Bottle top Christmas tree

A quick, before-Christmas activity I put together was a hit with the girls. The best thing about it is that you can make the activity, so it suits all ages.

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What you need:

  •  12 or more green bottle tops
  • hot glue gun/ or some type of glue
  • a board (I used cardboard of a box)
  • pom-poms of different colours
  • white circles cut out of paper
  • snowflakes of different colours (optional)
  • tweezers

How to make it:

  • arrange the bottle tops in a Christmas tree shape
  • glue them on the board
  • mark the colours in the bottle tops (I used punched-out snowflakes)

I presented the game to the girls on the 23rd December. They had been very excited about the coming Christmas and they had been asking about when the Christmas tree was coming. So here it comes.

It can be a simple colour matching activity…

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But I wanted to bring in some more challenge. For Little L I drew dots on paper circles (3 and 4). She put a red pompom if there were 3 dots and a green one if it there were 4.

As in school E learnt addition and take-away up to number 8, I wrote additions on paper circles. The additions equalled either 5 or 8. She needed to put a green pompom if the sum was 5 and a red pompom if it was 8.

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When she was done, she made me an activity… khm… a little bit more complex than mine.

This task can be done with numbers, addition and takeaway, division and multiplication, letters (lower and uppercase), sight words and so much more.

With this post I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Our visitor from Sri Lanka

E.’s school takes part in a volunteer programme, which means from time to time a volunteer arrives at the school to reinforce the students’ English communication skills. At the end of this year a 19-year old young lady, P., from Sri Lanka visited the school. We hosted her in our home for a week (altogether she stayed for 6 weeks and was hosted by other families too).

Although E. doesn’t learn English in school (and never will), I signed up to host the future volunteer in the middle of November.

The girls were excited and very curious about our visitor. They kept asking when P. was coming.

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P. arrived on a Sunday afternoon and with her wide smile and cute presents she stole my kids’ heart.

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P.’s English was absolutely great (as it turned out, her Mum is an English teacher 🙂 ) and she could communicate and connect with E and L very easily.

During the day she was in school giving lessons about Sri Lanka and practising English with students in the higher grades. (She also taught the kids how to dance a Sri Lankan folkdance, what’s more she performed a gorgeous dance in school when the 3rd advent candle was lit).

After school either she walked home or we took her home from school and spent the afternoons with playing together. She was painting with the girls, or they danced together, sometimes they played with cars or a board game.

 

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Towards the end of the week we had more time to explore Budapest, to show her the sights and to do a little shopping. We saw the parliament and the night lights, Christmas fairs, where we had some lángos,

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visited the Buda Castle, where we had some treats,

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also took a ride on the funicular railway and saw the beautiful view of Budapest in sparkling sunshine. (After that week of sunshine she could experience snow for the first time in her life)

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We had lots of fun; we really enjoyed our time with this sweet, warm-hearted, full of joy young lady.

It was great practice for the girls, moreover a pleasure to have her in our home and she will surely stay in our hearts.

 

 

Shredded leaves picture

Our garden is full of colourful leaves. We are raking them, jumping into them, make leaf angels, throwing them up in the air. Plus, we made some autumn pictures with the help of them. Here they are:

I collected and dried some leaves beforehand. When they were dry, I shredded them into small pieces by hand. You can do it with the kids. As Little L.’s attention span is still very short (she’s just 3.5) I knew shredding would have been all she could have been involved and the creative part of the activity would have been lost, so I did the shredding myself. It’s a nice sensory activity and the shreds can also serve as a great basis for a sensory box.

Later on 2 trays I prepared for them 3 motives drawn by pencil, liquid glue and a bowl of shredded leaves.

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First, they traced the outline of the image with the glue then sprinkled it with the shreds.

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To finish with, we let the exceed shreds fall of the picture. And there you can see a beautiful autumn picture.

Surprisingly, Little L. was great at tracing the outlines. I wasn’t surprised at E.’s fantastic tracing. Applying the right amount of glue needed a lot of concentration.

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When they’d finished with my pictures, they started to make their own. 

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E. made a tree with falling leaves, a flower and fruit.

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L. was working on a plum and a car (I guess).

I myself joined in and made our cat.

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This was the time when they lost interest, but I could encourage them to make a last one with their hands. The girls really liked the idea and the final outcome.

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This activity involved a lot of English interactions: autumn vocabulary (leaves, colours, autumn fruits), fine motor skill development (tracing with glue and sprinkling shredded leaves), giving and following instructions and artistic creativity. Not to mention fun, fun, fun.

Witch’s cauldron – sensory bin

October is all about Halloween. It is the time to do Halloween activities , listen to Halloween songs and decorate our house with scary things. This year we’ve been playing with the old games but I wanted something new. As Little L. wanted to dress up as a witch, I thought a cauldron sensory bin would be great.

What you need:

  • a cauldron (I bought ours in the Flying Tiger Shop)
  • corn kernels (I used 2 and a haft tubs of popcorn kernels)
  • “scary” manipulatives (plastic eyes, spiders, skeletons, pumpkins, snakes, black cats, ghosts etc. you can see my choice of manipulatives in the video below)
  • cards with numbers on (I used cards from 1-6)

How to prepare it:

I poured one tub of corn kernels into the cauldron and added some of the manipulatives then added another tub of kernels and placed in some more scary figurines. It wasn’t enough to cover them all, so I added another half tub.

I presented the sensory cauldron to E. first, because I wasn’t sure how many creatures I put in and actually she tested the game.

She (at the age of 7 and a half) enjoyed finding surprises in the corn.

To be on the safe side, to save some time of cleaning up the kernels I put a tray under the cauldron.

She did the counting. That was when we realised I’d put in 6 different kinds of manipulatives. Originally, I’d made 5 cards only, but at this point I added another card, no. 6, instead of taking away something from the cauldron.

One of the manipulatives were pumpkin-shaped tea lights. E. turned them on and put them back into the cauldron. Spooky.

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After playing with the cauldron we put everything back and it was waiting for Little L. to explore.

She also took great pleasure in dipping her little hands into the full cauldron and find the creatures inside. And it goes without saying that you can do this activity only in your Halloween (witch) costume.

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Our new nanny was around at that time so the girls were searching for the scary creatures with N.

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It was real funny when Little L. called the eyeballs “bally eyes” 😀 Check the video on this link.

I wish you all a Happy Halloween with this fun activity.