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!

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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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Halloween parties 2.015

Just like last year we threw a Halloween party in our home. We invited the mums and their kids from the local Mums’ English Club. Also, we got a really kind invitation to a Helen Doron Halloween Party.

Here comes the summary of the party series:

E. had been preparing for Halloween for weeks. She decided it early what to dress up as: a Jack-o-lantern. My mum found this Jack-o-lantern costume in a second hand clothes shop and I made a little skirt to go with it. E. had an exact idea how to do her hair (a stem on the top out of her fringe and leaf hair clips).

Unfortunately, she couldn’t take part in the Halloween costume party at the kindergarten as E. had been ill for almost a week but I hope we could manage to compensate her.

My husband was on holiday to help me with the pumpkin carving and decor. I needed to work in the morning, so E. and Daddy went to the market to buy a big pumpkin and by the time I got home our Jack-o-lantern had been carved. E. scooped out the inside and Daddy did the carving. (This activity was done in Hungarian)

We wanted to put on the scary Halloween decoration in our living-room while E. was sleeping but she was over-excited because of the party and she couldn’t sleep a wink. Eventually, she ended up helping, which made the whole process really long. Mostly she took off what we’d put on.

Finally I prepared Daddy’s eye patch for his pirate costume (which was very basic: checked shirt, jeans, eye-patch and a head scarf). I dressed up as a mummy (which was E.’s idea. She loved to say: “Mommy, you’ll be a mummy at Halloween. A Mommy mummy”) with the help of some gauze that I wrapped around myself over a long sleeved white top.

Guests began arriving, bringing a lot of treats. (I’d also prepared some sausage mummies, healthy fruit and cheese snacks and some biscuits too.) And from that moment everything went in English.

There were four moms and their kids (twins and siblings too) and also 2 dads turned up. Even more moms wished to come but they got sick. What a pitty! Maybe next year.

The party was mainly about eating, though we also found some time to sing some Halloween songs and other traditional English nursery rhymes for the little ones. Throwing the Halloween balloons was one of the favourite hits with the kids.

The Halloween costume contest ended with 3 winners who received English children books for their outfits:

Ladybirds (the twins)

The witch

As I’d just broken our camera before the party, all of the photos were taken by our phones, hence the poor quality. Anyway, we could enjoy the moment instead of watching the happenings from behind a camera.

On the 31st we were invited to a Helen Doron Halloween party in the city centre. (E.’s ex-HD teacher invited us. How nice of her!). There were some colouring activities, we made a scary ghost lantern out of a jar, some gauze, googly eyes and a tea light inside.

There were a lot of fantastic costume ideas and a dark, scary room the children loved. E. went back twice. They needed to climb through spider webs and match X-ray photos with animals and body parts. And of course, at the end everybody could choose some candy from the trick-or-treat bag.
Thanks you, Zs, for inviting us. It was so much fun!

Spooky lights in the dark room
Zs. is showing an X-ray photo and the matching animal

They all managed to climb through the web
Funny costumes

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Scare you next year, too!

Jack-o-lantern emotions – FREE printable

Last October was all about skeletons (this topic is still on and off) but this year E. has found her new favourite Halloween character: the Jack-o-lantern.

 

Jack-o-lantern Feelings

 

 

I made this printable with 6 kinds of different emotions:
  • happy
  • sad
  • angry
  • surprised
  • cheeky
  • scared
You can find this printable at the end of this blog post.
matching the words

I’ve also made word cards to it in the end, but the picture above shows these little pieces of felt (scrap) and the feelings written on them (with a permanent marker)

What you can do with these cards:
matching the faces
  1. Match the picture and the words
  2. Match the faces/emotions which are the same
  3. Play a memory game with 2 sets
  4. Place one set face down on the table. The players choose a card and don’t show it to anyone, then make a face expressing that feeling. The other players need to find out what feeling it is.
  5. (With bigger kids) Place one set face down on the table. The first player picks up a card and says I feel this when… and need to finish the sentence
  6. Identify body parts on the face (eyes, eye brows, nose, mouth)
  7. Identify shapes on the faces (This mouth is an oval, The eyes are circles. Can you show me a crescent mouth? What shape is this nose?)
So here is the printable. I hope you’ll find it useful:

Conker games

Whenever we go somewhere we MUST collect something. My pockets are full of stones, acorns, berries and conkers, just to mention a few. One day we visited Margaret-island (a small island on the River Danube, Budapest) and managed to collect tons of different fruit of various trees and bushes.

Rose hips, conkers, sycamore “rotors”, pine cones, acorns, London plane seed balls, wild pear, seed pods of China tree

 

So during E.’s nap time I put together this tray of all kinds of fruits and a magnifying glass. As soon as she discovered the tray she eagerly examined their texture, the surface and the inside of the fruit.

We collected a full bag of conkers and pine cones, half of which we took to E.’s kindergarten. The other half of cones we’ll use for decoration and Christmas ornaments (see a later post) and the conkers we’ve used to play games with.

Counting conkers
 
 

I put the conkers in a woven basket and placed the number cards on the table. E. needed to put the right number of conkers below the cards.

When we played this game we’d just returned home from the nursery and changed languages. You can hear in this video how she is mixing English and Hungarian, and also, me asking back “Sorry?” all the time in a silly way 😉

I’ve found a super-cute squirrel grid game on prekinders.com and although we didn’t have enough acorns or walnuts that squirrels love eating, we used our conkers as manipulatives for this game.

How does the game go?

E., Daddy and myself played so I printed 3 copies of the squirrel grid (of 20 squirrel) and put LOADS of conkers in a bowl. You’ll need a game die. Of course, the youngest starts the game, throws the game die and identifies the number on it. The player then needs to place the same number of conkers on the grid. We take turns and the winner is who finishes the grid first. (You can play it as an addition game with 2 dice if your child is older. If he/she is younger, you can use a special die with only 1-2-3 on it)

I’ll be the winner, not you Daddy.
Mind you! Conkers are slightly toxic, so it’s better to know that just a very few animals can eat it (like deer), but people and squirrels never.

 Name written in conkers

I prepared my daughter’s name, each letter on a different piece of paper. First, she put the letters in the right order, then following the lines of the letters, she placed the conkers along the lines.

 Krokotak conker mushrooms

What you need:

  • conkers
  • acorns
  • play dough

Not as good-looking as the original idea, but they represent our family: E. mushroom, Daddy mushroom and Mommy mushroom. (from right to left)

Last year we did some conker threading after making a whole on the conkers with the help of a screwdriver. If you haven’t had enough of conkers, check it out.

What do you play with at autumn time? Share with me in the comments.