean the table.

Now here you can download your free copy of our mixing activity.

I can highly recommend both the book and the painting activity. Have fun!

 

 

Books we read in May

The girls had their own favourites this month. E. fell in love with Dr. Seuss (again) and L. rediscovered Spot’s stories. Here comes this month’s list with short reviews.

Colour coding: E.’s favourite, L.’s favourite, both girls loved it

E. (6)

My name is not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry

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This is a book about a little girl who turns herself into famous and great women throughout history, from Rosa Parks to Marie Curie. She is brave, great, clever and loveable.

Nine Ducks Nine by Sarah Hayes

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It’s a witty book about ducks teaching a fox a lesson, directing him to fall into the river in a tricky way.

The peace book by Todd Parr

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At first I though E. will love this book, but finally Little L. asked me to read it many times. The illustrations are really simple and very colourful. The idea of peace is really nicely explained in a simple way. There’s a lot to talk about on the basis of the book even with older children. Mommy,’s favourite too.

Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss

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Both kids enjoyed this book, like all Dr. Seuss’ books. Surprisingly, Little L. was patient enough to listen to it all the way through. E. likes reading it by herself. Again a lot of rhyming pairs, funny and eye-catching illustration. A great classic.

Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss

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This month this book was E.’s favourite. She loves the funny sounds, the more and more complicated story and structures, word games, the rhymes plus the funny and unexpected ending. It’s more difficult to read for her because the spelling is challenging and the words sound similar to each other. Still, she read it out loud few times.

Little Red Riding Hood (Usborne Young Reader)

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My daughter is still not a big fan of classic fairy tales. We read it 2-3 times but she wasn’t much impressed.

Chicken Licken (First readers)

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Repeating all the names of the animals throughout the story many, many time makes even adult readers smile.

L. (2y 5m)

Tractors (DK)

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Surprisingly the tractor shaped book wasn’t a big hit with Little L although there are lots of big pictures of tractors and their parts and what they do on the farm.

The very noisy night by Diana Hendry

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Little L was a little afraid of this book I guess. But E. enjoyed it, mainly the illustrations. Her favourite picture is whan Little Mouse goes into Big Mouse’s bed finally and Big Mouse has hardly any room left in bed. Again there are a lot of things to talk about in this book. The illustrations are really detailed and I can highly recommend this book if your little one is scared of the noises at night.

Little Mole’s adventure from Spring to Winter

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This was E’. favourite book when she was about L.’s age. Both in English and in Hungarian (I have to emphasize here for my Hungarian fellow moms that Varró Dániel’s translation is absolutely fantastic). However, Little L. was unimpressed. E. was still fascinated by it, not to mention the fact that Daddy still knows some parts by heart.

Spot’s garden by Eric Hill

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Though it isn’t a lift-the-flap book, Little L. really enjoyed accompanying Spot through planting his own garden. Probably our planting sessions had a great effect on her, what’s more she loves all the spring and planting songs.

Spot says goodnight by Eric Hill

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A must-have bedtime story. Simple pictures, simple story, a lot of repetition. What else do we need to help the language sink in.

What can you see Spot? by Eric Hill

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Spot goes and explores his surroundings. The illustrations serve a great basis to talk about animals, plants, parks and what we can see in different places. When we go out for a walk we imitate that we are Spot and look for thins that he also sees in this book.

Show me your Smile! A visit to the dentist by Christine Ricci

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As far as I could judge this book is NOT for a 2-and-a-half-year old, but L. fell in love with it and she’s been asking me to read it 3-4 time a week. My guess why she likes it so much is that it’s interactive. Dora asks her questions and she answers them, She needs to find the X-ray photo of her teeth and the crayons she wants to colour with. So she feels she is part of the story. Though I’m not sure how much she understands it.