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!

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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Little L is 3.

20180724_210132My baby is not a baby anymore she’s a big toddler ready for kindergarten with exceptional communicational skills both in Hungarian and English.

First of all, her personality is very different from my elder. She is very open with people in general, smiley and friendly. She likes people, mainly kids (babies) who she pats, hugs and kisses at the playground or wherever we are. She’s gentle and affectionate.

As for her language abilities, she has no problem whatsoever to change between the 2 languages and uses them very creatively:

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She loves tractors and one of her favourite sons is Tractors by Blippi. One evening we were having dinner and she was singing to herself eating buckwheat: – Oh, buckwheat oh buckwheat there’s so much buckwheat (sic)

Another funny example of her fantastic acquisition of the language:

– Mommy don’t turn the page I’m look-at-ing it.

She herself asks for being in English. Most of the time she just states:

We’re in English, Mommy.

And of course, I take every opportunity to change into our minority language happily.
Apart from her sweet personality traits she’s got a dark side. We just call her a destroyer. She takes great pleasure in ruining, taking apart, tearing almost everything. I hope this will go with the age.

In her 3rd year we were very lucky with native nannies, which meant a lot concerning her English. We had 3 of them: N, from London, who stayed with us for almost a whole year and had great connection with both of my girls.

For the summer we had a Canadian nanny, C., who came to us only for 2 months but they hit it off almost immediately and had great fun.

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The the Australian J, turned up towards the end of the year, who is still with us for a little more while.

All the nannies were really chatty to L, and they quickly learned what she wanted to play:

  • with N., she mainly played trains, play dough and Mr Potato Head or rode the motorbike to the playground and slid

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  • with C, she liked sliding on our sofa and played in the tunnel

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  • with J, they’ve been reading books a lot and played with the toy kitchen, plus Lego when Little L joined in E.’s playtime

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Another important person in her English language development in B, my best friend who could spend more time with the girls towards the end of the year. We had day trips, like visiting the Tropicarium together as well as sleepovers.

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Another important impact was Daddy’s business/educational trip to America, when he was away for 3 weeks and I was alone with the girls. 80-90% of time we were in English. It was the most natural thing to do, and the girls’ brain was rewired. They behaved and talked like perfectly native speakers of English. Little L benefitted from this period a lot and I felt great about it as at the beginning of January she was supposed to start kindergarten, which is only in Hungarian. This was her final push and reinforcement of the importance of English in her life.

It is more difficult to make arts and crafts or other educational games with her as she can’t sit still (which is perfectly normal at her age but I’m used to E.’s attitude who is really calm, peaceful and very focused). So, I usually concentrated on activities that involve a lot of moving around or splashing in water etc.

 

She also helps around the house but she loses interest very quickly. She follows whatever her Big Sister does or wherever she goes.

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We still take part in Helen Doron Early English sessions. L. finished Baby’s Best Start and started It’s a Baby Dragon course. She got a little more reserved at the lessons but she enjoys them all the same.

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All these different exposures improved her English to a great extent. She’s got no problem understanding and replying in English. Mixing the languages happens very rarely, only if a word doesn’t come to her mind, and when she realises she used Hungarian in her English sentence she chuckles. An amusing example: Little L wants to crawl under the bed: – Mommy, I can’t put my “fej” in.

Favourite topics: cars, construction vehicles

Favourite toys: cars, playdough

Favourite activities: sliding, riding a motorbike, jumping in puddles, hugging

Favourite food: pasta, meat soup

Favourite colours: red and blue

Favourite books: Fox’s socks by Julia Donaldson, Pip and Posy by Axel Sheffler, Goldilocks and the three bears

Favourite cartoons: Paw Patrol, Top Wing, Gyerekdalok és mondókák

Favourite songs: Tractros by Blippi, Hídló végén

Happy birthday, my sweetest Baby!

 

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: