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!

 

 

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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.

From caterpillar to butterfly

My Mum brought us a bunch of flowers one day at the beginning of October. But she brought more than the flowers. She presented us with Caty, the caterpillar, who somehow became our pet.

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I noticed the leaf and petal munching creature in the vase. E. got really excited about it and found it cute. After a few days when the flowers started to wilt E got worried about Caty (she gave the caterpillar a name) hence we built Caty a home.

A jar would have been enough but E. is kind to animals and wanted a huge place for the caterpillar so we emptied a big transparent IKEA toy box and covered the bottom of it with kitchen roll and placed some good-looking flowers from the vase. (E collected some more wild weed flowers from the park to make Caty’s diet more varied.)

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We read a lot about caterpillars and their metamorphosis on the Internet. We managed to find out that Caty is most likely a pest, a cotton bollworm, and would not turn into a butterfly but a moth.

We learnt from our research that Caty would probably love to eat paprika, so E was more than happy to provide it for our new pe(s)t.

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Just to make sure she got enough food and her surroundings were comfortable and homely, E pick some leaves and twigs and “decorated” Caty’s box.

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Caty loves the paprika and ate, and ate and ate it all day. Apart from eating she pooped a lot so after a few days we needed to change the kitchen roll under it.

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Also we leant that she might need a stick to hang onto when she turns into chrysalis. So we added a stick in her home. (By the way the top of the box wasn’t totally covered during the day so she got fresh air but at night I covered it just to be on the safe side 😉

After a few days (7-8 days) she stopped eating and was crawling around the box as if it wanted to get out. Then we realised that Caty wanted to find the best place for her metamorphoses. Finally she didn’t hang onto the stick but created a safe corner for herself and turned into a brownish chrysalis.

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I’m not sure how long it took her to change because there were some days when we forgot to check her but in about 2 weeks she flew out of the box.

It was around 10 o’clock at night and Daddy saw Caty (who turned into Mothy according to E.) ran into the kids’ room whispering: E. are you still awake?
Well, she wasn’t but Daddy woke her up to have a look at the new form of her pet. It was the beginning of November. We took a photo and let her free. Well, Daddy put her out onto the balcony so she could go and find food.

As E. reads the blog sometimes the story finishes here for the time being.

I can only encourage everyone to go and find a caterpillar, take it home and see the wonder of nature in your home. The kids enjoyed it and learnt a lot at the same time, not to mention that E. learnt to take care of another little life. It’s a great activity with kids 3+.

I also recommend reading books about the changes of butterflies:

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Caterpillar’s wish by Mary Murphy

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Caterpillar Butterfly by Vivien French

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National Geographic Readers: Caterpillar to Butterfly

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Update ——- June 2018——–

I found another caterpillar in the cauliflower. We put it in a plastic box (much smaller than the IKEA toy box) together with some cauliflower and within 2-3 days it turned into a chrysalis. It was stuck to the side of the plastic box. E. didn’t give her a stick this time and everything happened much faster.

Again we did some research on the Net and found out that it should turn into a cabbage butterfly.

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And it did. It was nap time for the girls and my friend B. (who talks to the kids in English only) was around sipping her coffee in the living room while I was putting Little L down to take a nap. As I returned to the living room B. told me that she saw something moving in the box.

And yes it was a white cabbage butterfly. We called E. and she set the shy butterfly free on the balcony. It was a magic moment when she flew away. We all felt goosebump.

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