National butterflies

To be honest, I didn’t prepare any activities for our national holiday 15 March in advance. On the day I woke up with an image in my mind that I saw on Pinterest the other day. Quickly I collected what we needed to the project and when the girls finished their breakfast we could begin.

 

What you need:

  • red, white and green crepe paper (or the colours of your national flag)
  • pipe cleaners
  • scissors
  • few bamboo skewers (“hurkapálcika”)
  • cellotape

How to make the butterflies:

  • Cut about 5-6 cm wide red, white and green crepe paper strips then cut them into 10-12 cm long shorter strips
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  • Place the strips (red, white and green) under one another and pinch them in the middle20190315_094203
  • Fold the short piece pipe cleaner half and fix the crepe paper in the middle.
  • Twist the pipe cleaner on the top and curl up the “antennae”
  • You can finish it here or cellotape the skewers on the back.20190315_094754

Little L. wanted to leave the green out… but it wasn’t an option. E. could do the whole process alone. L. did the cutting mainly. she also helped with the cellotape.

After having finished with the butterflies we went out into the garden and stuck them here and there.

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Short, easy-to-prepare, last-minute activity for a quiet holiday.

Carnival Clown

We haven’t been playing any new home-made games, but I saw this video and I immediately knew my girls would love it for the carnival season.

As we moved at the end of the last year we still have a lot of boxes around. I picked one of the boxes and drew a clown inside. It was quite a challenge since the box was bumpy and the best markers are still packed away.  (You can see it in the picture below that I had a hard time to draw the clown. The first trial didn’t work out)

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I cut a hole in the place of the nose and collected 10 colourful (plastic) balls. I couldn’t find red ones as in the video, but other colours will do.

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The girls loved it at once. E. was patient and carefully rolled the balls into the hole. Even the very last one, which is quite difficult.

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On the other hand Little L. shook the balls and when the last one didn’t want to go through she assisted with her hand.

Not only did it help practise balancing and fine movements  but it gave a great opportunity to play other games which develop oral skills as well:

  • say the different colours as they fall in
  • count from 1-10 or backwards as the balls fall in
  • collect the balls with the box (do not look under the box just “feel” it) and count or say the colours
  • name other body parts on the clown
  • say the colours of the clown

An activity easy and quick to make and a hit with kids (even older ones).

Have fun!

Apple core

Autumn is here and the girls are always asking for painting activities. At this time of the year apples are in focus so

apples+autumn=… see the craft result below.

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What we used:

  • small paper plates
  • scissors
  • paint (red, green, yellow)
  • paintbrushes
  • glue
  • real dried apple seeds (or a black/brown marker to draw some)

Preparation:

Before the girls started to make the core of their apples I prepared one for them to see what to do. I drew on the paper plates an American football shapes that they needed to cut off.

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They put on their aprons after having taken off their T-shirts plus L even took off her socks. I didn’t really get why.

E. (6) was great with the cutting. Little L (2.5) had difficulty in cutting along the curved line so she just simply cut the paper plate half. Well done Sweetie! 🙂 Cutting is a new skill she’s been practising a lot recently. Although cutting straight went really well, she was quite disappointed.

I took out a new paper plate and did the cutting for her.

Then came the painting. We discussed what colour an apple could be. They come up with colours red, green and yellow. L. chose red: – This is red (she was pointing at her apron) so I choose red.
E. chose green: – I choose green because my favourite apple is green apple.

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Hence we didn’t use any yellow.

After having painted the skin, I showed them the real apple seeds that I’d saved from the many apples they’d eaten. Little L eats only a few fruit, her favourite is the apple.

I showed them how to glue the seeds on. Next it was their turn to add the apple seeds in the middle of the core.

After this activity we went on to eat some apple snacks. While I was peeling and cutting the apple half Little L. had a chance to have a look at a real apple core with the seeds inside. E. wasn’t interested as she knows it too well. She wanted to grow an apple tree which we did not try this time. But we never know what the future might bring.

More jump with Joey – guest post

E.’s new  Helen Doron course started in September 2017. I’ve been planning to write an in-depth post about our experiences, but I was struggling with. I’m not at the lessons, E. is not very chatty about what’s going on the lessons, only if she’s crazy about it, which happens every now and then but not on a regular basis.

So I had an idea. I asked E.’s teacher, Zs., to write a guest post about the present course, and the group. So here comes the very first guest post on nonnativemommy.com.

E.’s been visiting the Helen Doron course called More Jump with Joey. This is a continuation of the course Jump with Joey, where the basic knowledge had been learnt. In these courses we get to know the alphabet a bit better, by following the adventures of Kangi, Joey, Milli and Paul in Storyville. Each adventure is connected to a letter of the alphabet. This is also where students start to read and write, the course has a workbook as well beside the activity books. Starting here, the activity books have all the pages filled with written words, getting more and more complicated according to the age group, not only the usual stickers and coloring pages.

We also use the augmented reality apps, which can be downloaded to smartphones or tablets, and function as magic wands – putting the device above certain pages of the book, the characters start speaking, moving, singing, dancing. Usually we use it every second lesson or so for a few minutes, and all the students are mesmerized and just love it. If they do well during the lesson, it is a little gift for them.

The Jump with Joey material supports the school system’s usual vocab, learning about school items, colors, animals, numbers, household items, lots of adjectives and grammar, but of course many-many more. In More Jump with Joey there is a large variety of vocab.

 

 

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Once E. begged Zs. to let L. in a bit

E. enjoys it a lot – learning about different types of insects, arachnids, naming 6-8 different spiders, also apes, marsupials, pets, flowers, birds, also using grammar a bit more deliberately (e.g. past forms) and so on. This is a perfect course for her, as it is not only about learning the basics in English, which she knows already pretty well, but experiencing the diversity of life, and using our knowledge in different real-life situations. Also using the language with others properly is a great skill for her to improve – asking politely, working in a team, improving our social skills, sharing our ideas with others, speaking up. If it was up to her, she would probably just observe everything with great interest. But, of course, the aim of the course is to get that knowledge out and to use the language, to speak as much as we can. As the students already have a certain level of English by now, we can put the focus on the details, and have more fun by challenging ourselves with new, more complicated games and activities.

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watching an episode

There are seven students in the group, three boys and four girls – quite luckily equal. This group is totally an advanced group, most of them have been learning English for 4-5-6 years (and they are only first graders!), and there are two other students who are basically bilingual, too. Spontaneous speaking and discussions are usual with them, they are very motivated and enthusiastic about English. E. is the youngest, still perfectly keeps up with the others. Not every member of the group started writing so far, but every one of them can already read or at least is trying to read the written lines all the time.

E. is brilliant in reading and writing, her speed of working improved a lot in the past year, and she barely makes mistakes. Usually she does not even need help with the spelling, she just knows it by heart. However, asking for help if she is stuck is still something we are practising, but we still have half of the course ahead, and every member of the group has improved amazingly so far. Can’t wait to go on! 

More about the school we attend and the course material, click on the link.

 

Easter Scavenger Hunt

This Easter I wanted something different, something  that we had never done before. We’d done Easter crafts, Easter cooking, Easter egg hunt… but I was really glad to accidentally come across some Easter scavenger hunt on the net. I thought I could tailor it to the girls. So I did.

As they are still young and found Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection too frightening (we read some simple books about it), I stayed with the bunny theme this year.

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Some presents (very few sweets and no chocolate treats at all) were hidden by the Easter bunny around the flat and the rabbit also made sure that the girls have some challenge. He left rhyming notes everywhere to give directions to the girls where they could find the next gift location.

Early in the morning we heard some bunny sounds (thanks Daddy and youtube). The kids jumped out of bed and started searching for the goodies.

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E. read out the little poems and helped her little sister to find the places of presents.

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They both enjoyed it a lot and were excited about the findings and the whole game. It was more fun that I’d thought.

 

You can download our Easter Scavenger Hunt Rhymes here. (It’s editable so you can alter it as you wish)

Thanks, Easter Bunny!